Syd's Staff Picks
Syd's Staff Pick (October 2014): This is a very interesting read for all ages. It is a wonderful combination of a coming of age story and environmentalism. It takes place in a town of the Copper Basin near the Appalachian Mountains, whose terrain resembles the surface of Mars more so than anything you would expect to find on Earth. Jack Hicks wants more than anything to have the green return to the town, to have trees to play on, and wants nothing to do with the mine that has taken so many of his family members. It takes into account the importance of the environment and also how trying life in a mining town can be – especially when people die, jobs are lost, and mines shut down. Laced in with the hardships, are lessons on community, and how people come together when things get tough.
Syd's Staff Pick (October 2014): From the moment you open to the pages of this book you are hooked! It starts out with heart thumping action, and never disappoints as you make your way through the story. I loved everything about this book, especially its heroine, Rye, whom I felt particularly connected to. She is a stubborn, clumsy, determined young lady! She believes that the wretched Bog Noblins have returned, and never imagined the role she, her family, and the mysterious Luck Uglies would have in removing them. I loved following her throughout the story as she learns important life lessons, and truths about herself.
This story transports you to a whole new realm, full of magic and yet completely believable. It is original, light hearted, and magical. I completely loved it and cannot wait for the sequel!
Syd's Staff Pick (July 2014): “There are doorways, gates, between this world and the world of spirits through which the dead can return. Not just as spirits, but as living, breathing beings—Sleepers.”
This is an amazing, eerie, and captivating tale! It is a story spanning decades apart. One in modern times where two sisters try to piece together the disappearance of their mother, and another set in 1908 where a grieving mother brings her dead child back to life. I was instantly intrigued with this book just in the first page, and it didn’t disappoint! Its definitely a chilly ghost story of sorts, but not enough so that I wasn’t able to sleep at night! Loved it!
Syd's Staff Pick (July 2014): Fans of Tim Burton movies, Grimm fairy tales, and maybe even the Twilight Zone, I think would enjoy this book. The “cabinet” is full of artifacts that each have their own terrifying tale behind them, and the Curators (Bachmann, Catmull, Legrand, and Trevayne) are who brought the artifacts in and have the ability to re-tell their tales. Its an intriguing compilation of short stories that don’t particularly have anything in common except for their sinister plots: a cake that makes its owner feel as though he’s being eaten by himself, bloodthirsty grifters, and all sorts of things from childhood nightmares!
Syd's Staff Pick (June 2014): I love this story! It is the adventures of an imaginary friend, born into an imaginary world and waiting for a human to think him up and give him a name! When he is left all alone in his world, with no friend having imagined him, he takes it upon himself to venture to the real world and find his friend! Its an adorable, endearing, and hopeful children’s book, with absolutely beautiful illustrations!
Syd's Staff Pick (April 2014): This is not your typical fairy tale, nor does it have your typical fairies! They are devious and vengeful creatures, and for young Tanya they are a lifelong thorn in her rear! She has the gift of “second sight” so she is able to see the fey creatures and converse with them, however she is unable to tell anyone else about them. Tanya has made some discoveries that make her survival a bit easier, but also some that make her question where she’s from and the history of her family. This is a fun and twisted read for 3rd-7th graders!
Syd's Staff Pick (April 2014): Helga’s Diary is poignant account of the events leading up to and during the Holocaust, told in Helga’s perspective as a Jewish child living in those times. Helga was able to keep a diary while in the concentration camp Terezin – one of the nicer camps, where the residents attempted to maintain some amount of normalcy – and her uncle kept it hidden for her. She was later transferred to Auschwitz and from then on was not able to keep a diary due to the horrible conditions and treatment she endured. After the war was over, she was able to find her diary and has since gone back to add events from after Terezin and things she remembered. This is a beautiful diary written very simplistically and yet it is riveting at the same time. The only con: I found the translator’s notes to be distracting and mostly unnecessary. Regardless, it is well worth the read!
Syd's Staff Pick (April 2014): Trying to get my husband to read a book is nearly impossible! When we stumbled upon this new adventure of parenthood, we both needed some advice and information on the journey we were about to start. This book ended up being a life saver, and one my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed! It is an incredible book for all dads-to-be with information presented in a very real, relatable, and comical way. This resource covers everything a man would need to know and more – emotional highs and lows, mood swings, you can look but you can’t touch (things are sensitive!!), and the stress of the delivery room.
“Dad’s Expecting Too!” mixes a lot of advice and real world stories, and I highly recommend it for all parents-to-be!