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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Operation friendship

Cover of Pocket Peaches
A review of Pocket Peaches by Dora Wang

There's a new cat in town!  Peaches the bunny, Mango the calico and Pogi the puppy live in Pocketon and have a theory about the new cat, Taro.  They think Taro is a magical cat!   No matter how hard they try to get to know Taro, their attempts to become friends fail.  It's as if Taro disappears into thin air!  There's definitely something mysterious going on.

Oct 16, 2023

Whose apple is it?

Cover of Mine!
A review of Mine! by Candace Fleming
Eric Rohmann

Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann have teamed up once again to make what may be my new favorite book for fall. There is one red apple at the "tip-tippy top" of an apple tree. Along comes Mouse who knows it will fall soon and be "mine", so she she hides under a leaf to wait. Before long, Hare spies the very same apple and can't wait to make it "mine". Fox, Deer, Bear soon follow along, all with the very same idea. What will happen when the apple finally plops to the ground?

Oct 13, 2023

Let the festivities begin

Book festival book covers graphic
A review of Wisconsin Book Festival by

The Wisconsin Book Festival is the state’s premier literary event and it's starting soon. The festival will feature representative voices from our communities and spark conversations from a wide range of perspectives. At the Fall Celebration, you'll learn about the effect anxiety is having on our society, discuss gender identity, and explore issues facing the public school system.

Here's just a sampling of some of the great events that are planned.

Oct 11, 2023

Glorious fun

Cover of Fortune's Pawn
A review of Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach

A co-worker recommended Rachel Bach's trilogy to me since she knows I enjoy military SF. And I thank her right now for the suggestion. Fortune's Pawn introduces mercenary soldier Deviana Morris. Devi's ultimate goal is to join the elite special forces of her planetary kingdom, but to do so she can either spend years in the military slogging her way up the ranks, or go mercenary and get the needed bad-ass experience that way. A friend suggests she get a job on The Glorious Fool, a ship that has seen a lot of action.

Oct 10, 2023

Sharing something beautiful

Cover of Just Like Grandma
A review of Just Like Grandma by Kim Rogers
Julie Flett

This sweet story shares the special bond between Becca and her grandmother. Becca wants to be just like Grandma - she learns beading, dancing, painting, and develops a deep appreciation for the beauty of nature from her grandmother. In turn Grandma learns to be just like Becca, learning basketball moves and supporting Becca as she tries out for the team. This intergenerational story celebrates loving relationships between grandparents and grandchildren. The back includes a letter from the author, as well as an explanation of beadwork, and a glossary of terms.

Oct 9, 2023

Making the leap

Cover of On All Fronts: The Educati
A review of On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist by Clarissa Ward

I’m a person who likes to read books that reflect what’s happening in my own life at the time. For example, having just changed careers and started a new job here at the library, I became interested in other people’s experiences with big changes in their lives. Perhaps this inclination was what drew me to pick up Clarissa Ward’s On All Fronts, which follows Ward when, immediately following the events of 9/11, she decides to make the leap into a new career as a war reporter.

Oct 5, 2023

Charting a friendship

Cover of Friends Beyond Measure
A review of Friends Beyond Measure by Lalena Fisher

This picture book requires multiple readings. You can read it as a sweet story of two girls who meet and become instant best friends. They spend hours playing, have grand Halloween adventures, and learn to manage disagreements. Until one day, when Harwin announces that her family is moving - really far away. You can also read it as a celebration of neurodiversity, Ana has ADHA and Harwin has dyslexia. They sometimes have different needs, and figure out how to find something that makes them both happy.

Oct 4, 2023

Weaving time

Cover of The Unmaking of June Farro
A review of The Unmaking of June Farrow by Adrienne Young

June Farrow has started hearing and seeing things that aren't there - at least they aren't as far as anyone else can tell. Though the realization that she's perhaps imagining things worries June, it isn't surprising. According to town lore, June's mother went mad and then disappeared when June was young, leaving her to be raised by her grandmother. Now her grandmother has died and June fears that the mental illness that took her mother will take her too.

Oct 3, 2023

Building dreams

Cover of A Girl Can Build Anything
A review of A Girl Can Build Anything by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo and Pat Zietlow Miller
Keisha Morris

This is a sneaky, beautiful little book. Just when you think it’s all about girl power (and power tools!) to build and construct bookshelves, parks, community gardens, and a community center - take a closer look at the illustrations. You’ll see an amazing progression of time, of six girls growing together into strong women - sisters in their shared love of building and making. There are so many things to love about this book: great friends, great building vocabulary (drills, drivers, levers, sheetrock!), and an empowering message to build, fail, and try again.

Sep 29, 2023

A deeper understanding

Cover of Unequal Affections
A review of Unequal Affections by Lara Ormiston

It is a truth universally acknowledged that any retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice has a difficult hurdle to overcome if it is to distinguish itself from all the other retellings, homages, inspireds by, etc. And if I tell you dear reader that Ormiston succeeded in that feat? I would only be relaying the truth.

Sep 28, 2023


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