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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

An eclipse is coming

Cover of Jade Dragon Mountain
A review of Jade Dragon Mountain by Elsa Hart

Jade Dragon Mountain is a classic manor mystery set in 18th century China. Playing the role of Poirot (or Nero Wolfe or Ellery Queen, you can make your reference of choice) is Li Du. Li Du is a librarian who was exiled from the Imperial City and has spent the last five years traveling on his own throughout China. His recent travels have brought him to southern China (near the Tibetan border) and he has to seek permission from the local magistrate to travel within the district.

Aug 14, 2023

Have you ever felt misunderstood?

Cover of Garvey's Choice: The Graph
A review of Garvey's Choice: The Graphic Novel by Nikki Grimes
Theodore Taylor III

Nikki Grimes' novel in verse, Garvey's Choice, is now available as a middle grade graphic novel. Garvey likes to read books, map the stars, and sing. His dad wants him to toss a football around and shoot hoops. When Garvey's father doesn't see him for who he truly is, Garvey eats his feelings. This leads to a vicious cycle with Garvey feeling bad about himself and his dad wanting him to exercise even more.

Aug 11, 2023

Danger is lurking

Cover of Dark Corners
A review of Dark Corners by Megan Goldin

Podcaster Rachel Krall is planning on a bit of a break from work when she receives a call from the FBI. Agent Joe Martinez lures Rachel to Florida with the promise of what seems like a possible story for her true crime podcast. The reality is, social media influencer Maddison Logan visited an inmate in a Florida prison and disappeared the next day. The prisoner Maddison visited, Terence Bailey, is due to be released from the prison in just a couple days and he's high on their suspect list in the serial killing of women in the area.

Aug 8, 2023

Delightfully mundane

Cover of Quartet in Autumn
A review of Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym
"This is the story of four people in late middle-age - Edwin, Norman, Letty and Marcia - whose chief point of contact is that they work in the same office and they suffer the same problem - loneliness. Lovingly, poignantly, satirically and with much humor, Pym conducts us through their small lives and the facade they erect to defend themselves against the outside world."
Aug 7, 2023

Infographics galore

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

Ana and Harwin are best friends. They thought the fun would last forever, brewing fairy tea, playing horse doctor, crafting, and jumping on a trampoline. Then Harwin tells Ana her family is moving away and the two friends aren't sure how their friendship will measure up going forward. Their ability to chart their friendship through timelines, bar graphs, and everything in between tells the story of how they maneuver through memories, feelings, the passing of time until the day Harwin leaves, and ultimately how they plan to stay in touch. 

Aug 4, 2023

Time for Bed!

Cover of Tickle My Ears
A review of Tickle My Ears by Jorg Muhle

It is bedtime and little rabbit has much to do to get ready for bed, so he needs the reader’s help.  Toddlers tap, clap, fluff (a pillow), and even give rabbit a kiss to help him through his bedtime ritual.  This is just one of the Little Rabbit series that is sure to be popular with young readers. Other titles in this interactive board book series are Bathtime for Little Rabbit, and Poor Little Rabbit

Aug 2, 2023

Who dares to become a god?

Cover of Divinity 36
A review of Divinity 36 by Gail Carriger

Here on planet Earth we may joke that our rock stars are gods, but in the universe of Gail Carriger's Tinkered Stars they really are. But to gain that status they first have to be recruited and then survive a competition (think American Idol competition, as opposed to the Hunger Games - no killing off the competition here) and prove they have the skill, artistry, and that certain something - call it stage presence or star power or charisma - that will make the audience worship them. Enter Phex.

Aug 1, 2023

More than camp songs and s'mores

Cover of Sunshine: How One Camp Tau
A review of Sunshine: How One Camp Taught Me about Life, Death, and Hope by Jarrett K. Krosoczka

There is something so pure and honest and sweet about Jarrett Krosoczka's young adult graphic memoirs. I expected a lot from this follow up to Hey, Kiddo about Jarrett's complicated home life growing up with a drug-addicted mother, an absentee father, and two loud and opinionated grandparents who thought they were done raising children. Sunshine does not disappoint. It's the perfect complement.

Jul 31, 2023


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