Children’s books

“Monster Boogie” by Laurie Berkner, illustrated by Ben Clanton

Children can wiggle around the room with a big, scary, friendly monster with purple eyes and green teeth. Based on Berkner’s song of the same name, illustrator Ben Clanton provides colorful illustrations that will make you dance. Using colored pencils and watercolors, his expressive artwork captures the fun night. The perfect picture book to read aloud and also sing and dance to. You can find the song on Berkner’s album, “The Best of Laurie Berkner Band,” available on CD at Deschutes Public Library. Recommended for ages 4 to 8.

“Vernon Is on His Way: Small Stories” by Philip C. Stead

The beloved characters Vernon, Porcupine and Skunk from Stead’s “A Home for Bird,” are back in three short stories — “Waiting,” “Fishing” and “Gardening.” The stories take joy in nature with activities like watering flowers and watching clouds. Friendships can be tricky, but these kind friends keep each other happy. Stead’s gorgeous illustrations are wonderful representations of the emotions, characters and nature scenes. Recommended for ages 3 to 6.

— Paige Bentley-Flannery, Deschutes Public Library community librarian

Teen books

“The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo

Acevedo’s coming of age story is told in verse, which pairs perfectly with Xiomara ­Batista’s journey to become a poet. Xiomara is raised in a Catholic family and uses her poetry to explore the relationship of her church to women, sexuality and her increasingly failing faith. As her confirmation nears, Xiomara devotes herself to her poetry, using it to untangle her feelings, while trying to change the perception that her developing body takes up more space than her voice.

“Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi

For a generation the kingdom of Orïsha has been without magic. King Saran banished it from his lands when Zélie was just a child, having his troops murder her mother and all magi like her. When fate brings the king’s daughter, Amari, and Zélie together, they begin a dangerous quest to bring magic back to the nation. The characters are amazingly well drawn in this merciless tale — the first installment in a possible trilogy. It is a fabulous read and a wonderfully well-read audiobook. A great read for teens 14 and older, and for adults.

— Josie Hanneman, Deschutes Public Library community librarian

Adult books

“Florida” by Lauren Groff

Groff’s latest book is a collection of short stories that takes readers deep into the hazards of family relationships and the natural world. It’s a true look at the grittiness of Florida. Each story is beautifully written with detailed descriptions of swamps, dark forests and prowling panthers. Groff has the ability to capture the emotions of a simple walk at night or the smells of the ocean air. Her character descriptions and fictional observations offer a uniqueness to each story.

“Jell-O Girls: A Family History” by Allie Rowbottom

If you still love Jell-O as an adult or have ever wondered how an elite European dessert became a boxed treat, Rowbottom’s honest biography is filled with both deep family connections and fascinating historical facts. Her great-great-great uncle bought the Jell-O patent in 1899 for $450. Enormous wealth followed, but that success was countered by the “Jell-O curse” of suicides, cancer, alcoholism and mysterious illnesses. Rowbottom’s book combines research begun by her mother with her own exploration of one of America’s most profitable companies.

— Paige Bentley-Flannery, Deschutes Public Library community librarian

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