Staff Picks

March 2023

A Man Called Ove

by Fredrik Backman

This novel was published in 2013 in English, and became quite popular with readers.  It took me until 2022 to pick up the novel, mainly because I do not like to read books at the same time as everyone else is.  I would rather wait until the excitement wears down to pick it up and enjoy it. 

Ove is perceived as a curmudgeon who doesn’t care for any one he meets in his daily life.  As the novel progresses, the reader learns that there is a profound sadness in Ove’s past that has impacted the way he interacts with others.  One day, a young family moves into the neighborhood right next to Ove.  As expected, the initial introduction does not go well, and Ove secretly hopes they leave him alone forever.  However, Parvenah and her family persist in showing kindness to Ove every single day, until the man’s cold heart slowly starts to melt. 

 This story resonated with me in that we never know everyone’s story and how their past can greatly affect the way they view the world and the people who they encounter.  My motto has always been “Be Kind!”  You never know when your compassionate actions can make a difference in your “Ove’s” world.

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

 Recommended by: Mary G. Adamowski, Library Director

Posted in: Adult Fiction

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet

by Jen Ferguson

Lou will be working in her family’s ice cream shack this summer with her best friend, former best friend and ex-boyfriend. That is the perfect recipe for drama. When she starts receiving letters from her biological dad (who has just gotten out of prison) things go from manageable to horrible. She knows that he’s dangerous and that she can’t meet him, no matter how much he asks. Will her friends be able to help protect her? Or will her father come after her and her loved ones? Check out this book and find out.

Recommended by: Erin Faxel, Youth Services Teen Librarian

Posted in: Young Adult Fiction

Azar on Fire

by Olivia Abtahi

Azar loves music, especially writing songs. The only problem is that her voice has been damaged since she was a baby and she has trouble speaking. When an accident happens and she is forced to make a band to participate in the cities Battle of the Bands, her life changes forever. Can she learn to work with the band to create something amazing? Will they be able to win the Battle of the Bands? Pick up this book and find out.

Recommended by: Erin Faxel, Youth Services Teen Librarian

Posted in: Young Adult Fiction

Mary’s Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein

by Lita Judge

Written in free-verse, this captivating biography is not only intriguing and moving, but also visually mesmerizing. The black and white watercolor illustrations complement the author’s narrative of Mary Shelley’s life as if it were told in her own voice. Full of passion and drive, this pregnant teen runaway created much more than just a horror story. Shelley was a pioneer of science fiction to be celebrated for her remarkable legacy. Judge delivers in her own work biographical poetry paired with such astounding art that truly evokes the essence of Mary and her legendary Monster.

Recommended by: Fanny Camargo, Youth Services Reference Librarian

Posted in: Young Adult Nonfiction

February 2023

Grow Up, Tahlia Wilkins!

by Karina Evans

When puberty hits for Tahlia Wilkins, the hits just keep on coming! School’s out for the summer, she has the best friend a girl could ask for, and she has a foolproof plan to become popular this summer before eighth grade, so what could go wrong? Everything. Literally, everything that could go wrong is going wrong in this hilarious middle grade novel by Karina Evans. Tahlia and her best friend, Lily, spend days dealing with one disaster after another, until the biggest disaster of all threatens their friendship. If you’ve ever felt some serious growing pains, this book reminds you you’re not the only one. Fans of Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever. by Betsy Bird will find this story just as entertaining.

Recommended by: Erin Cady, Youth Services Reference Librarian

Posted in: Youth Fiction

We Are Wolves

by Katrina Nannestad

Liesl, Otto and Mia are siblings living in Germany in 1944 with their mother, father and grandparents. The war affects them only in small ways until their father is forced to join the army and then they are told to leave their home as the Russian army is coming. They struggle to survive but one by one they get separated from their group. Fortunately, there are good people everywhere and the three children use all their wits just to survive. 

Recommended by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Manager

Posted in: Youth Fiction

All Eyes on Her

by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

A boy and a girl go into the woods…. only the girl comes out alive. Some say that she pushed him off of a cliff. Others think it was he accidently slipped and fell. This is the story of the events that led up to that fateful night, and what happened after, told by her sister, her best friend, her enemy and more. Everyone has their own opinion on the mystery. It’s time for you to figure out your own.

Recommended by: Erin Faxel, Youth Services Teen Librarian

Posted in: Young Adult Fiction

1000 Hours Outside: Activities to Match Screen Time with Green Time

by Ginny Yurich

The perfect book to help you and your children get outside more this year. Challenge yourselves to see how many hours you spend outside each month. Can you reach 1000 in a year? Even if you don’t hit that high of a number, you still win! This book is full of ideas to help get you started with the challenge. There are ideas for all ages and abilities including building bug hotels, forest games, painting with nature and more. Pick it up today and start enjoying outside.

Recommended by: Erin Faxel, Youth Services Teen Librarian

Posted in: Adult Nonfiction

The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling

by Wai Chim

All Anna wants is to live a life of a normal teenager, but her life is anything but normal. Being a teenager in a prestigious school is already hard since they have high expectations on their students but Anna shoulders so much more than what her teachers and advisors think. If only her parents could be present in her life, things would be easier to handle, but her mother lives confined to her bed and mental demons, and her Baba works long hours at the family restaurant they own. The reality is that she knows her Baba doesn’t want to come on Mama’s bad days but will she be able to continue being the pillar holding her family together or will she crumble under all the pressure?

This book is available in the library and on Hoopla as an e audiobook.

Recommended by: Ayla Franco, Youth Services Assistant

Posted in: Young Adult Fiction

Honestly Elliott

by Gillian McDunn

Elliott is having a rough year. His best friend moved away, his parents got divorced, he’s having trouble transitioning to middle school AND his ADHD is hard for him to keep under control. When his ‘friends’ don’t want him to join their group for a school project, Elliott is feeling pretty low. Luckily one of the smartest girls in his class, Maribel, is willing to work with him on the project. As Elliott and Maribel learn more about each other, Elliott’s year begins to get better.  

Recommended by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Manager

Posted in: Youth Fiction

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