Staff Picks

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
Squirrel Meets World by Shannon Hale Squirrel Meets World by Shannon Hale
WHO RUNS THE WORLD? SQUIRRELS! Fourteen-year-old Doreen Green moved from sunny California to the suburbs of New Jersey. She must start at a new school, make new friends, and continue to hide her tail. Yep, Doreen has the powers of . . . a squirrel! After failing at several attempts to find her new BFF, Doreen feels lonely and trapped, liked a caged animal. Then one day Doreen uses her extraordinary powers to stop a group of troublemakers from causing mischief in the neighborhood, and her whole life changes. Everyone at school is talking about it! Doreen contemplates becoming a full-fledged Super Hero. And thus, Squirrel Girl is born! She saves cats from trees, keeps the sidewalks clean, and dissuades vandalism. All is well until a real-life Super Villain steps out of the shadows and declares Squirrel Girl his archenemy. Can Doreen balance being a teenager and a Super Hero? Or will she go . . . NUTS?
The first middle grade Squirrel Girl novel is full of action, adventure and tons of squirrel power! This is the origin story of teenager Doreen Green, aka Squirrel Girl. With her trusty sidekick Tippytoe, a pink bow wearing squirrel, Doreen has eyes and ears in the trees. When a super villain claims to be Squirrel Girl’s arch nemesis can Doreen make it through high school while concealing her secret identity and her enormous squirrel tail?
-Nicole, Childrens Librarian
Another Castle by Andrew Wheeler Another Castle by Andrew Wheeler
Our tale begins when PrincessMisty of Beldora, who longs for a more exciting life, gets more than shebargained for when she is captured by Lord Badlug, the ruler of the neighboringkingdom of Grimoire. He intends to marry her and conquer Beldora, leading theland into ruin and chaos. The people of Grimoire already suffer under his ruleand desperately need a hero... luckily, Badlug has just kidnapped one! Togetherwith the citizens of Grimoire and a certain bumbling prince, Misty must fight toprotect her kingdom and free both realms from Badlug's tyrannical rule.Misty is determined not to be another damsel in distress; and with her newfriends to protect, she'll discover just what it takes to be the hero of thestory.
Princess Misty longs for adventure and gets more than she bargained for when she is kidnapped by an evil lord from another kingdom. This graphic novel with its colorful illustrations and fast paced story will keep the reader interested from start to finish.
-Melissa , Reference Librarian
Trains Spaceman by Mike Massimino
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED what it would be like to find yourself strapped to a giant rocket that's about to go from zero to 17,500 miles per hour? Or to look back on Earth from outer space and see the surprisingly precise line between day and night? Or to stand in front of the Hubble Space Telescope, wondering if the emergency repair you're about to make will inadvertently ruin humankind's chance to unlock the universe's secrets? Mike Massimino has been there, and in Spaceman he puts you inside the suit, with all the zip and buoyancy of life in microgravity.
This autobiography of astronaut Mike Massimino is told in amazing detail. Massimino’s tone is conversational and, although rife with engineering details, never feels too advanced for the average reader. While most people might only recognize him from his appearances on The Big Bang Theory, this book is full of details of Massimino’s early days at NASA, and details his two Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions. This is such an inspiring story and has encouraged many to see the world beyond the stars.
- Nicole, Children's Librarian