Staff Picks

Dinosaur 13

Dinosaur 13 Book Cover

If you have ever seen Sue the Dinosaur at The Field Museum, this documentary is a must see. Dinosaur 13, which premiered at Sundance in 2014, depicts the event of how Sue was found and how the paleontologists and small town in South Dakota fought to keep Sue. One of the best parts of the film is that it truly captures how much one can love a dinosaur.

The Last book in the universe

The Last book in the universe Book Cover

“You’re aware that the things called ‘books’ used to be stored in libraries. That was long before you were born, so how did you know?” This phrase spoken by the character Ryter in The Last Book in the Universe is a reminder of how science and technology will change how and where books and libraries are available. Technology will not only affect access of information, but affect social interactions as well. For example, in our day in age, we see the change in how people socialize through social media. Tech is affecting us on a daily basis, assisting us with daily tasks, and furthering the way we take in information. Through online learning we are speeding up the way we can learn new skills and new information, but is this also opening the door to potential health risks or the breakdown of society and libraries? These questions were brought to my attention after reading a post-book era world written by Philbrick Rodman.

Sold

Sold Book Cover

A 2007 National Book Award finalist, Sold tells the story of a thirteen year old girl named Lakshmi who lives with her family in the mountains of Nepal. Her life there is simple and beautiful, but when the monsoons destroy her family's crops, Lakshmi's step-father tells her that she must earn money to support the family. She is taken away by strangers, sent to India under the impression that she will become a maid in the city. Soon, however, she learns the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution. This book is written in incredibly powerful vignettes, an unusual poetic style that portrays extremes of both horror and beauty. Taken from interviews of women who have been rescued from sex trafficking, Sold is a devastatingly real account of slavery as it exists today in our world.

Red Rising

Red Rising Book Cover

EPIC read! This sci-fi/fantasy novel had me hooked right from the beginning. I’m not a huge fan of sci-fi/fantasy, but I could not put this book down! It is so addictive. Take a chance and check this one out. You will not be disappointed.

Daughter of the Forest

Daughter of the Forest Book Cover

A heart-achingly beautiful love story about Sorcha, a strong young woman with 6 doting older brothers who are turned into swans by an evil enchantress. Sorcha, the only person who can save them, undertakes a seemingly impossible task that ultimately takes her away from her forest in a fantastical adventure that is full of sorrow, violence, adventure, magic, and amazing love.

The Happiness Project

The Happiness Project Book Cover

Rubin's personal story traces a year of experiential techniques to cultivate a happier life. Breaking her project, and book chapters, into themes by month, the reader follows her development as she incorporates and applies a variety of approaches in her quest for contentment. Written from a position of privilege, its natural to question how universally applicable her message may be; nevertheless, you'll find yourself cheerier during, and hopefully after, this read!

Hatchet

Hatchet Book Cover

This is great read for all ages! Takes you on a journey and makes you feel like you are in the woods with the main character. I couldn't put it down!

The Blue Sword

The Blue Sword Book Cover

Are you looking for a fantasy story that has a strong heroine who is not necessarily beautiful, adventure, magic, amazing horses, gorgeous prose and just the perfect amount of romance (not romance that gets shoved down your throat so hard that you want to gag romance)? Then Robin McKinley is the author for you! The Blue Sword is a great place to start. It begins with our heroine, Harry, who must move far from her lush, verdant Homeland to the bleak desert of a distant continent, Damar. She finds herself falling in love with the harsh beauty of the desert, as if something is awakened in her blood. When she is kidnapped by the magically-powerful king of the desert little does she know what's in store for her. Thus begins Harry's adventure as she learns about her magical heritage and becomes a desert warrior in whom the fate of her world resides.

The Samurai’s Garden

The Samurai’s Garden Book Cover

This sweet novel follows a Chinese teenager's recovery from tuberculosis in a remote Japanese village on the eve of the Second World War. Tsukiyama's straightforward, elegant style belies the complexity of characters and emotions that her well-crafted story unfolds. A tender and easy read that will unexpectedly remind you of life's simple gifts.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Book Cover

Sixteen-year-old Jacob no longer believes the stories his grandfather told him when he was a little boy. Fairy tales about children with mysterious abilities, such as a girl who could levitate, a boy with bees living inside him, and a girl who can start fires with her hands. He decides that Grandpa's sepia-toned photographs of his strange friends must be fake. When his grandfather is mysteriously murdered, Jacob travels to the island where the stories took place and finds, not only the children, but the truth about himself. This first novel should appeal to readers who like quirky fantasies with a touch of horror. Grade 8 - adult.