Shelf Life Blog

10/26/2015 - 2:44pm
Flora's Very Windy Day by Jeanne Birdsall

Flora's Very Windy Day is a terrific fall story. Big sister Flora gets all in a huff after younger brother Crispin spills her paints. Both children are sent outside on a most blustery autumn day.

Flora knows that her super-special, heavy-duty, red boots will keep her on the ground. After she taunts the powerful gusts though, little Crispin is whisked away! Flora courageously throws off her protective boots in order to save her brother.

10/01/2015 - 3:05am
Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Anthony

A panda bear is on a mission of manners in Please, Mr. Panda. When he offers a variety of creatures a doughnut from his box, they all act like... well, animals.

09/28/2015 - 12:03am
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

“...you are all the colors in one, at full brightness.”All the Bright Places

Anything but predictable, Theodore “Freak” Finch has a phenomenal talent for making his weirdness sexy. Think your favorite Johnny Depp character. He’s a tall, dark guitarist and songwriter for a couple of local bar bands who drives his car at nail-biting speeds, can quote lengthy passages from Dr. Seuss, and is on probation at school.

Finch refuses to have a Facebook account—until he wants to contact Violet Markey. Violet is china-doll perfect, cheerleader-popular, student-council smart, I-have-my-own-website confident, and last chair flute in orchestra. Well, until a tragic accident. Now she’s just last chair flute in orchestra, sporting bangs she cut all by herself.

05/11/2016 - 2:19pm
Don't Play with Your Food! by Bob Shea

A fearsome, orange monster named Buddy is on a bunny-hunting rampage in Don't Play with Your Food! Though he towers over his unsuspecting prey, Buddy has trouble with his follow-through. These quick-witted bunnies distract him from his mission with irresistible activities such as baking cupcakes and visiting the carnival!

09/23/2015 - 7:19am
The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

After reading CRRL librarian Joy O’Toole’s great write-up on Agatha Christie, I thought I’d give one of her series a try. I’m not sure why I had been avoiding them. I like British stuff, historical novels, and mysteries. But what I had glimpsed of Inspector Poirot and Miss Marple did not immediately grab me. I decided to try one of her lesser-known series, Partners in Crime, which starts with The Secret Adversary.

Friends since childhood, charming, young, and starving Tommy and Tuppence meet at a London tea shop to catch up, only to discover that they both face the same problem—chronic unemployment! In London after the Great War, there aren’t a lot of jobs to be had, so for the price of an advertisement in the newspaper, they decide to create The Young Adventurers, Ltd., a firm that will take on very nearly anything.

09/17/2015 - 2:56am
The Skunk by Mac Barnett and Illustrated by Patrick McDonnell

The Skunk shows up on a man's doorstep just as he is leaving for a night at the opera. Careful not to disturb the creature, the man quietly sneaks around his doorstep and begins walking. The skunk follows.

09/15/2015 - 2:55am
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson

In Adam Johnson’s The Orphan Master’s Son, Jun Do works for the government of “the most glorious nation on earth” as a professional kidnapper. This isn’t a science fiction dystopia, but rather it is a raw, searing novel concerning one man’s life under a regime that crushes its citizens, body and soul.

Jun Do doesn’t know his real name. Like his fellow orphans, his was chosen from a list of North Korean war heroes. There is decency to Jun Do, even as he surmounts a horrific childhood only to realize that he (and everyone else) exists primarily for their usefulness to the state. But Jun Do has ambitions.

09/10/2015 - 9:16am
Sebastian and the Balloon by Philip C. Stead

Sebastian and the Balloon is a must-read for young adventurers. Our title character finds little of interest on his street full of identical houses. Gathering everything he could possibly ever need, Sebastian takes to the skies in a patchwork hot air balloon made from his grandmother's afghans and quilts.

09/11/2015 - 1:28pm
Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz

Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History… and Our Future! illustrates the alphabet with 26 rad—as in radical—American women who changed the world.

Instead of “A is for Apple” and “B is for Ball,” author Kate Schatz and illustrator Miriam Klein Stahl give us the activist Angela Davis and tennis pro Billie Jean King. From Dolores Huerta, who co-founded the United Farm Workers Association, to the transgender writer and youth advocate Kate Bornstein, each short biography celebrates a woman who made a difference. The book highlights diverse individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and shares the stories how they became fighters and dreamers, the leaders and innovators of American history.

09/22/2015 - 11:50am
The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott

A dream to get out of the drudgery of domestic service led Tess to take a leap of faith and board the H.M.S. Titanic. She knew she had more to offer the world than cleaning her mistress’ dirty linen, so when the beautiful dress designer Lady Duff Gordon agrees to take her on as a personal assistant,Tess is eager to become part of another, more glamorous life. In Kate Alcott’s The Dressmaker, Tess’ voyage veers from Cinderella story to disaster. Its aftermath will test her loyalties and love for two very different men.

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