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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Courage Over Fear

Cover of I Am (Not) Scared
A review of I Am (Not) Scared by Anna Kang

Anna Kang's fuzzy purple and brown creatures from You Are (Not) Small and That's (Not) Mine ​are back in this silly and delightful picture book about facing your fears. There are a lot of things to be scared of out there: tubs of hairy spiders, pits of lava, or (eeek!) snakes! But not a roller coaster! Roller coasters are fun! Uh oh, until there is a snake riding on the coaster with you... However, our two brave friends still hop on the coaster for a hilariously illustrated adventure. I love how this book ends.

Oct 13, 2021

Having her say

Cover of The Good Wife of Bath
A review of The Good Wife of Bath by Karen Brooks

Karen Brooks gives Chaucer's Wife of Bath a chance to tell her side of the story in this vivid and absorbing tale of how a woman could gain agency in her own life in a time when she legally had none.

Oct 11, 2021

2021 Finalists for the National Book Awards

Cover of Award Finalists
Award Finalists

Recently the National Book Foundation announced the 2021 Finalists for the National Book Awards.  According to their website "the mission of the National Book Foundation is to celebrate the best literature in America, expand its audience, and ensure that books have a prominent place in American culture."   The categories include Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, Young People's Literature.

Oct 7, 2021

Eerie season is almost upon us

Cover of The Stranger Diaries
A review of The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

October and the spooky season are just around the corner and I have the book for you. Elly Griffiths' (best known for her Ruth Galloway series of mysteries) Stranger Diaries is suspenseful and even spooky at times (there's even a ghost) and is a gothic book about a gothic story that is being written about for a book. Okay that sounds like nonsense, I know.

Sep 27, 2021

Forever Fall

Cover of Bella's Fall Coat
A review of Bella's Fall Coat by Lynn Plourde

It's fall! And Bella, like so many four and five year olds, CANNOT sit still. All she wants to do is be outside. She whirls and twirls and crinkles and crackles in the leaves, she stretches and reaches, picks and plucks fall apples, but her favorite fall coat is becoming too small. Thanks goodness for grandmas. This beautifully illustrated picture book will have your toddler whirling and twirling with it's vivid language, but also might help start a conversation about how sadly, not all things like favorite coats and seasons last for ever.

Sep 24, 2021

Dead bodies and wedding dresses

Cover of Dial A for Aunties
A review of Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Meddelin Chan's tightly knit Chinese-Indonesian family runs a full-service wedding business that provides cakes (Big Aunt), hair and make-up (Second Aunt), flowers (Meddie's mom), entertainment (Fourth Aunt), and photography (Meddie). A spectacularly rich couple hire the Chan's for their biggest event yet, a grand wedding to be held at an exclusive resort on an island off the coast of California. Things go wrong almost immediately. Some of the "wrong" includes a dead body, groomsmen too drunk to get dressed for the wedding, a major theft and an impending storm.

Sep 21, 2021

A child of grace

Cover of The Ninth Hour
A review of The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott

It may seem incongruous that The Ninth Hour, Alice McDermott’s exquisite family saga of faith, sacrifice and grace, should begin with a suicide. When Jim shoos his young wife Annie out of their Brooklyn tenement to do some shopping, locks the door behind her and turns on the gas, it looks as bleak as could be for the young widow. Early-twentieth century Brooklyn is a tough place for its many inhabitants, and particularly so for a young Irish widow with a baby on the way.

Sep 20, 2021

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