One of the best ways to learn about the world around you is by reading books. We learn about ourselves and others by reading books that we can relate to, as well as those that teach us something about our neighbors. If there is something specific you'd like to read on, feel free to try a subject search in our catalog, or ask a librarian for help with search terms and suggestions. For a general smattering of books that feature characters who follow certain religious faiths, below are some titles that include Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity which might be of interest. Did we miss one of your favorite books? Feel free to comment below. 

Judaism

These books are suggested as readalikes for the popular series Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling. Magic, friendship, mischief, and action are all themes you will find in these titles. 

The truth: Nicholas Flamel's tomb is empty. The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. Nicholas Flamel is the greatest Alchemyst to ever live. The records show that he died in 1418, but what if he's actually been making the elixir of life for centuries? The secrets to eternal life are hidden within the book he protects--the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed, and in the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. And that's exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. There is one hope. If the prophecy is true, Sophie and Josh Newman have the power to save everyone. Now they just have to learn to use it. 

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths. Thirteen-year-old Alex tries his hardest to be stoic when his fate is announced as Unwanted, even while leaving behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted. Upon arrival at the destination where he expected to be eliminated, however, Alex discovers a stunning secret--behind the mirage of the "death farm" there is instead a place called Artime. In Artime, each child is taught to cultivate their creative abilities and learn how to use them magically, weaving spells through paintbrushes and musical instruments. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it's a wondrous transformation. But it's a rare, unique occurence for twins to be separated between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron's bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artime that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate, magical battle.

Are you a fan of Patterson, Baldacci, Koontz, or other popular writers and looking for something new to try? Perhaps you just want to check out a title in the genres mentioned above. Either way, we've got you covered with these newer titles which are stand-alone, or part of a newer series for your reading pleasure. 

Before the fall by Noah Hawley

On a foggy summer night, eleven people--ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter--depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are the painter Scott Burroughs and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.

Was it by chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something more sinister at work? A storm of media attention brings Scott fame that quickly morphs into notoriety and accusations, and he scrambles to salvage truth from the wreckage. Amid trauma and chaos, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy grows and glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, morality, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

The anomaly by Michael Rutger

If Indiana Jones lived in the X-Files era, he might bear at least a passing resemblance to Nolan Moore -- a rogue archaeologist hosting a web series derisively dismissed by the "real" experts, but beloved of conspiracy theorists. Nolan sets out to retrace the steps of an explorer from 1909 who claimed to have discovered a mysterious cavern high up in the ancient rock of the Grand Canyon. And, for once, he may have actually found what he seeks. Then the trip takes a nasty turn, and the cave begins turning against them in mysterious ways. Nolan's story becomes one of survival against seemingly impossible odds. The only way out is to answer a series of intriguing questions: What is this strange cave? How has it remained hidden for so long? And what secret does it conceal that made its last visitors attempt to seal it forever

ADA 30th Anniversary Logo Red white and blue; 7-26-1990 to 7-26-2020

On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law. This month marks the 30th anniversary of the ADA and  Below are some books that feature characters with disabilities. Did we miss your favorite book? Add it below in the comments. 

Youth Materials

On Friday, July 17, 2020, America lost two very influential and important Civil Rights icons. Rep John Lewis and Rev C.T. Vivian. We have curated some materials below which relate to their contributions toward and about the Civil Rights Movement. 

March. Book 1 by 1940 February 21- John Lewis
Also available in: e-book

Realistic fiction is just like it sounds, fiction that could actually happen or seems plausible. Wonder by R. J. Palacio is a prime example of this genre. Realistic fiction can take place in the current time, or from times past. This type of realistic fiction is referred to as historical. An example of a popular historical fiction novel is The War that Saved my Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. These days books written for Middle-Grade readers are better than ever now, with many authors touching on topics that are timely and could have been borrowed from headlines past and present. Below are some new novels in this genre, as well as some backlist bumps toward the bottom.  

Planet Earth is blue by Nicole Panteleakos

Autistic and nearly nonverbal, twelve-year-old Nova is happy in her new foster home and school, but eagerly anticipates the 1986 Challenger launch, for which her sister, Bridget, promised to return

Nowhere boy by Katherine Marsh

 

Fourteen-year-old Ahmed, a Syrian refugee living on his own in Brussels, Belgium, meets Max, a thirteen-year-old American boy, and the two form an important friendship

Young Adult dystopian books remain popular. Dystopian novels are set in an alternate setting that can have similarities to the world we know. Many of the books and seem to focus on female protagonists and give attention to intersections involving race, gender, power and empowerment, sexuality, class, and social justice issues. Though these novels are set in a fictional future, some of them seem eerily familiar and not too far fetched. We are going to start with newer titles below, and then there are some backlist bumps near the bottom. Enjoy! 

Newer Dystopian:

Leyla McQueen, who lives beneath the ruins of a submerged London in 2099, joins a prestigious submersible race in the hope of clearing her father's name before encountering government corruption and a hidden world. 

Looking for a new series to read? Check out these newer series for readers who love to read with a continuing cast of characters! See read-alike suggestions next to each book to pick a great new series today.

The haunted house next door by Andres Miedoso

This series is about a ghost hunting investigator and is recommended for lovers of Eerie Elementary and The Haunted Library. 

Upbeat STEAM-based fiction with a lovable cast of characters perfect for fans of Pete the Cat and Mercy Watson. 

STEAM Stop Gross Science: Dissecting Owl Pellets

Owl making a surprised face, words Gross Science Owl Pellets

Owl puke is fascinating. Not convinced? All patrons aged 7 years old and up are invited to join us for a Virtual STEAM program where we will investigate owl vomit (commonly called pellets). Each patron can pick up an actual owl pellet and tools that the library will provide to you so can dissect them LIVE with us! Registration begins on July 6 and ends on July 17.

How will we do this live?

First, make sure you have a device that supports Zoom.

Next, register at the link below. 

Then, you will receive an email directing you to schedule a time to pick up your Gross Science kit at the library.

Finally, you will receive an email 24 hours before the program begins with the Zoom link to join us live and dissect our owl pellets together! All program kits must be picked up by July 22 in order to participate. 

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Splash lab, hose nozzle, glass of ice water, water ballon splashing

Splash lab is all about using different principles of STEAM to explore one of our most abundant compounds made of two elements: hydrogen and oxygen. Though water is everywhere on Earth, it is a very unusual compound because of the nature of the chemical bonds between its atoms. Here are a few facts:

  • Water is denser in its liquid state than in its solid-state, which is why ice can float on or in liquid water.
  • Water has an unusually high boiling point based on its molecular weight.
  • Water is often referred to as the "universal solvent" because of its amazing ability to dissolve so many substances.

We have collected the following activities for you to experiment with water this summer.   

Skittle Investigation

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