Friday, September 26, 2014
Eliot Schrefer

Sophie is back visiting her mom for the summer.  On the ride from the airport to the Bonobo sanctuary her mom established she stops at the sight of a man selling a very distressed infant Bonobo.  Thinking she is helping, she buys the infant and takes it to the sanctuary.  Her good deed undoes work her mom had done to decrease the killing of adults to acquire infants to sell.  The infant slowly bonds with Sophie as she becomes his surragote mother.  Civil war breaks out and Sophie must choose to save herself and go back to her father in the U.S. or stay so the baby Bonobo has a chance of survival.   Eliot Schefer describes beautifully this matriarchal Bonobo society and how we are effecting it.  His description of the fictional civil war in the Congo is graphic.  This is an amazing book, describing a place and animals few of us will ever experience with exquisite care and love.  It was a finalist for the Natioonal Book Award.

I am now reading aloud to my boys Schrefer's amazing book Threatened.  It is entirely different as it is set in Gabon and describes life there and the aggressive chimpanzee population.  If you care about the environment, primates, our realtionship to other species, are interested in life in African countries you must read these two works of art.  Check our Catalog

Cindy A., Circ.


Friday, September 19, 2014
Lucy Christopher

It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.

This is my story.

A letter from nowhere. 

Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back? 

The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist – almost.


This is such an emotional, gripping and addictive book.   I was hooked on this story from the beginning and despite how I knew nothing good would come of it, I could not put it down.

This book is written like a letter, aletter to her captor, which means that she is referring to him which allows the reader to take part in the story.

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Josie H., Circulation

On My Honor

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Marion Dane Bauer
On My Honor

With maturing boys in the house we talk frequently about choices and their consequences, about character.  As a mother,  reading the story of Joel and his friend, I cringed at the choices made.  I know my sons could easily find themselves in a similar situation.  Things can get out of control easily.  This is truly a great read for upper elementary and middle school students.  Let them live out the choices in the safety of the imaginary world of Joel rather than suffer the similar consequences in real life. Check our Catalog

Cindy A., Circ.

Rose Under Fire

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
"Incredible. It is just incredible that you can notice something like that when your face is so cold you can't feel it anymore, and you know perfectly well you are surrounded by death, and the only way to stay alive is to endure the howling wind and hold your course. And still the sky is beautiful” (Wein, p.19).

18-year old American, Rose Justice, has signed up to volunteer as an air transport auxiliary pilot.  Unbeknownst to her is the horror she will encounter when her mission goes horribly wrong and she is placed in the hands of the enemy at Ravensbruck concentration camp for women.  Nazi’s tell Rose that she is a skilled worker and she begins working in a factory where she discovers she is making bomb fuses.  Rose refuses to make the fuses and is severely beaten twice.  She is then relocated to a higher security area of Ravensbruck.  It is here she meets the “Rabbits.”  The Rabbits are the Polish prisoners who regularly endure horrific abuse and medical experimentation.  Many die as a result.

"Your brain does amazing acrobatics when it doesn't want to believe something” (Wein, p.105).

Wein does an amazing job of vividly telling a fictional story that could have been from a real prisoner held at Ravensbruck during WWII.  It is disturbing to think that merely 70 years ago events like this were taking place and that thousands of people died as a result.  

Compassion. Endurance. Humanity.  Rose Under Fire beautifully demonstrates that even in conditions of pure hell, the human spirit lives.  Rose is a solid, believable character. She becomes a friend.  The emotional journey that we as readers are invited into is gripping.  After six months of being held prisoner, Rose escapes.  Through the writing of a journal, Rose is able to fulfill the promise she made to all of the women she came to know at Ravensbruck.  She has told their story.

  • How is it possible to find friendship and happiness amongst such terror?
  • What happened to those that survived the horror of  Ravensbruck?
  • Will Rose be able to move forward with her life now that she is free?

Pick up a box of tissues and a copy of Rose Under Fire, this is one story that will stay with you long after the pages end.

Check our Catalog for Rose Under Fire.

Emily D, Circulation

The Boy Who Dared

Thursday, June 5, 2014
Susan Campbell Bartoletti
The Boy Who Dared
The Boy Who Dared is based on the true story of a German boy, Helmuth Hubener, that was forced to join the Hitler Youth.  He speaks truth to power in a time of deadly consequences.  This should be a must read.  This book tells the little known history of what life was like for the German people leading up to war.  Systematically rights were taken away and loyalty to country was questioned.  Young Helmuth listens to a banned radio station and prints flyers to distribute, telling his community the truth the Nazis are hiding.  This is powerful stuff.  Check our catalog.
Cindy A., Circ.

Jane, the fox & me

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Fanny Britt, Isabelle Arsenault, Christine Morelli and Susan Ouriou

There was no possibility of hiding anywhere today. (p9)

The tale of Jane, the fox & me, begins at school.  Helene’s school.  Drawn in pencil sketches of black, white and grey quickly gives the reader the sense that all is not well for Helene.  Immediately there’s a sense of sadness and it is quickly discovered that Helene has been outcast from a group of girls that were once her friends.  Now, it’s a day to day struggle to survive.  The bullying is relentless and cruel, hitting on one of the most sensitive nerves in all young woman.  Body image.

Today they wrote on the stall door in the second floor washroom, Helene weighs 216…and below…she smells like BO! (p12)

As Helene’s story unfolds she is dealt a horrible hand and learns that her class is taking a fieldtrip to a Nature Camp.  A field trip that includes four nights and forty students.   Everyone is going.  To make matters worse, there will be swimming at the nature camp and Helene needs a new bathing suit. 

Once at the Nature Camp, Helene is grouped together with the “Outcasts”.  There are three of them in total and they have been assigned to share a tent.  Hopeful that she might connect with one of the two girls proves to be fruitless when each girl neglects to communicate with anyone at camp.  The days are long and the bullying continues.   It escalates at one point leaving Helene alone in the woods where she discovers a fox.  The fox is just as intrigued by Helene as she is by him and just as he gets close enough to touch, one of the outcast roommates goes ballistic. 

What kind of idiot are you ?  Don’t you know that a fox that comes that close must have rabies?  It’s sick, dangerous.  I’ll have you know I just saved your life. (p80)

Helen is left feeling utterly and completely castaway and alone.

Is all hope truly lost? 

Is there anyone out there that wants to be Helene’s friend?

Is there any hope for Helene to once again see how beautiful she truly is despite the heavily weighted words of her peers? 

Check our Catalog

Emily D, Circulation

Looking for Alaska

Monday, April 7, 2014
John Green
Looking for Alaska

Miles craves the "Great Perhaps".  So begins his studies at Culver Creek Boarding School.  He wants to experience life, not watch it go by.  He is befriended by his roommate, the Colonel, who teaches him how to pull pranks, smoke, and live beyond his previous experience growing up in Florida.  Alaska, lives up to her name "that which the sea breaks against", lives down the hall and brings life to a higher level.  Such a great read about all those heavy topics we deal with when searching for our young  selves.  The thrill of love and sex, the fear of bullies, the intensity of teenage friendship, the anguish of young life lost. Winner of the 2006  Michael L Printz award for best book in young adult literature.  It has my vote.  Check our catolog.

Cindy A., Circ

Transformers DVD

Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Transformers DVD

Since some of the Transformer movies will be filmed in Detroit and I saw the setting near Comertica Park, I decided to step out of the box and watch the first Transformer DVD. It was definitely not my kind of movie but I enjoyed the action, the amazing transformers, and the actors and actress. If you plan to see the one filmed in Detroit, you might want to see this first one as I did. Check our catalog

Sue N. Youth Services


Monday, June 24, 2013
Elaine Wolf

This is a great summer read. This book has many facets to it: relationships in families, secrets, bullying, courage and forgiveness. It's a very compelling book that makes you think about how complicated relationships can be when people keep secrets and the price is paid.Check our catalog

Kate D. Youth Services

The Darkest Minds

Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Alexandra Bracken
The Darkest Minds


If you are a Hunger Games fan and looking for more, this is it.  The tweens are contracting a terrible virus that kills many of the children, those that survive have dangerous symptoms that frighten the adults.  So much so, they are killed or sent to a horrific rehabilitation camp.  In Ruby's case the disease manifests as being able to erase memories of those around her.  She escapes after years of confinement, joins up with others and they fight for their freedom.  Check our catalog

Cindy A., Circ.



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