The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman

Reviewed by Andrea Bisordi (Library Staff)

Viji believes that she and her sister Rukku are in danger at their home and decides that the best way to avoid that danger is to leave. They find that living on the streets of the big city is harder than she thought it would be. They do find some friends and helpers along the way, including Muthi and Arul, boys who have been living on their own for some time.

I thought the writing in this story was beautiful, and at many points in the tale I did not want to put the book down. There were both mean people and kind people that the girls meet, and it’s not always easy to tell who is who when you encounter them. I did enjoy reading this book, but it is a bit sad, so just know that going in! If you liked The War That Saved my Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley or A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata then you would probably like this book as well. Don’t miss reading the author’s note at the end!

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC VENKATRAMAN)

Fangs by Sarah Andersen

Reviewed by Jess H (Library Staff)

I first came across Fangs as a webcomic a few years ago. Its characters are Elsie, a vampire, and Jimmy, a werewolf. The short, gag filled comics follow their love story.

I like Fangs because it’s cute. Short and sweet. I’ve been a fan of Andersen’s comics for a while, and I love how much energy and personality they toss into every panel. If you want to read something quick and full of heart, then Fangs is a good one to pick.

Located in Adult Graphic Novels (GRAPHIC ANDERSEN)

Poison for Breakfast by Lemony Snicket

Reviewed by Lisabet B (Library Patron)

“You had poison for breakfast.”

One note sends Lemony Snicket on a rambling investigation as he searches through the contents of his breakfast and embarks on a bewildering train of thought that ends trying to peruse philosophy.

A bewildering book that attempts to make sense of the paradox that is the world, a word which here could mean nothing. Poison for Breakfast questions and stumbles over life, death, and truth, then leaves you more bewildered than before, facing a breakfast of poison and scrambled eggs.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Reviewed by Anonymous (Library Patron)

The first book in the Truly Devious trilogy by Maureen Johnson is a unique mystery filled with unsolved crimes and new dramas. It takes place at Ellingham Academy, a school started by the great for the great. Stevie Bell, a new student there, has a fairly normal experience until a project goes wrong. I enjoyed the book because it was able to hook me in and I want to read the rest of the trilogy. The main character, Stevie, loves true crime and it’s the reason she is at the academy, this makes her character very relatable and seem like an ordinary person who got to experience her dreams of being a detective. I love mystery stories and I would recommend this series to people who like to be the detective as they read.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC JOHNSON)

The Looking Glass by Janet McNally

Reviewed by Avery H (Library Patron)

I really enjoyed this story of falling in love, experiencing heartbreak at the ends of tragedy, all the while being on a quest to search for answers. In this novel, Sylvie, a ballerina, sets out to find her older sister, Julia, who left a year ago leaving no clues or any traces of where she’s gone behind. When Sylvie receives a package in the mail from her, everything changes. The book follows her on a journey that ends up changing her forever. I think this story is beautifully written with it’s touches of magic here and there and the way it goes deep into Sylvie’s past to show how she develops as a character. I would categorize this novel as fantasy/fiction. Anyone who loves a good mystery with touches of romance and fantasy, this one’s for you.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC MCNALLY)

A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

A Forgery of Roses is a gothic mystery featuring an intriguing magic system in which certain people can alter reality by painting portraits.

After the disappearance of her parents, Myra Whitlock is unexpectedly offered a secret commission to paint the recently deceased son of the mayor and bring him back to life. Although Myra has never attempted such a feat and does not even know if it is possible, the sizable payment the mayor’s wife is offering makes the commission irresistible.

Myra’s portrait magic won’t work without knowing the death circumstances but some details the family offer simply don’t add up so Myra begins investigating on her own within the sprawling mansion of the mayor, uncovering a web of family secrets and even a taste of romance.

The compelling mystery kept me guessing and I especially loved how the flawed characters learned to both find and embrace their unique strengths.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC OLSON)

Saucy by Cynthia Kadohata

Reviewed by Andrea Bisordi (Library Staff)

Becca would like to be very good at something, but she just can’t seem to find the thing for her. Then a piglet enters her life, and she is sure that saving this little piglet will be the thing for her! The problem is, the pig, whom she names Saucy, is just not cut out to be a house pet. How can she be good at something she might have to give up?

Fans of Mercy Watson who are looking for a longer tale would enjoy this one very much. Saucy gets into all kinds of mischief while still being beloved by the family. I also liked how Becca is trying to understand her place in her family, her school, and life in general. A delightful story.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC KADOHATA)

How to Find What You’re Not Looking For by Veera Hiranandani

Reviewed by Andrea Bisordi (Library Staff)

Ariel and her sister Leah are very close, even though Leah is six years older. So, when Leah starts spending a lot of time with Raj, eleven-year-old Ariel isn’t sure what it will mean for their relationship, even though Raj seems nice and even takes her out for ice cream. But then, the girls’ Jewish parents reject Raj, and eloping seems like Leah’s only option. Ariel’s world is turned upside down, and everything seems harder without Leah, including managing her dysgraphia and working at the family bakery. How can she help the family come together again?

This historical fiction story is quite interesting. Like Ms. Hiranandani’s Newbery Honor winning title The Night Diary, this book talks a lot about how the main character is feeling. I loved the setting, in part because it takes place the same year my parents got married. 54 years seems like a long time, but it was a great reminder that the Supreme court case Loving vs. Virginia was decided only a couple of generations ago. I believe it makes court cases much more interesting when you consider the impact they had on people’s day to day lives. Kids who like historical fiction, deep characters, or books about feelings would probably enjoy this book.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC HIRANANDANI)