An unknown sage once wrote, "Change is often desirable, frequently necessary, and always inevitable." That's a powerful statement of truth.

An inability or unwillingness to adapt to change is based primarily in fear. While familiarity brings comfort, there are severe personal limitations if we strive for a life that is nothing but familiar. The unknown is simply the not-yet-known, and since life is constantly filled with change, the sooner we learn to feel comfortable, confident, and positive about what each new experience may bring, the more life will return to us.

Today's reviewed books address change and courage in different ways. Help children learn to positively and confidently adapt to change by reading good books on this subject coupled with conversation, patience, understanding, and first-hand experiences. You've got to agree: that's time well spent.

Books to Borrow

The following book is available at many public libraries.

"Max Disaster #3: Alien Eraser Reveals the Secrets of Evolution" written and illustrated by Marissa Moss, Candlewick, 54 pages

Read aloud: age 8 - 12.

Read yourself: age 8 - 9 and older.

Max's parents are scientists, and Max plans on being a scientist, too. Unfortunately, his latest experiment was a dud. Max had found an ancient Egyptian recipe for a love potion, one he hoped would work for his mom and dad who are separated. Not only didn't the potion work, but Max's mom had just had a date with a man who wasn't his father, and now she was acting weird, like she had become a teenager again.

As Max works out this mixed-up situation of his parents and each of them dating other people, and the crazy stuff in school and life in general, Max continues to write his comics about Alien Eraser. As he does, Max begins to see that things change and evolve, and maybe that's not such a bad thing.

At once hilarious and heartfelt, this third installment the "Max Disaster" series is first-rate.

Librarian's Choice

Library: Carroll County Public Library, 136 Court St., Carrollton, Ky.

Library Director: Hillary Arney

Youth Services Librarian: Leslie Sutherland

Choices this week: "The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything" by Linda Williams; Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak; "Silly Tilly by Eileen Spinelli

Books to Buy

The following books are available at favorite bookstores.

"Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping" written and illustrated by Mélanie Watt, Kids Can Press, 2013, 32 pages, $16.95 hardcover

Read aloud: age 4 - 7.

Read yourself: age 7 - 8.

Scaredy Squirrel feels certain he is not at all interested in the idea of actually camping. After all, the wilderness contains lots of frightening "troublemakers," such as skunks, mosquitoes, quicksand, and other dangerous things. Scaredy Squirrel has come up with an alternative plan that will allow him to enjoy the joy of camping from the comfort of his own home by watching a multiple-hour TV program.

Once he sets up his new TV, Scaredy Squirrel realizes he has a problem-he still has to plug his TV in and the nearest outlet is a long way away through the dark woods to reach a campground. Scaredy Squirrel might be scared, but he is determined. After preparing his detailed plan of action and his ultimate survival wilderness outfit, he begins the terrifying trek to accomplish his mission.

This hilarious book at once acknowledges a child's fears while also demonstrating that with a little ingenuity and courage we find that sometimes our fears have grown far out of proportion to the truth of the situation.

"Mr. Flux" by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Matte Stephens, Kids Can Press, 2013, 32 pages, $16.95 hardcover

Read aloud: age 3 and older.

Read yourself: age 7 - 8 and older.

Young Martin and his family lived in a town that didn't like change. Everyone seemed to like things the way they were and life was very predictable. The truth was, they were afraid of change.

Then the eccentric Mr. Flux moved to town, a man who loved change and thrived on it. At first, Martin and the others thought Mr. Flux was bonkers. But the more Martin got to know Mr. Flux, Mr. Flux's fun way of looking at life and change began to rub off on Martin, and eventually everyone in town.

A charming book that is both thought-provoking and fun, "Mr. Flux" is awesome.

Nationally syndicated, Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children's literature. She can be reached at her website: