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ICPL Recommends

The great mistake book cover
The great mistake book cover

The great mistake

Jonathan Lee

FICTION Lee Jonathan
Historical Fiction, Fiction

"From the acclaimed author of High Dive comes an enveloping, exultant novel of New York City at the turn of the twentieth century, a story of one man's rise to fame and fortune, and his murder in a case of mistaken identity. On Friday the 13th of November, 1903, a famous man was killed on Park Avenue in broad daylight by a stranger. It was neither a political act nor a crime of passion. It was a mistake. The victim was Andrew Haswell Green, the "Father of Greater New York," who shaped the city as we know it. Without him there would be no Central Park, no Metropolitan Museum of Art, no Museum of Natural History, no New York Public Library. His influence was everywhere, yet he died alone, misunderstood, feeling that his whole life might have been, after all, a great mistake. A work of tremendous depth and piercing emotion, The Great Mistake is a portrait of a self-made man--farm boy to urban visionary; the reimagining of a murder investigation that shook the city; and the moving story of a singular individual who found the world closed off to him, and, in spite of all odds, enlarged it"--

How does Andrew Haswell Green, such an important, consequential New York City figure find himself a murder victim due to mistaken identify at the age of 83? Jonathan Lee's fictional treatment of the life and times of Green explores how this puzzling, unfathomable murder takes place as well as Green's extraordinary rise to New York prominence from humble farm-boy roots. Green has a somewhat traditional American "pick yourself up from your bootstraps" life story, but it is much more complicated than that. And we know from the beginning where it ends.If you are looking for a book with a "sense of place," to be taken to the chaotic, hustle of the streets of late 19th Century New York, "The Great Mistake" will take you there. -Anne M

The Good Germ Hotel: Meet Your Body's Marvelous Microbes book cover
The Good Germ Hotel: Meet Your Body's Marvelous Microbes book cover

The Good Germ Hotel: Meet Your Body's Marvelous Microbes

Sŏng-hwa (Children's science book writer) Kim

j579 Sung-hwa
Health, Science

Check in to The Good Germ Hotel to learn about all the good germs and bacteria superheroes that live inside the human body. These amazing microbes fight viruses, digest food, and keep us healthy and happy. Did you know that your body is full of bacteria? And that most of it is good bacteria that helps to keep you healthy? Well, now is your chance to get up close and personal with the microorganisms that live inside all of us. Travel through the body with our gut bacteria guide, stopping off to meet the other amazing microbe residents along the way.

A book about good germs, what great timing! This is the perfect blend of factual information for kids and interesting pictures to keep them captivated. Whether you are raising a young citizen scientist or have a kid with a cold who doesn't understand that antibiotics won't help, this is a great read. Bonus points for including "gross" things people love like farts, smelly feet, and poop. -Frannie

The snail with the right heart : a true story book cover
The snail with the right heart : a true story book cover

The snail with the right heart : a true story

Maria Popova

jE Popova
Science, Nature

This is the real-life story of Jeremy, a rare garden snail found in 2015 by a retired London scientist. Jeremy's shell spiraled to the left, indicating reversed internal anatomy--including a heart positioned on the right. As a result, a similarly rare mate was needed in order to procreate.

I've been waiting for the prolific blogger of Brain Pickings, Maria Popova to finally write a book and it's as delightful, observant, dry and fascinating as she is. This is a children's book but should be enjoyed by all ages. If you like this, check out You are Stardust by Elin Kelsey (a book Popova once recommended on her blog!). -Victoria

Home is Not a Country book cover
Home is Not a Country book cover

Home is Not a Country

Safia Elhillo

Young Adult

"Nima doesn't feel understood. By her mother, who grew up far away in a different land. By her suburban town, which makes her feel too much like an outsider to fit in and not enough like an outsider to feel like that she belongs somewhere else. At least she has her childhood friend Haitham, with whom she can let her guard down and be herself. Until she doesn't. As the ground is pulled out from under her, Nima must grapple with the phantom of a life not chosen, the name her parents didn't give her at birth: Yasmeen. But that other name, that other girl, might just be more real than Nima knows. And more hungry. And the life Nima has, the one she keeps wishing were someone else's...she might have to fight for it with a fierceness she never knew she had."--

I absolutely loved the brutal honesty, the language and slight mysticism of this book. The author tackles the Islamophobia of a post 9/11 world in a delicately poetic and human way. This is a great read into the lives of those forced to flee their motherland for hopes of better opportunities only to find the grass is often anything but greener on the other side. -Victoria

Are You a Cheeseburger? book cover
Are You a Cheeseburger? book cover

Are You a Cheeseburger?

Monica Arnaldo

jE Arnaldo
Picture Books

Grub is a lonely raccoon rumbling in the trash for food. Seed is a seed patiently waiting in the trash, hoping someone will plant it. When the two finally meet, they realize they might be able to help each other! Grub wonders what Seed will grow, and is hoping it's Grub's favorite food, mouthwatering cheeseburgers.

This one caught my eye because of the glowing seed on the cover, and did not disappoint! Come for the protagonist of a racoon obsessed with delicious garbage, stay for the story of friendship and the lesson of patience when gardening. You will be rewarded with a Cheeseburger sunrise. -Frannie

Ariadne book cover
Ariadne book cover


Jennifer Saint

FICTION Saint Jennifer

"Ariadne, Princess of Crete, grows up greeting the dawn from her beautiful dancing floor and listening to her nursemaid's stories of gods and heroes. But beneath her golden palace echo the ever-present hoofbeats of her brother, the Minotaur, a monster who demands blood sacrifice every year. When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives to vanquish the beast, Ariadne sees in his green eyes not a threat but an escape. Defying the gods, betraying her family and country, and risking everything for love, Ariadne helps Theseus kill the Minotaur. But will Ariadne's decision ensure her happy ending? And what of Phaedra, the beloved younger sister she leaves behind? Hypnotic, propulsive, and utterly transporting, Jennifer Saint's Ariadne forges a new epic, outside the traditional narratives of heroism and glory that leave no room for women"--

Calling all fans of Circe and A Thousand Ships! Ariadne is another novel rooted in Greek mythology, told from the female perspective. It opens up the untold narrative of Ariadne, Princess of Crete, beginning with her role in the story of the Minotaur. Engaging tale, complex characters, all the things I like! -Becky


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