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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

All shapes and sizes

Cover of Bodies are Cool
A review of Bodies are Cool by Tyler Feder

I LOVE Bodies Are Cool!  This glorious picture book celebrates all of the different human bodies that exist in the world. It is a truly joyous and inclusive book, and the delightful text and beautiful, exuberant illustrations combine to encourage body acceptance and confidence in the youngest readers – and the grown-ups who read to those little ones, too!  “My body, your body, every different kind of body!  All of them are good bodies!  Bodies are cool!” Pick up a copy of Tyler Feder’s Bodies Are Cool and share some body love and positivity with the ones you love. 

Mar 25, 2022

Choices were made

Cover of Velocity Weapon
A review of Velocity Weapon by Megan O'Keefe

Sergeant Sanda Greeve wakes alone in the medical bay of a strange ship. Worse, it's an enemy ship and the only other inhabitant is the sentient artificial intelligence who runs the ship, The Light of Berossus, aka Bero. And that's not the worst news she's about to hear. Bero shows her that Ada Prime (Sanda's home planet) and Icarion (their enemy) have both vanished from the galaxy, blown up 230 years ago during the war that left Sanda wounded. Sanda had been in stassis in a life pod until Bero, who has been alone for years, found her.

Mar 22, 2022

High school is a killer

Cover of Cold
A review of Cold by Mariko Tamaki

Seriously. In this young adult novel, high school is the worst. Todd Mayer has died and no one at his school will answer any questions or admit to knowing him when the police investigate. Things are not right, that's for sure. Georgia's brother goes to school with Todd and is in the same grade, even, and won't acknowledge that he knows Todd. So what's up?

Mar 21, 2022

Complicated legacy

Cover of The Last Slave Ship: The T
A review of The Last Slave Ship: The True Story of How Clotilda Was Found, Her Descendants, and an Extraordinary Reckoning by Ben Raines

Though slavery ended in 1865, the importation of Africans as slaves was outlawed nearly fifty years earlier in 1808 with an act of Congress banning the practice. The truth, like most everything in history regarding race, is far from black and white. Environmental journalist and Alabama waterman Ben Raines sheds light on just how the ghosts of the slave trade, long thought well-buried, exist surprisingly close to the surface both literally and figuratively in The Last Slave Ship: The True Story of How Clotilda Was Found, Her Descendants, and an Extraordinary Reckoning.

Mar 16, 2022

An impossible crime?

Cover of Under Lock & Skeleton Key
A review of Under Lock & Skeleton Key by Gigi Pandian

Tempest Raj has returned to her childhood home after a stunt in her Las Vegas magic show went dangerously (almost fatally) awry. Not only has she lost her successful show, but she's still facing legal issues related to the accident, an accident she knows is not her fault. Now home she has to figure out her next steps and while she's lying low licking her wounds, her dad asks her to take a job with his Secret Staircase Construction company. Her first act to help her dad is to examine a house that's being renovated.

Mar 14, 2022

Musa's turn to pick

Cover of Halal Hot Dogs
A review of Halal Hot Dogs by Susannah Aziz

In Halal Hot Dogs, we follow Musa, a young Muslim boy, through his life from the vantage point of the meals his family eats. This is a fun, rollicking story filled with laughter, dancing, and delicious food. The illustrations are done in bold, bright colors that create a visual feast for the eyes. It also introduces a good deal of Arabic vocabulary.

Mar 11, 2022

In through the nose, out through the mouth

Cover of Ain't Burned All the Brigh
A review of Ain't Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin

This book is described as a smash-up of art and text that captures 2020 and what it was like to be black during the COVID-19 lockdown and racial unrest and protests. It is incredible:  painful, powerful, and beautiful. Told in three sections called Breath One, Breath Two and Breath Three, I viewed the book as illustrated poetry with the parts representing the past, present and future.

Mar 9, 2022


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