Staff Picks


January 2020

More to the Story

by Hena Khan

This story of the Mirza family; four sisters mom and dad; might sound familiar to anyone who has read Little Women. But this updated take on a loving family going through some tough times is like a breath of fresh air. The Mizras are living in contemporary Atlanta, and Jameela (the narrator) wants to be an award-winning journalist, like her grandfather in Pakistan. When she gets chosen to be the features editor for her school newspaper, it looks like she’s on the right path. The only trouble is that the editor-in-chief doesn’t want any of the articles she suggests for the paper. By the time you finish this book, you will love each of the Mizra sisters and their world.

Recommended by: Kara DeCarlo, School Liaison 

Posted in: Youth Fiction


Magic for Liars

by Sarah Gailey

This book has more twists than a bag of pretzels. Imagine a school for magic, set in the rolling hills of California, from an adult’s point of view. Now throw in an unsolved murder, a non-magic private eye, and messy sibling relationships. It’s an edge-of-your-seat whodunit, and I could not put it down.

Recommended by: Kara DeCarlo, School Liaison 

Posted in: Adult Fiction


The Feather Thief

by Kirk Wallace Johnson

How does a flutist in the London Royal Academy of Music come to steal thousands of rare bird specimens from the British Museum in one evening? Through careful planning and a bit of bravado. But why? You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. True crime, history, and science all wrapped up in one compelling book.

Recommended by: Kara DeCarlo, School Liaison 

Posted in: Adult Nonfiction


Chernobyl : a 5-part miniseries

In 1986, the Soviet Union experienced one of the most severe nuclear disasters in the history of the world.  This miniseries follows the events that led up to the disaster, the response by the Soviet government to uncover as well as hide the truth, and the gruesome effects that are still being felt today.  Despite knowing that they manage to control the radiation by the fact that Eastern Europe is not a nuclear wasteland, this show will keep you hooked to find out exactly what happened.  With only five episodes,  Chernobyl is by perfect binge-worthy show.  Winner of the Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy.

Recommended by: Brandi Smits, Youth Services Manager 

Posted in: Movies/TV


Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

by Greg McKeown

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to McKeown share his thoughts on our cluttered minds. This book ticked many boxes for me; self-help, psychology, minimalism, mental health.    Think of it as a Marie Kondo for your mind.   You will be challenged to think about what is essential in your life.  Definitely a great read to start off the new year.

Recommended by: Theresa Hildebrand, Patron Services Manager 

Posted in: Adult Nonfiction


The red bandanna

by Tom Rinaldi

The biography of Welles Crowther, who saved at least 10 people in the World Trade Center during the attacks on 9/11 before losing his own life. When Crowther was young, his father gave him a red handkerchief, which he always kept in his pocket. He became a volunteer with the fire department in New York and was in a Tower at the time of the attacks. No one knew what happened to him when he did not return home. However, eight months after attacks, his mother read stories about survivors who said they had been led to safety by a stranger who was wearing a red bandanna. This is an accounting of that day and his actions.

Recommended by Joan Stoiber, Youth Services

Posted in: Adult Nonfiction


The runaways

by Ulf Stark

Grandpa hates being in the hospital and is so obnoxious that his own son will no longer come visit him, but his grandson, Gottfried, visits as often as he can. Grandpa wants to go back to the place he was happiest—a house on an island where he lived with Grandma. He wants to go back one last time, so Grandpa and Gottfried decide to run away, no matter the risks or challenges. A touching story of the power of love.

Recommended by Joan Stoiber, Youth Services

Posted in: Youth Fiction


The little chapel that stood

by A.B. Curtiss

The story of the September 11 attacks focuses on St. Paul’s Chapel, which is located less than 100 yards from the Twin Towers. The chapel survived to become a place for rescue workers to gather and regroup. (The title is a nod to the children’s book The Little Engine that Could ). Written in rhyme and with watercolor illustrations.

Recommended by Joan Stoiber, Youth Services

Posted in: Youth Nonfiction


The eternal soldier: the true story of how a dog became a Civil War hero

by Allison Crotzer Kimmel

The true story of Sallie, a puppy who joined the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. She became such a part of the soldiers’ lives through her actions on the battlefield that there is a statue of her at the Gettysburg Battlefield. A beautiful story of service and devotion.

Recommended by Joan Stoiber, Youth Services

Posted in: Youth Nonfiction


Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All

by Laura Ruby

Frankie feels like she’s living a life decided by others.  Her father has placed Frankie and her siblings in an orphanage while he starts a life with his new wife and her children.  Frankie’s brother, her secret boyfriend, and all the boys at the orphanage are sent off to fight in Europe after Pearl Harbor is bombed.  Life outside the orphanage seems like a million years away.  The ghost of a teenage girl who died in 1918 visits the orphanage and  becomes interested in Frankie.  The ghost moves from watching Frankie to making friends with another spirit and learning her story.  Ruby presents stories within stories, rarely revealing the truth until the end.  A gripping read that allows a rare opportunity to show ghosts being haunted by their pasts.

Recommended by: Brandi Smits, Youth Services Manager  

Posted in: Young Adult


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