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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Middle school truth

Cover of Picture Day
A review of Picture Day by Sarah Sax

It's school picture day at Brinkley Middle School and Viv decides to shake things up by giving herself a haircut. In the bathroom. While waiting for her turn to have her photo taken. This is brave, bold, and possibly regrettable. But Viv embraces the change. When her mom schedules an emergency appointment at a salon to have her hair "fixed," Viv shares her vision with the stylist and ends up with a cool angled bob. She becomes famous for being true to herself, even though the road was a little bumpy at first.

Apr 8, 2024

Secrets and lies

Cover of Ace of Spades
A review of Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Chiamaka and Devon, two Black students at a prestigious high school, couldn't be more different from each other. Devon's goal is to keep his head down until he can get into Juilliard; Chiamaka, to claw her way up the social ladder and graduate as homecoming queen. That makes it all the more mysterious when they're targeted by an anonymous saboteur named Aces. Aces's meddling starts with rumors spread throughout the halls, but escalates into a dangerous game that could ruin the students' futures forever.

Apr 5, 2024

The rich, they are different

Cover of The Other Half
A review of The Other Half by Charlotte Vassell

There has to be something very satisfying about killing off a rich person. The mystery genre’s very foundations rests on the corpses of the well-to-do; that any hereditary titles survived the Golden Age is astonishing. Those plump inheritances, the isolated country houses and silently judgmental domestic staff, often coupled with a victim and cadre of suspects that usually don’t generate too much sympathy (they did have a pretty comfy existence before the fatally poisoned claret, after all)—the mystery basically writes itself.

Apr 3, 2024

I wouldn't trust any of the teachers at this school

Cover of The Teacher
A review of The Teacher by Frieda McFadden

I felt like shrieking more than a few times while reading The Teacher. Here's the deal: there's a student at Caseham High who was involved with a teacher last year in a way that drew suspicion from parents, other teachers, and administrators at the school. Nobody seems to know what happened, but the teacher resigned in disgrace and the student, Addie, earned a reputation for being troubled. It's not clear if Addie is truly troubled or if she's a victim of circumstance. What is clear is that she's a school pariah and being bullied by mean girls.

Mar 28, 2024


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