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All of this month’s suggestions come from summer reading 2021 reviews! You can write reviews in Beanstack, too, and be published in upcoming newsletters! Year-round, we also accept suggestions to Bastrop readers at email@example.com.
Santos R., 4.5 years old
Noisy Night by Mac Barnett
Great book for beginner readers and those learning to talk! Together, we practiced making sounds and moving our lips and tongue. We learned new words and really took our time viewing the amazing illustrations, too.
Find it: E Bar
Lydia H., 8 years old
Snow White Lucks Out by Joan Holub
My favorite part was when her Step-mom, the Evil Witch, gave her a new pair of sneakers because her laces broke and she fell back into a bush. It was silly. ??
Find it: JF Hol
Rebekah M., 12.5 years old
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
After reading the Percy Jackson series, I decided to give the Kane Chronicles a try. I absolutely loved this first one. It switches from the point of view of Carter and Sadie, which at times can be a bit tricky and confusing, but I still give it a 10/10.
Find it: JF Rio + Libby ebooks
Cheryl B., adult
When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain
I never read crime dramas/mystery/thrillers. But this really kept my attention. Great writing!
Find it: MYS McL + CD Book F McL + Libby ebooks
Isabel F., adult
Dark Horses by Susan Mihalic
Dark Horses was true to its name and it was indeed dark. The author did a great job researching horse competitions and the care of horses, and I loved the personalities of all the horses. The human characters on the other hand were troubling. Things are not what they seem, and, once you realize what lies beneath the happy exterior, that poison permeates into the rest of the interactions. What is read cannot be unread. The book contains disturbing material that may be triggering or difficult for some to read. However, it is a book that stays with you, and I couldn't put it down.
Find it: NOV Mih + Libby ebooks
Summer Reading is almost here, and we’ve got a whole ocean’s worth of fun activities and programs in store!
NEW this summer! No matter your age, all readers who log 500 minutes will accomplish their goal completing the summer reading program! At 500 minutes, you earn an entry into a grand prize drawing of your choice –everyone will get to choose from ten grand prize baskets– and a free book!Books on a variety of reading levels will be available for kids and teens, and adults will receive a $1 coupon to the Book Nook, where 90% of items only cost $1! Participants reading 1,000 and 1,500 minutes will get additional prize books and grand prize entries! Grand prize basket entries can be earned at 500-minute increments beyond 1,500 minutes. You can learn how to register online or sign back in to a previously used account, how to log minutes, and how to spend virtual tickets via our YouTube tutorials. Registration opens for all readers on May 31, so bookmark these tutorials to watch then.
Summer Reading 2022 officially begins Tuesday, May 31 with Opening Week activities! Visit the library any or every day that week, Tuesday through Saturday, for extra activities and opportunities to win a prize basket. If you sign-up to participate in summer reading in the library, you get an EXTRA ticket in the drawing! On Tuesday, we’ll make a mural together; Wednesday, you can test your knowledge with Questions of the Day; Thursday will have a variety of activity stations; Friday is Fishing for Time, where you can earn extra minutes toward your reading log; and Saturday will be the first of three Rockin’ Reading programs.
Rockin’ Reading is a family friendly program led by Bastropian Dr. Allison Bumsted as an opportunity to share her love of music through books and hands-on musical experiences. Rockin’ Reading programs are on the first three Saturdays in June from 1:00-3:00.
June 4th: Meet the Beatles! Learn how to use a record player and all about the Beatles.
June 11th: Oh Gosh Golly, It’s Dolly! We learn how Dolly Parton shares her kindness and thankfulness with her home-town community and how that has spread beyond that small town in Tennessee.
June 18th: All Hail the Queen, Aretha Franklin! For Juneteenth weekend, celebrate the Queen of Soul with local speakers.
Community Adventure is back again this summer, ready to help you explore Bastrop and have fun as a family, with a friend, or even by yourself. You can sign-up to participate at BastropLibrary.org or pick up a print copy at the Summer Reading table in the Children’s Area. Complete 15 of the 40 activities, and you’ll get your name in a drawing for a basket full of local gift cards and goodies. Community Adventure is for all ages so join the fun!
The summer calendar of events is available at BastropLibrary.org by clicking the Summer Reading tab. Read on for more fun happening at the library this summer!
Dianne Tripp, Friend of the Library
Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol by Mallory O’Meara
Girly Drinks is hysterical! O’Meara writes the history of women and alcohol from a true feminist perspective. Wonderfully detailed and researched, this book is a must-read for anyone that is a cocktail enthusiast.
Find it: 362.292 Ome (New) + Libby ebooks
Brenda Smith, library volunteer
The Love of My Life by Rosie Walsh
Emma has been married to Leo for 10 years and has been hiding terrible secrets from him. Leo gradually learns the entire truth and is truly shattered. What happened before these 2 met? Why is Emma withholding these experiences? Will long ago decisions destroy the wonderful life they
have built together? Part mystery, part thriller, and part heart wrenching love story, this Good Morning America Club Pick will keep you turning the pages until the very end.
Find it: MYS Wal (New) + Libby ebooks
Becky Bennet, library board member
Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead
Furniture dealer and sometime fence Ray Carney gets dragged into a hotel heist by his much-crookeder cousin, Freddie. After that, trouble seems to come looking for Carney. He's got to settle a score, protect his business from rioters and mob muscle, and try to keep Freddie and himself alive. Whitehead's latest is funny, thrilling, and gracefully written.
Find it: NOV Whi (New) + Libby ebooks
Bethany Dietrich, librarian
The Guncle by Steven Rowley
Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP) has unexpectedly received custody of his elementary-aged niece and nephew after their mom dies and their dad checks into rehab. While initially wary about the kids, he quickly warms up to them, and they all learn about healing from grief. This is a sorrowful book, as any book on grief is, but it also is a celebration of life: how one can still laugh, still have fun, still grow, and still love even after the death of a loved one.
Find it: NOV Row (New) + Libby ebooks
Libraries are places to get connected to broadband, computers, technology resources, people, programs, ideas—and, of course, books! During National Library Week, April 3-9 and the whole month of April, we challenge you to connect with Bastrop Public Library in a way you haven’t before!
Have you tried connecting with… ebooks? Your library card gives you access to over 21,000 ebook and eaudiobook titles through the Libby app. To access them, download the Libby app on your phone, tablet, or other smart device. Plug in your library card number and phone number, and you’re ready to go! If you need help, feel free to ask a librarian at the Information Desk. Bring your device, too, so we can troubleshoot together.
Have you tried connecting with… hotspots? Hotspots are portable devices that take the internet to you! Thanks to a grant from the Ladd and Katherine Hancher Library Foundation, we have ten hotspots available for checkout. Reserve a hotspot in the catalog or ask about them at the Circulation Desk.
Have you tried connecting with… the wifi in the parking lot? Thanks to the same Hancher Foundation grant, we were also able to extend the wifi out into the parking lot! It’s available with no password needed to access it. So browse away!
Have you tried connecting with… SimplyE? SimplyE is a second ebook collection the library has access to thanks to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC). To view these books, download the SimplyE app from the App Store or Google Play Store and type in your library card number and phone number. All Libby ebooks and eaudiobooks are available in this app in addition to the SimplyE collection provided by TSLAC for all Texas libraries.
Have you tried connecting with… programs? If technology isn’t your thing– or you’re all set in that arena already, join us for a program or two! For the littles, we’ve got Storytime on Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:30am. Teen Thursdays for 13-17 year-olds happens every Thursday from 4:45-6:15pm. Coffee with Catherine is for adults and perfect for those who want to share and connect with others; they meet every Wednesday from 3:00-4:00pm. Lastly, LEGO Club is once a month on the third Tuesday from 3:00-4:30pm (sign up for an email reminder here).
Try connecting with one of these library services during National Library Week– and maybe tell a librarian thank you for all their work they do for you and the community.
The Book and Plant Sale is almost here!
The Friends of the Library Book Sale is Friday, April 29 from 10:00-6:00pm and Saturday, April 30th from 10:00-3:00pm.
Members of the Friends of the Library have first choice of the book selection during a Friends Only preview on Friday from 9:00-10:00am. To join the Friends, ask for an application at the Circulation Desk.
On Saturday, April 30th, the Lost Pines Garden Club will have a variety of plants ranging from shrubs and annuals to budding plants and vegetables. The sale starts at 9:00 and goes until they run out of plants!
Don’t miss these cheap books and great plants! All proceeds directly support the Bastrop Public Library.
Don’t miss these cheap books and great plants! All proceeds directly support the Bastrop Public Library.
The library is looking for teen and adult volunteers to help with various projects and programs this summer!
Teens must be 14-17 years old. There are a limited number of spots available, so get your application in sooner rather than later. Applications and details for teen volunteers are available online. Please direct questions to Bethany at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adult volunteers help with shelving and other projects. Those who are interested need to stop by the Circulation Desk for an application. Questions can be directed to Catherine at email@example.com.
If your teen is looking to make a little money this summer, we will be hiring two students for the eight weeks of the summer reading program. Students must be a minimum of 16 years old and be classified as a junior or senior for the 2022-2023 school year. These student clerks work 20 hours a week and help patrons sign-up for summer reading and log minutes, give out prizes, assist at programs and events, and more. They must have good attention to detail and be self-directed in accomplishing tasks. Anyone interested in the student clerk position, please email Bethany at firstname.lastname@example.org. They need to specify that they want to apply for the student clerk position as opposed to volunteering.
Come say hi to us at these events in April and May.
Movies at the Park is on Saturday, April 2nd in Bob Bryant Park. The library will be there for pre-movie activities! And then stay and watch Peter Rabbit 2. Don’t forget your blanket!
International Walking Day is Wednesday, April 6th, and we are partnering with the Recreation Center and the Parks Board to get us all moving and walking that day! Meet at the library, and then head down as a group into Fisherman’s Park to get a little exercise! Times will be available closer to April 6th, and you can find them on the library’s website.
SpringFest is a family-friendly festival that celebrates National Child Abuse Prevention Month that is put on by the Children’s Advocacy Center Serving Bastrop, Lee, and Fayette Counties and CASA of Bastrop, Lee, and Fayette Counties. Stop by Fisherman’s Park on Saturday, April 23rd between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. There will be a kid’s play zone with inflatable, games for all ages, food trucks, live music and performances, meet and greet opportunities with first responders, and more! For questions, please contact info@CACBastrop.org.
Movies in the Park is on Saturday, May 7th in Bob Bryant Park. If you can't make the April date, come to the May event! We'll be there with a different pre-movie activity. Then, stay and watch-and sing along-with Moana! The movie starts when the sun goes down.
Becky Bennett, library board member
The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
Tookie, after release from prison, takes a job at a bookstore, but when her most annoying customer dies, the woman’s ghost begins haunting her. This, plus the start of the pandemic, the murder of George Floyd (in Tookie’s hometown of Minneapolis), and on-going childhood trauma, and Tookie’s world and coping skills begin to crash. I immediately fell in love with every character in this book, especially Tookie’s husband. Moreover, nearly all of them are booklovers, and at the end of the novel, Erdrich includes “A Totally Biased List of Tookie’s Favorite Books.” I pored over the list, looking for titles I’d read and titles that I want to read. I even made a copy of the list to keep.
Find it: NOV Erd (New) + Libby ebooks
Dianne Tripp, Friend of the Library
Sex Cult Nun by Faith Jones
Faith Jones’s story is a page-turner. She shares a vivid portrayal of how dangerous patriarchal religious cults are and the damage they do with their total control over women and children. Jones was lucky: she figured out how to escape. But it makes me wonder how many have not been able to escape and how many have been permanently scarred and will forever grapple with the emotional fall-out.
Find it: 92 Jon (New)
Brenda Smith, library volunteer
An Ambush of Widows by Jeff Abbott
Two men are found dead in an Austin warehouse. There seems to be no connection between the murdered husbands; yet, their two widows are bound by their need to seek the truth about the unrelated men and the circumstances of the crime. This is a fast and wild ride: you probably should clear your calendar for the day after just the first chapter of this compelling thriller.
Bonus fact: did you know that a group of widows is an "ambush". I wonder if they ambush the killer?!
Find it: MYS Abb + CD Book F Abb + Libby ebooks
Bethany Dietrich, library staff
Miss Eliza’s English Kitchen: A Novel of Victorian Cookery and Friendship by Annabel Abbs
This historical fiction is one part Downton Abbey (the downstairs part) and one part Great British Bake-off. It has the friendly air and social justice attitude of GBBO, too: let's help one another be successful. It's delightful and charming. It's like a Hallmark Channel movie minus the sappy romance: it goes down easily and even better with a nice dish of pie a la mode.
Find it: NOV Abb (New)
Coffee with Catherine is our Wednesday social hour that meets from 3:00-4:00. Catherine and her crew have been bringing the fun this year!
In January, Catherine taught everyone how to make a fancy gift wrap bow. They twisted ribbons and fingers and laughed and laughed. Glitter was everywhere, but it was a fabulous time.
In February, a local Bastropian, Helen, shared her love of ballroom dancing and taught everyone a variety of ballroom steps. It was marvelous to have people of all ages move together!
And all the Wednesdays in-between were great, too. As always, the group celebrates highs and shares comfort amidst the lows. Coffee with Catherine has truly been a gift for those who have felt so lonely during the pandemic.
If you’re looking to laugh, make new friends, or just want some extra socializing, join us on Wednesdays from 3:00-4:00. We’ll be the ones with the coffee and warm smiles.
Is your family staying in Bastrop during Spring Break? Plan to come to the library for some fun self-directed activities– we’ve got something for all ages!
Kids can pick-up a take-and-make craft in the Children’s Area, as well as answer our pretty silly opinion poll. Our regularly scheduled LEGO Club will be this week on Tuesday, March 15th from 3:00-4:30pm, and Ms. Carmen is pulling out all the stops with LEGOrama! If you’d like to receive monthly reminders about LEGO Club, please sign-up online.
Teens also have a poll question that they can answer in the Teen Room. Teen Thursdays that week is Brackets and Brownies. It's March Madness®, and we're having a bracket, but not for winning basketball teams. We are battling for the best… dessert! Teen Thursdays is every week from 4:45-6:15pm.
Last, but certainly not least, a new adult puzzle pack will be available on the New Adult shelves. Last time, we had a word search, crossword, scramble, and sudoku, so if you like to keep your brain thinking, you’ll want to pick this up!
We hope to see you during Spring Break!
In January, the American Library Association announced this year’s Youth Media Award winners! And you can read some of these award-winning stories at the Bastrop Public Library!
Caldecott winner: Watercress by Andrea Wang
The Caldecott recognizes an American illustrator of children’s books.
Embarrassed about gathering watercress from a roadside ditch in this powerful and moving picture book, a girl learns to appreciate her Chinese heritage after learning why the plant is so important to her parents.
Find it: E Wan (New)
Newbery winner: The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera
The Newbery is awarded to an American author for distinguished contributions to children’s literature.
Petra wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita. But Petra's world is ending; earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children--among them Petra and her family--have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race. Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet--and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity's past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard. Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again? This is an emotionally intense and suspenseful story that tweens, teens, and adults will enjoy.
Find it: JF Hig (New) + Libby ebooks
Printz winner: Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
The Printz is based on literary merit and is given to an author of teen books.
Daunis has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. As Daunis falls for Jamie, she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug. Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source. But the search for truth is more complicated than Daunis imagined, exposing secrets and old scars. As the deceptions--and deaths--keep growing, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she'll go for her community, even if it tears apart the only world she's ever known. This intricately plotted and candid thriller will be a hit with any reader who likes mysteries.
Find it: YA F Bou
Coretta Scott King winner: Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford
The Coretta Scott King Award recognizes African American authors and illustrators of children’s and teen books that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.
This powerful title looks at the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation's history. The book traces the history of African Americans in Tulsa's Greenwood district and chronicles the devastation that occurred in 1921 when a white mob attacked the Black community. News of what happened was largely suppressed, and no official investigation occurred for 75 years. This picture book sensitively introduces young readers to this tragedy and concludes with a call for a better future.
Find it: E 976.686 Wea + Libby ebooks
If you’d like more Youth Media Award Winners, you can learn more online.
Congratulations to these amazing authors, illustrators, and books!
Cake pans and literacy bags are back and available for checking out again!
We have a variety of cake pans for you to choose from from footballs to Christmas ornaments to race cars to Spider-Man to hearts and everything in-between.
Cake pans can be found between adult Spanish books and adult DVD’s. If you need help locating them, please ask at the Information or Circulation Desks. We do rotate the holiday and seasonal ones, so if you’re looking for Christmas in July or zombies in February, ask, and we’ll see what we can find in the back for you.
For the little ones, Literacy Bags are back, too! Literacy bags are themed kits that include a picture book, finger puppet or small stuffed animal, a rhyming game or activity sheet, and more. Themes include stars, trains, dinosaurs, Old McDonald, elephants, and more.
There is a display of Literacy Bags next to the Children’s Desk and more are located between the children’s audiobooks and children’s puzzles. Again, if you need help locating them, please ask at the Information or Circulation Desks.
Enjoy baking and reading!
The Friend of the Library Book and Plant Sale is Friday, April 29 from 10:00-6:00pm and Saturday, April 30th from 10:00-3:00pm.
On Saturday, April 30th the Lost Pines Garden Club will have a variety of plants ranging from shrubs and annuals to budding plants and vegetables. The sale starts at 10:00 and goes until they run out of plants!
Put these dates in your calendar so you won’t miss these cheap books and great plants! All proceeds directly support the Bastrop Public Library.
Stolen by Elizabeth Gilpin
A harrowing account of a 15-year-old whose parents turn her over to a “therapeutic” cult for her behavior problems, this is behavior modification at its sickest. Once you start reading this nightmarish true account about the abusive boarding school industry, you can’t put it down.
Find it: 92 Gil (New)
Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda
When Ruby returns to Hollow's Edge after her murder conviction has been overturned, no one in this small neighborhood is happy. Suddenly, suspicion spreads about the murder of the Truett family; not everyone told the truth about that horrible night. You will enjoy the twists and turns of this suspenseful thriller while trying to figure out who really killed the Truetts and why. The ending is quite unexpected-- I was flabbergasted!
Find it: MYS Mir
Becky Bennet, library board member
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
Iron-age Britons Axl and Beatrice leave their village to visit their grown son in another village, a three-day walk from them. On the way, they encounter ogres, pixies, King Arthur’s knight Sir Gawain, and other strange and mysterious creatures and people. They lament that they cannot really remember their son because of a “dense mist which hung over the marshes” that clouds everyone’s minds so that they cannot recall things that happened even a few days or hours ago. This strange and entrancing story offers interesting characters, plot twists, and an exploration of importance and purpose of memory.
Find it: NOV Ish + Libby ebooks
The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green
This is Green’s first foray into adult and nonfiction writing, and he hits it out of the park! This conversational book is essays, always personal, about things that have keenly affected Green. Topics range from Dr. Pepper to Halley’s Comet to the movie Penguins of Madagascar, and he rates each of them on a five-star scale. Despite being a one-star reader of nonfiction, I had to give this one five stars.
Find it: 814.6 Gre + CD Book 814.6 Gre (New) + Libby ebooks
We love living in a community of readers like you! And you all have great taste in picking books! Many of the most checked-out titles of 2021 were by well-known authors (James Patterson, I’m looking at you) or New York Times Bestsellers for weeks and weeks (Matthew McConaughey biography, I’m looking at you), but some were a surprise– even to us!
Take a look at what your neighbors are reading and try them, too. Make an effort to bring them up for conversation the next time you wave while bringing up the trash cans or while walking your dogs.
Dark Sky (#22) by C.J. Box
Find it: MYS Box + LT F Box + CD Book F Box + Libby ebooks
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Find it: NOV Hai + CD Book F Hai + Libby ebooks
No Way Out by Fern Michaels
Find it: ROM Mic + CD Book F Mic + Libby ebooks
Sci-fi and fantasy:
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
Find it: SFF Sch + CD Book F Sch + Libby ebooks
Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
Find it: 92 McC + CD Book 92 McC + Libby ebooks
Missing and Endangered (#19) by J.A. Janc
Find it: LT F Jan + MYS Jan + Libby ebooks
The Law of Innocence (#6) by Michael Connelly
Find it: CD Book F Con + MYS Con + LT F Con + Libby ebooks
Find it: DVD F Bro
Find it: DVD JF Rio
Itty-Bitty Kitty Corn by Shannon Hale
Find it: E Hal
Pete the Cat’s Trip to the Supermarket by James Dean
Find it: 1st R Dea
Guts by Raina Telgemeier
Find it: JF GRN Tel + Libby ebooks
Minecraft: Guide to Ocean Survival by Stephanie Milton
Find it: J 794.815 Min
Komi Can’t Communicate, volume 1 by Oda Tomohito
Find it: YA GRN Kom
Thank you to everyone who joined us in the festivities at Bastrop Public Library’s Annual Holiday Open House of 2021! It was wonderful to see all the smiles, the expressions of joy, the kids in festive gear, and to catch up with all of you!
Thank you to our wonderful musicians Mary Smith, accordion; the Honor Choir; and youth cellists from the Little Heart Talent Education for sharing their talent and creating a merry atmosphere.
Thank you to the various City of Bastrop departments for decorating masterpieces for this year’s Great City Decorating Contest! Everyone was wowed by the entries, and it was a hard decision on whom to vote for, but the Bastrop Police Department’s entry was this year’s winner!
As always, a highlight of the day was the kids decorating graham cracker houses!
And the teens successfully decorated the library’s float in the Lighted Christmas Parade!
Lastly, thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers! Without you, the day wouldn’t have happened!
We greatly appreciate everyone who helped make our Annual Open House a wonderful day. We hope you will make plans to join us next year.
Is your high school senior looking for scholarships to help pay for college? If they have volunteered at the Bastrop Public Library, then they are eligible to apply for the scholarship awarded by the Friends of Bastrop Public Library!
To apply, fill out an application, which is available online or in the high school counselor’s office. Applications are due March 1, 2022, and they can be mailed to the Friends or dropped off at the library.
If your teen isn’t a senior yet, but would be interested in volunteering so that they can be eligible for the scholarship by the time senior year rolls around, they can learn more about being a teen volunteer and apply online. If they have questions, please email Bethany, Teen Volunteer Coordinator, at email@example.com.
The Push by Ashley Audrain
I flew through this book. It is psychologically fascinating, visceral, and intense as it explores the question, “Do your really know those closest to you?” It reminded me of the 1956 thriller "The Bad Seed.” Excellent first novel for Audrain!
Find it: MYS Aud + Libby ebooks
The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey
Evelyn's husband, Nathan, has been cheating on her... with a clone he developed. Martine looks like Evelyn but does not behave the same. When Martine kills Nathan in self-defense, we begin to wonder: what does it mean to be human? Does an abusive upbringing determine our adult traits? Can a clone develop emotions? And then there is the impossible: Martine is pregnant. Full of twists and turns, this amazing book is highly recommended!
Find it: MYS Gai
Becky Bennet, library board member
When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro
Famous London detective Christopher Banks recalls his childhood in Shanghai and the disappearances of his parents when he was nine years old. He spends 20 years researching his most pressing case and finally returns to Shanghai to solve the mystery and rescue his parents. I read this book because I loved Ishigura's most recent novel, Klara and the Sun. Although this novel is much different from Klara, it is no less a compelling masterpiece. The narrator's voice is objective, sometimes detached, as you would expect from a detective. However, the mystery of his parents is secondary. This novel is really an examination of the fallibility of memory and how people delude themselves.
Find it: NOV Ish
Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston
Six months after Amari’s older brother goes missing, she gets an unexpected package: a brightly colored (and very garish) suit and an invite to attend the summer camp her brother had gone to all those years ago. Amari goes, planning on figuring out why her brother disappeared, but she gets a big surprise upon arrival: the supernatural is real, and Amari has unique– dangerous– powers that had previously been dormant. Now she must convince everyone she’s not evil, make friends, solve the mystery of her brother, AND win the junior Bureau training program. This middle grade novel is perfect for 4th-8th graders and is like a mash-up of Harry Potter and Meet the Robinsons; it was such a fun read!
Find it: JF Als + CD Book JF Als + Libby ebooks
The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewel
Tallulah, 19, wants to leave her boyfriend, Zach, who is father of their baby boy, Noah.
The pair leave Noah with Tallulah's mom Kim for a night out. When morning arrives, they have not returned home. What happened to them? Are they alive? Have they gone off due to the pressures of young parenthood? Did Zach hurt Tallulah and run off? As with anything Jewel writes, you won’t be disappointed by this captivating page-turner!
Find it: MYS Jew (New)
Becky Bennett, library board member
The Eagles of Heart Mountain by Bradford Pearson
When President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, over 100,000 Japanese Americans, of all ages, were sent to prison camps. To alleviate boredom and the sting of racism and discrimination, a group of high school students at the Heart Mountain, Wyoming internment camp turned to their love of sports. Despite a lack of proper equipment and training field, they were triumphant on the football field. The first half of this excellent book details 150 years of Japanese migration to the US and the blatant racism--from individuals as well as government policy. The second half focuses on the Japanese American community’s resilience and how, even under terrible conditions, they never wavered from the love of their country, the U.S.
Find it: 940.531 Pea (New)
Mary McCormick, library patron
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
This novel leaves a profound effect. Kya, as a child, was abandoned by her family. She grew up alone in the North Carolina swamps. Townspeople ridiculed her, calling her Marsh Girl. She never went to school but taught herself how to survive. She learned the swamp, its places to hide, its passages, and all its creatures. The gulls became her family. This book tells of her survival, her loves, her secrets, and the extraordinary life she lived. A must read!
Find it: NOV Owe + LT F Owe + CD Book F Owe + Libby ebooks
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
I loved this book! There were so many twist and surprises in a very well written novel. I can’t imagine the stress, loneliness, and anxiety of “passing” in another race or gender—plus creating a whole different persona in speech, dress, mannerism, etc. Then there’s the terror of being exposed and the repercussions that would come with said exposure. Read this one if you want to “walk in another person’s shoes” as Harper Lee’s Scout Finch succinctly puts it.
Find it: NOV Ben + CD Book F Ben + Libby ebooks