Staff Picks

June 2023

Mindfulness Meditations for Teens

by Bodhipaksa

It’s summertime! With great weather and some flexible time, an opportunity returns to explore and unplug. Discover the power of meditation to clear your mind, slow down, and find brief moments of peace to reconnect with yourself. Grab your earbuds or your favorite headphones and give meditation a try with this soothing playaway that you can take anywhere, indoors or outdoors, to unwind and recharge. The track list includes ten brief sessions by Buddhist practitioner, author, and teacher Bodhipaksa to help you release a calmer, positive, and creative mindset.
Recommended by: Fanny Camargo, Youth Services Reference Librarian

Posted in: Young Adult Nonfiction

May 2023


by Coe Booth

Caprice has just returned from a summer program at an exclusive boarding school. She’s thrilled to be back home but is conflicted as well. She’s been offered a scholarship for 8th grade and high school at the boarding school. Should she stay or should she go? In the meantime, her grandmother has become ill and some memories from the past are haunting Caprice. Add in some friend troubles and a boy who’s interested in her, and Caprice has a lot on her mind.

This book is available in the library and on OverDrive/Libby as an ebook and e audiobook.

Submitted by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Manager

Posted in: Youth Fiction

Peace is a Chain Reaction: How World War II Japanese Balloon Bombs Brought People of Two Nations Together

by Tanya Lee Stone

A not well-known fact from World War II is the basis of this book. During this war the Japanese were looking for ways to attack Americans on their own soil. They came up with the idea of balloon bombs that would travel across the Pacific and detonate in the United States. Not many of them were successful in their mission but, tragically, one was. A minister and his wife were on a picnic with some school-age children in Oregon. When the children went exploring, they came across a downed balloon. Somehow the attached bomb was triggered and 6 people were killed, one adult and 5 children. Years later a Japanese American man, Yuzuru Takeshita, spoke with a woman who worked in the factory in Japan where these balloons were made. He began a peace connection between her and others involved in the balloon manufacturing with the families of those killed. 

Recommended by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Manager

Posted in: Youth Nonfiction

Spooky Sleuths: The Ghost Tree

by Natasha Deen

Do you like mysteries and spooky storiesThen you’ll love this new series based on ghost stories from GuyanaIt’s the first book in the series which is illustrated and good for an early chapter book reader. It’s a fast paced book that keeps you hanging on for the next clue! Asim moves to a new town and hears weird noises at night, eerie lights and an evil tree. Can Asim and his friends save their teacher and the town from the ghost tree? Read on if you dare!

Recommended by: Lenore Garoufalis, Youth Services Assistant

Posted in: Youth Fiction

Abby in Orbit: Blast Off!

by Andrea J. Loney

Blast Off! by Andrea J. Loney is the first book in the new Abby in Orbit series. It’s a beginner chapter book for any reader interested in space or surviving their first day of third grade. Abby and her little brother Nico, just moved from Earth to the OASIS International Space Station, joining their scientist parents. There’s a lot to get used to, like the lack of gravity, and making new friends. Abby tries her hardest to get it all right, but runs into some trouble. This sweet, funny, relatable story will have readers laughing and daydreaming about living in space.

Recommended by: Erin Cady, Youth Services Reference Librarian

Posted in: Youth Fiction

Dress Coded

by Carrie Firestone

When a school wide camping trip is cancelled due to a dress code infraction, Molly starts a podcast. She talks with current students and students who have already graduated regarding their experiences. Some girls seem to be targeted as their friends wear the same clothes but aren’t called out. As the podcast grows in popularity, the small revolt gains traction. New friendships are made and bonds are strengthened as the students organize their protest.

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: Young Adult Fiction

The Rise of Kyoshi

by F. C. Yee

A humble Earth Kingdom-born girl is left to fend for herself in a world where nations have succumbed to tyranny and greed. Every day the nations become more corrupt and violent, but the Avatar is nowhere to be found. Jianzhu and Kelsang grow more desperate in their attempts to find this era’s Avatar and having lost one of the avatar toy relics to an orphan girl they’re at their wits end. Will they be able to recover the relic and find the Avatar in time? Or will the world be destroyed by countless mass murders?  This first volume in the Chronicles of the Avatar series is great for fans of Avatar: The Last Air Bender looking to learn more about previous legendary Avatars.

This book is available in the library and on OverDrive/Libby as an e audiobook and Hoopla as an ebook.

Recommended by: Ayla Franco, Youth Services Assistant

Posted in: Young Adult Fiction

The Derby Daredevils: Kenzie Kickstarts a Team

by Kit Rosewater

Kenzie is passionate about roller skating and, especially, roller derby. When she, along with her best friend, Shelly, find out about the new junior derby league tryouts, they are super excited. But when they learn they need to try out as a team if they want to be on the same team, they are stuck. They don’t know anyone else who roller skates. Will they be able to form a five person team in time for tryouts? 

Recommended by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Manager

Posted in: Youth Fiction

The Last Bear

by Hannah Gold

April knows there are no polar bears left on Bear Island. Her father, an environmental scientist, has told her so. But when she looks out her bedroom window on their first night living in the Arctic Circle, April swears she sees a polar bear. There’s a polar bear–one who is hungry, injured, and maybe, if April is lucky, lonely enough to become a friend. As April works her way into Bear’s heart, can she figure out how he became the last polar on Bear Island? More importantly, does she have what it takes to rescue him and reunite him with the other polar bears in the Arctic Circle?

Recommended by: Stephanie Visser-Rodriquez, Youth Services Assistant

Posted in: Youth Fiction

Big Tree

by Brian Selznick

Selznick has once again created a book that soars in both text and illustrations. The text is sparse but the ideas conveyed are profound. The illustrations flow like watching a movie. Follow two sycamore seeds as they struggle to survive and understand their world.  At the end of the story be sure to read the scientific explanations of topics raised in the book. Be prepared to be awed by the book and to keep thinking about it long after you have closed the book.

Recommended by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Youth Fiction

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