“Cast Iron” by Peter May — “May expertly plants nicely misleading red herrings; every time the reader thinks the plot will fall into predictability, the ground shifts and the direction changes. The end comes as a satisfying surprise, built as it is on clues that were subtly in place all along.”―Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“Complete Stories” by Kurt Vonnegut — “This book is big in size and significance … Meant to get readers thinking, these stories both preserve a lost world and showcase Vonnegut’s phenomenal prescience. In his foreword, Dave Eggers pinpoints another key trait: Vonnegut wrote “moral stories” meant to “tell us what’s right and what’s wrong, and . . . how to live.” In our time of dangerous ambiguity, Vonnegut’s clarity is restorative, his artistry and imagination affirming.” —Booklist
“Outside is the Ocean” by Matthew Lansburgh — “Spanning years and perspectives, the 15 linked stories in Lansburgh’s ambitious collection, winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award, reveal the world of a fractured family … Lansburgh has crafted a unique, captivating debut.” – Booklist
“The Summer That Made Us” by Robyn Carr — “…Carr’s latest instead narrows in on the tangled and intimate bonds of three generations of women in a large family, especially the circumstances that can make or break the strongest relationships. With an abundance of female characters-two sisters marry two brothers and each of the sisters has three daughters (double cousins)-and motivations, the many plotlines, mysteries, and time jumps can be a bit confusing, but the main focus is on family and the last summer they were all together, the one summer at their shared lake house where everything changed. That is the pivot that eventually pulls the threads together into a compelling and deeply satisfying conclusion. “-Charli Osborne, Oak Park P.L., MI. LJ Xpress Online Review. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2017.
“Typhoon Fury” by Clive Cussler — “… opens in the midst of the second battle of Corregidor in 1945. During a U.S. attack on one of the mountainous island’s many caves, Capt. John Hayward, who’s searching for a secret Japanese laboratory, observes that the enemy soldiers who pour out of the cave’s tunnels are furious fighters who don’t drop even when grievously wounded by gunfire. After finding the secret lab, Hayward succeeds in grabbing a file marked Project Typhoon just before the place blows up. In the present, Juan Cabrillo, the captain of the intelligence ship Oregon, is involved in a mission whose object is to find a memory stick containing the names of all Chinese secret agents operating in the U.S. No surprise, Juan’s present-day operation connects to the secret project on Corregidor, and soon he and his crew are fighting to recover thousands of doses of a potent compound that turns men into supersoldiers. Expertly drawn characters and a well-constructed plot make this one of Cussler’s better efforts.” — Agent: Peter Lampack, Peter Lampack Agency. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2017.
“American Radical: Inside the World of an Undercover Muslim FBI Agent” by Tamer Elnoury — “The author reflects compellingly on the challenges of being a Muslim patriot, and he closes with a plea to resist wholesale bigotry: ‘Banning Muslims from the United States throws gas on the myth that the United States is at war with Islam.’ His tale of infiltration is exciting and clearly written…A worthwhile, unique addition to the shelf of post-9/11 memoirs concerning the fight against terrorism.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery” by Scott Kelly — “Kelly brings life in space alive—the wonder and awe of it, and also the jagged edges, the rough parts of living in confined quarters in an alien element, far from everything familiar and beloved. . . . Endurance, with its honest, gritty descriptions of an unimaginable life, a year off Earth, is as close as most readers will come to making that voyage themselves.” —The Financial Times
“Iced In: Ten Days Trapped on the Edge of Antartica” — by Chris Turney — “In 2013, Turney was leading an expedition of scientists off the coast of East Antarctica when their chartered Russian vessel suddenly became trapped in the ice. The hull was breached and steering lost, and the closest vessel, a Chinese ship, soon became trapped as well. Iced In is Turney’s report of those 10 days in the ice when he, his family, the ship’s crew, and the 70 members of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition waited for rescue. …Traveling in the footsteps of the great explorers Ernest Shackleton and Douglas Mawson, Turney draws on records from their journeys, making comparisons between the difficult yet heroic age they lived in (that made them famous) versus his own struggle to raise funds to study what is the most overwhelming global struggle of our time. Ironically, getting stuck in the ice makes Turney famous, a pleasant surprise he also chronicles in this enjoyable armchair adventure.” — Mondor, Colleen. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2017.
“The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State” by Nadia Murad — “Murad gives us a window on the atrocities that destroyed her family and nearly wiped out her vulnerable community. This is a courageous memoir that serves as an important step toward holding to account those who committed horrific crimes.” —The Washington Post
“Leonardo da Vinci” by Walter Isaacson — “As always, [Isaacson] writes with a strongly synthesizing intelligence across a tremendous range; the result is a valuable introduction to a complex subject. . . . Beneath its diligent research, the book is a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it. . . . Most important, Isaacson tells a powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life.” —The New Yorker
“Before It’s Too Late” by Sara Driscoll — “A kidnapper is sending FBI Special Agent Meg Jennings a series of ciphers laying out the location of his victims. The women are left alive but just barely. If Jennings doesn’t find them in time, they will die. The victims are all dog owners, like Jennings, who is devoted to Hawk, her search-and-rescue Labrador. The women also bear a striking physical resemblance to Jennings. With lives on the line, Jennings breaks Bureau protocol and brings in her brilliant sister, Cara, to decode the kidnappers’ twisted clues.” — Keefe, Karen. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2017.
“Enemy of the State” by Kyle Mills — “Saudi prince Talal bin Musaid, nephew of the ailing King Faisal, is using Saudi money to finance ISIS attacks against the United States. Meanwhile, Aali Nassar, the head of the Saudi General Intelligence Directorate, is undermining the country’s monarchy and actively aiding chief terrorist Mullah Sayid Halabi. The American president, determined that the Saudi perfidy must be stopped, asks CIA officer Mitch to eliminate all high Saudi officials who are acting against the U.S. Mitch forms a small but deadly team, including Claudia Gould, his love interest; Grisha Azarov, the Russian agent who almost killed him in an earlier confrontation; and Kent Black, a U.S. Army sniper turned illegal arms dealer. Series fans and newcomers alike will watch in wonder as Mitch executes a clever plan that leads to an explosive climax.” Agent: Sloan Harris, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2017.
“Every Breath You Take” by Mary Higgins Clark — “It is three years after the death of 68-year-old socialite Virginia Wakeling, who took a fatal fall off the roof of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Laurie, the producer of Under Suspicion, a TV show that examines cold cases, is pushed by host Ryan Nichols and studio head Brett Young into exploring it as a possible subject. Laurie has doubts because the case isn’t really old enough to be considered cold, and Ryan, who pitches the idea, is friends with Ivan Gray, Virginia’s boyfriend and the primary suspect. After Laurie listens to Ivan, considers the venue where Virginia was killed (an A-list do at the Met featuring an exhibit of gowns worn by first ladies), and makes a list of other possible suspects, she becomes more interested in proceeding. As Laurie follows a formulaic path to the truth, a constant undercurrent is her fractured romance with the show’s former host, Alex Buckley, and the possibility of repairing it.” — Agents: Bob Barnett and Deenen Howell, Williams & Connolly. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2017
“Execute Authority” by Dalton Fury — “Kolt Raynor and his Delta Force team are assigned by the newly elected U.S. president to a mission in Greece. An assassination attempt leads Raynor to a former colleague who has gone rogue and has a personal vendetta against Raynor. Facing a formidable adversary, Raynor will have to utilize all his skills and break more than a few rules along the way. The action is relentless, and the story rings with authenticity and emotion. Those who enjoy black-ops thrillers will love this one, which works just fine as a stand-alone.” — Ayers, Jeff. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2017.
“Maisie Dobbs” by Jacqueline Winspear — ““A delightful mix of mystery, war story and romance set in WWI–era England . . . A refreshing heroine, appealing secondary characters and an absorbing plot [make Winspear a] writer to watch.” — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“The Quantum Spy” by David Ignatius — ““Ignatius…demonstrates again his superior storytelling skills. This engrossing tale of spy vs. counterspy rockets back and forth from Washington, DC, to CIA headquarters in Langley, VA, to Beijing. … In this sly, fast-moving story, everyone is hiding something. … Ignatius’s latest is up to his usual high standards and should appeal to all lovers of spy fiction.” — Library Journal
“Righteous: An IQ Novel” by Joe Ide — “Ide’s debut, IQ, was one of last year’s best crime novels, and he follows it with another scorcher. . . . Like the great Thomas Perry, Ide manages to combine light and dark in wholly unpredictable ways, blending comic capering with real-life bloodletting in a manner that diminishes neither and taps a vein of deep emotion lurking amid the laugh lines and spurts of violence. Anyone who loves Perry or Timothy Hallinan needs to hop on Ide’s bandwagon while there’s still room to sit.” — Booklist (starred review)
“Two Kinds of Truth” by Michael Connelly — “Expertly juggling both plots, Connelly mines the double murder for fascinating and frightening details…Connelly remains atop a heap of contemporary crime writers thanks to his rare ability to combine master plotting and procedural detail with a literary novelist’s feel for the inner lives of his or her characters. Both talents are in abundant display this time.”―Booklist
“In Search of a Better World: A Human Rights Odyssey” by Payam Akhavan — “With precision and sensitivity, as well as brutal honesty, Payam Akhavan’s In Search of a Better World highlights the complexity of modern conflict and the necessary solutions for our future. It is heartening to see essential tools (such as the Will to Intervene) being offered up in practical and meaningful ways, when so many have turned their back on them, and so, on our responsibilities as global citizens.”― Lieutenant-General Roméo A. Dallaire
“The Oxford Companion to Beer” edited by Garrett Oliver — “”[E]ncyclopedic in scope . . . In putting together the ‘Oxford Companion’ now, Mr. Oliver has captured the blossoming of a global beer culture at a thriving moment. . . . [A] definitive resource not just for beer enthusiasts but for amateur brewers, professional brewers and the thousands of restaurants that serve great beers but are staffed by people who may know little about them. . . . The ‘Oxford Companion’ is simply a wonderful resource for what, even when it’s complex, unusual, unfamiliar or strikingly different, is still just beer, regardless of how it is dressed up.” –Eric Asimov, The New York Times
“Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine” by Anne Applebaum — “Applebaum chronicles in almost unbearably intimate detail the ruin wrought upon Ukraine by Josef Stalin and the Soviet state apparatus he had built on suspicion, paranoia, and fear . . . Applebaum gives a chorus of contemporary voices to the tale, and her book is written in the light of later history, with the fate of Ukraine once again in the international spotlight and Ukrainians realizing with newly-relevant intensity that, as Red Famine reminds us, ‘History offers hope as well as tragedy.’”
—Steve Donoghue, Christian Science Monitor
“A Rift in the Earth: Art, Memory and the Fight for a Vietnam War Memorial” by James Reston, Jr. — “In A Rift in the Earth, Army veteran James Reston details the controversy surrounding the creation of the Vietnam War Memorial — an undertaking that reopened political, moral and cultural divisions about the war long after its end. Deeply personal, as moving as it is instructive, Reston’s account captures the complicated struggle that ensued over how to honor our Vietnam War veterans, and reminds us that in the decades following that bloody and protracted conflict, a generation of Americans continue to find healing at the powerful memorial in our nation’s capital.”―Senator John McCain
“We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy” by Ta-Neshisi Coates — “Coates’s collection of his essays from the past decade examine the recurrence of certain themes in the black community, the need for uplift and self-reliance, the debate between liberals and conservatives about the right approach to racism, and the virulent reaction in some quarters to any signs of racial progress. . . . As he charts social changes, Coates also offers a fascinating look at his own transformation as a black man and a writer. Before each essay, Coates provides context in light of recent political developments. . . . Coates’s always sharp commentary is particularly insightful as each day brings a new upset to the cultural and political landscape laid during the term of the nation’s first black president. . . . Coates is a crucial voice in the public discussion of race and equality, and readers will be eager for his take on where we stand now and why.” —Booklist (starred review)
ADULT AUDIO BOOK
“Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” by Stephen King, Read by Frank Muller — “This performance is a masterclass, with Muller demonstrating his ability to build the intensity of the story, fully realize characters, and capture the brooding atmosphere that typifies King’s writing. The story concerns convicted murderer Andy Dufresne and how he survived and escaped Shawshank Prison. It’s narrated by his friend Red, that guy in prison who can get you anything for a price, and, as Red admits at the end, it’s really Red’s story, too. Life is hard at the prison, and Muller’s raw and edgy voice tells us that and more: it’s just as hard on the outside for lifers once they’re paroled. But not for Andy. There’s a lighter note in Muller’s voice as Red tells of Andy’s dream–and where it leads both of them. Muller’s powerful, riveting reading transforms the story, raising it to the sublime.” — Saricks, Joyce. Booklist Online. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2017.
“Honestly” by James Boney
“Beauty and the Beast”
“Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie”
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
“The Fate of the Furious”
“Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season”
“Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2”
“Germans & Jews”
“Lego Batman Movie”
“Paw Patrol: The Great Pirate Rescue!”
“Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”
“Star Wars: Rebels: Complete Season 3”
“Suicide Squad: Extended Cut”
“This is Us: The Complete First Season”
“Transformers: The Last Knight”
“The Wizard of Lies”
“The Going to Bed Book” by Sandra Boynton
“The Goodnight Train” by June Sobel
“Inside Noah’s Ark” by Charles Reasoner
“Little Blue Truck Leads the Way” by Alice Schertle
“The Pout-Pout Fish” by Deborah Diesen
“First Day of Rule” — Read-Along StoryBook and CD
“After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again” by Dan Santat
“Alphamals A-Z” by Graham Carter
“Animal Book” by Julie Segal-Walters
“Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion” by Chris Barton
“Everything About Lemmings” by Anne Dyckman
“Go, Dog. Go!” by P.D. Eastman
“Go Away, Big Green Monster!” by Ed Emberley
“Henry and the Hidden Treasure” by B. C. R. Fega
“Hey Black Child” by Useni Eugene Perkins
“Joseph Had a Little Overcoat” by Simms Taback
“Leaf” by Sandra Dieckmann
“Love, Triangle” by Marcie Colleen
“Madeline’s Rescue” by Ludwig Bemelmans
“My Name is Yoon” by Helen Recovits
“No, David” by David Shannon
“Pup and Bear” by Kate Banks
“The Sneetches and Other Stories” by Dr. Seuss
“Tar Beach” by Faith Ringgold
“Where’s Halmoni?” by Julie Kim
“William’s Winter Nap” by Linda Ashman
“Who Am I? An Animal Guessing Game” by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
“The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse” by Mac Barnett
“Lemons” by Melissa Savage — “”An enjoyable and comforting middle-grade handbook on navigating new experiences and the heartache of losing loved ones early in life.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The Audtion” by Maddie Ziegler — “After her family’s recent move to Florida, Harper tries to settle into her new life, and the first thing on her agenda is finding a new dance studio. Despite having taken lessons since she was two, Harper is incredibly relieved when she is accepted to DanceStarz and lands a place on the Squad, its elite, competitive dance team. But being one of the new girls means trying to break in with the Bunheads, a tight-knit group of dancers that rules the roost. …While the overall story may be predictable–Harper faces mean girls, jealousy, and some embarrassing falls–its focus on friendship and teamwork make it a positive read. The technical aspects about dance are sure to please readers who are dancers or wish to be.” — Thompson, Sarah Bean. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2017.
“Better off Undead” by James Preller — “After a skateboarding accident leads to his death and inexplicable reanimation, Adrian Lazarus is forced to start seventh grade as a decomposing and slightly smelly zombie. In addition enduring bullying, Adrian is being watched, but he’s not sure by whom or why. Teaming up with his loyal friend Zander, no-nonsense Gia, and budding detective Talal, Adrian sets out to fend off the bullies and figure out who’s behind the surveillance. Preller (The Courage Test) takes the physical and emotional awkwardness of middle school to grisly levels as Adrian worries not about acne or voice changes, but about his nose falling off in class and his desire to “scarf up a dead squirrel from the street.” … Against a near-future backdrop, Preller thoughtfully chronicles the anxieties of middle school, using a blend of comedy and horror to send a message of empowerment and self-acceptance.” — Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2017.
“Chains” by Laurie Halse Anderson — “…this gripping novel offers readers a startlingly provocative view of the Revolutionary War. Isabel Finch, the narrator, and her five-year-old sister, Ruth, are to be freed from slavery upon the death of their mistress in Rhode Island, but the mistress’s unscrupulous heir easily persuades the local pastor to dispense with reading the will. Before long Isabel and Ruth are in New York City, the property of a Loyalist couple, whose abusiveness inspires Isabel to a dangerous course: she steals into the Patriot army camp to trade a crucial Loyalist secret in exchange for passage to Rhode Island for herself and Ruth. But not only does the Patriot colonel fail to honor his promise, he personally hands her over to her Loyalist mistress when she runs away, to face disastrous consequences. Anderson (Speak; Fever 1793) packs so much detail into her evocation of wartime New York City that readers will see the turmoil and confusion of the times, and her solidly researched exploration of British and Patriot treatment of slaves during a war for freedom is nuanced and evenhanded, presented in service of a fast- moving, emotionally involving plot.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2008.
“The Chocopocalypse” by Chris Callaghan — “Callaghan constructs his chilling debut around the revelation of an ancient inscription: the disappeared Chocolati tribe predicted that all the chocolate in the world will vanish on a certain upcoming day. The prospect of such a “cataclysmic cacao catastrophe” understandably touches off widespread panic, binge eating, and riots–particularly in the town of Chompton-on-de-Lyte, a sort of British Hershey, Pennsylvania, where young Jelly Wellington anxiously watches the once ubiquitous treat vanish from every store and warehouse and wonders if the chocopocalypse will really happen. And (brace yourself), it does, as part of a scheme by Garibaldi Chocolati, owner of a local shop selling overpriced “pure” (i.e., unpalatable) artisanal chocolate, to corner the market. But Jelly turns out to be just the sort of curious, quick-thinking sleuth needed to expose the villain. Callaghan doesn’t try very hard to make his titular premise credible, but it’s definitely scary, and along with unwrapping a doughty protagonist, he offers mouthwatering evocations of chocolate’s “meltilicious chocodreaminess.” —. Peters, John. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2017.
“From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” by E. L. Konigsburg — “After reading this book, I guarantee that you will never visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art (or any wonderful, old cavern of a museum) without sneaking into the bathrooms to look for Claudia and her brother Jamie. They’re standing on the toilets, still, hiding until the museum closes and their adventure begins. Such is the impact of timeless novels . . . they never leave us. E. L. Konigsburg won the 1967 Newbery Medal for this tale of how Claudia and her brother run away to the museum in order to teach their parents a lesson. Little do they know that mystery awaits.” — Publisher
“Gertie Milk & the Keeper of Lost Things” by Simon Van Booy — “Gertie has suddenly washed up on shore and doesn’t know where or who she is. The only reason she knows her name is because it’s sewn onto her shirt…if it is indeed her shirt. Soon after she meets Kolt, the only other human on the island. Kolt tells Gertie that she is on the island of lost things, and they are both caretakers of those lost things. Kolt begins teaching Gertie the ways of a Keeper when things take a turn for the worst. The enemy of the Keepers shows up and it’s up to Gertie to choose which side is the right one. Booy offers a story that explores good, evil, and those gray areas. Readers learn along with Gertie about this new world, which drives the pacing and suspense….” Rena Gibson, Ralph Ellison Library, SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2017.
“The Great Hibernation” by Tara Dairman — “In a small, insular Nordic town with seemingly harmless, quaint traditions, the children find themselves in a police state under a devious and manipulative kid mayor when all the adults suddenly and inexplicably fall into comas. Self-doubting and awkward Jean, 12, knows she must look for allies and uncover the truth…. VERDICT Lighthearted enough to entice readers with the silly premise and whimsical illustrations sprinkled throughout, this middle grade book nonetheless explores some rather important political ideas about individuality and the need for a balance of powers in governance.”– Rhona Campbell, Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2017.
“Greetings from Witness Protection” by Jake Burt — “What do you get when you mix a snarky city girl with a shady past and lightning reflexes with a seemingly typical suburban family she’s just met? A funny, action-packed novel about the trials of school, parental arguments, and sibling rivalry―all with a dash of high-stakes thrills and dramatic showdowns… [Readers] will relish the action and fast-paced plot as well as the engaging and competent Nicki, whose emotional strength and quick wits carry her through much of the narrative.”–School Library Journal
“The Lost Frost Girl” by Amy Wilson — “Similar to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, Wilson’s debut nicely blends reality and fantasy into an entertaining read. Wilson brings the fairy tale individuals to life while maintaining a delightful combination of realism and fantasy. A promising first novel.” (Booklist)
“Now is Everything: A Novel” by Amy Giles — “Giles’ debut is impeccably paced with deep, well-rounded characters that propel the reader through…a story that is relatable and emotionally investing. Once readers pick up Hadley’s story, they will have difficulty putting it down, desperately rooting for her to win. An admirably crafted debut that will haunt readers.” –-Booklist (starred review)
“The Nutcracker Mice” by Kristin Kladstrup — “In 1892 Saint Petersburg, Irina’s father is chief custodian for the Mariinsky Theatre, tasked with solving the theater’s mouse problem before the Nutcracker’s Christmastime debut. While her mother sews costumes, Irina makes clothes in miniature for her doll. Meanwhile, under the stage, the Mariinsky mouse corps de ballet members, including plucky Esmeralda, are rehearsing their own Nutcracker. At Esmeralda’s urging, the show has been reworked without all the mouse-bashing, and for the first time will include costumes (remember Irina’s doll clothes?). Irina’s and Esmeralda’s story lines are individually engaging, and their overlapping moments are warmhearted. Copious illustrations (seen only as sketches) enhance both mouse and human worlds.” — elissa gershowitz. THE HORN BOOK, c2017.
“The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street” by Lindsay Currie — “Moving during the school year is a drag, especially when it entails leaving your friends and the beaches of Florida for the chilly North…. As soon as the family moves into their new (old) house, something makes its presence known through cold winds, a color-changing painting, mysterious drawings in Tessa’s sketch pad, and the sound of crying at night. After mentioning at school that her house is haunted, Tessa finds herself surrounded by friends who want to help: Andrew, a totally cute and friendly soccer player; Nina, who’s obsessed with Chicago’s famous cemeteries and their residents; and Nina’s twin brother, Richie, who is afraid of ghosts. As they unravel a decades-old mystery, Tessa learns that her new city isn’t so bad after all, and that working together can result in friendship. A perfect flashlight read, Currie’s debut novel is peppered with incidents that will make the reader’s skin crawl and teeth chatter.” — Fredriksen, Jeanne. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2017.
“Penelope March is Melting” by Lindsau Currie — “”Fast-paced action scenes make this a good choice for reluctant readers as well as book-devourers like Penelope. A clever, female-led adventure about saving your home and finding yourself. Hand to fans of Chris Grabenstein and Natalie Lloyd.”–Booklist
“The Real McCoys” by Matthew Swanson — Swanson and Behr …track a delightfully topsy-turvy day at Tiddlywhump Elementary in this heavily illustrated and impressively designed story. Their heroine is the hugely self-confident and aptly named Moxie McCoy, a 10-year-old aspiring sleuth inspired by an intrepid fictional detective. As the novel unfolds, Moxie interviews candidates to replace a best friend who moved away, attempts to identify the person who stole school mascot Eddie the Owl, and expects to clinch the award given to the student “who has best lived up to Eddie’s ideals of courage, patience, and wisdom.” Quick to judge and jump to conclusions, she doesn’t mince words: a pair of twins vying for the award “are about as lovable as the bumps on the end of an alligator’s nose.” Snappy analogies, similes, and double entendres play out in Behr’s energetic illustrations, a rambunctious jumble of cartoons, fonts, and dialogue balloons. At the heart of the story is Moxie’s deepening rapport with her bookish younger brother, Max, and readers will hope to see more of both siblings soon.” — Agent: Meredith Kaffel Simonoff, DeFiore and Co. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2017.
“Rickshaw Girl” by Mitali Perkins — “… the lively contemporary story of a young Bangladeshi girl who challenges the traditional role of women in her village so that she can help her struggling family in hard times. Naima’s parents cannot afford to pay school fees for her anymore, but she wins the village prize for painting the best traditional ‘alpana’ patterns. She wishes she could help her father drive his rickshaw, and one day, disguised as a boy, she drives– and crashes–it. How will they afford to fix the dents and tears? More than just a situation, this short chapter book tells a realistic story with surprises that continue until the end. Hogan’s bold black-and-white sketches show the brave girl, the beautiful traditional ‘alpana’ painting and rickshaw art, and the contemporary changes in the girl’s rural home.” — Hazel Rochman. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2006.
“Saturdays with Hitchcock” by Ellen Wittlinger — “Maisie, 12, is in the midst of several quandaries. She and her best friend, Cy, have become a trio, and Maisie is afraid that new addition Gary Hackett likes her. Then it becomes clear that Cy likes Gary. Ménage à trouble! In addition, Maisie’s actor uncle has moved back to their small house to recover from an accident, her grandmother is showing signs of dementia, and her mother loses her job. Tensions boil, but Maisie finds relief at the old movie theater in town, where she and Cy are regulars. The theater is owned by grumpy Mr. Schmitz, who has had his own decades-long crush—on Maisie’s grandmother. If this sounds like a full plate, it is, but each morsel is quite tasty, and veteran writer Wittlinger balances plots with aplomb. Some scenarios are more rosy than realistic, as in the cases of Cy’s coming out to an unruffled Gary. Yet it is the novel’s hopeful aspects that make this such an enjoyable read. Happily, all the (many) movies referenced throughout are listed at the book’s conclusion. —Booklist
“The Secret of Nightingale Wood” by Lucy Strange — “In an imaginative, compelling first-person narration, Henry wraps her story in fairy tales, exposing her guilt, grief, isolation, and fear as she unravels the stunning secrets of Nightingale Wood.” — Kirkus, starred review
“Starry River of the Sky” by Grace Lin — “Lin returns to Chinese folklore as the foundation for this masterfully told tale. Rendi, a runaway with a shadowy past, mistakenly lands at a remote inn and is taken on as chore boy. Plagued by moans he alone hears issuing nightly from the sky, perplexed by the absence of the moon, and longing to escape the unhappy villagers, Rendi is unwillingly drawn into their problems when wise, enigmatic Madame Chang arrives. Lin’s signature device of interspersing the plot with stories told by various characters enriches this story on many levels, especially when Rendi, pressured by Madame Chang, begins to tell his own revealing stories…. The lively mix of adventure, mystery, and fantasy, supported by compelling character development and spellbinding language, will captivate a wide swath of readers.” — Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2012.
“Biometrics: Your Body and the Science of Security” by Maria Birmingham — “From fingerprints to voice, tongue, and even odor recognition, Birmingham explores the ways our identities are being linked to unique physical features or behaviors… May spur young readers into taking care with their IDs and personal information.” (Kirkus)
“The Elephant Keeper: Caring for Orphaned Elephants in Zambia” by Margriet Ruurs — “Following his father’s death, Aaron, a Zambian teen, works at a hotel to support his family. One morning, he spots a baby elephant in the hotel pool and saves it from drowning, in spite of villagers who tell Aaron that the elephants eat their crops and kill humans. Aaron visits the elephant, now named Zambezi, at an elephant orphanage and convinces the calf to take a bottle. All at once, a new friendship, career, and lifelong passion are born. Readers will be fascinated by the facts about elephants, the dire straits the species is in, and that Aaron is a real person still working at the Lilayi Elephant Sanctuary. …” Linsenmeyer, Erin. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2017.
“I’m Just No Good at Rhyming and Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups” by Chris Harris — “Those who claim to hate poetry will enjoy this riotous compilation…. Fans of Ogden Nash, Shel Silverstein, and Jack Prelutsky will rejoice in finding another member of their gang. Smith matches Harris’s wit with his own zaniness…. A surefire winner for reading aloud or for snickering with under the covers.”―School Library Journal, starred review
“Let the Children March” by Monica Clark-Robinson — “Clark-Robinson’s stirring debut unfolds through the resolute voice of a (fictional) African-American girl participating in the 1963 Children’s Crusade…The narrator’s conclusion, “Our march made the difference,” serves as a powerful reminder for today’s readers about their own ability to fight for justice and equality.” — Publisher’s Weekly
“Poison: Deadly Deeds, Perilous Professions and Murderous Medicines” by Sarah Albee — “Once the convulsing bodies and pools of vomit are cleared away, readers will find a tantalizing history of poisons,…Clearly stating that this is not a how-to guide, she swiftly moves through the eras of human history, from prehistory to modern times, not only highlighting popular poisons and poisoners but also the social conditions and level of scientific knowledge defining each age. Unsurprisingly, murderous royalty occupy many pages–poisoned enema, anyone?–but so do commoners, who were often victims of hazardous jobs (e.g., Radium Girls), adulterated food, poisonous medicines, and toxic dyes. Chapters are short and boast reader-friendly layouts with cartoon illustrations, archival photos and advertisements, and an array of boxed content. This includes frequent “Tox Boxes” that call out specific poisons and their effects; “Poisoned or Not?” asides featuring dubious deaths; dangerous professions, such as painters, hat makers, and match makers; and “Drop Dead Gorgeous” notes on toxic beauty treatments. While there are shocking and disgusting facts aplenty, Albee also discusses the rise of toxicology and forensic science, and the much-needed emergence of food and drug regulation. Her light tone makes this morbid, well-researched study a sinister indulgence.” — Smith, Julia. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2017.
“The Quilts of Gee’s Bend” by Susan Goldman Rubin — “Rubin …tells the story of a folk art form passed down through generations in a small corner of the Deep South. Descended from the enslaved and, later, tenant farmers, the women quilters of Gee’s Bend, Ala., create unique variations of traditional patterns. Their vibrant handiwork sits in stark contrast to archival photographs of the quilters’ hardscrabble surroundings. The women’s expressions are proud, their settings meager–a 1937 photograph shows a room wallpapered in newsprint to keep out drafts. Rubin traces the quilters’ history alongside their struggle for civil rights and a steadily improving quality of life. When the women’s art is “discovered” by outsiders and becomes sought after, the results weren’t always welcome. Numerous quotations allow the women to tell their story: “A lot of people make quilts for your bed,” says Mensie Lee Pettway. “But a quilt is more. It represents safekeeping, it represents beauty, and you could say it represents family history.” An epilogue, source notes, bibliography, index, and brief quilting how-to wrap up a celebration of fellowship and ingenuity.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2017.
“Being Fishkill” by Ruth Lehrer –A desperately sad story of profound abuse is softened somewhat by the highly intelligent Duck-Duck and her loving mother. But neither love nor grief is linear. Fishkill’s guilt, anger, and abandonment only intensify as the story unfolds, leaving her desperate and unsure where to turn…Abuse is eclipsed by love in this moving novel.
“Far From the Tree” by Robin Benway — “Equally heartwarming and heart-wrenching… Benway (Emmy & Oliver) delves into the souls of these characters as they wrestle to overcome feelings of inadequacy, abandonment, and betrayal, gradually coming to understand themselves and each other.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic” by Leigh Bardugo — “Elegantly crafted…stylishly intricate illustrations…all fans of the darker side of folktales and folktale-like stories will find the stories satisfyingly full of pain, danger, and vengeance.” ―The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review
“Lighter Than My Shadow” by Katie Green — “Green looks back at a long struggle with anorexia in this hard-hitting graphic memoir…. Childhood fears led Green to develop rituals and routines to feel safe, which began to affect her eating habits (“Chew four times on the left… four times on the right… then two sips of water”). As Green grew into a teenager, these rituals–combined with her academic rigor and a barrage of offhand comments about her body–evolved into a focus on control and discipline in her eating, leading to extreme weight loss and professional intervention after she passes out at school. Minimal dialogue and narration keep the focus on Green’s grayscale artwork, which viscerally reflects how Green saw herself while in the grips of her eating disorder. Her body appears grotesquely distended in some scenes, she imagines slicing her thighs thinner with a cleaver in others; a scribbly black cloud is a constant presence, reflecting the inner voices she can’t escape. As the story moves into Green’s college years and beyond, she finds balance amid many setbacks but never sugarcoats the difficult and ongoing nature of recovery.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2017.
“The Names They Gave Us” by Emery Lord — “Lord explores the hardships in both Lucy’s life and the lives of the people around her without forgetting about the joys of ordinary life, summer love, and the pitfalls of growing up, all the while offering a beautiful, all-to-rare portrait of a religion that accepts instead of condemns. Comfortingly familiar, vibrant, and, at times, wrenching…” — starred review, Booklist