Polar Bear’s Underwear by Tupera Tupera

Reviewed by Amanda K (Library Staff)

Looking for a good giggle? Look no further than the picture book, Polar Bear’s Underwear by Tupera Tupera. Bear has lost his underwear and he and mouse are on the hunt for his lost undies! They find many different animals’ underwear in this fun filled adventure, but where is polar bear’s underwear?

Other than the funny topic, readers will get a kick out of guessing whose underwear belongs to whom. Turn the page, and the wearer is exposed! This is definitely a winner for the whole family.

Located in Children’s Picture Books (E TUPERA)

When Sadness is At Your Door by Eva Eland

Reviewed by Amanda K (Library Staff)

This is a beautiful and much needed picture book. The emotion of sadness can be scary and confusing especially for young children. This book personifies sadness, giving it a face and name. The author talks about how sadness can make you feel and suggest that you don’t hide from sadness but “Listen to it. Ask where it comes from and what it needs.” Instead of telling the reader to get over it or to push down their emotion, which can be damaging, the author suggests activities to do with sadness. Some of the activities are just sitting with it, drawing or going for a walk.

The simple but sweet illustrates really highlight the overall message and the simple text is easily understood. This a great book on mindfulness and emotional understanding. I would suggest this book to any child.

Available through the Bridges Library System

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)

Me and My Fear by Francesca Sanna

Reviewed by Amanda K (Library Staff)

Me and My Fear by Francesca Sanna is a fantastic picture book about dealing with fear. This picture book is about young girl and her fear. Fear is represented as a little animal. When a young girl moves to a new country and has to go to a new school, her fear grows. It won’t allow her to make friends or go outside. It gets so big that it she has trouble sleeping. Until a young boy befriends her and her fear starts to shrink. She soon discovers that everyone has fears.

This is a beautifully illustrated book with a critical and positive message.

Located in Children’s Picture Books (E SANNA)

I’m a Duck by Eve Bunting

Reviewed by Amanda K (Library Staff)

This is a cute little picture book about a duckling that is afraid to swim. He talks to his friends about his fear and they encourage him to be brave. Little duck practices in a puddle and his mom brings him snacks and rubs his back. He finally musters up the courage and jumps into the pond and he can swim! He swims a little differently than the rest of his siblings, but realizes that’s okay.

This is a lovely story about facing your fears and being okay with yourself. The illustrations are mostly in pastel colors and evoke happy feelings.

Located in Children’s Picture Books (E BUNTING)

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

Reviewed by Amanda K (Library Staff)

In this dystopian world, beauty is everything. Everyone is born gray with bright blood eyes, except for the belles. Belles are special girls who are raised from childhood to use their magic to change individuals, but only temporarily. To keep beautiful, belles have to use their magic on people every couple of weeks. Those who are rich, change their appearances often, like changing clothes. Beauty is prized more than anything and people will go to horrible lengths to achieve it. Once belles turn a certain age they are introduced to court. The favorite belle will serve the royal family. Camillia Beauregad is belle. She has spent her whole life sheltered from the world. She is now thrust into court life and she begins to realize the horrible cost of beauty. What are the strange screams at night, why are the older belles covered from head to toe and what will people do in pursuit of beauty?

This novel is so well-written that I can taste the food, smell the perfume and feel the fabric of the clothing. A unique story with great world building and a slow build to the final conclusion. This is perfect for anyone who loves fantasy and dark fairy tales.

I listened to the audio book and the narrator does an amazing job

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC CLAYTON)

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Reviewed by Amanda K (Library Staff)

Front Desk is an extraordinary book about poverty, immigration and what it means to be a family. The book takes place in the early 90’s, when Mia and her family moves to the USA from China. Mia’s family has been from one low paying job to another and had even lived out of their car. When Mia’s parents get a job working at a motel, they think that their problems are finally solved. However, they soon realize how racism and the exploitation immigrants can affect their family and friends.

However intense subject matter, Mia is always hopeful and thoughtful. The reader is constantly rooting for her and her family. A wonderful, thoughtful and inspiring read.

This book is based off of the author’s own life and rings true and is one of my favorite books published in 2018.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC YANG)

The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani Dasgupta

Reviewed by Amanda K (Library Staff)

Kiranmala is just a normal 6th grader, or at least that is what she thought. It turns out that she is an Indian princess from another world! The strange fantastical stories that her parents told her growing up are true! She now has to use those stories to save her parents who’ve been kidnapped, with the help from her new friends.

This is a fun middle school princess story with a new twist. Great for any child that loves fairy tales and wants to try something new.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC DASGUPTA BK.1)

The Last Gargoyle by Paul Durham

Reviewed by Amanda K (Library Staff)

Penhallow is a gargoyle living in Boston who defends those who live in his area. When two other gargoyles are attacked, he begins to wonder if something more sinister is happening. With the help of a strange girl name Viola, he investigates who is behind these vicious attacks.

This book would be great for an older middle school child who like fantasy and horror mixed together. This is the first book in the series. It will be interesting to see where this series goes from here.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC DURHAM)

Nightbooks by J.A. White

Reviewed by Amanda K (Library Staff)

Alex is imprisoned in a magical apartment by a witch. The only thing keeping him is alive is entertaining the witch with scary stories. He soon realizes that he isn’t the only kid trapped here. He and his new friends need to find away out before it’s too late.

This book is perfect for any middle schooler who loves scary stories! It has enough twists and turns to keep anyone guessing what comes next. Truly a delightfully creepy tale!

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC WHITE)