Staff Picks

Recent Picks

All rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook book cover
All rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook book cover

All rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

Leslie Connor

eBOOK
Kids

"Eleven-year-old Perry was born and raised by his mom at the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in tiny Surprise, Nebraska. His mom is a resident on Cell Block C, and so far Warden Daugherty has made it possible for them to be together. That is, until a new district attorney discovers the truth--and Perry is removed from the facility and forced into a foster home. When Perry moves to the "outside" world, he feels trapped. Desperate to be reunited with his mom, Perry goes on a quest for answers about her past crime. As he gets closer to the truth, he will discover that love makes people resilient no matter where they come from .. but can he find a way to tell everyone what home truly means?" --From Amazon.com.

Anne W's picture

This is a cute, heartwarming book, if a little implausible, about a boy named Perry, who grows up inside a minimum-security, coed prison with his mother Jessica, an inmate, in the tiny town of Surprise, Nebraska. This book, if somewhat predictable and far-fetched, nonetheless does a good job of humanizing incarcerated individuals and stressing how one mistake does not make someone a bad person. Perry collects stories from prison inmates and shares them as part of a school project, as well as sharing how the inmates have collectively raised him and how they maintain bonds with their own families and their own better natures. -Anne W

Nat enough : Nat Enough Series, Book 1 book cover
Nat enough : Nat Enough Series, Book 1 book cover

Nat enough : Nat Enough Series, Book 1

Maria Scrivan

eBOOK
Kids

Natalie has never felt that she's enough -- athletic enough, stylish enough, or talented enough. And on the first day of middle school, Natalie discovers that things are worse than she thought -- now she's not even cool enough for her best friend, Lily! As Natalie tries to get her best friend back, she learns more about her true self and natural talents. If Natalie can focus on who she is rather than who she isn't, then she might realize she's more than enough, just the way she is.

Paul's picture

The story of Natalie, as told in pictures, and how she navigates entering middle school along with a bunch of kids from other grade schools, the loss of her best friend (who’s turned into a really “mean girl”), the making of new, truly good friends, and finding out what she’s good at doing. Of course there’s a lot of anxiety, self doubt, and missteps along the way but Nat survives, spectacularly, in this sweet and humorous tale. -Paul

Rump : the true story of Rumpelstiltskin book cover
Rump : the true story of Rumpelstiltskin book cover

Rump : the true story of Rumpelstiltskin

Liesl Shurtliff

eBOOK
Kids

Relates the tale of Rumpelstiltskin's childhood and youth, explaining why his name is so important, how he is able to spin straw into gold, and why a first-born child is his reward for helping the miller's daughter-turned-queen.

Becky's picture

Liesl Shurtlif does a great job developing a backstory for Rumpelstiltskin. Typically the antihero in fairy tales, Rump is shown here as a misunderstood and thoughtful hero. His power develops during a time of hunger and loss, and we watch as he learns more about himself, his powers, and the consequences of magic. Plot driven, surprising, and a fun read! -Becky

The tiger rising book cover
The tiger rising book cover

The tiger rising

Kate DiCamillo

eBOOK
Kids

Rob, who passes the time in his rural Florida community by wood carving, is drawn by his spunky but angry friend Sistine into a plan to free a caged tiger.

Karen's picture

Will they free the tiger? Will freeing the tiger free them from the grief they are feeling? You’ll have to read the book to find out, and, believe me, you’ll be glad you did. -Karen

Brisingr, or, The seven promises of Eragon Shadeslayer and Saphira Bjartskular book cover
Brisingr, or, The seven promises of Eragon Shadeslayer and Saphira Bjartskular book cover

Brisingr, or, The seven promises of Eragon Shadeslayer and Saphira Bjartskular

Christopher Paolini

eBOOK
Fantasy

The further adventures of Eragon and his dragon Saphira as they continue to aid the Varden in the struggle against the evil king, Galbatorix.

Lauren's picture

In the third installment of the Inheritance Cycle, I was still enthralled by Christopher Paolini’s dedication to the intricate construction of this fantasy world. The kingdom of Alagaesia is as familiar as an old friend by the time you reach the end of the third book. I was also impressed by the wide range of characters, readers become invested in the battle campaign of the Varden as they learn about many of those involved. As I read about Eragon and the Varden slowly advancing towards Uru’Baen to confront Galbatroix, I was expecting to be impatient with the endless battle scenes. However, there is variety in the character perspectives, plot twists, and settings which made the campaigning portion of this series enjoyable. Throughout the series, there are many subtle quests and mysteries built into the larger storyline. This continues in the third book, much to my delight. Keep your eyes peeled for when events of seemingly small significance reappear later in the storyline. -Lauren

The evolution of Calpurnia Tate book cover
The evolution of Calpurnia Tate book cover

The evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Jacqueline Kelly

eBOOK
Kids

In central Texas in 1899, eleven-year-old Callie Vee Tate is instructed to be a lady by her mother, learns about love from the older three of her six brothers, and studies the natural world with her grandfather, the latter of which leads to an important discovery.

Anne W's picture

Calpurnia has to deal with breaking the mold for girls in her place and time and come to terms with growing up. The chapters are a series of vignettes in her life with six brothers in a small Texas town on the cusp of the 20th century. The writing is clever, funny, and beautiful. -Anne W

Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone book cover
Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone book cover

Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone

J. K Rowling

eBOOK
Kids, Fantasy, Adventure

Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Wizards and Witches. This is the first Hary Potter book.

Casey's picture

My daughter and I are taking this opportunity to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone together. This is the first time I’ve stepped back into Rowling’s world since finishing the series thirteen years ago. -Casey

The birchbark house book cover
The birchbark house book cover

The birchbark house

Louise Erdrich

eAUDIO
Kids

This is a vital and dramatic novel of a year in the life of a young Ojibwa girl in the mid-1800s.

Becky's picture

Birchbark is a great parallel for readers who enjoy the Little House books. Louise Erdrich provides a unique perspective into Ojibwa daily life during the nineteenth-century. The story is divided into the four seasons and told through the eyes of 7-year-old, Omakayas. Readers learn about a Native American family’s daily life, traditions, and connection with nature. Erdrich, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwa, was able to weave in her research, observations, and conversations with Ojibwa elders into a narrative that is accessible to middle-grade children. -Becky

Vegan with a vengeance : over 150 delicious, cheap, animal-free recipes that rock book cover
Vegan with a vengeance : over 150 delicious, cheap, animal-free recipes that rock book cover

Vegan with a vengeance : over 150 delicious, cheap, animal-free recipes that rock

Isa Chandra Moskowitz

eBOOK
Nonfiction, Cookbooks

Melody's picture

One thing I dream about in my imagined post-quarantine life is visiting Isa Chandra Moskowitz's restaurant Modern Love in Omaha, Nebraska. I am a big fan of her cookbooks. I've never met a recipe of hers that I didn't like. We have more of her cookbooks in print at ICPL, but I'll take this e-book while I wait to be able to hold her books with my own, garlic-scented fingers. -Melody

Anne of Green Gables book cover
Anne of Green Gables book cover

Anne of Green Gables

L. M. (Lucy Maud) Montgomery

eBOOK
Kids, Fiction

Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.

Anne W's picture

Someone gifted me a box set of the Anne of the Green Gables books when I was ten or so, since plucky orphan Anne Shirley and I share a first name, and I never read them. They sat on my bookcase through the whole remainder of my childhood without ever being touched. Now that I’ve finally gotten around to reading Anne of Green Gables, I’m totally kicking myself for what I’ve been missing all these years. Who knew the humor in a book published in 1908 could hold up so well? I laughed out loud several times. Anne is a delightful character and her bold, dramatic dialogue is fun to read. To quote from the book itself, this book is one full of “tang and zest.” -Anne W

The old truck book cover
The old truck book cover

The old truck

Jarrett Pumphrey

eBOOK
Kids, Picture Books

"On a small family farm, an old truck falls into disrepair and lies nearly forgotten, except by the family's daughter. The truck is been part of her daydreams as she grows up and develops strength and independence. As an industrious young woman, she pulls the rusted and overgrown vehicle from its almost-grave and restores it"--

Casey's picture

I love this title about making something old new again, and again, and again. Simultaneously about loving family and respecting items through time, this is one for all the menders and antiquers out there! -Casey

The screaming staircase book cover
The screaming staircase book cover

The screaming staircase

Jonathan Stroud

eBOOK
Kids

Follows three young operatives of a Psychic Detection Agency as they battle an epidemic of ghosts in London.

Paul's picture

I have become totally hooked on this series and very much recommend it for older tweens. I plan to continue enjoying my way through each volume even after the current quarantine/shut down is lifted! -Paul

The familiars book cover
The familiars book cover

The familiars

Adam Jay Epstein

eBOOK
Kids

When a scrappy alley cat named Aldwyn passes himself off as a magical animal companion to Jack, a young wizard in training, Aldwyn and his fellow "familiars," a know-it-all blue jay and bumbling tree frog, must save the kingdom after the evil queen of Vastia kidnaps Jack and two other wizards.

Becky's picture

A cat AND magic?! I think this is a book that I would have loved as a child. First in a series, “The Familiars” follows a seemingly ordinary cat named Aldwyn who is mistaken for an animal with magical abilities. He is paired up to assist Jack, a young wizard in training. When Jack and other wizard apprentices are captured, Aldwyn pairs up with a magical blue-jay and a tree frog on a quest to save them. Their quest is full of adventure, magic, humor, secrets and self-discovery. -Becky

The mighty heart of Sunny St. James book cover
The mighty heart of Sunny St. James book cover

The mighty heart of Sunny St. James

Ashley Herring Blake

eBOOK
Kids

"Twelve-year-old Sunny St. James must navigate heart surgery, reconnections with a lost mother, the betrayal of a former best friend, first kisses, and emerging feelings for another girl"--

Anne W's picture

This is a nuanced exploration of LGBT+ identity from an adolescent perspective, and Sunny wrestles with her feelings, sometimes helped or hindered by family, friends, and society, to find out who she really is. -Anne W

Theft by finding : diaries 1977-2002 book cover
Theft by finding : diaries 1977-2002 book cover

Theft by finding : diaries 1977-2002

David Sedaris

eAUDIO
Humor, Memoir, Literary Nonfiction, LGBTQ+

Shares the author's favorite diary entries, providing a look into the mind of a comic genius.

Heidi K's picture

Nobody really needs me to suggest David Sedaris. But having read all his other books which blend essay, humor, autobiography, and scathing social critique, I thought this compilation of writing pulled from his diaries would seem a little old hat - sort of a "for fans only" affair. Well, I am a fan, but Theft by Finding has passages so biting and original and weird that I gasped several times while listening to the eAudio on walks during quarantine. Trademark humor is still there, but there are also parts of Theft by Finding that grabbed me by the scruff of my neck and shook me. -Heidi K

Big magic : creative living beyond fear book cover
Big magic : creative living beyond fear book cover

Big magic : creative living beyond fear

Elizabeth Gilbert

eAUDIO
Nonfiction, Self Help

"Coming September 22nd From the worldwide bestselling author of Eat Pray Love: the path to the vibrant, fulfilling life you've dreamed of. Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert's books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the "strange jewels" that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy"--

Heidi K's picture

If you're feeling in a rut, this book might offer the push you need. It's not preachy and it's full of good stories about the creative process. It was good on eAudio - read by the author. -Heidi K

The book of joy : lasting happiness in a changing world book cover
The book of joy : lasting happiness in a changing world book cover

The book of joy : lasting happiness in a changing world

Dalai Lama XIV Bstan-ʼdzin-rgya-mtsho

294.3444 /Dalai Lama
Nonfiction, Self Help, Biographies, Religion

Two leading spiritual masters share their wisdom about living with joy even in the face of adversity, sharing personal stories and teachings about the science of profound happiness and the daily practices that anchor their emotional and spiritual lives.

Heidi K's picture

When Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama get together to talk about their lives, philosophies, and teachings, the result is a guidebook on how to transform joy from a fleeting emotion to a way of life. My favorite thing about this book are the funny bits of dialogue between the two men who prove that above all, they are merely human. The stories from their lives are great, and the themes discussed seem so relevant to the precarious times we have found ourselves in. -Heidi K

Shuggie Bain : a novel book cover
Shuggie Bain : a novel book cover

Shuggie Bain : a novel

Douglas Stuart

FICTION Stuart Douglas
Historical Fiction, LGBTQ+, Literary Fiction

"Shuggie Bain is the unforgettable story of young Hugh "Shuggie" Bain, a sweet and lonely boy who spends his 1980s childhood in public housing in Glasgow, Scotland. Thatcher's war on heavy industry has put husbands and sons out of work, and the city's notorious drugs epidemic is waiting in the wings. Shuggie's mother Agnes walks a wayward path: she is Shuggie's guiding light but a burden for his artistic brother and practical sister. She dreams of a house with its own front door while she flicks through the pages of the Freemans catalogue, ordering a little happiness on credit, anything to brighten up her grey life. Married to a "whoremaster" of a husband, Agnes keeps her pride by looking good - her beehive, make-up, and pearly-white false teeth offer a glamourous image of a Glaswegian Elizabeth Taylor. But under the surface, Agnes finds increasing solace in drink, and she drains away the lion's share of each week's benefits - all the family has to live on - on cans of extra-strong lager hidden in handbags and poured into tea mugs. Agnes's older children find their own ways to get a safe distance from their mother, abandoning Shuggie to look after her as she swings between alcoholic binges and sobriety. He is meanwhile doing all he can to somehow become the normal boy he desperately longs to be, but everyone has realized that Shuggie is "no right," and now Agnes's addiction has the power to eclipse everyone close to her-even and especially her beloved Shuggie." --

Heidi K's picture

This book received a Kirkus starred review, and it's definitely worth the hype. The book takes place in the working class Scotland of the 1980s. Agnes is a young alcoholic woman who loves her children but is mostly incapacitated by poverty and drink. Shuggie is a young boy who is a bit of a social pariah for being a gay momma's boy - even though for most of the book he has little to no understanding of why he doesn't fit in with the others. He just doesn't. I thought this book was heartbreaking but also just plain beautiful. I won't forget Shuggie or Agnes. -Heidi K

My best friend book cover
My best friend book cover

My best friend

Julie Fogliano

eBOOK
Kids, Picture Books

Two girls quickly become best friends, even before they learn one another's names.

Casey's picture

Soaring illustrations accompany lyrical text about what it means to have and be a best friend. This one is a gem! -Casey

The list of things that will not change book cover
The list of things that will not change book cover

The list of things that will not change

Rebecca Stead

eBOOK
Kids

Despite her parents' divorce, her father's coming out as gay, and his plans to marry his boyfriend, ten-year-old Bea is reassured by her parents' unconditional love, excited about getting a stepsister, and haunted by something she did last summer at her father's lake house.

Karen's picture

The beauty of this story is that it displays the kind of love that doesn’t ask you to be anything but who you are, the kind of love she wishes everyone had. -Karen

Betty before X book cover
Betty before X book cover

Betty before X

Ilyasah Shabazz

eAUDIO
Kids

Raised by her aunt until she is six, Betty, who will later marry Malcolm X, joins her mother and stepfamily in 1940s Detroit, where she learns about the civil rights movement.

Anne W's picture

Hopeful, heartwarming, but honest about real hardships. -Anne W

Keeper of the lost cities book cover
Keeper of the lost cities book cover

Keeper of the lost cities

Shannon Messenger

eBOOK
Kids

At age twelve, Sophie learns that the remarkable abilities that have always caused her to stand out identify her as an elf, and after being brought to Eternalia to hone her skills, discovers that she has secrets buried in her memory for which some would kill.

Becky's picture

I want to give a big shout out to the tween patron that recommended this series to me! I think this is a series that will appeal to audiences of all ages, particularly to fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. Shannon Messenger excels at character development, dialog, and intriguing plotlines. In “Keeper of the Lost Cities,” we follow Sophie’s passage into a new world, where we try to unravel the mysterious elements behind her powers and abilities. While I love the fantasy elements of this story, I also really appreciate Shannon Messenger’s focus on relationships, integrity, and bravery. I think many kids (and adults) reading this will find things to relate to and will quickly get sucked in to the fantastic storytelling. I’ve got the next book on hold and can’t wait! -Becky

From the desk of Zoe Washington book cover
From the desk of Zoe Washington book cover

From the desk of Zoe Washington

Janae Marks

eBOOK
Kids

"Avid baker Zoe Washington receives a letter on her twelfth birthday from her biological father, who is in prison for a terrible crime"--

Paul's picture

The author, Janae Marks, deftly weaves the all too common experiences of African-Americans with the U.S. justice system and its fallout into an engaging tale of a young girl on the cusp of adulthood, juggling several things at one time while balancing what she feels is the right thing to do and the fear of suffering the consequences, both if she does or does not follow through in her quest. -Paul

Exhalation book cover
Exhalation book cover

Exhalation

Ted Chiang

eBOOK
Science Fiction, Short Story

This much-anticipated second collection of stories is signature Ted Chiang, full of revelatory ideas and deeply sympathetic characters. In "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate," a portal through time forces a fabric seller in ancient Baghdad to grapple with past mistakes and the temptation of second chances. In the epistolary "Exhalation," an alien scientist makes a shocking discovery with ramifications not just for his own people, but for all of reality. And in "The Lifecycle of Software Objects," a woman cares for an artificial intelligence over twenty years, elevating a faddish digital pet into what might be a true living being. Also included are two brand-new stories: "Omphalos" and "Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom." In this fantastical and elegant collection, Ted Chiang wrestles with the oldest questions on earth--What is the nature of the universe? What does it mean to be human?--and ones that no one else has even imagined. And, each in its own way, the stories prove that complex and thoughtful science fiction can rise to new heights of beauty, meaning, and compassion.

Brian's picture

Chiang explores determinism, A.I. and alternate realities. Every tale is unique and fascinating. So much so that I can't choose a favorite. I recommend this to anyone who wants their Sci-Fi to get them thinking. -Brian

Wink book cover
Wink book cover

Wink

Rob Harrell

eAUDIO
Kids

After being diagnosed with a rare eye cancer, twelve-year-old Ross discovers how music, art, and true friends can help him survive both treatment and middle school.

Angie's picture

A cancer survivor himself, author Rob Harrell brings both honesty and humor to this comics-illustrated book. If you liked Cece Bell’s El Deafo -- like Cece, Ross imagines a superhero alter-ego to help him through the frustrating ups and downs of friendship. -Angie

The dearly beloved : a novel book cover
The dearly beloved : a novel book cover

The dearly beloved : a novel

Cara Wall

eBOOK
Fiction

"Set in the years 1950-1970 in a changing America and London, follow[s] two married couples - ministers and academics - whose intricate bonds of faith and friendship, jealousy and understanding, are tested by the birth of an autistic child"--

Mari's picture

Set in Civil Rights Era New York State, follows two couples through decades of love and friendship, jealousy and understanding, forgiveness and faith. James and Charles, two young ministers and their wives Nan and Lily, deal with their separate struggles in different ways, and at all times questioning their faith. The surprising friendship between the wives, one a devout, the other an atheist is challenged through their paths toward motherhood, and the birth of an autistic child at a time when little was known about autism. A slow read that really carefully examines the meaning of faith and hardship, that I ended up really enjoying. -Mari

Eldest book cover
Eldest book cover

Eldest

Christopher Paolini

eBOOK
Young Adult, Fantasy

After successfully evading an Urgals ambush, Eragon is adopted into the Ingeitum clan and sent to finish his training so he can further help the Varden in their struggle against the Empire.

Lauren's picture

Eragon’s epic adventure continues in this second book of the Inheritance series. Christopher Paolini consistently goes to great lengths to describe details of Eragon’s growth as a dragon rider, it amazes me how many events take place in the span of one book. In this book you see major character development, as Eragon and Saphira grow into their roles as legendary defenders of the empire. This book also adds in chapters from the perspectives of other characters like Roran and Nasuada, which effectively builds up the suspense throughout the storyline. As you read it’s obvious that a major battle is in Eragon’s future, but it remains to be seen if the outcome will save the empire from their brutal ruler, Galbatorix. -Lauren

Gregor the Overlander book cover
Gregor the Overlander book cover

Gregor the Overlander

Suzanne Collins

eBOOK
Kids

When eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving men, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy.

Becky's picture

Looking for a middle-grade fantasy adventure series? “Gregor the Overlander” follows Gregor and his adorable two-year-old sister as they fall through a grate and enter the world of the Underland. Gregor finds that the uneasy cohabitation of humans with large spiders, cockroaches and rats in the Underland has placed this world on the brink of war. Interwoven throughout this fast-paced narrative, Suzanne Collins allows the reader to explore issues of tolerance and loyalty. Well written and exciting—a great start to the Underland Chronicles series! -Becky

Dinner in French : my recipes by way of France book cover
Dinner in French : my recipes by way of France book cover

Dinner in French : my recipes by way of France

Melissa Clark

eBOOK
Cookbooks

"The new French classics in 150 recipes that reflect a modern yet distinctly French recipe canon, from New York Times star food writer Melissa Clark. Just as Dorie Greenspan brought Julia Child's recipes into the late 20th century, so Melissa Clark brings French cooking into the 21st century. Now, as one of the nation's favorite cookbook authors and food writers, Melissa updates classic French techniques and dishes to reflect how we cook, shop, and eat today"--

Anne M's picture

If you are spending more time in the kitchen and want to expand your cooking repertoire, check out Melissa Clark's new cookbook "Dinner in French." In her true fashion, Clark makes French cooking accessible. No intimidating cooking techniques or long lists of ingredients here. She also brings her own flavor profile, which I like to describe as bright, to these recipes. Just in time for spring, try "Dandelion Salad with Sweet Garlic Confit, Pancetta, and Blue Cheese" or "Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Tarragon Tart." Just want to look at beautiful pictures of delicious food and French food markets? This cookbook has those in abundance. -Anne M

The goose girl book cover
The goose girl book cover

The goose girl

Shannon Hale

eAUDIO
Kids

On her way to marry a prince she's never met, Princess Anidori is betrayed by her guards and her lady-in-waiting and must become a goose girl to survive until she can reveal her true identity and reclaim the crown that is rightfully hers.

Casey's picture

Readers will love cheering for Ani as she learns to take charge of her destiny in this nuanced and clever retelling of a classic fairytale. Though the first installment in the Books of Bayern Trilogy, Goose Girl is a fabulous standalone. I’m loving listening to the full cast audio recording for my reread! -Casey

The forgotten girl book cover
The forgotten girl book cover

The forgotten girl

India Hill Brown

eBOOK
Kids

When eleven-year-old Iris sneaks out at night to make snow angels, she was not expecting to raise the ghost of Avery Moore, a girl her own age; but bringing to light the segregated and abandoned black cemetery seems like the perfect way to help Avery get the recognition she craves, and it will also be a good idea for the school project about the history of her small North Carolina town, where racial tensions are never far from the surface--only it seems that if Avery gets everything she wants Iris will join her as a ghost, best friends forever.

Anne W's picture

Can they figure out what the ghost wants, and what her story is, before it’s too late? This is a classic ghost story that also teaches readers about systemic racism in the past and present. -Anne W

The inquisitor's tale, or, the three magical children and their holy dog book cover
The inquisitor's tale, or, the three magical children and their holy dog book cover

The inquisitor's tale, or, the three magical children and their holy dog

Adam Gidwitz

eBOOK
Kids

"A peasant girl and her holy greyhound, an oblate on a mission from his monastery, and a young Jewish boy travel across medieval France to escape persecution and save holy texts from being burned"--

Paul's picture

Recommended for upper elementary and above, for some content and word complexity. -Paul

Where the mountain meets the moon book cover
Where the mountain meets the moon book cover

Where the mountain meets the moon

Grace Lin

eBOOK
Kids

Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River.

Casey's picture

Believing the fantastic tales her father weaves every night, Minli sets out on a quest to change their family’s fortune. If you have yet to read Grace Lin’s Newbery Honor winning modern classic, now might be the perfect time to escape to Fruitless Mountain. -Casey

Such a fun age : a novel book cover
Such a fun age : a novel book cover

Such a fun age : a novel

Kiley Reid

eBOOK
Fiction

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains' toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store's security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right. But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix's desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix's past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other. With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone "family," the complicated reality of being a grown up, and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

Mari's picture

I quickly devoured this book, Reid’s writing is light and conversational and her keen observations of the world shine though. A white mother, Alix, is mortified when her babysitter, Emira, who happens to be black, is accused of kidnapping her toddler at a yuppie grocery store. We see through the two characters’s experiences a dark but funny exploration of privilege and the problematic nature of the white savior. -Mari

The strangers book cover
The strangers book cover

The strangers

Margaret Peterson Haddix

eBOOK
Kids

Told from separate viewpoints, Chess, Emma, and Finn Greystone, ages twelve, ten, and eight, investigate why their mother went missing and uncover their ties to an alternate world.

Angie's picture

This is the beginning of a new page-turning adventure that examines assumptions about identity, family, and home, from the master of middle grade suspense. -Angie

The Dutch house : a novel book cover
The Dutch house : a novel book cover

The Dutch house : a novel

Ann Patchett

eAUDIO

"Ann Patchett, the New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth and State of Wonder, returns with her most powerful novel to date: a richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go"--

Frannie's picture

When this book first came out some months ago I read it quickly, loved it, and more or less moved on. However, working from home my intake of audiobooks has gone way up and I thought it would be good to revisit so I could perhaps form a more nuanced opinion, and it did not disappoint! This rather depressing book involving the life and times of a brother sister duo who grew up in a house that seems cursed has some of the edges blunted when read by none other than Tom Hanks. Author Ann Patchett never lingers on tragedy too, which makes things a little easier to swallow. Also the main characters hold on to resentment and loss, but it isn't the force that drives them. Come for the story, stay for the beautiful descriptions of space! -Frannie

Staff Profiles

Angie's picture

Angie

Interests: Kids, Fiction, Early Readers, Picture Books, Board Books, Early Chapter Books, Graphic Novels, Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Chick Lit, True Crime, Cookbooks
Anne M's picture

Anne M

Interests: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Classics, Mystery, Nonfiction, History, Cookbooks, Crafts, Biographies, Gardening
Anne W's picture

Anne W

Interests: Fiction, Kids, Adventure, Dystopian, Historical Fiction, Early Chapter Books, Picture Books, Memoir, Self Help
Becky's picture

Becky

Interests: Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Classics, Nature, Kids
Beth's picture

Beth

Interests: Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Crafts, Gardening, Young Adult
Bond's picture

Bond

Interests: Suspense, Thriller, Humor, True Crime, Picture Books
Brent's picture

Brent

Interests: Humor, Mystery, Science, Nature, Science Fiction
Brian's picture

Brian

Interests: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mystery, LGBTQ+, Graphic Novels, Religion, Humor, Young Adult, Science
Callie's picture

Callie

Interests: Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Graphic Novels, True Crime, Literary Fiction
Candice's picture

Candice

Interests: History, Travel, Science, Nature, Cookbooks, Thriller, Suspense
Casey's picture

Casey

Interests: Picture Books, Board Books, Early Readers, Graphic Novels, Young Adult, Classics, Fantasy, Nature, LGBTQ+, Memoir, Humor, Horror, Crafts, Cookbooks, Gardening
Doug's picture

Doug

Interests: Memoir, Music, Cookbooks, Dystopian, Horror, Science Fiction, Short Story
Frannie's picture

Frannie

Interests: Graphic Novels, Memoir, Classics, Literary Fiction, Humor
Hanna's picture

Hanna

Interests: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopian, Classics, Self Help, LGBTQ+, Literary Fiction, Crafts, Music, Memoir, Poetry, Short Story
Heidi K's picture

Heidi K

Interests: Fiction, Memoir, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Classics, Fantasy, Short Story, History, Biographies, Philosophy, Poetry, Gardening, Graphic Novels
Jacy's picture

Jacy

Interests: Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, Cookbooks, Crafts, Young Adult, Short Story
Jason's picture

Jason

Interests: Fiction, Classics, Fantasy, Humor, Mystery, Nonfiction, Science, Short Story
Kara's picture

Kara

Interests: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Humor, Mystery, Memoir, Travel
Karen's picture

Karen

Interests: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Memoir, Health, Nature, Gardening, Cookbooks, Crafts, Picture Books, Short Story, Graphic Novels
Lauren's picture

Lauren

Interests: Kids, Fiction, Young Adult, Graphic Novels, Fantasy, Romance
Mari's picture

Mari

Interests: Graphic Novels, Picture Books, Crafts, Early Chapter Books, True Crime, Dystopian, Memoir, Historical Fiction, Suspense
Melody's picture

Melody

Interests: Fiction, Fantasy, Nonfiction, Cookbooks, Health, Poetry
Paul's picture

Paul

Interests: Science Fiction, Classics, Picture Books, History, Technology, Gardening, Graphic Novels, Short Story
Shawna's picture

Shawna

Interests: Horror, Suspense, Thriller, True Crime, Crafts, Cookbooks, Gardening, History, Biographies
Stacey's picture

Stacey

Interests: Humor, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novels, Crafts, Philosophy, Poetry, Nonfiction
Tom's picture

Tom

Interests: Humor, Health, History, Philosophy, Science, Sports