Rakes, Rogues, and Ruination

Welcome to the world of the British Regency, the era from approximately 1795-1837. Everett Public Library has added over 100 Regency Romance novels to our eBook collection. Don’t let the time period fool you, within the constraints they must follow, these ladies are strong, fierce, and independent. From the darkest gaming hell to the most glittering ballroom, discover the lives and loves of Lords and Ladies, Dukes and Duchesses, governesses, wallflowers, and Bow Street Runners.

The Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn is not to be missed. Eight siblings alphabetically named, Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth, each have a novel featuring their story. The mysterious Lady Whistledown and the Smythe-Smith Quartet add a touch of humor you won’t forget.

The highly-anticipated T.V. series based on these novels, Bridgerton, narrated by Julie Andrews as Lady Whistledown is expected to air this year on Netflix starting on December 25! Read more about the series here.

Any mention of Regency Romance must include best-selling author, Lisa Kleypas. Four young ladies meet at the side of the dance floor in the Wallflowers series and make a pact to help each other find husbands. Each has her reason, Annabelle is beautiful but has no dowry, Sisters Lillian and Daisy are new-money brash Americans, and shy Evie must escape her unscrupulous relatives who are after her wealth. Be sure to check out the Ravenels for a glimpse of the Wallflowers 20+ years later.

Welcome to Spindle Cove, where the ladies with delicate constitutions come for the sea air, and men in their prime are… nowhere to be found. Or are they? Also known as “Spinster Cove,” due to the number of unmarried ladies living there, these are a series of laugh-out-loud funny books by Tessa Dare.

Three friends are expelled from a young ladies’ academy for unbecoming conduct. Since the don will be sure to close their doors on these disgraced debutantes, they determine that unconventional means need to be employed in the husband-hunting market. Rakehells—the beau monde’s wickedest members—might be the only men willing to overlook a young lady’s besmirched reputation.

But how does one catch a rake? Find out in the Disreputable Debutantes series by Amy Rose Bennett.

The grown half-brothers and sister of a thrice-widowed dowager duchess and some cousins to boot manage to find love amidst an on-going murder mystery, kidnapping, blackmail, explosions, and a London debut. There are more books to come in this series featuring three unmarried Dukes in one family. Three!

For more scandals, house parties, Bluestockings, masquerade balls, fake engagements, London Seasons, marriages of convenience, guardians, wards, highwaymen, and spies, be sure to explore other titles and authors in our Regency Romance eBook Collection.

Schooled at Home? Week 2

This will be a school year unlike any other. It will be embedded in the mind of your youngsters for probably the rest of their lives, for better and worse. Some miss the joy of reuniting with friends and meeting new teachers. Others miss routines that ground them. Some are content staying home and love getting time with family.

These new experiences are bound to bring up a wide range of emotions, even if kids don’t articulate them. Just dealing with technology issues alone requires extreme patience, resilience, and understanding.

Helping your kids develop emotional skills, along with the ability to roll with a sense of humor, will smooth out future bumps in the road before you even get there.

Our collection is full of books about that support, this emotional muscle building and self-care for kids, teens and adults. September Sunday Night stories also features books on the topic throughout September.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you are a positive role model for your kids, which includes accepting yourself and your kids as is, with all the struggles.

For parents, check out our Parenting During COVID Booklist for support navigating this season. Topics cover practical strategies for navigating technology with kids to strategies for developing emotional resilience.

Our Emotional Growth for Young Readers list focuses on picture books with characters and plots that expand reader’s emotional and interpersonal awareness. When Sadness Is At Your Door by Eva Eland and What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada can be used to start discussions with kids about how challenges can teach us about hope and resilience. What Should Danny Do? is a choose your own adventure book focusing on the outcomes of choices the character makes throughout the day.

Looking for a chapter book that falls under that category? Read a book from our Emotional Development Read Alouds list, like Stella Diaz Never Gives Up by Angela Dominguez or Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate.

Books for Emotional Resilience (recommended for ages 10+) includes great read aloud novels with characters who develop and/or demonstrate emotional resilience in complex situations and non-fiction guides. Fish in a Tree by Lynda Hunt and Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper offer narratives about students building their confidence at school.Ghost by Jason Reynolds and One for the Murphys by Lynda Hunt provide models for kids overcoming significant in interpersonal relationships. Mindful Me: Mindfulness and Meditation for Kids provides practical guidance for those looking for straight forward emotional and mental health strategies.

The De-stress for Success Teen Booklist features practical guides and non-fiction stories about individuals overcoming stress to find hope and resilience. From confidence building strategies in The Self-Esteem Habit for Teens: 50 Simple Ways to Build Your Confidence Every Day by Lisa Schab to advice on re-wiring stress responses in Be Mindful and Stress Less: 50 Ways to Deal with Your (Crazy) Life by Gina Biegel, this booklist offers resources for teens looking to strengthen their mental health in this season.

In all of this, remember that at any age, caregiver and other adult engagement around the reading of these books will make their impact even more powerful. And don’t forget to take care of yourself.

School at Home: Week 1

Whew! I’m sweating just thinking about this school year, and I don’t even have kids. As a former teacher, I know the breadth of the responsibilities you now shoulder if you have kids at home doing online learning, plus you know, navigating family life during a pandemic.

Without a physical classroom, children will lean on caregivers for the emotional support and structure that are key to learning.

Here’s a teacher hack: Use the first week to set the stage for a year of learning. Teachers spend it identifying student needs, learning and practicing healthy routines/habits, setting and communicating expectations, and building relationships. Academic learning comes second.

You can apply these teacher hacks at home as well.

  • Center on Needs: What habits or routines can your family develop that will meet your children’s needs? Needs of you and other family members? Remember access to food, safety, and shelter, and minimizing stress are foundations of learning.

  • Set a Schedule: When do you have lunch/snacks, play breaks, reading time, homework time, social time, etc? What break time activities will be most beneficial? You may need to consider your own work schedules while doing this as well. Write it down and post it somewhere central. Use pictures for pre-readers.

  • Keep It Positive: What is your child doing well? Tell them frequently. What makes your child feel successful and positive, and how can you help create that state of mind? Do it regularly.

One routine that offers structure (and improves academic performance) is independent reading. Reading before online class starts may help transition into school mode. Consider establishing a habit of reading a fun book while while waiting for the next thing to begin or the teacher (you) to be available.

Your student doesn’t read independently yet? Set up the Tumblebooks website or app, listen to audiobooks on Libby or Hoopla, or check out an audiobook on playaway or CD. Or, have siblings read aloud together. Looking at pictures also counts as reading.

You can also request a book collection tailored to your readers through Books for You program and use them as your home classroom library.

Want to further support your children’s literacy beyond what’s being taught? Common Sense Media offers discussion questions for books and in depth reviews. Check out additional educational resources on our A-Z List of Resources for kids.

Explore our eLibrary

Most local libraries offer a good selection of digital books, movies, and music, as well as research and other databases for learning, business, auto repair, etc. Everett Public Library is no exception. We spend a lot of time, and frankly, money, subscribing to these quality resources for the community to use. Unfortunately, this library collection can sometimes be one of the least visible.

Here’s a short video to show you how to navigate to EPL’s eLibrary and full list of databases.

If you watched the video you may have noticed that there was much more in the A-Z list that was not mentioned, so make sure to check out the whole list here. Below are a few highlights of the many resources to which the library provides access, both research and entertainment focused.

Northwest Room digital content can help you find historic photos, research property history, or even reminisce over photos of your old classmates in Everett High’s “Nesika” yearbooks. Some of the photography collections, such as the Juleen studio collection, are amazing records of Everett’s history, both in terms of the places and the people. Staff adds new material to these online collections regularly; check out Northwest Room Historian Lisa’s recent video tour of the Juleen panoramas, which are in the process of being digitized.

Brue Building school with children, 3410 Everett Avenue, Everett, Washington, 1892. From the King and Baskerville Collection. Building still stands today.

Online learning
Lynda.com offers a wide variety of expert-taught courses on topics including photography, business/management training, web design, graphic design, computer coding, and much more! Learning Express, GCF Free Learn, and Khan Academy are other good sources for tests, training, and skills development.

Genealogy Research
Did you know Ancestry.com is currently available from home? In normal times this popular genealogy resource is only accessible at the library, so if you’ve been thinking about starting to research your family roots, now is a great time to try it out.

In Novelist Plus, you can search among hundreds of thousands of popular fiction and readable nonfiction titles, and also retrieve author read-alikes, book lists, book discussion guides, and more. All of this rich editorial content is crafted by librarians and reading authorities who are experts in the field.Learn more in this Reading Life blog post, Know About Novelist?


Magazines through Overdrive/Libby
Many of our patrons know and love the Libby (by Overdrive) app for e-books and e-audiobooks, but did you know there are magazines available as well? Check out this video made for us by Overdrive staff, to show you how to find magazines from the app. Speaking of apps for library content and resources, you can find all of them here.

Music: http://www.bensound.com

Ebooks and e-audiobooks are available from both Overdrive and cloudLibrary. Each collection has different titles available, so make sure to search both, or use the catalog and limit to ebooks to see all in one place. CloudLibrary often has fewer holds on popular items, probably because people are used to only searching in the Libby app, so do check it out and give it a try. The app is easy to use!

Creativebug, has been featured in a few blogs posts: Summer Sewing and Homemade relief for your dry hands? Yes, please!. It’s a great place to look for arts and crafts classes and projects from quick crafts to month-long series.

Creativebug’s Make Tissue Paper Pompoms is an easy project that brings so much festivity, color, and joy to a room, and all you need is tissue paper, wire, scissors, and string.

Movies and Music: Hoopla and Kanopy

Hoopla offers movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics and TV shows to enjoy on your computer, tablet, or phone – and even your TV! With no waiting, titles can be streamed immediately, or downloaded to phones or tablets for offline enjoyment later.

Kanopy streams thoughtful entertainment to your preferred device with no fees and no commercials by partnering with public libraries. Everyone from film scholars to casual viewers will discover remarkable and enriching films on Kanopy. Log in with your library membership and enjoy the diverse catalog with new titles added every month.

Until we can open our doors again and welcome back our patrons, we hope you find entertainment and education in EPL’s eLibrary.


Shell Scott Mysteries

Be it because my brain is so focused on various worries or because I use up all my reading neurons on news, I currently have very little interest in perusing for pleasure. Add to this that I typically don’t like serious stuff or conflict or stress or Nazis or the earth moving closer to the sun but wait it was a dream and it’s actually moving farther from the sun, well, there ain’t a whole lotta words I wanna interact with right now.

But one genre that has stood by me throughout good times and bad is the less-than-hardboiled detective book. And my favorite purveyor of said genre is Richard S. Prather.

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Shell Scott is everything you could want in a detective: physically imposing, young yet experienced, able to outfight your average thug, possessing a tendency to do what’s right and sporting a flair for the fairer s-e-x. He drinks hard, lusts freely and displays a wide streak of goofiness. And while many fictional detectives have an antagonistic relationship with local police, Shell often works with the law.

Prather wrote most of the Shell Scott mysteries in the 1950s and 60s, overlapping James Bond, Mike Hammer and many other spies and detectives. As one might expect, the morés and attitudes of the day permeate the prose, so there’s something to offend everyone I reckon. However, it’s the prose that makes this series stand out.

According to thrillingdetective.com, the Scott stories were “…smirky, outlandish, innuendo-laden, occasionally alcohol-fueled, off-the-wall tours-de-farce that, depending on your point of view, were either a real hoot, or a lot of adolescent, sexist swill and hackwork.” And I am in total agreement with this viewpoint. Fortunately for me, I frequent the adolescent section of the maturity scale, making me the target audience for Prather’s wordsmithing.

But what better way to see what Shell Scott is about than reading a few pithy quotes? First up is a taste of grit:

“The sudden sight of the girl so messily dead had shocked me, and I guess I let my guard down. The hiss of the slug near my head and the crack of the gun seemed simultaneous.”
      ~ from The Kubla Khan Caper

Characters we have previously met frequently die in these tales. Try not to become too attached. Yet the tone is often silly. Scott does not think highly of thugs and he lets the audience know it:

“He had the look of a cat who would wear monogrammed shorts. Or even silk underwear with his whole name printed on it. And maybe his picture. A picture of him in his shorts.” 
     ~ from The Meandering Corpse

 But the floweriest prose generally focuses on descriptions of women:

“She smiled like a woman getting chewed on the neck by Pan. It was a nice smile. I liked it. It went in my eyes and reamed out my arteries and steamed my blood and opened up half a dozen glands like cooked lotus blossoms.”
     ~ from Kill Me Tomorrow

And those descriptions can become downright bizarre:

 “… she didn’t wear one of those bosom contraptions, either – like lifters, expanders, separators, elevators, pushers, poochers, upmashers, tiptilters, squeezers, and aprilfoolers – that have come along since plain old brassieres went out of style, and that are so adorable you almost want to leave the gal home and take her contraption out dancing.”
     ~ from The Meandering Corpse

I guarantee you won’t find that particular sentence anywhere else in literature.

Everett Public Library has a variety of Shell Scott mysteries available as electronic downloads. Perhaps they are just the thing to warm the cockles of your heart in difficult times. I know I’m going to get back to reading one as soon as I do some research on bosom contraptions.

Night Train

Parts of Night Train by David Quantick really scared me… in that “this-has-got-to-be-a-dream-why-can’t-I-wake-up” kind of way. Other times I just felt claustrophobic. Maybe that’s because it’s how the main character feels when she wakes up alone in a moving train car.

Her name is Garland – according to the name tag on her jumpsuit. But she doesn’t remember anything. There is no way off the train, it just keeps speeding along. The windows won’t break, and there are no escape hatches.

After Garland travels through a few cars she meets Banks, a different kind of ‘person.’ Banks has no memory of his life before the train either, but he’s been there for quite a while. Garland convinces him they must get to the front of the train and stop it. As they travel together from car to car to car, they find that each one is completely different, and surprising.

I found myself holding my breath as they opened each door, especially since some of the doors locked behind them. Sometimes Banks and Garland come across a situation that brings a glimmer of remembrance about their actual selves, and we realize that their trip to the front of the train is a fight with their own personal issues.

This is a must read because there are moments in our lives when we realize that things are perceived differently from what they really are. I kept thinking “what would I do if this were me?” So, come join the adventure as Garland and Banks make their way to the front of the train, and see for yourself how it ends!

Did You Know? (Wagon Edition)

The ‘little red wagon’ was invented in 1917?

I found this information in the book Radio Flyer by Robert Pasin. New to America in 1914, Anthony Pasin studied English and worked many jobs. His struggle reminded me of this quote:

Before I came to America, I thought the streets were paved with gold. When I came here, I learned three things: The streets were not paved in gold, the streets weren’t paved at all, and I was expected to pave them.

attributed to an anonymous emigrant, Immigration Museum at Ellis Island

Anthony worked hard and in 1917 made his first wagon from wood to haul his tools to his job. Soon, he had orders from neighbors and friends. Inevitably he was not able to keep up with the demand. Soon he began pressing them out of steel, and eventually was making scooters, tricycles and wheelbarrows as well. There were more little red wagons built than station wagons!

Yesterday’s station wagons were like the minivans of today. Everyone had one. They were just the ticket for a family road trip vacation. You load up the car, kids and a cooler full of sandwiches and Viola! Perfect family vacation!

But there are always exceptions as Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Long Haul by Jeff Kinney shows us.

Catalog summary: Their journey starts off full of promise, then quickly takes several wrong turns. Gas station bathrooms, crazed seagulls, a fender bender, and a runaway pig—not exactly Greg Heffley’s idea of a good time. But even the worst road trip can turn into an adventure—and this is one the Heffleys won’t soon forget.

Another good story about a road trip is American Road Trip by Patrick Flores-Scott.

Catalog summary: With a strong family, the best friend a guy could ask for, and a budding romance with the girl of his dreams, life shows promise for Teodoro “T” Avila. But he takes some hard hits the summer before senior year when his nearly perfect brother, Manny, returns from a tour in Iraq with a devastating case of PTSD. In a desperate effort to save Manny from himself and pull their family back together, T’s fiery sister, Xochitl, hoodwinks her brothers into a cathartic road trip. Told through T’s honest voice, this is a candid exploration of mental illness, socioeconomic pressures, and the many inescapable highs and lows that come with growing up—including falling in love.

The inspiration behind Anthony’s small wagons created to pull tools were the wagons that crossed the prairies. Wagon trains began making their way west in the 1820’s. Obviously the wagons were much bigger than the little red ones, but this was where his vision began.

Woman on the American Frontier by William Worthington Fowler talks about the early days of pioneers and wagon trains. It was certainly an exciting time in history. You could also read Custer’s Trials: a Life on the Frontier of a New America by T.J. Stiles. This book gives us an inside look at the time period and the things that happened in the new ‘wild west.’

No matter what you read, I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane. I hope it brought back memories of your own escapades with your, or the neighbor kid’s, little red wagon, as well as your own family vacation road trip horror stories.

Not That Kind of Party

I was once standing in line in a bookshop (remember those, the humming thrum of all those captured words waiting to be freed from the shelves so they could release their stories?) when the couple in front of me began talking about one of my obsessions: the Donner Party.

A little back story: The Donner Party is one of the most well-known ‘wagons west survival stories.’ Many people think they were just unlucky, unprepared or downright cursed. I believe all three had a hand in what happened to the wagon party of several families who set out to forge a new life in the West, got caught in the Sierra Nevada mountains in a brutal snowstorm, and ended up resorting to cannibalism to survive.

The Donner party set out with hope for a new life in California and put their trust in a man by the name of Lansford Hastings who said he had “worked out a new and better road to California.” The Hastings Cutoff ended up being a disaster, with the wagons and animals barely able to make it through.

The party pushed on, crossing into Truckee Lake (now known as Donner Lake because hey, after having to eat a few of your traveling companions to survive, you should get a lake named after you). The Donner party decided to camp 3 miles from the summit near a cabin that had been built by previous pilgrims. Then 5-10-foot snow drifts trapped the party and the food ran out…

You get the picture: a big wagon party forging westward gets stuck and the living must eat the dead to survive.

But back to the bookshop. The man was saying to the woman beside him something about the anniversary of the Donner Party coming up. The woman shuddered like she felt one of the cannibal’s frozen hands slip down her back and hissed that she didn’t think she could ever resort to cannibalism, even if it was to survive. I’m not the kind of person to join in on strangers’ conversations, but I pushed a thought at the shivering woman: you have no idea what you would do when push came to shove in a matter of survival, even if it meant slicing a chunk of flesh out of a body half buried in the snow, face down so you can’t see who it is.

Well, that was lovely. I went dark there for a minute, didn’t I? I’m not sorry. It’s what I do.

Alma Katsu’s novel The Hunger follows the Donner party as they make the trek westward. The families start out excited and happy to be beginning this new part of their lives, but soon the journey becomes exhausting, things go wrong, and supplies run out. A child goes missing one evening and is found torn open by some beast. Tamsin Donner, on her second husband and maybe a little bit on the witchy side (making potions and concoctions and collecting herbs), begins to sense that something is not right. Something more than the normal peril of crossing America has attached itself to them.

One of her stepdaughters, who is thought to be a bit touched in the head, hears the voices of the dead. Some of them are full of madness while others are trying to warn her. Strange beings seem to be following them, appearing in the dark, watching them and waiting to catch them off guard. Up close, these things are barely human, more monster than man. More members of the wagon party disappear and some begin to get sick. Is it one of their own who is summoning these beings and passing a disease around the families or is there a reasonable explanation.?

I’ll tell you right now, no, there is no reasonable explanation. What is happening is beyond the realm of the known and defies explanation and…..you know what? No. I’m not going to tell you the rest. If you want to read an adventure story based on historical record dive on into Alma Katsu’s The Hunger. You may think you know the full story of the Donner Party, but Katsu turns it on its ear and sets it off down paths of the supernatural and unexpected. You’ll devour this book. And if you don’t like it, eat me.

Me and My Shadow(s)

As a child, my family moved around quite a bit. My mom always framed it as an adventure. Sometimes I didn’t even consider the idea that we were not coming back to a neighborhood until we were actually driving away, and the place we were leaving became smaller and smaller through the back window. What made these transitions so much easier was that we always brought my best friends, my younger sisters. Of course there were times where we bickered and fought. But more often we were partners in our imaginary play world, sharers of secrets, and protectors of each other.

Today’s book list focuses on siblings. From a sweet sibling bond in Lola Reads to Leo to adventures and mystery in Mission Unstoppable, these titles are all available as downloadable books. The descriptions are from our library’s catalog.

Picture Books

Tea Rex by Molly Idle
Some tea parties are for grown-ups. Some are for girls. But this tea party is for a very special guest. And it is important to follow some rules, like providing comfortable chairs,
and good conversation, and yummy food. But sometimes that is not enough for special guests, especially when their manners are more Cretaceous than gracious. Introducing Tea Rex, a guest that just about any child would love to have to tea!

Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan
Rubina has been invited to her first birthday party, and her mother, Ami, insists that she bring her little sister along. Rubina is mortified, but she can’t convince Ami that you just don’t bring your younger sister to your friend’s party. So both girls go, and not only does Sana demand to win every game, but after the party she steals Rubina’s prized party favor, a red lollipop. What’s a fed-up big sister to do? Rukhsana Khan’s clever story and Sophie Blackall’s irresistible illustrations make for a powerful combination in this fresh and surprising picture book.

Lola Reads to Leo by Anna McQuinn
Join Lola as she learns what it means to be a big sister, in the third installment in the loveable Lola series. We all know how much Lola loves books, so it is no surprise that she can’t wait to share her love of reading with her new baby brother, Leo. Lola gets ready for little Leo’s arrival by reading books about brothers and sisters and picking out the perfect stories that she just knows her little brother will love. When the baby is finally here, Lola takes on the role of big sister—she helps her mommy and daddy around the house and tells Leo stories to cheer him up when he cries. Simple text and bright and charming illustrations celebrate family, reading, and what it means to be a big sister.

Mabel and Sam at Home by Linda Urban
This playful and endearing book celebrates imaginative play as Mable and Sam move into a new house and make it their own. They sail the high seas of their new home, tour the intriguing museum of their living room, journey through outer space to the safety of their own beds, and discover how far afield—and how close to home—imagination can take them. Funny and engaging, this celebration of moving in and settling in is both heart-warming and house-warming.

Early Chapter Books

Ivy + Bean by Annie Barrows
When seven-year old Bean plays a mean trick on her sister, she finds unepected support for her antics from Ivy, the new neighbor, who is less boring than Bean first suspected.

Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder
Join Charlie and Mouse as they talk to lumps, take the neighborhood to a party, sell some rocks, and invent the bedtime banana. With imagination and humor, Laurel Snyder and Emily Hughes paint a lively picture of brotherhood that children will relish in a beginning chapter book format; making this a perfect book for young readers graduating from picture books.

Juvenile Fiction

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures. The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will–won’t they? One thing’s for sure: it will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget. Deliciously nostalgic and quaintly witty, this is a story as breezy and carefree as a summer day.

Mission Unstoppable: the Genius Files Series, Book 1 by Dan Gutman
The most exciting road trip in history begins! In this action-packed, New York Times bestselling adventure, twelve-year-old twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald embark on a family vacation you’ll have to read to believe.With the real-kid humor that has earned Dan Gutman millions of fans around the world, and featuring weird-but-true American tourist destinations, The Genius Files is a one-of-a-kind mix of geography and fun. As Coke and Pepsi dodge nefarious villains from the Pez museum in California all the way to the Infinity Room in Wisconsin, black-and-white photographs and maps put young readers right into the action. And don’t miss the next leg of the journey in The Genius Files: Never Say Genius!Supports the Common Core State Standards

The Problim Children by Natalie Lloyd
With a dash of Lemony Snicket, a dollop of the Addams Family, and a hearty dose of adventure, kaboom, the seven siblings—each born on a different day of the week—have to move into their grandpa’s bizarre old mansion in Lost Cove. No problem! For the Problim children, every problem is a gift! But rumors about their family run rampant in the small town: tales of a bitter feud, a hidden treasure, and a certain kind of magic lingering in the halls of #7 Main Street. Their neighbors, the O’Pinions, will do anything to find the secrets lurking inside the Problim household—including sending the seven children to seven different houses on seven different continents!

Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski.
Mirror, mirror, on the basement wall… Once upon a time my brother and I were normal kids. The next minute? The mirror in our basement slurped us up and magically transported us inside Snow White’s fairytale. I know it sounds crazy but it’s true. But hey-we’re heroes! We stopped Snow White from eating the poisoned apple. Hooray! Or not. If Snow White doesn’t die, she won’t get to meet her prince. And then she won’t get her happy ending. Oops. Now it’s up to us to: avoid getting poisoned, sneak into a castle, fix Snow White’s story. And then, fingers crossed, find our way home.

Gone crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia.
Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are off to Alabama to visit their grandmother, Big Ma, and her mother, Ma Charles. Across the way lives Ma Charles’s half sister, Miss Trotter. The two half sisters haven’t spoken in years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers the surprising truth that’s been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible.

Graphic Novel

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

Raina can’t wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren’t quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she’s also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn’t improve much over the years, but when a baby brother enters the picture and later, something doesn’t seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all. Raina uses her signature humor and charm in both present-day narrative and perfectly placed flashbacks to tell the story of her relationship with her sister, which unfolds during the course of a road trip from their home in San Francisco to a family reunion in Colorado.

The Bookshop on Film and Page

At the start of the film The Bookshop it is 1959 and a young widow living in a small English town decides to open a bookshop. After six months of negotiations, she is able to purchase an old building that has been vacant for years. That’s when the town grande dame decides that she wants that building for an arts center and tells the young woman that she will have to find another building for her bookshop.

The grande dame is accustomed to the villagers simply acceding to all her demands, no matter how unreasonable. This time, the young woman decides to fight for her dream of opening a bookshop in that building. Big mistake. The grande dame and her husband, a former general, begin an all-out campaign to destroy the young woman who dared to defy them.

This independent British film is available on Kanopy, one of the library’s free video apps. It stars Emily Mortimer as Florence Green, the young widow; Patricia Clarkson as the village grande dame; and Bill Nighy as a reclusive, book-loving widower (who isn’t actually a widower at all).

This is a beautifully made film with a superb cast – the stars all turn in exceptional performances and so do the supporting actors.

If you like British films, you might enjoy The Bookshop.

This film is based on the novel The Bookshop by British author Penelope Fitzgerald, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. We have the novel available in our digital collection as an e-book and also as an audiobook.