Back to top


Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

What the dead forget

Cover of The Dead Cat Tail Assassin
A review of The Dead Cat Tail Assassins by P. Djeli Clark

Clark introduces readers to a new fantasy world in this latest novella and I'm so here for it.

Eveen is a an undead assassin. When she died she was offered a chance at an undead life - though she has no memory of how that came to be or why she would have made such a choice. As part of her deal she owes her goddess years of service as an assassin. As the goddess's assassin she has to follow 3 rules:

Jul 1, 2024

Summer sock detectives

Cover of Magnolia Wu Unfolds It All
A review of Magnolia Wu Unfolds It All by Chanel Miller

Ten-year-old Magnolia Wu's parents own Bing Qi Ling Bubbles Laundromat in NYC. Instead of going to the ocean or taking a trip to an amusement park, Magnolia usually spends the summer helping out around the business and sneaking popsicles that are intended for paying customers. She is not happy about summer and wishes her life were more adventurous.  

Jun 28, 2024

Shaped by our world

Cover of Deep Creek: Finding Hope i
A review of Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country by Pam Houston

I am an urbanite to the bone, I like the bustle, noise and plethora of activities available. I do not hike, camp, fish, backpack, etc. because for one insects (one and all) appear to think I am the best buffet they have ever come across. I am allergic to wool (that natural fabric so often used in outdoor life); at best it gives me a rash—at its worst if there are loose fibers floating around, I have come close to not breathing.

Jun 27, 2024

The distaff side

Cover of Our Woman in Moscow
A review of Our Woman in Moscow by Beatriz Williams

In 1951 two British government officials, Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess, left on a boat sailing from Southampton to France and then disappeared. Though there were suspicions that they had defected to the Soviet Union, this wasn't confirmed until five years later when they appeard at a press conference in Moscow. In the years after this it became clear that they were not the only two British "gentlemen" to have been recruited by the KGB, there were at least 3 others and they all became known as the Cambridge Five.

Jun 25, 2024

Las emociones no tienen color

Cover of El rojo no está enojado,
A review of El rojo no está enojado, el azul no está triste by Alicia Acosta and Luis Amavisca
Anuska Allepuz

Cuando Zorro llega al parque vestido en azul, sus amigos le preguntan por qué está triste - pero, ¡la verdad es que no está triste, sino muy contento! Sus amigos le ofrecen ropa del color de la alegría, y cuando se empieza a enojar, le ofrecen primero ropa del color del enojo y luego del color de la calma. Por fin el pobre Zorro grita, "¡BASTA!" tirando la ropa por todas partes, echándole color al escenario gris.

Jun 20, 2024

Putting petty to work

Cover of At First Spite
A review of At First Spite by Olivia Dade

Athena Greydon was engaged to Johnny Vine. As a wedding present for him, she bought the 10-foot-wide house attached to his. Four weeks before they're to be married, however, Johnny's older brother, Dr. Matthew Vine III, convinces him not to go through with the ceremony. Now, not only has Athena lost a fiance', but she's given up her job and home in preparation for her married life in Harlot's Bay. She's left with few options.

Jun 17, 2024

The things you can do when you're invisible

Cover of Invisible
A review of Invisible by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
Gabriela Epstein

This middle grade graphic novel starts out with five Conrad Middle School students assigned to work in the cafeteria during the first period of the day to complete their yearly community service hours.  George, Sara, Dayara, Nico and Miguel have nothing in common.  All five are flying under the radar for different reasons and want to get their time cleaning up leftover school breakfasts and throwing out morning garbage over with as quickly and anonymously as possible.

Jun 14, 2024

What does it mean to be brave?

Cover of Braver Than Brave
A review of Braver Than Brave by Janet Sumber Johnson
Eunji Jung

Wanda's big brother is the bravest kid she knows, but when her turn comes to match his feats of bravery, things are a lot harder than she thought. The monkey bars don't agree with her, the giant hill he biked down is a LOT bigger now, and forget about going to camp. 

When Wanda's friends cajole her to join them on the Coaster of Doom, she is relieved that she is still too short to ride. She wants to be brave though, so she spends all year practicing. She bikes and sleds down hills, tiptoes into the dark basement, and even tries out a climbing wall with a look of determination. 

Jun 11, 2024

Deserving of every accolade

Cover of The Will of the Many
A review of The Will of the Many by James Islington

I've been hearing great things about The Will of the Many for a while - which made me more reluctant to read it. I have this kind of reverse metric when it comes to buzzy books. If too many people are raving about a book, how good can it really be? That and it's a chonker of a book (639 pages!) had me on pause. I finally gave in when one more person, who likes many of the same things I do, gave it a rave. And now I'm both glad I waited and kicking myself for waiting so long.

Jun 10, 2024

An ode to the couch

Cover of The Truth About the Couch
A review of The Truth About the Couch by Adam Rubin

I don't know where picture book authors get their ideas from. But I can tell you that if you asked me for what I might want to write about, the couch, is probably one of the last things I would have come up with. Luckily for everyone, Adam Rubin thinks a bit differently than me.

Jun 7, 2024


Subscribe to MADreads