The Parker Inheritance book jacket
When I was a kid, I remember spending a lot of time outside playing kick-the-can and hanging out at the public pool, but when I wasn’t getting a tan, I was inside enjoying the stack of books I had checked out from my local library.  I had no idea that reading my Trixie Beldens and Nancy Drews over the summer was helping me to not fall behind in school the next year. I was just happy to be solving mysteries alongside my favorite teen dete
The Whydah book jacket
ctives.

This spring, I read a ton of great new(ish) books for youth in anticipation of summer reading questions.  From Baby Monkey, Private Eye and Dude! to The Parker Inheritance and The Whydah, here’s what I, and other youth librarians, have enjoyed and want to share with you.  Happy reading and don’t forget to play Multnomah County Library’s Summer Reading game!


2018 great summer reads for grades K and 1
2018 great summer reads for grades 2 and 3
2018 great summer reads for grades 4 and 5
2018 great summer reads for grades 6, 7 and 8

If you would like further suggestions, please check out our My Librarian service!

 

 

Diary of a Bookseller book jacket
Sometimes I get in a reading rut where I realize that the last ten books I've read have been British police procedurals or chapter books featuring third graders, but I am rarely in a reading slump where I drift from book to book starting chapters only to abandon them a few pages in (even though they were books I placed on hold and was desperate to read - before I got them).  This spring, however, I hit a major slump and it was only when I picked up The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell that my reading juices got flowing again.  Bythell is the owner of The Bookshop - the largest used bookstore in Scotland - and for a year he kept a diary noting the dramas small and large in a bookseller's life.  I read it quickly and frequently laughed out loud at stories of staff and customers. I have now put in a request to my Scottish sweetie that we visit Wigtown - the book town where Bythell's shop resides - sometime in the next year or so.  After reading Bythell's book, I moved on to more memoirs, anecdotes, romance and other fiction about bookstores, and my spring reading slump is a thing of the past (although I am now, perhaps, in a bookshop reading rut)!  Check out this list for some entertaining and engrossing books about bookstores.  Happy spring reading!

 

book cover for Katherine Johnson
Although March is coming to an end, it's not too late to celebrate Women's History Month!  In fact, in just a short period of time, you can read about women from all over the world in some great, new books for youth. 

Just in time for the movie A Wrinkle in Time, there's a new biography of Madeleine L'Engle written by her granddaughters: Becoming Madeleine.  You'll get an up close and personal look at the author through photographs and excerpts from her diaries.  Katherine Johnson finally got some well-deserved and long-overdue recognition through Hidden Figures (the movie and the book) and there have been several recent books published for youth as well.  One I recently enjoyed is in the fun and informative You Should Meet reader seriesKatherine Johnson by Thea Feldman. For anyone who loves art and/or science, The Girl Who Drew Butterflies by Joyce Sidman is the perfect match as it is about a woman who loved, studied and practiced both!  So get reading before the month is over (but feel free to enjoy these books any time of the year)!

Maya Lin:  Thinking with Her Hands book jacket
Every year I make a bunch of New Year's resolutions and this year is no different.  I've decided to ditch the annual "floss daily" one and add something more captivating (and hopefully more achievable). The most fun resolutions I make are all about reading and in 2018, I plan to read more non-fiction for kids and teens.  My nerdy librarian side has decided that I will take one "Dewey century" per month (which leaves me two months to read something else!) and explore books that provide inspiration for careers and vocations within each range.  I'm not talking about books like the super useful, but not super stimulating, Occupational Outlook Handbook, but books about interesting people doing interesting things.  I randomly came across a book about Maya Lin recently, so decided to start with architects and artists,
The Shape of the World book jacket
thus books from the 700-799 Dewey range were on my nightstand in January.  I loved  Maya Lin: Thinking Wtih Her Hands, a small, perfectly packaged book about Lin and some of her most famous projects like the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Washington, D.C.  I knew exactly nothing about another architect, I.M. Pei, until I read I.M. Pei: Architect of Time, Place and Purpose.  What a fascinating guy!  Beyond these two books, I read a number of picture book biographies for younger budding architects and artists.  You can find the list here.  So if you know some kids who love their L-squares, mechanical pencils and paint brushes, hand them a few of these books and see where they go! 

P.S.  I'd love to hear about YOUR reading resolutions for 2018!

Mistletoe Murder book jacket
I love mysteries any time of year, but I especially enjoy them at the holidays when I usually have a little extra time off
Bitter Poison book jacket
and can get cozy under a throw on the couch. Every December I try to read at least one mystery with a holiday or winter setting, but I missed out in 2016. I've made up for it this year by reading three in the last week.  Sadly, my hold on Anne Perry's latest Christmas novel probably won't arrive until January, but fortunately there were many other newish titles to read including a book of short stories by P.D. James. Two of the stories in The Mistletoe Murder feature her famous detective, Adam Dalgliesh. The other two stories are up to her usual excellent standard as well. I love being totally surprised by an ending, and James delivers!

While I generally prefer police procedurals, I’m willing to give cozy mysteries a try during December. You can’t get any cozier than Bitter Poison by Margaret Mayhew, what with its English village, a retired colonel, and a Christmas party that ends in death. If you, too, would like a good Christmas mystery, treat yourself to one on these lists.

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