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)

Nooks & Crannies by Jessica Lawson

Reviewed by Lisabet Heather B. (Library Patron)

Nooks and Crannies is a Charlie-and-the-Chocolate-Factory-ish book where six children are invited to a party by a mysterious countess trying to find her heir. Things take a grim turn when children start disappearing. Will Tabitha, a budding detective, be able to solve the mystery before she too disappears?

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC LAWSON)

StrangeWorlds Travel Agency by L.D. Lapinski

Reviewed by Andrea Bisordi (Library Staff)

We usually use suitcases when we travel to other places. But what if we could use them to travel to other worlds? 12 year-old Flick doesn’t think there is anything special about her until she meets Jonathan. He shows her how to jump inside his special suitcases and explore amazing new societies. Slowly she comes to realize that there are more places to explore than she ever knew or imagined, and some of them are endangered. Can she prevent a tragedy that she didn’t know existed?

If you liked The Land of Stories, The Mysterious Benedict Society, or the Story Thieves books, you will likely enjoy this story as well.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC LAPINSKI)

Devil’s Candy by Bikkuri

Reviewed by Jess H (Library Staff)

Devil’s Candy takes place primarily at Hemlock Heart Academy, a high school for demons. The story follows Kazu Decker, a science-loving boy, his friends Nemo and Hitomi, and the girl Kazu created for a biology project, Pandora, as they navigate school, their feelings, and teaching Pandora how to live in society.

This slice-of-life manga has splashes of action and lots of comedy that complement the cutesy art style well. It’s a fun, quick read for teens.

Located in Teen Manga (TEEN MANGA BIKKURI)

A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat

Reviewed by Andrea Bisordi (Library Staff)

In Chattana, all of the light is held and created by one man – the Governor. Pong, who was born in prison, believes that light is the key to freedom and hope. As the story progresses, he comes to realize that first impressions can be deceiving. Similarly, the prison warden’s daughter, Nok, must come face to face with what she believes about the world, and about herself. The setting feels both familiar and otherworldly, and draws the reader in gently.

This book has something for many different kinds of readers. If you like adventure, fantasy, mystery or books about friendship, this might be your next read. There are also themes of justice, hope, self-discovery, and bravery. I highly recommend this 2021 Newbery Honor book!

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC SOONTORNVAT)

Alone in the Woods by Rebecca Behrens

Reviewed by Andrea Bisordi (Library Staff)

Jocelyn and Alex have always been best friends, and their annual joint family vacation to the Northwoods of Wisconsin has usually been a time of ritual fun (donuts and jumping off piers, anyone?) But this year Alex doesn’t seem like herself, and the trip gets off to a strained start as Jocelyn feels like Alex thinks her phone is more important than anything else. An argument leads to disaster on their rafting trip, and suddenly they have no one but each other to depend on in the woods.


This is a great story for people who like to read stories about friendships, adventure, or who like to explore feelings. The author grew up in Wisconsin, and you can feel how much she loves to go “up north.” Great characters and suspense will keep you turning pages!

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC BEHRENS)

Star Trek: Beyond (2016)

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

Quarantining at home means lots of extra time for rewatches of movies! My husband and I just finished watching (for me) and rewatching (for him) all the original and new Star Trek movies. One of the most pleasant surprises was the rediscovery of this entry, Star Trek: Beyond. After the negative critical and fan reaction to the previous entry, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Star Trek: Beyond wasn’t given a fair shake, as the story itself is compelling–after being unexpectedly attacked and crashing on an alien planet, the crew of the USS Enterprise is scattered and alone. With the help of resident alien Jaylah, they will learn where they are and who they are up against. The action sequences are fun, the writing by the delightful Simon Pegg always snaps and the acting is sound. Definitely worth another look!

Located in DVDs (DVD STAR TREK)

Tisha: the story of a young teacher in the Alaska wilderness by Ann Hobbes as told to Robert Specht

Reviewed by Jayne S (Library Staff)

I read this book, published in 1976, for the first time over 25 years ago. I enjoyed it so much I lent it to my parents. They loved it and then shared it with my aunt, who had taught in a one-room schoolhouse like the author.

This book was well worth a re-read in 2021. The issue of racism that is weaved throughout her adventure still resonates today.

It is the memoir of 19 year-old Ann, who travels by mule train to the Village of Chicken to teach in 1927. She encounters hardship, poverty and racism between the settlers and the native population. When she takes in two orphaned Indian children and puts them in school, she receives strong backlash and threats of expulsion from her post. She stands up to the School Board for what she knows is the right thing to do.

There are light moments too – when her student does not return from the outhouse, she finds him frozen to the seat; she sleeps with her bag of potatoes so they don’t freeze solid; the beauty of the land; AND she meets the love of her life.

This easy-to-read book is just wonderful, please check it out.

Available through the Bridges Library System

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