Staff Picks

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming

This is the story of the House of Romanov: Tsar Nicolas II of Russia, the wealthiest monarch in the world who ruled over 130 million people; his powerful wife; their friend Rasputin and his influence on them; and their five children. Included throughout are pictures and diary entries of the family, as well as those of the peasants who were just trying to survive.

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides

On July 8, 1879, George Washington De Long led an expedition that set sail on the USS Jeannette headed for the North Pole. After journeying north of the Bering Strait, they became trapped in ice and the Jeannette sank to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. Marooned with three open boats, the crew began a long fateful march across the frozen sea to the Siberian coast. A spellbinding tale of heroism and determination in the most unforgiving territory on Earth. 

910.452 SID

A Quilt for Christmas by Sandra Dallas

In 1864 Eliza Spooner’s husband Will volunteers to join the Union army leaving her to take care of their Kansas farm and their two children. Eliza awaits his return and sends him a special Christmas quilt to help keep him warm. When one of her neighbors becomes a widow, Eliza opens her home to the young woman and her daughter. The two women help each other and form a special bond when they join other women in a quilting group. When Eliza is asked to hide an escaped slave she finds it in her heart to do the right thing even though it puts her own family in danger.

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

It's almost always the case that how much I like a book depends on how much I like the MC, and high school senior Natalie Sterling is pretty hard to like. But Siobhan Vivian made me care about Natalie, even when I didn't especially like her, and make me feel protective of her, too, even when she was dead set on a foolish course of action with a preordained bad end. Natalie likes to have everything under control, but when she becomes attracted to one of the senior boys and her best friend starts keeping secrets from her, things get messy.

Life on Mars by Jennifer Brown

Arty’s goal is to find life on Mars. On the roof outside his bedroom, using a homemade signaling device, Arty directs messages toward Mars and waits for a response.  One night he sees a man come out of the house next door, carrying a black garbage bag into the woods. Arty and his friends Tripp and Priya decide his neighbor is a face-eating zombie and call him Mr. Death. Arty is upset to learn his family is moving far from the Midwest. Plans get mixed up while his parents are in Las Vegas, looking for a new house, and Arty must spend the night at Mr. Death’s house.

Shipwreck Island by S.A. Bodeen

Sarah Robinson’s dad has decided to marry a woman after only three dates. Now Sarah’s new stepmom is moving in with her two sons, Marco who’s also twelve and Nacho who is ten. Life is never going to be the same! Hoping to unite their new family, Sarah’s dad and stepmom decide to take them on a dream vacation to Fiji, where they’ll charter a boat and go sailing amongst the islands.

Nightmares by Jason Segel

When Charlie Laird’s dad remarries and they move into his new stepmother’s house, Charlie’s nightmares become real.  He thinks his stepmom is a witch and is upset that his little brother likes her. Then his nightmare witch enters the real world and takes his younger brother.  Charlie discovers and enters the Netherworld through a portal in the house and enlists his friends to help get him and his brother out.  

Nuts To You by Lynne Rae Perkins

This story started with the author sitting down with a peanut butter sandwich and a squirrel, Jed, itching to tell a tale. One day while minding his own business, Jed gets picked up by a hungry hawk. He tricks the hawk and is dropped to safety, but far away from his grove.  While Jed is a gray squirrel, these squirrels are red and speak with a Scottish brogue. In the meantime, Jed’s friends discover he’s alive and travel electric lines, buzzpaths in squirrel-talk, to find him.

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Noah and Jude form two parts of the same whole; they have always been inseparable and completely in sync. Both twins brim with artistic talent, inherited from their luminous, free-spirited mother. As they apply for admission into a prestigious art school, tragedy tears them apart, and their relationship is broken to pieces by grief, jealousy and misunderstandings. Told in alternating viewpoints that travel back and forth in time, this gorgeously written novel follows Jude and Noah as they try to find themselves and their way back to each other. 

Teen Fiction NELSON, J.

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