Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona

Nimona

Sir Ballister Blackheart is the resident villain. And like all resident villains, he has a backstory that totally explains how he went from a promising knight in training to a mad scientist. And like all resident villains, he often finds his brilliant plans foiled by the resident hero, Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin.

That is, until the mysterious Nimona shows up. Nimona is a shapeshifter and an agent of chaos who dramatically increases Blackheart’s effectiveness while also ramping up the destruction factor. As Nimona and Blackheart tag-team to defeat his archnemesis, the shadowy Institution that runs everything, it soon becomes clear that they might not be the most villainous characters in the land after all. . . .

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Your Library Card, Your Ticket to the World: Japan

Our library theme for 2020 is Your Library Card, Your Ticket to the World–because with the library, you truly can travel around the world without ever leaving the comfort of your own home. Every month in 2020, we’ll be landing at a new place on the globe. We’re in Japan for March.

Japan, with its fascinating culture and stunning landscapes, is a favorite destination in fiction for readers and writers alike–and for good reason! We’ve got a wide-ranging collection of books (and movies) set in Japan, many of them from Japanese authors/creators. It’s a little something for everyone.

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Jasper Fforde’s The Last Dragonslayer

The Last Dragonslayer

Dreams of bigger, better worlds don’t have to be so great that you can’t have a little bit of fun. Enter Jasper Fforde’s The Last Dragonslayer.

Jennifer Strange has her hands full overseeing a talent management company for magicians. Even when the fifteen-year-old orphan isn’t fulfilling her apprenticeship in magical management by booking wizards for plumbing jobs and magic carpet riders for food delivery, as well as soothing ruffled egos, there’s also the whole issue of magical energy becoming weaker. Strange herself doesn’t have much power, but even her once skillful clients are feeling the effects. What happens if magic runs out? How are they going to keep a roof over their heads? Where did her boss disappear to months ago when he didn’t come back home? And on top of that, there are rumors that the Last Dragonslayer is supposed to kill the last dragon in a few days. Complications ensue.

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Jennifer Barnes’s The Naturals

the-naturals

So . . . perhaps you read our Exploring the Fjord Side post and thought, “That Scandinavian crime fiction sure sounds bleak. I don’t know that I want to read something that snowy and brooding.”

In that particular case, perhaps Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s The Naturals, a gripping but decidedly less brooding (and non-snowy) YA mystery would be a little more to your liking.

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2016 Library Challenge: An Author with Your Initials (S. E. Hinton)

The Outsiders

The author with your initials challenge took me an embarrassing amount of time to find a book for. None of the authors with my initials seemed particularly interesting to me, until a few weeks ago when Mynette told me I really needed to read S. E. Hinton’s classic coming-of-age story, The Outsiders. In addition to being intrigued by her recommendation, I also realized that Hinton shares my first and middle initials. In the weeks since then, the book has come up a couple of times with other people, and whenever I would admit to never having read it, the response was always a confused “You’ve never read The Outsiders?”

Having finally read The Outsiders, I now understand everyone’s reaction. I’m actually  embarrassed that I hadn’t read it before.

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Guest Blogger: Tiffany Newton’s The Here and Now review

The Here and Now

[We’re continuing our guest blogger posts, courtesy of our friends from the Green Forest Public Library. This one is from Green Forest’s director, Tiffany Newton. She also wrote about Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore a few weeks ago.]

“You can’t even look up tomorrow [on Google].  Who says the Internet is boundless?” (pg 129)

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares is a Young Adult book with some romance, science fiction, and dystopian themes.  It was published in 2014, but it’s only been checked out from the Carroll and Madison County libraries less than 12 times. However, it’s a quick read that you won’t regret.

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Holly Goldberg Sloan’s Counting by 7s

Counting by 7s

One thing that has consistently surprised me in the past few years is how much I have enjoyed a lot of young adult fiction (YA). I didn’t actually read a lot in that genre when I was the target age in my teens. However, I’ve found a lot of engaging, thought-provoking books  in this category. Despite whatever associations you may have with the term “young adult literature,” YA definitely isn’t just for adolescents anymore.

On that note, I’ve had a couple of different people recommend this YA book to me–my coworker Mary-Esther and library patron Mynette–and I was not disappointed when I recently read it.

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