Staff Picks

August 2019

Old Manhattan Has Some Farms E-I-E-I-Grow!

by Susan Lendroth

Written to the tune of Old McDonald, children read and sing as they learn about urban farms, composting, rooftop gardens and beekeeping. Added bonus—Chicago is a featured city!

Recommended by: Stephanie Thomas, Preschool Services Coordinator

Posted in: Youth Fiction

July 2019

Uncommon Type: some stories

by Tom Hanks

This is a delightful book! This book is made up of a bunch of short stories that keep you turning the page. As you go from story to story you will find you run into familiar characters. Hanks takes you back to characters from a previous story to share another moment/event in their lives. This book made me laugh, made me emotional, and inspired me. This is a must read!

Recommended by: Jenna Schwartz, Reference Librarian 

Posted in: Adult Nonfiction

Big Little Lies

by Liane Moriarty

Follow the intertwined lives of Madeline, Celeste and Jane as they deal with and try to conceal struggles within each of their own lives:  domestic abuse, bullying, infidelity and murder.  Although addressing social and moral issues that are hot button topics of today, author Liane Moriarty uses well-placed humor, sharp language, and insightful scenes to make this the page turning book of the summer.

If you enjoyed the book, check out a DVD or Blu-Ray copy of HBO’s Big Little Lies, Season One, an award-winning limited series available at the Orland Park Public Library.

Recommended by: Mary Adamowski, Assistant Library Director

Posted in: Adult Fiction

Somewhere Only We Know

by Maurene Goo

Being a K-pop star is not as glamorous and some might think. For Lucky, she is the biggest K-pop star on the scene. After performing her hit song “Heartbeat” in Hong Kong to a crowd of adoring fans, she is about to debut in America on “The Tonight Show”.  And even though she is hoping for a breakout performance for her career she is also dying for a hamburger. While Lucky is staying at a fancy hotel determined to find a hamburger Jack, on assignment for his tabloid job, sneaks in. When their worlds collide nothing will ever be the same.

Recommended by: April Balasa, Patron Services Clerk 

Posted in: Young Adult Fiction

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell

by Chris Colfer

Colfer shows that actors can definitely be writers as well. In the first book of a debut series, we follow the adventures of twins who accidently fall into their book of fairy tales. The only way home is the powerful Wishing Spell. The components needed for the spell are recognizable objects from familiar fairy tales such as a lock of Rapunzel’s hair and Cinderella’s glass slipper. This book successfully manages to feel both new and familiar at the same time.

Recommended by: Brandi Smits, Youth Services Manager

Posted in: Youth Fiction


by Tara Sim

Imagine a alternate Victorian world that is controlled completely by clock towers. Where time can fracture if one of the clocks is damaged but if one is destroyed it can stop everything in its tracks. As a series of mysterious bombings start to jeopardize all of England, a prodigy mechanic, Danny, must repair not only the clockwork but time itself before it’s too late.

I liked this book a lot because it was fast paced with enough action and romance to keep my attention until the very last page.

Recommended by: April Balasa, Patron Services Clerk

Posted in: Youth Fiction

What is the Story of Scooby-Doo?

by M.D. Payne

Scooby-Doo’s first episode was on CBS network on September 13, 1969 and it’s still going strong to this day. This book tells the story of Scooby-Doo and the gang from the beginning to their current iteration, how the show won the hearts of fans, and the many changes and avenues the show has taken.

Recommended by: Holly Balasa, Youth Services Shelver

Posted in: Youth Nonfiction

Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life

by Julie Morgenstern

Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life, by Julie Morgenstern, is a very practical book that helps readers decide how they may want to simplify their lives and make space for new pursuits. The author addresses three areas including the physical things we collect, the habits we keep, and the time commitments we make. She also addresses some of the psychological reasons we might be holding on to certain things and provides various exercises to help readers become un-stuck. Unlike some of the other simplifying and organizing books I have read, this author does not propose to know how much stuff is the right amount for an individual to keep or shed; she believes that whatever amount makes the individual comfortable is the right amount.

Recommended by: Julie Pryor, Patron Services Assistant Manager

Posted in: Adult Nonfiction

Merci Suarez Changes Gears

by Meg Medina

Merci deals with many changes in this heartwarming book. Her beloved grandfather is acting out of character; what’s happening? There’s a bully at school; how should she handle that? A boy maybe likes her; yikes!

Recommended by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Manager

Posted in: Youth Fiction

Instant Family

by Sean Anders

More like instant happiness! “Instant Family” handles foster care adoption with passion and care. This inclusive flick is the perfect combo of heartwarming and hilarious, with a smoothly paced plot to tout. This movie falls into that sweet spot – clearly not made with award season in mind, but just as clearly a step above a typical blockbuster. I was not expecting such endearing performances from the cast, but each character feels fully-realized and fleshed out.

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual material, language and some drug references.

Recommended by: Lisa Stemmons, Patron Services Clerk

Posted in: Movies/TV

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