Staff Picks

Inherit Midnight by Kate Kae Myers

Avery Van Demere has never known her parents.  Being told her mother is dead, and her alcoholic father hasn’t had the courage to stand up to his own mother, Avery has been raised by her grandmother, isolated in a mansion, not being allowed to have friends outside of school.  Naturally she rebels and when she gets caught sneaking out, her grandmother sends her to a boarding school.  The night she is escaping from there, she is picked up by her family lawyers to participate in a heritage challenge to determine who will win and control the vast fortune.

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors

Katrina is a self-described ordinary teenage girl (yeah, she's a bit hard on herself), but when she leaves some leftover pastries and coffee for the handsome homeless guy she finds sleeping in the alley behind her grandmother's struggling coffee shop, her hitherto boring life becomes a series of unexpected wacky events and emotions. It turns out that “homeless” guy is actually a teenage guardian angel on a break, and he’s determined to repay Katrina’s kindness by granting her heart’s deepest wish. Now, if she could only figure out what that is.

How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature by Scott D. Sampson

“Dr. Scott the Paleontologist” from PBS Kids’ Dinosaur Train has written a great guide for parents, grandparents, teachers, and caregivers to help kids get outdoors! Kids today spend up to ninety percent less time outdoors than their parents did. With all of the emotional and social benefits kids receive from getting out into nature, Dr. Scott emphasizes the importance of our role as adults in getting kids the outdoor time they need. 

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man who Left Newark for the Ivy League by Jeff Hobbs

A fascinating look at the life of Robert Peace, a young black man born to a poor single mother in Newark who worked hard and graduated from Yale with a degree in microbiology. Yet he ends up dead in a drug-related shooting. How could this have happened? The author, Rob’s Yale roommate, offers us a look at the lure of drugs and money even to the smartest in the class. Book discussion groups will find lots to talk about.

Biography PEACE, R. 

Descent by Timothy Johnston

A distressing phone call from local law enforcement propels Grant and Angela Courtland bedside to fifteen-year old son, Sean, injured during an accident during a family vacation to the Rocky Mountains. At the hospital, the Courtland’s learn Sean’s injuries are the result of an early morning hit-and-run; though, even worse, is the news that eighteen-year old daughter, Caitlin, is missing. Sean, meanwhile, groggy from surgery, remembers almost nothing about the accident besides biking behind Caitlin jogging the trail.

A Fireproof Home for the Bride by Amy Scheibe

A genre defying novel, this story’s premise is the spiritual and emotional awakening of 18-year-old Emmy growing up in 1950s Minnesota. Emmy lives on a rural farm in a conservative Lutheran family outside Minneapolis. Her mother is a harsh taskmistress; her father is kind but distant. Emmy’s mother has forced her into an engagement to Ambrose, a stern man 10 years her senior whose family owns the farm next door.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.A. Schwabe

For years, the doors between worlds have been closed to all except a few, including Kell, whose magic allows him to travel to and from the different Londons occupying these worlds. When Kell acquires a magical artifact from a dangerous world long sealed off from the others, he and a rogue thief named Lila set out on a desperate journey to protect their worlds from treachery and dark magic. 

SF/F SCHWAB, V. 

The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp

Nighttime travelling in mid-19th century England is risky thanks to highwaymen. One in particular, Whistling Jack, has become quite notorious with a large bounty on his head. Kit Bristol, a former circus stunt rider and current servant to Master Rattle, wakes in the middle of the night to discover his master fatally injured, dressed as Whistling Jack, and the authorities close on his heels. To draw them away, Kit costumes himself as the highwayman and takes off on his master’s horse, Midnight.

Some Luck by Jane Smiley

Beginning in 1920 and covering a span of thirty years, this novel tells the story of Rosanna and Walter Langdon raising their family on a farm in Denby, Iowa. During these thirty years much social and economic change has drastically affected life in America. Smiley has a true sense of family life in a small town on a farm and she develops her characters in a realistic way going through real-life events and consequences. This novel is the first in a trilogy that will span 100 years of the Langdon families’ stories.

Fiction SMILEY, J.

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