Staff Picks

Flight of the sparrow : a novel of early America by Amy Belding Brown

Based on the real-life story of Mary Rowlandson (1637-1711) who lived in an outpost town in 1600’s Massachusetts this enthralling novel tells the story of Mary’s capture by Native Americans in an Indian raid.  Mary became a slave to a powerful female Indian leader and witnessed both savage cruelty and kindness while adapting to the Native American culture.  When she returned to English society and her minister husband she often felt shunned by her community and conflicted by the cruelty and prejudices imposed upon the Native Americans.  This novel gives a fresh in

Under the Egg by Laura Marz Fitzgerald

Theodora Tenpenny’s grandfather Jack was an artist, as well as a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Upon his death he whispers to Theo to “look under the egg” where he promises she will find a letter and a treasure. The “egg” he mentioned is a painting that he made, which has hung over the fireplace for as long as Theo can remember. Taking the painting down, Theo accidently spills alcohol on it and exposes another painting underneath.

Buzz Kill by Beth Fantaskey

When seventeen year old student reporter Millie Ostermeyer finds the body of coach Hank Killdare on school grounds, she decides to channel her hero, Nancy Drew, and investigate the murder before her rival, Viv, can beat her to the story.  The coach - known as “Hollerin’ Hank” - had a bad reputation amongst the students and as Millie discovers more details of Coach Killdare’s life, her suspect list grows.  Armed with an eye for detail and the help of the quiet (but handsome) new kid, Chase Albright, Millie uncovers motives and alibis.

Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good by Kathleen Flinn

If only all food memoirs were this funny and truly heartwarming!  An ode to her childhood and her relationship with food, Kathleen Flinn (author of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry) gives loving and hilarious family memories that ring true to those who’ve grown up appreciating the art of food. In 1960s rural Michigan, her family’s struggles to make ends meet on a farm with five constantly famished children strikes a chord of familiarity with many of her Midwestern readers.

Bird by Crystal Chan

Jewel never knew her brother John. Jewel’s grandfather nicknamed her brother Bird, and encouraged him to pretend he could fly. Bird jumped off a cliff and died the day Jewel was born. No one talks about Bird or how he died, and her grandfather doesn’t speak at all. One night Jewel climbs her favorite tree and discovers someone else is already there, and his name is John. The two become fast friends, sharing their hopes and dreams for the future. 

Anatomy of a Girl Gang by Ashley Little

In the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, five girls from different backgrounds band together to form an all-girl gang. Mac and Mercy, tired of abuse from the male members of the Viper gang to which they belong, recruit three other street-smart girls to form a family who will always have each others’ backs. The Black Roses, however, are not a gang to be messed with. Mac, the self-appointed leader, is fearless, organized, and completely unemotional at dealing with any obstacle in her way. Mercy, her best friend and co-founder of the Black Roses, is tough, level-headed,

Secrets of a Runaway Bride by Valerie Bowman

Miss Annie Andrews absolutely, positively knows that she and Arthur Eggleston are meant to be together, so much so that she - on several occasions - has tried to convince Arthur to elope.  Now that her older sister is away, Annie has the perfect opportunity to run away with Arthur - except her sister left good friend, Jordon Holloway, in charge of Annie in her absence so as to avoid any type of scandal.

The Story of Owen by E.K. Johnson

Before the Thorskards moved to Trondheim, Ontario, the small town didn’t have a permanent dragon slayer.  Most large towns and cities employ dragon slayers, but with the profession lacking new talent, supply and demand creates problems for the average town. Having famous dragon-slayer Lottie Thorskard move to town is like winning the lotto!  Dragons are a constant threat, their insatiable appetites competing with mankind’s need for fossil fuels.

The Tilted World by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly

Set against the backdrop of the Great Mississippi Flood during Prohibition in rural Mississippi, Tilted World tells the story of a bootlegger, her shady husband, an orphan baby, and two federal investigating agents and how their lives become entwined.  Weeks of constant rain and the impending natural disaster adds tension to this atmospheric story filled with murder and moonshine.  The strong-willed Dixie Clay who is mourning the recent death of her baby and decent, blues-loving agent Ted Ingersoll are drawn to each other in their mutual attachment to the orphan baby and thei

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