The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead

Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)

Rebecca Stead is the author of several great middle grade books, like Bob, Liar and Spy, and When You Reach Me, and I would read anything of hers I could get my hands on. This story is no different.

Bea’s parents separated when she was eight, so now she splits her time between two apartments in New York City. Her father has fallen in love with a warm and wonderful man, and they’re planning a wedding, which means Bea will be getting not only a stepdad, but also a sister. In addition, Bea is a kid who struggles with both eczema (an annoyance, to say the least) and anxiety, for which she regularly sees a therapist. There’s a lot going on in her life, and so her parents have given her a notebook to help keep track of the things she can rely on: the list of Things That Will Not Change. And that helps.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC STEAD)

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Reviewed by Jayne S (Library Staff)

Cassie has earned the respect of her peers as a paramedic firefighter.

Then Cassie has a confrontation at an awards ceremony that jeopardizes her career. Cassie decides to move across country to help her ailing mother and start over.

She and her mother need to heal their broken relationship. Cassie’s mother promotes forgiveness and it is a recurring theme in the novel.

Cassie is a physically strong woman that overcomes the emotional trauma of her past to heal.

I liked the book, the forgiveness aspect was very meaningful to me and made it a worthwhile read.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC CENTER)

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Reviewed by Sonia S (Library Patron)

Imagine a world where the government limits you to have two children in order to ration the world’s last resources. This is the reality of the characters in Among the Hidden by Margaret Haddix. The main character, Luke, is a third child; so in other words, he is illegal. Luke has to hide in his house and is unable to meet his relatives or even go to school for his own safety. One day, he sees a face peek through the window from one of his neighbors’ houses. He knows that nobody can be home because the two kids aren’t home and the parents left for the day; so Luke decides to go outside and investigate to see if they have a third child as well.

I had a lot of fun reading this book; so much so that I have read through the entire series and even read this book multiple times. Among the Hidden is a science fiction book that I could never put down. If you enjoy science fiction books with a lot of action, then you will really enjoy this book.

Located in Children’s Fiction and Paperbacks (J FiC/JPBK HADDIX)

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Reviewed by Holly (Library Patron)

The setting of this book is important to note from it’s very beginning. It takes place in a community that was designed to be “perfect”. Of course all the planning in the world won’t make a location “perfect” for everyone. As the story develops the reader becomes aware of a “Desperate Housewives” type neighborhood. The characters are interesting and well developed by the author. As the title indicates several characters experience life situations that are fire worthy in the grand scheme of life. If you enjoy reading about how characters deal with life challenges this would be a good read for you.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC NG)

The Echo Park Castaways by M.G. Hennessey

Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)

The simple description is: Three foster siblings band together to help their newest brother. But it’s never that simple. Nevaeh (who’s black), Vic (who’s Salvadoran), and Mara (who’s Latinx) know the ropes of the foster-care system, and they’re in a pretty great situation with their current foster mom, Mrs. K. But their newest arrival, Quentin (who’s white), doesn’t know that, and with his Asperger’s, he finds his new family overwhelming. All he wants is to track down his mother, who is fighting cancer. Vic, who identifies as a kid secret agent, decides the way to help Quentin is to take him on a quest to find his mom in the hospital (a few towns away), and he’s the person for the job. What he doesn’t count on is little Mara tagging along and Nevaeh taking it upon herself as the oldest to bring them all home. The narration alternates among three of the four kids (Mara only speaks Spanish, and doesn’t get to tell her side of the story). Each child has a specific role in the group, and they each contribute to what makes them…a family.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC HENNESSEY)

Getter Robo Devolution by Eiichi Shimizu & Tomohiro Shimoguchi

Reviewed by Jess H (Library Staff)

If you like gritty mecha stories, Getter Robo Devolution is a pretty dang good. It falls into some genre specific tropes early on (tough, no-nonsense teenage protagonist, shady government entity, giant alien monster things) but a twist in the first chapter kicks things into high gear. Getter Robo Devolution is a quick read, even by manga standards. The art is fluid and the story is gripping. The paneling in this manga is really something special and adds to the intense action.
This manga is fairly graphic, so I recommend it for older teens and adults.

Splinters of Scarlet by Emily Bain Murphy

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

This compelling historical mystery is set in nineteenth-century Denmark and is a lovely, atmospheric winter read. Marit is an orphan and a magically-gifted seamstress who goes to work for the wealthy Vestergaards when her close friend is adopted by them. As she gets to know the glamorous retired ballet dancer Helene Vestergaard and the tight-knit family of servants, Marit begins to discover that they Vestergaards have a dark secret–one that may have led to the death of her father.

Emily Bain Murphy threads literal magic into Denmark history, creating a fresh and fascinating tapestry of a story, taut with tension throughout. With upstairs/downstairs drama, a sweet romance, high stakes magic, and characters overflowing with life, Splinters of Scarlet has something for everyone.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC MURPHY)

Naked Mole Rat Saves the World by Karen Rivers

Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)

Kit, (with a small “k”) is navigating middle school with a REALLY STRANGE secret: When she’s stressed, she turns into a naked mole rat (yes, there’s such a thing, look it up!)

It first happened after kit watched her best friend, Clem, fall and get hurt during an acrobatic performance on TV. Since then, the transformations keep happening – whether kit wants them to or not, and she can’t tell Clem about it, because after the fall, Clem hasn’t been herself. She’s sad, and mad, and gloomy, and keeping a secret of her own: the real reason she fell.

A year after the accident, kit and Clem still haven’t figured out how to deal with all the ways they have transformed – both inside and out. When their secrets come between them, kit realizes she has to save the day, but she doesn’t believe she can be that kind of hero. Turning into a naked mole rat isn’t really a superpower…or is it?

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC RIVERS)

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Reviewed by Sonia S (Library Patron)

Have you ever wondered if you could survive in the desert hungry, thirsty, and defenseless with civilization miles away? What would you do? How would you protect yourself from the blazing heat and deadly predators? This is what the characters of The Scorch Trials have to face. This story takes place during a terrible plague where the characters of the story are desperately searching for a cure. They go on a treacherous journey, trying to survive the desert to get to their safe haven where the cure is located. Will the characters reach the safe haven to receive their cure? Find out by reading The Scorch Trials.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It was an action-packed science fiction thriller that always left me on the edge of my seat. There was always something going on in this story that astonished me, which I like having in the books that I read. If you enjoy reading action books, then this is the book for you too.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC DASHNER BK.2)