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Staff Picks: Garvey's Choice

Reviewed by Alex G. 

Garvey loves reading and singing, but he's a little awkward and doesn't have too many friends. Even at home, his family doesn't quite get him. To cope with his feelings, Garvey turns to food as a source of comfort.

But when his best friend encourages him to join choir, Garvey may finally have found a place to belong and shine. 

Garvey's Choice is a beautifully written novel in verse. Nikki Grimes does a wonderful job of telling the story of a boy trying to relate to to the people around him and the way she writes Garvey's attempts at a relationship with his father is so real and, at times, heartbreaking. The poetry format of this novel make it a quick read and a great reading suggestion for reluctant readers.

Try Garvey's Choice is you like moving realistic fiction. 

Staff Picks: The Firefly Code

Reviewed by Ginny H. 

In this adventurous, science fiction story, Mori lives a perfect life in Old Harmonie. Their town is a utopian community where kids are genetically altered to super-enhance a powerful trait, like puzzle solving, physical agility, or photographic memory. But when a strangely perfect new girl named Ilana moves in, Mori and her friends begin to question the only world they have ever known. 

Check out The Firefly Code by Megan Frazer Blakemore! 

VITAL: Winner of the 2018 Tom Zupancic Literacy in Libraries Award 

Tom Zupancic Literacy in Libraries Award

The ILF Tom Zupancic Literacy in Libraries Award recognizes community advocacy for literacy by an individual or organization in cooperation with a library. VITAL received this accolade for promoting the importance of literacy and adult education at the library. Since VITAL’s inception in 1977, our program has helped over 6,500 learners achieve their personal learning goals.

Staff Picks: The Doll People

Reviewed by Dana D.

In 1898, a very special dollhouse (complete with a china doll family) arrived from England for a little girl. Annabelle, one of the dolls, has now been an 8-year-old for over 100 years and it’s getting boring. She sees the human girls grow up and new girls come to play with her, but she remains the same.

One night while looking at “books”, which are really just blocks of wood with titles painted on them, she discovers the real diary of her long-lost aunt. No one knows about the diary and she wants to keep it secret. She decides to solve the mystery of how her aunt disappeared by leaving the dollhouse.  When she asks if anyone in her family has ever looked for her aunt outside of the dollhouse, they all answer “NO!” A doll risks Doll State, an inability to move for 24 hours, if it is seen moving about on its own. And if a doll is seen doing something very extraordinary it can end up in Permanent Doll State, which lasts forever.

Staff Picks: The War That Saved My Life

Reviewed by Stephanie H. 

I love Ada! Ada and this character-driven historical fiction won many awards, including the Newbery Honor book. She and her younger brother Jamie are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II. Away from the bombings and their abusive mother, they find the rural setting and their new caregiver both frightening and joyful. 

Never have I been so glad for a sequel! Ada grew so much in the first novel, but in the sequel she really demonstrates her strength against the formidable Lady Thorton, runaway horses, and a war that now reaches the countryside and those she has come to love. 

Powerful and uplifting! 

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