February 2021 Staff Picks

Feb 8, 2021 | News, Staff Picks


Over the Shop by JonArno Lawson and illustrated by Qin Leng
A wordless story about a little girl and her grandparent, trying to rent a run down apartment. After several attempts at renting, a special couple shows up and decides to fix up the apartment. Through warm & sweet illustrations, the transformation in the apartment deepens the relationships (including the stray cat!).


The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Osman’s first novel, set in a retirement home full of sharp-witted seniors. This mystery is a treat for all of us who love mysteries and February, after all, is the month to pursue what you love.


The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline   

Seduced by her employer’s son, Evangeline, a naïve young governess in early nineteenth-century London, is discharged when her pregnancy is discovered and sent to the notorious Newgate Prison. After months in the fetid, overcrowded jail, she learns she is sentenced to ‘the land beyond the seas,’ Van Diemen’s Land, a penal colony in Australia. Though uncertain of what awaits, Evangeline knows one thing: the child she carries will be born on the months-long voyage to this distant land. During the journey on a repurposed slave ship, the Medea, Evangeline strikes up a friendship with Hazel, a girl little older than her former pupils who was sentenced to seven years transport for stealing a silver spoon.



Almost, Maine by John Caraiani

The heartwarming play about the northernmost, emptiest part of Maine, has now been turned into a novel, using the stories that so captivated his audience in the play, and fleshing out the interior thoughts of the characters as well as adding a new story. It is sweet and charming, and a perfect read for a cozy winter day.


How to Build a Heart by Maria Padian
I was nervous for the main character, Izzy, to do right by the people in her life. She is a decent person struggling to find her fit between her Catholic friends, her neighbor friend, her new wealthier friends and her family. A great YA read.


This wonderful picture book is a moving tribute to thirteen Americans who have shaped our nation. Beautifully illustrated by Loren Long who captures the achievements and personalities of the these Americans along with the innocence of childhood. This story reminds us of the potential we all have and the characteristics that unite all Americans.

Katie :

Hair Love by Matthew Cherry
 A positively sweet story about a father who tries to arrange his daughter’s fabulous, curly, incredible hair into an extra special style for the first time. An ode to loving your hair, and a celebration of daddies and daughters for everyone to enjoy. Matthew Cherry also wrote and directed the 2019 Academy Award winning animated short film of this story.