A Librarian Reads…

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Francie is just a girl growing up in Brooklyn like so many others. It’s the early 20th century and almost everyone she knows are poor immigrants or first-generation Americans. Life isn’t easy, but in Francie’s eyes it’s wondrous. From the time she was born, her mother followed two pieces of advice she got from her own mother. One is to save money, so Francie and her brother Neeley always put half their money into their can bank when they turn in junk at the local store. The other thing, and the most important thing in the world to Francie, is to get a good education. For as long as she can remember, they have read one page from the Bible and one page from Shakespeare every day. That’s not enough for Francie, who longs to go to school and soon starts reading a book every day. But life is not easy, and so many obstacles stand in her way.

This quiet classic, part of the PBS Great American Read, introduces readers to what life was like in Brooklyn at the turn of the century. The characters and descriptions are vivid and compelling. While it doesn’t seem like much happens, it is a fascinating read. Recommended for high school and up.

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Featured Series

Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter

As a sophomore at a secret spy school and the daughter of a former CIA operative, Cammie is sheltered from “normal teenage life” until she meets a local boy while on a class surveillance mission.

1) I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You

2) Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy

3) Don’t Judge A Girl by Her Cover

4) Only the Good Spy Young

5) Out Of Sight, Out Of Time

6) United We Spy

What’s New?

Check out these new titles in the Teen Corner at the Moline Public Library. Click on the title to go to the catalog to find the book or place a hold.

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
Monday and Claudia have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, or the second day, or second week, Claudia’s worried. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help. As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?

From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon
Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. When mystery man “N” begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil.

Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington
Two years after rock-song-worthy heartbreak, Vee is joining her friends who have landed a spot on a battling bands reality show. Then she learns she’ll also be sharing the bus with Cam. Her first love, and her first heartbreak. Now Vee has more than just cameras to dodge, and Cam’s determination to win her forgiveness is causing TMZ-worthy problems for both of them.

Flight by Jae Waller (The Call of the Rift, Book One)
Kateiko doesn’t want to be Rin anymore—not if it means sacrificing lives to protect the dead. Her only way out is to join another tribe, a one-way trek through the coastal rainforest. Killing a colonial soldier in the woods isn’t part of the plan. Neither is spending the winter with Tiernan, an immigrant who keeps a sword with his carpentry tools. His log cabin leaks and his stories about other worlds raise more questions than they answer.

I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman
Around the time that Freya loses her voice while recording her debut album, Harun is making plans to run away from everyone he has ever loved, and Nathaniel is arriving in New York City with a backpack, a desperate plan, and nothing left to lose. When a fateful accident draws these three strangers together, their secrets start to unravel as they begin to understand that the way out of their own loss might just lie in help­ing the others out of theirs.

A Librarian Reads…

La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman (The Book of Dust, Book One)

Malcolm lives a quiet life, working in his parents’ pub, vising the nuns at the Priory, and exploring Oxford with his daemon Asta. His favorite thing, though, is going out on his canoe, La Belle Sauvage. It is on the river where he and Asta find a secret message and stumble into a great mystery. As someone who sees a lot but is rarely noticed, Malcolm is in the perfect position to act as a spy—which is exactly what he does. He makes notes of everything he sees. Agents from the Magisterium, a secret society at his school, suspicious people, rumors about the flood. But the most important thing in his life soon becomes Lyra, the baby being looked after at the Priory. The baby everyone seems to want to get their hands on. And Malcom will do anything to keep her safe.

While this is a prequel to Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, it is a fresh and exciting story that stands well on its own. Malcolm is a loveable character, and the story will keep you on the edge of your seat to the end and leave you waiting for the next installment. Recommended to readers in middle school and up who are fans of adventurous fantasy stories.

* Book listened to as audiobook CD


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What’s New?

Check out these new titles in the Teen Corner at the Moline Public Library. Click on the title to go to the catalog to find the book or place a hold.

Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch
Addie has been miserable about the one horrible thing she did. It doesn’t help that her brother keeps bringing it up, creating a gulf between them. Then, in Ireland for her aunt’s wedding, Addie discovers Ireland for the Heartbroken hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library. Suddenly she finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle with Ian and his cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan.

ANIMUS by Antoine Revoy (Graphic Novel)
The residents of a quiet Kyoto neighborhood have slowly come to realize that inauspicious, paranormal forces are at play in the most unlikely of places: the local playground. Two friends, a young girl and boy, resolve to exorcise the evils that inhabit it, including a snaggle-toothed monster.

The Handsome Girl & Her Beautiful Boy by B.T. Gottfred
Everyone assumes that Zee is a lesbian. Everyone assumes that Art is gay. When Art first meets Zee, he knows he’s found someone special–someone magical. Zee may not be able to see that magic in herself, but Art is bound and determined to show it to her. As they explore their own complexities in gender, sexuality, and identity, they fall for the complexities they find in each other.

Driving by Starlight by Anat Deracine
Leena and Mishie are best friends. They delight in small rebellions against the Saudi cultural police—secret Western clothing, forbidden music, flirtations. But Leena wants college, independence—she wants a different life. Though her story is specific to her world, ultimately it’s a story about friendship, family, and freedom that transcends cultural differences.

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne
Stella has waited her whole life to get off the floundering spaceship she calls home. So she jumps at the chance to be a governess on the Rochester. Hugo Fairfax, the captain, is notorious throughout the fleet for being a moody recluse and a drunk. But with Stella he’s kind. Still, the Rochester harbors secrets: Stella is certain someone is trying to kill Hugo, and the more she discovers, the more questions she has about his role in a conspiracy threatening the fleet.

A Librarian Reads…

The Missy Chronicles (Doctor Who)

Six stories about Missy, the latest regeneration of The Doctor’s nemesis The Master. As a woman, Missy’s evil tendencies have to find a new form of expression. She finds herself unwelcome at The Scoundrels Club, but soon makes the men there wish they’d treated her no differently just because of her sex. A mission for the High Council is meant to bring her under their control, but she soon turns the tables on them. A magic teddy bear, a time vortex, a secret club of women to change women’s role in history, and her final adventure reunited with her former self.

Fans of Doctor Who, and especially the show’s best-loved villain, as well as those who like stories about gender freedom, will love these stories. Recommended for readers in high school and up.


Would you like to see your book review featured here? Fill out the Review Form for your chance to have your review published and to win a prize.

Featured Series

Heirs of Watson Island by Martina Boone

After the death of her disfigured, shut-in mother, Barrie Watson moves to her aunt’s South Carolina plantation, which is guarded by an ancient spirit who cursed one of the island’s three founding families and gave the others magical gifts that become compulsions.

1) Compulsion

2) Persuasion

3) Illusion