Back to top


Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Caldecott Honor Book: Choosing Brave

Cover of Choosing Brave: How Mamie
A review of Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement by Angela Joy Illus. by Janelle Washington

This book opens on August 31, 1955, when Emmett Till's body was found and his mother, Mamie, chose to have him sent home - the braver thing. We then jump back in time to Mamie's childhood, learning about her family, her schooling, her marriage, and Emmett's birth, with each of Mamie's brave choices highlighted. Emmett's childhood comes next, noting his stutter of speech that came from polio, and his trick of whistling to calm him down.

Jan 31, 2023

Never broken

Cover of Inheritance: A Visual Poem
A review of Inheritance: A Visual Poem by Elizabeth Acevedo

Elizabeth Acevedo’s Inheritance: A Visual Poem weaves themes of identity, self-love, generational trauma, and beauty standards into a lovely poem. Beautiful illustrations by Andrea Pippins work in tandem with Acevedo’s words to create an immersive experience that pulls the reader further into the poem. Though it is a short read, it is touching and rousing in ways that other longer books may fall short.

Jan 27, 2023

International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2023

Cover of New Holocaust Titles
New Holocaust Titles

"The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides."

Jan 25, 2023

The siren song of Puget Sound

Cover of Spells for Forgetting
A review of Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young

When I think of an atmospheric novel from here on out, I'm going to be thinking of Spells for Forgetting. The story of Saiorse Island off Puget Sound and the residents who live there and listen to her calling weaves together magic, belonging and longing, loss and betrayal, and good and evil. On the surface, Saiorse Island is a lovely ferry ride from Seattle with an apple orchard that attracts a tourist crowd through spring, summer, and fall.

Jan 23, 2023

Music and memories

Cover of Holding On
A review of Holding On by Sophia Lee

Lola's house is always filled with music--as she says, "If you want to hold on, you gotta sing your songs"! When Lola starts to seem quieter, more uncertain, it's up to her granddaughter to help fill in the silences. This beautiful picture book features a young girl matter-of-factly supporting her grandmother through memory loss while reflecting on and continuing all the meaningful (and multi-sensory) experiences they have shared over the years.

Jan 20, 2023

Finding new paths

Cover of Georgie, All Along
A review of Georgie, All Along by Kate Clayborn

When Georgie was a teenager no one in her small home town expected much of her. She was flaky and aimless. But somehow, after leaving home for California, she managed to make a life as the the personal assistant to a Hollywood power player. The problem is, her boss has suddenly picked up sticks and retired and now Georgie is at a loss. She's used to taking care of every little aspect of someone else's life and has no clue how to do the same with her own. And so she does what all big city gals, who are at a crossroads, do in rom-coms.

Jan 19, 2023

Truth and consequences

Cover of Killer Underwear Invasion!
A review of Killer Underwear Invasion!: How to Spot Fake News, Disinformation & Conspiracy Theories by Elise Gravel

Unicorns, human bats, and two-legged beavers have been discovered on the moon!! Really? Well no… but I made you look? Sorry, librarians are supposed to be dispellers of fake news, not shouting ridiculous headlines for the sake of humor in their book reviews. But fake news is everywhere, and if you don’t have a handy, humorous librarian around to help identify truth from fiction - don’t despair! Elise Gravel’s hilarious new graphic novel for kids breaks it down into bite size, understandable concepts: What is fake news? Why do people spread it? How can it be dangerous?

Jan 17, 2023

Growing and changing

Cover of Ride On
A review of Ride On by Faith Hicks

I was looking for some graphic novels to read over the holidays and placed a hold on this book, but even as I did I wondered if it would be too horse-y for me. I never really went through a horse phase as a kid beyond a couple trail rides at summer camp, but I shouldn't have worried. Yes, this book is about horses, but it's really about evolving friendships, growing up, changing interests - and fandoms!

Jan 10, 2023


Subscribe to MADreads