Mai is ready for summer vacation in California. She plans to spend it on the beach with her best friend and maybe even talk to the guy she likes, but her parents have other ideas. Mai’s family is from Vietnam. Her grandmother left with her children after the Vietnam War. Her grandfather was never found after the war. Now, a detective thinks he has found some information on what happened to her grandfather and her grandmother wants to return to Vietnam for answers. Mai’s parents insist that Mai accompany her grandmother on the trip, which means no beach for Mai. Soon, Mai is in Vietnam, a place she considers hot, smelly, and with a lot of extended family. She doesn’t speak the language well and Vietnam is very different than California. It’s even worse when she finds out that her best friend in California is on the beach hanging with the guy she likes. If only the detective and grandmother could work something out. Then, she would get to go home, but that doesn’t seem likely. Now, she must try to find a balance between California life and Vietnam life, and maybe even try to give Vietnam and her extended family a chance.
Book reviewed by Laura B. Youth Technology Librarian
When Molly and Kip lose their parents on their way over from Ireland to England, they are forced to work as servants at a crumbling Victorian mansion in the middle of a creepy forest. At first they are grateful just to have food and a place to sleep, but the house and its family are not quite what they seem. What is behind the mysterious green door? How can the lady of the house be wearing a ring that her husband sold only that morning? And most importantly, who is the mysterious creature that thumps around the house at night leaving a trail of leaves and mud?
Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head
Have you ever heard a mysterious creaking or clanging sound in your home? This informative picture book matter-of-factly explains why houses make weird noises (especially when you are trying to fall asleep). I wish I would have read this book when I was a kid!
Book reviewed by Amy M., Youth Services Assistant
Archie is a so-called “daredevil” because he has invented all kinds of crazy ways to get from one iceberg to another, including a slingshot, a rocket, and even Flap-o-matic wings. Little do his friends know that he’s just terrified of the water and the strange creatures who lurk in the briny deep! This is one of those gems of a picture book that will have adults laughing out loud just as much as their kids, and there’s still a great story arc with a positive message.
Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator
Have your parents ever gone on vacation without you?!? In Lulu’s Mysterious Mission, Lulu’s parents have decided to leave her home with “the best babysitter in town—maybe the world—,” Ms. Sonia Sofia Solinksy. Lulu doesn’t agree with any of this, so she comes up with several plans to try to get rid of the stern babysitter. Nothing seems to work, and it’s not until Lulu tries to blackmail Ms. Solinsky that she learns this trained professional babysitter is also a retired spy—code name Triple S—and Lulu’s dream is to be a spy when she grows up. Luckily for her, Triple S agrees to teach Lulu tricks of the trade as long as Lulu is obedient and keeps the spy training a secret. Can Lulu follow through with the deal? And what will happen when her parents finally return from their vacation?