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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Explorando juntos / exploring together

Cover of Milo + Niko
A review of Milo + Niko by D Guzman

Milo está aburrida en la tienda de plantas de su abuela, deseando jugar con alguien. Cuando su abuela le sugiere que busque tesoros que no espera, Milo va a explorar con curiosidad. De repente, ¡una cola anaranjada con negro aparece entre las plantas... es un tigre! Milo le da el nombre de Niko a su nuevo amigo y juntos exploran la selva todo, buscando, navegando, y vigilando todo el día. Se divierten tanto que ni siquiera se dan cuenta cuando abuela cierra la tienda, y ella tiene que gritar, "Miloooooooooo."

May 31, 2023

Love and broccoli

Cover of Mrs. Nash's Ashes
A review of Mrs. Nash's Ashes by Sarah Adler

"Rose McIntyre Nash died peacefully in her sleep at the age of ninety-eight, and now I carry part of her with me wherever I go. I do not mean that figuratively. She's inside a small wooden box tucked away in my backpack as we speak. Not all of her, of course. Geoffrey Nash wasn't about to hand over his entire grandmother to the weird girl who lived in her spare bedroom. But Geoffrey was kind enough to give me three tablespoons of her ashes (again, not figurative; he portioned her out with a measuring spoon from the kitchen)."

May 23, 2023

Stepping into the story

Cover of Once Upon a Book
A review of Once Upon a Book by Grace Lin and Kate Messner

Step into this colorful book adventure! Authors Grace Lin & Kate Messner pull us into the pages in Once Upon a Book. A young girl wishes it wasn’t “so frozen and gray” and – suddenly! – finds herself stepping into the pages of a tropical wonderland. Flamingos, colorful flowers and more greet her. In exploring each new world (from riding a camel through the desert to swimming in an underwater reef to soaring with the clouds in the sky) she realizes that what she wants most of all is to be back in her cozy home with her mom and dad.

May 19, 2023

Do you really want to know?

Cover of My Murder
A review of My Murder by Katie Williams

In this near-ish-future novel cloning has become possible. And the cloning is such that if someone has died as an adult their "person" can be put into a fully formed version of themselves and all they lose is a few days of memory from around the time of their death. Okay, I know that sounds kind of impossible, but for the sake of this dark, sharp novel, just go with it. 

May 17, 2023

A little magic, some swashbuckling and a ball

Cover of Newt's Emerald
A review of Newt's Emerald by Garth Nix

I stumbled across this young adult gem as a read-alike to Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen. A smart, exciting mix of Regency and fantasy, "Newt" refers to Lady Truthful Newington and her "emerald" is a magical heirloom stolen during a family party on her eighteenth birthday. The precious stone's properties are properly harnessed only by the owning family which puts the Newington's in peril of misfortune and possibly worse if the jewel gets into the wrong hands.

May 16, 2023

One Wager lost, but this Wager is a winner

Cover of The Wager: A Tale of Shipw
A review of The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder by David Grann

David Grann is an author who doesn’t like to rush into releasing work—his last full-length book appeared in 2017—but he continually proves that whatever he writes is worth the wait. The bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon and The Lost City of Z has a knack for finding little-known but intense and compelling stories in the dustiest corners of history, and his latest is no exception.

May 15, 2023

Knight Owl

Cover of Knight Owl
A review of Knight Owl by Christopher Denise

All young Owl has ever hoped and dreamed of is becoming a knight, but it was just a dream until suddenly knights begin disappearing from the castle. Taking advantage of this staffing shortage, Owl applies to Knight School and to everyone's surprise, he is accepted! He studies and works hard - even a small shield is tough for him to hold - and after graduating with honor, he is assigned to the Knight Night Watch. Other knights usually fell asleep during these long shifts, but Owl is very good at it. Until one night he hears a strange whooshing sound... 

May 12, 2023

Not the only one

Cover of My Brother is Away
A review of My Brother is Away by Sara Greenwood, illustrated by Luisa Uribe

This book is dedicated by Sara Greenwood “for the child I was and the child you are - hope, healing, love, light.” When Sara’s brother was away in prison when she was growing up, this book did not exist. Yet, like the little girl in this story realizes when they go to visit her big brother, “I see I’m not the only one whose brother is away.” In the children’s book world, we talk of books both as windows and mirrors - windows to better understand the experiences of those different from us, and mirrors to see our own experiences and feelings reflected and supported.

May 11, 2023


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