Book Recommendations

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Book Bundles

Wondering what to read next?
You tell us what you love. We pick your next read.

Fill out the form below, and a library staff member will hand-select five to ten books catered to your interests. We’ll get them ready for you and library staff will notify you when your items are ready for pickup. They will be on the hold shelves.

Book Bundle Request Form

Book Recommendations from the Youth Department staff!

If you’re stuck in a reading rut or want to find a new favorite book, check out what our staff recommends!

October 2021

Aimee’s picture book of the month is Trick or Treat, Crankenstein by Samantha Berger.  “A boy who looks ordinary transforms into grumbling Crankenstein when he receives more tricks than treats on Halloween.
Cinderella Skeleton by Robert San Souci- A rhyming retelling of the story of a young woman who finds her prince at a Halloween ball despite the efforts of her wicked stepmother. The main characters are skeletons. (Beautiful artwork)”–Aimee

Aimee recommends two fiction novels this month:

Here Lies Linc by Delia Ray – “While researching a rumored-to-be-haunted grave for a local history project, twelve-year-old Lincoln Crenshaw unearths some startling truths about his own family.”–Aimee

A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano – “Bright, imaginative, eleven-year-old Pram lives with two aunts who run a retirement home, hiding the fact that she can talk with ghosts–but not the spirit of her mother–and after befriending Clarence, who also lost his mother, she decides to find her father in hopes he can answer her questions.”–Aimee

Anastasia’s picture book pick of the month is The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Jon Klassen. “What if you talked to the dark and the dark talked back? This beautifully written and illustrated book seems like it could be fairly simple and straightforward at first glance, but it has complexity that will keep readers of all ages entertained (and maybe even a bit creeped out).”-Anastasia

Anastasia’s Early Reader pick of the month is Ghoulia by Barbara Cantini. “A lonely young zombie named Ghoulia lives in a big creepy house with an assortment of strange friends and relatives. This heartwarming tale of friendship and the importance of being yourself is accompanied by ghoulishly witty and detailed illustrations and ideas for fun activities.” –Anastasia

Anastasia’s middle-grade pick of the month is Thirteens (The Secrets of Eden Eld) by Kate Alice Marshall. “Eden Eld is a seemingly “perfect” town with a very dark secret: every thirteen years three thirteen-year-olds disappear. With its eerie atmospheric writing, lovable characters, and enticing mysteries, this book is a perfect October read!”–Anastasia

Bry’s picture book pick of the month is Monsters 101 by Cale Atkinson. “You are cordially invited to join the world’s top monster scientists as they debunk the many myths and misconceptions surrounding the world’s frighteningly misunderstood monsters.”-Bry

Bry’s middle-grade pick of the month is The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright – “Everybody knows that toys can’t move by themselves … or can they? That’s what Amy begins to wonder when she uncovers an old dollhouse in her great-grandparents’ attic. Every night, Amy checks on the dollhouse and the dolls inside, but they’re never in the same place that she left them. The dollhouse, replicated to look exactly like the house it’s been found in, used to belong to Amy’s aunt Claire, and its reappearance has brought up painful memories Claire had tried to leave in the past. In a house filled with mysteries and unspoken secrets, the dollhouse and the dolls inside of it begin to unravel unsolved murders and dig up events and emotions that were thought to be buried years ago.”-Bry

Chelsea’s picture book pick of the month is Zombie in Love by Kelly DiPucchio. “A lonely zombie just wants to find love but will he find someone to share his heart?”–Chelsea

Chelsea’s middle-grade pick of the month is Elizabeth and Zenobia by Jessica Miller. “When Elizabeth moves into her father’s family home, a creepy old mansion called Witheringe House, she learns she had an aunt who vanished years ago. Soon Elizabeth realizes that something very menacing is going on within the house’s dark and empty rooms.”–Chelsea

Katie’s picture book pick of the month is Pumpkin Eye by Denise Fleming. “This book’s short rhyming text is perfect for little ones. It’s bold illustrations will keep their attention and put you all in the Halloween spirit.”–Katie

Katie’s middle-grade pick of the month is  A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz. “This twisted fairy tale is not for the faint of heart!! Follow Hansel and Gretel through some wild and scary adventures as they come up against many foes, such as witches, dragons, and even the devil himself!”–Katie

September 2021

Bekah’s picture book pick of the month is The Rice in the Pot Goes Round and Round by Wendy Wan-Long Shang. “I’m a huge fan of books that can be put to song, which automatically makes this one of my favorite new releases. Set during a family dinner, we are shown how food and traditions bring family together.” –Bekah

Bekah’s middle-grade pick of the month is Eva Evergreen: Semi-Magical Witch by Julie Abe.  “In this novel, the young heroine Eva must set out on a journey to prove herself as a novice witch– reminiscent of Kiki’s Delivery Service. Eva must locate a town without a witch and help them for one moon, but when the town Eva has chosen comes under a dangerous threat, what can a semi-magical witch repair witch do? Eva Evergreen: Semi-Magical Witch will take readers on a heartwarming journey full of laughter, magic, determination, friendship, and love. The sequel Eva Evergreen and the Cursed Witch just recently came out, and it is equally delightful.”-Bekah

Bry’s picture book pick of the month is Love by Corrinne Averiss, illustrated by Kirsti Beautyman. “It can be very difficult to be away from people that you love. In Tess’ house, everyone loves everyone, but everyone can’t come with Tess when she starts school. Tess worries that the love won’t be able to stretch far enough when she is away at school. This emotional and uplifting story addresses the tough topic of separation anxiety in a gentle way that will leave readers feeling reassured and comforted. This story is a beautiful reminder that love is a tie that binds. Love “may stretch and tangle, but it will never truly break.”–Bry

Bry’s middle-grade book pick of the month is The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. “The only world ten-year-old Ada has ever known is the one-room apartment she shares with her mother and brother, Jamie. Because of her twisted foot, Ada’s mother has never allowed her to leave, but In 1940 London, when Jamie and other children are sent to the countryside to escape war, Ada takes the chance to escape her mother and flee with Jamie. Ada and Jamie are placed in the care of Susan Smith, and during their time together, each of them learns how to overcome the pain of past traumas. Ada’s unforgettable, powerful story is told in a beautifully honest way, and if you’re at all like me, it will claim a special place in your heart for years to come.”–Bry
Chelsea middle-grade series of the month the Wayside School books by Louis Sachar. “So enjoyable and perfect for back-to-school time.”- Chelsea
Katie’s picture book recommendation this month is I Promise by LeBron James and illustrated by Nina Mata. “Inspired by LeBron’s I Promise school, this book is perfect to read at the start of the school year. It is full of helpful affirmations that will set your child up for a great school year. The bright, bold illustrations help to show what a great school year can look like. Check it out later for a helpful “tune up” as the school year goes on.”-Katie
Katie’s middle-grade recommendation of the month is Glitter Gets Everywhere by Yvette Clark. “This lovely book about grief follows Kitty and her family after her mother dies of cancer. Kitty’s father gets an opportunity to temporarily work in New York City, so her sister, her father, and Kitty move from their home in London to New York City. There are some sad parts in the book, but overall it is a good story and worth a few tears. Highly recommend listening to the audiobook, because the accents are fun to listen to.”–Katie

August 2021

Anastasia’s picture book pick of the month is Meesha Makes Friends by Tom Percival. “This beautifully illustrated and heartwarming story is perfect for children who struggle with making friends and find socializing overwhelming.” -Anastasia

Anastasia’s middle-grade book pick of the month is Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling. “This unique novel empathetically blends difficult and sensitive topics with humor and wit. It’s a great read for the start of a new school year as the main character is adjusting to middle school and life in a new state, where her being born armless presents many challenges.” -Anastasia

Ayoko’s picture book pick of the month is My name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins Bigelow. “A beautiful story of embracing who you are and how to share your name with the world. Some names are infused with fire, some must be spoken from the heart, and all names should be sung. This is a perfect back-to-school read for everyone learning to take pride in the link between who you are and what you are called.”–Ayoko

That Thing About Bollywood Cover Art: Indian girl dancing

Bekah’s middle-grade pick of the month is That Thing About Bollywood by Supriya Kelkar. “Sonali has a hard time remembering a time when her parents didn’t argue, but she does remember their reactions when she presented a PowerPoint Presentation to them (and their extended family) about why parents shouldn’t argue. Since that day, Sonali has pretended that she is fine, her parents are fine, everything is fine, but when she finds out her parents are getting a divorce, she can no longer suppress her emotions. Bollywooditis takes over, and she begins to sing every time she gets emotional. Can Sonali find a way to stop singing? I loved how this book covered hard topics, like changing family and friend dynamics,  but made them more approachable through Bollywoodesque song and dance.”–Bekah

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Bry’s picture book pick of the month is My First Day by Phung Nguyen Quang. “This is a visually stunning book that takes readers with a young boy on his journey traveling along the Mekong River to get to his first day of school.”–BryMy First Day Cover Art

Katie’s middle-grade audiobook pick of the month is Clean Getaway by Nic Stone. “William, or Scoob as he likes to be called, is excited to get out of lockdown and go on an adventurous road trip with his G’ma, but things are not as they appear. The farther they drive, the more Scoob learns more about the country’s and his family’s past, but perhaps it was a mistake to leave home.”-Katie

Katie’s middle-grade pick of the month is Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan. “Amina is a Pakistani-American Muslim girl who is struggling to stay true to her culture but also wants to fit in with her American classmates. Her mosque gets vandalized and her friend is thinking about changing her name to a more American name. Does Amina need to change who she is to fit in?”-Katie

July 2021

Bekah’s picture book pick of the month is The Little Blue Bridge by  Brenda Maier. “I loved ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ when I was little, and this is a great reimagining of it that blends girl power and STEM”.–Bekah

Bekah’s middle-grade pick of the month is The Moorchild by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. “This is an oldie but a goodie. Steeped in Scottish folklore, The Moorchild explores what happens when a changeling discovers what it is and goes on a journey to the faerie court to steal back her parents’ biological child. This story packs an emotional punch, and I recommend it to those who love tales of the fae and historical fiction.”–Bekah

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Bry’s picture book pick of the month is Ruby’s Reunion Day Dinner written by Angela Dalton & illustrated by Jestenia Southerland.  “A book bursting with the joys of food and family, readers are invited to Ruby’s family reunion where you can find mouth-watering soul food and loving conversation. Come along with Ruby as she tries to find the perfect, special dish to bring to her family’s table!”–Bry

Bry’s middle-grade book pick of the month is Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy by Emmanuel Acho. “A very enlightening and impactful read! Acho approaches what can feel like uncomfortable or complex topics, and he creates a welcoming learning environment for all, breaking down each topic in a very understandable and unique way. This is a very timely book that a person of any age could learn from.”–Bry
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Katie’s picture book recommendation for the month is Lifesize by Sophy Henn. “In this book se
e animals lifesize! Compare your hand to a polar bear’s paw. Hold the book over your head to see what you’d look like with kangaroo’s ears. This book is full of fun while learning about different animals.”–Katie

Zoe in Wonderland Cover

 

Katie’s middle-grade book/audiobook of the month is Zoe in Wonderland by Brenda Woods, narrated by Sisi Aisha Johnson. “Meet Zoe, whose family owns an exotic plant wonderland but thinks her real life is boring. Until one day an astronomer from Madagascar arrives and starts Zoe looking for real-life adventures. This audiobook will be great for summer road trips!”–Katie