We Are Pirates
Daniel Handler
February 28, 2015
Reviewed by: Laura

Phil Needle just wants to keep his struggling production company afloat, but his bored, not-yet-permitted-to-use-public-transportation teenage daughter Gwen proves to be more challenging to manage. Her attempt at petty theft quickly spirals downward into full-blown modern-day piracy, complete with stolen ship and weaponry. Awash with Handler’s trademark wit and dark humor, plus some violence here and there (they are pirates, after all), you don’t have to have prior experience with Handler’s or Lemony Snicket’s other work to appreciate the comedic depths into which he plunges the Needle family and Gwen’s rag-tag pirate crew. 

Revolution
Deborah Wiles
February 24, 2015
Reviewed by: Kristin

Set in Mississippi during the summer of 1964, this unique mashup of a novel interspersed with first person accounts, song lyrics, and photographs tells the parallel stories of Sunny, a white 12 year old, and Raymond, a black boy of similar age.  During the Freedom Summer, college students and activists come to their small Mississippi town to register the African American residents to vote.  While Raymond and his friends throw themselves in to challenging the status quo, Sunny must wrestle with the concept of change in many facets of her life.  A unique novel about an important time in our history.   

 
You: a novel
Caroline Kepnes
February 20, 2015
Reviewed by: Nancy

This book is probably the creepiest you’ll ever read.  For a while, you might think that narrator Joe Goldberg is just a smart guy trying to get a girl’s attention.  Soon, you realize that he is a potentially deadly stalker.  You dread what will happen to those who get in the way of his obsession, yet his constant fear of discovery becomes your own.  You begin to know how Joe thinks, and to understand how this nightmare will end.

 
The Unquiet Dead
Ausma Zehanat Khan
February 16, 2015
Reviewed by: Robin

This is a great debut mystery set in Canada and dealing with Bosnian war crimes.  Detectives Essa Khattak and Rachel Getty are asked to look into what appears at first to be an accident.  But as they uncover more details, find the victim may have been living under an assumed name and played a big role in the Srebrenica massacre of 1995. 

 

Jump Into the Sky
Shelley Pearsall
February 12, 2015
Reviewed by: Desi

Ms. Pearsall has done an excellent job of highlighting a part of history little known to us. “Legs” is a young boy growing up in Chicago who is forced to travel south to be with his father. What follows is an eye opening account of the injustices experienced by African American Servicemen in the south and in the U.S. Army.

The Fourteenth Goldfish
Jennifer L. Holm
February 9, 2015
Reviewed by: Kris

This is one of the best children’s chapter books of 2014.  Starting middle school while your best friend starts hanging out with new people is hard enough.  But when your scientist grandfather discovers the fountain of youth and is now a teenager again going to your school, how does Ellie handle that?  This is a clever read with lots of science references and well developed characters.  

The Life We Bury
Allen Eskens
February 5, 2015
Reviewed by: Nancy

Have you ever failed to help someone when you had the chance?  In Joe Talbert’s case, regret for such a lost opportunity is powerful enough to alter his decisions and affect the course of his life.  So, too, has regret for such a failure deeply affected Carl Iverson, a convicted murderer and the subject of Joe’s college English paper.  Although their circumstances are very different--on the one hand, a young man with a dysfunctional family and, on the other, an old ex-con dying of cancer--a sort of bond forms between the two.  With the help of a young woman who lives in the next apartment, Joe is determined to uncover the truth about the crime for which Carl was convicted so many years ago.  

 
Gods of Gotham
Lindsay Faye
January 29, 2015
Reviewed by: Kristin

Fans of grittier mystery in historic settings will be intrigued by this police procedural set against the backdrop of 1840s New York City.  A young Irish immigrant is found brutally murdered and Timothy Wilde, newly employed by the fledgling New York police department, is called upon to find a serial killer.  I am a particular fan of fiction that makes me see the world I live in differently.  The anti-Irish and anti-Catholic sentiment of that time, and the author’s portrayal of it, contains parallels to issues our society struggles with to this day.  An excellent opener to a new mystery series.

The Daylight Gate
Jeanette Winterson
January 27, 2015
Reviewed by: Tonia

A shorter than usual book this story packs a powerful punch! Set in early 17th century England, Winterson weaves an "on the edge of your seat" tale  that draws parallels between witch trials and feminism. Fans of historical fiction or those interested in the Salem Witch Trials will surely enjoy this spine tingly twist. 

 
March
John Lewis
January 22, 2015
Reviewed by: Desi

March tells the story of the civil rights movement through the eyes of Congressman John Lewis. It is January 20, 2009 and President Barack Obama is being sworn in as the 44th president of the United States of America. Congressman John Lewis goes to his office before the inauguration and is met by a family interested in history and how African Americans arrived at this point in history. John Lewis grew up in Pike County, Alabama. His whole perspective on the possibilities in life changed on a trip he took with his Uncle Otis. They traveled north to Buffalo, New York. Seeing the way black people lived in the north made john more aware of the differences in south segregation had made. He returned home determined to become an educated citizen.