- THE BELL TOWER
With winter break coming up in just a few days, we have one thing on our mind here at the OWHL.
Hot chocolate! Wait, what? No.
The correct answer is, what should we read over the break? Or better yet, what should YOU read over break? It’s two and a half weeks of free time and you know you want to spend a good portion of that with a book (or two) (or four).
Would the OWHL leave you alone in such a time of need? Absolutely not! Of course we have book recommendations. We live for this kind of thing. Below are some top picks from myself and Ms. Goss, Children and Access Services Librarian extraordinaire, to tide you over.
Not seeing anything that strikes your fancy? Just stop by the library. We’ll talk. And then we will find you some good things to take home.
For Little Ones Who Love Illustrations
Puddle Pug by Kim Norman : Percy the pug searches far and wide for the perfect puddle but when he finds it, Mama pig is unhappy about him joining her family until a storm provides Percy the opportunity to prove himself to her.
Golem’s Latkes, adapted by Eric A. Kimmel : Rabbi Judah Lew ben Bezalel visits the Emperor, leaving a new housemaid to prepare for his Hanukkah party, but returns to find that she has misused the clay man he created. Includes historical and cultural notes.
Tikki Tikki Tembo, retold by Arlene Model : When the eldest son fell in the well and most of the time getting help was spent pronouncing the name of the one in trouble, the Chinese, according to legend, decided to give all their children short names.
For Tweens With a Sense of Adventure
Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman : Just after twelve-year-old Emily and her family move to San Francisco, she teams up with new friend James to follow clues in an odd book they find, hoping to figure out its secrets before the men who attacked Emily’s hero, publisher Garrison Griswold, solve the mystery or come after the friends.
The Winter of Red Snow: The Revolutionary War Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart by Kristiana Gregory : Eleven-year-old Abigail presents a diary account of life in Valley Forge from December 1777 to July 1778 as General Washington prepares his troops to fight the British.
Max: best friend. hero. marine. by Boaz Yakin : When Justin’s family adopts the military canine that was handled by Justin’s departed brother, Kyle, Justin helps the troubled dog recover from the trauma it suffered in Afghanistan when Kyle was killed as the two investigate how Kyle died.
For Students Looking for Some Mental Escapism
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness : What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? The best friend of a kid with superhuman qualities endeavors to have a life of his own that is both normal and extraordinary in the face of constant world-shaking challenges, threats against his school, and an elusive pretty girl.
Bunheads by Sophie Flack : Hannah Ward, nineteen, revels in the competition, intense rehearsals, and dazzling performances that come with being a member of Manhattan Ballet Company’s corps de ballet, but after meeting handsome musician Jacob she begins to realize there could be more to her life
Hater by David Moody : When ordinary people throughout the world suddenly transform into violent killers, one man struggles to retain
normalcy and recognize who is trustworthy in a society escalating out of control.
For Those Wanting Fiction That Makes Them Think
In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume : In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life — when a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving her community reeling.
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson : Ursula Todd’s brother Teddy is an old man trying to come to grips with his post-War life and with a modern world and family. Would-be poet, heroic pilot, husband, father, and grandfather, Teddy navigates the perils and progress of a rapidly changing world; his greatest challenge is living in a future he never expected to have.
The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood : Homer’s Odyssey is not the only version of the story. Atwood draws on material other than the Odyssey, especially for the details of Penelope’s parentage, her early life and marriage, and the scandalous rumors circulating about her. What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to?
For Those Who Crave Nonfiction That Reads Like a Story
Sisters in Law : how Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg went to the Supreme Court and changed the world by Linda Hirshman : An account of the intertwined lives of the first two women to be appointed to the Supreme Court examines their respective religious and political beliefs while sharing insights into how they have influenced interpretations of the Constitution to promote equal rights for women.
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari with Eric Klinenberg : The acclaimed comedian teams up with a New York University sociologist to explore the nature of modern relationships, evaluating how technology is shaping contemporary relationships and considering the differences between courtships of the past and present.
Negroland: a memoir by Margo Jefferson : Born in 1947 in upper-crust black Chicago, Margo Jefferson has spent most of her life among (call them what you will) the colored aristocracy, the colored elite, the blue-vein society. Since the nineteenth century they have stood apart, these inhabitants of Negroland, “a small region of Negro America where residents were sheltered by a certain amount of privilege and plenty.” Reckoning with the strictures and demands of Negroland at crucial historical moments, Jefferson brilliantly charts the twists and turns of a life informed by psychological and moral contradictions.