“Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow” by Jessica Townsend
Move over Harry Potter, Morrigan Crow is in Nevermoor. From the moment of her birth, Morrigan has been one of the cursed children born on the Eventide and fated to die at midnight on her 11th birthday. Much to her surprise, Morrigan receives a bid to join the Wundrous Society and, rather than die, accepts the invitation, finding herself in Nevermoor in the Unnamed Realm. While many are called to join the society, few pass the four trials. But for Morrigan, it is truly a question of life or death. This enchanting fantasy is full of twists, turns and heart. Recommended for ages 8 to 12.
“Race to the Bottom of the Sea” by Lindsay Eagar
This is a rousing fantasy adventure epic full of pirates, treachery and heartbreak. Fidelia Quail, an oceanographic prodigy at age 11, has explored the deep seas with her famous parents since birth. After losing her parents in an accident, Fidelia is left with only her Aunt Julia and the guilt that perhaps her invention caused her parents’ death. Merrick the Monstrous, a pirate of fearful reputation, kidnaps Fidelia in hopes that her inventions will help the pirate recover his most prized possession. Recommended for ages 8 to 12.
“Fault Lines In the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today” by Cynthia Levinson and Sanford Levinson
It is quite easy to be confused or frustrated by how the U.S. federal government works. In a very clear, understandable and frank manner, the authors relate the workings of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and how these proceedings have influenced the issues that the government struggles with today. This is a fascinating work of nonfiction that reconfirms the notion that you have to study the past to understand the present and plan for the future.
“Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor, and Loki” by Kevin Crossley-Holland, illustrated by Jeffrey Alan Love
Crossley-Holland has beautifully rewritten 20 Norse myths that illuminate the dealings and double-dealings of gods and goddesses that many readers might be familiar with only through comics and movies. With striking illustrations by Jeffrey Alan Love, this title is bookmaking perfection, with stories that never grow old and characters that are almost too big for the page.
— Cheryl Weems, Deschutes Public Library youth services collection development librarian
“Goodbye, Vitamin” by Rachel Khong
Reeling from the disintegration of her engagement, Ruth returns to her parents’ home for the holidays, and her mother asks her to stay to “keep an eye on her father.” So begins Khong’s humorous yet poignant novel about caring for a parent in the initial stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The tale spans just one year, during which Ruth rallies from heartache and leads the family to grapple with the encroaching loss of Dad. Throughout the year, she finds beautiful excerpts from her father’s journal recording the marvels and delights of parenthood. Ruth, in turn, records the sweet, shared moments of her father’s journey.
“It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree” by A. J. Jacobs
Jacobs documents his foray into the world of genealogy with this light-hearted account of his effort to hold a Global Family Reunion, where he hopes to set a world record and emphasize the ties that bind us. In short, quick-witted chapters, the author examines the results and meaning of DNA testing, shares experiences from a Daughter of the Revolution lineage society meeting and discusses such genealogical tools as Geni, WikiTree and Family Tree. As he pursues his record-setting reunion and regales readers with project setbacks and achievements, Jacobs discovers admiration for his forebears and explores the intriguing concept of biological versus logical families.
— Alyssa Bennett, Deschutes Public Library community librarian