We may still be a month away from real summer, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s time to break out the delightful summer reads. You made it through the school year, now turn your brain off for a bit and enjoy some books for fun! If you don’t want to turn your brain all the way off, I understand—I’ve got a very important literary fiction book at the end, just for you.
“Tokyo Ever After” by Emiko Jean
First up, we’ve got a delightful cross between “Princess Diaries” and “Crazy Rich Asians.” Japanese-American Izumi lives with her single mom in a small town in Northern California, and she’s used to feeling like an outsider as one of only three Asian girls in her community. While she loves her life, she’s always wondered about her father—a man her mother refuses to discuss, beyond saying he was a one-night stand in college. When Izumi accidentally discovers his name, she and her friends do a little digging and learn that he is the Crown Prince of Japan. Before she knows what’s happening, Izumi is invited to spend her summer in Tokyo with him. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: May 2021”
Summer Reading Info Sheet (PDF)
This year, Summer Reading goes wild with stories about animals, both real and imagined. Beginning Tuesday, June 1, you’ll be able to download reading and activity trackers from the library’s website, or you can request printed Summer Reading materials at your library branch or bookmobile stop or via curbside pickup.
Starting Tuesday, June 8, you can submit your entry into the “Pet Photo Contest.” Share your your cutest pet photo for a chance to win a gift card to a local bookstore. In June, we’ll also be hosting a podcasting workshop for beginners and launching a two-part introduction to Dungeons & Dragons (5th edition). Continue reading “Teen Summer Reading Preview”
The winners for the Gateway and Truman Readers Awards have been announced! These awards honors the best-loved books among Missouri high school and junior high students. To be eligible to vote, students must read 3-4 of the finalists. This year, hundreds of votes were cast by students in grades 6-12.
Truman Readers Award
1st Place: “Not If I Save You First” by Ally Carter
Six years ago Maddie lived in Washington D.C. with her father, a Secret Service agent assigned to the President’s family, and her best friend was Logan, the President’s son; but after her father was wounded in an attempted kidnapping the two of them moved to a remote cabin in Alaska and Logan never replied to her letters. But now he has suddenly turned up on her doorstep she has to save him from the winter wilderness and the men who are pursuing him.
Continue reading “2020 Gateway & Truman Award Winners”
I’ve got a nice mix of things this month! We’ll start with some supernatural, horror and fantasy, and move into a Western and a contemporary. Enjoy!
“The Cost of Knowing” by Brittney Morris
Alex can see the future. When he touches objects or people, he sees what will happen days, weeks or even years in its future. Though it may seem like a blessing, Alex knows it’s a curse—especially when he sees the death of his little brother Isaiah. He’s never been able to change a vision before, but Alex will do whatever it takes to change this one. Being Black in their affluent Chicago suburb presents enough challenges and dangers on its own, and then Alex discovers that he’s not Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: April 2021”
May is just around the corner and so is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. To celebrate, I have a curated list of books written by Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) authors, about AAPI stories, for everyone to enjoy.
“The Astonishing Color of After” by Emily X. R. Pan
After her mother’s suicide, grief-stricken Leigh Chen Sanders travels to Taiwan for the first time to stay with grandparents she has never met, determined to find her mother who she believes turned into a bird.
“Frankly in Love” by David Yoon
High school seniors Frank Li and Joy Song pretend to date each other in order to please their Korean parents which gives them the freedom to date other (non-Korean) people. Continue reading “Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage”
After three months of competition, central Missouri teens have selected their March Madness Teen Book Tournament Champion! We began with a list of 16 finalists which included bestsellers such as “Dear Martin” by Nic Stone and popular series starters like “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han.
Many thanks to the teachers and school librarians who have supported this program, and to all the teens who have participated! And now, our 2021 champion is…
“Renegades” by Marissa Meyer
Subscribe to our teen program newsletter to get a sneak peek of this year’s Summer Reading program, “Tales & Tails.” Through this program, the library challenges young adults to read for 15 hours, share three book reviews and do seven of our suggested activities. Complete the challenge, and you will be eligible to win some pretty awesome prizes like an Amazon Fire tablet! More information to come later this month.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Unbound Book Festival is entirely online. Unbound is hosting a variety of weekly author panels, poetry readings and writing workshops through April. Review their full schedule for more details.
Next Tuesday, March 23 at 7 p.m., Unbound will host “Changing Landscapes in YA Fiction” with authors Anuradha Rajurkar, Brie Spangler and Louisa Onomé. Tune in on Facebook or YouTube as these acclaimed YA authors discuss challenges of writing for the next generation of readers.
Anuradha Rajurkar is the author of the newly released young adult novel, “American Betiya.’ In this book, a young artist grapples with first love, family boundaries and the complications of a cross-cultural relationship. Rajurkar is the national recipient of the SCBWI Emerging Voices Award for this debut work. Check out the excerpt! Continue reading “YA Author Panel: Changing Landscapes in YA Fiction”
It’s spring! Let’s welcome it in with some fantastic new books.
“Lost in the Never Woods” by Aiden Thomas
If you loved the author’s “Cemetery Boys” from last year, get excited for their version of Peter Pan! Five years ago, Wendy Darling was found wandering in the woods, with no memory of the past six months, and no idea where her two younger brothers were. Wendy’s worked hard to deal with the trauma and grief of losing her brothers, and she’s ready to start nursing school and finally move on with her life. But then children start disappearing again, and a boy named Peter begs for her help. Wendy is drawn back into the half-remembered world of her childhood, and amid shadowy secrets, must face the truth about her past. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: March 2021”
The Dogwood Readers Award recognizes quality nonfiction books for school-age youth. Titles are broken down into four grade ranges: K-2; 3-5; 6-8; and 9-12. Below is a complete listing of award finalists for middle school and high school readers.
This award was founded just last year by the Missouri Association of School Librarians (MASL). The award selection committee is comprised of nine librarians who work in K-12 school districts throughout the state of Missouri. You can offer your suggestions for consideration at the Dogwood Readers Award website. Continue reading “2020-21 Dogwood Award Finalists”
For the delightfully short month of February, I’ve got some romance and some thrillers. All of these books have a February release date, so if they’re not here physically yet, look for the eBook! I love not having to wait for shipping on digital items.
“Yesterday Is History” by Kosoko Jackson
When Andre receives a liver transplant, it does more than save his life. Six months after the procedure, he wakes up outside his house in the year 1969. After meeting a confident and attractive boy who lives in Andre’s future house, Andre slips back into the present. His donor’s family contacts him and explains the genetic gift of time traveling that he’s inherited. They task their son Blake with teaching Andre how to time travel, and Andre must make sense of his attraction to the boy in the past and the one in his present. Refreshingly, the book also explores the differences between Andre’s experiences in the past as a young Black man, and the experience of Blake’s affluent white family. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: February 2021”