Surviving the City

May 21, 2019 by


Surviving the City, besides being a beautiful graphic novel and story, is a good reminder of a lesser known issue that plagues women in the United States.

Tasha Spillett’s graphic novel debut is a story about Miikwan and Dez who are best friends. Miikwan is Anishinaabe; Dez is Inninew. Together, the teens navigate the challenges of growing up in an urban landscape – they’re so close, they even completed their Berry Fast together. However, when Dez’s grandmother becomes too sick, Dez is told she can’t stay with her anymore. With the threat of a group home looming, Dez can’t bring herself to go home and disappears. Miikwan is devastated, and the wound of her missing mother resurfaces. Will Dez’s community find her before it’s too late? Will Miikwan be able to cope if they don’t?

Native American women are among the most marginalized populations in the US. They face a far greater risk of facing racial or gender-based violence, being murdered, or going missing. If you are interested in this topic, or are uninformed visit the NWAC website – the statistics are chilling.

Stork Storytime Talks

May 19, 2019 by

storkThe North Liberty Community Library in Iowa has a series of podcasts on a variety of subjects for expectant parents, calling them “Stork Storytime Talks.” The idea was developed by 2 children’s librarians from that library, who cover different aspects of early literacy in the podcasts, and have found experts on subjects ranging from newborn screening to surviving summer while pregnant to children speech pathology. Check out the full article from American Libraries.

Under the Table

May 18, 2019 by

book… is a novel about a girl from Cleveland trying to make it work in the Big Apple. Zoey, a part time chef, shares an apartment with her older sister, who loves to party. She has left her husband behind, vowing to spend a year away from him before she divorces him. Enter a new client, Tristan who is handsome, rich and has fabulous manners. This is a quick read, but the reader may need to suspend disbelief in order to finish. The character of Tristan is described in a reader’s review as “belonging in a Hallmark movie”. He is just way too good to be true. But if you are looking for a light read with plenty of romance, this fits the bill. Spoiler alert: it’s most definitely a happily-ever- after story.

Summer 2019 free audiobooks from SYNC

May 16, 2019 by

Image result for sync audiobooks teens   The 2019 season of free SYNC audiobooks for teens began three weeks ago.  SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens sponsored by AudioFile magazine.  Each week, SYNC gives away two audio book downloads based on weekly themes.  The titles are available through the free Overdrive app through August 1st.  Visit the web site and download today!  Encourage the teenagers in your life to give it a try.  [Adults might also enjoy these titles!]

Lovely War

May 14, 2019 by


If you like Greek Mythology, historical fiction, or romance – then Lovely War by Julie Berry is perfect for you. Luckily, I love all three.

The book oscillates between three separate but connected stories taking place during World War I (often historical books center on WWII so this was a nice change).

It’s 1917, and World War I is at its zenith when Hazel and James first catch sight of each other at a London party. She’s a shy and talented pianist; he’s a newly minted soldier with dreams of becoming an architect. When they fall in love, it’s immediate and deep–and cut short when James is shipped off to the killing fields.

Aubrey Edwards is also headed toward the trenches. A gifted musician who’s played Carnegie Hall, he’s a member of the 15th New York Infantry, an all-African-American regiment being sent to Europe to help end the Great War. Love is the last thing on his mind. But that’s before he meets Colette Fournier, a Belgian chanteuse who’s already survived unspeakable tragedy at the hands of the Germans.

Thirty years after these four lovers’ fates collide, the Greek goddess Aphrodite tells their stories to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another? But her quest for a conclusion that will satisfy her jealous husband uncovers a multi-threaded tale of prejudice, trauma, and music and reveals that War is no match for the power of Love.

Julie Berry is known for her spot-on historical fiction and her exhaustive research. I learned a lot of interesting things concerning WWI and the African-American regiments that participated in the war – along with some American Jazz history. One of my favorite books of the year so far!

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