Staff Picks

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One to Watch
by Kate Stayman-London

Amanda says,

After body-positive fashion blogger Bea’s scathing review of the latest episode of Main Squeeze – an obvious play on The Bachelor – goes viral, the positive response leads to an invite for Bea herself to be the newest leading lady on the show. Is this what Bea really wants? Can she subvert the standards on a show she already knows is manufactured drama? She wouldn’t really fall in love with one of these men, would she? A fun, refreshing read during a time when we all really need a happy ending.

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Ways to Make Sunshine
by Renée Watson

Lindsay says,

For fans of lovable meddling kids like Ramona Quimby or Clementine, Ryan Hart is sure to win you over. Her family is moving and her dad has a new job, and they’re all having some trouble adjusting to their new life. But Ryan is determined to make her family smile, even if she goes about things in a way that causes trouble. This middle-grade read is charming, funny, and honest in its look at a middle-class family enduring change together.

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Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery
by Kevin O’Malley

Staff says,

A great riff on earlier cinema serials like Buck Rogers, this book, other than being a adventure led by DINOSAURS who fly rockets INTO SPACE rendered in detailed illustrations, is a series of dramatic cliffhangers with accompanying chances to try out your most over the top voice-over when reading to your child before bed. Highest recommendation.

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Trouble at Table 5: The Candy Caper
by Tom Watson

Melissa says,

Molly gets ideas stuck in her head sometimes. She noticed a jar of candy on the principal’s desk and just has to know how many are in there. She and her best friends, Simon and Rose, come up with a plan to figure out the exact number. They’ve never broken the rules before, but they’re willing to for Annie, especially if it means dressing like a mummy. This is a great story about working together and being a kind, supportive friend.

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Young Adult

Scott says,

One of Charlize Theron’s most overlooked performances has her as a Gen-Xer wallowing in her supposed glorious days trying to get what she feels is owed. From the creators of Juno but a little more acerbic in its comedy – a female anti-hero with no socially redeeming arc or life lessons.

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The Old Guard
by Greg Rucka
illustrated by Leandro Fernandez

Michael says,

This very pulpy, and very bloody, material has some of that flavor of The Highlander as four immortals dealing with their endless lives when a new immortal emerges. They gain meaning by taking their warrior experience and making the world a better place through combat and camaraderie, no matter the cost. It’s a lean, quick read of a graphic novel that sets the groundwork for the recent Netflix movie to build an even deeper mythology.

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Lakewood
by Megan Giddings

Staff says,

When Lena receives an invitation to join a well-paying research study, she sees it as an opportunity to provide her mother with top tier health insurance and dig her family out of debt. As the study continues, Lena’s concept of reality starts to warp and she realizes the study might not be what it seems. This fast-paced combination horror and suspense story will leave you on the edge of your seat.

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Kent State
by Deborah Wiles

Amanda says,

Deborah Wiles uses a number of perspectives – student, townie, member of the National Guard – to explain the incidents on the campus of Kent State in May of 1970. The at-times sparse prose is presented in a manner that will appeal to middle grade students while providing a wealth of background information for those that may want to research further.

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Looper

Michael says,

Now that everyone has agreed to disagree about Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, but everyone loves Knives Out, we need to look again at his back catalog of work. This unique take on time travel, more about character and their world than physics, is almost as much of a ensemble work as Knives Out: starring Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Jeff Daniels, and more. Worth revisiting or watching for the first time to catch up on what you missed.

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Gregor the Overlander
by Susanne Collins

Melissa says,

Gregor the Overlander is the first of five books in the Underland Chronicles, which Suzanne Collins wrote before The Hunger Games. Gregor and his little sister Boots are trapped in the Underland in the midst of a long-standing war between humans and rats. It’s a wonderful story of adventure, peril, and family loyalty with unexpected allies and betrayals.

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