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Check Please Hockey
by Ngozi Ukazu


Check, Please!: #Hockey is the Eric "Bitty" Bittle's vlogging of his first two years at Samwell University, specifically as a member of their hockey team. Bitty quickly becomes "bros" with his teammates, even the semi-mysterious-because-he-doesn't-hang-out-with-the-team-a-whole-lot captain, Jack, the son of a famous hockey player. Despite his short stature, his history as an amateur figure skater, and his fear of getting checked (getting physically hit during the game by an opponent), he fits in well. When he's not playing hockey, he's busy baking for his vlog. (His teammates love all the baked goodies they get.) Oh, and Bitty is gay. But it doesn't matter because everyone on the team is straight (or are they...) and Samwell is highly inclusive and accepting of LGBTQIA+ individuals. Check, Please!: #Hockey is Bitty's progression through freshman and sophomore year as he makes friends with the guys, bakes pies, plays hockey, and-- unbeknownst to him-- catches someone's eye.... I did not think I would like Check, Please!: #Hockey. I'm not a sports person, and I know even less about hockey than I do about most other sports. But, I kept seeing it everywhere in the book world. I knew it featured an LGBTQIA+ character, and I was curious to see how if it lived up to the hype. AND IT TOTALLY DOES! The slow burn of romance is even better because we are led to believe that it's unrequited... All the feels! And the minor characters are a good mix of rounded and flat that supports Bitty's story. Author Ukazu includes a forward that describes the extensive anthropological study of hockey teams she conducted for her thesis; Check, Please!: #Hockey came from that in that it's the exact opposite of that meticulous and Great Art: it's all about feels and being a cute story.


Illegal
by Eoin Colfer Illegal


3.5/5 stars Illegal is a fictionalized account of the dangerous refugee experience of Ebo, a 12-year-old boy from a small village in Ghana. Told in dual timelines of “now”, on a rubber raft in the Mediterranean, and “then”, Ebo’s journey to the Mediterranean, Illegal doesn’t skimp on the difficulties that refugees endure. Ebo lives on the street, faces death multiple times, experiences hunger and dehydration under the desert sun, bargains with violent smugglers, and more. Ebo originally leaves his village in search of his brother Kwanzaa and sister Sisi, but will he find them and will they all make it to Europe safely? The illustrations in this graphic novel are beautiful. However, the dual timelines are not necessary. It would be more accessible if told strictly in chronological order. Additionally, compared to Alan Gratz’s similar book, Refugee, Gratz’s is clearly the superior book. I definitely empathized with Ebo and Kwame, but I wasn’t as compelled by their story as I was with Mahmoud’s tale in Refugee.


Michigan: On the Trail of a War Bride
by Julien Frey


Michigan: On the Trail of a War Bride has a dual timeline. Julian (a Frenchman), and the frame of the book, visits his wife's extended family in Michigan. There, they see just how different American culture and everyday life are compared to what they are used to back home in France. In Michigan, Julien meets Odette, his wife's aunt, who was born and raised in France and then married an American soldier during World War II and immigrated to Michigan as a war bride. Odette's tale of her courtship and early years in Michigan make up the bulk of this graphic novel. I enjoyed Michigan: On the Trail of a War Bride more than I have most other graphic novels, probably because I am a massive fan of historical fiction. Beyond the stark contrasts between American and French culture, the frame tale was unnecessary. I would probably have enjoyed the book even more if we had gotten more "meat" of Odette's early years in America.


Amelia Bedelia Goes Wild
by Herman parish


Chapter3


Ook And Gluk
by Dav Pilkey


Chapter 3


Sheets
by Brenna Thummler


3.5/5 stars Sheets is the story of Marjorie, a middle schooler in the late 1990s. Marjorie has a hard life right now: her mom recently-ish passed away, her dad is depressed, and Marjorie is left caring for her kindergartener brother and their family's laundromat. To add to the weight on her shoulders, a man in her town is trying to discredit the family's laundromat in order to put pressure on Marjorie to "sell" the building to him for his spa and yoga studio. He goes to quite some evil lengths to get his way, but a ghost by the name of Wendell shows up and attempts to help Marjorie. Will Wendell be able to help Marjorie save the laundromat? Will Marjorie ever get to act her age again or will she have to grow up much too quickly? Sheets was a decent graphic novel. I'm not usually a fan of the medium, but I didn't hate this one. The colors of the illustrations were indicative of night vs. day and present vs. Ghost Town vs. flashbacks. They helped add to the tone and helped foster my sympathy for Marjorie, who is, truly, in a horrible position. While Marjorie is of middle-school age, I would not recommend Sheets to tweens, nor probably teens. I suppose the best audience would be adults, but it probably won't have a wide appeal, unless the reader is looking for a book on grief, friendship, or overcoming hardship.


Spirit Fighter
by Jerel Law


Marley Everingham


What Once Was True
by Jean Grainger


April Everingham


Daughter Of The Pirate King By Tricia Levenseller
by Tricia Levenseller


4.5/5 stars Daughter of the Pirate King is the story of Alosa and her quest to find, for her father, 1/3 of a map he wants. In order to do this, she must stage her own kidnapping by Draxen, another pirate, in order to search his ship on the sly. There's swashbuckling, deck-swabbing, stealthy sleuthing, kidnapping galore, and reluctant romancing. I enjoyed Daughter of the Pirate King a lot! A patron recommended it to me, and I'm very glad I moved it to the top of my list. Fans of epic fantasy and girl power will enjoy it, especially if they inhaled Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass series. The pacing and style are very similar, as are the protagonists: girls who aren't afraid to play dirty to get what they want and are confident in their abilities and opinions.


Junie B. First Grader Toothless Wonder
by Barbara Park


Loved it!


From Head to Toe
by Eric Carle


One of our favorites!


From Head to Toe
by Eric Carle


One of our favorites!


This Is How It Always Is

This was an incredible book. it made me laugh, cry, think, and appreciate parenthood.


Empire Of Storms
by Sarah J Maas Books


This was one of my favorites of the series.


Go, Go, Grapes
by Apryl pulley sayre


We liked the rhymes & exotic fruits we'd never heard of before.
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