Author Archive

Vera B. Williams, author and illustrator, dies at age 88

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

VeraWilliamsVera B. Williams, award-winning illustrator and author died last Friday at the age of 88.  Vera Williams received her BFA from Black Mountain college in North Caroline and worked as an artist and teacher for the first part of her career.  At the age of 46, she started illustrating children’s books.

In 2004, Vera Williams was the first U.S. nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.  She won the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature in 2009 and a Caldecott Medal in 1983 and 1991.  While Vera B. Williams wrote & illustrated many books, she is best known for A Chair For My Mother, although my personal favorite is More, More, More, Said the Baby.

Posted by:

Author Henning Mankell Dies At Age 67

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Henning-MankellSwedish novelist, Henning Mankell died Monday in Sweden at the age of 67.  In terms of Scandinavian novels, Henning Mankell‘s gritty Inspector Kurt Wallander lead the way for other authors from that region to find a broader audience.  Henning Mankell did end his well loved series 2009 with the publication of “The Troubled Man“.

Posted by:

Who Is Your Favorite Author?

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

As someone who works with books all day, one of the hardest questions to answer is: “Who is your favorite author?”  Truthfully, we all have more than one favorite author, that author who we will read no matter what they publish.

Combining almost 10 years of staff favorite lists and about 40 different authors, here are the two authors that stand out from the many beloved authors.










JoJo Moyes has only recently become a sensation in the United States but staff LOVE her books!  Her books are generally historical fiction with two voices, one current and one in the past.   Favorite book of staff is Me Before You with a recently published sequel called After You.

Harlan Coben has been writing for a while and is best known for mystery/suspense stand alone books.  His books are suspenseful but not too graphic and they feel like something that could actually happen.  My two personal favorites are The Woods and Hold Tight.

So, who is YOUR favorite author?

Posted by:

Author Jackie Collins Dies at Age 77

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

jackie-collinsBest selling author Jackie Collins died from breast cancer last Saturday.  Her books have sold over 500 million copies in 40 different countries.  Jackie Collins was born in London but was a rebellious teenager. Rather than go to reform school at the age of 15, she moved to Hollywood where her older sister Joan was already working.

Her first book “The World is Full of Married Men” was published in 1968 and was banned in both Australia and South Africa.  Her novels generally give her readers a glimpse of the “glamorous lives of the rich and famous.”  Additional, many of her books have been adapted for movies and television series.

Posted by:

Back to School Books for Teens

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

sophomoresotheroxymSurprise sequel and in time for back to school!  Sophomores and Other Oxymorons by David Lubar, is the followup book to Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie.  Scott Hudson survived last year despite his mother being pregnant but now he has a little brother and a bunch of new challenges at school.

orbitingjupiterAnd coming in October, Gary Schmidt has a new book, “Orbiting Jupiter“.  12-year old Jack has always been an only child so it is a new experience when his parents bring 14-year old Joseph to the family farm.  Joseph spent time in juvie and just wants to see his daughter Jupiter but he also has to deal with a new school and a family life very different than his own.




Posted by:

True Crime Author Ann Rule Dies at 83

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Michigan born author Ann Rule, ann-rule-768who wrote true-crime stories, died Sunday at the age of 83.  Her most well known book “The Stranger Beside Me” profiled Ted Bundy, who she briefly worked with before he was arrested and admitted to killing multiple women.

She wrote over 30 books, all of which were well received because of her empathetic perspective and focus on the victims.  She attended numerous workshops on crime topics which, along with her focus on serial killers, made her a valuable resource for local law enforcement as well as the FBI and the Justice Department.





Posted by:

Audiobooks for Road Trips

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Summer is a great time to travel with the whole family but it is also a great chance to listen to some great books together.  Here are some suggests to try!dealingwithdragons

Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede: This teen series features a full cast recording and four great stories featuring wizards, dragons, princesses and kings.  The first book in the series, “Dealing with Dragons“, features Princess Cimorene, who does not follow the traditional path. In fact, she decides to move in with a dragon rather than marry the prince!


walkinthewoodsFor some great humor with a book that will soon be a movie, try “A Walk In The Woods” by Bill Bryson.  Read by the author, this entertaining story is about Bryson’s own experience walking along the Appalachian Trail with his old friend Stephen Katz, along with some history and ecology too.wonder


For a little bit younger reader, try “Wonder” by R. J. Palacio.  This is an award winning book about Auggie who is about to enter 5th grade.  Not that entering the 5th grade isn’t challenging enough, but Auggie has never attend school before, partly because of his very visible facial deformities. A must read for all ages.


Posted by:

Teen Hero books

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

The Summer Reading theme is all about celebrating heroes so inpowerless addition to the all the great reading choices available, here is another NEWLY released book to check out:

Powerless by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs is about a teenager named Kenna who works in a secret lab for actual superheroes.  Not only that, her father was a hero who was killed by a villain.  But unfortunately, Kenna doesn’t have any powers of her own.  Then one night when Kenna is working in the lab, a group of villains break in and change Kenna’s perspective for ever!

I really liked the humor and the twists of this story.  Luckily for me, there is the first in a series!

Posted by:

Author Marcia Brown Dies at the Age of 96

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

marciabrownWell-known children’s author & illustrator Marcia Brown died last month at the age of 96.  Marcia Brown was one of the few illustrators to win three Caldecott medals.  The first one was in 1955 for Cinderella, or the Little Glass Slipper, which she translated from Charles Perrault’s version.  The second was for Once a Mouse in 1962 and finally Shadow in 1983, translated and adapted from a Blaise Cendrars poem.  She also won six Caldecott Honors and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for contributions to children’s literature.

Posted by:

YALSA 2015 Top Ten Teen Books Nominees

Friday, May 1st, 2015

YALSA has announced the nominees for the Top Ten Teen Books. TeensTopTen_logo_web The list of books come from different teen book groups from around the country.  And teens get to decide on the top ten too.  So start reading now and get ready to vote!  Voting will take place between August 15th & October 18th. Below are the nominees:

Posted by: