The BookGossip

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An Elgin County Library column dedicated to introducing you to newly purchased library books that we think you’ll love!

What Kind of Car Does a T. Rex Drive?
by Brian Biggs

What: Uncle Otto is a used car salesman, who, with the help of his niece and nephew, finds the perfect vehicles for his dinosaur customers.

Genre: Humorous stories
Tone: Silly
Writing Style: Attention-grabbing
Illustration: Cartoony; Colourful; Detailed

Formats available: Book

D-Day girls: The Untold Story of the Female Spies Who Helped Win World War Two
by Sarah Rose 

What: The dramatic, inspiring story of the extraordinary women recruited by Britain’s elite spy agency to sabotage the Nazis, shore up the Resistance, and pave the way for Allied victory in World War II.

Genre: Collective biographies; History writing; Life stories
Pace: Fast-paced
Tone: Dramatic
Writing Style: Descriptive

Formats available: Book 

 

Patron Saints of Nothing
by Randy Ribay

What: When seventeen-year-old Jay Reguero learns his Filipino cousin and former best friend, Jun, was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, he flies to the Philippines to learn more.

Genre: Coming-of-age stories; First person  narratives; Realistic fiction
Character: Culturally diverse; Relatable
Storyline: Character-driven; Own voices

Formats available: Book

Mr. Lemoncello’s All-Star Breakout Game
by Chris Grabenstein

What: When Mr. Lemoncello launches a library-inspired game show on the world-famous Kidzapalooza Television Network, Kyle Keeley, determined to become one of the game’s first live competitors, joins a team to solve puzzles that prove unexpectedly challenging.

Genre: Mysteries
Themes: Solve the puzzle
Storyline: Plot-driven
Pace: Fast-paced
Tone: Suspenseful
Writing Style: Attention-grabbing

Formats available: Book

 

Adult

What: The dramatic, inspiring story of the extraordinary women recruited by Britain’s elite spy agency to sabotage the Nazis, shore up the Resistance, and pave the way for Allied victory in World War II.

Genre: Collective biographies; History writing; Life stories
Pace: Fast-paced
Tone: Dramatic
Writing Style: Descriptive

Formats available: Book 

 

What: Can’t get enough Game of Thrones right now? Dive into the first volume of a four-part graphic novel adaptation.

Summary: “From the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding walls of Winterfell, chaos reigns as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms prepare to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.”

Try this: ECL has the Game of Thrones version of Catan if you’d like to take on the adventure of becoming the new Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch!

Formats available: Book 

What: Homes was the runner up for the 2019 Canada Reads and OverDrive’s Big Library Read choice.

Summary: Both heartbreaking and hopeful, this is the true story of a Syrian refugee; a young Iraqi boy that fled the war zone and found a home in Canada.

Try this: OverDrive has bonus material to explore including an author interview and discussion group. You can view the Canada Reads finale here

Formats available: Book & eBook (OverDrive/Libby & Hoopla)

What: The Skinner Siblings (Renee, Caroline, Joe & Fiona) grew up with an unbounding loyalty. Two decades later they are confronted with a family crisis that tests the limits of their love and devotion for one another.

Read it if you liked: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Try this: Conklin also wrote the bestseller The House Girl

Formats available: Book (Regular and Large Print) & eAudiobook (Hoopla)

What: A virus is spreading through a remote college town in Southern California, causing people to fall into a never ending sleep with vivid and strange dreams. 

Read it If you like: a compelling, beautifully written novel told through multiple perspectives.

For fans of: The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman

Formats available: Book, Book on CD, eBook & eAudio through OverDrive/Libby

Fun Fact: 80% of the New Year’s Resolutions made don’t make it past the second week of February.

What: Learn how to make your 2019 goals stick alongside one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation who preaches that “tiny changes can lead to remarkable results”.

Also try: Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives

Formats available: Book & eAudio through OverDrive/Libby

Young Adult

What: When seventeen-year-old Jay Reguero learns his Filipino cousin and former best friend, Jun, was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, he flies to the Philippines to learn more.

Genre: Coming-of-age stories; First person narratives; Realistic fiction
Character: Culturally diverse; Relatable
Storyline: Character-driven; Own voices

Formats available: Book

What: A compelling debut fantasy novel with deep world-building, family secrets and complex, culturally diverse characters.

Summary: Princess Hesina of Yan is thrust into power when her beloved father is murdered, and she’s determined to find his killer. The future of her kingdom is at stake; will she find justice for her father or are the stakes too high?

For fans of: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Formats available: Book & eBook (Hoopla & OverDrive/Libby)

What: April is National Poetry Month!

Summary: A poetic memoir and urgent call-to-action; Anderson blends free-verse reflections with deeply personal stories from her life to rally today’s young people to stand up and fight the abuses, censorship and hatred of today’s world.

Try this: Anderson’s previous novel Speak (available through ECL as an eAudiobook or try the graphic novel (ILLO)).

Formats available: Book

What: A compelling & magical YA fantasy about the price of beauty that’s sure to keep you on your toes.

Summary: In the fictional world of Orléans beauty is the ultimate commodity. The elite Belles have been trained their whole lives to use magic to transform the looks of their drab customers into anything they desire. The ultimate dream for the Belles is to be named the Queen’s favourite; who are in charge of keeping the Royal Family satisfied. Things are not as they seem and there are dark and ugly secrets revealed within the palace walls.

For fans of: Scott Westerfeld’s series Uglies

Formats available: Book, eBook (Hoopla & OverDrive/Libby), eAudiobook (Hoopla)

What: A contemporary romance YA novel with depth and diverse characters

Summary: The beautiful and heartbreaking tale of Shirin, a 16-year-old Muslim girl who a year after 9/11 is feeling ostracized by her peers and retreats into her own bubble of music and break-dancing. That is until she meets Ocean James, who seems to take a genuine interest in her; will Shirin learn to open up and let love in?

Awards: Longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature

Formats available: Book, Book on CD & eBook through OverDrive/Libby

Who: 19 year old Sadie runs away from her small town in search of her younger sister’s killer.

Why you might like it: Told from the alternating perspectives of Sadie and a true crime podcast exploring Sadie’s disappearance  (think ‘Serial’).  If you’d like to experience the podcast in the book, search for ‘The Girls’ on your podcast platform or go ahead and try the audiobook.

Notes on the Author: Summers is a Canadian girl, born in Belleville, Ontario

Formats available: Book & eBook & eAudio through OverDrive/Libby

Chapter Book

What: When Mr. Lemoncello launches a library-inspired game show on the world-famous Kidzapalooza Television Network, Kyle Keeley, determined to become one of the game’s first live competitors, joins a team to solve puzzles that prove unexpectedly challenging.

Genre: Mysteries
Themes: Solve the puzzle
Storyline: Plot-driven
Pace: Fast-paced
Tone: Suspenseful
Writing Style: Attention-grabbing

Formats available: Book

What: Beloved picture book Ada Twist, Scientist gets a grown up version for older readers in the new chapter book series Questioneers.

Summary: When Rosie Revere’s Uncle Ned gets a little carried away wearing his famous helium pants, it’s up to Ada and friends to chase him down. As Uncle Ned floats farther and farther away, Ada starts asking lots of questions: How high can a balloon float? Is it possible for Uncle Ned to float into outer space? And what’s the best plan for getting him down?

For readers that love: The Magic School Bus series.

Formats available: Book, eBook & eAudiobook (Hoopla)

What: Celebrate National Canadian Film Day (April 17) with one of Canada’s favourite characters! True to the beloved classic that has enchanted fans across the world for over a century, these two family films bring to life the story of the determined, spirited little girl who touches the lives of everyone she meets.

Try this: ECL has close to 70 Anne of Green Gables items available for your enjoyment!

Formats available: DVD

What: An empathic and emotional book about friendship and the power of being heard.

Summary: Six sixth-graders are chosen to participate in a weekly discussion group at school; given the freedom to talk about anything they choose among themselves (no adults allowed!). The students help one another through difficult personal and family challenges. A moving story about community, for children growing up and coming to terms with, tragic experiences.

About the author: Jacqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

Try this: Woodson’s new picture book The Day You Begin which is all about feeling different 

Formats available: Book

What: The best selling Wings of Fire series comes alive in the graphic novel version!

Summary: The lost heir to the throne is finally going home, only Tsunami’s return isn’t quite what she imagined.

Try this: Erin Hunter’s Warrior series

Formats available: Book (original story is available as a book or eAudiobook through Hoopla)

Who: Cassidy Blake goes with her parents and her best friend Jacob (who happens to be a ghost) to haunted Edinburgh, Scotland to film for their new TV show.  Cass meets Lara, who also shares her ‘gift’; the two girls explore the veil and are drawn into an action packed fight that bridges the living and the dead.

Series Alert: This is the first in the series ‘Cassidy Blake’. The second book, Tunnel of Bones is set to be published later this year.

Formats available: BookeBook through OverDrive/Libby & eAudio through Hoopla

Picture Book

What: Uncle Otto is a used car salesman, who, with the help of his niece and nephew, finds the perfect vehicles for his dinosaur customers.

Genre: Humorous stories; Picture books for children
Tone: Silly
Writing Style: Attention-grabbing
Illustration: Cartoony; Colourful; Detailed

Formats available: Book

What: Is it ever too early to start talking about managing money? This cartoony picture book will have young children excited to spend their allowance wisely.

Summary: Sonny’s mother teaches him that he cannot buy everything with his allowance, but must choose what is really important to him.

Series alert: Check out the first book in the Moneybunny series called ‘Earn it!’

Formats available: Book

What: Learn about life under the waves in this beautifully lyrical book told in rhyme. Peek-through pages reveal details about ocean life; keeping curious children engaged!

Try this: Keep the conversation going and talk to your little one about the importance of keeping our oceans clean and protecting those who live there! Happy Earth Day on April 22!

Want more? Learn about the moon or the 12 days of Christmas with more of these peek-through picture books!

Formats available: Book

What: A beautifully illustrated rhyming book that showcases animals of different colours, shapes and sizes; each one linked to the next by a common characteristic. An index of animals and note from the author promotes discussion of threatened and endangered animals.

Special touch: Download a free ‘Hello World’ poster from Chronicle Books’ website

Try this: Wenzel’s previous book They All Saw a Cat was a Caldecott medal winner. 

Formats available: Book, eBook (Hoopla & OverDrive/ Libby)

Summary: a cute and clever how-to book starring a little girl doing her darnedest to give the reader simple instructions on how to give a cat a bath… only the cat has no intentions of playing along 🙂

For more hilarious chaos try: A Particular Cow by Mem Fox

Formats available: Book

Especially wonderful for: Children with older siblings that say ‘Me too!”

What: A culturally diverse book for hopeful children with a moving storyline and colourful imagery.  

Summary: The best birthday gift Carmela gets is that she’s now old enough to accompany her brother to do the family errands.  While out, she finds a puffy white dandelion and tries to think of the perfect wish before blowing it away.

Also try: Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan

Formats available: Book

Archived Editions: