Shelf Life

Our Shelf Life Blog features the latest recommendations chosen by library staff and volunteers.
Tue, 04/03/2018 - 11:56am
Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton

In Words on Bathroom Walls, by Julia Walton, Adam, now 16, has suffered from auditory and visual hallucinations for years. Only recently has he finally been diagnosed as schizophrenic. This diagnosis makes sense to Adam, who is accustomed to mobsters bursting into classrooms and firing machine guns at will and the naked man who follows him around and keeps him company sometimes—of course, these are things only he sees hears and experiences.

As well as finally receiving a diagnosis, Adam has also found himself in a clinical trial for a new drug to help with his symptoms. As part of the trial, Adam must be closely monitored to ensure that the medication is only having positive effects on him. The book is written as Adam’s diary entries to his therapist. His therapy sessions are a required part of the clinical trial, but Adam refuses to speak to the man. Instead, he pens answers to the various questions for the therapist to read later.

Mon, 04/02/2018 - 1:59am
Cover to Spectacular Spring: All Kinds of Spring Facts and Fun by Bruce Goldstone

If your young child likes vivid photographs with lots going on and lots to think about, your family will enjoy sharing Spectacular Spring: All Kinds of Spring Facts and Fun, by Bruce Goldstone. Like many of the Dorling-Kindersley books, this one has two ways to read it.

For example, one headline reads, “Days Get Longer." You might prefer to just go from headline to headline for the youngest listeners. As your children grow and their interest levels in the details of the world around them increase, bring in the rest of the words on the page. Below "Days Get Longer," you'll see, “Spring begins on the vernal equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere, that’s a day near March 20 when day and night are both 12 hours long.”

For older readers/listeners, there are also pages devoted to some of those how-and-why questions, with their own bright illustrations, such as, “How Do Umbrellas Work?” and “Seeds Travel in Many Ways.”

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 1:56am
We're Going on an Egg Hunt! A Lift-The-Flap Book by Laura Hughes

We're going on an egg hunt. We're going to find them all. We're REALLY excited . . . HOORAY for Easter Day!

A group of very eager bunnies is on an egg hunt on Easter Day. Can they find all the eggs?

Oh, no—LAMBS! Can't go over them . . .  can't go under them . . . and they can't go around them. Got to go through them! Oh, no—CHICKS! Can't go over them . . .  can't go under them . . . and they can't go around them. Got to go through them!  

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 9:21am
Cover to The Perfect Egg

Inexpensive, protein-rich, and easily cooked: the egg. The egg has been one of the most valuable foodstuffs since the Prehistoric Age. Bird eggs have been used and consumed wherever birds (mostly chickens) are domesticated. “Scrambled eggs” originated in 17th-century France. They pair well with acidic fruit juices, and “dried eggs” first developed during the 19th century and were used predominantly for soldiers in World War II. Why are they so popular? Eggs work in both sweet and savory meals, including many baked goods such as cakes and pies.

Mon, 03/26/2018 - 1:55am
The Terror by Dan Simmons

Captain Sir John Franklin departed England in 1845 with two ships, the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror. Captain Franklin and his men had only one task, although it was a very important task: to locate the "undiscoverable" Northwest Passage, a brutal oceanic trade route through the Arctic Ocean. Previous attempts to locate the passage had failed. Franklin and his crew would meet a brutal end due to illness and cold . . . and, according to bestselling horror author Dan Simmons, something else. Something supernatural and terrifyingly hungry.

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 10:32am
Cover to Is It Passover Yet? By Chris Barash, with pictures by Alessandra Psacharopulo

Chris Barash’s Is It Passover Yet? is a sweet and gentle choice for young children who are excited as Passover draws near. Through simple rhyming text and bright, clear pictures, we first see the signs of spring—animals frisking and plants growing. Then, we see a human family is getting ready for a special time, too. They clean the house together and make traditional dishes for their expected visitors.

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