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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

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Homes:  A Refugee Story
A review of Homes: A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah

As war overtook their home in Iraq in 2010, the al Rabeeah family sought a safe refuge. Their choice was the ancient and vibrant city of Homs in Syria. But within a year, their hope had turned into a nightmare as Homs became the epicenter of struggle against Syrian president Bashir al-Assad. Abu Bakr al Rabeeah was ten and one of eight children in the al Rabeeah family when the violence broke out, and witnessed the devastating siege of his new home before his family was able to finally escape to Canada.

March 28, 2019

A child’s celebration of a Muslim tradition

Cover of Mommy’s Khimar
A review of Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

A young girl revels in the many khimars (also sometimes called hijabs) in her mother’s closet. She loves the colors, the fancy decorations, and all of the possibilities for play.  She dresses up in a yellow khimar and imagines herself a queen, a bird and a superhero! She loves the cozy comfort of the smells of her mother lingering in the khimar. In clear, simple language, this "own voices" book shares one aspect of the everyday life of a Muslim family. Whether your family is Muslim or has never heard the word “khimar” this book is a perfect bedtime read.

 

March 28, 2019

Angel of music

Cover of Unmasked
A review of Unmasked by Andrew Lloyd Webber

OK, I like - no I love musicals. Even though a lot of the time this demands a certain suspension from reality—I mean, how often do you see someone bursting into song and dance and no one notices?  But I grew up watching Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly with any of their partners, have watched The Sound of Music too many times to count, and look forward to any announced new musicals (very few these days at least in film) but can always hope.

March 25, 2019

Worlds away

Cover of Red, White and Royal Blue
A review of Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuistion

This is the book I'm going to be recommending to everyone in 2019- it's the delightful, funny, and very relevant story of Alex, the First Son of the US, and Henry, Prince of England and their journey from having a PR driven "friendship" to a real relationship and love. The story takes place a kind of alternate reality where a progressive female with biracial children has won the presidency. Her son, Alex, believes that he's meant to go into politics, and behind his seemingly party lifestyle, he works tirelessly to campaign and research in preparation for his mother's hopeful reelection.

March 20, 2019

Bedtime for brave boys

Cover of Night Knight
A review of Night Knight by Owen Davey

A wonderfully illustrated book about going to bed! Owen Davey has given us a great little story about a boy who imagines he is a knight as he is doing his nightly, or should we say knightly routine. This fun mix of dragons, castles, baths, and beds makes for a great nighttime tale.

March 15, 2019

Of candlepin bowling and people

Cover of Bowlaway: A Novel
A review of Bowlaway: A Novel by Elizabeth McCracken

Bowlaway is a community saga set in Salford, Massachusetts centered on a candlepin* bowling alley. For those of you not familiar with candlepin, it is a variation of bowling played in New England with pins that have a cylindrical shape that taper toward each end similar to a candle. Scoring is different from tenpin and the balls are smaller, with no finger holes.

March 13, 2019

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March 8, 2019

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