September 2015 Staff Picks
"There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book." ~Josh Jameson. For our September Staff Picks, we have page-turners for all ages with many soon to be published books to choose from.
Wendy's Staff Pick, September 2015: An amazing debut novel by Val Brelinski about two sisters who are exiled by their very religious parents when the older sister becomes pregnant. Ironically, when the two are forced into isolation they begin to experience their own lives, with consequences never intended by their parents.
The story is told from the perspective of the younger sister. Her coming-of-age is poignant, painful, and oh-so-real.
This is a wonderful read for book clubs, sure to prompt much thoughtful discussion.
Emily's Staff Pick, September 2015: This book highlights 26 influential women—scientists, athletes, artists and activists—who have helped shape American history.
Each page is dedicated to a different radical woman and includes a portrait and biography: C for Carol Burnett, R for Rachel Carson, S for Sonia Sotomayor, and Z for Zora Neale Hurston.
I love this book because it serves as an example to young people that there are plenty of American heroines, not just heroes! Best of all, it will inspire girls to use their own ingenuity, passion and hard work to make a difference in the world.
Rad American Women A – Z is directed toward readers ages 9 – 12, but adults will learn plenty as well. It would make a great read-aloud book!
Candace's Staff Pick, September 2015: This was my first Louise Penny novel and I absolutely will go back and read her other novels!
This is one of Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache novels and he is on the hunt for the person who killed a little nine year old boy – a boy who called wolf, perhaps one time too many.
The boy told tales of alien invasions, monster guns and a monster – that laid dormant for decades. The search for Laurent’s killer prompts a frenzied search in the woods around the tiny village of Three Pines and to discover the reason for additional murders. Chief Inspector Gamache pulls together a thread of evidence that connects a village poet, a retired professor, and an old murder.
Candace's Staff Pick, September 2015: This is the debut novel for Chuck McConnell and a good one it is! It’s a thriller loaded with enough suspense for me to never want to put the book down.
The drug cartels in Mexico are on the rampage and nothing or no one seems able to stop them. The US government brings Special Forces colonel Jack Talon on board to deal with the cartels. Talon, who was imprisoned for breaking the law to save a friend, pulls together an elite team to complete the mission only to be abandoned by the government he swore to defend.
This novel is a must-read if you love a good thriller!
Virgies's Staff Pick, September 2015: This book will be published September 15. We can't wait!
If you have read Brian Selznick’s Caldecott award-winning novels, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and Wonderstruck then you will anticipate another unconventional, beautiful and creative story by the same author!
The first 400 pages tell a story in pictures. It is like a “silent film on paper.” The exquisite pictures allow the reader to tell the story in his/her own mind, and I found myself going backwards at times to further study the information on each page. I must admit I became connected to the many generations of the actors and actresses in the Marvel family, through pictures alone.
The next 200 pages are all text, following young Joseph, a runaway from boarding school in search of his strange Uncle Albert, whose eccentric old house is decorated like a hidden 19th century world. As Joseph explores this mysterious house he believes there might be links to his own past which could help him determine how he “fits in” with his own family. Unable to contain his curiosity, Joseph crosses many lines of disobedience with his partner in crime, Frankie.
The two plot lines converge, intertwining the pictures with the text story, but it is not until the final 50 pages of pictures that the reader determines the resolution of this mystery!
WOW! Now this is creative writing at its best!
In my opinion, this is an excellent story for a parent/grandparent to read with a 3rd/4th grade reader. Depending on comprehension, I think 5th graders and older kids (including middle school and teens) would enjoy this book independently. It kept me engaged and curious … and I’m an adult. Try it yourself! You’ll love it!
Virgies's Staff Pick, September 2015: When I saw that Katherine Applegate, Newbery Award winning author of The One and Only Ivan, had written another book, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. And I wasn’t disappointed!
Jackson is a 5th grade boy who thinks he’s too old for an imaginary friend, but when his family falls on rough times, a large, lovable cat named Crenshaw comes to his aid.
This isn’t the first time his family has struggled. Jackson remembers times when he lived in a van, not knowing where his next meal would come from. He’s afraid those times are coming back. Jackson tries to resist his imaginary friend by denying his ‘need’ for him, but this relationship seems to make his life easier to bear.
I’ve not read many fiction books for kids that address poverty and homelessness, but Katherine Applegate did an amazing job of taking a serious subject and presenting it in a way that touches the hearts of readers from young elementary students all the way to adults.
This book will be published September 22!
Chris' Staff Pick, September 2015: This is Pema Chodron's graduation speech that she wrote for her granddaughter when she graduated from college.
It's rare to hear a speech about failure.
This is a very important lesson to learn: failure is not always bad.
This book is very powerful and inspirational. It is a great gift book to give to anybody who needs to be told that it’s ok to not be perfect!
Chris' Staff Pick, September 2015: Spirit Animals is a wonderful series about three kids who have a unique gift to summon animals in a time of need. The Fall of the Beasts follows Conor, Abeke, Meilin and Rolloan on their continuing adventures in the world of Erdas. You can join in the fun of Spirit Animals by going online.
Emma's Staff Pick, September 2015: Despite having exceeded the age range for this book by more than a couple of years, this book is one that I can fully endorse. It was a witty, bright, and funny read that both parents and kids will enjoy. Once Upon an Alphabet will appeal to the kid in all of us.
Emma's Staff Pick, September 2015: Reading this book felt like talking with a good friend. It was ridiculously funny, often times weird, and always honest.
The stories of Barbara and other people are not miraculous or inspirational. They are, however, quirky and real and by all accounts enjoyable to read. All of the characters are their own unique blend of smart and sassy. They are not the cool kids, but they are the shameless, fearless, endlessly interesting crew that indie movies are often caught trying to emulate.
Barbara the Slut and Other People is a comforting and unique collection of stories that proves a book does not have to be groundbreaking to be great.
Kim's Staff Pick, September 2015: A Southern Gothic mystery debut that combines literary suspense and romance with a mystical twist.
After a little boy in a boat appears in Charlie’s dreams asking for her help, Charlie finds herself entangled in a thirty-year-old missing child case that has never ceased to haunt Louisiana’s prestigious Deveau family.
Armed with an invitation to Evangeline, the family’s sprawling estate, Charlie heads south, where new friendships and an unlikely romance bring healing. But as she uncovers long-buried secrets of love, money, betrayal, and murder, the facts begin to implicate those she most wants to trust and her visions reveal an evil closer than she could have imagined.