Staff Picks: Youth Services Staff Shares Their Favorites

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riverbetweenWarrenton Youth Services staff has a variety of different tastes and reading interests, which makes for a great Staff Picks post! Let’s take a look at what’s recently caught their attention, from children’s and YA novels to adult fiction:

The River Between Us by Richard Peck

As the Civil War approaches, two young women traveling from New Orleans by steamboat, take refuge in a small Illinois River town that is split between North and South.   As it’s deemed unsafe for the two to continue their travels, Delphine and Calinda become temporary borders at the Pruitt home. Their unusual dress and manners make them a curiosity to the townspeople. As one week turns to months, rumors fly and suspicion abounds. This is a story of war, loss, race, and expectation; and ends in a way I never expected. I enjoyed the book for the story, the references to things of the past (do you know what a death drawer is?) and for the final notes which highlight the history of a particular society of New Orleans; a free people of color.”
∼Becca, library assistant, Youth Services, Warrenton central library

Left Neglected: A Novel by Lisa Genova

I recently read “Left Neglected: A Novel.” When choosing books I frequently turn to authors I have previously enjoyed, and I loved Still Alice by Lisa Genova.  Once again we are introduced to a brilliant, successful woman, who faces a devastating change in her life.  Sarah Nickerson is a wife and the mother of three young children with a challenging job as vice president of human resources.  She is in a car accident while driving to work and wakes to find she has a traumatic brain injury with a diagnosis of Left Neglect.  The book is written from Sarah’s point of view, as she realizes the extent of her injury, begins therapy and struggles to regain her former live.  I especially appreciated reading this book, as my mother recently suffered a stroke resulting in expressive aphasia.  This book helped give me insight into what my mother was experiencing.  If you enjoyed reading Still Alice or reading about how people meet challenges in their lives, I highly recommend this novel.”
∼Ellen, library assistant, Youth Services, Warrenton central library

Game Seven by Paul Volponi

“Game Seven” recently entertained me while I waited for my car’s air conditioning unit to be repaired. Julio dreams of being a star pitcher for Cuba’s national baseball team, but ever since his father defected to Florida, his family has been classified as possible traitors. Desperate to reconnect with his father (now a multimillionaire star player for the Miami Marlins) and to have a chance of playing professional baseball (baseball players in Cuba must find other jobs to support themselves), Julio embarks on a dangerous journey to Florida. Fans of John Feinstein, Tim Green, or Mike Lupica’s sports novels should definitely check out Paul Volponi’s YA novels. Not only is this a great read for teen baseball fans, but it also provides insight into how families of defectors are treated in Cuba.”

∼Jennifer, Youth Services librarian, Warrenton central library 


Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Emily’s rather Bohemian family has a goal of living in all fifty states – at least her parents do! For 12-year-old Emily, that has resulted in being the ‘new kid’ in school at least once a year. Her coping strategy is to remain aloof from her peers and to pretend that not having friends doesn’t matter to her. The one community she is a part of is an online treasure hunt for books involving clues and codes. When her nomadic family ends up in San Francisco, the home of Book Scavenger’s creator, Emily is thrilled to be able to participate in the newest epic game in reality rather than in cyber space. Her new neighbor, James, is certainly odd, greeting her wearing reindeer antlers and a cowlick named Steve but he is also an avid reader and code cracker, joining Emily on her hunt to solve the latest mystery. Their hunt turns dangerous when they realize someone is interested in the hunt for a bigger prize than just reaching Sherlock Holmes level of solving mysteries. Lots of well-developed characters (it does take place in San Francisco!) with consistent personalities and realistic relationships among middle schoolers, not to mention the book theme, made Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman an enjoyable juvenile mystery.”

∼Nancy, library assistant, Warrenton central library 

Looking for more book lists and staff suggestions? You can find more Staff Picks online or stop by the reference desk at your local library.



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