What’s Your Next Great Read? Book Reviews with Ms. Cecily

Are you looking for great adventure in far off lands? Interested in a beginner chapter book? Maybe you are somewhere between? No matter your reading level or interest the library has something waiting for you!

Blended by Sharon Draper
Isabella’s family is more divided than ever in this story about divorce and racial identity. Her mom and dad are divorced and she splits her time between her parent’s houses in different lifestyles. One week she is Isabella with her dad, his girlfriend Anastasia, and her son Darren living in a fancy house where they are one of the only black families in the neighborhood. The next week she’s Izzy with her mom and her boyfriend John-Mark in a small, not-so-fancy house that she calls home. She is pulled between two worlds, and 2 parents, She’s half this and half that but is she whole. Can anything bring the two families together  for Izzy’s sake?
Available at NLPL in print and on Libby

Ages 10+
Forget Me Not by Ellen Terry
I found this to be an interesting story about a young girl with Tourette’s Syndrome. Calliope June also is stressed by her mother’s constant moving. Leaving one boyfriend and then immediately moving and looking for a new one to move in with. This is not a perfect life. Just as she is getting settled in a new school, her mom goes to Las Vegas for the weekend and gets married without telling her and then it is time to move AGAIN! 
Available on Libby or to request a hold in print/audiobook
J TERAges 12+
I Survived the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 by Lauren Tarshis
The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 is still America’s deadliest natural disaster. This is the story of one child’s survival in the churning water of the Gulf of Mexico.  I survived Camille in 1969 with the water churning at my front door.  Rope ready to go to the big tree in the yard if the water came any closer.  I know the terror and Tarshis does a good job describing the storm and the terror. The city of Galveston, Texas sat on a barrier island just off the Texas coast. The town was booming. By 1900, it was Texas’s richest and most important city. Boats loaded up with American cotton and wheat steamed from Galveston to countries around the world. Arriving ships were crowded with immigrants. The streets, paved with crushed oyster shells, sparkled like they’d been sprinkled with diamonds.
Back then there was no weather radar so there was no warning that a storm was brewing in the Gulf. No one thought it would be any worse than previous storms. Residents  gathered to cheer on the waves but what started as fun ended up a nightmare and the next day more than 8000 people were dead and their homes destroyed.
Available at NLPL in print and Playaway
J TARAges 8+
EyeWitness Hurricane and Tornado by DK
Interesting book on all sorts of weather with a good explanation of Hurricanes starting on page 28.
Available at NLPL in print
J 551.55 CHAAges 8+
Tropical Storms and Hurricanes by Liza Burly
A very easy explanation of Hurricanes and the damage that they can do.
Available at NLPL in print
J 551.55Ages 8+
Odder by Katheryn Applegate
Meet Odder, the Queen of Play. She plays all day off the California coast doing summersaults, divebombs to the bottom and rides the waves. But when Odder comes face-to-face with a hungry great white shark, her life takes a dramatic turn, it challenges everything she knows herself―and the humans hoping to save her.
Inspired by the true story at the Monterey Bay Aquarium that pairs orphaned otter pups with surrogate mothers, this tale examines bravery and healing through the eyes of one sweet curious Otter and the people who rescue her.
Available on Libby, Playaway at NLPL, and to request a hold in print.
J APPAges 10+
Sea Otters by Jaclyn Jaycox
Find out more about Sea Otters and how they live almost their whole life in the water. Great companion to Odder by Katheryn Applegate. Look in the 599.769 and find more books on Sea Otters.
Available at NLPL in print
599.769 JAYAges 5+
I, Cosmo by Carlie Sorosiak
A wonderful story told from the old family dogs point of view.  Will he be able to keep his family together? Will he win the dance contest with Max? Poignant and well told in an authentic voice. When Cosmo became a big brother to Max he knew his job was to protect his boy and make him happy. But with the arguing and dad sleeping on the couch Cosmo senses a bigger challenge ahead. ”I, Cosmo will grab readers from the first page — and remind them that love and loyalty transcend whatever life throws your way.”
Available on Libby, at NLPL on Playaway, and request a hold in print
J F SORAges 8+
Where is Easter Island? by Megan Stine
One of the last places on earth to be discovered by European colonists. This is a history of Easter Island from when it was discovered to present day and interesting book about the giant stone men, some as large as a 10 story building weighing over 100,000 tons…learn how they were moved without the use of wheels and modern machinery.
Available at NLPL in print
J996.18 STIAges 8+
You Wouldn’t Want to be an 18th-Century British Convict! by Meredith Costain
His is history with the dirty bits left in. A fun and colorful introduction to how Australia was settled by English convicts.
Available at NLPL in print
J 994.01 COSAges 9+
Pip and Zip by Elana Arnold
Two abandoned duck eggs hatch.  A touching story perfect for young readers.
Available at NLPL in print
E ARNAges 2+
I’m Not Sydney! by Marie-Louise Gay
Lovely story about all the neighborhood children and what jungle animals they turn into: A sloth, a spider monkey, an anteater, an elephant etc. and they played animals happily until the elephant washed them all off.
Available at NLPL in print
E GAYAges 3+
Children of the Forest by Matt Myers
A great camping adventure! Shows how imaginative play and the wild fun can be had while staying close to home.   
Available at NLPL in print
E MEYAges 2+
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
(Newbery WInner 1990)
It’s 1940 and German troops have crossed into neutral Denmark and begin their campaign to “relocate” all the Jews of Denmark.  Annemarie Johansen’s family agrees to take in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceal her as part of the family. Through the eyes of 10 year old  Annemarie we see the Danish resistance start smuggling Jews out of Denmark to Sweden. The Danish people remind us that there was still decency in the world even during the war. This is a perfect Mother-Daughter read and a powerful message for fighting Antisemitism. 
A modern classic of historical fiction. Jessica Grose wrote in a November 2022 New York Times essay entitled As School Library Journal put it: “Readers are taken to the very heart of Annemarie’s experience, and, through her eyes, come to understand the true meaning of bravery.”
Available in print and audio CD at NLPL and on Libby Audio
J LOWAges 10+
The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Magnus Chase was once a homeless teen. Now he is a resident of the Hotel Valhalla and is on a death-defying quest across the Norse realms. Here I will say that it is a good idea to acquaint yourself with the Norse Gods and Mythology. He has found out that he is the son of the god Frey and now is one of Odin’s warriors. Magnus and his new friends Hearthstone the elf, Blitzen the dwarf,Samirah the Valkyrie, and other heroic characters must use their wits and talents to defeat fearsome giants, lethal creatures, and meddlesome gods to stave off Ragnarok the end of the world and of the Gods..
“A whirlwind of myth, action, and wry sarcasm, perfect for readers hungry for a new hit of that Percy Jackson-type magic.”–Horn Book.
Available at NLPL on Playaway and to request a hold in print
J F RIO Ages 10+