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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Bittersweet goodbye / adiós agridulce

Cover of Evelyn Del Rey is Moving A
A review of Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away / Evelyn Del Rey se muda by Meg Medina

The 2022 Charlotte Zolotow Award winner for best writing in children’s picture books, this new book by Meg Medina is a gem. Evelyn is Daniela’s best friend and they do everything together. Even as Evelyn’s family is packing boxes and loading the truck, these two besties don’t waste a single minute of their time together, playing together until the very last second of having to say goodbye.

May 20, 2022

30 takes on the talk

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A review of The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love & Truth by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson

Thirty award-winning authors and illustrators share stories and discussions about "the talk" - the conversations they have with their children about race and racism, identity, and self-esteem. For some parents it's a way to prepare their kids, for others it's a way to protect them, for still others it's a way to explain. All of the talks and the reasons for the talk are varied, just like humans are varied. 

May 19, 2022

The need to belong

Cover of Belonging in YA (Teen) Gra
Belonging in YA (Teen) Graphic Novels

Belonging is a common theme in many young adult stories. Graphic novels provide an excellent visual of capturing the experiences and emotions as characters grow and find themselves. It’s as if we’re dropping in or hovering over a character’s shoulder to see a slice of  their life. Here are three insightful and at times, humorous graphic novels to check out:

May 18, 2022

A place to call home

Cover of Legends & Lattes
A review of Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree

Travis Baldree's debut novel is a member of what's being called 'cozy SFF' in some parts of the interwebs (okay, I admit I found it on #booktok). Cozy science fiction and fantasy is just that, it's certainly imaginative and involves beings and creatures fresh and innovative, but it's also warm,  good hearted and even funny. Sample titles, in case you need more of an idea, All Systems Red by Martha Wells or The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J.

May 16, 2022

Warm and bright

Cover of Books of Patricia Polacco
Books of Patricia Polacco

All eyes have been riveted on Ukraine and Russia in these tense days. An author who has long used the beautiful colors and designs of Eastern Europe in her stories is Patricia Polacco. Patricia Polacco published her first children’s book in 1988 at the age of 41 and has subsequently written and illustrated over 100 titles. Many of her stories are inspired by her own life and the lives of her family.

May 13, 2022

I'd stay at this place in a heartbeat

Cover of The Paris Apartment
A review of The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

Yes, something fishy is going on at the Paris apartment when Jess arrives to stay with her brother Ben. There's no way that Ben can afford to stay at the lavish building on his salary as a journalist. And how do the two young students on the fourth floor pay rent? And why do the inhabitants of the penthouse apartment insist the other residents attend their fancy wine parties? It doesn't add up. Not to mention, Ben is missing. Jess spoke with him on the phone before her arrival and now he's nowhere to be found.   

May 12, 2022

When gods return

Cover of Empire of Sand
A review of Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Tasha Suri is a librarian who studied creative writing at University and both of those facts are evident in her debut fantasy novel which is clearly well-researched and oh so creative.

May 11, 2022

Pushing boundaries and finding love

Cover of The Siren of Sussex
A review of The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews

Evelyn Maltravers had hoped she wouldn’t have to brave the ruthless London season and catch a wealthy husband, but that’s exactly where she finds herself in the spring of 1862. Her prospects aren’t ideal: with no dowry to speak of, the reputation of an elder flighty sister to overcome and a depressed London society in mourning for the recent death of the Prince Consort, Evelyn has her work cut out for her.

May 10, 2022

White elephant magic

Cover of Marshmallow and Jordan
A review of Marshmallow and Jordan by Alina Chau

This middle grade graphic novel set in Indonesia will pull at your heart strings. Jordan (named after Michael Jordan) shoots hoops like no one else at Kahawaii Multicultural School. A former star player on the basketball team, she's now the Captain after an accident leaves her paralyzed and unable to play on the team as before. Jordan misses playing basketball but remains upbeat and runs practices, attends games, and remains an integral part of the team.

May 4, 2022


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