The Haunting of Henry Davis

The Haunting of Henry Davis 
By Katryn Siebel 

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Published: July 2, 2019 
Pages: 240 
Ages : 8-12 

The Book 

It comes down to this: either you believe in ghosts or you don't. Twelve-year-old Barbara Anne was never a believer. That is until she met Henry. Henry is new in town, and on his first day of school, he sees his first ghost. One night during the school play piano stars to play itself and Barbra Anne and Henry can longer ignore the ghost's presence. Who is this ghost and why is he around? Barbara Anne and Henry team up with their classmates to find out the ghost's history in hopes to free him for good. 


This is NOT a scary book. I was a little nervous by the cover and I think some readers might be a little intimidated. Friendship is at the heart of this book. Tweens will relate to the daily school stories and will enjoy the adventure. The ghost Henry is very friendly (think Casper the Friendly Ghost).

Parents will enjoy that this story sneakily teaches a history lesson on WWI and the flu.

Readers of all ages will find something appealing.


Lovely War by Julie Berry

Confession, I am a sucker for historical fiction books. When I came across several reviews for the book Lovely War by Julie Berry, I knew I had to read it. As a teen librarian, I am always on the hunt for crossover and under books that would appeal to a wide audience and this one hit on all of my wants. I challenge you to put this book on your to-read pile! 

Below is a quick overview of the things that you need to know about this book. 

Lovely War By Julie Berry 


Release: March 5, 2019 
Grades: 7 and up 
Pages: 480 

About the Book 

In New York City on the eve of WWII, the Greek god Hephaestus catches his wife, Aphrodite, with his brother Ares. Hephaestus strings Aphrodite and Ares up in a golden net and puts them on trial. To save herself from the crime of adultery, Aphrodite tells the story of two couples in WWI. Weaving a story that alternates from the past and the present, the goddess's narrative centers on Aubrey, an African American musician; Colette, a Belgian singer; Hazel, a British pianist, and James an aspiring Britsh architect. 
The four are brought together by coincidence as they fall in love and discover in the background of war that love doesn't come easily.  

Noteworthy Things About This Book 

-This book is perfect for fans of Rick Riordan's work. I would especially recommend this book if customers enjoyed the romance between Percy and Annabeth. 

-The romance aspect is enough to keep readers of all ages interested, but it doesn't have intimate details to make any readers blush. (I would recommend grades 7+) 

-The backdrop of WWI is historically and vividly accurate. It helps raise awareness of racism and sexism in this time period. 

-Berry delivers an excellent balance between the romance and horrors of war-making this book appeal to a wide range of readers. 


Reminiscent of A Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Berry use of unorthodox narrators to offer something new to the WWI historical fiction genre. 

                                        This is a must-read for readers young and old. 

New Movies for Tweens

Summer reading prep can be even crazier than actual summer reading!

Between school visits, frantically getting ready for summer programming, and organizing summer reading pieces, and juggling current projects there is little time to do much else, but if your library is like mine, you must also begin to plan for fall and winter programming.

As we juggle these things, we also have to start to think about fall and winter programming.  

One thing to assist with this is to look at current movies with tween interest. 

Summer is full of blockbusters that will dominate future programming. 

Make sure to write down and plan passive or active programming that is themed with these popular summer movies like The Lion King, Aladdin, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, Ugly Dolls, Toy Story 4, and even Spider-man: Far From Home.  

Fall and Winter 2019 movies do not lose any steam after summer!

 Here are even more movies that are releasing this fall & winter with tween interest: 

Artemis Fowl 
August 2019

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil 
October 2019 

Sonic the Hedgehog 
November 2019 

Sonic the Hedgehog Poster

Star Wars IX
December 2019 

Star Wars: Episode IX

I hope this brings you some inspiration! Remember that tweens from their identity based on their interests. Be sure your programming features favorite fandom and pop culture elements in your tween program planning to get maximum tween participation.

Did I miss any?

Until next week!


Avengers Teen Movie Night

Marvel Movies have universally taken over pop culture. So when it comes to programming for tweens and teens, Marvel has become a fandom favorite. 

Recently, we did an Avengers: Infinity War interactive movie program for teens that attracted tweens, teens, and some adults. We ended up with triple the number of participants then we normally have, and all it took was a Marvel hook and some self-guided library activities. 

We popped some popcorn, provided some cookies, and set out a few fun activities. 

The main activities was trivia. My library is lucky enough to have several large projectors. While the movie was playing, I also have trivia going. Below is the trivia slides I used! Feel free to use them.

If teens did not want to play trivia to win an advanced reading copy of YA titles, we had other  activities that included : 

  • Reading a large display of library comics 
  • Making Wakanda bracelets with large wood beads and silver permeate markers we purchased from Amazon. (A Night Owl Blog has a wonderful tutorial on how to do this) 
  • Voting station to share various theories they had about the new movie Avengers: End Game. 

This program was low cost, fun, and an easy fandom program that libraries could easily plug into for an all age programming that showcases library materials. 

Have you done a Marvel program? 

Until next week, 


Ten Books to read after Raina Telgemeier

Spring break always gives librarians a preview of what summer reading will be like. It was full of programming and my favorite thing, reader's advisory. Now that I work in the teen department, I don't get to do children's reader's advisory as much as I would like. Thankfully, I still have my tween customers that come to me for some advice.

One reoccurring question I have been getting lately is, "I have read everything that Raina Telgemeier has ever written. What do I read now?" And so, the list below was born! Here are my top ten new favorites read alikes for Telgemeier fans :

By Kayla Miller

Olive “clicks” with everyone in the fifth grade—until one day she doesn’t. When a school variety show leaves Olive stranded without an act to join, she begins to panic, wondering why all her friends have already formed their own groups . . . without her. With the performance drawing closer by the minute, will Olive be able to find her own place in the show before the curtain comes up?
        Author-illustrator Kayla Miller has woven together a heartfelt and insightful story about navigating friendships, leaning on family, and learning to take the stage in the most important role of all.

The Breakaways 
By Cathy G. Johnson 

Quiet, sensitive Faith starts middle school already worrying about how she will fit in. To her surprise, Amanda, a popular eighth-grader, convinces her to join the school soccer team, the Bloodhounds. Having never played soccer in her life, Faith ends up on the C team, a ragtag group that’s way better at drama than at teamwork. Although they are awful at soccer, Faith and her teammates soon form a bond both on and off the soccer field that challenges their notions of loyalty, identity, friendship, and unity.
The Breakaways is a raw, and beautifully honest graphic novel that looks into the lives of a diverse and defiantly independent group of kids learning to make room for themselves in the world.

Emmie and Friends Series 

By Terri Libenson

This is the story of two totally different girls—
quiet, shy, artistic Emmie
popular, outgoing, athletic Katie
—and how their lives unexpectedly intersect one day, when an embarrassing note falls into the wrong hands. . . .

All the crushes, humiliations, boredom, and drama of middle school are compressed into one surprising day in this extraordinary novel.

Awkward (Berrybrook Middle School Series) 

By Svetlana Chmakova 

Cardinal rule #1 for surviving school: Don't get noticed by the mean kids.

Cardinal rule #2 for surviving school: Seek out groups with similar interests and join them.

On her first day at her new school, Penelope--Peppi--Torres reminds herself of these basics. But when she trips into a quiet boy in the hall, Jaime Thompson, she's already broken the first rule, and the mean kids start calling her the "nerder girlfriend." How does she handle this crisis? By shoving poor Jaime and running away!

Falling back on rule two and surrounding herself with new friends in the art club, Peppi still can't help feeling ashamed about the way she treated Jaime. Things are already awkward enough between the two, but to make matters worse, he's a member of her own club's archrivals--the science club! And when the two clubs go to war, Peppi realizes that sometimes you have to break the rules to survive middle school!

Making Friends 

By Kristen Gudsnuk 

Sometimes making a friend is a lot easier than keeping one!

Sixth grade was SO much easier for Danny. All her friends were in the same room and she knew exactly what to expect out of life. Now that she's in seventh grade, she's in a new middle school, her friends are in different classes and forming new cliques, and she is totally, completely lost. What Danny really needs is a new best friend! So when she inherits a magic sketchbook from her eccentric great-aunt in which anything she sketches in it comes to life, she draws Madison, the most amazing, perfect, and awesome best friend ever. 

The thing is, even when you create a best friend, there's no guarantee they'll always be your best friend. Especially when they discover they've been created with magic!

The Secret of Danger Point (Surfside Girls Series)

By Kim Dwinell

Sun... sand... and spooky adventures!
Things are getting weird in Surfside. Lately, Samantha’s best friend Jade explodes into fits of giggles whenever she sees a boy, and it’s throwing a wrench into the kick-back summer of surfing and hanging out that Sam had planned. But after swimming through a secret underwater cave, Sam starts to… see things. Like ghosts. And pirates. And maybe something even scarier! Can she and Jade get to the bottom of this mystery in time to save their town?

Fake Blood 

By Whitney Gardner 

It’s the beginning of the new school year and AJ feels like everyone is changing but him. He hasn’t grown or had any exciting summer adventures like his best friends have. He even has the same crush he’s harbored for years. So AJ decides to take matters into his own hands. But how could a girl like Nia Winters ever like plain vanilla AJ when she only has eyes for vampires?

When AJ and Nia are paired up for a group project on Transylvania, it may be AJ’s chance to win over Nia’s affection by dressing up like the vamp of her dreams. And soon enough he’s got more of Nia’s attention than he bargained for when he learns she’s a slayer.

Now AJ has to worry about self-preservation while also trying to save everyone he cares about from a real-life threat lurking in the shadows of Spoons Middle School.

New Kid 

By Jerry Craft 

Seventh-grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.
As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

All Summer Long (The Eagle Rock Trilogy) 

By Hope Larson 

Thirteen-year-old Bina has a long summer ahead of her. She and her best friend, Austin, usually do everything together, but he's off to soccer camp for a month, and he's been acting kind of weird lately anyway. So it's up to Bina to see how much fun she can have on her own. At first, it's a lot of guitar playing, boredom, and bad TV, but things look up when she finds an unlikely companion in Austin's older sister, who enjoys music just as much as Bina. But then Austin comes home from camp, and he's acting even weirder than when he left. How Bina and Austin rise above their growing pains and reestablish their friendship and respect for their differences makes for a touching and funny coming-of-age story.

Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel: A Modern Retelling of Little Women 

Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are having a really tough year: Not only is their father overseas with the military and their working overtime to make ends meet, but each girl is struggling with her own unique problems. Whether it's school woes, health issues, boy troubles, or simply feeling lost, the March sisters all need the same thing: support from each other. By coming together--and sharing lots of laughs and tears--these four young women find the courage to discover who they truly are as individuals...and as a family.

Besides these great titles, don't forget other favorite graphic novels like The Babysitter's Club series by Ann M. Martin and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier, The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell, and books by Jennifer Holm, Victoria Johnson, and Shannon Hale. 

Until next time, 


Five New Books You must use for Storytime Spring 2019

When people ask me what a teen librarian does, I always have to laugh. We do a little bit of everything. One of my favorite things to do is toddler storytime.

 Lately, I feel like I am in a funk so I have been on a quest to find some new storytime books. Below is a list of some of my favorites from this year.

Without further ado, here are my top five for Spring 2019: 

Bloom Bloom! by April Pulley Sayre


April Pulley Sayre is known for her delightful nature picture books. Books like Raindrops Roll, Best in Snow, and Full of Fall are some of my favorite storytime books! Now, Sayre finally has a book dedicated to spring. The simple text and large vibrant photographs are perfect for a toddler or even preschool storytimes.

For more interaction, you can add in Sign Language for bloom or flower and have the audience do the sign each time "bloom bloom!" is said. 

How to Two by David Soman 

A quiet day at a playground quickly becomes busy when one boy slides down a slide and sees two kids on a see-saw, and three kids playing jump rope. Before long there are ten kids playing! 

How to Two by David Soman is a must own concept book that focuses on counting to ten and then reverse counting. Not only is the interactive counting concept a storytime winner, but this book also sneakily celebrates inclusive play, friendship, and community. 

Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish by Beth Ferry 

I don't know about you, but I love silly storytime books. In this book, readers find out ten rules you must follow in order for your birthday wish to come true. Like How to Two, this is an excellent concept counting book. There is also a lot of humor in too that would make it perfect for school-age outreach visits or preschool storytime. You could also easily plug this book into a birthday storytime or unbirthday program. 

There are No Bears in this Bakery by Julia Sarcone-Roach 

You might recognize Julie Sarcone-Roach's name from her Ezra Jack Keats Honor Book The Bear Ate Your Sandwich. 

This book takes on a similar plot as her previous work. It is about a bear that gets into a little trouble. 

Told from a cat named Muffy's perspective, Muffy hears a sound in the bakery and goes to investigate.  Muffy isn't sure what she will find, but she is not expecting to find a bear! 

Both entertaining and sweet this book is perfect for older preschool or school-age outreach visits. 

Everybunny Dream! by Ellie Sandall 

Author Ellie Sandall has been a Jbrary favorite for several years now. The newest book in the bunny series is no exception. Filled with repetition and beautiful illustrations, this book is begging to be used in a bedtime storytime!

Other titles 


What are some of your favorite 2019 picture books so far?