Want to Get Published?

October 21, 2017 by

Scrawl: Rockland Teens Write 2018


The Teen Librarian Division of the Library Association of Rockland County is proud to announce that they will be publishing their third collection of fiction, non-fiction and poetry written by teens in Rockland County. Submissions are open to anyone in grades 6-12 that lives in Rockland County. Submissions may be no longer than 2500 words in length.  Graphic novel pieces may be no longer than 5 pages. This will be a juried publication featuring published guest editors! The book launch will be at a Rockland County Library (tba) in May 2018.

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, January 16, 2018. Please submit entries to rocklandteenswrite@gmail.com

The Daughters of Ireland

October 18, 2017 by

2 bookThree young Irish women and their intertwining stories are at the heart of this latest novel by Santa Montefiore. Their sagas revolve around a castle nearly three centuries old, Castle Deverill, built in the late 1600s by its original owner, Barton Deverill in County Cork. Unfortunately for the family, Barton incurred the wrath of one Maggie O’Leary, who cursed him and his descendants for building on her property. Kitty Deverill Trench grew up in the castle playing with her friend, Bridie Doyle, whose mother was employed there. However, a recent fire has destroyed most of the building, leaving it in ruins. Kitty’s cousin Ceila Mayberry decides to use her husband’s money to restore the castle to its former glory, and the story takes off. If you like long family sagas complete with affairs, disasters, and lifestyles of the rich and titled, this novel is for you.

Mary’s Household Tips and Tricks

October 15, 2017 by

 Mary Berry is the former host of the “Great British Bake Off.” This is a reality show on British TV that can be seen in the US on DVD through our library system.  Having enjoyed watching Mary Berry judge the chefs, she has not returned to the show this season due to contract disputes. Many of her cookbooks are available. Although many of her household hints you’ve already thought of, I like the comments she inserts in between hints:

“For many people, the television is the focal point of the room. Try to choose one that doesn’t get Channel 4. It’s gone downhill dreadfully recently and features programmes with that awful, money-grabbing Paul Hollywood.

“When baking, don’t use any of Prue Leith’s cookbooks. She really doesn’t have a clue what she is doing.

I am hoping that she returns to TV soon in another venue as her proper, upper crust English ways are entertaining to watch.

Girls Like Us

October 14, 2017 by

I have never read a book that is told from the point of view of a mentally disable person and I think that this book is a good introduction to the idea: Girls Like Us by Gail Giles about Quincy and Biddy who are both graduates of their high school’s special ed program.

They coindexuldn’t be more different: suspicious Quincy faces the world with her fists up, while gentle Biddy is frightened to step outside her front door. When they’re thrown together as roommates in their first “real world” apartment, it initially seems to be an uneasy fit. But as Biddy’s past resurfaces and Quincy faces a harrowing experience that no one should have to go through alone, the two of them realize that they might have more in common than they thought — and more important, that they might be able to help each other move forward.


A moving and thoughtful book. The perspectives of Quincy and Biddy bring to light the prejudices that exist towards those that are different and the dangers that come with being vulnerable. Just a warning – there are some intense and mature situations in this novel.

The Wrath and the Dawn Series

October 11, 2017 by

The Wrath and the Dawn and its sequel The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh were two very popular, and very entertaining fantasy novels that I recently read and will review. However, I must take issue with a major part in the book which I will do at the end:

The series begins in a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.



Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?


This book has romance and adventure and lots of beautiful scenery but here is what the book also has, but refuses to mention: rape. Shahrzad, at the beginning of her deception to the King, still follows through with her “wifely duties” and consummates the marriage. She does not want to do it. This is never mentioned again. I take issue with books, especially Young Adult books, which portray sexual relationships in this way and portray a skewed view of consent, love, and sex. So beware: although this book is filled with fantasy and delight, more seasoned readers may be disturbed.

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