Hoopla, which offers Palisades Free Library cardholders of all ages an extensive collection of ebooks, audiobooks, music, movies, and more, has just introduced the hoopla Bonus Borrows Collection, available through the month of April. Borrowers can check out items from this list of more than 1,000 top titles without using any of their 8 monthly borrowing credits!
Titles include at-home fitness videos (Jillian Michaels, Gaiam Yoga), favorite children’s series books (Captain Underpants, I Survived), and chart-topping music (Taylor Swift).
Two columnists from the NY Times Book Review have written a column this week on their favorite graphic novels of this year. Two of the titles reviewed are for young readers: Guts and White Bird. Guts is an autobiographical memoir about dealing with anxiety, written by Raina Telgemeier and is a wildly popular read for children. The other, White Bird is penned by R.J. Palacio, author of Wonder, and is her first graphic novel. It concerns a Jewish girl in France in hiding during the Holocaust. Check them out for a good read…
Thanhha Lai has written her first teen novel about 18 year old Vietnamese girl Hang, who travels to the US to find her younger brother, Linh, who had been taken in the ending days of the Vietnam War. She traces him to Texas, and with the help of a young cowboy, LeeRoy, locates him. But it has been years since Hang had last seen Linh, and he wants no part of her. She takes a job on a nearby ranch to try and build a relationship with him. Lai was born in Vietnam and she writes a gripping story about the horrors experienced by Hang before she was able to escape from the country, and her determination to work as hard as she can to make a life for herself in her new country. Lai’s own soldier father went missing during the fall of Saigon in 1975, and her mother and siblings fled Vietnam for the US. A timely immigrant story, recommended for ages 13 and up.
In computer lab, Evan Hansen has taken his therapist’s advice and written himself a letter that begins, “Dear Evan Hansen … ” When it later winds up in the pocket of Connor Murphy, a classmate who has committed suicide, Evan finds it difficult to tell the truth about the letter. From its contents, Connor’s parents think Evan was a close friend. Can Evan find the courage to set them straight after getting entangled in lie after lie? This was a good treatment of suicide, and an important book for teens to read.
Deb Caletti, a National Book Finalist for her earlier novel Honey, Baby, Sweetheart has crafted a masterpiece in this latest teen novel. Annabelle Agnelli has experienced a major trauma in her life, and has taken to running across country to escape her pain. The reader is not enlightened as to the exact nature of her trauma until the end of the novel, but the event leaves Annabelle with an emotionally damaged heart. It was an impulsive act, her decision to run from Seattle to Washington, D.C.; she just snaps one day in the parking lot of Dick’s Drive-in and bolts. But with her grandpa becoming her coach and mentor by following her in his RV each day, and her friends and younger brother who show their support for her with a GoFundMe page and by creating contacts in the various cities she will hit, Annabelle begins to believe that she may actually be able to complete this run. This novel is heartbreaking, but deals firmly with issues of helplessness and depression against innocent victims of violence in today’s world, and is a must read for all.