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The Minus-One Club

The Minus-One Club by Kekla Magoon

At first, I doubted that I would review this book.  There are multiple issues going on (sometimes it seems like too much.)  It’s heavy.  It’s messy.  It’s unresolved.  However, it turns out that The Minus-One Club is not a book I could read and not say something about, because, in the right hands, it has the potential to be a life saver.

It was the recognition of Kekla Magoon as an award-winning YA author, the unique premise, and the retro-looking cover (including an image of the protagonist and random piec...

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In the Upper Country

In the Upper Country by Kai Thomas

In the years before the American Civil War, Canada became a place of safety for formerly enslaved people who could reach its shores. There, refugees settled in communities like Buxton, Ontario and the fictional town of Dunmore, which sits on the northern coastline of Lake Erie and serves as the setting for Kai Thomas’s first novel.

One evening in 1859, the peace of Dunmore is disturbed when a bounty hunter turns up looking for a group of recent arrivals from Kentucky. During his attempted abduction, he is shot and killed with his own ri...

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Verity by Colleen Hoover

The story starts with struggling writer, Lowen, who was hired to complete the remaining books of successful writer, Verity, who cannot communicate and is confined to her bed due to an “accident”. She is invited to stay with Verity and her husband, Jeremy, at their creepy mansion, so she can get into the headspace of the famous writer.  

She stumbles upon a hidden memoir written by Verity about her life as a wife and mother. She details a life of vile child abuse and pain inflicted on her children. During her pregnancy, she drank alcohol, pop...

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The 9:09 Project

The 9:09 Project by Mark H. Parsons

I just finished a profoundly beautiful YA novel, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

17-year-old Jamison has become somewhat unmoored since the death of his mother.  Feeling isolated and lost, he turns to the art she introduced him to – photography – and begins taking photos every day at the same corner at 9:09 p.m., the time of her death.  Although at first the purpose of the project is unclear, it develops a huge following online, inspires others to start similar projects, and becomes the way in which Jamison is able to ...

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Knight Owl

Knight Owl by Christopher Denise

This is an enchanting and charming story featuring the cutest wide-eyed owl you will ever see. 

The owl in this story has always dreamed of becoming a brave knight one day. When knights began to disappear from the castle owl decides to apply to Knight School and much to everyone’s surprise he is accepted. He becomes a great student despite his struggles with the heavy sword and shield. He is a very brave and determined owl! 

When he finally gets the chance to prove himself and protect the castle his cleverness saves th...

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The Divorce Colony

The Divorce Colony by April White

For a woman traveling without her husband in the late 19th century, there was only one reason to take the train to Sioux Falls, South Dakota: divorce. South Dakota required only a 90-day residency before a woman could file for divorce, making it an appealing destination for women from other states with more restrictive laws. In The Divorce Colony, author April White details the stories of four different women who traveled to South Dakota with just that intention. Through her research, White unveils a little known piece of women’s history. This is ...

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The Legend of Pedestrio

The Legend of Pedestrio by Abner Serd

This author’s pseudonym is very apt. Abner Serd has written an “Ab Serd” tale, indeed. His folksy story of two wandering outdoorsmen searching for a legendary traveler “who roams the Earth by day and the sky at night” is full of dry humor and fantastical landscapes.

The author visited Butman-Fish Library last June, spinning some of the yarns from his book and sharing what it’s like to hike cross-country. His stories are just as entertaining in written form.

Abner, the character who narrates this novel, merely wants his favo...

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I Kissed Shara Wheeler

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

Noticing that it had been on the New York Times Young Adult bestseller list for 15 weeks, I chose this novel to read and review in order to see what exactly gives it its staying power. This is Casey McQuiston’s first foray into Young Adult novels. You may recognize the name due to their smash adult novel Red, White & Royal Blue, which just wrapped up production on a film adaptation.

Chloe Green is openly bisexual and raised by two moms. The family has recently moved back to small town Alabama from California. Chloe is in her ...

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The Golden Couple

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

If your marriage was on the rocks, would you seek advice from a recently “unlicensed” therapist?

How about if she guarantees she can fix your issues in only 10 sessions?

This compelling story begins with a successful, wealthy, seemingly perfect couple and parents, Marissa and Matthew. Their idyllic marriage takes a turn when they attempt to navigate the fallout from her infidelity. A game of cat and mouse ensues and you are never quite sure who is playing who.

“Therapist” Avery swoops in to ...

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Never Fall for Your Fiancée

Never Fall for Your Fiancée by Virginia Heath

There is nothing the Dowager Countess of Fareham would like more than to see her son, the current earl, happily married. 

Hugh hates to disappoint her, but he knows he would make any woman a terrible husband. It’s far better for everyone that he stay single. Fortunately, his mother lives thousands of miles away in America, so Hugh can placate her by writing many letters about Minerva, the beautiful and accomplished woman he has fallen in love with and intends to marry – someday.

Minerva is completely fictional,...

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The Nineties

In The Nineties, Gen X author Chuck Klosterman takes a whirlwind tour through a decade that birthed a lot of the trends that shape our modern world. 

The Nineties seemed to play by the same rules that made the rest of the late 20th Century work, but there was a shift happening in the way we interacted with technology and with each other. Those of us who lived through the decade probably didn’t realize the significance of what was happening in real time, but Klosterman takes us back to reflect on how and when things started to change.

However, that introduction makes...

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What's next for the Public Libraries of Saginaw?

This June, we're asking what kinds of programming for adults you would like to see offered at the Public Libraries of Saginaw. Take the brief online survey here, scan the QR code for the link, or stop in to any of our branches to participate. 

Thank you for your input!

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You've Reached Sam

You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao

Having spent 15 weeks on the New York Times young adult bestseller list, You’ve Reached Sam starts out as a feel-good story about two teens, Sam and Julie, who are very much in love and have their future planned out together.  The fact that the story doesn’t end there is what sets this young adult novel apart from the average romance.

One day, on the way to pick up Julie, Sam dies in a tragic car accident.  Julie deals with her overwhelming grief b...

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The Unsinkable Greta James

The Unsinkable Greta James By Jennifer E. Smith

Singer/songwriter Greta James has finally made the big time. After years of struggling, her first album hit the charts and life is good, but it all seems meaningless after her mother dies unexpectedly while Greta is performing out of the country.

Helen was her daughter’s number one fan and the referee in Greta’s antagonistic relationship with her father, Conrad. Conrad has never supported Greta’s music career, but maybe that’s not surprising, since her best-known hit was a song raging against him.

After Greta bre...

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Medusa by Jessie Burton with illustrations by Olivia Lomenech Gill

“If I told you that I’d killed a man with a glance, would you wait to hear the rest?”  That is the opening line of this amazing young adult novel, and if one does indeed stick around to hear the rest, an amazing journey ensues.  Someone you have thought of as monstrous transforms before your eyes into someone heartbreakingly human, with a past so painful and tragic that you want to weep for her.  That is the magic of this feminist retelling of the...

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