November Staff Picks

Nov 12, 2020 | Staff Picks


Stolen Words by Melanie Florence

A beautifully illustrated and powerful picture book about the importance of language, trandition and heritage. The story explores the loving relationship between a girl and her grandfather as she tries to help him remember the Cree language that was stolen from him as a young child when he was taken from his family. Their shared sorrow and eventual healing as they both recover parts of their Cree heritage recognizes the pain so many families continue to suffer because of the lasting, damaging, intergenerational effects of racism. The book also includes a helpful Cree translation and pronunciation guide. An important story that should be shared by all ages.


Cardiff, by the sea: four novellas of suspense by Joyce Carol Oates  

The first story is set in Maine and since it’s Halloween season I went for suspense. It was well written but not what I hoped in terms of creepy, scary suspense.



Powerful and honest. It’s a coming out experience with a whole mix of awkward and hurtful moments and also thoughtfulness from camp characters.


 We Are All the Same in the Dark by Julia Heaberlin

 It. Is. Un-put-downable. One night, along a dark and desolate Texas road, a troubled man finds a young girl abandoned in a field, surrounded by dandelions . Whatever happened to her must have been bad because she won’t speak – not even to the female police officer who takes her under her wing. How does this tie in with the decade-old disappearance of the town’s homecoming queen?  The blurb on the dust jacket says it all: “If you only read one thriller this year, let it be this one. Psychologically absorbing, original and atmospheric. I could not turn the pages fast enough.



The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe  Martin Illustrated by David Shannon

 A twist on a Cinderella tale from Algonquin Native American Folklore. An invisible being is said to be handsome, wealthy, and powerful. All the young women want to be his forever after. However, to win his heart, they must pass his sister’s test. Have they truly seen him? Will the Rough-Face girl who is scarred from fire see him?  Read this wonderful story about a hard-working young lady who is not just another Cinderella.


The Other Bennet Sister by Janet Hadlow

Austen fans, did you ever wonder what happened to Mary, the quiet, plain middle sister in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice? Elizabeth and Jane, her older sisters, are both beautiful and clever, and Mary’s younger sisters are sparklers in their own right.  Bookish Mary seems dull in comparison, but over the course of the novel, the marginalized middle daughter realizes her own worth and gradually blossoms into a woman who finds love and happiness, while staying true to herself.  If you love a drawing room romance, good conversation, and a character-driven plot…you’ll enjoy this novel by Hadlow.