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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Hope to be found

Cover of Rodney was a Tortoise
A review of Rodney was a Tortoise by Nan Forler

Rodney was Bernadette’s old pal. Older than Bernadette, older than her dad, even older than Great-Aunt Clara! Day after day, year after year, Rodney was there. With such a loyal and constant companion and friend, it is so hard for Bernadette to adapt to a world without him when he dies. “She crawled deeper and deeper into her shell until all of Bernadette seemed to disappear.” Talking with a kiddo about the loss of a pet or a loved one can be so hard for a caregiver.

Apr 28, 2023

Royal romance (of the fictional variety)

Cover of A Duke By Default
A review of A Duke By Default by Alyssa Cole

Portia Hobbs was introduced in Alyssa Cole's A Princess in Theory (the first in her Reluctant Royals series) as a friend of that heroine. Portia was a bit of a mess; partying too much, drinking too much, and definitely too many men. As Duke opens she's just arriving in Scotland to take on an apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker. If that sounds odd, Portia would agree.

Apr 25, 2023

Honoring narratives of the past

Cover of Kapaemahu
A review of Kapaemahu by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson

This picture book is based on a traditional Hawaiian story of an event that took place more than 700 years ago. The story of the healer stones of Kapaemahu has multiple versions and is a mix of history and legend. The picture book Kapaemahu is based on the earliest recorded version, written in Olelo Niihau and English.  

Apr 24, 2023

Each day has its own magic

Cover of On My Papa's Shoulders
A review of On My Papa's Shoulders by Niki Daly

I’m not crying, you’re crying. It definitely was not me sitting at the reference desk crying happy, joyful tears while reading this book. You must be thinking of a different children’s librarian. This is a book about walking to school, easy peasy, how can that be a tear jerker?? But the simple love the little boy in this book has for his mama, his Gogo (grandma), his Tata (grandpa),and the small but meaningful differences in each walk will warm your heart. But the days he loves best are when his Papa takes him to school.

Apr 19, 2023

A night they'll never forget

Cover of The Housekeepers
A review of The Housekeepers by Alex Hay

I flew for the first time since the pandemic last week and I'd forgotten how much reading I can get done when I'm trapped in my seat on a crowded plane. Almost one book on the way out and another on the way home. In the first of them, a blurb describes The Housekeepers as a cross between Downton Abbey and Ocean's 8 - a description that appealed to me on all fronts. 

Apr 18, 2023

Kick Push

Cover of Kick Push
A review of Kick Push by Frank Morrison

Epic is a skate boarding star with tricks and moves so big they earned him his nickname. But when he moves to a new neighborhood, suddenly his tricks aren't so fun without a crowd of friends. He tries new sports to meet friends - football, soccer, basketball - but they all leave him feeling let down. When his father encourages him to try one more ride, Epic kicks, pushes, and flips his way down to the bodega picking up admiring bystanders on the way. Pretty soon he has a whole new crew, ready to kick and push with him. 

Apr 6, 2023


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