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Youth and Teen                             Adult                                        Movies

 

Youth and Teen

Jake: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

THE all-time classic story, from generation to generation, sold somewhere in the world every 30 seconds! Have you shared it with a child or grandchild in your life?

One sunny Sunday, the caterpillar was hatched out of a tiny egg. He was very hungry. On Monday, he ate through one apple; on Tuesday, he ate through three plums–and still he was hungry. When full at last, he made a cocoon around himself and went to sleep, to wake up a few weeks later wonderfully transformed into a butterfly!

The brilliantly innovative Eric Carle has dramatized the story of one of Nature’s commonest yet loveliest marvels, the metamorphosis of the butterfly. 

Why I like It: It is a great reminder of what spring brings us. New life and new hopes. It is a classic for a reason!

Michelle: Lulu & Rocky in Detroit by Barbara Joose

Lulu and her cousin Rocky are visiting the city of Detroit, the Motor City! There are so many fun things to see and do, like visiting Campus Martius to make sand castles, eating cherries at the Eastern Market, riding the carousel at the Riverfront, and seeing the works of Diego Rivera at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Written by Barbara Joosse and illustrated by Ren Graef, this second book in the Our City Adventures series explores the city of Detroit, visiting well-known sites like Comerica Park, Fox Theatre, and “Hitsville, U.S.A,” where the Motown sound came alive, as well as unexpected gems.

Why I like It: My niece is 2 years old and her mom said she loves the book mainly because her name is also Lulu, and it teaches her all about the great Detroit Landmarks.

Jessica: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.

E. B. White’s Newbery Honor Book is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come. This edition contains newly color illustrations by Garth Williams, the acclaimed illustrator of E. B. White’s Stuart Little and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series, among many other books.

Why I like It: It’s a classic story about animals and humans and the relationships between friends and family. 

Jake: Percy Jackson and the Olympian Series by Rick Riordan

 Join the adventures of Percy Jackson and his demigod friends as they fight mythological monsters and the forces of the titan lord Kronos. Percy is just an average boy until he learns who his father is and it changes everything! 

 

Why I like It: I love mythology and Riordan’s re-imagining of Greek Mythology in the modern world is amazing. I reread several of the series every spring/summer. Great time for an action reading adventure. 

Adult


Patty: Camino Island by John Grisham

Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts.

Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer’s block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable’s circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets.

But eventually Mercer learns far too much, and there’s trouble in paradise as only John Grisham can deliver it.

Why I like it: It is classic Grisham in that the story pulls you in right from page one. No lawyers in this one though. It’s the story of a book store owner who collects often stolen rare books and the young, new author who helps to catch him. Love the drama, the setting, and the characters.


Marissa: The Secret Life of Bees by  Sue Monk Kidd

Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily’s fierce-hearted black “stand-in mother,” Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina–a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

Why I like it: One of my favorites — it takes place in summer in the South, and during springtime in Michigan where we are all eager for summer, it’s a nice escape and an intriguing and empowering coming-of-age story.


Sandy: Fiona Range by Mary McGary Morris

Abandoned by her young mother, unsure of her father’s identity, and raised by her prominent aunt and uncle near Boston, thirty-year-old Fiona Range has developed a high threshold for emotional pain. Her recklessness, generosity, and poor judgment have landed her in more scrapes than her affluent family-or small-town community-can tolerate. Beautiful, volatile and smart-tongued (or trashy, erratic, and wild, depending on whom you ask), Fiona hits rock bottom after she ends a party with a strange man in her bed. Alienated from relatives and friends but determined to change, Fiona turns to the men in her life-among them, cruel and unstable Patrick Grady, who denies she is his daughter. The arrival home of her gentle cousin Elizabeth with fiance in tow sparks a storm where past mistakes and current passions collide. 

Why I like it: It is an enthralling read and you can’t help but want to know what will happen as you follow the main character, who is flawed, impulsive, and proceeds to make increasingly bad decisions–like a train on course for collision, you can’t look away. There is family drama, secret pasts, and a twist that will blow your socks off. 


Dana and Joan: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander. A mystery that captures public imagination. Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the oppurtunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations – a search for the the truth threatens to consume him…

Dana’s Why I like it: I liked this book because once I started it, I did not want to put it down, the mark of a truly entertaining book for me. The twist in the plot was fascinating, making me want to go back and analyze the characters’ moves and motivations, and twists and turns in in the plot, that tied up the story and made the book end perfectly.  

Joans’s Why I like it: A great mystery and psychological thriller.


Movies


Jake: Bad Boys For Life

The wife and son of a Mexican drug lord embark on a vengeful quest to kill all those involved in his trial and imprisonment — including Miami Detective Mike Lowrey. When Mike gets wounded, he teams up with partner Marcus Burnett and AMMO — a special tactical squad — to bring the culprits to justice. But the old-school, wisecracking cops must soon learn to get along with their new elite counterparts if they are to take down the vicious cartel that threatens their lives.

Why I like It: After all these years there is nothing like the duo of Lawrence and Smith. Always funny and action packed!


Brenda: Idiocracy

In 2005, average in every way private Joe Bowers (Luke Wilson) is selected to take part in a secret military experiment to put him in hibernation for a year along with a woman named Rita (Maya Rudolph). The slumbering duo is forgotten when the base they are stored on is closed down and are left in stasis until 2505. When they finally wake up, they discover the average intelligence of humans has decreased so much that Joe is now the smartest man in the world.

Why I like It: I find it to be very timely!

Michelle: Bohemian Rhapsody

Freddie Mercury — the lead singer of Queen — defies stereotypes and convention to become one of history’s most beloved entertainers. The band’s revolutionary sound and popular songs lead to Queen’s meteoric rise in the 1970s. After leaving the group to pursue a solo career, Mercury reunites with Queen for the benefit concert Live Aid — resulting in one of the greatest performances in rock ‘n’ roll history.

Why I like It: Great real life story of a Rock Legend who on the outside looked like he had it all, but actually lived a lonely life that ended tragically.