The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Reviewed by Holly (Library Patron)

This book is based on the premise of alternate universes. The main character, Nora, visits a library where all the books include stories of what her life could have been. The books are created from decisions she made. She discovers she can live in these alternate universes. Readers are taken on this journey with Nora and through her journey the library “rules” are revealed. This book has lots of twists and turns. If the premise interests you, the book will too.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC HAIG)

The Leaf Reader by Emily Arsenault

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

Marnie takes up tea leaf reading as a way of embracing her family’s weirdness instead of pretending it isn’t there. However, what started out as a harmless statement of individuality takes a menacing turn when the symbols begin leading Marnie deep within the mystery of a classmate who disappeared one year prior.

The seedy mystery kept me guessing and the October atmosphere added a welcome chill. Pairs well with a steaming cup of tea, although your tea might go cold as you’re swept into the unraveling secrets.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC ARSENAULT)

Croc o’Clock by Huw Lewis Jones and Ben Sanders

Reviewed by Diane Basting (Library Staff)


What’s a zoo keeper in charge of the biggest crocodile in the world supposed to do when his charge is hungry? Feed him a mountain of goodies ever hour to help him in his goal of growing even bigger. This fun picture book can be sung to the tune and rhythm of “12 Days of Christmas my true love game to me”. Fun and silly from a mountain of Macaroni to 11 Lemon Lollies these zoo keepers have their work cut out for them.

Available through the Bridges Library System

King of Ragtime: The Story of Scott Joplin by Stephen Costanza

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

With the very first lines (“In the valley of the Red River, / where the soil was as rich / as most folks were poor”) I knew I could trust Stephen Costanza to lead the way through the uplifting story of ragtime legend Scott Joplin.

Throughout the book, he paints Joplin’s rise to the ragtime throne using a patchwork of perfect words and heaps of hues in each image. The sophisticated folk art style expertly reflects how Joplin pieced scraps of music into original compositions – “He’d patch in a riff from a work song, / a thread of gospel here, a string of ring shout there– / sewing together new tunes”.

The large spreads of undulating images and dynamic text make you feel the ragtime rhythm, even though you cannot hear it. A toe-tapping treat.

Available through the Bridges Library System

The Boys: A Memoir by Ron Howard and Clint Howard

Reviewed by Jayne S (Library Staff)

Ronny Beckenholdt? Famous child actor in the 1960s?
Does Ronny Howard ring a bell?

This is just one tidbit about the acting family that the brothers share – their father changed his name from Harold Beckenholdt to Rance Howard, and forever after the family surname became Howard.

Ron and Clint tell the story of their parents growing up in Kansas and Oklahoma and yearning to become successful actors. Ron’s mom suffered a tragic injury, gave up acting and then devoted herself to raising her children. Rance struggled to get his “breakout” role that would propel him to stardom, while his two sons became successful child actors under his guidance.

Ron and Clint take turns giving their recollections of their times on the Andy Griffith Show, Gentle Ben, Happy Days and various parts in movies. Their father was their acting coach and guardian on the sets and picked up parts for himself along the way, but never achieved his leading man goal.

Ron gave insight on how his acting experiences drove his desire to pursue directing films for a living. Clint aged out of child roles and dealt with drug addiction, but still managed to pursue a career as a character actor.

This memoir is a story of love and appreciation for Rance and Jean Howard, and how they kept the family grounded with Hollywood glamour all around them. It was a heartwarming read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you grew up with Opie and Richie Cunningham you’ll love it too!

Located in Adult Nonfiction (792.092 HOW)

Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi

Reviewed by Lisabeth Heather B. (Library Patron)

Crispin, a medieval peasant boy, discovers his identity after his mother’s death. On the run from vicious guards, he finds a friend in juggler Bear. Together, they travel to Great Wexly to find more about Crispin’s past, when the friends are almost torn apart.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC AVI)

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