Archive | December, 2022

Hoboken Public Library’s 2022 Best Books for Kids and Teens

28 Dec

Easy Readers
Sir Ladybug
by Corey R. Tabor
Sir Ladybug is a gentle knight who, along with his friends, is called on  a quest to rescue a caterpillar from being eaten by a hungry chickadee. This funny story offers a good start for young readers.

Princess in Black and  Mermaid Princess
by Shannon Hale
The Princess in Black and her friends are enjoying a day of sun and sea on the royal boat when a real, live mermaid Princess  emerges from the waves. She needs their help protecting her sea goats from being eaten by a greedy kraken. 

Max and the Midknights: Tower of Time no. 3
by Lincoln Peirce
Max’s twin sister Mary is public enemy number one and has gone missing. It’s up to Max and the Midknights to find her and avoid crossing paths with trolls, pirates, and ruthless Kings.  

Mr. Lemoncello’s Very First Game
by Chris Grabenstein
A 13 year-old boy named Luigi Lemoncello dreams of being a showman. He gets his chance when a carnival comes to town and a famous barker offers him a summer job involving a puzzle and treasure hunt.  

Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa
by Julian Randall
While researching her documentary about her missing cousin, 12 yearold Pilar is transported to the magical island of Zafa. Here Dominican myths and legends come to life and her cousin is being held captive in a prison.

Different Kinds of Fruit
Kyle Lukoff
Annabelle enters the 6th grade and makes friends with Bailey, the new nonbinary kid in town. Then she discovers that her father has something in common with Bailey and she begins to see herself and her family in a whole new light.

Board books
Hello, Beautiful You!
by Andrea Davis Pinkey
This sweet book celebrates just how beautiful your little one is! Perfect to read while snuggling up together, this book is filled with rhythmic text and delightful illustrations that celebrate your little one.

Tummy Time
Your little one will love this interactive, double-sided book that engages their senses. Filled with vivid images, a mirror, as well as instructions parents can do with their little ones.  It’s exactly as the name suggests, taken up to new heights.

Picture books
Beauty Woke
by NoNieqa Ramos
Beauty – who is of Taino Indian, African and Boricua heritage is raised by her loving family to have pride in who she is and where she comes from. But hatred toward people who look like her bruises her heart.

Out of a Jar
by Deborah Marcero
Llewellyn, a little bunny overwhelmed by his emotions, hides away his feelings in glass jars. Then he discovers it’s not good to bottle up your feelings and life is more colorful when he sets his emotions free.

The Year We Learned to Fly
by Jacqueline Woodson 
A brother and sister are stuck inside on a rainy day.  Bored, they are told by their wise grandmother to use their minds. Using their imaginations, they are able to fly high above the city

Eyes that Speak to the Stars
by Joanna Ho
A young Asian boy notices that his eyes look different from his peers’. His father tells him that his eyes rise to the skies and speak to the stars, shine like sunlit rays, & glimpse trails of light from those who came before.

Nothing More to Tell
by Karen M. McManus
Four years ago, Brynn left St. Ambrose School following the shocking murder of her favorite teacher. The story made headlines after the teacher’s body was found by three students in the woods behind the school. 

Kingdom of the Feared
by Kerri Maniscalo
Emilia is determined to clear her sister’s name when she is implicated in the murder of a high-ranking member of a rival demon court. Her investigation forces her to face the demons of her own past and challenge the Prince of Wrath. 

Never Coming Home
by Kate Williams Ten teen influencers arrive on Unknown Island expecting to find a tropical paradise, but instead they discover a deserted resort, poisonous snakes, and secrets worth killing for. Will anyone survive?  

Once Upon a K-Prom
by Kat Cho
Instead of going to prom, 17 year-old Elena wants to spend her time saving the local community center. Then, her childhood best friend, now a Kpop superstar, returns to make good on their old pact to attend prom together. 

This Woven Kingdom
by Tahereh Mafi
A romance between two main characters with roots in Persian mythology. The story follows Alizeh, heir to the Jinn crown, forced to seek refuge as a servant girl to evade those who would have her killed.

The Agathas
by Kathleen Glasgow
Set against the backdrop of a wealthy oceanside town, this story follows two teenage girls – rich and popular Alice and her less popular, less rich tutor, Iris – as they work together to solve the murder of Alice’s exbest friend. 

The Final Gambit
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Avery’s fortune, life, and loves are on the line in the game that everyone will be talking about. To inherit billions, all Avery has to do is survive a few more weeks living in Hawthorne House, but the paparazzi are dogging her.

I Kissed Shara Wheeler
by Casey McQuiston
Chloe moves to Alabama and discovers she is the only student at her Catholic high school who is openly queer. She makes it her goal to become valedictorian, but must compete with the most popular girl at school.

by V.E. Schwab
This atmospheric tale follows the story of Olivia, a young girl living at Merilance School for Girls. Her mother disappeared and she has spent her days bring taunted by girls at school. Then, she is sent to live at Gallant, the family estate. 

You can view HPL’s top picks for adults here.

Children Picks From:
Melissa Medina, Youth Services Senior Library Assistant
Teen Picks From:
Jenn Sforza, Young Adult Librarian

Holiday Reads (without the Romance)

21 Dec

There are lots of holiday romance books and movies, but sometimes I want books with a festive theme or wintry backdrop but with a little mystery, fantasy, or memoir instead. These were my three Christmas picks, I enjoyed this holiday season.

Blackmail and Bibingka
by Mia P. Mananasala

I’ve become of fan of Mia P. Mananasala’s Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery Series so was excited that her newest, Blackmail and Bibingka was set during the holiday season. Lila Macapagal and her family and friends are busy with the weeks leading up to Christmas preparing lots of delicious sounding treats including Bibingka. Bibingka is a slightly sweet and soft rice cake that Filipino families often make and eat around Christmas; if you are curious to try them, there is a recipe for Bibingka as well as other yummy treats mentioned through out the novel at the end. Added to the holiday hubbub, Lila’s estranged cousin Ronnie has recently returned and is attempting to start a winery centered around exotic fruits. When one of Ronnie’s investors passes away under mystery circumstances, Lila investigates to prove her cousin’s innocence. Like any good cozy, the Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mysteries are filled with charming and quirky characters, but the diversity of backgrounds represented adds depth. You can also read my review of the first in the series Arsenic and Adobo. If you are looking for more Christmas mysteries, check out my recent review of Donna Andrew’s Dashing Through the Snowbirds.

Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas
by John Baxter

My father was born in Paris so for me Christmas isn’t Christmas without a Bouche de Noel (log cake) and other French delicacies. As a child I would need to explain to anyone new to our celebrations that it was a marathon and not a sprint so they would be prepared for a meal that could be sometimes 6 or 7 courses; I couldn’t resist therefore John Baxter’s, Immoveable Feast about an Australian man’s quest to prepare himself to prove to his Parisian in-laws that he was up to the challenge of creating a Noel dinner worthy of their family. His stories about sourcing ingredients were frequently filled with humor. The memoir also mixes bits of his experience living in Australia as a child, as well as a sprinkling of his career writing about the movie industry (some big names are dropped) with his adventures in France with his wife, daughter, and in-laws. Some of his wife’s families traditions differed from my own, but many aspects resonated with me and I enjoyed learning about how Christmas is celebrated in Summer in Australia. Baxter has written several other books about Paris for those who are Francophiles, including Paris at the End of the World.

A Scandal in Battersea
by Mercedes Lackey

A Scandal in Battersea is the the 12th in Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters Series. We picked it for this year’s December book discussion for our Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Discussion Group at the Library. The story starts out strong with a perfect Victorian Christmas with afternoon tea, pantomimes, and sleigh rides, but darkness is lurking as a brash, foolhardy would-be-magician attempts to summon a powerful being that he thinks will make his dreams come true. It is, however, a penny dreadful nightmare when the young women, whom he brings the creature, return from the other dimension zombie like, unable to respond but to follow basic commands. The book alternates between the efforts of the magician and the protagonists, a group of psychically and magically gifted original characters along with with Sherlock Holmes and Watson. The book brings in a lot of diverse elements which sometimes felt like they could be developed more and I wish the holiday trappings had continued throughout rather than being dropped towards the end, but overall I enjoyed this fast paced fantasy read with some clever plot twists. Some of the books in the series incorporate fairytales like Reserved for the Cat, a personal favorite of mine that I highly recommend.

You can also read previous posts about some unexpected Holiday Movie picks. For those who prefer holiday romance check out this post about the Dash and Lily series and next month I’ll be reviewing Wintery Paranormal Romances, Back in a Spell and Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries.

Do you have a favorite December Holiday or Winter Read; share it in our comment section!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

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