Staff Picks

January 2021

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

by Stuart Turton

Frustrated by lack of information when reading a mystery? Wish you could know exactly where each person was before, during and after the crime? Wish you knew what they were all thinking? Careful what you ask for!! Stuart Turton delivers on all counts with this uniquely written twist after twist after twist novel. Good old-fashioned fun for the new year. This title is also available on Hoopla Audio.
Recommended by: Theresa Hildebrand, Patron Services Manager 

Posted in: Adult Fiction

They Threw Us Away (The Teddies Saga #1)

by Daniel Kraus

First in a trilogy for middle grades, this is the story of Buddy, a teddy bear, who finds himself in a garbage dump and releases other bears that he finds still in their boxes. How did they get there?   Why were they dumped? The teddies only want to be hugged by a child so they can have their Forever Sleep.

To do so, the teddies must band together to try and survive the many perils awaiting them as they try to find a home. This book reads like a cross between a fairy tale and Toy Story. It is a great read and leaves the reader anxious for the sequel.

Recommended by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Youth Fiction

December 2020

What it’s Like to Be a Bird

by David Sibley

This guide to birds is well laid out and easy to understand.  The author is able to break down complicated parts of bird life into layman’s terms. The guide is full of wonderful and life-like illustrations.  I highly recommend it to anyone with any level of curiosity about birds.

Recommended by: Peter Tew, Adult Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Adult Nonfiction

Words on Fire

by Jennifer Nielsen

Audra, a young Lithuanian girl, escapes her farm house when both of her parents are arrested. Her mother gives her a package, tells her the recipient’s name and town and tells her to give it only to that person. Although Audra is frightened and confused, she does her best amidst many difficulties to fulfill her mother’s wish. This title is also available on Hoopla.

Recommended by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Manager

Posted in: Youth Fiction

Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

by Katherine May

In this collection of essays, English author Katherine May explores the concept of solitude, transformation, and rest. The thoughtful prose and gentle storytelling will lead you to reconsider how you can make your way through difficult times. From learning how to celebrate her least-favorite holiday (Halloween) with her excited son, to taking on ice swimming, Katherine May approaches everything she does with clear thoughts and a bit of humor.  A perfect end-of-year companion to 2020.
Recommended by: Kara DeCarlo, Youth Services School Liaison

Posted in: Adult Fiction

COBRA KAI: The Karate Kid Saga Continues

Revisit ‘Karate Kid’ characters as they navigate life 30 years after that infamous karate competition. Successful Daniel owns a car dealership. Johnny has been less successful and takes on new students upon re-opening the Cobra Kai dojo.  It can’t be all about two guys and how they thought their high school days were the best. There is so much more! Daniel and Johnny’s children, who are in high school, have their own storylines which helps set a good story pace. Great karate scenes at Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do studios bring back great memories of the movie franchise. Familiar friends and evil characters also emerge in this saga, plus a season 2 cliffhanger leave us looking forward to Season 3 which is due out in early 2021. This is a binge worthy series for your holiday break.

Recommended by: Michelle Przekwas, Adult Services, Shelver

Posted in: Movies/TV

The Ghosts of Harvard

by Francesca Scottoline Serritella

New Harvard Freshman Cady Archer steps onto campus with an anchor on her heart. Not one year earlier, her older brother Eric took his life on this very campus. He was a brilliant mind that began to unravel in his final year at Harvard – but why? As Cady investigates, she begins to hear the voices of three ghosts who help her juggle her school work, her social interactions, and her investigation. The Ghosts of Harvard is a suspenseful read that will keep you turning the page to find out the truth.

Recommended by: Natalie Leoni, Adult Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Adult Fiction

Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace

by Ashley Bryan

Ashley Bryan, an artist, storyteller and writer, tells the story of his service in World War II. This autobiography includes many of his letters home and much of his art produced during those years. 

Recommended by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Manager

Posted in: Youth Biographies

King and the Dragonflies

by Kacen Callender

This book opens with the recent death of King’s older brother, Khalid. As the family is learning to live with this loss, King’s former best friend goes missing. Add King’s emerging sexual identity and friend issues for a page turning real life drama. 

Recommended by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Manager

Posted in: Youth Fiction

You Never Forget Your First: A biography of George Washington

by Alexis Coe

I love history and reading about people and events of the past, but I often find those books so intimidating with their length and innumerous citations. These hefty tomes have a lot of great information in them, I’m sure, but sometimes it’s nice to find a quick read that still provides the knowledge you crave but in a more compact book. That’s what you find in this book. Alexis Coe, the first woman to ever write a biography about George Washington, walks us through the life of George Washington from his time fighting for the British in the French and Indian War to his deathbed. Coe includes charts and call out boxes with more detailed information. If you’re like me and want your history in a more easily digestible book, this one’s for you.

Recommended by: Brandi Smits, Youth Services Manager

Posted in: Adult Biography

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