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Memorial Hall Library

Staff Favorites 2018

It's almost the end of the year so the staff at MHL wants to share our favorite books we've read. There's something for everyone on this list from fiction to nonfiction, to picture book readers to adults!

If you're looking for even more recommendations, take a look at some of these resources:

If you'd like to request any of these titles, please contact the Reference Desk at 978623-8432 or rdesk@mhl.org. Happy reading!

Picture Books


	Mae among the stars
Mae among the stars
by Roda Ahmed

A picture book story inspired by the first African-American woman to travel in space describes how as a child, a persevering Little Mae dreamed of dancing in space while surrounded by billions of stars. 

	The Snowy Nap
The Snowy Nap
by Jan Brett

After hearing about winter from his friends, Hedgie the hedgehog
tries to stay awake to experience its wonders.

	I Hate My Cats : A Love Story
I Hate My Cats : A Love Story
by Davide Cali

Such is life with cats: can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em-if you love
them, that is. And yet the mystery remains: Why are these mesmerizing
fur balls so delightfully maddening?! This charming, humorous tribute to all things cat is a celebration of our coveted, albeit beguiling companions,
im-purr-fections and all.

	Hush Hush, Forest
Hush Hush, Forest
by Mary Casanova

Illustrations and easy-to-read, rhyming text show how, throughout
autumn, forest animals prepare for winter as shadows lengthen, the
ground freezes, and northern lights begin to appear.

	Carmela full of wishes
Carmela full of wishes
by Matt de la Peña

Carmela, finally old enough to run errands with her brother, tries to think of the perfect wish, while his wish seems to be that she stayed home

	The day you begin
The day you begin
by Jacqueline Woodson

Other students laugh when Rigoberto, an immigrant from Venezuela, introduces himself but later, he meets Angelina and discovers that he is not the only one who feels like an outsider.

	The Book Tree
The Book Tree
by Paul Czajak
Arlo sees his town change for
the worse after the Mayor bans and destroys all books, but by sharing stories Arlo helps set things right again.


 

	Eye Spy : Wild Ways Animals See the World
Eye Spy : Wild Ways Animals See the World
by Guillaume Duprat

This book shares the latest scientific research on animal vision. Dsicover pigeons' sunglasses, owls' tube-shaped eyes, insects with thousands of mini eyes, and much, much more. With delightful and surprising illustrations, this book allows us a rare glimpse of the world through animals' eyes. Learn interesting facts such as: cows spot predators coming up from behind, cats see mice scurrying through the night, snakes see infrared-- which we only feel as heat, and eagles see eight times more detail than we can.


 

	I Am Human : A Book of Empathy
I Am Human : A Book of Empathy
by Susan Verde

A child recognizes his own humanity, his capacity for doing harm and being harmed, his ability to feel joy and sadness, and his belief in hope and promise to keep learning.

	Turning pages : my life story
Turning pages : my life story
by Sonia Sotomayor

"Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor tells her own story for young readers for the very first time! As the first Latina Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor has inspired young people around the world to reach for their dreams. But what inspired her?For young Sonia, the answer was books! They were her mirrors, her maps, her friends, and her teachers. They helped her to connect with her family in New York and in Puerto Rico, to deal with her diabetes diagnosis, to cope with her father's death, to uncover the secrets of the world, and to dream of a future for herself in which anything was possible. In Turning Pages, Justice Sotomayor shares that love of books with a new generation of readers, and inspires them to read and puzzle and dream for themselves. Accompanied by Lulu Delacre's vibrant art, this story of the Justice's life shows readers that the world is full of promise and possibility--all they need to do is turn the page"

Middle Grade Books


	The Penderwicks at last
The Penderwicks at last
by Jeanne Birdsall

Happily anticipating the homecoming of college-student Batty, 11-year-old Lydia is delighted to hear that their family is returning to Arundel for the summer for an old-fashioned wedding, in a conclusion to the series.

	Wishtree
Wishtree
by Katherine Applegate

A wise old oak tree that stands as the neighborhood's "wishtree," where people write wishes on cloth and tie them to her branches, shares her days with her crow friend and helps the community embrace differences when new neighbors move in and are not warmly welcomed. By the Newbery Medal-winning author of The One and Only Ivan. 

	Nate expectations
Nate expectations
by Tim Federle

When E.T.: The Musical closes, Nate reluctantly returns home to begin high school and, with his best friend, Libby, makes a project of turning Dickens' Great Expectations into a musical.

	You go first
You go first
by Erin Entrada Kelly

Charlotte, twelve, and Ben, eleven, are highly-skilled competitors at online Scrabble and that connection helps both as they face family issues and the turmoil of middle school.

	Dactyl Hill Squad
Dactyl Hill Squad
by Daniel José Older

It is the summer of 1863, and as the Civil War rages between dinosaur-mounted armies down south, and a tense New York City seems on the brink of exploding into riots, Magdalys Roca and the other children at the Colored Orphan Asylum are trying to survive; but when she receives a letter telling her that her brother Montez was wounded, Magdalys knows that somehow she must reach him--and just possibly her ability to communicate telepathically with dinosaurs may come in handy.

	Aru Shah and the end of time
Aru Shah and the end of time
by Roshani Chokshi

Telling fibs in order to fit in better with her wealthier peers, 12-year-old Aru Shah spends her school break at the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, where her decision to light a cursed lamp unwittingly releases an ancient demon. 

	The Parker inheritance
The Parker inheritance
by Varian Johnson

Twelve-year-old Candice Miller is spending the summer in Lambert, South Carolina, in the old house that belonged to her grandmother, who died after being dismissed as city manager for having the city tennis courts dug up looking for buried treasure--but when she finds the letter that sent her grandmother on the treasure hunt, she finds herself caught up in the mystery and, with the help of her new friend and fellow book-worm, Brandon, she sets out to find the inheritance, exonerate her grandmother, and expose an injustice once committed against an African American family in Lambert.

	Two roads
Two roads
by Joseph Bruchac

In 1932, twelve-year-old Cal must stop being a hobo with his father and go to a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school, where he begins learning about his history and heritage as a Creek Indian.

	Front desk
Front desk
by Kelly Yang

Recent immigrants from China and desperate for work and money, ten-year-old Mia Tang's parents take a job managing a rundown motel in Southern California, even though the owner, Mr. Yao is a nasty skinflint who exploits them; while her mother (who was anengineer in China) does the cleaning, Mia works the front desk and tries to cope with demanding customers and other recent immigrants--not to mention being only one of two Chinese in her fifth grade class, the other being Mr. Yao's son, Jason.

	The cardboard kingdom
The cardboard kingdom
by Chad Sell

A team of neighbor kids use their imaginations and creativity to transform cardboard materials into fantastical homemade costumes that help them navigate conflicts with friends, family and their own identities, in a collaborative graphic novel that includes contributions by such authors as Jay Fuller, David DeMeo and Katie Schenkel. 

Teen Books


	Check, Please! 1 : #Hockey
Check, Please! 1 : #Hockey
by Ngozi Ukazu

Eric Bittle may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur baker, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It is nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia! First of all? There's checking (anything that hinders the player with possession of the puck, ranging from a stick check all the way to a physical sweep). And then, there is Jack-- his very attractive but moody captain.

	Children of blood and bone
Children of blood and bone
by Tomi Adeyemi

Coming of age in a land where her magi mother was killed by the zealous king's guards along with other former wielders of magic, Zélie embarks on a journey alongside her brother and a fugitive princess to restore her people's magical abilities. 

	Catwoman : soulstealer
Catwoman : soulstealer
by Sarah J Maas

Two years after escaping Gotham City's slums, Selina Kyle returns by day as the mysterious, wealthy Holly Vanderhees, but by night, she teams up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn under the guise of Catwoman to wreak havoc throughout Gotham City--and she just may be Batwing's undoing as she tangles with him at night and her devilishly handsome neighbor, Luke Fox, by day. 

	Hey, Kiddo
Hey, Kiddo
by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

In kindergarten, Jarrett Krosoczka's teacher asks him to draw his family, with a mommy and a daddy. But Jarrett's family is much more complicated than that. His mom is an addict, in and out of rehab, and in and out of Jarrett's life. His father is a mystery -- Jarrett doesn't know where to find him, or even what his name is. Jarrett lives with his grandparents -- two very loud, very loving, very opinionated people who had thought they were through with raising children until Jarrett came along.

	Sometime after midnight
Sometime after midnight
by L. Philips

Forging a brief but intense connection with a famous social media star over a shared love of the same indie band, gay music prodigy Nate flees when he discovers his crush's connection to the record label that destroyed his father's life, only to become the subject of a romantic viral manhunt. 

	Finding Yvonne
Finding Yvonne
by Brandy Colbert

Fearing she will not be accepted into her conservatory of choice in spite of her dedication to the violin after her mother's abandonment, Yvonne bonds with a street musician before an unexpected pregnancy challenges her prospects. By the award-winning author of Pointe. inting. 

	Sadie
Sadie
by Courtney Summers

Told from the alternating perspectives of nineteen-year-old Sadie who runs away from her isolated small Colorado town to find her younger sister's killer, and a true crime podcast exploring Sadie's disappearance.

	The poet X
The poet X
by Elizabeth Acevedo

The daughter of devout immigrants discovers the power of slam poetry and begins participating in a school club as part of her effort to understand her mother's strict religious beliefs and her own developing relationship to the world. 

	Blood water paint
Blood water paint
by Joy McCullough

A first novel based on the true story of iconic artist Artemisia Gentileschi finds a talented young woman working as her famed artist father's apprentice before becoming one of the world's most talented painters in her own right, an achievement that is complicated by the brutal gender dynamics of 17th-century Rome. 

	Hullmetal girls
Hullmetal girls
by Emily Skrutskie

Aisha Un-Haad, seventeen, and Key Tanaka, eighteen, have risked everything for new lives as mechanically enhanced soldiers, and when an insurrection forces dark secrets to surface, the fate of humanity is in their hands.

Adult Books


	There there
There there
by Tommy Orange

A novel that grapples with the complex history and identity of Native Americans follows twelve characters, each of whom has private reasons for traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow.

	Educated : a memoir
Educated : a memoir
by Tara Westover

Traces the author's experiences as a child born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, describing her participation in her family's paranoid stockpiling activities and her resolve to educate herself well enough to earn an acceptance into a prestigious university and the unfamiliar world beyond.

	The labyrinth of the spirits : a novel
The labyrinth of the spirits : a novel
by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

A conclusion to the best-selling series finds enigmatic Alicia Gris, supported by the Sempere family, uncovering one of the most shocking conspiracies in Spanish history. By the award-winning author of The Angel's Game. 

	Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine
Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine
by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant -- despite her social
isolation and the rules she sets to
survive weekends -- insists that she is
just fine. But is she really? The gentle
overtures of a coworker who accepts
her as she is gets things rolling and
gives her the emotional support she needs when a horrific
(and embarrassing) event forces her to reevaluate her life.
As it turns out, Eleanor Oliphant is absolutely not
completely fine... but she will be.

	The proposal
The proposal
by Jasmine Guillory

"When someone asks you to spend your life with him, it shouldn't come as a surprise--or happen in front of 45,000 people. When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing sheexpects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn't the hard part--they've only been dating for five months, and he can't even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans... At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik's rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He's even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik's social media blows up--in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can't be looking foranything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes.."

	Foe : a novel
Foe : a novel
by Iain Reid

A taut, psychological mind-bender from the bestselling author of I'm Thinking of Ending Things. We don't get visitors. Not out here. We never have. In Iain Reid's second haunting, philosophical puzzle of a novel, set in the near-future, Junior and Henrietta live a comfortable, solitary life on their farm, far from the city lights, but in close quarters with each other. One day, a stranger from the city arrives with alarming news: Junior has been randomly selected to travel far away from the farm...very far away. The most unusual part? Arrangements have already been made so that when he leaves, Henrietta won't have a chance to miss him, because she won't be left alone--not even for a moment. Henrietta will have company. Familiar company. Told in Reid's sharp and evocative style, Foe examines the nature of domestic relationships, self-determination, and what it means to be (or not to be) a person. An eerily entrancing page-turner, it churns with unease and suspense from the first words to its shocking finale/

	Our souls at night
Our souls at night
by Kent Haruf

A senior-aged widow and widower forge a loving bond over shared loneliness and respective histories, provoking local gossip and the disapproval of their grown children in ways that are further complicated by an extended visit by a sad young grandchild.

	Tapestry of fortunes : a novel
Tapestry of fortunes : a novel
by Elizabeth Berg

A best-selling novel by the author of Talk Before Sleep traces the shared
journey of four women exploring their pasts including one who would find
the daughter she gave up for adoption, one who would visit an ex-husband, a chef who would find new inspiration and a motivational speaker who would find a man she still loves.

	I'll be gone in the dark : one woman's obsessive search for the Golden State Killer
I'll be gone in the dark : one woman's obsessive search for the Golden State Killer
by Michelle McNamara

An account of the unsolved Golden State Killer case, written by the late author of the TrueCrimeDiary.com website and featuring an afterword by her husband, comedian Patton Oswalt, traces the rapes and murders of dozens of victims and the author's determined efforts to help identify the killer and bring him to justice. 

	Heavy : An American Memoir
Heavy : An American Memoir
by Kiese Laymon

Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about the physical manifestations of violence, grief, trauma, and abuse on his own body. He writes of his own eating disorder and gambling addiction as well as similar issues that run throughout his family. Through self-exploration, storytelling, and honest conversation with family and friends, Heavy seeks to bring what has been hidden into the light and to reckon with all of its myriad sources, from the most intimate--a mother-child relationship--to the most universal--a society that has undervalued and abused black bodies for centuries.