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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Finding her way home

Cover of The Beatryce Prophecy
A review of The Beatryce Prophecy written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Sophie Blackall

This realistic fairy tale follows Beatryce, a young girl with no memory of who she is and being hunted by the king because of a prophecy that she will unseat him, as she threads together a small band of allies with the strength of her love and courage. These friends include a very disagreeable goat, Answelica, a timid and kind monk, Brother Edik, an adventurous errand boy, Jack Dory, and a mysterious sage, Cannoc.

Apr 8, 2022

Stylish noir

Cover of Tangerine
A review of Tangerine by Christine Mangan

If you need a break from the damp, chill, gray days of early Wisconsin spring (and at this point, who doesn't?), here's your chance to escape to hot, sunny 1950s Tangier in Christine Mangan's Tangerine.

Apr 7, 2022

Sweet Anticipation for April 2022

Sweet Anticipation graphic for April
New Releases for April

It’s spring(ish) time, and time to turn thoughts to new beginnings. Publishers relish this time of year, as April marks the start of the big push to for new titles. This year is no different, and along with a lot of familiar names, there are plenty of new authors who have been waiting, after the ups and downs of the pandemic years, to see readers back in bookstores and libraries to discover their new works.

Apr 5, 2022

For the young "Hamilton" fan

Cover of Sophia's war: a tale of th
A review of Sophia's war: a tale of the Revolution by Avi

Newberry Medalist, Avi, writes a gripping story of the American Revolutionary War through the eyes of Sophia Calderwood. Sophia, a well-educated young lady, lives with her parents in British occupied New York. Her beloved older brother is a captured soldier in the Continental Army and her parents are secretly committed to the cause of the American Patriots. Sophia, herself an ardent Patriot, wants nothing more than to help the cause and free her brother from a horrific British prison. She is enlisted as a spy; however, the plot she uncovers is almost too outrageous to believe!

Mar 31, 2022

Summer in Japan

Cover of Temple Alley Summer
A review of Temple Alley Summer by Sachiko Kashiwaba

Temple Alley Summer is full of mystery, history, and ghosts. Kazu's summer project is to learn more about his neighborhood, Temple Alley, named for the former Kimyo Temple located where Kazu's house currently stands. An old legend claims that the temple has the power to bring the dead back to life. A girl named Akari suddenly appears in the alley and Kazu starts to wonder if the legend is more than a story. 

Mar 30, 2022

A deeper understanding

Cover of Unequal Affections
A review of Unequal Affections by Lara Ormiston

It is a truth universally acknowledged that any retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice has a difficult hurdle to overcome if it is to distinguish itself from all the other retellings, homages, inspireds by, etc. And if I tell you dear reader that Ormiston succeeded in that feat? I would only be relaying the truth.

Mar 29, 2022

All shapes and sizes

Cover of Bodies are Cool
A review of Bodies are Cool by Tyler Feder

I LOVE Bodies Are Cool!  This glorious picture book celebrates all of the different human bodies that exist in the world. It is a truly joyous and inclusive book, and the delightful text and beautiful, exuberant illustrations combine to encourage body acceptance and confidence in the youngest readers – and the grown-ups who read to those little ones, too!  “My body, your body, every different kind of body!  All of them are good bodies!  Bodies are cool!” Pick up a copy of Tyler Feder’s Bodies Are Cool and share some body love and positivity with the ones you love. 

Mar 25, 2022

Choices were made

Cover of Velocity Weapon
A review of Velocity Weapon by Megan O'Keefe

Sergeant Sanda Greeve wakes alone in the medical bay of a strange ship. Worse, it's an enemy ship and the only other inhabitant is the sentient artificial intelligence who runs the ship, The Light of Berossus, aka Bero. And that's not the worst news she's about to hear. Bero shows her that Ada Prime (Sanda's home planet) and Icarion (their enemy) have both vanished from the galaxy, blown up 230 years ago during the war that left Sanda wounded. Sanda had been in stassis in a life pod until Bero, who has been alone for years, found her.

Mar 22, 2022

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