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MADreads

Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

For fans of Offred

Cover of Archetype
A review of Archetype by M. D. Waters

The Handmaid's Tale is terrifying and fascinating all at the same time. And it got me looking for readalikes. One such is Archetype, a great debut that read like a cross between Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson and Hilary Jordan's When She Woke (another great option if you're looking for more like Handmaid's). In Watson's book the female protagonist wakes with no memories and must learn who she can trust.

May 14, 2018

For the young "Hamilton" fan

Cover of Sophia's war : a tale of t
A review of Sophia's war : a tale of the Revolution by Avi

Newberry Medalist, Avi, writes a gripping story of the American Revolutionary War through the eyes of Sophia Calderwood.  Sophia, a well-educated young lady, lives with her parents in British occupied New York.  Her beloved older brother is a captured soldier in the Continental Army and her parents are secretly committed to the cause of the American Patriots.  Sophia, herself an ardent Patriot, wants nothing more than to help the cause and free her brother from a horrific British prison.  She is enlisted as a spy; however, the plot she uncovers is almost too outrageous to believe!  Can Soph

May 11, 2018

Cold cases and basket cases

Cover of The Awkward Squad
A review of The Awkward Squad by Sophie Henaff

Anne Capestan knew she’d be punished for her itchy trigger finger, but the sentence is like no other she’d ever heard of. After firing one too many bullets, the Parisian police commissaire was lucky to still have her job, but is stunned when she learns that she is to lead a new police squad in charge of cold cases. But Capestan’s squad consists entirely of the police officers that have run afoul of the police judiciare, and since they cannot be fired, they can at least be relegated to some brigade, starved of funds and support until they quit in frustration.

May 9, 2018

Starting Over

Cover of The Ethan I was Before
A review of The Ethan I was Before by Ali Standish

Ethan and his family are getting a fresh start in the hot, coastal town of Palm Knot, Georgia, or at least they are trying to. While there's a promise of finding new friends and rebuilding family relationships, Ethan's guilt of who he was and what he did continues to haunt him. Whispered phone calls at night, family secrets and the secrets of his possible new best friend, Coralee, ultimately contribute to Ethan's understanding of the importance of remembering and forgiveness. This is a capably written story that discusses death, forgiveness, and the effects of guilt on a young mind.

May 4, 2018

Book Baby!

Cover of New Board Books
A review of New Board Books by

Bim! Bam! Boom!, Frederic Stehr
With fresh language, Stehr revisits an activity as old as kitchens and toddlers – the pots and pans band.

The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits, Douglas Florian
Join a family of playful bunnies as they cavort through their day, and then settle in for snuggles at bedtime.

Skip to the Loo: a Potty Book, Sally Lloyd-Jones & Anita Jeram
All of the animals are using their potties.  This celebration of successful transitioning to using the potty can be sung as well as read.  And the illustrations are adorable!

May 2, 2018

Pitch perfect

Cover of Five Flavors of Dumb
A review of Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

"For the record, I wasn't around the day they decided to become Dumb. If I'd been their manager back then I'd have pointed out that the name, while accurate, was not exactly smart. It just encouraged people to question the band's intelligence, maybe even their sanity. And the way I saw it, Dumb didn't have much of either."

May 1, 2018

Edgar Awards announced

Cover of Mystery Winners
A review of Mystery Winners by

The Mystery Writers of America bestowed their annual Edgar Awards April 26, recognizing the best in crime writing in several genres and formats. The evening's top prize for fiction went to Attica Locke's Bluebird, Bluebird, an East Texas set whodunit featuring a black Texas Ranger investigating the deaths of a black man and a white woman that soon promises to unearth long-buried romantic and racially motivated crimes.

Apr 30, 2018

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