March 2021 Staff Picks

Mar 2, 2021 | News, Staff Picks

The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop by Fannie Flagg
If you want an antidote to the cold, cruel world and long for community (and a nice meal out) read Fannie Flagg’s novels back-to-back. They’re separated by time but beat with one, large heart.



The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley 

A powerful and eye-opening account of what it was to be black in America in the first half of the 20th century. Sadly, it also shows how things haven’t changed as much as we would like to think or nearly as much as they need to. It was fascinating to see how Malcolm’s views and ideology evolved throughout his life and it leaves me wondering what he might have accomplished for his race and for this country if he hadn’t been silenced.  



Broken (In the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson
The irreverent Jenny Lawson (aka the woman behind the aptly named blog, “The Bloggess”) never fails to make me laugh out loud – really loud. Sometimes to the point of actual tears. In this, her fourth book, she doesn’t disappoint. The chapter on her home’s central vacuum system is worth the price of admission all on its own. I will never again look at a shop-vac in quite the same way.
The funny chapters, however, provide a counterweight to the more serious ones – those documenting the various facets of suffering from chronic physical and mental health conditions. Her ‘Open Letter to My Insurance Company’ should be required reading of *all* insurance companies.
One of the things I admire about Jenny Lawson is her raw vulnerability. She doesn’t shy away from putting it all out there for the world to see and in doing so, allows others who may be suffering know they have an ally. They’re not alone – she’s right there beside them, riding that wave back to shore.
(Note: “Broken” is due to be published in April. I received an advance copy from #Librofm in exchange for an honest review).



Katie the Catsitter by Colleen AF Venable, illustrated by Stephanie Yue.

Cats!!! There 217 of them to be precise. Katie is dreading the long summer ahead. Her best friend is off to the most amazing summer camp, leaving Katie behind to try to earn enough money doing odd jobs around her apartment complex to hopefully make her way to the blissful experience of s’mores and campfire songs. Enter Ms. Lang, possible super villain and owner of 217 VERY talented cats, who just so happens to require a cat sitter. Will Katie earn enough to make it to camp before the summer ends? Is Katie’s best friend slowly forgetting about her? Is Ms. Lang really who she says she is? Find out in this delightful new graphic novel series that is sure to be a hit. Some heroes have capes…Katie has cats.



Parker Looks Up by Parker Curry
The book gave me the perspective about savoring the moment. I loved the moment Parker experienced embodying somehting bigger than she thought possible. Especially when I’m trying to live by enjoying the moments instead of dwelling on what Covid times are robbing us of. 

Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk

I love cheering on a single character amidst challenges around them. Ellie brought that feel-good feeling as she transitioned with her family to living in the Maine woods during the depression era. I feel like this book was written for adults as much as youngsters. I actually hugged the book at the end!  


States of Undress by Hailey Gates (available on Hoopla)
Journalist Hailey Gates leverages her life to visit 5 countries under the guise “fashion journalist”.  What she discovers is disturbing, astonishing and mind-opening.


This Irish Folktale was always a favorite of my Second Grade students. Written and illustrated by the author of Strega Nona, DePaola tells the tale of, the very lazy, Jamie O’Rourke and his encounter with a leprechaun. Find out it Jamie gets a pot of gold or something else all together.