June 2021 Staff Picks

From high octane action to unimaginable tragedy, Librarian Nancy suggests some unforgettable stories that have recently made the leap from page to screen.
Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs
Watch the Trailer (The United States vs. Billie Holiday on Hulu)
by Johann Hari
After personally witnessing the effects of cocaine and heroin, Johann Hari set out on a journey to figure out the war on drugs: how it began, how it affected people, and how we can move forward. 
Hari uses interrelated stories to show the danger and cruelty that can come from across-the-board prohibition. One of his stories focuses on singer Billie Holiday. She was targeted by federal authorities for her addiction and her activism, which has been adapted into the film The United States vs. Billie Holiday (soundtrack available on Hoopla).

Without Remorse
Watch the trailer
by Tom Clancy
This is the origin story of former Navy SEAL John Kelly. After losing his pregnant wife in a car accident, he battles a drug ring as a personal vendetta. Set during the Vietnam War with lots of action and intrigue, the John Clark novels have been described by author Tom Clancy as the darker more physical counterpart to his Jack Ryan novels. The movie version of Without Remorse was released in April 2021 and stars Michael B. Jordan as John Kelly. It's very loosely based on the novel, but with a modern setting. Both the movie and the novel are absolutely action packed!

Two Kisses for Maddy: a Memoir of Loss & Love
Watch the trailer (Fatherhood on Netflix)
by Matthew Logelin
Elizabeth and Matthew were former high school sweethearts who spent years long distance dating. Eventually, they married, bought a house, and became pregnant with their first child. Twenty-seven hours after giving birth to their daughter Madeline, Liz died from a pulmonary embolism. Faced with raising Madeline alone, Matt started a blog to document his experiences and connect with other people. His blog turned into this book, which details his early days with Liz, his first year raising Madeline, and his efforts to honor Liz’s legacy. Thie movie adaptation of this bittersweet, heartfelt and honest memoir has been renamed Fatherhood and is scheduled to be released on June 18, 2021 by Netflix.

Watch the trailer
DVD is available for checkout.
by Frank Herbert
A landmark of soft science fiction, Dune is set thousands of years in the future. Faster-than-light travel has been developed and humans have colonized many planets. A certain spice that is dangerous to harvest and highly addictive is required for heightened intellect and interplanetary travel. Control of it means control of the universe. Enter Paul Atreides to avenge the traitorous plot against his family with his powers of prophecy!  It’s a sweeping narrative focusing less on technology and more on human politics—think Game of Thrones in space.  With the amount of complex world-building information, the movie coming out in October is planned to cover the first half of the novel. A sequel will complete the story.

Librarian Maggie offers a wide range of recommendations for teens and young adults!

Shadow and Bone
Watch the trailer
by Leigh Bardugo
This much anticipated series is finally available on Netflix! Shadow and Bone introduces us to the Grishaverse and to the nation of Ravka, a once-great country that is now torn in two by the Shadow Fold, an area of darkness filled with flesh-eating monsters. We also meet Alina Starkov, an orphan girl who only learns about her incredible power when she and her best friend Mal are attacked in the Fold. The Netflix series actually combines Shadow of Bone with Six of Crows, a duology also set in the Grishaverse. If you’re looking to get into the books, you could start with either series, but be warned that the sequel to Six of Crows contains spoilers for the Shadow and Bone trilogy.  

Watch the trailer

by Walter Dean Myers
This film adaptation premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018 and has finally made its way to Netflix. Monster follows 16-year-old Steve Harmon, a smart, likeable, aspiring filmmaker who finds himself on trial for murder after being accused of participating in a deadly robbery. Fans of The Hate U Give will enjoy this story. A graphic novel version of Monster, illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile, was published in 2015. 

The Knife of Never Letting Go
Watch the trailer (Chaos Walking)
by Patrick Ness
Todd Hewitt lives in a world where all the women are dead, and the remaining men are infected with the Noise germ, which means they constantly hear the thoughts of other men and even animals. When Todd discovers something unsettling about the Noise, he runs away and finds Viola, the first girl he’s ever seen. The two pair up and must run from the army of men chasing them down. The movie, called Chaos Walking after the series title, released to theaters in March and stars Tom Holland as Todd. 

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by Lauren Oliver
In the poor town of Carp, teens play a game called Panic, a high-stakes contest that involves a series of secretive, even deadly, challenges throughout the summer, with the winner receiving over $50,000. Heather never thought she would compete in Panic. Dodge has never been afraid of the game. For the two of them, the game brings new alliances, revelations, and even love. Season One of Panic premiers on Amazon Prime Video on May 28. 


Picture Books
Thanks Librarian Matthew for these engaging reads that are sure to entertain both children and their grown-ups!

Are You Scared, Darth Vader?
by Adam Rex
The Dark Lord of the Sith is not afraid of anything, right? Find out in this funny and original story that just begs to be read aloud!

Friday Night Wrestlefest
by J.F. Fox, illustrated by Micah Player
If you are a fan of WWE wrestling, or just enjoy having a good time, this is the book for you! Riotously funny, this book is bursting with family fun and joy. Be sure to use your best announcer voice when reading aloud!

Fancy Nancy
by Jane O’Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
You may know Nancy from her hit show on Disney (season 3 is coming this year!). But she debuted in all her fancy glory in this picture book! This sweet introduction to Nancy and her quest to make her family fancy is full of family love. Be sure to check out the rest of the picture book series, and the chapter book series that follows Nancy Clancy as she grows up!

Children's Chapter Books

Older children will enjoy these cinematic adaptations recommended by Library Assistant Vicki Sheehan.

Flora & Ulysses
Watch the trailer
Movie based on the Newberry Award winning novel by Kate DiCamillo, released 2/19/2021 on Disney+
An enjoyable comedy unfolds as a cynical 10 year old named Flora befriends a Superhero mouse she named Ulysses. Together they navigate the heavy issue of her parent’s separation with action packed humor, which ultimately transforms Flora’s life for the better.

The One and Only Ivan
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Movie based on the Newberry Award winning novel by Katherine Applegate, released 8/21/2020 on Disney+
The Big Top Mall is where Ivan, a gorilla, and elephants, Stella & Ruby, live.  Ivan paints while Stella does circus tricks to generate money for the mall owner. After Stella’s death, Ivan questions his past and the world around him.  Ivan paints a picture which changes the course of events.  Respect for all living beings is the theme of this tender story.

The Willoughbys
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Movie based on the book by Lois Lowry, released 4/22/2021 on Netflix
Lowry has cleverly punctuated this tale of family values with humor. The parents of four children are extremely neglectful. The determined and curious siblings use their resourcefulness to send the parents away. This opportunity creates a new beginning for the children as they adjust to the love and security of a happy, healthy homelife with an unexpected caretaker.