Featured Book Lists
ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog The Serpent King
by Zentner, Jeff

School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-The son of a snake-handling preacher imprisoned for possessing child pornography, Dill escapes his controlling mother and social ostracism with the help of his two friends, Lydia and Travis. As the trio round out their senior year, it becomes overwhelmingly apparent the different paths their lives are going to take-Travis is content working in a lumberyard and diving into a fantasy world from a book series in his spare time, while Lydia runs a popular fashion blog and is intent on attending New York University. As for Dill, he yearns for more than Forrestville, TN, can offer, but he feels compelled to honor his father's legacy and his mother's domineering wishes. As Dill grapples with a crush on Lydia and a mother who wants him to drop out of high school, a YouTube clip of Dill singing and playing guitar begins to garner attention. Dill must decide among what his heart wants, what his family needs, and his own desire for a life outside of their small town; "If you're going to live," he says, "you might as well do painful, brave, and beautiful things." Zentner offers a contemporary young adult novel that explores many issues common with teenagers today-bullying, life after high school, and the coming together and breaking apart of high school friendships. Thorough characterization and artful prose allow readers to intimately experience the highs and lows of these three friends. VERDICT Recommended for fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell.-Amanda C. Buschmann, Atascocita Middle School, Humble, TX Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Forrestville, Tenn., named after Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest, isn't exactly a welcome place for slightly ouside-the-mainstream folks like friends Dillard, Lydia, and Travis. Dill is a high school senior whose snake-handling preacher father is currently incarcerated; Lydia, a successful fashion blogger, plans on attending NYU after graduation; and Travis, large of body and gentle of soul, loses himself (and the pain of his father's physical and emotional abuse) in a fantasy series called Bloodfall. While Dill finds comfort and beauty in music, Travis's innate kindness belies his circumstances, and Lydia's incandescent, gleefully offbeat personality draws them together. As the novel, Zentner's debut, builds to a shocking act of violence that shatters the friends' world, this sepia-toned portrait of small-town life serves as a moving testament to love, loyalty, faith, and reaching through the darkness to find light and hope. Zentner explores difficult themes head on-including the desire to escape the sins of the father and the fragility of happiness-while tempering them with the saving grace of enduring friendship. Ages 14-up. Agent: Charlie Olsen, Inkwell Management. (Mar.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list In small-town Forrestville, Tennessee, broody musician Dill Early begins his senior year with a general feeling of dread because it means his best friend, Lydia, will be leaving for college once they graduate. As the son of a snake-handling Pentecostal preacher currently in prison, Dill is unable to escape his father's shadow. Lydia, on the other hand, is an outspoken blogger and fashionista, who can't wait to get out of Dodge. Completing their trio is Travis, a gentle giant who carries a staff and is obsessed with fantasy novels. In chapters that shift among the teens' perspectives, Zentner effectively shows the aspirations, fears, and dark secrets they harbor during their final year together. A musician himself, Zentner transitions to prose easily in his debut, pulling in complex issues that range from struggles with faith to abuse to grief. Refreshingly, this novel isn't driven by romance though it rears its head but by the importance of pursuing individual passions and forging one's own path. A promising new voice in YA.--Smith, Julia Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog Good Rosie!
by Kate DiCamillo

Publishers Weekly Rosie the terrier and her middle-aged owner, George, are loving companions and creatures of habit. But when Rosie sees her reflection in her empty food bowl ("The other dog never answers"), she yearns for companions of her own species. One day, George decides to visit the local dog park, and Rosie is more than a little hesitant ("Rosie does not like the dog park. There are too many dogs."). Then she meets Fifi the Chihuahua and Maurice the Saint Bernard. Though their friendship is not without initial missteps (Rosie must overcome her innate reticence, Maurice must promise that he will not try to eat Fifi-again), it changes Rosie's world. DiCamillo's deep empathy for her shy, lonely protagonist will come as no surprise, but her portrayal of Rosie as genuinely puzzled by the mechanics of friendship is particularly astute. Bliss (Diary of a Worm) works in a paneled comics format, and it proves felicitous for his formal drawing style and deadpan humor. This is no shaggy dog story-it's thoughtful and funny, and a real gift for emerging readers. Ages 5-8. Author's and illustrator's agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Sept.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Short, episodic chapters and a gentle plotline make this winsome graphic novel particularly well suited to early readers. George and Rosie, a brown-and-white terrier, have a pretty solid routine of breakfast, a walk, and looking at clouds, but Rosie is lonely. George, a balding, bespectacled gentleman with a cane and a long coat, eventually catches on and takes Rosie to the dog park. But new dogs are scary to shy Rosie, and it takes some time before she finally warms up to the other pups at the park. Bliss' naturalistic, amiable cartoons appear on wide, open panels, and close-ups of George's and the dogs' faces make characters' feelings unmistakable, which will be particularly helpful for newly independent readers. Despite the story's low page count, DiCamillo infuses a surprising amount of character development: George recognizes his pal's loneliness; Rosie gets over her shyness; and three very different dogs figure out how to be friends. With humor and heart, this easy, inviting volume offers an empowering message to little ones nervous about making new friends.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal PreS-Gr 1-Rosie the terrier loves her owner, George, but she feels lonely. Realizing that his pet needs to befriend other canines, George takes her to the park. But Rosie doesn't know any of these dogs, and she doesn't like Maurice, a hulking, drooly St. Bernard, or Fifi, a perky little papillon-at least not at first. Yet when an encounter between the other two dogs almost goes dreadfully wrong, Rosie steps in and discovers she might know more about friendship than she thought. Dividing the book into nine brief parts, author and illustrator allow this quiet graphic novel to unfold slowly. Though Bliss depicts idyllic, verdant parks full of smiling pups, he lets a hint of melancholy creep in as Rosie gazes longingly at dog-shaped clouds in the sky and her own reflection in her empty food dish. DiCamillo's contemplative, understated text perfectly complements Bliss's elegantly composed watercolors. Forging new bonds can be both tantalizing and overwhelming, they acknowledge, but children will feel up to the challenge after seeing Rosie conquer her anxieties. VERDICT A superb friendship story and a lovely choice for one-on-one sharing, especially with little ones with first-day-of-school jitters.-Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Trick Mirror
by Jia Tolentino

Publishers Weekly New Yorker contributor Tolentino debuts with a sharp, well-founded crackdown on the lies of self and culture in these nine original, incisive reflections on a hypercapitalist, internet-driven age that "positions personal identity as the center of the universe." While some essays peel back personal self-delusions-such as by recalling, in "Always Be Optimizing," how taking barre classes for fitness gave her the "satisfying but gross sense of having successfully conformed to a prototype" -others comment on broader cultural movements with frightening accuracy, for instance noting in "Pure Heroines" that "bravery and bitterness get so concentrated in literature, for women, because there's not enough space for [women] in the real world," or that the election of Donald Trump represents the "incontrovertible, humiliating vindication of scamming as the quintessential American ethos." The collection's chief strength is Tolentino's voice: sly, dry, and admittedly complicit in an era where "the choice...is to be destroyed or to morally compromise ourselves in order to be functional." While the insights aren't revelatory, the book's candid self-awareness and well-formulated prose, and Tolentino's ability to voice the bitterest truths-"Everything, not least the physical world itself, is overheating"-will gain Tolentino new fans and cement her reputation as an observer well worth listening to. (Aug.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal In her debut, New Yorker writer Tolentino turns a critical eye on herself and, in doing so, highlights the troubling images reflected in current American culture. These essays examine reality TV, physical optimization, rape culture, and more, and pieces about constructing identity on the Internet—from Geocities to Twitter trolling to the scam of the Fyre Festival—are especially timely and affecting. Tolentino's take on these topics is dark—the word nightmare is often used to describe the depressing effects of social media—and the author finds that an overriding theme is the desire to be seen, even if the image isn't always positive. Overall, she highlights how people must ignore the rot of the world in order to function day to day, which might be the most sinister thing of all. The book is thoroughly researched, and nearly every page contains a revelation about contemporary culture. Tolentino's writing is just personal enough to put a human aspect to her points, so that readers feel them intimately, and she admits her own unseemly qualities with the same attention by which she examines the rest of the world. The final essay on marriage lags behind what is otherwise a cutting, brilliant collection. VERDICT An incisive collection that cements Tolentino as one of her generation's greatest cultural critics.—Katy Hershberger, School Library Journal

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

816 Shakespeare Ave. Stratford, IA 50249  |  Phone 515-838-2131
Powered by: YouSeeMore © The Library Corporation (TLC)