July 1, 2015

Staff Pick - Downcast

Downcast is about Stephanie Starr, a girl going through her senior year of high school with no expectation that this year would be any different than previous years. Because of her over controlling mother, she has no personal life, and is situated on the bottom rung of the high school social ladder because of the dowdy clothing her mother makes her wear.

However, life is about to change for Stephanie when two brothers start going to her high school for their final year. Haley and Zachary Smith are both handsome, and have the popular kids all vying for their attention, but Haley is interested in just one girl - Stephanie.

Life as Stephanie knows it begins to unravel the more she gets to know Haley, and she's not sure if she should be thrilled by all the changes, or terrified. Just who is Haley Smith, why is he so determined to win her, and why is her mother suddenly beginning to act so strangely?

Downcast is a fast paced book that I found difficult to put down. Stephanie Starr is a very relatable character as she goes through the ups and downs in her life, trying to find answers to all the questions that just keep piling up. In the end, she just might get more than any girl could bargain for.

If you'd like to check it out, you can find it in our catalog by clicking here.


May 6, 2015

Staff Pick - Nest

In 1972 home is a cozy nest on Cape Cod for eleven-year-old Naomi “Chirp” Orenstein, her older sister, Rachel; her psychiatrist father; and her dancer mother. But then Chirp’s mom develops symptoms of a serious disease, and everything changes. 
Chirp finds comfort in watching her beloved wild birds. She also finds a true friend in Joey, the mysterious boy who lives across the street. Together they create their own private world and come up with the perfect plan: Escape. Adventure. Discovery.  
-Publisher Description
This story was nothing short of beautiful. Chirp's mom develops MS and then spirals into a clinical depression. Chirp, her sister Rachel, and her father are doing their best to cope in a world that seems to be fighting against them.

Their story was touching, inspiring, and thoughtful. I loved Chirp and Joey's friendship. The subject matter is a smidge heavy at times, but it ends up being so profound. I'd recommend this to both children and adults alike.

If you'd like to check Nest out, you can find it in our catalog by clicking here.


April 1, 2015

Staff Pick - The Glass Sentence

I loved this book. The concept was unique and creative.

In 1891, in a world transformed by the Great Disruption - when all of the continents were flung into different time periods, thirteen-year-old Sophia Tims and her friend Theo go in search of Sophia's uncle, Shadrack Elli, Boston's foremost cartologer, who has been kidnapped.

I enjoyed, not only the suspense in the search for Sophia’s uncle, but also the descriptions of the different parts of the world.

I highly recommend this book. If you'd like to check it out, you can find it in our online catalog by clicking here.


March 26, 2015

Staff Pick - Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief is the first in Rick Riordan’s series that follows the adventures of Percy Jackson, the half mortal son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the Sea. Unaware of his godly heritage, twelve year old Perseus “Percy” Jackson starts to learn of his true identity after an encounter with his pre-algebra teacher, who transforms into a mythological creature called a Fury and attacks him.

Sent home for summer vacation, Percy plans to enjoy a trip to the beach with his mother, until a giant Minotaur attacks them and sends her to the underworld. He wakes up at Camp Half-Blood where he learns that his best friend is a satyr (half goat) and his favorite teacher is a centaur. Oh, and that he’s the son of Poseidon, who’s currently in a quarrel with Zeus and Hades about the location of Zeus’s missing master lightning bolt.

That quarrel sends Percy off on a quest across America to return the master bolt to Mount Olympus, a portal to which is now conveniently located in New York City. Whether it’s a fight with a mythological beast or escaping from an ambush, the pages of this book are filled with action that will carry you through to the end. An exciting and enlightening read!

If you'd like to check out The Lightning Thief, you can find it in our catalog by clicking here.


March 12, 2015

Staff Pick - My Name Is Mary Sutter

I first heard about this book at the Iowa Library Association Conference. It was the book chosen as All Iowa Reads book for 2015. It sounded like a good story and when I saw our copy one day, I picked it up.

This story is about a young woman living in Albany, New York just prior to the Civil War. Mary's mother, Amelia is a well-known midwife. Since they were very young, Amelia took her children along when she had a delivery scheduled that would take some time away from home.

Mary quickly became Amelia's diligent helper and learned everything she could about childbirth. Mary and her twin sister, Jenny, turned 20 yrs. old the day their father died in Sept. 1860. The day after his funeral, Mary wrote her first letter to request admission to the Albany Medical School. Her deepest wish was to become a surgeon.

As she leaves for the city of Washington, she plans to do whatever she can to become a nurse while the war rages around her. She couldn't have guessed how difficult it would be to be taken seriously. She is turned down by Dorothea Dix, Female Superintendent of Army Nurses. When Mary arrives at the Union Hotel, it has been occupied as a Hospital. It is old and dirty and not ideal as a Hospital, but Mary goes to work doing anything that needs done. Mopping floors, washing bedding and when the first wounded soldiers come it is Mary working alongside Dr. Stipp taking care of them as best as anyone can.

Mary's story gives the reader a first hand look at the difficulties in the medical field during the Civil War. Mary leaves her family home and it's comforts behind in Albany and learns many new things in the care of soldiers and their wounds.

If you'd like to read My Name Is Mary Sutter, you can find it in our online catalog by clicking here.

- Cindy