Shelf Life Blog

10/02/2017 - 1:48pm
If you like Loki's Wolves by Kelley Armstrong

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.

Loki's Wolves (Book 1 of The Blackwell Pages series) by Kelley Armstrong
Matt Thorsen is a direct descendent of the order-keeping god Thor, and his classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke are descendents of the trickster god Loki. When Ragnarok—the apocalypse—threatens, the human descendents of the gods must fight monsters to stop the end of the world. (catalog summary)

Read the other two in The Blackwell Pages series: Odin's Ravens (Book 2) and Thor's Serpents (Book 3)

If you like Loki's Wolves, you may enjoy these other magical kids/teen titles as well.
 

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Antigoddess
 by Kendare Blake

Old Gods never die . . . Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health. Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god. These days, Cassandra doesn't involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn't even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning. (catalog summary)
 

10/02/2017 - 1:48pm
Cover to Over and Under the Pond

A boy and his mother are canoeing on a pond in the Adirondack Mountains. It is peaceful place, maybe even dull. Or, is it? The boy asks his mother, “What’s down there?”

So many things! His mother tells him about them, from the minnows, crayfish, and bullfrogs to beavers hunting “delectable roots” found in the mud and otters clawing for freshwater mussels.

And, over the pond? A great blue heron catches one of those minnows for his dinner. A moose munches a mouthful of waterlilies. As the sun sets, mother and son paddle back to shore and head for home. In the dark, life goes on at the pond. Raccoons come out to prowl, and catfish glide as they seek their suppers in the cool of the night.

Kate Messner’s Over and Under the Pond does several things very nicely. First, it tells a soothing story, perfect for bedtime. But it also introduces an ecosystem, making the science of living things and the secrets found below a pond’s surface very accessible, and it manages to do so without sounding like a textbook.

10/02/2017 - 1:48pm
The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn

Deer Valley, Oregon. You could call it quiet. You could call it quaint. The residents of Deer Valley lead normal, everyday lives.

That is until Jude Brighton, the town's young troublemaker, goes missing. Everyone in town knows that the first 48 hours of a missing person case are the most important, but now he's been missing for three days without any clue of his whereabouts. Stevie Clark, Jude's cousin and best friend, presume Jude ran deep into the woods surrounding Deer Valley, deeper than either of them have ever gone. But there are stories about the woods—about the evil that lurks there. This very same evil could be related to another mysterious disappearance that occurred years earlier. While the residents of Deer Valley look for young Jude, they hope he doesn't end up like that unfortunate victim—half eaten and beaten by an unknown assailant. 

10/02/2017 - 1:48pm
Cover to Rail-Trails Mid-Atlantic: The Definitive Guide to Multiuse Trails in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia

Rolling down the highways, watching the usually dull scenery go by, you might never guess that there are interesting places to explore not that far from the interstate. For some people, being a hiker means doing the Appalachian Trail, preferably all the way through. But there are a lot of other trails, many just as scenic, within an hour or two or a day’s drive of our area.

10/02/2017 - 1:48pm
If you like American Gods by Neil Gaiman

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.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Shadow is a man with a past. But now he wants nothing more than to live a quiet life with his wife and stay out of trouble. Until he learns that she's been killed in a terrible accident. Flying home for the funeral, as a violent storm rocks the plane, a strange man in the seat next to him introduces himself. The man calls himself Mr. Wednesday, and he knows more about Shadow than is possible. He warns Shadow that a far bigger storm is coming. And from that moment on, nothing will ever he the same . . .American Gods on Starz

American Gods is now a television series on the Starz network, based on the novel of the same name. The television series was developed by Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies) and Michael Green (Heroes, Gotham). Gaiman serves as an executive producer along with Fuller, Green, Craig Cegielski, Stefanie Berk, and Thom Beers. The series focuses on Shadow Moon, who meets a strange man named Mr. Wednesday after being released from prison. However, he soon finds himself a part of a large-scale conflict between the Old Gods and the New Gods, who grow stronger each day. The first episode premiered on the Starz network and through their streaming application on April 30, 2017. In May 2017, the series was renewed for a second season.

The central premise of the novel is that gods and mythological creatures exist because people believe in them (a type of thoughtform.) Immigrants to the United States brought with them spirits and gods. The power of these mythological beings has diminished as people's beliefs waned. New gods have arisen, reflecting the American obsessions with media, celebrity, technology, and drugs, among other things.¹

10/02/2017 - 1:48pm
Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast by Josh Funk

Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast are the best of friends. The best of friends any leftover could ask for.

But their neighbor, Miss Brie, tells them that the syrup is almost all gone! "A single drop's left! Just a drop!"

10/02/2017 - 1:49pm
Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie

Pete the Cat is learning a new dance—the COOL CAT boogie! Pete knows he can dance, but once his friends come along show them their dance moves, Pete thinks his moves are bad. 

"Dancing is like magic!" Pete says. "When I hear a groovy beat, I'm full of happy in my feet! I won't give up! I love to dance. Let me give it one more chance."

Pete repeats this mantra every time he feels like giving up. Eventually, Wise Old Owl tells Pete, "It doesn't matter how you move, as long as you are being you!"

10/02/2017 - 1:49pm
Cover to The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

Li Lan, a lovely but unassuming girl from a scholarly family fallen on hard times, is rather taken aback when her father casually asks her one night if she would like to become a ghost bride.

Her nursemaid is furious. Even suggesting such a thing is unlucky, although Li Lan would be living with a rich family, and it’s probable that all of her family’s debts would be taken care of.

Ghost brides were an old tradition brought to Malaya (colonial Malaysia) from China, where a young man who had died might still be given the precious gift of a wife to honor his memory.

But who is Li Lan's ghost groom? The only son of a wealthy family who was odious in his manner and appearance, whining and fat. He saw Li Lan just once when he was alive, but so entranced was he by her beauty that he is still pressuring his family to make a match. Yes, still. He thinks he has everything she might want in the land of the dead, and he isn’t giving up, although Li Lan is equally determined to resist him—especially after she meets a young man who she believes suits her far better and is very much alive.

10/02/2017 - 1:50pm
Cover to The Children’s Garden: Growing Food in the City

In Carole Lexa Schaefer’s The Children’s Garden, there are so many things to see—and do! It’s the children who are watering, weeding, and scattering seeds. They are also the ones who enjoy the many vegetables and herbs. Brightly colored illustrations, by Pierr Morgan, are cheerful and relatable.

Young readers and listeners may be inspired to start their own gardens, whether on a windowsill, in the backyard, or by taking part in a community garden. Gardening teaches children how nature works and to value their own work in the world. Gardening also allows them to enjoy the literal fruit of their labors and is a great way to spend more time outdoors.

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