Tazewell County Public Library

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Off the Grid by C.J. Box

Reviewed by Lena Powers

Off the Grid Book Cover

Off the Grid is the latest novel in the Joe Pickett series by C. J. Box.  Joe is a game warden in Wyoming. His friend, Nate Romanowski, is off the grid recuperating after he was shot while setting up a falconry.  While recuperating, he is contacted by a special team charged with getting rid of a terrorist cell located in the Red Desert. Joe Pickett and his oldest daughter are drawn into the action. This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it and any of the books in the series.

Available at TCPL: Book

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Amity by Micol Ostow

Reviewed by Cassie Ogle

Amity Book Cover

Amity is a house nestled on the bank of the Concord River.  This book follows the story of two different families who have resided in Amity a decade apart.  Two children, Gwen and Connor, plagued by the same nightmares, find out that Amity is much more than just a house; she is an evil force.  Amity wants to use Gwen and Connor to do her work.

The book skips back and forth between present time and ten years ago to follow the creepy occurrences that happen to both families.  The book is loosely based on the Amityville Horror movie series but is not a retelling of the film’s story.

Available at TCPL: Book

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American Girls Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers by Nancy Jo Sales

Reviewed by Tammy Powers

American Girls Social Media Book Cover

American Girls Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers is a non-fiction work that resulted from the author interviewing over 200 girls between the ages of thirteen and nineteen regarding their on-line experiences with social media.  The results of her study are shocking and terrifying. The stories told depict a life that revolves around how many “likes” you get on social media sites and to what extent girls go to in order to get them.  Mrs. Sales says “from beauty gurus to slut-shaming to a disconcerting trend of exhibitionism”, girls are thrust into a new social norm of pornography, body-shaming, and expected sexual situations as soon as middle school age.

This book is a must read for anyone who has a child that is under the age of eighteen. The book talks about websites that I never knew existed. After talking to my own children and several of their friends, it seems that I was the only one who didn’t know about them.   As a parent, my eyes were opened as to what is now socially accepted for girls and what conversations I need to have with my daughter and son.

Available at TCPL: Book

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In  the Woods by Robin Stevenson

Reviewed by Gloria Goins

In the Woods book cover

When  Cameron  finds   a  new born  baby  in  the  woods,  everyone   thinks  it’s  a miracle,  little  do  they  know  his  twin  sister  Katie  asked  him  to  go  there.   Cameron takes  the  baby  to  the  hospital  unsure  who  the  baby  belongs  to.   He  soon  learns it’s  a  secret  that  will  alter  his entire  families lives  forever.  I  found  this  an  interesting book  for  teens.  Some  secrets  aren’t  meant  to be  kept  secret.

Available at TCPL: Book

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Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Reviewed by Kandi Vance

Fantasy Lover

This book is an introduction to the Dark-Hunter series. The Dark-Hunter series is a unique twist on vampire novels. Kenyon blends the idea of vampires with ancient Greek Mythology. The Daimons (read vampires) are the children of Apollo, they garnered his wrath and he cursed them and all of their descendants. They live normally until a certain age, and then they must take human souls in order to live. In order to protect the humans, Artemis, Apollo’s sister, made the Dark-Hunters. These warriors sacrifice their own souls so they can protect mankind. The Dark-Hunters then hunt and destroy the Daimons. In order for them to get their souls back, the must find their soulmate.

In Fantasy Lover we meet Julian of Macedon, an ancient Greek demi-god. Julian is the son of Aphrodite and a Spartan General. Julian is raised to be a Spartan warrior; his prowess in battle has angered his half-brother Priapus. Priapus is mad because he is a lesser god and his lowly half-brother is more revered than he himself is. So Priapus curses Julian into a scroll, which is later bound in a book, as a sex slave. When summoned from the book, Julian must fulfill that person’s every sexual fantasy. For two-thousand-years Julian is enslaved in the book, however when he is summoned by Grace Alexander, Julian may have the chance to be free of his curse. Read along as Julian and Grace fall in love and navigate the obstacles standing in their way as they try to free Julian from his curse.

The Dark-hunter series has grown to include the Ware-Hunters and also the Dream-Hunters. Each of these series are integrated by be read as one series. Kenyon has also branched out this series to include a young adult series called The Chronicles of Nick. This series takes a character from the original series, Nick Gautier, and follows him as he adjusted to being a new Dark-Hunter.

Available at TCPL: Book



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Great Children’s Books for Spring

Reviewed by Amy Horne

Whose Garden Is It?  By Mary Ann Hoberman

Whose Garden is It

Mrs. McGee admires a beautiful garden asking “Whose garden is it?” The gardener proudly announces it belongs to him.  Then Mrs. McGee begins to hear from the garden’s other inhabitants such as a rabbit and bird that the garden belongs to them and how they know this.  Even the sun and rain claim the garden to be theirs and justify their claim as to how it could not exist without them. Before leaving the garden Mrs. McGee hears the faint sounds of the seeds in the ground proclaiming the garden belongs to them.  After touring this splendid place Mrs. McGee still ponders “Whose garden is it?”

“Whose Garden Is It?” was a special gift from the Master Gardeners in 2006.  A special thanks to them for all they do and for making our kid’s garden just as exquisite as the garden in the book.


The Forest Feast For Kids  By Erin Gleeson

Forest Feast

“The Forest Feast for Kids” is a cookbook made for kids to succeed in the kitchen.  The ingredients are fresh, colorful, and possibly straight from your garden this summer. The recipes are easy to follow with a full page color photo of each completed dish. The book provides helpful presentation ideas to make each dish unique, excellent instructional drawings of cutting techniques, and also a simple guide to basic cooking terminology and tools.

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The Inspector Gamache  Series  by Louise Penny

Reviewed by Lynne Bartlett

Still Life

This series begins with Still Life and gives the reader 11 books to read with another due to come out in August of 2016 — A Great Reckoning.   Louise Penny has created the village of Three Pines in an isolated, beautiful area of Canada near the border of Vermont as the locus of her stories – where characters that return in each book begin a long relationship with Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec, his team of investigators, and even his family.  Three Pines and its cast of flawed and funny inhabitants, Inspector Gamache’s own struggles as the Chief of Homicide, his loving relationship with his family, and an always perplexing murder intertwine to make every book a story you won’t want to put down.   The murders don’t always take place in Three Pines or involve characters from Three Pines, but  Penny has created such a striking, inviting place with such vivid and lovable characters that Three Pines is always not far from the story or far in Inspector Gamache’s own psyche.  Three Pines becomes to the characters who find it, and to readers, a place to return for a warm fire, good friends, great food, and a (relatively) safe place to be.  Penny’s plots are fascinating and it’s intriguing to follow the thinking of Inspector Gamache and his insights into how a person becomes able to commit murder!

Available at TCPL: Book | Large Print Book | Book on CD | Digital Audiobook

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Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Reviewed by Lynne Bartlett
Between the World and Me

This is the kind of book that one may want to check out again and again, or keep a copy on-hand on a Kindle or in print to re-read sections again or read the whole book again. It is a challenging book by an African-American author who has had such a different life experience than my own, that I found myself saying, “No, that’s not how it is!” It became very important to me to understand his perspective. His perspective includes a sense of his own physical body being in danger almost every day of his life. This perspective became rooted in him at an early age and as an adult, he struggles to convey his perspective to his son, fearing for his son in the world, but also not wanting to strip away any of the freedom and joy he sees in his son’s life. This book is a letter to his son. It’s heartbreaking and honest. It was a book worth the journey of sticking with in order to bring the author’s world view into the light of my own reality in order to grapple with it, lament it, question it, and try to understand it.

Available at TCPL: Book | eBook | Digital Audiobook

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