Janet likes historical fiction, humor, realistic stories, and adventures for young readers through adults.
NOVEMBER 11, 2022: Janet's pick in honor of Children's Book Week are 3 books written by JaNay Brown-Wood and illustrated by Samara Hardy which are in the "Where in the Garden"series: "Amara's Farm", "Miguel's Community Garden" and "Logan's Greenhouse". Each book has the child state which plant they are looking for, pumpkin, sunflower, or carrot, and after describing it they proceed through the garden examining fruits and vegetables that have some of the same attributes until she/he finds the plant he/she is looking for. A great way to teach discovery and attention to detail. The pictures are amazing and you learn about many plants.
OCTOBER 28, 2022: Janet's pick this week is "Ten Little Squirrels" by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson with illustrations by Nathalie Beauvois. What happens to 10 little squirrels when they see a dog? Should they be still, run home, be unafraid, or hide? This rhyming simple counting book with bright collage pictures will be a joy to share. Questions about squirrels are at the end of the book and will lead to further research as well as discussion.
OCTOBER 21, 2022: Janet's pick this week is "A Rover's Story" by Jasmine Warga. A Mars rover named Res, short for Resilience, is blasting off to Mars with a drone he names Fly. Res tells us his story as he is prepared by his 2 scientists, Raina and Xander. Res seems to be able to understand feelings through his interactions with Raina who writes clear and concise code and Xander who talks to him like a human. We, the reader, also get Sophie's, the 12 year old daughter of Raina, reactions to this launching and how it affects her life by letters she writes to Res. You will run the gamut of emotion's reading this story about a very determined and observant robot.
OCTOBER 14, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the middle grade paperback novel, "A Place to Hang the Moon" by Kate Albus. Three orphan siblings who have been raised by a noncaring newly deceased grandmother are evacuated from London to the countryside during WWII. William who is twelve has been holding them together and being the "parent" for years. Anna is a sweet bookloving optimist, and Edward is an eleven year old who without trying gets himself in trouble by his honesty and need for fairness. They can't tell anyone that they are actually orphans looking to find a loving home -- a "place to hang the moon". You will love these children and hope the best for them.
OCTOBER 7, 2022: Janet's pick for Mystery Series Week is the middle grade "Framed" series by James Ponti. Seventh graders, Florian and Margaret, after helping solve an art theft in the 1st book, "Framed", become unofficial consulting detectives in the Bureau's Special Projects Team. Along with FBI Agent Marcus Rivers, they solve mysteries by the TOAST method which is the Theory of All Small Things. By paying attention to the smallest details they are able to solve a missing person case in "Vanished" and help clear false accusations against Marcus in "Trapped". These detective mystery stories are also great adventure stories.
SEPTEMBER 30, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the middle grade novel, "Thelma Bee in Toil and Treble" by Erin Petri. Thelma, a member of the Riverfish Valley Paranormal Society was sent to a farm to investigate the voting of a "goat man" who was stealing gasoline from Mrs. Mose' s trucks. This is just the beginning of an adventure/ mystery with witches, dark magic, and with a possible human sacrifice; that Thelma, a secret Disiri in training, must solve to save her classmate and her town. This book is a sequel/companion to "The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee".
SEPTEMBER 23, 2022: Janet's banned book pick this week is "The Giver" by Lois Lowry. It won the 1994 Newbery Medal. This book, set in the future, provides for great discussions on infanticide, suicide, and euthanasia -- all reasons that it has been challenged in schools and libraries. This book praises our differences and disabilities and challenges the idea of a "perfect society".
SEPTEMBER 16, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the novel, "Violet and Jobie in the Wild" by Lynne Rae Perkins. This animal character story for 8 to 10 year-olds is about two house mice siblings, Violet and Jobie, who find themselves in the outdoors - a state park to be exact. Survival in the wild is a lot different than survival in a house. What do they eat? Where do they find shelter? How do they keep safe? They meet, Zolian, an elderly mouse who becomes their mentor and friend. This is a gentle book about change and facing challenges with an ending that might surprise you!
SEPTEMBER 9, 2022: Janet's pick this week is Janet's pick this week is not one book but a group of books commemorating September 11th, 2001, Patriot Day. These books celebrate our heroes and our resilience as a nation.
SEPTEMBER 2, 2022: "Meet Claudie: An American Girl 1922" by Brit Bennett. Claudie Wells is a 9 year old girl growing up in a boarding house in Harlem New York in 1922. The city is alive with art and music and dance! Claudie wants to discover her own talent. She's not a great dancer like her friend Nina, or a singer like Selma, or a musician like Porter, or an artist like Gwen or Winston. She is not a great baker like her dad or a reporter like her mom. Can she find a way to shine? Brit Bennett, author of the adult book, "Vanishing Half", grew up reading the "Addy" American Girl books and is excited to fulfill her dream to write a story that will teach kids about the Harlem Renaissance.
AUGUST 19, 2022: Janet's pick this week in honor of Romance Month is "These Hollow Vows" by Lexi Ryan. This teen romantic fantasy is set in Fae Lands. Abriella makes a deal with the evil King Mordeus, who is from the Seelie Court, to steal 3 magical relics from the Seelie in order to free her sister who was sold to Mordeus. There are 2 princes vying for Brie's attention: one she loves and one she is attracted to. Who does she trust? She needs both to succeed and there are lots of secrets she knows nothing about!
AUGUST 12, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the posthumously published young novel, "My Life Begins!" by Patricia MacLachlan. Nine year old Jacob's life drastically changes when he gets 3 sisters -- triplets! What he wanted was a puppy! This sweet story is from Jacob's point of view as he adjusts and learns to see each baby as a unique sister.
AUGUST 5, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the middle grade novel, "The Tuddleby Trait" by Janine Faith Goodman. This fantasy involves Tommy Tuddleby, a boy who yearns for adventure just like "Jake Jones, Private Investigator". Tommy finds himself in another land and is mistaken as a wizard. He must solve the mystery of the missing pearls which are very magical and control color, sound, and the environment in this fantasy world. Is he up to this important task? Well the Tuddleby Trait, the need to be a part of the action will get him on his way!
JULY 29, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the picture book, "The Pet Potato" written by Josh Lacey and illustrated by Momoke Abe. Albert was so,persistent about wanting a pet that his father gave him a "pet potato". Well this potato was a great companion to Albert but potatoes do get rotten and "die". After being buried (planted) -- surprise!
JULY 22, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the middle school novel, "J.R. Silver Writes Her World" by Melissa Dassori. Josephine Rose (J.R.) is having a hard beginning to her 6th grade school year. Her best friend, Violet, developed a friendship with another girl in their class, Rose, during sleep-over camp that summer which has made her feel left out. Her mom insists on walking her home from school instead of letting her walk alone and with friends. Even the special time she shares with Violet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is changing and J.R. is slow to change. She does enjoy creative writing and her new teacher gives her class magazine covers for inspiration and for story starters. J.R. starts to realize that what she writes becomes true. Is this good or bad? This book will also make you want to read "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" by E. L. Konigsburg.
JULY 15, 2022: Janet's pick this week is "Sadiq and the Community Garden" written by Siman Nuurali and illustrated by Christos Skaltsas. This beginning chapter book is part of a series featuring a Muslim boy named Sadiq whose parents come from Somalia. In this book Sadiq and his classmates and family clean a vacant lot and turn it into a community garden. Each of the books in the series contains facts about Somalia and define Somali terms. The back of the book includes a glossary, discussion questions, and activity ideas.
JULY 8, 2022: Janet's pick this week is "Smeagull the Seagull: A True Story" by Mark Seth Lender and illustrated by Valerie Elaine Pettis. This gorgeous picture book is about a herring gull who "knocks" at the door every morning at 6:10 and every afternoon at 4:15 looking for food -- fish! The whole town learns to love this bird. You will love the ending!
JUNE 30, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the paperback edition of "Hum and Swish" written and illustrated by Matt Myers. This gorgeous picture book set by the seashore is all about creativity - letting the creator create. Jamie can't answer questions about her ongoing creation until her process is completed. This book is a calming inspiration.
JUNE 24, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the intense novel, "The Road to After" by Rebekah Lowell. This novel in verse is told by Lacey, an eleven year old girl, who as the book begins relates her and her nonverbal four year old sister's and their mother's escape from their own home where they have been imprisoned by their oppresive, and abusive father/husband. We see her emotional growth as the family learns to live in freedom.
JUNE 17, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the middle grade novel, "The Last Mapmaker" by Christine Soontornvat. Tricking her con-man father into thinking she has a low paying job in the Harbor Market instead her assistant Mapmaker job, Sai is saving money to escape and begin a new life. She gets the chance to learn mapmaking and help a master Mapmaker on a voyage to chart the southern seas -- the fabled Sunderlands which include dragons and riches. This is an adventure story which has interesting twists and motivations and even a stowaway. Things aren't always as they seem.
JUNE 9, 2022: Janet's pick this week is "Heart Stones by Maryann Cocca-Leffler. This book geared for the 8 to 10 year old reader is set in the small coastal town of Cliff Cove in Maine. After a devastating storm and the loss of 2 fishermen, friends, Gale and Celia, discover that small heart stones keep showing up around town and are spreading some joy and magical energy. Can Gale and Celia discover where the rocks come from and are "they" sending a message? A little bit of science and magic and a lot of love solve this mystery.
JUNE 2, 2022: Janet's pick this week is "The Greatest Cause of Mia Dubois" by Chris Casavant, a middle school teacher in Marshfield who will be at Storybook Cove this Saturday, June 4th, at 2:00 p.m. Mia's greatest cause is the environment and climate change. Did you know that eating beef effects the climate -- too many cows! This is a great middle grade book with realistic and likable characters.
MAY 27, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the Edgar Award Juvenile Winner, "Concealed", by Christina Diaz Gonzalez. This middle grade mystery involves a 12 year old girl who has been with her parents off the grid and moving from place to place changing identities and physical looks for as long as she can remember! She has no memory of life before age 9. She wants some answers especially when her mom gets kidnapped! Can she and her new friend, Parker, figure out whom to trust? Some nice twists and turns make it a winner.
MAY 19, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the middle grade novel, "The Mystwick School of Musicraft" by Jessica Khoury. Imagine that playing music is a form of making magic! Amelia, a flute player, wants more than anything to go to the Mystwick School of Musicraft like her deceased mom had, but only the very best from around the world get in. A mistake gets her in but only she can keep herself in the school. Is there a ghost out to defeat her? This newly out in paperback book is also the first of a series and emphasizes the goal to believe in yourself.
May 12, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the biography, "Who Is Jimmy Carter" by David Stabler. The first presidential election that she could vote in was between Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. This book gives the reader a great sense of this genuine civil rights supporter and peace minded man from his birth on a peanut farm, to governor of Georgia, to President of the United States, to recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and to his continued work with Habitat for Humanity. Jimmy Carter is a humble person that identifies with the poor and continues to serve the people of the U.S.
MAY 5, 3022: Janet's pick this week is "My Own Lightning", the sequel to the Newbery Honor Winner "Wolf Hollow" by Lauren Wolk. Learning to cope with Toby's death and the guilt she feels as well as dealing with the anger and hurt she suffered at the hands of the bully, Betty, and her accomplice, Andy;.Annabelle must move forward with her life. She gains a superpower after being hit by lightning or did she have it all along? Enjoy learning how this amazing young lady thinks and more importantly acts -- a feel good story amongst the sadness.
APRIL 29, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the middle grade novel, "Meant to Be", a companion book to "Where the Heart Is" by Jo Knowles. Well Ivy and Rachel's family did lose their house and now live in a very small apartment. While Rachel is unhappy about having to share a bedroom, Ivy is so happy to have made 2 friends that she cooks with every Saturday. She has also become a helper to the building maintenance person, Donnalyn. Ivy is very good at fixing "things" but not so good at saying the right things and may lose her friends! This is an emotional story about fitting in and feeling secure. This story also acknowledges poverty and how people act and respond to people that struggle financially.
APRIL 22, 2022: Janet's pick this week in honor of Earth Day is a Boxcar Children book, "The Big Spill Rescue". In this first book of the new series, Endangered Animals, Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny along with Kayla, a member of the Protectors of Animals Worldwide (PAW) organization help animals caught in an oil spill. The Ardens try to find out why the lighthouse light went off during the night causing a tugboat to go aground which resulted in the oil spill.
APRIL 15, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the middle grade novel, "Healer & Witch" by Nancy WTerlin. Sylvie is just learning that she has what she believes are healing powers when her grandmother who has such powers dies. Sylvie tries her new abilities on her mother and makes a terrible mistake. She must find a "teacher". Will she learn to use her powers as a healer or will she be seen as a witch? Can she find help while avoiding greed and the inquisitor? Whom should she trust? You will fall in love with this brave and resourceful 13 year old girl and her spunky 9 year old companion, Martin. #candlewickpress
APRIL 8, 2022: Janet's pick this week is "A Discovery Disappears" by Pip Murphy, the first book in the series, Christie and Agatha's Detective Agency (think Agatha Christie!). The two twin detectives, Christie, a gadget and science oriented adventurer, and Agatha, the quiet author want-to-be, solve fictional mysteries set in the early 1900s. Meet Alexander Fleming, the inventor of penicillin. Did Agatha eat his scientific evidence? Also meet Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Are the twins better detectives than the great writer of Sherlock Holmes? This book is a fun historical mystery for 7 to 10 year olds that is set in England.
APRIL 1, 2022: Janet's pick this week, in honor of Poetry Month, is the poetry anthology, "How to Eat a Poem: A Smorgasbord of Tasty and Delicious Poems for Young Readers" edited by The American Poetry & Literacy Project and the Academy of American Poets. This book of seventy poems by such famous poets as Robert Louis Stevenson, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, Jack Prelutsky, Shel Silverstein, and Nikki Giovanni, will make you laugh, cry, admire, and ponder. Just what good poetry should do!
MARCH 25, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the middle grade/young adult novel, "Rescue", by Jennifer A. Nielsen. Figuring out codes is a pastime Meg shares with her dad who has been called to England from France to be part of the war effort. Meg, who with the help of the resistance, and with the help of a coded note from her dad, will have an adventure she labels the "Rescue", as she must help 3 people posing as a family escape out of German occupied France into safe territory. Her dad's life depends on her success. Who does she trust? This suspenseful adventure with lots of close calls with the Nazis will keep you reading to its conclusion.
MARCH 18, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the middle grade novel, "Those Kids from Fawn Creek", by Newbery Award winning author, Erin Entrada Kelly. Take a small town, Fawn Creek, and add a new seventh grader, Orchid Mason who has been to Paris, to a seventh grade classroom with 12 kids who have known each other their whole lives; and you get a study in social dynamics. So how does this new girl fit into this class which has been grouped into the cliques, "God Squad", "Fawn Creek Royalty"', "The Jocks", and 2 uncharacterized main characters, best friends Dorothy and Greyson? And why is this class still suffering from or under the influence of a bully who moved one town away a year ago? Orchid is the "change" that the kids from Fawn Creek need in order to emotionally grow.
MARCH 11, 2022: Janet's pick this week is a debut novel by a retired professor of developmental biology, Janet Wylie. "Menance in the Mist" is a middle grade novel starring sixth grade cousins, Cally and Giles. On a vacation together in Maine, their adventrues lead to some discovery of things that are putting the environment and people at risk. Their new friendship also helps them each deal with their own personal challenges and decisions. This is a good book for Earth Day and for dealing with grief and change.
MARCH 4, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the middle grade novel "A Comb of Wishes" by Lisa Stringfellow. What would you wish for if you were granted a wish? Kela, while searching for sea glass to make jewelry, is magically drawn to a box with a beautiful comb. This comb belongs to a sea woman/mermaid who has the power to grant a human a wish in order to retrieve her comb. Kela's mother has recently died in an accident. What would be wrong about wishing her to be alive again? This book explores Caribbean folklore, grief, and consequences of actions. "Every rope's got two ends."
FEBRUARY 22, 2022: Janet's pick today is the adult historical fiction novel, "The Girl in His Shadow" by Audrey Blake. Nora Beady, rescued by a doctor during a cholera epidemic in London as an 8 year old, grows up in the 1840's doctor's house complete with surgery in the basement. She learns by watching, reading, and coaching and becomes an excellent artist and physician's assistant. Dr. Croft is always experimenting and learning about new things such as ether. Unfortunately, Nora can't share her talents openly because women cannot be licensed. They must be proper ladies. Learn how she copes with her secret abilities and courtship and her own self worth in this male dominated time.
FEBRUARY 15, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the novel, "Love in English" by Maria E. Andrew. Ana, a new Spanish speaking immigrant from Argentina, is trying to fit in in a new country but also as a junior in high school. If you have ever been in a situation in which everyone is speaking a language you don't know you can understand Ana's frustration. This book also explores friendship and dating. Ana gets her heart torn between the American boy she feels attracted to and helps him with math and the Greek immigrant boy in her ESL class that she is learning English with and can truly be considered a friend. This is a sweet romance - what will Ana do?
FEBRUARY 11, 2022: Janet's pick this week is "Cold" by Marino Tamaki. This mature teen novel is a rather disturbing murder mystery. A high school boy, Todd, is found dead in the park and his ghost tells a part of the story as he follows the detectives assigned to the case. A high school girl, Georgia, is curious about the murder especially after she realizes that she has seen this boy before. Bullying, LGBTQ issues, and peer pressure are all a part of this unnecessary death.
FEBRUARY 4, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the mystery book for young readers aged 6 to 10, "Just Harriet", by Elana K. Arnold. Harriet's mom is pregnant and needs to finish her pregnancy on bed rest. Harriet will be spending her summer vacation on Marble Island with her Nanu, her dad's mother, who owns a B & B on the island. The story is told by Harriet herself who tells you right away that she sometimes lies -- and yes she does! Have fun finding out about Harriet as she learns about her dad as a child and tries to find the treasure in the "Gingerbread House".
JANUARY 28, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the middle grade novel, "Hide and Geek" by T.P. Jagged. Take one drepressed town that was once the home of a famious toymaker and a toy factory; and one group of four children, The Geeks, wo care about their town and each other; and add a secret clue that leads to a scavenger hunt to find treasure that can revitalize the town; and you have an enjoyable mystery story!
JANUARY 21, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the first book in the Teeny Houdini series, "The Disappearing Act" by Katrina Moore. This beginning novel stars Bessie Lee, a very active first grader (think June B. Jones) who wants to win "big" in the talent show to show that she is not just "teeny" but a magician who can really make things disappear! Book 2 is also available, "The Super-Secret Valentine".
JANUARY 14, 2022: Janet's pick this week is the 75th anniversary edition of "Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown which includes two-sided milestone cards to photograph with your baby at various stages of their first year. What a great addition to a timeless classic.
JANUARY 7, 2022: Janet’s pick this week is the young adult fantasy “The Ivory Key” by Akshaya Raman. Four siblings, all with the desire to find the Ivory Key, a source of lost magic, but with different agendas, must overcome obstacles and figure out clues to find the key that has been hidden for hundreds of years but also protected by the Kamala Society. Viva, the new queen of Ashoka, needs the magic to save her kingdom. Riya wants to gain the magic to help the “Ravens,” a group that steals to help the poor. Ronak wants to sell the key so that he and his brother can escape his castle life. Kaleb needs to clear his name and prove he did not participate in his mother’s murder. Can they look beyond their conflicting interests and work together for the betterment of Ashoka?
DECEMBER 31, 2021: Janet's pick this week is the middle grade novel, "Playing the Cards You're Dealt", by Varian Johnson. This book was also highly rated by Luca C., a Storybook Cove reviewer. Anthony Joplin, known as Ant, learns to deal with family and friendship issues (boy and girl) as he tries to continue the legacy of winning at the card game, spades, by his brother, father, and grandfather before him. He has to navigate the images of "weak" and "strong" and do what is best for his family when his father's addictions are a part of the problem.
DECEMBER 24, 2021: Janet's pick this week is "Across the Desert" by Dusti Bowling. Meet Jolene, a 12 year old budding cartographer who has become friends with a 12 year old aviator of an ultralight plane. Jolene watches Addie livestreaming her flight and sees her disappear and hears her scream. Without the support of the grownups in her life she realizes that she is the only one who can save her new friend who was flying hundreds of miles from Phoenix where Jolene lives. You cannot help rooting for Jolene as she tries to save Addie, make a lasting friendship, and save her mom from her drug dependency. This is a book that will make you cry and cheer.
DECEMBER 17, 2021: Janet's pick this week is "The One Thing You'd Save" by Linda Sue Park. This book is written in the structure of ancient Korean poetry of sijo. The homework assignment given the class is to decide what one thing you would save, knowing that your family and pets are all safe, if your home was on fire. This short book can spark a lot of discussion.Janet's pick this week is "The One Thing You'd Save" by Linda Sue Park. This book is written in the structure of ancient Korean poetry of sijo. The homework assignment given the class is to decide what one thing you would save, knowing that your family and pets are all safe, if your home was on fire. This short book can spark a lot of discussion.
DECEMBER 10, 2021: "Finding Junie Kim" by Ellen Oh is Janet's pick this week. By interviewing her Korean grandparents for a school project and learning of their real-life experiences of courage and hardships during the Korean War, Junie learns about her past and gains the strength to face racism at her school proactively. This book will make you cry and cheer at the same time!
DECEMBER 3, 2021: Janet's pick this week is "Amos McGee Misses the Bus" by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead. Do you remember "A Sick Day for Amos McGee"? Well this new book by the Stead's is also about the hardworking zoo caretaker who upon staying up most of the night thinking about an outing with his zoo animal friends ends up oversleeping and thwarting his own plans. However the animals once again come to the rescue. This is a sweet story by a Caldecott winning team.
NOVEMBER 26, 2021: Janet's pick this week is "The Dynasty" by Jeff Benedict. Newly out in paperback, this nonfiction accounting of the New England Patriots and the impact of the relationship of Kraft, Belichick, and Brady is detailed and riveting. Benedict combines extensive research and interviews with his own observations shadowing the 3 men and the team for 2 years to tell the tale of the transformation of the lowly Patriots to a championship dynasty. Signed copies available and make the perfect gift for the fan in your life. #thedynasty #jeffbenedict #shop small #shopindie
NOVEMBER 12, 2021: Janet's pick this week is the picture book, "The Luckiest Snowball" by Elliot Kreloff. Learn about the seasons starting with winter with a snowball named Larry. Once he starts melting, Larry spends most of his time in the home freezer until young Izzy introduces him to spring, summer, and fall and it becomes winter again! #holidayhouse #childrensbookweek #shopindie
NOVEMBER 5, 2021: Janet's pick this week is "Mary Chilton Winslow: Survivor of the Mayflower Voyage" by the author, Joyce A. Prince , a descendant of Mary Chilton, and the illustrator, Tara L. Harvey. This nonfiction book about Mary Chilton Winslow is an account of what life was like on a crowded small ship in 1820. Many people died on the ship, her father, and during that first year in America, her mother, but Mary survived. The book starts with her birth in England, life in Holland, and her voyage at 13 years old on the Mayflower. It ends with her death in Boston after marrying John Winslow and having 10 children, 9 who survived. Joyce A. Prince will be at Storybook Cove to sign copies on Saturday, Nov. 6th at 2:00 p.m.