“Julian at the Wedding” by Jessica Love
“Julian at the wedding” is a wonderful sequel to Love’s “Julian is a mermaid”. With the warm summer breeze and love in the air, the cake is sliced and two friends sneak away from the wedding and their abuelitas for their own fun in the woods. Julian brings us with him, introduces himself, dreams and creates, this time with a friend, Marisol. You can listen and play with Julian and Marisol. This book is available as a physical book, a read-along DVD, and a digital read-along from Hoopla.
“Stella’s stellar hair” by Yesenia Moises
If you are looking for a moment of dazzling adventure, Stella’s Stellar Hair is for you. This romp through the solar system follows Stella on her search for the perfect hairstyle. One morning, Stella asks her intergalactic aunts for advice about her “hair not looking right,” and ends up finding a style of her own. This picture book features bright, vivid colors, beautifully illustrated characters, and a science-inspired guide to hairstyles that are best for all areas of the Milky Way. Yesenia Moises’ first picture book as an author and illustrator is beautiful and delightful.
– Carly Garzón Vargas, Latino Service Coordinator at Deschutes Public Library
“The Way Back” by Gavriel Savit
Two youth trips through the land of the dead in this historical fantasy in an Eastern European “shtetl” or village. Yehuda searches for a soul to save while outsmarting demons and bravely making his way through an unknown land. Bluma is in the distant land, burdened with a mysterious spoon that possesses unknown powers. The two stories intertwine in a world inspired by Jewish folklore that feels both original and timeless.
“Winterkeep” by Kristen Cashore
Queen Bitterblue of Monsea has spent her reign healing her country from her father’s terrible rule. Whenever she becomes aware of a new land across the Winter Sea and her envoys disappear under suspicious circumstances, the Queen must investigate regardless of the consequences. Meanwhile, a parallel story of growing up is unfolding in the land she is leaving behind. The complex plot, set in the Graceling universe and told from different perspectives, is challenging in the best possible way. Cashore weaves a story that seamlessly connects threads of our modern political climate and an utterly fantastic empire.
– Josie Hanneman, Deschutes Public Library Librarian
“Hints: Six Essays” by Zadie Smith
How do you navigate the world around you? Smith shares two invaluable hints: “Talking to yourself can be useful. And writing means being overheard. “In an essay format written in the early months of the pandemic, Smith examines her time in isolation, questioning both key moments and routine experiences that have changed dramatically in the past few months. For example: “What is the relationship between time and work? What do we humans mean in our isolation? “During the pandemic, Smith is watching things differently, including a tulip in Jefferson Market City Garden. Each essay captures strong reflections and personal connections in a year of uncertainty. This is the perfect pick for a book club to discuss Zoom.
“White Ivy” by Susie Yang
“Ivy Lin was a thief, but you would never know if you looked at her.” Who is Ivy Lin and how far will she go for love? It all depends on Gideon Speyer, the son of a privileged senator and the person she has always wanted to be with. If another man from her past shows up, will Ivy change her mind? Yang’s debut novel is written in five parts, from assimilation to America as an immigrant at the age of 5 to visiting China at the age of 14 and falling in love as an adult. He is full of emotion, race, personal family relationships, and love. As the novel follows Ivy’s struggles with her family life, fitting into school, navigating different cultures, and pursuing her adult careers, we wonder who the “real” ivy is. As Ivy grows, we learn more about her family’s immigrant stories. She begins to understand where she comes from, the importance of race, class, and navigation in different cultures. Yang interweaves a coming-of-age novel with a side of the thriller. The twists and turns are surprising and filled with an amazing combination of mystery, uncertainty, and understanding.
– Paige Bentley-Flannery, librarian at Deschutes Public Library