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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Day of wonder and love

Cover of I Would Love You Still
A review of I Would Love You Still by Adrea Theodore
Ken Wilson-Max

A mother and child are at the zoo. As they look at the animals, she says things like, "If you crawled like a gecko up the wall, I would still love you best of all." Each animal is a new opportunity for the caregiver to express her love. Repetition and rhyme would make this a lovely bed time story. One that is reminiscent of The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown.

May 17, 2024

If you can't beat them...

Cover of How to Become the Dark Lor
A review of How to Become the Dark Lord and Die Trying by Django Wexler

Davi is living her own version of Groundhog Day. But instead of going to sleep and waking to the same day over and over, Davi is trapped in a fantasy realm attempting to save the Kingdom. And each time she fails and dies (often tortuously), she is woken by a wizard and has to start all over again. She doesn't know why she's trapped in this world, she just knows how many lives she's lived in the past 1000 years and that nothing she's tried up until now has worked to free her. So Davi decides on a new tack.

May 14, 2024

Extreme discipline is what it takes

Cover of Promise Boys
A review of Promise Boys by Nick Brooks

The students at Urban Promise Prep School must follow the "Principal Moore Method" for conduct and behavior at all times. Principal Moore is strict, but his method saves lives, or so the boys are told time and time again. Infractions include not walking on a line painted on the school floor, talking in the hallway or having unauthorized food in a locker or backpack. The infractions result in demerits that never get recouped. After a certain number of demerits, the students find themselves in detention, or even worse, expelled.

May 13, 2024

A lullaby for sweeter dreams

Cover of In the Night Garden
A review of In the Night Garden by Carin Berger

Follow the hush and magic In the Night Garden by Carin Berger. Blue, green, and black illustrations invite us in with the glow of fireflies and a sprinkling of stars. A quiet cat walks through each page and “tiptoes across the roof”. We experience the sights and sounds of the garden through the seasons. A swirling of wind blowing, bullfrog melodies, murmurings of a stream, and calls from an “occasional hoot owl.” The book feels both dreamy and earthy – filled with all sorts of natural plant and animal life.

May 10, 2024

A little bit of the best

Too Good to Miss photo
Too Good to Miss for May 2024

Every month there are new titles purchased for the Too Good to Miss collections at our libraries. If you're not familiar with TGTM (as we call it here in library-world), it's a special collection of popular books that are truly too good to miss. Some are new and popular titles, others are older titles that might not have had as much media attention as a bestseller or celebrity book club selection but are still great reads that deserve another look.

May 8, 2024

Carried away by currents

Cover of Speck: An Itty-Bitty Epic
A review of Speck: An Itty-Bitty Epic by Margaux Meganck

Even the smallest specks on this planet have to figure out where they belong. This story traces the journey of tiny baby barnacles as they stream through the ocean, floating away from their parents and into the vastness to discover where they will make their home. Some travel together and others travel alone, but every single baby barnacle manages to swim its way to "a place to stay, and grow, and thrive. Something every speck needs." Vivid watercolor illustrations show a vibrant, active underwater landscape, punctuated with the small, glowing dots of the baby barnacles on their journey.

May 7, 2024

Finding your place

Cover of The Very Secret Society of
A review of The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

Mika Moon pretends to be a witch in her social media videos and enjoys the sense of community she has with her followers. But unbeknownst to those she's met online, Mika really is a witch. And no one can know. Primrose, the woman who raised Mika is very firm on the rules for witches. And rule number one is tell and show no one. That rule has led to a peripatetic life and no long-term connections for Mika. Until now. She’s received an email: Witch Wanted.

May 6, 2024

A place for small treasures

Cover of A Dress with Pockets
A review of A Dress with Pockets by Lily Murray
Jenny Lovlie

Let’s talk pockets, shall we? Is there anything worse than “rotten pockets”? The fake ones, the tiny ones, the missing all together ones? Pockets have a long and checkered history in dresses and skirts. It was understood that trousers needed decent, sizable serviceable pockets. But dresses? Why on earth would pockets be needed in dresses. Besides, it might be possible for the wearer to squirrel pro women’s voting tracts in pockets and sow “sedition”. When dress silhouettes shifted from wide to narrow in the early 1900s, the loss of pockets was felt universally.

May 3, 2024

Lessons in love

Cover of The Guncle Abroad
A review of The Guncle Abroad by Steven Rowley

I was late to The Guncle party and truthfully only got it read because I needed to read this sequel. So here I am having read both in quick succession which had pros and cons as a reading experience. Before I get into those pros and cons, let me set the scene.

Apr 30, 2024


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