fiction

Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

“I’m not going to ask you to come with me. That would be like stepping in front of a moving train and saying, ‘Hey, honey, come stand next to me.’”
I hopped off the wall and stood next to him. “Anytime.”
He just looked at me.
“I’ve never killed a train before. It might be fun to try.”

Book six in the Kate Daniels series by husband-and-wife author team Ilona Andrews expands upon the "Post Shift" world. All the previous books have been set in and around Atlanta, Georgia, after magic returned to the world, casting it into upheaval. This time, Kate and her honey, the shapeshifter Beast Lord, are traveling across the treacherous ocean to Europe. Tangled up in the savage politics of the Continental shapeshifter packs and being manipulated by a deadly figure out of her family history, Kate is walking a knife's edge.  

The characters never fail to be engaging and the settings are rich with their own personalities. Not exactly the best writing ever, but certainly an enjoyable chapter in the saga. This story features the death of a major character, but also introduces a new one that definitely promises to be entertaining. And the ending left me grinning. Can't wait to read the next one!

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Victoria, Technical Services

Girl Meets Ghost by Lauren Barnholdt

Image of the book cover Girl Meets Ghost featuring two girls on a white background with pink and white lettering.Kendall Williams loves accessories, peppermint coffee and staying up late to text her best friend Ellie. She tries to focus on schoolwork but Brandon Dunham, her ultimate crush, and Daniella, a ghost begging for her help, prove very distracting. Will Kendall be able to help Daniella move on? Or will Daniella keep appearing at the worst times and ruin Kendall’s friendships with Ellie and Brandon? Read Girl Meets Ghost to find out.
 
Lauren Barnholdt’s characters are strong, smart and at times supernatural. In Girl Meets Ghost, Kendall, like many young adults, struggles with bad hair days, the awkwardness of a parent that starts dating and of course, math class. This book is recommended for readers that enjoy funny stories with female main characters. Girl Meets Ghost is a chapter book and well-suited for middle grade readers from ages 9-14. 
 
The sequel, The Harder the Fall, was released on September 3rd, 2013.
 
 
Jade, Kids World

We Are Water by Wally Lamb

“We are like water, aren’t we? We can be fluid, flexible when we have to be. But strong and destructive, too. And something else, I think to myself. Like water, we mostly follow the path of least resistance.”

We Are Water is a layered portrait of the modern American family. It centers on Anna Oh—wife and mother; outsider artist and lesbian bride-to-be—and the family relationships that are severed and mended as Anna moves through her life. Anna’s hometown of Three Rivers, Connecticut serves as a quaint backdrop masking a history of personal trauma and racial tension. Anna’s turbulent past and transitional present intersect as each chapter is narrated by a different character: Orin, martyr and ex-husband; Andrew, Ariane, and Marissa, Anna’s dissimilar children; and Kent, Anna’s cousin and childhood tormenter.

We Are Water is more than the portrait of a broken American family. Alternating narrators spring between past and present to capture the emotional trauma that leads to the Oh family’s destruction. As readers begin to fully know the Oh Family their secrets peel away chapter by chapter unveiling the destructive nature of silence. We Are Water is a lengthy emotional upheaval demanding sympathy, disgust, and forgiveness. 

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Kathleen, Reference Services

Nugget & Fang, Friends Forever--or Snack Time by Tammi Sauer

Cover image of Nugget and Fang featuring a large shark and a small fish smiling at each other."They did everything together...until it was time for Nugget to go to school."

Can a big shark and a little minnow really be best friends? When Nugget goes away to minnow school, he makes a shocking discovery - sharks like to eat minnows! Shark misses his best friend and tries his best to prove that he does not, in fact, want to eat minnows, but Nugget isn't so sure. When Nugget finds himself in trouble, it is up to Fang to save the day and rescue the minnows. Will Nugget be able to look past their difference and be friends with Fang again?

With bright and colorful illustrations, this 'fishy' tale reminds us that friends come in all shapes and sizes.

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Bridget, Kids World

Zebrafish by Sharon Emerson

Cover image of Zebrafish featuring teen band members holding musical instruments on a green background."If we think we're a band, we become a band!"
 
This graphic novel centers on Vita, the “new girl” with purple hair, as she forms a band and a new group of friends.  The band mates, each with his or her own personality, style and backstory, combine their talents to create a music video.  Things don't go exactly as planned when they perform at school but their effort becomes much more meaningful than just another night of rock and roll fun.    
 
Perfect for 5th-8th graders, the story is told completely through dialogue, including puns and pop culture references that tweens will enjoy.  The cartoon-style illustrations include subtle, fun details relating to life as an American teenager.  Adults are almost non-existent here, another factor in how relatable tweens and young teens will find this book.
 
 
Mary Jo, Kids World

Throwing Heat by Fred Bowen

Cover image of Throwing Heat featuring a male baseball pitcher throwing a pitch“Thwack! The ball smacked the canvas like a clap of thunder. 75”
 
As in a 75 mile/per hour fastball thrown by eighth grade starting pitcher Jack Lerner. Landon Middle School students Jack, Danny Cruz, Jaylin Jackson and Annie Li are inseparable. Jack, Danny and Jaylin all play for the school’s baseball team, the Landon Bears. Annie is their designated score reporter and never misses a game.
 
Jack’s fastball is on fire and he’s striking out more players than anyone in the league; the only trouble is he can’t always control it himself. His Coach has no choice but to put in the second line pitcher when Jack starts walking hitters left and right. After his sister begins dating an ex-college player, who’s agreed to provide coaching, Jack feels like he’s won the lottery. He hopes for help improving his fastball but cannot believe the advice to “change-up” his pitching routine. 
 
This page-turner is recommended for grades five and up. Fred Bowen delivers another sports story that teaches readers skills for on and off the field. According to this librarian Throwing Heat is a bases-loaded home run. 
 
 
 Jade, Kids World

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Image of the cover of the Graveyard Book featuring a blue background with a tombstone on it“The fog wreathed around him like a long-lost friend.” 

Nobody Owens lives in a graveyard. Orphaned as a toddler, Nobody, or Bod for short, is raised by the ghosts of Mr. and Mrs. Owens, under the watchful eye of his guardian, Silas. Educated with the help of the residents of the graveyard, who just happen to be ghosts, he is taught how to walk the fine line between the living and the dead. A graveyard full of ivy-covered, crumbling headstones is a fantastic place for a curious boy like Bod to grow up. However, the graveyard isn’t without its own hazards and Bod has several near-death experiences with the frightening Indigo Man, an ominous Sleer and a ghoul gate that no one should ever go near. Adventure within the graveyard is perilous, but it pales in comparison with what lies in store for Bod if he leaves the security of the graveyard. Outside the gates, danger, and most likely death, awaits him in the form of a man named Jack. Responsible for the death of Bod’s family, Jack has been searching for years and will stop at nothing to find the boy who got away.
 
Exciting and mysterious, with just the right amount of creepy, this book is hard to put down! Perfect for those who have always wondered what it would be like to wander a graveyard at night from the safety of your own home. Fans of Neil Gaiman’s work will not be disappointed with this eccentric tale about a family of ghosts raising their son in a graveyard!
 
 
Bridget, Kids World

Two Shy Pandas by Julia Jarman

Cover image of the book Two Shy Pandas featuring two pandas on different sides of a fence waving to each other.This is a sweet and simple story about friendship and the importance of being a good neighbor. Panda and Pandora, who live at numbers one and two Bamboo Gardens, are eager to meet. However, both are very shy and cannot find the courage to say hello. When winter comes to Bamboo Gardens a snowball changes everything...

Preschool aged children will enjoy this tale.

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Jade, Kids world

Mountain of Bones by Christopher Krovatin

Cover image of the book Gravediggers: Mountain of Bones featuring a small cabin in a dark forest with silhouettes of people running out of the cabin."Remember: the Pine City Dancers...One year later, they still haven't found any of the bodies."

Sixth graders Ian, Kendra and PJ think that the school camping trip is going to be a piece of cake. They have no clue that they are going to spend most of their time lost in the woods, no cell phones, no food and no help.  It feels like they will never find another human being again. Unfortunately, that is not the case when the trio stumble upon an abandoned cabin. There are plenty of people there, zombies are a kind of person right? On the run from the ravenous undead (these are definately not fluffy bunny zombies) the trio find that zombies are not as brainless as TV makes them out to be.

This is the first book in the Gravediggers series that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Beware though, it is not for the faint of heart. If you don't enjoy reading about rotting reanimated corpses this is not the book for you. If you love the Goosebumps series and are looking for something a little longer this book is for you.

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Tiffany, Kids World

The Blue Book

 

 From one of the U.K.'s most dazzling authors comes a brutal and funny novel about a pair of fraudulent psychic mediums that is itself an elaborate con game between fact and fiction, life and death --Publisher's description.

 

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