Games for Large Groups

Winter brings with it times when we have groups of people over and the weather keeps everyone inside; on those occasions a quick easy to learn game that everyone can play together is just the thing between dinner and departure. A few suggestions would be:

Codenames XXL

Teams compete to see if they can identify all of their spies before the other team. Spymasters give one word clues to help the team identify their cards. A correct guess moves you closer to victory, a wrong one might just find the assassin. This edition of Codenames comes with cards that can be read by a larger team all at the same time making it a great word based party game.


Players form two teams, each team is attempting to figure out which key words they have to decrypt without letting the other team intercept the message. How many different clues can you give around blue bird? Fans of inside jokes and the enigma machine will find this game to be a perfect dinner companion.

Rhino Hero

Kids and adults alike will quickly get into this dexterity building game. Players each have a stack of “floor” cards that they have to place upon the building Rhino Hero is climbing, each floor card has at least one wall and one special feature. Can you help Rhino become the building climbing hero of his dreams?

All games reviewed by Diane Basting (Library Staff)


If you liked Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng…

…then try one of these similar titles!

Little Broken Things / Nicole Baart

An engrossing and suspenseful novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Amy Hatvany about an affluent suburban family whose carefully constructed facade starts to come apart with the unexpected arrival of an endangered young girl.


The Party / Robyn Harding

A sweet sixteen birthday party goes horribly awry when Jeff and Kim Sanders throw a party for their daughter, Hannah.


Seven Days of Us / Francesca Hornak

The Birch family will be spending the Christmas holiday in quarantine, thanks to eldest daughter Olivia’s recent relief work in a disease-infested Liberia. She has returned to England but must be in quarantine for seven days. This family has not ever spent this much time in each other’s company. Each person has secrets that are slowly revealed over the course of the seven days.

The Almost Sisters / Joshilyn Jackson

Leia finds her life is spiraling out of control. First she discovers she is pregnant from a one night stand, then she receives a phone call that her beloved grandmother is acting erratically. Meanwhile, she finds her stepsister in the middle of a marital crisis. Returning to her grandmother’s small hometown in Alabama to figure out the future, Leia is confronted by the past including a dark family secret.

The Leavers / Lisa Ko

One morning, eleven-year-old Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job and never comes home. Deming is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town. This is a poignant story of a boy who struggles to find his footing in a new world.

Everything Here is Beautiful / Mira T. Lee

The bond between a responsible, self-contained older sister and her mentally ill, impulsive younger sister is shaped and tested over years marked by the loss of their mother, an impetuous first marriage, a fling that results in the birth of a baby and painful sacrifices.


Those Secrets We Keep / Emily Liebert

Three women. Three lives. Three secrets. On the surface, Sloane has the perfect life-an adoring husband, a precocious daughter, and enough financial security to be a stay-at-home mom. Still, she can’t help but feel as though something-or someone-is missing…. Hillary has a successful career and a solid marriage. The only problem is her inability to conceive. And there’s a very specific reason why…. As the wild-child daughter of old family money, Georgina has never had to accept responsibility for anything.

Commonwealth / Ann Patchett

The Cousins and the Keatings are two California families forever intertwined and permanently shattered by infidelity. Bert Cousins leaves his wife for Beverly Keating, leaving her to raise four children on her own. Beverly, with two children of her own, leaves her husband for Bert. The six children involved are forced to forge a childhood bond based on the combined disappointment in their parents.

Home Fire / Kamila Shamsie

Given a chance to resume a deferred dream years after raising her troubled siblings, Isma worries about the influence of a powerful politician’s son who drives the family to choose between love and loyalty, with devastating consequences.


City of Friends / Joanne Trollope

Leaning on her career-minded best friends after losing her high-profile job, Stacey inadvertently exposes a painful secret that tests the limits of their bonds.

Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin

Reviewed by Amanda K (Library Staff)

This is the story of Ebo, a young boy who lives in a poor African country. Ebo and his brother, Kwame, are desperate to find a new home in Europe and reunite with their older sister. This graphic novel is a very realistic and harrowing story about a family looking for safety. It’s beautifully illustrated and based on interviews from real refugees. It’s heartbreaking, but a story that needs to be told.

Located in Teen and Children’s Graphic Novels (TEEN GRAPHIC COLFER and J GRAPHIC COLFER)

Spotlight On: Children’s Bin Books

Bin Books: We have a selection of bin books, which are soft cover easy books that feature kids favorite characters, from Barbie to Thomas, and from Paw Patrol to Disney characters. These books are located in a grid shelving unit to the right when you walk in to the children’s area.

Angelina Ballerina: Angelina and the Tummy Butterflies

Angelina and her friends have to memorize and recite poems in front of the entire class. Angelina has no trouble with the assignment, but the same can’t be said for her best friend Alice, who has a major case of tummy butterflies! (E BINS ANG)


Barbie: Learning to Save

Children ages 3 to 7 will love reading about Barbie and her sisters as they help Chelsea learn about saving money. (E BINS BAR)


Bob the Builder: Muck’s Sleepover

When Travis invites Muck to Farmer Pickles’s farm for his first sleepover, Muck has a lot of fun until Travis falls asleep, leaving Muck alone in the dark with all of the scary and unfamiliar noises! (E BINS BOB)


Dinner with Olivia

Olivia is thrilled to be invited to Francine’s house for dinner…she just knows it’s going to be a very sophisticated evening. And then it’s time for Olivia to have Francine over…but what will Francine think of her family’s casual table manners? (E BINS OLIVIA)


Disney Princess: Sweethearts in the Snow

Celebrate the snowy season with the Disney princesses! Bake a sweet winter treat with Belle and build a big frosty snowman with Jasmine as these delightful characters come to life in two original stories. (E BINS PRI)


D.W., Go To Your Room!

D.W. won’t share with her baby sister, and gets sent to her room for a time-out. The punishment seems to last forever-it’s not fair! Will D.W. decide she’s better off alone, or can she learn to share? (E BINS BRO)


Jurassic World: The Park is Open

Boys and girls ages 3 to 7 will dig into this full-color storybook featuring the awesome dinosaurs from the movie. (E BINS MOVIE)


My Little Pony: The Runaway Rainbow

All your favorite characters from The Runaway Rainbow movie come alive in this storybook, with scenes taken straight from the film! (E BINS MYL)


PJ Masks: Super Moon Adventure

When Luna Girl sets her sights on the harvest moon crystal, the heroes follow her all the way to the moon! But Gekko is a little nervous about what’s lurking in outer space. As Luna Girl claims the crystal and taps into strange new powers, can the heroes stay on course? And will Gekko overcome his fears in time to save his friends…and the day? (E BINS TV)

Thomas & Friends: The Great Railway Show

The best engines from around the world gather to compete in The Great Railway Show, and Thomas is determined to find a way to represent Sodor. (E BINS AWD)


“What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you.” ~Anne Lamott

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Reviewed by Holly (Library Patron)

I really enjoyed this book. The writing style, vocabulary and descriptive imagery were all excellent. As a reader, I felt I was taken on a wonderful journey. The book outlined the evolution of a human being. It allows you to tag along as Eleanor peels away at the layers of her past experiences and leaves you with the re-birthing experience. I don’t want to give away too much, but it is a deep/ complex experience camouflaged in pleasant/delightful story. I highly recommend it. And as the title implies……Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine!
P.S. I can’t wait, there is a movie in the works.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Nimble (Board Game)

Reviewed by Diane Basting (Library Staff)

Nimble is one of my favorite new games , quick and complicated in the best of ways, yet so simple to learn; the directions take literally a minute to explain. Each player starts out with a deck of cards; each card has an outer color and a circle in the middle of a different color. The object of the game is to match the outer color pattern with the inner color circle of the card already on the table and get through your deck quicker then anyone else. This game will fit into a bag easily to be played  at a restaurant or any kind of table you find your self at with ten minutes.

Located in Games (GAME NIMBLE)

If you liked The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood…

…then try one of these similar books!

Fahrenheit 451 / Ray Bradbury

A totalitarian regime has ordered all books to be destroyed, but one of the book burners, Guy Montag, suddenly realizes their merit.


A Clockwork Orange / Anthony Burgess

Presents Burgess’ satire of the present inhumanity of man to man through a futuristic culture where teenagers rule with violence.


The Children of Men / P.D. James

The year is 2021. The country is under the absolute rule of the Warden. Then by chance, Theo Faron meets a young woman who seeks to challenge the power of the Warden’s regime.


When She Woke / Hillary Jordan

In the middle of the 21st century, a young woman in Texas awakens to a nightmarish new life: her skin has been genetically altered, turned bright red as punishment for the crime of having an abortion. Stigmatized and in a hostile and frightening world, Hannah Payne must make a perilous journey northward to safety.

The Left Hand of Darkness / Ursula K. Le Guin

While on a mission to the planet Gethen, earthling Genly Ai is sent by leaders of the nation of Orgoreyn to a concentration camp from which the exiled prime minister of the nation of Karhide tries to rescue him.


The Bone Clocks / David Mitchell

Beginning in 1984 and moving in linear fashion through the years before ending in the 2040s, this complex, layered novel interweaves several different narratives to tell the story of a secret war between those who would steal souls and those who try to stop them.


1984 / George Orwell

Portrays life in a future time when a totalitarian government watches over all citizens and directs all activities.


The Bees / Laline Paull

This book is set entirely in a beehive, but the novel and its characters are so beautifully rendered that it could have been set anywhere. Societal codes and social mores combine with the ancient behavior rituals of bees, bringing forth a remarkable story that is sure to be a book club favorite.


The Testament of Jessie Lamb / Jane Rogers

Women are dying in their millions. Some blame scientists, some see the hand of God, some see human arrogance reaping the punishment it deserves. Jessie Lamb is an ordinary girl living in extraordinary times: as her world collapses, her idealism and courage drive her towards the ultimate act of heroism. If the human race is to survive, it’s up to her. But is Jessie heroic?

The Sparrow / Mary Doria Russell

The sole survivor of a crew sent to explore a new planet, Jesuit priest Emilio Sandoz discovers an alien civilization that raises questions about the very essence of humanity, an encounter that leads Sandoz to a public inquisition and the destruction of his faith.

Hope in the Holler by Lisa Lewis Tyre

Reviewed by Amanda K (Library Staff)

Waive’s mother has died and she is unsure where she will live and how she will survive. She is sent to live with her Aunt, Samantha Rose, in Conley Hallow in the Appalachian Hills, the same town that her mother was so desperate to leave. Her aunt only takes her because of the social security checks. Waive must find her own way in a world that was setup against her.

This is an amazing story of courage and compassion. Although, the premise of this story is sad, it truly is a wonderful book about love, bravery and kindness and has a wonderful ending. Waive finds some amazing friends and forms her own family based on love. I love the audio version of this book and would recommend this book to any middle school child.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Spotlight On: Children’s Nonfiction DVDs

Children’s Nonfiction DVDs: We have a collection of nonfiction DVDs that are geared towards children. They range from Magic School Bus, to Bill Nye the Science Guy, and from sports for kids to sign language. The DVDs are located in the children’s area, on the first shelving unit when you walk in and then on a smaller bookshelf right past the puppet kits.

Baby Einstein: Neighborhood Animals

As babies continue to explore the world around them, they soon encounter many creatures, both large and small, that are extremely intriguing. Whether furry or feathered, winged or wiggly, bumpy or smooth, each holds a special fascination. Neighborhood Animals exposes little ones to animals most likely to be found close to home or in easily recognized environments. With a captivating combination of live-action footage, stimulating, colorful images and engaging puppet shows accompanied by beautiful classical music, this wonderful introduction to familiar animal life will provide you and your baby with countless opportunities to discover a world of engaging creatures together in and near your own backyard! (E DVD 372.21 BAB)

Baby Signing Time: A New Day

The Baby Signing Time Series combines clever songs, animation, and real signing babies – all age two and under – to make signing easy and fun. Baby Signing Time is a great first step into signing. Or, add Baby Signing Time to your existing Signing Time collection for more reinforcement for those beginning signs and additional songs. (E DVD 419.7 BAB #3)

School House Rock: Grammar

The series that taught a generation of students about nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs is back in a special classroom edition! Includes favorite songs like Conjunction Junction and Unpack Your Adjectives. (J DVD 428.2 SCH)


Bill Nye the Science Guy: Volcanoes

Bill Nye the Science Guy explores the hot-hot-hot world of volcanoes in this episode of the Emmy Award-winning Disney Channel series, featuring an interactive question-and-answer format and hands-on activities. In this episode, Bill defines volcanoes, explains how they’re formed and explores the different types that exist. (J DVD 551.21 NYE)

Eyewitness DVD: Ocean

Visit the alien world of the deep and the creatures that live there: fish, invertebrates, corals, mammals, plants, and more. This 60-minute video features simple discussions of scientific concepts, and guides viewers through a three-dimensional “virtual museum” of the least-explored zone on our planet. (J DVD 551.461 OCE)

The Magic School Bus: Cracks a Yolk

The principal, Mr. Ruhle, leaves his beloved chicken, Giblets, in Dorothy Ann’s care. The Friz takes the class on a field trip to see how eggs are made. (J DVD 570 MAG)


Adventures with Trains

Want to be a train engineer? Ride the rails sitting right up front in the engine compartment of a steam locomotive in Adventures with Trains! Board an actual working diesel, meet a real engineer and chug, chug, chug along with an old steamer as it clickety-clacks down the tracks. Adventures with Trains will be a fast favorite for youngsters fascinated with the classic choo-choo! (J DVD 625.1 ADV)

No More Diapers: For Boys and Girls

A delightful animated story about a little bear who gives up diapers for big kid underwear. A proven toilet training aid, No More Diapers is guaranteed to jump-start your child’s potty training. (J DVD 649.62 NOM)


Rainy Day Art

Embark on an Art Adventure! Spend a day with Cherie Lynn as she shows you and your kids how to have fun creating art. Follow along her step-by-step instruction to create your own journals and diaries, picture frames, murals, puppets, musical instruments, masks and more. Even create a funky creature using your very own name! (J DVD 745 RAI)

Sid’s Backyard Campout

Pack some food and bring your backpack because Sid, Gerald, and Dad are gearing up for a big adventure! They’re setting up tents for a campout in the backyard! Dad is eager to share his love of nature and demonstrates how to have a great time outside with the simplest of necessities. They look for animals, cook their own dinner, marvel at the stars in the sky, roast marshmallows, and sing songs around the campfire. Join the adventure and sing along! (J DVD 796.54 SID)

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” ~Joseph Addison

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Reviewed by Katy Zignego (Library Staff)

I love Fredrik Backman and have read all of his novels, but I was a little slow to pick up Beartown. Reading the descriptive blurb on the back, I assumed I was in for a heartwarming hockey story a la The Mighty Ducks. (No hate–I loved those movies!) But Beartown is so much more than a sports novel.

Fredrik Backman has an amazing ability to explore very heavy topics without making the reader feel depressed when she closes the book. Backman’s first novel, A Man Called Ove, deals with suicide in a manner so gentle, sympathetic, and even humorous, that I found myself uplifted by the ending. The main conflict in Beartown centers around a rape. Though Backman doesn’t shy away from the brutality of the act or the horrors of the aftermath, the reader can only smile as the victim (and much of the community) rises in strength and determination from such devastation.

There is plenty of Backman’s trademark humor here, as well as some excellent character studies. But the author’s gentle touch with the most difficult of topics is what makes him a towering talent in literature today. If you aren’t reading Fredrik Backman, you are missing out.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC BACKMAN)