Spot-Lit for April 2014

Spot-Lit

Lots of good fiction is headed your way this month. Click the titles below and then the Full Display button to read summaries or reviews or to place titles on hold.

General Fiction / Literary Fiction    

American Romantic    Frog Music    Storied Life    Lovers at the Chameleon Club    Plover

American Romantic  by Ward Just
Frog Music  by Emma Donoghue
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry  by Gabrielle Zevin
Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932  by Francine Prose
The Plover  by Brian Doyle

First Novels / Fiction

Whiskey Barons    Past the Shalllows    Sedition    Steal the Summer    Skookum

The Whiskey Baron  by Jon Sealy
Past the Shallows  by Favel Parrett
Sedition  by Katharine Grant
Steal the North  by Heather Bergstrom
Skookum Summer  by Jack Hart

Crime Fiction /Suspense

Until You're Mine    Destroyer Angel    Waiting for Wednesday    Cold Nowhere    By Its Cover

Until You’re Mine  by Samantha Hayes
Destroyer Angel  by Nevada Barr
Waiting for Wednesday  by Nicci French
The Cold Nowhere  by Brian Freeman
By Its Cover  by Donna Leon

SF / Fantasy / Horror

Goblin Emperor    Bird Eater    Days of the Deer    Afterparty    Battle Royale

The Goblin Emperor  by Katherine Addison
The Bird Eater  by Ania Ahlborn
The Days of the Deer  by Liliana Bodoc
Afterparty  by Daryl Gregory
Battle Royale – Remastered  by Koushun Takami  

Romance

                            Bet    Hotelles    Far Gone

The Bet  by Rachel Van Dyken
Hotelles  by Emma Mars
Far Gone  by Laura Griffin

To see all on-order fiction, click here.

Book Awards with a Twist

Gold Trophy

Many, many book awards are given out every year, but here are three unique awards you might want to add to your bookmarks.

On the whole, U.S. citizens have very little awareness of non-English language literature; for this reason alone the Best Translated Book Award deserves your attention. The award is offered through the website Three Percent and they recently announced the longlist for the 2014 award. Over the next few weeks they’ll be posting arguments for why each longlisted contender should win. The shortlist will be announced April 15th and the award on April 28th.

EPL currently owns 13 of the 25 BTBA contenders.

Another award that rewards a daily check on the action is the Tournament of Books, now in its tenth year. As described on their About page, “The ToB is an annual springtime event… where 16 or so of the previous year’s best works of fiction enter a March Madness-style battle royale. At the end of the month, the winner of the Tournament is blessed with the Rooster, our prize named after David Sedaris’s brother (because why not).”  This year’s tourney is now in the quarterfinals, but even if you’re late joining in, you can still revisit each bout in the links on the sidebar. In addition to the renowned individual judges who preside over each match, you’ll find great color commentary from the event hosts and a fan base commentariat that engages in lively extended discussions of the books.

EPL currently owns 14 of the 17 ToB contenders.

And finally, a new award is in the works to redress the wrongs of book awards given 50 years ago. The website Bookslut has come up with the Daphnes, and is currently reevaluating books published in 1963. They announced their shortlist last month (here’s the L.A. Times coverage of the announcement). The award categories include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and children’s literature.

EPL currently owns 5 of the 7 Daphne fiction finalists.

One thing all these awards do is remind us that taste is subjective and each of these contenders will be considered the winner in some readers’ eyes; check the lists or follow the action and maybe you’ll discover a new (or new to you) favorite author or book.

Spot-Lit for March 2014

Spot-Lit

Here’s our hand-picked list of fiction titles coming out in March. Click the titles below and then the Full Display button to read summaries or reviews or to place holds.

General Fiction / Literary Fiction  

Bark    Orchard of Lost Souls    Curse on Dost    Blazing World    Boy, Snow, Bird

Bark: stories  by Lorrie Moore
The Orchard of Lost Souls  by Nadifa Mohamed
A Curse on Dostoevsky  by Atiq Rahimi
The Blazing World  by Siri Hustvedt
Boy, Snow, Bird  by Helen Oyeyemi

First Fiction

Redeployment    Burnable Book    Wives of Los Alamos    Precious Thing    Weight of Blood

Redeployment  by Phil Klay
A Burnable Book  by Bruce Holsinger
The Wives of Los Alamos  by Tarashea Nesbit
Precious Thing  by Colette McBeth
The Weight of Blood  by Laura McHugh

Crime Fiction /Suspense

Accident    Disappeared    Why Kings Confess    Black-Eyed Blonde    Watching You

The Accident  by Chris Pavone
The Disappeared  by Kristina Ohlsson
Why Kings Confess  by C.S. Harris
The Black-Eyed Blonde  by Benjamin Black
Watching You  by Michael Robotham

SF / Fantasy / Horror

Man Came Out    Undead Pool    Murder of Crows    Trpoic of Serpents    Code Zero

A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain  by Adrianne Harun
The Undead Pool  by Kim Harrison
A Murder of Crows  by Anne Bishop
The Tropic of Serpents  by Marie Brennan
Code Zero  by Jonathan Maberry

Romance

                    Evening Stars          Replacement Wife          Love Comes Calling

Evening Stars  by Susan Mallery
The Replacement Wife  by Tiffany Warren
Love Comes Calling  by Siri Mitchell

To see all on-order fiction, click here.

Spot-Lit for February 2014

Spot-Lit

Lots of good fiction is coming out this February, including many strong debuts. Click the titles below and then the Full Display button to read reviews or to place titles on hold.

General Fiction / Literary Fiction 

Still Life Bread Crumbs    I Shall Be Near to You    Unnecessary Woman    Golden State    I Always Loved You

Still Life with Bread Crumbs  by Anna Quindlen
I Shall Be Near to You  by Erin McCabe
An Unnecessary Woman  by Rabih Alameddine
Golden State  by Michelle Richmond
I Always Loved You  by Robin Oliveira 

First Fiction

Spinning Heart    Archetype    Dust    While Beauty Slept    One More Thing

The Spinning Heart  by Donal Ryan
Archetype  by M.D. Waters
Dust  by Yvonne Owuor
While Beauty Slept  by Elizabeth Blackwell
One More Thing  by B.J. Novak

Crime Fiction / Suspense

Runner    Cold Storage    After I'm Gone    Officer and a Spy    Poisoned Pawn

Runner  by Patrick Lee
Cold Storage, Alaska  by John Straley
After I’m Gone  by Laura Lippman
An Officer and a Spy  by Robert Harris
The Poisoned Pawn  by Peggy Blair

SF / Fantasy / Horror

Annihilation    Darkling Sea    Martian    Influx    Red Rising

Annihilation  by Jeff Vandermeer
A Darkling Sea  by James Cambias  (debut)
The Martian  by Andy Weir  (debut)
Influx  by Daniel Suarez
Red Rising  by Pierce Brown  (debut)

To see all the on-order fiction, click here.

Spot-Lit for January 2014

Spot-Lit

The books listed below are some of the most buzzed and highly anticipated fiction of the month. Click the titles and then the Full Display button to read summaries or reviews or to place titles on hold.

General Fiction / Literary Fiction 

Under the Wide and Starry Sky    Orfeo    Carthage    Wind Is Not a River     Perfect

Under the Wide and Starry Sky  by Nancy Horan

Orfeo  by Richard Powers

Carthage  by Joyce Carol Oates

The Wind Is Not a River  by Brian Payton

Perfect  by Rachel Joyce

First Fiction

Shovel Ready    Kept    Radiance of Tomorrow    Last Days of Califormia    What I Had Before I Had You

Shovel Ready  by Adam Sternbergh

The Kept  by James Scott

Radiance of Tomorrow  by Ishmael Beah

The Last Days of California  by Mary Miller

What I Had Before I Had You  by Sarah Cornwell

Crime Fiction / Suspense

             Last Death of Jack Harbin    The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches    Dead Mans Fancy    Purity of Vengeance

The Last Death of Jack Harbin  by Terry Shames

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches  by C. Alan Bradley

Dead Man’s Fancy  by Keith McCafferty

The Purity of Vengeance  by Jussi Adler-Olsen

To see all the on-order fiction, click here.

The IT Academy Arrives in Everett

PAC-itacademyGreat news for those wanting to improve their job skills and learn basic or advanced computer skills. The Microsoft IT Academy training program is now available online at the library. If you aren’t familiar with this excellent resource, here is a brief rundown:

Microsoft IT Academy training provides participants with industry-leading technology skills to help bridge the skills gap for students and adults. The IT Academy offers technology courses on three levels – basic literacy skills, Microsoft Office skills and advanced skills for IT professionals. All of the online training included in the IT Academy program is free, and includes 250 courses and resources.

You can access the IT Academy from our homepage, or from this direct link. A Microsoft Account, which you can sign up for if you don’t already have one, and a valid Everett Public Library card are needed to participate. Consult the Everett Public Library’s IT Academy handout or Microsoft’s FAQ for more details about access and how to use this excellent resource.

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Of course, never forget that we have a great collection of materials here at the library concerning computer skills and learning specific programs. As you work your way through the IT Academy, our collections on Microsoft Excel, Word, Publisher, Outlook, and PowerPoint should be particularly helpful. So if you need to learn or improve upon you computer skills, you now have an excellent new resource to utilize.

The Best Music of 2013

Looking for the best music of 2013? Look no further than these staff recommendations!

Ron’s picks
What do we know about Elvis Costello, one of my favorite performers for nearly 35 years?

  • He is not a famous ice skater (that would be Elvis Stojko) nor the King of Rock and Roll (Elvis Presley).
  • He has recorded more than 20 albums in a wide range of styles.
  • While primarily known as a songwriter, he is also an amazing vocalist and a pretty fair guitarist.

Wise up GhostOver the years EC has recorded albums with The Attractions, The Impostors, and as a solo artist. His latest album, Wise Up Ghost and Other Songs, teams Elvis with well-known hip-hop band The Roots in a potentially radical genre- bending mixture. The resulting songs have a definite Costello flavor, but with a hint of funk that is absent from his catalog. It’s a unique blend, shored up by career-best vocals. Check this out, along with a few of my other faves of 2013:

Album covers Ron

Zac’s picks
The words “classical music” make me cringe. The term comes off as stuffy, and it reeks of dead male composers’ works that have been sewn into the background of all the films and television programs I’ve seen since I was a kid. However, under the right circumstances, I have enjoyed traditional classical music, but only to a point. Let’s just say it would be disingenuous for me to claim I’ve ever fired up Beethoven or Copland on my smartphone or home stereo. Despite my general “meh” attitude to the classical genre, Sarah Neufeld’s Hero Brother somehow crept its way into my earbuds this year.

Hero BrotherI was previously familiar with Neufeld via her affiliation with Arcade Fire, a band you can find on my “recently played” list. While the Arcade Fire connection compelled me to give Hero Brother a try, it’s the album’s unique sound engineering that makes the title stand out and kept me coming back. Recorded in parking lots, caves, and other unique locations, the album has a self-contradicting, haunting sound. The recording comes off with the lo-fi feel of older Black Keys albums while retaining clarity present in the production of Arcade Fire’s newer works. The end result is a well-polished rough-cut album worthy of a listen by classical music buffs and naysayers alike.

Other Bests of 2013:

Album covers Zac


Lisa’s picks
Sing to the moon
My appreciation for this album probably has as much to do with timing as it does with overall sound. A couple days ago I came across the NPR staff’s 50 favorite albums of 2013 and I decided to do some listening (you’ll see more of their picks on my list). My attention was immediately grabbed by the featured track from Laura Mvula’s debut album, Sing to the Moon, “Green Garden”. Strong vocals, toe-tapping beat, and massive amounts of sound; what more could I ask for? Thankfully the album was on the shelves at the EPL, so I wasted no time in discovering that the rest of the album had more of the same to offer.

If my brain was Pandora, and I clicked the ‘Why this track?’ feature for the track listing for Sing to the Moon, I think it would tell me the following:

“We chose this entire album because you love alternative music with orchestral accompaniment (see Bjork – Homogenic, and Portishead – Roseland NYC Live albums); really enjoy vocalists with a unique sound and deeper register such as Lauryn Hill, Bebel Gilberto, and Carmen McRae; and on a subliminal level you’ve been craving music that sounds vaguely-Christmassy that isn’t Christmas music.”

OK, that last reason sounds odd, but it’s undeniably something that I find amusing about this album. In a way the chimes, bells, and ethereal backup singing in Mvula’s tracks evoke the same feeling of wonder and joy that Christmas music can evoke, yet they don’t share the same baggage that overplayed seasonal music can carry. All that being said, this album fills a niche left open by my annual boycott of Christmas music stations, and will continue to sound good to me throughout the year.

Other 2013 favorites:

Album covers Lisa


Carol’s picks
Daft Punk
I’ve been in love with Daft Punk for almost 20 years. In that time they have created a number of songs that to this day still float through my mind on a random basis. Right at this moment, for instance, I’m tapping my toes to “Around the World.” This year the electronic duo created a new album, Random Access Memories, which has more of an R&B/pop feel to it. Dedicated Daft Punk fans: do not despair! This actually works out pretty well. They went a little more mainstream and as a result it’s more likely you will hear them on the radio, on TV, or out in public. Don’t be a music snob. Embrace your new musical brothers and sisters as they get on board the Daft Punk bandwagon. And if their popularity eventually wanes, it’ll leave more for you and me.

Because one good thing deserves another, I thought I should mention another great album that “dropped” this year, as the kids say. Capital Cities released In a Tidal Wave of Mystery, and I haven’t been able to stop listening to it. The biggest hit so far has definitely been “Safe and Sound,” whose lyrics contain the album title. But look past the pop charts and feast your ears on guitar that harkens back to the previously mentioned R&B-style Daft Punk. “Kangaroo Court” is catchy enough to make anyone an instant fan, and keep you moving through a workout or just cooking dinner. My favorite, though, has got to be “Farrah Fawcett Hair” for this lyric alone:

I like it when it rains at night and I’m curled up in bed with a good book.

Other CDs I’ve loved so much I’ve purchased them (and listened to them nonstop) in 2013:

Album covers Carol

Stay tuned (get it, tuned?) for the best music of 2014, coming to your bandwidth soon!

Best of 2013: Audiovisual

We end our best of 2013 list with our picks for the best films, television series and music. So much to see and hear, so little time.

Feature Films:

featurefilm

Seven Psychopaths 
Marty is a struggling screenwriter who wants nothing more than to finish his script. Instead, he becomes entangled with the Los Angeles gangster underworld when his odd, but well-meaning friends kidnap a volatile gangster’s shih tzu.

McDonagh delivers an edgy, funny screenplay that deals with serious issues like creativity, fantasy vs. reality, and does so with a terrific cast.  – Alan

Gimme the Loot
Malcolm and Sofia are the most determined teenage graffiti writers in the Bronx. But when a rival gang buffs their latest masterpiece, they hatch a plan to get their revenge by planning the ultimate graffiti tag, to bomb the New York Mets’ home run apple.

An endearingly raw debut film depicting the lives of urban youth who happen to be graffiti bombers. – Kate

If I Were You
After Madelyn and Lucy meet by chance, they make a pact to fix their unhappy lives: they will only do what the other one says and ignore their own instincts. But Madelyn has a secret.

Marcia Gay Harden is great in the lead role; it’s a perfectly balanced dramedy of errors. – Kate

The Kid with a Bike
Twelve-year-old Cyril is living in a group home but refuses to believe he has been rejected by his single father. He spends his days frantically trying to reach the man, over the phone or on his beloved bicycle. In French with English subtitles.

Full of heartbreaking betrayals and unexpected grace – Kate via ifcfilms.com

Television Series:

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Luther Season 3
A twisted fetishist is targeting young women in London. As Luther is called to another case, will the killer escape his grips? Luther faces an even bigger threat as members of his own team will stop at nothing to bring him down.

The eagerly anticipated third mini-series of the thriller/detective/murder mystery Luther is gruesome at times, but this quality of entertainment television programming is not to be missed. – Kate

The Fall Series 1
In the five-part drama series made and set in Northern Ireland, Gillian Anderson stars as Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson who is brought in from the London Metropolitan Police to help catch the killer when a murder in Belfast remains unsolved.

The stereotypical role of the female detective gets turned on its head while a thriller of a story unfolds. – Kate

Documentaries:

documentaries

Venus & Serena
An unfiltered look into the remarkable lives of the greatest sister-act professional tennis has ever seen. With unprecedented access, the film tells the inspiring story of how these two women, against all odds, but with the help of visionary parents, made it to the top.

Gives us insight into Venus and Serena’s fascinating relationship as sisters and as competitors, how they became the pro tennis powerhouses they are, and what their lives are like now. – Kate

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga
A stunning documentary about the life of indigenous people living in the heart of the Siberian Taiga. Deep in the wilderness, far away from civilization, 300 people inhabit the small village of Bakhtia at the river Yenisei. There are only two ways to reach this outpost: by helicopter or boat.

A look at a centuries-unchanged culture – an incredibly difficult lifestyle, one that is truly astounding and completely foreign to most of us. – Kate

The Whale: the true story of Luna
The Whale tells the remarkable true story of a young, wild killer whale (an Orca) nicknamed Luna, who lost contact with his family on the coast of British Columbia and became famous around the world when he tried to make friends with human beings.

This documentary stands out among the relative many recent releases about killer whales. – Kate

Saving Face
Every year, hundreds of people are attacked with acid in Pakistan. The majority of these are women, who are left physically and emotionally scarred. Saving Face tells the stories of two acid-attack survivors. The film also follows plastic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Jawad, who put his London practice on hold to return to his home country to help acid victims.

A stark reminder of the atrocities committed against women in Pakistan. –Kate

The Gatekeepers
A documentary featuring interviews with all surviving former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency whose activities and membership are closely held state secrets.

The history of Shin Bet is more fascinating than you might think; it’s a heady film, but worth it. – Kate

Music:

music

Reflektor  |  Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire follows up their acclaimed and Grammy-winning album, The Suburbs, with one of the most buzzed-about albums of 2013.

It sounds like an ‘another Arcade Fire album’ without feeling cookie-cutter. It doesn’t break new ground for the band, and in this case, that’s a good thing. – Zac

The Very Best of the Pogues  |  The Pogues
The Pogues had a stellar career, spinning tunes that combined elements of traditional Celtic music with maximum rock and roll.

Their songs have a jaunty piratey air, bringing a soulpatch of happiness to my days. – Ron

Hesitation Marks  |  Nine Inch Nails
Trent Reznor has always been adept at bringing in new styles and advancements in electronic music production; his hard work pays off in this album.

All the dark, grimy, oddly-dancy cuts you’d expect from a Nine Inch Nails release, made addictive by Trent Reznor’s flawless production. Listen to this loud, preferably with some really good headphones. – Lisa

Best of 2013: Young Adult

There is no denying that young adult books are one of the most popular genres in publishing today. Find out why with this list of our staff’s picks for the best of 2013.

Fiction:

YAfic

Etiquette & Espionage  |  Gail Carriger
In an alternate England of 1851, spirited 14-year-old Sophronia is enrolled in a finishing school where, she is surprised to learn, lessons include not only the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also diversion, deceit, and espionage.

Strong female characters, spies, steampunk, thwarted parents.  What more could one ask for in a read? – Ron

The Nightmare Affair  |  Mindee Arnett
Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for “magickind,” 16-year-old Destiny Everhart feeds on the dreams of others, working with a handsome human student to find a killer.

The first book in an addictive new series, this book combines some of my favorite paranormal elements (dreams and magic) and gets under your skin. I can’t wait for the next book in the series (next year—hopefully)! – Carol

Born of Illusion  |  Teri J. Brown
Set in 1920s New York City, this is the story of budding magician Anna Van Housen, who has spent her whole life playing sidekick to her faux-medium mother–and trying to hide the fact the she actually possesses the very abilities her mother fakes.

Talking to ghosts. Harry Houdini. Early 20th-century obsession with the occult. What’s not to love? – Carol

Also Known As  |  Robin Benway
As the active-duty daughter of international spies, 16-year-old safecracker Maggie Silver never attended high school. When she and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, she is introduced to cliques, school lunches and dating.

Who didn’t dream of being a spy when they were a teen? Maggie is the kind of girl I always wanted to be: smart and quick on her feet. Oh, and she can pick locks like no one’s business. – Carol

Non-Fiction:

YAnf

100 Questions You’d Never Ask Your Parents : Straight Answers to Teens’ Questions About Sex, Sexuality, and Health  |  Elisabeth Henderson
A guide for teens about sex and related topics draws on the expertise of a psychologist and an OB/GYN to offer answers to questions on a wide range of subjects that teenagers may be reluctant to discuss with adults.

The questions are compiled from the author’s experience as a middle-school sex-education teacher and are answered frankly and accurately. – Theresa

A Girl’s Guide to Fitting in Fitness  |  Erin Whitehead and Jennipher Walters
Presents a fitness plan for teenage girls, covering exercise, relaxation, and diet, emphasizing how to incorporate physical fitness into a busy schedule.

Helpful illustrations for all of the workouts and quotes from teens about how they manage to fit fitness in offer encouragement to take a realistic approach to a more healthy lifestyle for busy teens. – Theresa

Doctor Who : Character Encyclopedia   |   Jason Loborik
Meet all the most important characters from the entire history of Doctor Who, including every Doctor and companion. Packed with fascinating facts and statistics for characters from the Abzorbaloff to the Zygons.

Colorful cut-out poses and stunning stills from the program invite browsing. – Theresa

DIY Nail Art: 75 Creative Nail Art Designs  |  Catherine Rodgers
Catherine Rodgers, creator of the popular nail art YouTube Channel Totally Cool Nails, shares her secrets in DIY Nail Art. Packed with easy-to-follow instructions and helpful tips for recreating Catherine’s stunning looks, you can create one-of-a-kind nail art designs without ever stepping inside a nail salon.

Add the basic tools she suggests and some colorful polish to make a gift basket for a favorite teen. – Theresa

Best of 2013: For the Kids

Today we explore all the great picture books, fiction, how-to and much more in our list of the best books for children in 2013. Cats work construction? Who knew?

Children’s Fiction:

childrensf1

That is not a Good Idea!  |  Mo Willems
A surprising lesson about the importance of listening to one’s inner gosling ensues when a very hungry fox issues a dinner invitation to a very plump goose.

This is another genius picture book from one of my favorite authors. Told in the format of an old silent movie with villains and innocent damsels, this story builds suspense and ends with a surprise. Great for storytimes! – Andrea

Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses  |  James Dean
Pete the cat is feeling glum, and a friend cheers him by giving him a pair of “magic” sunglasses that help him transform his world. A grouchy squirrel, an upside-down turtle, and a grumpy alligator want the glasses too.

Expressive paintings and lots of action make this a story that will help young children understand their own emotions. – Esta

Not Your Typical Dragon  |  Dan Bar-el
A young dragon tries to breathe out flames, but instead snorts out whipped cream, party streamers, and other hilarious things.  Other dragons are upset, but a knight who is also an oddball becomes his good friend.

Hilarious illustrations and a playful yet comforting story about being different. – Esta

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The Long, Long Line  |  Tomoko Ohmura
A very long line of 50 animals is waiting anxiously and asking “What’s this line for?” It’s a wild and wacky roller coaster ride that they all want to try, with hilarious results.

The bold graphics invite kids to count, identify the animals, and talk about the actions that they see. Great for developing a young child’s pre-math skills! – Esta

Llama Llama and the Bully Goat  |  Anna Dewdney
Gilroy Goat bullies others in school — teasing, kicking sand, snatching toys.  Little Llama dares to speak back. He shows the others how to “walk away and tell someone.”  Then the compassionate teacher leads Gilroy into learning how to be a friend.

This gentle story helps young children understand that bullying often derives from the bully’s own unhappiness. This is also a comforting story focused on caring about others’ feelings.– Esta

Ladybug Girl and the Big Snow  |  David Soman
A brave girl in red-spotted boots and ladybug costume explores the outdoors after a snowstorm.  She and her dog Bingo get stuck, build snow creatures, and explore the magic of deep snow.

This daring, spunky little girl always shows her spirit of adventure!  This is the latest in the delightful “Ladybug Girl” series of books. – Esta

childrensf3

The Snatchabook  |  Helen Docherty
Young animals are reading or listening to stories at bedtime when a little creature called the “Snatchabook” sneaks in and steals the books…but why? He has no-one to read to him!  Brave rabbit figures out a delightful solution to the problem!

Lively rhyme and playful illustrations give this book great appeal.  It’s a sweet and reassuring story about the power and joy of reading. – Esta

Baby Bear Counts One |  Ashley Woolf
A young bear watches all the animals around him prepare for winter, and then sees his first snow.

This author/illustrator’s artwork is superb and dramatic, and young children will thrill as they find and count hidden details and end with snowflakes “too many to count.” – Esta

Construction Kitties  |  Judy Goodwin-Sturges
A lively crew of cats wearing their hard-hats work together with a dump truck, excavator, backhoe and other heavy trucks at a construction site.

Young children will enjoy the action as they see how these machines work.  The cats stop for their favorite lunch: sardines and milk. – Esta

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library  |  Chris Grabenstein
Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape.

As an adult who thinks an awful lot like a 12-year-old, I found this book a hilarious adventure through one of my most favorite institutions: a public library. A “Ready Player One” for the middle-school crowd. – Carol

Children’s Non-Fiction:

childrensnf

Think Again! : False Facts Attacked, Errors Exploded, Myths Busted  |  Clive Gifford
Organized into five broadly themed sections the human body, the animal world, science, history, and popular culture this book tackles commonly held and commonly repeated mistaken beliefs head-on. Each falsehood is debunked in straightforward and factual explanations grounded in real scientific research, incorporating discussions of why the myth persists.

Colorful illustrations and tons of fascinating information.  You can open to any page and learn something new. – Theresa

The Big Book of Crafts & Activities  |   James Mitchem, editor 
This book is packed with crafts, recipes, games and activities for children who want to get creative and try new things-from growing tasty fruit and vegetables to customizing your furniture.

This book is full of crafts and activities that are fun and don’t require specialized materials or equipment. – Theresa

Myths Busted! Just When You Thought You Knew What You Knew– |  Emily Krieger 
From the origins of fortune cookies to alligators living in the sewers of New York City, this book gives kids the tools to break and bust wild and wacky myths from around the world.

More than 100 ‘myths’ are debunked, first with a suggestion of how they came to be believed and then with the science that disproves them. – Theresa

Star Wars: Science Fair Book  |  Samantha Margles
Presents thirty step-by-step instructions for science projects and experiments based on elements from the “Star Wars” film series, including how to create crystals, make a hydrometer, and move objects with “the force.”

An engaging concept to encourage young scientists with all the tips needed to make a great science fair project. – Theresa