What We're Reading Now

We're always on the lookout for wonderful new books, from picture books to adult, from light to literary.  Take a look at some of our current favorites, featured on the What We're Reading table this month.

One Plus One (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780525426585
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pamela Dorman Books, 7/2014

Jess has been working two jobs since her husband left two years ago, so she has little time to spend with her daughter Tanzie and stepson Nicky. Tanzie is a bit awkward, but she has a gift with math equations. Nicky, meanwhile, has a Goth look and keeps getting beat up by the Fischer boys. They meet Ed Nicholls, who has a successful software company but is dealing with some major issues of his own. When Ed, on a whim, offers to drive the family, including slobbering dog Norman, to Scotland for Tanzie's Math Olympiad, things get crazier but somehow better for everyone involved. At least for a while. JoJo Moyes writes a heartwarming tale about love, decisions--and math. – Cynthia

ISBN-13: 9780316070294
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 7/2014

Bobby has a problem at school. His teacher, Ms. Kirby, is a monster. Of course, the fact that he's mischievous has something to do with it. One day, Bobby is at the park and sees Ms. Kirby. After he helps her find her hat, he begins to realize that maybe she's not as much of a monster as he thought. Peter Brown masterfully illustrates a story familiar to any student! For ages 4 and up. – Cathy

Conversion (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780399167775
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Putnam Juvenile, 7/2014

Senior year at St. Joan’s Academy in Danvers, Massachusetts, is incredibly stressful. A top choice for high-achieving girls, there is a constant competition for class rank, college admission and boys. One day, Clara collapses in a seizure, and within weeks more girls exhibit the same symptoms, seemingly without a cause. Howe weaves a tense thriller, alternating between current day and 18th century Salem, Massachusetts. It’s a rich story and a very worthwhile read for grades 8 and up. – Cathy

Em and the Big Hoom (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780143124764
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books, 6/2014

The 17-year old narrator and his older sister, Susan, live with their parents, Imelda and Augustine (Em and the Big Hoom), "in a small flat in a city of small flats" in India. Em is bipolar, and, with a certain degree of regularity, she changes from a loving, quirky, fun-loving woman to a hateful, grotesque and suicidal stranger. As he tries to deal with his mother's double nature, the narrator explores -- through letters and questioning his mother in her more lucid moments-- his mother's early relationship with his father. This is a very touching story, told with the lovely language of Indian English, the quirkiness of which belies the poignancy of the narrative. Recommended. –Alice

ISBN-13: 9780062008190
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books, 5/2014

Sand, the son of a blacksmith, wakes up in the fireplace of the Sundered Castle, a castle surrounded by impenetrable thorns, a castle the villagers have long since forgotten about, a castle in which every bit and piece has been rent into pieces and in which nothing grows…except the thorny hedge that prevents escape. Frightened and alone, Sand sets to putting the castle to rights when Princess Perrotte—who died twenty years ago—appears. Together they must unlock the secrets of the castle’s curse. – Jennifer

Dog vs. Cat (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780316238014
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 5/2014

Mr. Button brings a dog home. Mrs. Button brings a cat home. The two must (hilariously) work together. And you can guess what will happen when the Buttons bring someone else home. Great illustrations make this a delightful story. – Valerie

ISBN-13: 9780545525527
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books, 5/2014

Jackson Greene is known for his antics, but he’s been on his best behavior now for four whole months. He is one act away from being expelled from school, and more importantly, Gaby de la Cruz hasn’t spoken to him since his last stunt. However, when it becomes apparent that the Student Council election is rigged and the budgets for their favorite clubs are at risk, Jackson comes out of retirement to assemble a crack crew and concoct an elaborate plan to expose the culprit…and maybe win the girl. For grades 5 and up. – Jennifer

ISBN-13: 9781596439092
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Roaring Brook Press, 6/2014

In the small town of Healy, Texas, rumors fly and grow exponentially after Alice Franklin is linked romantically with both Tommy Cray and local football hero Brandon Fitzsimmons and allegedly causes the latter’s death in a car accident. Told through the perspectives of Brandon’s best friend, his on-and-off-again girlfriend, his nerdy next-door neighbor, and Alice’s former friend, each character justifies their actions and inaction in the ostracizing of Alice, and from there, the whole truth about Alice unfolds. This fabulous debut is from local author Jen Mathieu, and is best for grades 9 and up. – Jennifer

ISBN-13: 9781442480889
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 6/2014

Our dog friends Mr. Bud and Zorro are back! Mr. Bud has a hot spot on his side and has to wear "The Cone" when his owner goes out. This messes up the schedule to Zorro's annoyance, but he soon turns this to his advantage, eating all the dog treats that Mr. Bud can't reach and teasing him unmercifully. But all is well at the end, and even the youngest readers will recognize the loving, sometimes adversarial, relationship that friends and siblings share. So cute! – Cathy

ISBN-13: 9780803740518
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial, 5/2014

Fifteen year old Josie is multi-lingual; she fluently speaks friendship, high school, college, volleyball, and the greatest band ever, Styx. What Josie doesn’t speak is the language of love, especially now that her older sister, Kate has become engaged to Geoff who, in Josie’s mind, is completely wrong for her sister. Josie is determined to break up the engagement even while maneuvering through her own difficult-to-define relationships. A great story for grades 7 and up. – Martha

The Glass Sentence (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780670785025
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Juvenile, 6/2014

The Glass Sentence is a great book. It takes place almost 100 years after the Great Disruption which threw all the countries and continents into different time periods, from the far future to prehistoric times. The book is about a girl named Sophia. Her Uncle Shadrack is a very famous mapmaker and explorer. When Shadrack gets kidnapped, he leaves her a message in her notebook that says "Find Veressa.” Sophia and her new friend, Theo, leave for the Baldlands to try to find Veressa. I loved this book, and would definitely highly recommend it. Anyone who loves adventure books should definitely read this book. – Emily B.

ISBN-13: 9780062285539
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper, 2/2014

Perfect for a quick summer vacation read, this story of a man grieving his mother (I know that doesn't sound like it's funny but it is in it's own way), aching to introduce himself to the local librarian, and lastly giving shelter to a defrocked priest will have you turning the pages. From the author of “The Silver Linings Playbook,” the movie is sure to follow. – Valerie

ISBN-13: 9781476738963
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster, 6/2014

Avis, a middle-aged woman whose marriage is about to collapse, worries about her war veteran son who is struggling with re-assimilating to American civilian life. Bashkim, the eight-year-son of Albanian immigrants grapples with the economic, cultural, and marital difficulties his parents face. Luis, a second Iraq War veteran recuperating at Walter Reed, suffers from PTSD and survivor’s guilt. Roberta is a dedicated volunteer with social services. The lives of these four Las Vegas families collide with great impact, reminding us that every act—however insignificant—does matter. – Jennifer