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Youth and Teen                             Adult                                        Movies

 

Youth and Teen

Jake: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

No book has captured the magic and sense of possibility of the first snowfall better than The Snowy Day. Universal in its appeal, the story has become a favorite of millions, as it reveals a child’s wonder at a new world, and the hope of capturing and keeping that wonder forever.

Why I like It: It is a great story about the first snow fall and exploring.

Jessica: Wayside School is Falling Down by Louis Sachar 

Louis yard teacher starts off 30 tales of unusual students. Comic sketches precede every chapter. Todd brings a cute adorable plastic puppy who bites back when Joy steals it. Cafeteria Mrs Mush serves Mushroom Surprise that changes Ron. When Paul falls out the window, Leslie offers her pigtails to pull him back. On 19th floor, invisible Allison finds Miss Zarves’ class.

Why I like It: Fun stories to read with your child!

Jake: Winter by Marissa Meyer

The final conclusion to the Lunar Chronicles. Princess Winter is admired for her grace, kindness and beauty, despite the scars on her face. She’s said to be even more breath-taking than her stepmother, Queen Levana…

When Winter develops feelings for the handsome palace guard, Jacin, she fears the evil Queen will crush their romance before it has a chance to begin.

 

Why I like It: A take off of the Snow White fairytale with a twist.

Adult


Lindsay: The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson

On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London’s Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. Home to one of the largest ornithological collections in the world, the Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwin’s obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. Once inside the museum, the champion fly-tier grabbed hundreds of bird skins–some collected 150 years earlier by a contemporary of Darwin’s, Alfred Russel Wallace, who’d risked everything to gather them–and escaped into the darkness.

Why I like it: I really enjoyed this book because it is an interesting nonfiction that reads like a good mystery. It focuses on a theft from a prominent British museum of hundreds of rare, archived bird skins, the history behind these skins, and the fallout from this heist.


Patty: Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris

The scrawled sign, peddling young siblings on a farmhouse porch, captures the desperation sweeping the country in 1931. It’s an era of breadlines, bank runs, and impossible choices.

For struggling reporter Ellis Reed, the gut-wrenching scene evokes memories of his family’s dark past. He snaps a photograph of the children, not meant for publication. But when the image leads to his big break, the consequences are devastating in ways he never imagined.

Haunted by secrets of her own, secretary Lillian Palmer sees more in the picture than a good story and is soon drawn into the fray. Together, the two set out to right a wrongdoing and mend a fractured family, at the risk of everything they value.

Why I like it: A well-written story with strong female characters and a dramatic ending.


Jake: The Witcher Series: The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

Geralt the Witcher—revered and hated—is a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: his targets are the multifarious monsters and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent.

But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good… and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth. 

 

Why I like it: The Witcher Series is inspired by Slavic Mythology and Slavic Folktales. In particular Polish ones. While most fantasy books use their basis on Roman/Greek/Egyptian its nice to see a new take on fantasy using other cultural influences. It is a fantastic read and has even been turned into a video game and Netflix series. 


Movies


Brenda: Children of a Lesser God

Children of a Lesser God portrays the diversity of the deaf community and its struggle to achieve its own identity against a paternalistic system. A feminist statement against male suppression, the play is primarily the story of an emerging culture demanding the right to speak for itself.

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

Michelle: Knives Out

A 2019 American mystery film written and directed by Rian Johnson, and produced by Johnson and Ram Bergman. A modern whodunit, the film follows a master detective investigating the patriarch’s death after a family gathering gone awry.

Why I like It: I liked this movie because it is a “suspenseful” funny, dark, who done it kind of movie with a great cast of characters.