Staff Recommendations

April 2020 - Part 2

Unknown Valor by Martha Maccallum

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In honor of the 75th anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima, Martha Maccallum starts with Pearl Harbor and takes readers through the progression of World War II as it was fought in the Pacific. She introduces several of the young men, including her mother’s teenage cousin, who enlisted, were in basic training together and were shipped out to the Pacific theater as Marines. The book is well-researched and detailed while doing a good job of capturing the personal stories of these young Marines and the families who loved them. ~Nancy Arevalo~


The Stand by Stephen King

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If you are anxious about the Coronavirus and “exposure therapy” is your thing, then I highly recommend this 1978 epic horror classic about the accidental release of a weaponized super-flu virus that wipes out the majority of the human race. If that isn’t scary enough, those who survive the pandemic to rebuild this post-apocalyptic world are threatened by a demonic entity which is forcing the ultimate showdown between good and evil. One of Kings early novels, this is still considered by many – including me - to be his best work. The uncut new edition that was published in 1990 weighs in at a whopping 1152 pages, each one of them a fast turner. ~Shannon McKeown~


As Time Goes By: The Complete Seasons 1-9

As time Goes By Opens in new windowThis sweet little British sitcom, which originally ran from 1993-2005, is about finding a second chance at love. Jean Pargetter (played by Judi Dench) and Lionel Hardcastle (played by the gruffly loveable Geoffrey Palmer) met in 1953 and fell quickly in love before Lionel was shipped off to Korea. After a letter goes astray, Jean mistakenly thinks that Lionel has lost interest in her and stubbornly chooses to move on rather than seek him out. 38 years later, Lionel is writing his memoirs and hires a typist from an agency that is owned by Jean. In the years they’ve been apart, Lionel has since married and gotten divorced and Jean has been widowed. Their reunion is full of awkward moments and misunderstandings, but eventually their love is rekindled and they pick up where they left off. Jean and Lionel navigate their old-but-new relationship with the encouragement of Judith, Jean’s adult daughter, and Alistair, Lionel’s smooth talking publisher-turned-confidant. This heartwarming series is the perfect remedy for days fueled by anxiety. ~Rachael Fealy-Layer~ 

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

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This would have been a frustrating read under normal circumstances, but to read it in 2020 is frustration baked with perspective and sadness. Matthew Desmond spent a long time researching this book, in the field and out, and the result is a portrait that explores humanity and humility from all sides. There are no good people or bad people in Evicted. There are only those who try to survive (with whom you’ll feel equal parts sympathy and apathy) and those whose living is made renting to these folks. This is an unforgettable book that literally hits close to home; a gut-wrenching window into a misunderstood epidemic with no end in sight. These are our neighbors. ~Noah Weckwerth~


Frankly in Love: A Novel by David Yoon

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It is Frank Li’s senior year of high school and his life is getting complicated. His parents immigrated from Korea before he was born but have never fully integrated into American life. Frank feels torn between wanting to honor his parents and wanting to be an all-American teen. This becomes a big problem when his white classmate, Brit, shows interest in him and they start dating in secret. Frank’s parents will not allow him to date someone who is not Korean, so as a cover, he begins fake-dating his Korean friend, Joy. Joy is also secretly dating someone who is not Korean, so they begin a complicated strategy for getting what they want while fooling their parents and the people they are actually dating. What could go wrong? While this may sound like just a light teenage romance, it is actually much more. Frank is a very reflective narrator who gives the reader much to think about on the subject of immigrants in America. Why did his parents come to America if they want to stay completely Korean? How can he process the racism he has experienced as well as the racist comments he hears his parents make? Is there a point where he can no longer honor his parents’ rules? And is it possible for families to change? This humorous, engaging debut novel is recommended for ages 16 and up. ~Sue Daniels~

Hidden Figures (DVD)

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Watching this movie with an avowed space addict was quite the experience. As much as my husband knows about NASA and the space program, even the early years, many “hidden” things came to light. The first computers used in calculating trajectories and other data were a roomful of African-American women. Remember this is Virginia in the early 60’s and segregation is in full swing as the law of the state. This is the story of three extremely brilliant women who through grace and determination bucked that trend. The prejudice and demeaning behavior of some of the scientists at that time was both sad and hard to understand. My favorite line was one of the main character’s response to a white woman who said she really didn’t mean any harm, but this is just the way it has always been, I bet you don’t. Until we walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, their life is impossible to understand. Wonderful movie about amazing women. Even the credits are powerful. ~Sharon Passick~

Where the Wind Leads: A Refugee Family’s Miraculous Story of Loss, Rescue and Redemption by Vinh Chung

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Not a new book, I had seen this book circulated within the library system for years and finally got around to reading it when traveling (before the shutdown.) I saw it was available on "Libby" the app for Overdrive, the Wisconsin Digital Library system, so I could read it on my phone in the plane and then finish it by checking out the actual book when I got home. It is the true story of a family living in Viet Nam before it fell to the Communists, and their desperate escape by boat in 1979. The experiences of Vinh Chung and his family are, at the same time, both harrowing and uplifting. ~Nancy Arevalo~


Genesis Begins Again by Alicia Williams

Genesis Begins Again

Life is complicated for Genesis Anderson. Her parents are fighting, they have been evicted again, her grandmother is always making things worse, and she has to start a new school again. Genesis keeps track of all this on her list of 100 reasons why she hates herself. Her top reason is her skin is too black. If it was lighter, like her Mama’s, her father would love her and she would have friends. Williams debut book addresses tough issues of colorism, alcoholism, bullying, and self-esteem with honesty and hope. Genesis finds her strength and begins to accept and even like herself. This middle grade novel is a great read and relatable to anyone who has struggled with acceptance from within and with others. A 2020 Newberry Honor Book and Coretta Scott King John Steptoe Award for New Talent. ~Sharon Long~

April 2020 - Part 1

When Life Gives You Pears by Jeannie Gaffigan

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Since Jeannie is a comedy writer as well as the wife of stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, she has the unique ability to humorously describe her own experience with a life-threatening brain tumor. Diagnosed in 2017 with the pear-sized tumor, she undergoes surgery and a long hospitalization while Jim, her Milwaukee parents and her eight siblings step in to care for their five children in their New York City apartment. She writes a deeply personal story of faith, family and recovery. (On a lighter note, the Gaffigan family is now offering some humor during this lock-down by way of You Tube episodes called "Dinner with the Gaffigans," an impromptu invitation to their nightly suppers shared in their New York City apartment.) ~Nancy Arevalo~


Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Stamped

Why is America a racist place and how do we change it? Reynolds and Kendi address this huge question by tracing the history of discrimination against Black people in America over the last half-millennium. Reynolds spends more time on some political movements, ideas and notable figures than others, but he finds plenty of blame to go around. Fortunately, he also believes that there is reason for hope. Written in Reynolds recognizable, active voice, it is easy to imagine much of the text as a spoken word presentation. He emphatically states that this work is not a history book, but rather a rallying cry for young people to examine their ideas about race, where those ideas come from and whether they are true. This book will inspire some readers and irritate others, but it is impossible to feel indifferent to it. Described as a remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Kendi, this version is for younger readers. Recommended for grades 7 and up. ~Sue Daniels~

Richard Jewell (DVD)

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If you think the media has a reputation now as perpetrators of justice before due process, take a trip back to ’96. The Atlanta Summer Olympics, crown jewel (pun intended) of the 1996 TV schedule, are marred just days into the games when a bomb goes off in Centennial Park, where revelers had gathered for live music and celebration. Two died and more than 100 were injured as a result of the bombing. However, it would have been many more if not for the heroism of park security guard Richard Jewell, who spotted the suspicious package and acted swiftly. But his discerning eye, dutiful nature, and colorful background also made him an easy suspect, lack of evidence be damned. In this film, Clint Eastwood directs the story of Richard Jewell and his fraught ordeal, a somber reminder of media responsibility and its substantial impact. ~Noah Weckwerth~

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

My Dark Vanessa

In the year 2000, 15-year-old loner Vanessa is starting her sophomore year at a boarding school in Maine. Determined to add an extracurricular activity to her resume, she joins the creative writing club and catches the eye of her English literature teacher, 42 year-old Jacob Strane. He makes quick work of wooing her, and before long they are engaged in a clandestine sexual relationship. Fast forward to the year 2017 and #MeToo is bringing powerful men who’ve abused women to the forefront. Another student from the same boarding school Vanessa attended has accused Strane of having a similarly inappropriate relationship with her. Vanessa is contacted not only by this other student, but by a journalist as well, which forces her to reevaluate her entire relationship with the man she considered to be her first, great love. My Dark Vanessa is a powerful look into the long-term effects of sexual abuse from the complicated perspective of the victim. ~Rachael Fealy-Layer~

The Oysterville Sewing Circle by Susan Wiggs

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What happens when you are from a small town in Washington and have ambitions to become a famous fashion designer? Always seen as the misfit in a loving family of five, Caroline finally was able to take her talent to New York. But life doesn’t always work out like it should. The tragic death of her fashion model friend left Caroline with the guardianship of her two young children. Never having wanted children Caroline comes back to Oysterville to start life over again. With the support of her family, she helps the children cope with the death of their mother and she creates a group to assist women who are affected by domestic violence. The Oysterville Sewing Circle is not only a support group but it also becomes a way for Caroline to restart her fashion career and provide jobs for many of these women. Life isn’t easy, but her summer friend from childhood is now living in Oysterville, married to her best friend from school. As usual, life takes some unexpected turns. Great story about the power of women working together. ~Sharon Passick~

Octopus: Making Contact (DVD)

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Several years ago I reviewed the wonderful book The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery, a fantastic peek into the world of the extraordinary and otherworldly creature that we are only beginning to understand. This mind-blowing episode of Nature on PBS takes it one step further as Dr. David Scheel, a professor of marine biology at Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage observes an octopus in a large aquarium in his home. Watch as “Heidi” changes colors, solves problems, plays games, recognizes faces and even develops a relationship with Scheel’s teenaged daughter as they witness and document the incredible capabilities and behaviors of this intelligent cephalopod. ~Shannon McKeown~


The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

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An old brownstone townhouse on 141st Street in Harlem, New York City, is home to the Vanderbeeker family. They have lived here for as long as any of the kids can remember so it comes as a shock when their parents tell them that their landlord, Mr. Beiderman, will not renew their lease and they have to move by the end of the year which is ten days away. Since they are out of school for Christmas vacation, the five siblings launch a campaign to persuade Mr. Beiderman to let them stay. At first they hope to win him over with kindness but Mr. Beiderman is both reclusive and unfriendly and the children have a daunting task. Add in a colorful cast of neighborhood friends, both children and adults, an assortment of family pets, and the usual shenanigans that go on in a large, active family and you have this funny, heart-warming tale that is the first in a series. Fans of The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall will enjoy getting to know the Vanderbeekers. Recommended for grades 4-7. Available on Hoopla and Overdrive. ~Sue Daniels~

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

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Amid Knives Out fandom and COVID-19 panic, a good old-fashioned murder mystery is a welcome ticket to escapism! Here I could tell you all this book is about, lest it’s already there in the title. Needless to say, it’s a classic British mystery: quaint village, plenty of suspects with various motives, and a quirky, mustachioed genius of a detective, slowly ferreting out the truth. This was my first Agatha Christie mystery, and I can say it makes a great entry point for anyone who has yet to read her. An enjoyable puzzle indeed! ~Noah Weckwerth~


A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata

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World War II has just ended and Hanako is traveling to Japan with her parents and younger brother to live with her grandparents. Her parents have renounced their American citizenship, an offer they felt they could not refuse following years living in Japanese internment camps. Hanako’s grandparents are tenant farmers outside of Hiroshima and have offered to share their small home with Hanako’s family while her father looks for work. Kadohata’s middle grade novel tells a story rich with human spirit, but also the realities of the devastation of post-World War II Japan and the plight Japanese-Americans. Hanako is resilient and in some ways is mature beyond her years. Yet, she still finds her little brother annoying and worries about fitting in and making new friends at school. Despite some of the heavy themes, this is an uplifting read with likeable characters and told from a unique perspective. ~Sharon Long~

March 2020

Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict

undefined Opens in new windowIn the wake of the potato famine in Ireland, Clara Kelly is sent to America by her father to earn money for the family. After a difficult ocean passing, Clara finds herself in a lucky spot of mistaken identity that leads to her employment as a lady’s maid to Margaret Carnegie, a position she retains through wit and perseverance.  Clara’s position isolates her from other house staff. When her mistress’ son, Andrew, strikes up a conversation with her, Clara is eager to have someone to talk to. Not surprising, Andrew and Clara develop feelings for each other. Clara is conflicted about the “lie” she is living and her duties to her family in Ireland. It is Andrew’s relationship with Clara that is the catalyst turning him from a cunning businessman into a generous philanthropist. Of note, while Clara Kelly is a fictional character, many historians believe it was a romantic involvement that lead to Andrew Carnegie’s rapid transformation. Fans of Downton Abbey will greatly enjoy this book. ~Sharon Long~ 

Jojo Rabbit (DVD)

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Oscar winner for the Best Adapted Screenplay, Jojo Rabbit is equal parts black comedy and serious drama. Johannes “Jojo” Betzler desperately wants to be a member of Hitler’s private army, but when the older kids at his Hitler Youth training camp order him to kill a rabbit, he refuses, earning him the nickname Jojo Rabbit. After a botched attempt to prove his manhood leaves him scarred and crippled, Jojo finds that the only way he can serve his country is to distribute propaganda. One day when he is at home alone, he investigates a noise coming from late sister’s bedroom and discovers his mother has hidden a teenage Jewish girl named Elsa in the wall of their house. With encouragement from his imaginary friend, an over-the-top version of Adolf Hitler (played by director/screenwriter Taika Waititi), Jojo decides to interview her in an attempt to collect information that will help Germany’s cause. However, the more he gets to know Elsa, and the more erratic and angry his imaginary Hitler becomes, the more he questions his beliefs. Ultimately, a tragic incident forces Jojo to confront the horrifying realities of Nazi Germany and learn that playing war is not the same as living it. ~Rachael Fealy-Layer~  

Under Currents by Nora Roberts

Under Currents Opens in new window Under a veneer of family perfection, Zane and his younger sister know otherwise. But one fateful night that veneer is peeled away. Eighteen years later Zane returns to his hometown to reconnect with the people and the place that meant so much to him as he was growing up. He meets Darby, a gifted landscaper who has a past and secrets of her own. Can they surmount issues and dangers that crop up in their current lives? Nora Roberts tackles a sensitive topic and handles it with grace and love. ~Sharon Passick~ 



Emmy in the Key of Code by Aimee Lucido

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Emmy is longing for belonging. Her family has just moved to San Francisco from Wisconsin so she is the new kid in a new place. She is also the only child in a family of musicians and while she loves music, she’s not a gifted musician like her parents. Emmy ends up in a computer coding class at school and realizes that most of what she loves about music transfers to coding and she’s good at it! With a possible new best friend and a teacher who inspires her, life begins to look better. But will it stay that way? This novel is written in verse with liberal use of coding terms and formatting. Recommended for students in grades 4-6 who want to sample coding along with Emmy. ~Sue Daniels~


Harriet (DVD)

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While Harriet Tubman may be a prominent historical figure, this is the first feature film to be made about her life. This is the extraordinary tale of her escape from slavery and her transformation into an American hero. In 1849, at age 27, she escapes from a slave owner on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, in Maryland. After tasting freedom in Philadelphia, she secretly returns to the Eastern Shore to rescue family members and carries out as many as 13 similar missions over the next 11 years. I thought the movie was beautifully made, suspenseful, and the acting was excellent. In 2018, I visited a new museum on the Eastern Shore called the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, built near Harriet’s birthplace. I was impressed that, in her lifetime, she led over 70 enslaved individuals from Maryland to freedom in the North as an operator on the underground railroad. She also served as a nurse and spy during the civil war, fought for women’s rights, and eventually made a home for her aging parents in upstate New York. You may not want to make the drive to the museum in her honor, so just check out the DVD to gain a whole new appreciation of Harriet Tubman, whose life changed the course of American history. ~Nancy Arevalo~

Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow

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Ronan Farrow is as famous for his exposé of systemic sexual abuse in the news and entertainment industries as he is for his well-known pedigree as the son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen… and brother of Dylan Farrow, who has brought charges of sexual abuse against their father. No ordinary journalist, he was a college graduate at age 15, then earned his law degree at Yale before continuing his education at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. His article in The New Yorker, which lead to the downfall of Harvey Weinstein and reignited the #MeTo movement, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. This book is the factual and detailed account of his efforts to navigate a labyrinth masquerading as a maze of dead ends and ominous threats; a tapestry with threads that once pulled, proved to be connected to not only Weinstein, but ultimately to Matt Lauer and NBC, the other major news outlets, the National Enquirer and multi-national spy organizations as well as both candidates for president in 2016. It’s hair-raising stuff, full of complex and harrowing accounts, often disturbing, but courageously told. NOTE: the audio book is narrated by the author, and is a superb and compelling presentation. ~Shannon McKeown~ 

Lovely War by Julie Berry

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This YA novel has great crossover appeal for lovers of historical fiction and magical realism. The story is framed by a World War II update on the Greek myth involving Hephaestus’s plot to use a gold mesh net to catch his wife Aphrodite with her lover Ares. Once caught, Aphrodite sets out to exonerate herself by telling a story that proves that the men in her life truly know nothing about love. She jumps back to World War I to narrate the story of four interwoven lives: Hazel, a naive British pianist; James, a soldier heading to the front; Colette, a jazz singer who’s suffered loss; and Aubrey, a musician with the infantry band. James and Hazel meet at a parish dance and fall instantly in love shorty before he has to report for duty. Wanting to be of use, Hazel volunteers with the YMCA, where she meets fellow musicians Colette and Aubrey. Aubrey is instantly smitten with Colette, but has the war taken too much from her for her to ever open her heart again? As Aphrodite continues to tell their tale, the strength of love and friendship endures while the monstrosity of war leaves scars both physical and mental. I’ll confess that this novel has a bit of a slow start, but I promise that if you stick with it, you won’t regret it. ~Rachael Fealy-Layer~

Wild Berries written and illustrated by Julie Flett

Wild Berries

In this simple story, Clarence and his grandma share an afternoon picking blueberries. As we tag along with them, we learn a little bit of the Cree language because every page contains both the English word and the Cree word for their activities. Notes at the back include an explanation of the language and a pronunciation guide, as well as a recipe for blueberry jam. Picture book recommended for one-on-one sharing. ~Sue Daniels


February 2020

Parasite = Kisaengch’ung (DVD)

undefined Opens in new windowOut of curiosity, I saw this picture with no knowledge of what was about other than this: it’s a Korean movie with English subtitles concerning a wealthy family and the lower income people who work for them; a cultural class-warfare conflict kind of thing. So why did this unlikely foreign film win the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year? No one who saw it will doubt the reason why and to describe it further would ruin the myriad of surprises in a multi-layered prism of twists and turns that make this original and profound examination of social inequity one of the most unexpected masterpieces in film history. ~Shannon McKeown~


The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

A thoughtful story of faith and doubt, hope and disappointment, friendship and marriage. The Dearly Beloved follows two couples who meet when the husbands are hired to co-pastor a historic church in New York City during the 1960’s. The novel traces the course of their lives before and after they intersect. Given that the wives are polar opposites; the relationships are strained from the start. The four main characters are forced to grapple with challenging circumstances in an era of rapid social change. Their personal histories continue to shape who they are, the decisions they make and their degree of connection with each other and the church. In spite of their differences, the husbands find a way to lead the church for forty years, and deep bonds are formed between the two couples. It’s a beautifully written tale and the author’s prose makes the it all the more compelling. It’s an example of character-driven fiction, and the people seemed so real that I wondered how they were doing when I put the book down. The Dearly Beloved is an exceptional debut novel and I think it would generate lively discussion for a book group. ~Nancy Arevalo~

Fading Ads of Milwaukee by Adam Levin

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Moderator of the nostalgic Facebook group Old Milwaukee, Adam Levin’s photographic quest to capture the “ghost signs” still remaining on brick walls, doors and old billboards throughout the city before they completely vanish from existence has been compiled into this poignant and addictive picture book. From Sealtest Ice Cream to Gettelman Beer and complete with historical descriptions and context, these once large and bright ads which once were such a large part of the landscape are sometimes all that remain of the breweries, pharmacies, dairies and businesses that built the Cream City. ~Shannon McKeown~


Descent by Tim Johnston

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I cannot say enough good things about this book. There is a blurb on the back cover that mentions the word “astonishing,” and I think that sums it up pretty well. In essence, Descent is about a missing 18-year-old girl, and the fractured family grieving her disappearance. At its core, it’s a suspenseful thriller (and believe me when I say that there are scenes that are literally pulse-pounding). I did not even know that was possible!

Beyond the heart-racing nature of the story, Descent is also very literary, which richly drawn, authentic characters who all carry their own secrets and grief, and visually descriptive settings from the mountains of Colorado to the outskirts of Omaha that feel within one’s own grasp. Moving through the experiences of the members of the Courtland family is incredibly sad, and the complex supporting characters they encounter reflect the moral diversity of world we live in. The plot moves at different speeds throughout the book, with fruitful tangents and a breakneck conclusion that will swell your heart. For a book that describes itself as a thriller, the writing is incredibly good, making Descent a truly bountiful reading experience. Highly recommended! ~Noah Weckwerth~

At the end of January, the American Library Association announced its Youth Media Award winners for 2020. In general, authors and illustrators were rewarded for creating high quality books with diverse characters or settings across all categories. Here are some of the winners:

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature: 

New Kid written and illustrated by Jerry Craft. 

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This graphic book tells the story of Jordan who is one of the new kids at a private middle school where most of the students are from wealthy families and Jordan is not. He is also one of the few African American students. Jordan learns that preconceptions about people can be wrong and we are all unique, which leads him to make friends with some unexpected people. This is a very humorous story that is both entertaining and a good discussion starter. Highly recommended for grades 5 and up. 



Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children: 

The Undefeated illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Kwame Alexander. 

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This picture book is based on a poem that was originally performed for ESPN’s “The Undefeated” in 2016 with the purpose of celebrating black heroes. Illustrator Nelson also received the Coretta Scott King Illustrator award for this book.



Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for the most distinguished informational book for children: 

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story written by Kevin Noble Maillard, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal. 

Fry Bread

Picture books have become a popular format for informational books for children because they can be enjoyed on two levels. The first part of the book is a beautifully illustrated story about a family cooking together and sharing their traditions. The text is minimal but there are significant details in the illustrations that add to the story’s informational value. At the end, there are detailed notes about the history of fry bread in the author’s family as well as the history of Native Americans in general. This is where the many details in the illustrations are explained and you will find yourself flipping back and forth trying to locate and understand each one. ~Sue Daniels~

The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews

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What does an eccentric 99-year-old heiress want with the services of a single mom lawyer who is struggling to keep her small (read: one person) firm going? The eccentric turns out to be Josephine Bettendorf Warrick, who owns a 20,000-acre barrier island called Talisa. The lawyer, Brooke Trappnell is intrigued enough to travel to the island a few times to determine what the all-so-important legal matter happens to be.

Brooke learns there are two things in Josephine’s life she wants to accomplish in whatever time she has left: first to protect her island from those who would like to develop it into something Josephine and her husband worked their entire lives to prevent, and second to help her make amends with the heirs of her closest friends, also known as the High Tide Club.

Mystery, romance, intrigue, and a complex look at life in the 40’s and beyond make this a delightful read. Many issues to think about including love, greed and scandal of all kinds. ~Sharon Passick~

Honeyland (DVD)

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This Academy Award nominated documentary from Macedonia is a quiet film that will take you by surprise. Hatidze is a beekeeper in a remote part of the country (it’s a four hour walk to the capital city). She practices an old world style of beekeeping and takes care of her ill mother. When a nomadic family sets up camp right next to her, Hatidze’s initial excitement about having neighbors is replaced by exasperation and sadness at the family’s selfish and wasteful practices. This gorgeously shot film is a thougthful rumination on a myriad of anthropological, enviromental, and economical issues. ~Noah Weckwerth~


January 2020

Death in Focus: an Elena Standish novel by Anne Perry