Library Column for July 1, 2021

@ Your Library

Summer is a great time to explore new books and relax with a good book. Here are some new books for kids that I’m excited about. (And yes, I still read children’s books. I love many of the themes and issues they are dealing with.)

The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim is a Rick Riordan presents title. He is working with a number of authors to tell modern stories with mythological underpinnings. This title looks at Korean myths including healing witches. Riley is the adopted sister of Hattie, who will soon get her Gi bracelet allowing her to practice magic without adult supervision. But Riley doesn’t have magic and often feels like the odd one out. Can Hattie figure out a way to share magic with her sister?

Sarah Allen has written a beautiful story of sister love in Breathing Underwater. Olivia and Ruth are traveling across the country in an RV. Ruth has been suffering from depression and Olivia hopes that remembering the good times will help Ruth because she wants her old, cheerful, fun to be around sister back. Can Olivia be there and love her sister regardless of what happens?

I really enjoy books that alter the world, say by adding magic to a familiar location. The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant is one such book. Cordelia is part of the five maker families in a London with magic. Magic is woven into objects created by the Hatmakers, Bootmakers, Watchmakers, Clockmakers and Glovemakers. She is learning the ancient skills and secrets including the most important rule ‘keep wildness in your wits and magic in your fingertips.’ But then her father has apparently been lost at sea and the Peace objects for the king are stolen. Can she find out who is behind all this and what they want before all the Makers are gone?

I am also a sucker for cat stories and DaVinci’s Cat by Catherine Gilbert Murdock sucked me right in. The story opens with a young boy awaking to what he thinks are alarms, but are just trumpets announcing the next course of a meal to which he isn’t at. After he can’t find anything to eat, he decides to journey to the pope’s new study and get the figs in the office earlier in the day. Of course, that is just the beginning of the adventures ahead.

Two young adult titles to consider include Slingshot by Mercedes Helwein with a great cover line ‘True love has the worst aim.” Grace is stuck at a boarding school in Florida and has a simple mantra – ‘keep a crap attitude to keep the people away.’ It works until she accidentally saves the new kid from being beaten up.

And of course there is Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney. Such an apt statement of the teen years. Quinn keeps lists of all kinds in her journal, everything from fears to boys she wants to kiss and more. Then her journal is stolen and someone begins blackmailing her by posting some of the lists online. Can she figure out how to be brave enough to face the fears she wrote down to not have to face?

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