KDL Recommends > Staff Picks > July 2013

KDL Recommends

Staff Picks
Stay in touch with the personal favorites of the KDL Staff. Each title is handpicked.

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Americanah
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“An insightful look at the immigrant experience as told by a young woman who comes to the US from Nigeria to study and ends up writing a blog about the intricacies of race while trying to understand America as a non-American black person.”—Helen K. at KDL’s Spencer Township branch


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Siege and Storm (Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone))
Leigh Bardugo

SF TEEN BARDUGO

“This is the second in a series and continues the story of Alina who is on the run with Mal from the Darkling. A new and interesting character is introduced, Sturmhond, who adds a lot of witty humor and adventure!”—Beth at KDL’s Gaines Township branch


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Doll Bones
Holly Black

HORROR J BLACK

“If you’re looking for a great ghost story, check out Holly Black’s Doll Bones. While a doll of mysterious origin is at the center of an epic adventure for three friends, this coming of age tale celebrates the wonder of imagination and poignantly captures the passage from young childhood into the teen years.”
—Heather at KDL’s Krause Memorial branch


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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
John Boyne

HIST TEEN BOYNE

Bored and lonely after his family moves from Berlin to a place called “Out-With” in 1942, Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, befriends a boy in striped pajamas who lives behind a wire fence.

Recommended by Yuko at KDL’s Service Center


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The School for Good and Evil
Soman Chainani

SF J CHAINANI

“Every year, the mysterious School Master kidnaps two children, one Good, one Evil, from the village of Gavaldon to train as fairy tale characters. Sophie yearns for the day she’s kidnapped, convinced she’ll become the beautiful and supremely Good princess of the tales. She befriends Agatha, the girl who lives in the graveyard, as one of her “Good Deeds.” When Sophie is kidnapped, Agatha tries to save her, only to find herself in the School for Good with Sophie in the School for Evil! Chainani excels at storytelling with riffs on fairy tale conventions and lore. Recommend especially to fans of Harry Potter and fairy retellings.”
—Dawn at KDL’s Gaines Township branch


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The Moon and More
Sarah Dessen

TEEN DESSEN

The Moon and More is a perfect summer read for young adults in or near their last summer before heading out to college or the working world. Set in a popular beach town the “townies” deal with summer flings (and the sometimes painful consequences), demanding tourists and family issues. Amusing and thoughtful, this would be a great choice for a Mother/Daughter book club.”
—Betsy at KDL’s Caledonia Township branch


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The Round House
Louise Erdrich

“I can recommend The Round House by Louise Erdrich. The diverse and fully formed characters are Native Americans, one boy in particular comes of age and struggles with the imperfections of justice.”
—Penni at KDL’s Service Center


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Obsidian Mirror
Catherine Fisher

SF TEEN FISHER

“I would consider it an excellent recommendation for the young (upper elementary) advanced reader or for moms looking for a read with little violence and so far, no romance. It would also be satisfying for older teens because there are lots of little story line threads – the boy, the girl, the friend, etc. The science fiction (which usually isn’t my genre of choice – contains a time travel mirror, fairies that aren’t cute, magic.) This is the first in a new series (CHRONOPTIKA series). It was a fun read.”—Kathy at KDL’s Cascade Township branch


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Too Dark To Sleep
Dianne Gallagher

Too Dark To Sleep is a dark suspenseful thriller set in Chicago about former police detective Maggie Quinn. Fast-paced and interesting this is a gripping summer read.”—Kaitlin at KDL’s Tyrone Township branch


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Out of the Black Land
Kerry Greenwood

MYS GREENWOOD

“18th Dynasty Egypt is peaceful and prosperous under the dual rule of the Pharaohs Amenhotep III and IV, until the younger Pharaoh begins to dream new and terrifying dreams. A far greater menace surfaces. For, not content with his own devotion to one god alone, the newly-renamed Akhnaten (father of later-named “King” Pharaoh Tut) plans to suppress the worship of all other gods in the Black Land. His horrified court soon realizes that the Pharaoh is not merely deformed, but irretrievably mad; and that the biggest danger to the Empire is in the royal palace itself.”—Laura at KDL’s Plainfield Township branch


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I'll Be Seeing You
Suzanne Hayes,Loretta Nyhan

“A 1940’s story told in letters between two women. I enjoyed this book as much as I did The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Society.”—Barb at KDL’s Byron Township branch


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Daylight Saving
Edward Hogan

HORROR TEEN HOGAN

“An interesting ghost story about a English teenager who is forced to go with his dad to this huge sports complex to spend some quality time together. However upon arrival he meets a mysterious girl and every time he meets her it seems her bruises and cuts keep getting worse instead of better, and she is always alone. A nice quick teen read.”—Craig at KDL’s Cascade Township branch


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Calling Me Home
Julie Kibler

CD KIBLER

“Read by two fantastic actors/readers this story of racial relations told from two different perspectives and time periods is very poignant and moving. PG-13.”—Susan at KDL’s Grandville branch


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Dani's Story: A Journey from Neglect to Love
Diane Lierow,Bernie Lierow,Kay West

BIOGRAPHY 921 LIEROW

“This is a fascinating account of a family that adopted a little girl who’d been so severely neglected that at age 7, she didn’t speak, wasn’t toilet trained, and still drank from a bottle. I found it a hundred times better than A Child Called It because rather than salacious details about the actual abuse, the story was more about how Dani’s adoptive family fell in love with her, fought to adopt her, and helped heal her.”—Susan at KDL’s Plainfield Township branch


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Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm
Mardi Jo Link

BIOGRAPHY LINK

Describes how a resolve to save her financially strapped, century-old farmhouse in the aftermath of a divorce pitted the author and her three sons against such challenges as coyotes, rivals in a zucchini-growing contest and rampaging poultry.

Recommended by Shaunna at KDL’s Grandville branch.


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A Tale for the Time Being
Ruth Ozeki

“This book was kind of a downer, but it’s deepness was profound and lasting. Ruth finds a Hello Kitty lunch box washed up on the beach of her island home in Vancouver. Inside she finds a diary from a Japanese teenager that tells the story of 16-year-old Nao. Incessantly bullied at school, Nao has decided to end it all. But before she commits suicide, she wants to tell the story of her amazing great grandmother Jiko, a Buddhist nun. This book is full of many revelations about life and love and belonging. Nao’s tortured existence pained me, but it was worth it to see her relationship with Jiko and her eventual epiphany. Just thinking about it is giving me “the feels” all over again.”—Kelly at KDL’s Cascade branch


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A Spear of Summer Grass
Deanna Raybourn

“I love books that transport me to times and places where I have never been. This novel does that incredibly well, capturing the harshness and beauty of 1920s Kenya.”—Melissa at KDL’s Service Center


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Liar & Spy
Rebecca Stead

J STEAD

“When 7th grader Georges (the “s” is silent) moves into a Brooklyn apartment building, he is quickly recruited to be part of a spy club. The club’s sole purpose is to track the sinister activities of the mysterious neighbor, Mr. X, and the membership consists of a coffee-drinking 12-year-old named Safer and his kid sister, Candy. This book is touching and funny, exploring how far Georges will go for friendship and belonging, especially when his home and school life become hard to handle alone.”—Liz at KDL’s Plainfield Township branch


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Unfinished: Believing Is Only the Beginning
Richard Stearns

RELIGION CHRISTIAN STE

Unfinished might just challenge everything you thought you understood about your Christian faith…If every Christian read this book and took it seriously, the world would never be the same again.”—Bill Hybels, senior pastor Willow Creek Community Church

Recommended by Anne at KDL’s Krause Memorial branch.


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Ball
Mary Sullivan

E SULLIVAN

“This book has only one word in it…BALL. It’s about a dog who loves to have his ball thrown, but when his best friend goes to school, no one will throw it for him. The pictures are so expressive and fun! Sometimes all it takes is one word to tell a great story.”—Emmy at KDL’s Tyrone Township branch


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New York City of Trees
Benjamin Swett

SCIENCE PLANTS SWE

“New York photographer and tree enthusiast Benjamin Swett investigates ancient trees living in New York City. He includes personal stories from people living near the trees, along with the possible origins of its planting. This book is a great read and I swear it’s not as boring as it sounds!”—Barb at KDL’s Kentwood branch


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On God's Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn't Learned about Serving the Common Good
Jim Wallis

RELIGION CHRISTIAN WAL

“Heard about the book on radio and decided to check it out.” Compassion and accountability are emphasized in the book. Without choosing sides in politics or religion, Wallis has managed to state clearly that we all have to work together for the “common good” of everybody.”—Seema at KDL’s Kentwood branch


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My Enemy's Cradle
Sara Young

“Historical novel based on the little known Nazi Lebensborn program. In an effort to re-populate Germany’s wartime population losses, “appropriate” young women were encouraged to have babies and donate them to the Reich.”—Laura at KDL’s Alpine Township branch


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The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters
Jeffrey Zaslow

WEDDING 306.874 ZAS

“I just read The Magic Room by Jeffrey Zaslow for book discussion group. It made for a really great discussion! I loved that it had a great combination of local history, history and personal stories.”—Michelle at KDL’s Walker branch


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Hitler's Children
FOR DVD H / NR

Hitlers Children this is a movie about the children of the Holocaust Perpetrators..and the child that they had…a different perspective..”—Tami at KDL’s Sand Lake branch


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