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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!

Why I like It: It is perfect for spring. What better way to learn about the changes of life than a very hungry caterpillar that morphs into a butterfly!

Jessica: Mysteries On Zoo Lane (Book Series) by Patricia Reilly Giff 

Meet the Crew at the Zoo is book 1 of many. Lions and tigers for neighbors? That doesn’t bother Luke at all. It’s making new friends that scares him. Not only has Luke had to move from Florida to New York because of his dad’s new job as a zoo doctor, but he’s also had to leave behind his best friend–his abuelo.

When Luke discovers that there are other kids also living on Zoo Lane and that one of them might be the owner of a mysterious zebra-printed box left outside his house, he wonders if just maybe he can make friends and solve a mystery in this wild new place.

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

Jake: Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. 

 

Why I like It: This mixes ancient Greek mythology with modern day America. The adventures of Percy Jackson and his quest to save the world is a wonderful imaginative story to read especially in warmer weather. 

Adult


Jessica G.: The Liar’s Dictionary by Eley Williams

Have you ever caught a Mountweazel? Before reading Eley Williams’s beguiling first novel, I’d never heard of them. But Williams is an expert. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on them, and then she put her hard-earned knowledge to further good use in The Liar’s Dictionary, which is to word lovers what potato chips are to my husband — minus the guilt.

An exhilarating and laugh-out-loud debut novel from a prize-winning new talent which chronicles the misadventures of a lovelorn Victorian lexicographer and the young woman put on his trail a century later to root out his misdeeds while confronting questions of her own sexuality and place in the world.

Why I like it: It’s very funny and full of really dense, obscure language.


Patty: Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart from the weight of the work and the loneliness. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning, it is gone — but they see fleeting sightings of a young, blonde-haired girl who calls herself Faina who seems to be a child of the woods.

Why I like it: I enjoyed this book for the suspense and wonder about the girl Faina. She is a strange girl who comes and goes, seemingly teasing the couple who live in a cabin in the Alaskan wilderness. Other interesting characters are the couples’ neighbors. I especially liked the neighbor woman who befriends Mabel and helps her with the isolation and grieve of losing a child. The book is tied to a Russian children’s book of the same name. 


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.