Shelf Life

Our Shelf Life Blog features the latest recommendations chosen by library staff and volunteers.
10/06/2014 - 3:00am
The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman

Karen Cushman’s The Midwife’s Apprentice draws readers into the past with the story of an unwanted girl making her own way in the perilous Middle Ages.

10/05/2014 - 2:29pm
If you like The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: "Death is the narrator of this lengthy, powerful story of a town in Nazi Germany. He is a kindly, caring Death, overwhelmed by the souls he has to collect from people in the gas chambers, from soldiers on the battlefields, and from civilians killed in bombings. Death focuses on a young orphan, Liesl; her loving foster parents; the Jewish fugitive they are hiding; and a wild but gentle teen neighbor, Rudy, who defies the Hitler Youth and convinces Liesl to steal for fun. After Liesl learns to read, she steals books from everywhere. When she reads a book in the bomb shelter, even a Nazi woman is enthralled. Then the book thief writes her own story." (Booklist)

If you like The Book Thief, you may also like these titles and authors:

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil. Based on the author's family, includes a historical note.  (Catalog summary)


Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun. When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution. As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?  (Catalog summary)

10/02/2014 - 3:00am
Bone by Bone by Sara Levine with illustrations by T.S. Spookytooth

Imagine if your only bones were a skull, vertebrae, and ribs. What kind of animal would you be? What kind of animal would you be if you didn’t have any bones at all? Find out in Bone by Bone, written by Sara Levine and illustrated by T.S. Spookytooth!

10/01/2014 - 3:00am
The Monster's Monster by Patrick McDonnell

Once there were three little monsters who were oh-so-bad but could not agree on who was the absolute worst! In an attempt to settle the argument once and for all, they start building The Monster's Monster.

09/30/2014 - 3:00am
Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex

Monsters, they're just like us! Sure, they lurk in darkened corridors, drink blood, and terrify unsuspecting villagers. When it really comes down to it, though, we all want the same things. In Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, Adam Rex explores every aspect of these monstrous needs...in rhyme!

09/29/2014 - 3:00am
Another Day as Emily by Eileen Spinelli

In Eileen Spinelli’s Another Day as Emily, Suzy is having a difficult year. Her little brother is a town hero for calling 911 and saving an injured neighbor, leaving Suzy feeling jealous of his newfound celebrity. What’s more, the boy she might like is accused of stealing, her parents are paying her less attention than ever, and only her best friend gets a part in the play they both auditioned for.