Staff Picks

February 2023

The Killing Code

by Ellie Marney

Kit Sutherland is a codebreaker working in Arlington Hall with other women to decipher the secret messages of the enemy during WW II. She, however, has her own secret. She also finds herself working with three other codebreakers to discover the killer who is targeting young women working for the government. A well- researched murder mystery that also incorporates inequality across class, race, and sexuality.

Submitted by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian

Posted in: Young Adult Fiction

Winterborne Home for Vengeance & Valor

by Ally Carter

This action packed book caught my attention right away! The story revolves around five orphans who are brought to live at the Winterborne home. Little do they know, they will become immersed in a mystery of a missing family heir. Great read aloud for middle school. It has you thinking and guessing the whole way through!

This book is available in the library and on OverDrive/Libby as an ebook and eaudiobook

Recommended by: Lenore Garoufalis, Youth Services Assistant

Posted in: Youth Fiction

The Poet X

by Elizabeth Acevedo

The path of adolescence for Xiomara Bastista is a roller coaster full of questions, doubts, and emotional up-and-downs. She is a first generation Dominican-American Afro-Latina who is trying to figure out life as she navigates her place in society. This poignant coming of age novel-in-verse mirrors the reality that many young girls experience in regards to self-awareness, self-esteem, and relationships. Set in the urban setting of Harlem life, Xiomara discovers the power of writing, poetry and spoken word. 

Alicia Acevedo is a National Poetry Slam Champion and The Poet X became the winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the Pura Belpré Award, among other prestigious awards. Highly recommending the audiobook version, narrated by the author herself.

This book is available in the library, on Hoopla as an ebook, OverDrive/Libby as an ebook and eaudiobook and in Playaway format.

Recommended by: Fanny Camargo, Youth Services Reference Librarian

Posted in: Young Adult Fiction

January 2023

Wondercat Kyuu-chan

by Sasami Nitori

Hinata is just young salary worker in Japan whose only responsibility is to take care of himself and go to work. His day-to-day life is dreary and quite lonely until he rescues a kitty of whom he names Kyuu-chan! But Kyuu-chan isn’t your ordinary house cat, oh no sir, this little white cat has human tendencies and has many little talents. Every day little Kyuu-chan helps Hinata find happiness in life’s simple pleasures and sprinkles his lonesome life with color and wonder.

Recommended by: Ayla Franco, Youth Services Assistant

Posted in: Young Adult Fiction

Hilde on the Record: Memoir of a Kid Crime Reporter

by Hilde Lysiak

When she was 4 years old Lysiak managed to go with her journalist father to the scene of a murder. That was when she knew journalism was for her. The family moved to Pennsylvania and she started her own neighborhood newspaper. When she was 9 years old she covered a murder and it went viral for getting the information out before any traditional news sources. There were a variety of reactions to that as people spoke from their perspectives as to whether she should be covering murder at her age. By 14, she had published a book series, Hilde Cracks the Case, and she was the inspiration for the TV series, Home Before Dark. In spite of her many awards and accomplishments, such as being youngest person to give a college commencement address, she suffers from issues with food, loss of self-esteem, and emotional turmoil as a teenager. This is the scoop from the perspective of a teen reporter.

Recommended by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian

Posted in: Youth Biographies

Splash!: Ethelda Bleibtrey Makes Waves of Change

by Elisa Boxer

A biography of Ethelda Bleibtrey, who as a child had polio. In her teens she found that when she was in the water she felt free to move without pain. She liked that change and went on to cause other changes. Women at that time were required to wear swim socks or else be considered nude, men did not. So she took off her socks and was immediately arrested. The outdated law was changed. She went on to compete in the Olympics 1920 and won three gold medals and set three world records in swimming. As a nurse working with children in constant pain she realized there needed to be more swimming pools available so she brought about that change too in a unique way. The illustrations are a great addition to the text as can be seen by the cover. Comments that are made up are either italicized or in word bubbles to distinguish from facts. Be sure to read the information at the end of the text to find out more about her and why the author wrote the book.

Recommended by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian

Posted in: Youth Biographies

The Lion of Mars

by Jennifer L. Holm

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live on Mars? Jennifer L. Holm imagines a version in her book, The Lion of Mars. Eleven year-old Bell and his friends in the US colony on Mars have never known anything different. Bell can’t understand certain things about life on Earth, like growing grass outside only to keep cutting it, or how a giraffe stands without tipping over. Although some things about life on Mars are vastly different from Earth, teenagers are still weird, grown-ups still have secrets, and cats are still a favorite pet. In an unprecedented turn of events, the adults get sick, so the kids get desperate and have to break a few rules. This leads to friendships, reunions, Ping-Pong, and answered questions. You won’t want to miss this science fiction gem!

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

Recommended by: Erin Cady, Youth Services Reference Librarian

Posted in: Youth Fiction

Daughter of the Deep

by Rick Riordan

In this book inspired by 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Ana is excited about a ‘field trip’ final exam at the end of her freshman year. However, when her class hears a loud explosion things quickly take a sinister turn. Their teacher /chaperone suddenly takes ill and Ana is now in charge not only of managing and leading her classmates but fending off their enemies.

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

Recommended by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Manager

Out There: Into the Queer New Yonder

by Saundra Mitchell

An anthology of stories of queer love that will take readers into alternate realities, far away places, and distant futures. Seventeen YA authors wrote a short story based on what they felt they needed to have been able to read as a teen. The diversity of these authors is reflected in the characters in the short stories and offers a mirror for queer young readers.

Recommended by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Young Adult Fiction

Here to Stay

by Sara Fariza

Bijan becomes a basketball star over night when he gets moved up to varsity and helps them win a big game. Not everyone is happy with his stardom though, and they will make his life miserable to bring him down. First step is to send a picture of Bijan looking like a terrorist to the whole school. It’s not easy to move on from a hit like that, and it’s not always easy to tell your enemies from your friends. Will Bijan be able to overcome the racism of other people and get his head back into the game? The team winning the tournament is counting on him. Despite some heavy topics, this book has many funny parts. You also don’t need to know a ton about basketball to enjoy it. You can find this read in the YA department.

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

Recommended by: Erin Faxel, Youth Services Teen Librarian

Posted in: Young Adult Fiction

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