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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

What do you call a dog, a seagull, a squirrel, some bison and a couple of raccoons?

Cover of The Eyes and the Impossibl
A review of The Eyes and the Impossible by Dave Eggers
Shawn Harris

I call them winners! 

No joke, this book is sensational and worthy of all the accolades. Recipient of the 2024 Newbery Award given to the author of the most distinguished children's book of the previous year, The Eyes and the Impossible is funny, smart and unusual. I loved it.

May 28, 2024

A case of the What Ifs

Cover of Lila Greer, Teacher of the
A review of Lila Greer, Teacher of the Year by Andrea Beaty
David Roberts

In the newest picture book in Andrea Beaty's Questioneers series, we finally get the story of Lila Greer, who we know as the Grade Two teacher from previous books. 

We first see Lila as a baby with a curl on her head, one that "fills her with dread", and as she grows older the What Ifs still get her: 

"They made her heart race. Put knots in her stomach. A frown on her face."

May 24, 2024

What if you disappeared?

Cover of The Nigerwife
A review of The Nigerwife by Vanessa Walters

I dropped into The Nigerwife without expectations. It was a book picked by the Lakeview Mystery Book Group members, from a list of suggested titles (created by me), last fall. But the picking of this year's books happened months ago and I didn't have much memory of why I'd put it on a list of suggestions back then. So when I picked it up now to read for the group, I just dove in.

May 22, 2024

Things that go bump in the dark, deep space

Cover of The Last Astronaut
A review of The Last Astronaut by David Wellington

I'm going to tell you that I have a very low threshold for scary things. So if I say that a book freaked me out you can take it with a grain of salt. That said, The Last Astronaut, which was a bit of Alien, a bit of The Martian and some Major Tom vibes thrown in, made me read with one eye closed for the latter half of the book as the creeping dread of the unknown grew.

May 20, 2024

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


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