Category Archives: Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Doll Bones

Staff Pick: Doll Bones

Doll Bones

Zach, Alice, and Poppy, friends from a Pennsylvania middle school who have long enjoyed acting out imaginary adventures with dolls and action figures, embark on a real-life quest to Ohio to bury a doll made from the ashes of a dead girl.

“A simple coin stamped with the image of an angel doesn’t really have super powers but somehow this little talisman brings together four students from a performing arts magnet middle school in a magical way. The Broadway musical, “The Big River,” an adaptation of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, is the backdrop for this delightful novel. Bette is grieving over the death of her mother, her sister has gone away to college and her father is so involved in his new nightclub he’s never home. Joe is a bully; angry at his absent father, trying to be a loving and supportive son to his divorced mother, while preying on weaker kids at school. Andy is small for his age, plays the violin and is the victim of Joe’s abuse. Viv is Andy’s twin sister, an accomplished pianist, trying to grow up with severe asthma and transitioning from being home-schooled back to a regular classroom. Ilene Cooper takes these diverse personalities and weaves their stories into an engrossing story about finding friendship in unexpected places.”

Recommended by: Emilie Lynn, East 38th Street Branch Library

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Staff Pick: Angel in My Pocket

Staff Pick: Angel in My Pocket

Angel in My Pocket

When seventh-grader Bette finds an angel coin she puts it in her pocket and forgets it but soon the mysterious and kind Gabby moves into her building and helps her face her major losses, and then the coin connects her with three classmates who all find new ways to believe in themselves.

A simple coin stamped with the image of an angel doesn’t really have super powers but somehow this little talisman brings together four students from a performing arts magnet middle school in a magical way. The Broadway musical, “The Big River,” an adaptation of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, is the backdrop for this delightful novel. Bette is grieving over the death of her mother, her sister has gone away to college and her father is so involved in his new nightclub he’s never home. Joe is a bully; angry at his absent father, trying to be a loving and supportive son to his divorced mother, while preying on weaker kids at school. Andy is small for his age, plays the violin and is the victim of Joe’s abuse. Viv is Andy’s twin sister, an accomplished pianist, trying to grow up with severe asthma and transitioning from being home-schooled back to a regular classroom. Ilene Cooper takes these diverse personalities and weaves their stories into an engrossing story about finding friendship in unexpected places.

Recommended by: Roberta Ash, Eagle Branch Library

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Staff Pick: I Feel Better With a Frog in My Throat: History’s Strangest Cures

Staff Pick: I Feel Better With a Frog in My Throat: History’s Strangest Cures

I Feel Better With a Frog in My Throat

It wasn’t too long ago that people tried all sorts of things to help sick people feel better. They tried wild things like drinking a glass full of millipedes or putting some mustard on one’s head. Some of the cures worked, and some of them…well, let’s just say that millipedes, living or dead, are not meant to be ingested.

This is a funny medical mystery tour to discover that while times may have changed, many of today’s most reliable cure-alls have their roots in some very peculiar practices, and so relevant connections can be drawn from what they did then to what we do now.

Feeling sick? Look up remedies in this book but beware! Have a sore throat? Put a necklace made of earthworms around your neck. Have a cough? Eat frog soup. Does honey help a wound? For more cures read: I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat, History’s Strangest Cures. Will you enjoy or be grossed out?

Recommended by: Jackie Hill, Franklin Road Branch Library

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Staff Pick: Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom

Staff Pick: Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom

Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom

When ten-year-old Zeus is kidnapped, he discovers he can defend himself with a magical thunderbolt.

What do you do when giants capture you, you are “rescued” by Harpies (scary birds with witch faces), and you’re dropped in a temple where you pull a lightning bolt from a stone and it sticks to your hand?
After all  this, 10-year-old orphan Zeus is informed by the oracle Pythia that he is a hero-in-training.
He goes on to free two of the Olympians from King Cronus’ belly and they all set off on a journey which leads to more adventures in the series. Attractive to grades 3-5, this book will also lead to series like Olympians and Goddess Girls.

Recommended by: Donna Neblett, Warren Library

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Staff Pick: The Bronte Sisters

Staff Pick: The Bronte Sisters

The Bronte Sisters

Explores the turbulent lives of the three literary siblings and the oppressive times in which they lived, and offers insight into their classic nineteenth-century novels.

Are you interested in the lives of famous people?  Then here is a book for you to read.

These famous writers lived only a short time, but they left a lasting impression on the world.  Their lives were not easy.  Their mother died when they were young.  Their father was a poor clergyman who never had enough money.  That these three sisters were so talented is remarkable.  That they became famous is astonishing!

In the 1800s women had few choices for their lives – marriage, school teaching, or governesses for  wealthy children.  The Bronte sisters tried the last two but found them not to their liking.  They earned very little money from their writing and even had to use men’s names to get their books published.  Today their books have been made into movies and television series.  Would they be surprised!

Recommended by: Cindy Childers, Garfield Park Branch Library

BronteEyre JaneEyre2 WishEyre JaneEyre
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