Category Archives: Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Double Identity

Staff Pick: Double Identity

Double Identity

Thirteen-year-old Bethany’s parents have always been overprotective, but when they suddenly drop out of sight with no explanation, leaving her with an aunt she never knew existed, Bethany uncovers shocking secrets that make her question everything she thought she knew about herself and her family. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2009-2010, 6-8 Nominee.

“Bethany’s near perfect world is shattered just prior to her thirteenth birthday.  Her parents flee their home and drive to a strange town arriving in the middle of the night.  They abandon Bethany with an aunt she never even knew existed.  Dad tells her he will call when he can, but she is not to contact them.  Bethany overhears him tell Aunt Myrlie, “She doesn’t know about Elizabeth”.  “Who is Elizabeth?” Beth wonders.  To add to the mystery the townspeople who meet Bethany react like they have seen a ghost.  Eventually Bethany learns she looks identical to this Elizabeth, right down to the seven freckles on her nose.  As she struggles to unravel the mystery of her past, she discovers a strange man is stalking her and asking questions about her father.  This gripping science fiction story will keep you in suspense until the very end.”

Recommended by: Linda Tegmeyer, Brightwood Library

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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

The Mysterious Benedict Society Web Comic Used With Permission:

Unshelved strip for 6/7/2013

@bookblrb: Three friends go on a quest to bury a doll made of the bones of a girl whose ghost threatens to make them miserable.

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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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