Shelf Life Blog
When a strange noise interrupts the Wimbledon family's sleep, father Walter goes to check. "It's only Stanley," he says. The family dog is howling at the moon. Everyone returns to the slumber, but the interruptions do not stop.
A clanking sound turns out to be Stanley hammering at the oil tank in the basement. A strange odor from the kitchen leads to the dog cooking catfish stew. Stanley appears to accomplish more in a single night than most people do in a whole week!
In Elizabeth Camden’s Against the Tide, a self-made, 19th-century woman meets an arrogant, handsome man who draws her into a dangerous scheme.
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.
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.
“...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. 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.