Heartwarming recommendations for all ages:
Hopes, dreams, new relationships and second chances, you’ll be thinking about these stories long after the last page.
Housebroken: Admission of an Untidy Life
by Laurie Notaro
Notaro chronicles her chronic misfortune in the domestic arts, including cooking, cleaning, and putting on Spanx while sweaty (which should technically qualify as an Olympic sport). Housebroken is a collection of essays showcasing her irreverent wit and inability to feel shame. From making her own Twinkies to begging her new neighbors not to become urban livestock keepers, Notaro recounts her best efforts (and hilarious failures) in keeping a household inches away from being condemned.
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry
by Fredrik Backman
Elsa is seven-years-old and different. Her grandmother, who is Elsa’s best and only friend, is 77-years-old and crazy. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother's stories, in the Land-of-Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas, where everybody is different, and nobody needs to be normal. When Elsa's grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa's greatest adventure begins. It leads her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs and old crones, but also to the truth about fairy tales, kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.
Amy’s Answering Machine: Messages from Mom
by Amy Borkowsky
For more than a decade, Amy Borkowsky has been saving answering machine messages from her hilariously overprotective mother. Borkowsky reveals the stories behind the messages. The resulting collection is sure to strike a chord with mothers and daughters of all ages.
The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion
by Fannie Flagg
Mrs. Sookie Poole of Point Clear, Alabama discovers a secret about her mother's past and suddenly calls into question everything she ever thought she knew about herself, her family and her future. Sookie begins a search for answers that takes her to California, the Midwest, and back in time, to the 1940s, when a woman named Fritzi takes on the job of running her family's filling station.
One Day in December
by Josie Silver
Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story. Laurie, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there's a moment of pure magic...and then her bus drives away. Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn't find him, until they "reunite" at a Christmas party, when her
best friend Sarah introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It's Jack, the man from the bus. What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered.
by Rainbow Rowell
Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it's been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her. Two days before they're supposed to visit Neal's family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can't go. She knows that Neal will be upset with her, but she doesn't expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her. That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It's not time travel, but she feels like she's been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts.
by Lauren Groff
In the fields of western New York State in the 1970s, a few dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding what would become a commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. Arcadia follows this romantic, rollicking, and tragic utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday and after.
by Rick Springfield
Horatio Cotton, aka "Bob," has been looking for some combination of spiritual and carnal salvation his entire life. When he steals a self-help book called Magnificent Vibration: Discover Your True Purpose from a bookstore and calls the number scrawled inside the front cover, he discovers that he has a direct line to God, and that God likes to mess with him. Soon enough Bob finds a partner in Alice, a surprisingly sexy and good-humored nun, and they travel from America to Scotland and try to answer questions, such as Why are we here? What is love? Is there a Loch Ness monster? Does God send text messages?
The Gum Thief
by Douglas Coupland
Meet Roger, a divorced, middle-aged "aisles associate" at Staples, condemned to restocking reams of 20-lb. bond paper for the rest of his life.
Roger's co-worker Bethany, is in her early twenties and at the end of her Goth phase. She's looking at fifty more years of sorting the red pens from the blue in aisle six. One day, Bethany discovers Roger's notebook in the staff room. When she opens it up, she discovers that this old guy she's never considered as quite human is writing mock diary entries pretending to be her: and, spookily, he’s getting her right.
Tiny, Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
by Cheryl Strayed
Overdrive | eBook | audiobook
Life can be hard: your lover cheats on you; you lose a family member; you can't pay the bills—and it can be great: you've had the hottest sex of your life; you get that plum job; you muster the courage to write your novel. Sugar—the once-anonymous online columnist at The Rumpus, now revealed as Cheryl Strayed, author of the bestselling memoir Wild—is the person thousands turn to for advice.
Humor, love, courage and more; you’ll find yourself recommending the books on this list created by OPL's teen librarian.
The Prince and the Dressmaker
by Jen Wang
This graphic novel melted my heart and left me in a pile of happy mush. It’s the LGBTQ fairytale I never knew I needed. So adorable!
I’ll Give You the Sun
by Jandy Nelson
I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did! It's poetic and beautiful and heartwarming and devastating and just all-around amazing. So many feels!
We Should Hang Out Sometime
by Josh Sundquist
We Should Hang Out Sometime is a funny autobiography about the author’s extremely awkward dating life from middle school to college. It had me cringing and laughing out loud.
Eleanor & Park
by Rainbow Rowell
I don’t think a book has ever captured first love as well as Eleanor & Park. It’s beautiful. Adults will love this one, too. It takes place in the 80s and it’ll really make you remember those first-love butterflies.
by Julie Murphy
Can you be proud of a fictional character? Because I just adore Willowdean. This one just makes me want to applaud anyone who has ever faced their fears, stepped out of their comfort zone and embraced who they really are.
Beautiful, poignant and thought-provoking selections from our Children’s Department librarians. You may discover a new favorite book or two on this list.
by Joe Raposo
“Sing, sing a song…” Celebrate perseverance, self-expression and the power of music to help each of us find our voice.
Wolf in the Snow
by Matthew Cordell
This story set in the snow about a lost girl and lost wolf pup who find each other will warm your heart. Great illustrations, too.
Harold Loves His Woolly Hat
by Vern Kousky
Harold is a very special bear who always wears a woolly hat, so when a crow steals the hat from him, he tries to win it back.
Anna Hibiscus’ Song
by Antinuke and Lauren Tobia
I never get tired of reading this one to kids. Anna Hibiscus is so happy, she thinks she might burst. What can she do to share it?
by Kelly DiPucchio
Gaston and his poodle siblings are delightful. But why does Gaston have to work so hard to act like he should? Happy ending guaranteed. Engaging illustrations.
And Then It’s Spring
by Julie Fogliano
Simple text reveals the anticipation of a boy who, having planted seeds while everything around is brown, fears that something has gone wrong until, at last, the world turns green.
Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the trees of Kenya
by Donna Jo Napoli
The true story of Wangari Muta Maathai, known as “Mama Miti,” who in 1977 founded the Green Belt Movement, an African grassroots organization that has empowered many people to mobilize and combat deforestation, soil erosion, and environmental degradation. In 2004, she became the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Helen’s Big World: the life of Helen Keller
by Doreen Rappaport
This picture book biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world's most influential luminaries.
by Eva Moore
Early one morning, Mama Duck takes her babies for a walk. They follow safely behind her as they leave their pond, waddle through the park, and stop in the little sunlit town's parking lot for yummy breakfast.
But one by one, Mama's little ducklings get separated when they disappear into the slats of the town's storm drain. How three firemen and a pickup truck rush to their rescue makes for a vivid and exciting drama that children will return to over and over again.
by Jenny Offill
When our narrator orders a sloth through the mail, the creature that arrives isn't good at tricks or hide-and-seek . . . or much of anything. Still, there's something about Sparky that is irresistible.
Until Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth (10 and older)
by Sheila O’Connor
Desperate to keep her older brother from being drafted in the Vietnam War, eleven-year-old Reenie strikes up an unlikely friendship with Mr. Marsworth, an elderly shut-in, who helps her in her mission.
Flora & Ulysses (10 and older)
by Kate DiCamillo
It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You! is just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry -- and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of an open heart.
by Katherine Applegate
An old red oak tree tells how he and his crow friend, Bongo, help their human neighbors get along after a threat against an immigrant family is carved into the tree's trunk.
by Katherine Coville
In this gentle introduction to fantasy, a young girl helps her grandmother care for magical creatures. Kids and their grownups will love the characters. Great read aloud for slightly younger kids, too.
The Winter Room (9-12)
by Gary Paulson
This 116-page Newberry Honor book will warm your spirits for weeks to come. Set in Minnesota during pioneer times, we follow 11-year-old Eldon and his family on their farm. In winter, they spend time around the black iron stove in a room not much used at other times. His uncle tells AMAZING stories from his past. Where do the facts end and embellishments begin?
Can't get enough recommendations? Browse the For Readers section of our website for more help finding books that satisfy your cravings.