“Wizard for Hire” by Obert Skye
The author of “Leven Thumps” and “Witherwood Reform School” introduces another great series with the magical, mysterious and funny “Wizard for Hire.” Ozzy Toffy, 14, has been living on his own since his scientist parents were kidnapped When he teams up with Labyrinth (aka “Rin”), a self-proclaimed wizard for hire, a robotic Raven named Clark and new friend Sigi in order to find out what happened, this madcap group begins to uncover secrets that may be better left alone. Recommended for ages 10 and older.
“Help Find Frank” by Anne Bollman
This is the perfect picture book for any budding detectives. Frank is an adorable little French bulldog, but he’s lost and his family misses him terribly. This interactive mystery will hone readers’ detective skills as they help find Frank using maps, exhibits, seek-and-find puzzles, interviews and more. Kids will be thoroughly entertained while flipping back and forth to check for evidence and clues. The format cleverly promotes the development of deductive reasoning. Children will ask to read the story over and over again and with this book, you won’t even mind. Recommended for ages 3 to 7.
— Chandra vanEijnsbergen, Deschutes Public Library community librarian
“Blood Water Paint” by Joy McCullough
McCullough uses a powerful combination of poetry and prose to share the stories of historical women finding their voices (and swords) in her debut novel. Artemisia Gentileschi quietly ground pigment for her father and completed his commissioned paintings, her talent lying undiscovered until a wealthy patron takes notice. It is both angering and empowering to see the treatment of women and their subsequent discovery of personal agency through today’s #metoo lens. End notes offer more information on the artist and her life. Young adult fans of historical fiction and interesting female characters will want to check this book out.
“The Way You Make Me Feel” by Maurene Goo
When prankster Clara Shin’s latest joke goes too far, she’s sentenced to hard labor — a summer of work on her father’s foodtruck, the KoBra, along with her frenemy, Rose. The close quarters of a Korean-Brazilian kitchen might help the two find common ground, while Clara’s crush on straight-laced Hamlet means she might have to start taking life a bit more seriously. Well-drawn characters, a strong sense of place and the ups and downs of friendship and romance make this a spot-on young adult read.
— April Witteveen, Deschutes Public Library community librarian
“Kindest Regards: New and Selected Poems” by Ted Kooser
Pulitzer Prize winner and past U.S. poet laureate Kooser’s latest collection of poems of everyday life is a treasure. His poems surround the reader with memories of objects or places. Readers will be drawn to his poems like “Snapping Turtle” and “A Summer Afternoon with Clouds” because of his simple yet descriptive lines about nature. “Ladder” and “Jar of Buttons” will inspire readers to stop and gaze in all directions or take a fresh look at common objects, while other poems in this collection such as “Old Dog in March,” tell stories.
“The Masterpiece” by Fiona Davis
This historical novel brings out the best of New York City in two different time periods. In 1928, Clara Darden is teaching art at the city’s Grand Central School of Art, determined to find success both as an artist and as a teacher. In 1974, Virginia Clay is recently divorced and working at the information booth at the Grand Central train station, now more grimy than grand, to support herself and her daughter.
When Virginia discovers the abandoned art school and finds a mysterious painting, she’s determined to find the painter. Readers will appreciate the historical architecture of each time period and love experiencing the energy and glamour of the city.
— Paige Bentley-Flannery, Deschutes Public Library community librarian