Staff Picks

Not my father's son: a memoir by Alan Cumming Not my father's son: a memoir by Alan Cumming
When television producers approached Alan to appear on a popular celebrity genealogy show in 2010, he enthusiastically agreed. He hoped to solve a mystery that had long cast a shadow over his family. His maternal grandfather, Tommy Darling, had disappeared into the Far East after WWII. Alan's mother knew very little about him--he had been a courier, carrying information between battalions on his motorbike. The last time she saw her father, Alan's mother was eight years old. When she was thirteen, the family was informed that he had died by his own hand, an accidental shooting.
In this memoir, Alan Cumming weaves the story of his childhood fraught with the violence tendencies of his father as well as embarks on a journey to delve in to his family's history and uncovers the layers of his maternal grandfather's mysterious life and consequent death. The story seamlessly flows from the author's past to present taking the reader along for a revealing journey.
-Melissa, Reference Librarian
Restart by Gordon Korman Restart by Gordon Korman
From the #1 bestselling author of Swindle and Slacker , Restart is the spectacular story of a kid with a messy past who has to figure out what it means to get a clean start.
Restart by Gordon Korman is the story of Chase Ambrose. Chase is a all star football player, an all around gifted athlete and seems to succeed at anything he tries. An all around nice guy? Not so much. After a fall gives him amnesia, Chase slowly comes to grips with the idea that he was not a very nice person prior to his accident. This take on bullying manages to be thoughtful while still very funny. I would recommend this book for kids from 4th to 6th grade.
- Danielle, Youth Services Coordinator
Flamecaster Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima
Set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Seven Realms series, a generation later, this is a breathtaking story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death. This dazzling beginning to a new series is indispensable for fans of Cinda Williams Chima and a perfect starting point for readers who are new to her work.
This book is set in the world of the Seven Realms a generation later. Filled with magic, adventure, and intrigue this story follows the paths of Ash and Jenna as their very different lives intertwine.
–Melissa, Reference Librarian
Shannon Kaiser Adventures for your soul: 21 ways to transform your habits and reach your full potential by Shannon Kaiser
Have you ever felt like there's something holding you back? Maybe that something is you. Sometimes the one thing you need to make a change is to see things from a fresh perspective. Discover twenty-one innovative emotional explorations to boldly confront the habits that are holding you back in this breakthrough guide that provides the tools you need to fearlessly embrace your innermost desires.
This is one of the few self-help books that I have read where I don’t feel talked down to as a reader. The author is clear, concise, bright and cheerful and the tips given are actually helpful and relatable. This book allows readers to get past negative self-destructive daily habits and face the challenges that stop us from breaking out of our comfort zones and lead us to a more fulfilling, hopefully happy life.
–Nicole, Childrens Librarian
Unicorn vs. goblins by Dana Simpson Unicorn vs. goblins by Dana Simpson
Not every kid skips a rock across a pond and winds up with a unicorn best friend, right? The popular friendship of Phoebe and Her Unicorn is back for a third collection of adventures so heavenly they had to be shared.
This is an awesome graphic novel about a girl and her best friend who also happens to be a Unicorn.
–Melissa, Reference Librarian
The Eureka key by Sara L Thomson The Eureka key by Sara L Thomson
When middle school puzzle master Sam and history wiz Martina win a contest for a summer trip across the US, they discover they've been drafted into something vastly more extraordinary. Joining another kid on the trip, Theo, a descendant of George Washington himself, they must follow clues to find seven keys left behind by the Founding Fathers. Together the keys unlock Benjamin Franklin's greatest invention--a secret weapon intended to defend the country. Each key is hidden in a unique location around the U.S., protected with puzzles, riddles, and traps. This has kept the weapon safe . . . until now! Gideon Arnold, a dangerous descendant of the infamous Benedict Arnold, is on the chase.
Secrets of the Seven Book #1: The Eureka Key is a thrilling middle grade adventure with puzzles, American history facts and ruthless assassins. When Sam wins a mysterious summer trip across the U.S., little does he know the danger that awaits him at every turn. With other master puzzlers Martina and Theo, can these three preteens solve the riddles, survive the summer and save one of Ben Franklin’s greatest inventions?
–Nicole, Childrens Librarian
Pandora's Lab Pandora's Lab by Paul Offit
What happens when ideas presented as science lead us in the wrongdirection? History is filled with brilliant ideas that gave rise to disaster, and this book explores the most fascinating--and significant--missteps: from opium's heyday as the pain reliever of choice to recognition of opioids as a major cause of death in the U.S.; from the rise of trans fats as the golden ingredient for tastier, cheaper food to the heart disease epidemic that followed; and from the cries to ban DDT for the sake of the environment to an epidemic-level rise in world malaria.
Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong by Paul Offit is a fascinating look at scientific missteps and their horrific results. Each story is ended with a look at how good intentions went so awry, and usually the lesson is listen to the data. This is a great read for anyone interested in science or history.
–Danielle, Youth Services Coordinator
The hate u give by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is a powerful YA novel currently on the New York Times Best Seller list. In this timely book, Starr Carter is a 16 year old who is the sole witness to the police shooting of an unarmed teenager that she grew up with. She is also navigating the differences between the poverty stricken neighborhood she grew up in and the posh private school she attends.
-Danielle, Youth Services Coordinator
Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy by Chynna Clugston Flores
The Lumberjanes and Gotham Academy kids team up! When a teacher at Gotham Academy goes missing, it's up to Olive, Maps, Colton, Pom, and Kyle to figure out what is happening and how to get her back. With only an outdated birthday invitation as the clue, they find themselves in the middle of the woods with no idea of where to start. With the sudden appearance of the Lumberjanes--April, Jo, Mal, Molly, Ripley and Jen--who are on the hunt for their missing Camp Director, all clues point to an abandoned cabin with more secrets than cobwebs.
This is an excellent crossover that brings together characters from both Lumberjanes and Gotham Academy. Everyone works together to find a missing teacher and the missing camp director and make some lasting friendships along the way.
-Melissa, Adult Reference Librarian