Staff Picks

August 2019

Aim for the Skies : Jerrie Mock and Joan Merriam Smith’s race to complete Amelia Earhart’s quest

by Aimee Bissonette

The year is 1963 and two women are planning to complete Amelia Earhart’s journey around the world. Neither woman knows about the other until news reporters broke the story. What began as a dream turned into a race against each other, faulty equipment, and terrible weather conditions. This quick read is full of adventure and bravado—a must read for fans of Amelia Earhart.

Recommended by: Kara DeCarlo, School Liaison 

Posted in: Youth

Norse Mythology

by Neil Gaiman

In this book, Neil Gaiman retells several Norse stories taking pieces from the original tales to complete each chapter in his own unique and recognizable writing style. Listening to the book, which was narrated by Gaiman himself,  gave me the feeling as though I was hearing each short story told by my grandfather around a campfire. Gaiman’s genuine storytelling abilities can be heard through the different array of unique voices he created for each character. I would recommend this book to anyone who hasn’t read any Norse myths before as it is a great introduction for fans of Thor, Odin, and Loki; the characters you have read about in the comics or saw in the movies.

Recommended by: Kristen Holding, Graphic Artist 

Posted in: Adult Fiction


by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti is one of the best mathematicians in her village, and she jumps at the chance to travel to the best university in the galaxy. Sure, she has to sneak out because her family disapproves, and she may never see her family again, but that is a risk she is willing to take to improve the lives of her people. The only obstacle in her path is her spaceship being attacked by an alien race-what could possibly go wrong?

Recommended by: Nicole Suhm, Human Resource Generalist

Posted in: Adult Fiction

Halfway Normal

by Barbara Dee

A high school girl goes back to school for the first time in 2 years after battling leukemia. She definitely doesn’t want everything to be all about her past disease.

Unfortunately, most of the other people she’s dealing with seemed focused on just that. She has girlfriend, boyfriend, divorce and parental issues.

Recommended by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Manager 

Posted in: Youth Fiction


by Eoin Colfer

This graphic novel tells the story of an immigrant’s journey from Northern Africa to Europe. It humanizes the people and the risks they take and the sacrifices they make to try for a better life. This is not for the faint of heart! Tragedy abounds in this realistic depiction of the immigration saga.

Recommended by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Manager 

Posted in: Young Adult Nonfiction

Home Front

by Kristin Hannah

Hannah creates a very realistic depiction of a family torn apart by war. First there’s the stress of the mother being called to serve. Then there’s the restructuring of the family due to the father having to fulfill an unfamiliar role. Added to this are the father’s workload as a defense attorney and the children’s needs. This is a tear jerker.

Recommended by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Manager 

Posted in: Youth Fiction

Happily and Madly

by Alexis Bass

Maris Brown only knows to things about her destiny. One is that she will fall happily and madly in love the second thing is that she could be dead before her eighteenth birthday. The summer leading up to that fateful birthday Maris spends time with her estranged father and his new family the Duvals in a wealthy beach town. And along with that comes Edison. Maris knows she shouldn’t fall for him but she can’t help it. He makes her so happy. But Edison has his share of secrets. Ones that should make Maris stay far away from him.

Great suspense and a real page turner.

Recommended by: Holly Balasa, Youth Services Shelver

Posted in: Adult Fiction

Letters to the Lost

by Brigid Kemmerer

An amazing realistic romance that will leave readers wanting to know more! Juliet writes letters to her mother and leaves them at her grave. Declan isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery he reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, and can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. Neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks fly as they discover truths that might tear them apart.

Recommended by:  Erin Faxel, Teen Librarian

Posted in: Young Adult Fiction

Titans: Season 1

This is a live-action DC Universe show that follows a group of young soon-to-be Super Heroes finding their way. Dick Grayson (Robin), Kory Anders (Starfire), Rachel Roth (Raven), Gar Logan (Beast Boy) and many other well-loved characters show up in this version. It’s much darker and grittier than the CW shows and recent DC movies. It’s definitely worth binge watching if you’re a Superhero fan. The final episode will have you on the edge of your seat waiting for Season 2.

Recommended by:  Erin Faxel, Teen Librarian

Posted in: Movies/TV

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

by Gail Honeyman

A funny yet heartbreaking story of an unconventional single woman who chooses to isolate and has a bizarre relationship with her mother (“mummy”) who pressures her to find Prince Charming.  However,  she meets a poorly dressed coworker, Raymond,  with manners below her standards, who brings Eleanor out of her shell and together they help a man who had an accident and is in poor health.  Eleanor becomes closer to Raymond, and realizes that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.  This captivating book will make you laugh yet emotional!

Recommended by:  Deborah Oedzes, Reference Librarian

Posted in: Adult Fiction

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