New Reviews by Our Teen Patrons

For the summer reading program, one of the activities our teens can do to earn DPL dollars is to write reviews. Here are a few of them!

Black Panther / Christopher Priest

Reviewed by Jake R

I thought this book was great; I liked it because there was a lot of action and detail in the book. At one part in the story there was a massive fight scene that went way in detail. Towards the start of the book it tells you all the stuff you need to know for the for the first couple of pages to understand what is going on. I have a medium amount of knowledge in this area and I think that anyone who likes superheroes will like this novel.

Located in Graphic Novels (GRAPHIC BLACK PANTHER)

Froggy Plays Soccer / Jonathan London

Reviewed by Anonymous

I thought that is was very funny at times and he is really persistent to help his team win. I liked it because it had a lot of onomatopoeia’s. Like when the ball hit Froggy‘s head in the book, it said ”bonk” to show that it hit his head. I think it’s nice bedtime story for kids that want a good laugh.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Ripper / Stefan Petrucha

Reviewed by Charlotte M

I liked Ripper because Carver Young has to stop his father from killing more innocent women with the help of a friend, the orphanage bully, and his adopted father, famous Pinkerton Agency Detective Stephan Hawking. Someone who might enjoy this book is anyone who likes mystery and suspense.

Available through the Bridges Library System

#TBT: 1941-1942

Popular Books Published in 1941-1942


Evil Under the Sun / Agatha Christie

Detective Hercule Poirot takes a holiday at an exclusive hotel on a tiny island to retreat from the stresses of his profession. The tranquil atmosphere is disrupted by the appearance of the charming Arlena Stuart who brings an indefinable erotic tension to the premise. When she is found strangled in a secluded cove, there are few, especially among the women, who feel either surprise or regret. With bewildering clues, Poirot is certain the solution lies with Arlena herself. (FIC CHRISTIE / LP CHRISTIE)

Frenchman’s Creek / Daphne Du Maurier

During the reign of Charles II, a rebellious noblewoman abandons her Cornwall estate to sail with her pirate lover. (FIC DU MAURIER)


The Black Stallion / Walter Farley

Young Alec Ramsay is shipwrecked on a desert island with a horse destined to play an important part in his life. Following their rescue, their adventure continues in America. (J PBK FARLEY)


Curious George / H.A. Rey

The curiosity of a newly-captured monkey gets him into continual trouble. (E REY)



Little Town on the Prairie / Laura Ingalls Wilder

Pa’s homestead thrives, Laura gets her first job in town, blackbirds eat the corn and oats crops, Mary goes to college, and Laura gets into trouble at school, but becomes a certified school teacher. (J FIC WILDER / J PBK WILDER)



The Runaway Bunny / Margaret Wise Brown

A little rabbit who wants to run away tells his mother how he will escape, but she is always right behind him. (E BROWN)


The Stranger / Albert Camus

When a young Algerian named Meursault kills a man, his subsequent imprisonment and trial are puzzling and absurd. The apparently amoral Meursault–who puts little stock in ideas like love and God–seems to be on trial less for his murderous actions, and more for what the authorities believe is his deficient character. (FIC CAMUS)

The Screwtape Letters / C.S. Lewis

In a series of letters, one of Satan’s more experienced tempters writes to a junior agent in the field, instructing him in the finer points of capturing souls. (248.4 LEW)


West With the Night / Beryl Markham

The author describes growing up in an Africa that no longer exists, training and breeding race horses, flying mail to Sudan, and being the first woman to fly the Atlantic from east to west. (921 MARKHAM)


The Boxcar Children / Gertrude Chandler Warner

Introduces the orphaned Alden family children, who make an abandoned boxcar their home, demonstrating their independence and ability to “make do.” (J PBK WARNER)



Did you know? The price of a movie ticket in 1941 was 25 cents. 

A Question of Holmes by Brittany Cavallaro

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

This fourth and final book in the Charlotte Holmes series was wonderful and I am here to recommend the entire series to you.

Beginning with A Study in Charlotte, we are introduced to Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson, descendants of that other Holmes and Watson duo that we know and love. Living in the shadow of this larger-than-life legacy, teenagers Charlotte and Jamie do not meet until they both begin attending the same Connecticut boarding school and it is there that another compelling partnership is formed.

Although each of the books is comprised of a clever self-contained mystery, the beauty of this series is in the character development over the course of the four books. The characters are funny and multi-dimensional, and I was amazed how deeply I cared for them by the end of the series.

While I didn’t feel that every book in the series was a home run, I am so glad I stuck with Charlotte and Jamie until the last inning because A Question of Holmes knocked it out of the park.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Films in Focus: 80s

80s Films: Go back to the 80s and watch some of these classic films that were filmed in the 1980s!

Back to the Future (1985)

Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown. (DVD BACK)


The Breakfast Club (1985)

Five high school students meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought. (DVD BREAKFAST CLUB)


Dirty Dancing (1987)

Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances “Baby” Houseman falls in love with the camp’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle. (DVD DIRTY DANCING)


Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

A group of Southern California high school students are enjoying their most important subjects: sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. (DVD FAST TIMES)


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the Principal thinks of that. (DVD FERRIS)


Footloose (1984)

A city teenager moves to a small town where rock music and dancing have been banned, and his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace. (DVD FOOTLOOSE)


The Goonies (1985)

A group of young misfits who call themselves The Goonies discover an ancient map and set out on a quest to find a legendary pirate’s long-lost treasure. (DVD GOONIES)


The Karate Kid (1984)

A Japanese martial arts instructor agrees to teach karate to a bullied teenager. (DVD KARATE KID)


Sixteen Candles (1984)

A girl’s “sweet” sixteenth birthday becomes anything but special, as she suffers from every embarrassment possible. (DVD SIXTEEN CANDLES)


Top Gun (1986)

As students at the United States Navy’s elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom. (DVD TOP GUN)

Not Your White Jesus: Following a Radical, Refugee Messiah by Sheri Faye Rosendahl

Reviewed by Jayne S (Library Staff)

The author reminds readers that Jesus was a brown-skinned Palestinian Jew, who according to the Gospels, spread the message of love and acceptance to EVERYONE. He was not white, homophobic, American, or trying to Make America Great Again. American White Christian Churches are not following the red letters of the Gospel, but rather politicizing and interpreting Christianity to suit the American White Christian elite.

The author writes in the first person format, and freely admits that these are her strong viewpoints. You may not like her bluntness, but she explains her reasoning well, and at the very least, makes the reader think.

Chapters cover such social issues as racism, abortion, refugees, nationalism, violence, consumerism, misogyny and the American Dream mentality.

After I read the book, I spent time reflecting on her views. I now better understand why I am so disheartened with American politics and religion. It is the self-serving interpretations.

The author’s last chapter is named “Be the Change”. To truly make the world a better place American Christians need to go back the goodness of Jesus, I agree.

Located in Adult Nonfiction (277.3 ROS)

A Private War (2018)

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

This biographical drama follows the journalist Marie Colvin (Rosamund Pike) as she travels the world, reporting from the most dangerous countries during their civil wars. In 2001, while in Sri Lanka, Colvin is ambushed and this results in her losing her eye. But she does not let this stop her, and continues reporting from dangerous locations, including Syria, which is where the movie ends.

I knew nothing about the real Marie Colvin when I picked up this movie, and after watching it, I am so impressed with her life story. She went to many dangerous places in order for others’ voices to be heard; she risked her life and paid dearly. This movie was powerful and telling, and it made me look at war journalists in a whole new light. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who has an interest in journalism, or more importantly, a remarkable woman who risked everything to tell the truth.

Located in DVDs (DVD PRIVATE)

#TBT: 1900s

Popular Books Published from 1900-1909

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz / L. Frank Baum (1900)

After a cyclone transports her to the land of Oz, Dorothy must seek out the great Wizard in order to return to Kansas, accompanied on her journey by the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, and the Cowardly Lion. (J FIC BAUM)


A Room with a View / E.M. Forster (1908)

Lucy Honeychurch falls in love while on a visit to Florence and must choose between fulfilling her social role or following her heart. (FIC FORSTER)


The Wind in the Willows / Kenneth Grahame (1908)

The escapades of four animal friends who live along a river in the English countryside–Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger. (J FIC / J PBK GRAHAME)


The Gift of the Magi / O. Henry (1905)

A husband and wife sacrifice treasured possessions in order to buy each other Christmas presents. (FIC HENRY / J 394.2663 HEN)


The Phantom of the Opera / Gaston Leroux (1909)

Sightings of a ghostly figure in the Paris opera house lead to a discovery of a disfigured genius who secretly lives among its passageways. (FIC LEROUX)


The Call of the Wild / Jack London (1903)

The adventures of an unusual dog, part St. Bernard, part Scotch Shepherd, that was kidnapped and shipped off to Alaska to work on the Klondike Gold Rush. Buck the dog quickly learns how to survive in the wild and also learns the call of the wolf. (FIC LONDON)


Anne of Green Gables / L. M. Montgomery (1908)

Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her. (J FIC / J PBK MONTGOMERY)


The Scarlet Pimpernel / Emmuska Orczy (1905)

In 1792, during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror, an English aristocrat known to be an ineffectual fop is actually a master of disguises who, with a small band of dedicated friends, undertakes dangerous missions to save members of the French nobility from the guillotine. (FIC ORCZY)


The Tale of Peter Rabbit / Beatrix Potter (1902)

Peter disobeys his mother by going into Mr. McGregor’s garden and almost gets caught. (E POTTER)



The Jungle / Upton Sinclair (1904)

A documentary novel portraying industry’s conditions at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Sinclair’s novel prompted public outrage which led President Theodore Roosevelt to demand an official investigation. This eventually led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug laws. (FIC SINCLAIR)


Did you know? The U.S. life expectancy in 1905 was 47.3 years (males) and 50.2 years (females). 


The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Reviewed by Amanda K (Library Staff)

I normally don’t write reviews on adult fiction books but this novel by Alex Michaelides is so compelling that I wanted to share.

Alicia’s life seems idyllic. She is an accomplished artist and happily married to her husband. One evening her husband comes home and she shoots him in the face five times. She refuses to speak in her defense or ever again. She is sentenced to a mental institution.

Theo Faber narrates the story. He is a psychotherapist and engineers his way into becoming Alicia’s therapist. He is desperate to try and “help” Alicia. Why won’t she talk? And why does Theo feel so connected to her?

This is a gripping tale about mental illness and marriage. Do we really know anyone? This novel is so full of twist and turns that it will keep you guessing. This book is perfect for really anyone, but certainly those who love suspense and mystery.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC MICHAELIDES)

Films in Focus: Sad Movies

Sad Movies: Sometimes you just need a good cry, so here are some movies to help you.

Atonement (2007)

Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a thirteen-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister’s lover of a crime he did not commit. (DVD ATONEMENT)


Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

Faced with both her hot-tempered father’s fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love. (DVD BEASTS)


Blue Valentine (2010)

The relationship of a contemporary married couple, charting their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods. (DVD BLUE VALENTINE)


The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)

Set during WWII, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a German concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences. (DVD BOY IN THE STRIPED)

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

The story of a forbidden and secretive relationship between two cowboys, and their lives over the years. (DVD BROKEBACK)


Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)

A college professor bonds with an abandoned dog he takes into his home. (DVD HACHI)



Manchester by the Sea (2016)

A depressed uncle is asked to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy’s father dies. (DVD MANCHESTER)


Never Let Me Go (2010)

The lives of three friends, from their early school days into young adulthood, when the reality of the world they live in comes knocking. (DVD NEVER LET ME)


The Notebook (2004)

A poor yet passionate young man falls in love with a rich young woman, giving her a sense of freedom, but they are soon separated because of their social differences. (DVD NOTEBOOK)


Still Alice (2014)

A linguistics professor and her family find their bonds tested when she is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. (DVD STILL)

A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

I found Shari Lapena’s most recent novel An Unwanted Guest similar to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, which encouraged me to try another of her novels, A Stranger in the House. It is similarly structured with short chapters and numerous characters that have plenty of motives. Reeling from injuries and amnesia caused by a serious car accident she can’t remember, Karen is in constant fear of…something. Even in her own home, the hairs on her neck stand up as she notices objects shifting positions by a hair’s breadth with no explanation. Police begin doggedly visiting her, alleging her involvement in a crime she also fails to remember. Karen battles her sanity, memory, and conscience which gradually become the only things that will ensure her freedom. This is excellently written and could bear a sequel if Lapena ever felt like continuing with these characters. I would be interested in Tom and Karen’s relationship, if they could make it to the other side still just as much in love with one another or if after everything they’d part ways.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC LAPENA)