Summer Staff Picks
Summer is such a busy season, especially when you live in upstate New York and you are trying to fit in every possible outdoor activity you can while you have the chance. Here at APL, we spend our summer encouraging kids and teens to read, and of course, trying to find time to devote to our own reading pleasure as well. I recently read Ana of California by Andi Teran, a modern twist on the classic novel Anne of Green Gables. Ana, a fifteen-year-old, last-chance foster kid from L.A., is sent to work at the Garber’s organic farm in northern California where she meets a charming cast of characters, including the only other kid in town who’s heard of and loves her favorite all-girl punk band. As the chapters unfold, you witness Ana letting down her guard as she figures out how to build trust and create a family. If you are looking for a summer read you can share with a teen, this engaging coming-of-age story will do the trick.
We asked our staff to recommend books for adults, kids, and teens, and (no surprise here) they came up with some great suggestions. Our Youth Services Librarian at our Pine Hills Branch (recently named the Best Public Library by Metroland) loved Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan. Keeping up with our summer reading theme, “Heroes Read,” this YA graphic novel is about a “retired” superhero who is just trying to live the life of a normal college student when her nemesis appears on campus. Our Head of Adult Services at our Washington Avenue Branch read Girl in a Band by legendary Sonic Youth bass player Kim Gordon, and found it to be “mesmerizing, intelligent, and melancholy,” and just as well-written as Patti Smith’s Just Kids. If you’re looking for something your younger readers will enjoy, our Youth Services Librarian at our Delaware Branch recommends Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lai. This “poignant, funny” chapter book tells the tale of what happens when twelve-year-old Mai has to spend her summer vacation in Vietnam, away from her American friends and (gasp!) her phone and the Internet. All you sports fans out there who are immersing yourself in baseball season will love our Executive Director’s pick, The Bad Guys Won by Jeff Pearlman, “an insightful look into the 1986 Mets, one of the greatest teams to take the field.”