Staff Picks for June 20, 2020
- Sarah: The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
- Mary: Finding Chika by Mitch Albom
- Jennfier: Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang
- Pam: The Imperfects by Amy Meyerson
- Marielle: Orphan Eleven by Gennifer Choldenko
- Anna: Wicked Fox by Kat Cho
- Christopher: The Monsters Know What They're Doing by Keith Ammann
I absolutely loved The Jane Austen Society. As I read, I felt I was walking around Chawton, immersing myself in the world of her colorful inhabitants, surprised by how they handled certain situations, while simultaneously feeling like they were behaving exactly as they should. The plot is intricate and beautifully woven, written by the hand of the master storyteller, it's a great book for Austen lovers and historical fiction lovers alike!
I knew I wanted to read Finding Chika the moment I heard Mitch Albom on tv, talking about the little girl who stole the heart of Mitch and his wife, Janine. Chika was born in Haiti on January 9, 2010, just 3 days before the horrific earthquake that devastated Haiti. Two years later, Chika's mother died, and Chika is taken to the orphanage that the Albom's have operated since the earthquake. When he met Chika, he knew she was brave. When Chika needs medical help, Mitch and Janine bring her to the US. With no children of their own, the pair become a trio. Chika teaches Mitch 7 important lessons. You will laugh and you will cry--have tissues handy.
If you miss watching basketball as much as I do, you'll love this fun and exciting true story of a California high school team's quest for a state championship. Gene Luen Yang usually writes about super heroes or cultural history, but in the Dragons of Bishop O'Dowd and their coach Lou Richards he found a compelling tale and real heroes. He interviewed coaches, players, and staff, and woven between their stories is the history of basketball - from its invention to the starts of the NBA. Yang is one of my favorite authors and this book is easily in my top five of graphic novels.
This is the story of an estranged family, the Millers, brought together by the death of their beloved grandmother Helen. Once her will is disclosed, a revelation is made that Beck, the youngest grandchild, is bequeathed a 137 carat diamond believed to be the mysterious Florentine that went missing during the fall of the Habsburg Dynasty. As the family, which includes Ashley and Jake and their mother Deborah, embark on a quest to discover why Helen possessed this treasure; family secrets are revealed. Ultimately, the true question is, what secrets will you hold to protect the ones you love.
I am not a particular fan of the circus, but I am a huge fan of Lucy and ORPHAN ELEVEN! All about found-families and finding your voice, we follow Lucy and her friends on their journey as they quite literally run away to join the circus, in a world so richly described you will feel like you can reach out and touch it. This story will give you an amazing adventure, characters that will make you laugh, cry, and cheer, and a truly magical reading experience.
I am so surprised with how much I like this book! It reads just like a Korean drama, with all of the antics and craziness that go into them, and I totally ate it up. It follows two main characters, one being Miyoung, who is a gumiho, or a nine-tailed fox. The other character is Jihoon, who is a mortal human who gets saved by Miyoung during a goblin attack. Then he helps to save Miyoung when her gumiho bead goes missing from her body, and she learns that without it, she will die. This has the light fantasy elements needed to pull me out of a bad reading slump, and I loved the sections of pure mythology that tells the tale of the first gumiho and other ones that follow!
The Monsters Know What They're Doing is one of my favorite DnD companion books. Providing detailed information and suggestions not found in the Monster Manual, this book is here to help any DM spice up their combat encounters / create monsters that are more than mindless brutes. Using the thesis that monsters are the DM's characters, Ammann's book has allowed my players to better enjot combat from week to week.