September 2020 Staff Picks

Mrs. Fletcher
by Tom Perrott
Eve Fletcher is 46, divorced, single, and is sending her only child off to college. Eve must come to terms with her empty nest, a very pleasant but very uneventful life and a growing obsession with internet pornography! At the same time, her jock son Brendan struggles to navigate his new college environment where he is no longer the big-fish-in-the-small-pond and where many of his attitudes, particularly towards women, make him an outcast. Perrotta captures all the awkward, funny, terrifying, and tragic moments at these transitional moments in life.  

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Ellen Forney
Junior is a pretty average teenager living on a reservation in Spokane, WA. He likes books, basketball and cartooning. His life shifts monumentally when he is sent to the all-white school 22 miles away. Rejected by his best friend as a traitor and facing daily racism at his new school, life is rough for Junior.

The year culminates in an incredibly symbolic basketball game between his old reservation classmates and his new all-white teammates. It absolutely destroyed me the first time I read it. Alexie captures all the awkwardness of being a teenager and delves into the very complex realities Native American people face when choosing between life on or off the Rez.  

Harry Potter series
by J.K. Rowling

Anytime I think of back-to-school, I think of Harry starting another year at Hogwarts. With each book, (apart from Deathly Hallows), beginning a new year at school, Rowling did a masterful job showing Ron, Hermione, and Harry mature and grow while facing nearly universal challenges like making friends, dating, family drama, and living up to expectations, as well as battling giant spiders, Basilisks, dragons, and Death Eaters. The Goblet of Fire was my favorite when I read the series originally. It’s probably time for a re-read!  

If you’d like more book recommendations, join Librarian Michael M. on Facebook Live on Tues., Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. for Online Book Club. September’s theme is books involving music.

One of Us is Next
by Karen M. McManus 

Fans of One of Us is Lying should be excited to return to Bayview High! New mystery, new suspicious death, new tech (it’s a truth or dare game via text instead of an app), but same level of suspense, secrets, gossip and drama! The sequel follows Maeve, Bronwyn’s younger sister, and Maeve’s classmates, but the original Bayview Four make appearances. This book is just as good as the first; you won’t be disappointed. 

The List
by Siobhan Vivian 

Happy homecoming week at Mount Washington High School – a school where one of their annual traditions is the posting of an anonymous list that names each grade’s prettiest and ugliest girl. Some girls have been competing for their spot on the list, while others are surprised by their “award.” But even more shocking than the “winners” and “losers” this year is finding out who wrote the list. While you’re trying to figure out whodunit, you’ll start to empathize or get angry with the eight girls whose lives have been changed by The List.  

by Laurie Halse Anderson 

Tyler Miller used to be the kind of average guy that nobody noticed except school bullies and his always-angry father. After getting caught graffitiing the school and spending the summer doing outdoor work as punishment, Tyler’s new physique and tough-guy reputation is getting him noticed during his senior year and things are looking up. But things start going bad again and after some very serious false accusations, Tyler has to make some difficult choices. You’ll rush to finish this book to make sure Tyler’s OK in the end. 

If you’d like more recommendations, Join Librarian Maggie on Facebook Live on Wednesdays at 5 p.m.
If you know a teen (grades 6 – 12) who may be interested in virtual Teen Book Club, details are here.

Children (More monthly recommendations are here)
Picture Books
School’s First Day of School
by Adam Rex
Have you ever wondered what the first day of school is like from a school building’s perspective? Get ready to laugh. The special relationship School has with the people inside will have you developing empathy for this many-roomed, brick and mortar being. 

I am Too Absolutely Small for School
by Lauren Child
Lola’s Mom and Dad say she is ready to start school, but Lola isn’t so sure. It’s lucky that she has a big brother like Charlie to talk through her rather humorous objections. As with other Lola and Charlie books, she is soon gently convinced to give something new a try. Lola’s vocabulary and the way she uses it are especially entertaining! 

The Day You Begin
by Jacqueline Woodson
Overdrive Links: eBook and Audio Book
Whether you are starting a new grade or a new school this year, this beautifully written and illustrated book is a gentle reminder that our differences are what make us interesting to new friends. Woodson is a multiple award-winning author.  

Chapter Book Picks
Ages 8-12
The Year of the Book
by Andrea Cheng
Overdrive Link:
Hoopla Link:

Anna Wang has declared fourth grade to be “The Year of the Book.” And why shouldn’t it be? Her best friend Laura is now her former best friend, she’s embarrassed by her mother’s job and imperfect English, and she’s being forced to attend an after-school course in Chinese! But as the year progresses, Anna learns to care for real people as well as her book characters. A tender story of friendship and trust.

The Talented Clementine
by Sara Pennypacker

The third and fourth grades are putting on a talent show! Everyone is excited – except for Clementine, who believes that she has Z-E-R-O, zero talents. Hilarious hijinks ensue as she tries (and fails) to get out of the show, and it all leads up to a satisfying and heartwarming conclusion. Check out more of Clementine’s adventures in the next book, Clementine’s Letter!

by Cynthia L. Copeland

In this graphic memoir, Cindy Copeland details the dramas of middle school as well as her time as a “cub reporter” for her local paper during the 1970s. Copeland expertly weaves together her family life, school troubles, intern experience with the issues of the time. With fun and funky illustrations packed with nostalgia-inducing details, it all adds up to a humorous and empowering coming-of-age story.

For pre-recorded storytimes for preschoolers, visit our YouTube page.
Do you know a tween (ages 9 – 11) who would be interested in virtual Tween Book Club? Details are here.