River Readers

  • The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

    Life is hard for Mason Buttle. His family has been hit by tragedy Bing Bang Boom. First was Grandpa, then mom and then best friend Benny. All that grief has a way of piling up on a family and Mason's has sunk under the weight. It is just Grandma, Uncle Drum and Mason at home now and Shayleen. Uncle Drum brought Shayleen home from the diner one day. She moved into Mason’s room, forcing him to the attic, and is addicted to the Home Shopping Network. The Buttles have had to sell of parts of their generations old farm to make way for new developments.

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  • Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

    The life of a chimney sweep in Victorian London is a harsh one. Young children are "apprenticed" to master sweeps and climb through narrow, twisting chimneys on a daily basis. They are abused and neglected and forced to work until they die or get to old to fit in the chimneys. Nan Sparrow is one such sweep. She has been indentured to cruel master Wilkie Crudd ever since she was abandoned by The Sweep, her protector and mentor. The only thing The Sweep left her was a piece of char that always stayed warm.

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  • Where the Crawdad's Sing

    Kya was all alone on the marsh. Abandoned at a age ten by everyone in her family, Kya learned to fend for herself by selling mussels and smoked fish to the only person to look after her, Jumpin, and his wife. They did not intrude on Kya's solitude but merely made sure she was ok, had some food and adequate clothing. Shunned and made fun of by the locals, Kya lived a solitary existence where the marsh was her only friend. She drew, collected and cataloged marsh life. Befriending the gulls, and other creatures who didn't judge her.

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  • The Mental Load: A Feminist Comic

    I really enjoyed parts of this book but I thought it was a little helter skelter and could have used more organization of topics. A few parts made me a little uncomfortable but I think that says more about me generationally than the book. And I am 100% sure that’s the point the author is trying to make.

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  • Betrayal

    Caleb smuggles illegal goods next to his legit goods used as a cover across the 9 Star Systems. Caleb is a cynical, foul-mouthed ass-kicking pilot with lots of recriminations he's buried deep, however he does try to do good by a few people. 1001 is an android or a synth, her assignment is to kill Caleb.

    I love Pippa DaCosta's work and am considering purchasing her books, since most libraries don't carry her work (just a few nibbles on Hoopla & Overdrive).

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  • Spooked!: How a Radio Broadcast and the War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America

    The War of the Worlds broadcast on October 30, 1938 was the ultimate in fake news. Orson Welles and John Houseman created a radio program that fooled the country into believing martians had landed in New Jersey. Gail Jarrow does a fantastic job setting up this pivotal moment in history. She explains the importance of radio to an audience who probably never listen to the radio. She sets up the people involved by describing not only Welles and Houseman and their radio programs but also the original novel by H.G. Wells.

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  • Blood Water Paint

    Artemisia Gentileschi is a painter from the Italian Renaissance. Her story is one of tragedy and strength. She is left motherless at a young age and goes to work in her father's studio. Soon she is the better painter of the two even though he takes credit for her work. She becomes the pupil of Agostino Tassi and welcomes his attentions as first. Then he uses his position and power to rape her believing he will get away with it. Artemisia is not your typical 16th century woman however. She and her father bring Tassi to trial and win.

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  • Finding Langston

    Langston and his father have moved to Chicago after the death of his mother. Langston misses Alabama and his grandmother. Chicago is lonely and he is bullied by his classmates who call him "country". His father works long hours at the factory and Langston is on his own a lot. He discovers the George Cleveland Hall branch library and its remarkable librarians who introduce Langston to the poetry of his namesake Langston Hughes. These poems bring the South back into Langston's life. 

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  • Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up

    Marie Kondo is not for everyone. She is definitely quirky and I will admit that I do not follow all of her teachings. I don't talk to my possessions or commune with my house. However, I do think there is a lot of value in what she says about touching everything you own and deciding if you really want/need it in your house. I do feel like there is a difference between loving something (feeling joy) and needing something. I don't love some of the things in my house, but I need them and there are no substitutes that really work.

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  • Small Spaces

    Bestselling adult author of The Bear and the Nightingale makes her middle grade debut with a creepy, spellbinding ghost story destined to become a classic

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  • Sheets

    Marjorie Glatt was just thirteen years old and trying to hold what was left of her family together. Since her mother's death, her father was just barely hanging on and it was left to Marjorie to run their family business, a laundry service.

    Wendell was a little ghost who was looking for a friend. He left his ghost town and found himself at the laundry run by Marjorie. This is a cute story about friends, love and loss.

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  • They Call Me Guero

    2019 Pura Belpré Honor Book
    2019 Walter Honor Book for Outstanding Children's Literature
    ALSC Notable Children's Book, 2019
    A School Library Journal Best Book of 2018, Middle Grade
    Shelf Awareness 2018 Best Children's & Teen Books of the Year
    NCTE 2019 Notable Verse Novels

    Twelve-year-old Güero is Mexican American, at home with Spanish or English and on both sides of the river. He’s starting 7th grade with a woke English teacher who knows how to make poetry cool.

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  • The Astonishing Color of After

    Leigh Chen Sander's mother committed suicide. Leigh is certain her mother has become a beautiful red bird and is trying to give her a message. Her mother had always been allusive about her childhood, her family and her life in Taiwan. Her father, so devastated by her mother's death is unwilling or unable to tell Leigh much about her mother's past. Certain that the key to the message her mother was trying to get her to uncover was somehow tied to her family in Taiwan, Leigh and her father travel there.

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  • Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging

    Junger asks why have PTSD steadily risen among soldiers returning from war over the last century, when casualties have declined. He makes a compelling argument that it due to the lack of tribal cohesiveness

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