Blog Type

Lalani of the Distant Sea

Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly

Recommended for ages 8-12

Twelve year old Lalani Sarita lives on the oppressive island of Sanlagita where everyone fears “the mountain” and life consists of cleaning, cooking, mending and errands. The island has endured a drought and the people are running out of food and water. Lalani’s mother has also taken sick with mender’s disease, an often fatal illness. A mythical creature on “the mountain” grants Lalani one wish and she wishes for rain. It rained for days, then weeks and finally the “the mountain” gave way and destr...

Read More

Truly Devious

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is one of the newest students at the remote mountaintop boarding school that was the scene of one of the most famous kidnapping and murder cases of the 20th Century. Ellingham Academy was founded by an eccentric millionaire as a sanctuary for gifted students – but the educational utopia almost didn’t survive its first term. Shortly after opening, two Ellingham family members disappeared and a student was killed. Though the school eventually reopened, the mysteries swirling around campus have kept amateur detectives...

Read More

Gwendy's Button Box

Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar

More and more often lately, a little voice inside her head is asking questions she doesn’t have answers for. Why you, Gwendy Peterson? Out of all the people in this round world, why did he choose you?

It is the summer of 1974, and 12-year old Gwendy Peterson is doing her daily climb of the Suicide Stairs in Castle Rock when the man with the black hat she has seen sitting on the bench below all week speaks to her.  Smartly, Gwendy points out that she doesn’t speak to strangers, but after the eccentric man d...

Read More

The Poison Bed

The Poison Bed by Elizabeth Fremantle

The Poison Bed is an intriguing psychological thriller full of history, intrigue, and murder.  It is equal parts historical fiction and true crime.  A Forensic Files for the Jacobean Age.  The book centers around the marriage of Lady Frances Howard and Robert Carr (a favorite of King James I) and the murder of their fellow courtier Thomas Overbury.  Both parties stand accused of the crime and one of them will pay with their life.  But will the true mastermind p...

Read More

D-Day Girls

D-Day Girls by Sarah Rose

D-Day Girls by Sarah Rose is a page turning work of nonfiction that documents the adventures the women of Winston Churchill’s Special Operations Executive who risked everything to prepare France for the allied invasion on June 6, 1944. During a time when very little was expected of women outside their traditional roles, these women broke barriers and took risks for the cause of freedom. They were the first women in organized combat and the first women in active duty special forces. They trained as paratroopers and infiltrated the war zone i...

Read More

Marriageology

Marriageology: The Art and Science of Staying Together by Belinda Luscombe

Belinda Luscombe is an editor at Time magazine who has written about marriage for over a decade.  With this work, she has written a funny and approachable guide for couples.  Marriageology is an easy read at a little over 200 pages.  (There are 30 pages of footnotes at the end, though, if you really want to check on all of her statistics.)  In general, the takeaway is that people are better off married, as long as it’s not abusive or a “war zone.”  If you can stick it out,...

Read More

Evangeline of the Bayou

Evangeline of the Bayou written by Jan Eldredge and illustrated by Joseph Kuefler

Recommended for ages 8-12

Evangeline Clement is studying to be a haunt huntress like all the women in her line. With only a few weeks before her 13th birthday, she only needs her familiar to appear and choose her for its companion. But with mistake after mistake, and the council watching closely, is she really cut out for such things as banshees and shadow crouchers?

Evangeline and her Grandma are called out of the swamp to New Orleans to help a family with a problem no ...

Read More

Gather the Fortunes

Gather the Fortunes by Bryan Camp (Book 2 in the Crescent City series)

Renaissance Raines is a supernatural being known as a psychopomp, one of many who usher the recently deceased through the Seven Gates of the Underworld before they arrive at their final destination. But when she is assigned to help Ramses St. Cyr, she can’t find him. He has somehow avoided his moment of death, and that simply does not happen.

What follows is a wild journey that takes you from the darkest haunts of New Orleans through all the gates of the underworld and back again. With the help of a f...

Read More

Saving Meghan

Saving Meghan by D. J. Palmer

Saving Meghan is a page turning suspense novel that will have the reader trying to anticipate the truth only to have another twist thrown at them as the plot thickens. Meghan was a bright active 15 year old, but suddenly that changes. She starts experiencing a whole host of symptoms that medical specialists are unable to find a definitive diagnosis. The stress of not having an answer takes a toll on her parents and the mom turns to social media for support. After exhausting all the medical possibilities another specialist wonders if Meghan is truly si...

Read More

Sweet Dreamers

Sweet Dreamers by Isabelle Simler

Recommended for ages 4-8

A perfect bedtime cuddle book! This book has been brilliantly translated from French to English and is a complete delight for young and old. The illustrations have been created digitally and are exquisite with extraordinary color contrasts. The art is reminiscent of scratchboard art at its finest. Each double page spread contains a short poem about how each animal sleeps and dreams and there may even be some surprising information and facts. Dolphins, giraffes, sloths, and koalas are just a few of the s...

Read More

Daisy Jones and the Six

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid         

Daisy Jones and the Six is the perfect beach read this summer.  It oozes rock and roll from every page and I loved it.  Told in the style of a rock documentary (ala Behind the Music) it tells the story of a talented and tempestuous female singer song writer breaking into the 1970’s rock scene.  Daisy Jones is just an emerging star when she hooks up the established classic rock bank The Six.  Their meteoric rise to the top of the music world is accompanied b...

Read More

I Am Still Alive

I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall

A great summer read for fans of survival fiction like Gary Paulsen’s Hatchett. 

Following a tragic auto accident in which she was severely injured and her mother was killed, Jess is sent to live with her father in Alaska - but he’s not really in Alaska.  He’s hiding out in a cabin deep in the Canadian forest in an area so remote it is only reachable by air. 

After just a few short weeks, another tragedy occurs and Jess is left alone in this strange wilderness still reeling from loss and injury.  She kn...

Read More

A Story Like the Wind

A Story Like the Wind written by Gill Lewis and illustrated by Jo Weaver

Recommended for ages 9 to 14
 
On a lonely raft in the middle of the ocean, a group of refugees huddles together, awaiting their fate. What starts as a story of despair quickly turns into a story of hope as each of the refugees shares what they can with the others. The only thing Rami, our main character, has to share is his violin and the story it tells through music. And what a story it is! It's a story about a beautiful wild stallion, a cruel ruler, and the power of freedom.
 ...

Read More

A Spark of Light

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult
 
No author can capture real world problems quite like Jodi Picoult can. In her latest novel, A Spark of Light, Picoult tackles the popular debate of pro-choice versus pro-life. The majority of the novel takes place within the walls of Mississippi's one and only abortion clinic, the Center. Within the first few pages, readers learn that the staff and patients of the Center are being held hostage by a gunman, while the police, SWAT team, and lead negotiator, Hugh McElroy, work from outside.  The situation intensifies when Hugh discover...

Read More

The Trial of Lizzie Borden

The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson

Take a step back into the gilded age with The Trial of Lizzie Borden.  We all know the story of the murder of Andrew and Abby Borden, an elderly couple hacked to death in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts in August 1892.  This book goes beyond the murders and takes a deep dive into the arrest and trial of Lizzie Borden.

Cara Robertson gives the reader a front row seat in the courtroom for one of the most sensational murder trials in American history. We get to know lawyers for the prosecution and defense. The a...

Read More