Staff Picks


February 2021

Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting

by Ann Hood

Twenty-seven writers tell their stories about knitting and writing. From triumphs to disasters in both knitting and life, these essays will make you laugh and cry. There are also five patterns included. 

Recommended by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Manager

Posted in: Adult Nonfiction


Song in a Rainstorm: The Story of Musical Prodigy Thomas “Blind Tom” Wiggins

by Glenda Armand

When Thomas was born blind to slaves, his mother was not going to let that determine his fate. She and others soon found out that he had an affinity for music and could recreate the sounds of rainstorms or trains on the piano. He gave his first concert at six years old and was the first black person to play for a president.  His abilities were amazing as he wowed crowds in America and Europe by playing any song, sometime even sitting backwards at the piano and using opposite hands to play the song.

Recommended by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian

Posted in: Youth Biographies


Forever Home

by Jenna Ayoub

A graphic novel about Willow, a young girl who has never had a place she can call home as both her parents are in the military and have been moved from place to place. That changes when they move to the historic Hadleigh House but then the ghosts appear. They do not want to share the house. So begins the clash between Willow, who does not want to move again and the ghosts, who do not want others there… but does it have to be one or the other?

Recommended by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Youth Fiction


One Step Further: My Story of Math, the Moon, and a Lifelong Mission

by Katherine Johnson

An empowering narrative about a young girl who counted everything, even her steps, as her lifelong love of mathematics led her to become part of the team that helped John Glenn circle the Earth and land men on the moon, one step for mankind. Her perseverance and abilities enabled her to overcome the prejudices of the 1960’s against African-Americans and women in the work force and be part of the civil rights movement for herself and her daughters.

Recommended by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Youth Biographies


Kate’s light: Kate Walker at Robbins Reef Lighthouse

by Kate Kaird

A biography of one of the first women lighthouse keepers on the Eastern seaboard. Immigrating from Germany, Kate met and married a man who became the lighthouse keeper on Robbins Reef in New York Harbor. She became the assistant lighthouse keeper as she helped keep the light burning at night and rescuing people from floundering ships. After her husband’s death she convinced the Lighthouse Board that she could do the job alone, which she did for 34 years.

Recommended by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Youth Biographies


If You Want a Friend in Washington: Wacky, Wild & Wonderful Presidential Pets

by Erin McGill

This is a funny and informative book about the variety of animals presidents have kept as pets at the White House. The animals range from the very small to huge, common and rare. A fun read with whimsical illustrations.

Recommended by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Youth Nonfiction


The Secret Life of Sam

by Kim Ventrella

Sam has been raised by a single father all his life. When his father dies, Sam is very unhappy to be placed with his father’s sister who has been absent from his life for the last four years. While planning on leaving this new home Sam discovers an eerie connection to his father through the spirit world. This title is available as an audiobook Playaway.

Recommended by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Manager

Posted in: Youth Fiction


Echo Mountain

by Lauren Wolk

It’s 1934 and Ellie and her family have lost their house in town and now live on the side of a mountain. Life is a struggle and becomes even more so when Ellie’s father falls into a coma after getting hit in the head by a tree he was chopping down. Add in mysterious dog, hiddewood carvings and an old hag and the intrigue begins in earnest. This book is available in the library and on OverDrive/Libby as an ebook and e audiobook.

Recommended by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Manager

Posted in: Youth Fiction


Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray: Elements of Genius #1

by Jess Keating

After Nikki’s pet ferret accidently shoots off her death ray, she is sent to a school for brainy kids, the Genius Academy. Her fellow students are Charlotte Darwin and Leo da Vinci, smart kids too, but Nikki still doesn’t feel like she belongs or can be friends with them. However, when her death ray is stolen, they band together to get it back and the adventures begin. A hilarious and exciting new series, middle graders will be looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.

Recommended by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Youth Fiction


Ensnared in the Wolf’s Lair: Inside the 1944 Plot to Kill Hitler and the Ghost Children of His Revenge

by Ann Bausum

A heartbreaking and haunting account of the many immediate family members and relatives who were killed or imprisoned in camps when the plot to kill Hitler in an explosion failed. His revenge was swift and thorough, even sweeping up people who happened to share the same last name of some of the conspirators. Told from a diary secreted away by a daughter of one of the conspirator’s, this should rank with Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl to show the evilness of some men, who took no account of age or innocence.

Recommended by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Youth Nonfiction


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