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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Double award winner

Cover of The Undefeated
A review of The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Alexander and Nelson garnered multiple awards with their moving ode to African Americans throughout US History. Shining a spotlight on artists, athletes and activists, The Undefeated has been recognized with two prestigious medals for Nelson’s illustration, the Caldecott Medal and the Coretta Scott King Medal for illustration, in addition to a Newbery Honor award in recognition of Kwame Alexander’s distinguished writing.

Jan 30, 2020

Escape to paradise

Cover of The Unhoneymooners
A review of The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Every reader likely has their own idea of an escapist read, but for me, there’s a few prerequisites: a location completely unlike the environment I’m currently occupying, a storyline worlds away from current headlines, and characters that I can root for. Christina Lauren’s romantic comedy The Unhoneymooners fits the bill perfectly. It’s a classic enemies-to-lovers story that can be easily devoured in a couple of long winter evenings, boasts snappy and fun dialog, but still has a bit of substance to it. 

Jan 29, 2020


Cover of Love and the Rocking Chair
A review of Love and the Rocking Chair by Leo Dillon

The beautiful and hearfelt final collaboration of amazing illustrators, Love and the Rocking Chair echos the intergenerational love of Robert Munsch's Love You Forever. Partners in life and art, artists Leo and Diane Dillon received Caldecott and Coretta Scott King medals, among many other awards, and Love and the Rocking Chair is both a precious gift to parents and grandparents as well as a fitting memorial to Leo (who died in 2012). Keep your tissues handy and prepare for tears of love, gratitude, and hope!

Jan 24, 2020

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Cover of Holocaust survivor stories
Holocaust survivor stories
January 27th is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It also marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Below of list of survivor stories. By reading about their experiences we can remember and reflect on this dark time in our history. 
Jan 23, 2020

4th quarter book report

Cover of Mystery Book Group
Mystery Book Group

For the last part of 2019 the mystery book group read a modern mystery classic, a generation-spanning, family crime story and a twisty thriller. Of the three the twisty thriller was my favorite, the group's favorite and our best discussion item, so we ended the year on a high note.

Jan 21, 2020

What was it like being a new adult before the internet?

Cover of Do You Mind If I Cancel?:
A review of Do You Mind If I Cancel?: (Things That Still Annoy Me) by Gary Janetti

I'll tell you what it was like: there were tons of phone calls. On a landline. Everything took forever. If you made plans with a friend to meet up and one of you went to the wrong location, there was no way to connect with them. You both went back home and that was the end of it. It's not that life was easier or harder but communication and work were different. Gary Janetti's book captures this time with perfection and hilarity.

Some of the things that I enjoy most about Gary:

Jan 17, 2020

Women on the verge...

Cover of The Summer Without Men
A review of The Summer Without Men by Siri Hustvedt

After 30 years together, Mia’s husband Boris announces that he needs a “pause” in their marriage. This sends Mia off the deep end and she is locked up and medicated in a mental hospital for a week and a half. Once discharged, she realizes she can’t stay alone in her Brooklyn apartment, so she leaves to spend the summer in her Minnesota hometown where her mother is living in a senior community.

Jan 15, 2020

Into the heart of Dixie

Cover of A Longer Fall
A review of A Longer Fall by Charlaine Harris

Gunslinger Lizbeth Rose lives in what used to be the United States, but after the assassination of FDR in the 1930s Texas and Oklahoma have become a small land of their own known as Texoma. Other parts of the US have been ceded back to Britain (the northeast), Canada (the upper midwest), and the far west the last Tsar to escape Russia. And the rest of the south (not Texas and Oklahoma) is known as Dixie and has reverted to a post-Civil War, reconstruction society in which race relations are very, very bad.

Jan 14, 2020

Peace and...

Cover of Charlotte and the Quiet Pl
A review of Charlotte and the Quiet Place by Deborah Sosin

Looking for a way to help your child find their own quiet place in a busy, noisy, clambering world? Charlotte and the Quiet Place by Deborah Sosin takes a gentle look at how to find quiet and peacefulness inside your own self. Charlotte, the young protagonist in the story, lives in a noisy house, a noisy neighborhood, and a noisy school. She has trouble finding one spot that’s quiet and peaceful. Then, one day while she’s walking her dog, she finds a place in nature – that’s quieter than quiet.

Jan 10, 2020


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