• BB 2016 FB

    The Night GardnerTHE NIGHT GARDENER
    by Terry and Eric Fan

    This book was SO CLOSE to being added to our best books of the year list. It is one of my favorite books from the year. In fact, if you want to know just how much I love this book; take a look at my blog post from it back in March of 2016. It is about a boy who notices a gardener who trims trees at night—which cause quite the response the next day since the trees turn into owls, dragons, and other fun creatures. The story is good, but the pictures are amazing! The subtle changes from what the street feels and looks like before the night gardener comes to afterward is just amazing—to the point that by the end it is hard to think that life wasn’t so bright and happy throughout the whole book. Honestly, this is one book that will not soon be forgotten, and it is one that almost (ALMOST!) made it onto my best books list this past year. If I could have added one more picture book, this would have been it! 


    by Nathan Hale

    I love the Hazardous Tales graphic novels! They are clever, full of fun facts, and well done. The only reason that this did not make the list is that it is the 6th book in the series. I figured that many people already knew about the Hazardous Tales (and how amazing they are). So this almost made the list…but I opted to add the new graphic novels that were the first in a series instead. So this particular tale tells about the heroes that lived and died at the Alamo (and those who escaped or fought against the Alamo which is why we know so much about that event). There are bits of backstory mingled with humor and jokes (and readers can still laugh at the Provost and the Hangman). Seriously, such great non-fiction put together in one happy package. ALAMO ALL-STARS, if I had one more spot you would have been on the best books list! 


    When the Sea Turned to SilverWHEN THE SEA TURNED TO SILVER
    By Grace Lin

    I loved this book. Absolutely loved it. The reason this book did not make our final list is because there were just too many exceptional middle grade novels this year (as if there can ever ACTUALLY be too many). This is the story of the Storyteller’s granddaughter – Pinmei. After the Tiger Emperor kidnaps her grandmother, Pinmei must journey to find the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night – the only thing that might persuade the Emperor to change his mind and release his prisoner. When the Sea Turned to Silver is the third installment in a story that began with WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON but can easily stand alone.  This is not usually the type of book that I would choose for myself - I was definitely reading out of my comfort zone – but I loved this beautiful story even more because of it! I fell in love with the magical and yet familiar world that was crafted in this novel and the way the story weaved together and revealed itself at the end. This book is for everyone to read and enjoy while it warms you like a fuzzy blanket. Too many good books is a problem I like to have but, unfortunately, it means this book just barely missed our best books list. 


    By Steve Jenkins

    When I was a kid, I don’t remember that there were an excess of really well done informational books. So, I was as surprised as anyone to realize how tight the competition for best non-fiction would be this year. Let me just say, leaving this book off my final list was not a decision I came to easily. ANIMALS BY THE NUMBERS graphically shares all kinds of interesting facts and figures about all kinds of different animals. This book is seriously informative with very simple, straightforward, “good to know” infographics. The minimalist illustrations make the book even more user friendly and they are, frankly, unbelievably striking. If I had space for anymore informational books, this one would be included – no doubt. In the end, ANNIMALS BY THE NUMBERS was beaten out by some very stiff competition. 


    The Thank You BookTHE THANK YOU BOOK
    By Mo Willems

    Easy Readers have come a long way recently, mostly thanks to Mo Willems. So, Mo, THANK YOU! This book was left off the final list in part because this is the last in a series and I was hoping that everyone would already know and love Elephant & Piggie. Unfortunately, this book was nudged off the list is because even though it is Mo Willems being excellent, it is not quite as excellent as Mo Willems can be. (We hold him to his own standard). Elephant Gerald & Piggie say goodbye and thank you to their friends, the reader, and each other in this very sweet book that fans of the series will love. If our list for best books could be even one book longer, THE THANK YOU BOOK would be a part of it! 



  • BB 2017 FB

    Each year we put together a list of the top 60 best children’s books (according to our children’s librarians). As we have been whittling down our lists some titles are harder to take off—almost painful because they are great books. These five books are fantastic! Truly amazing! Yet they just didn’t make the list. If it was the 65 best children’s books, these titles would have been on there.

    As we keep you in suspense as to our top 60 books (which we will reveal at our Best Books program next Tuesday), take a look at these books that almost made the cut.

    2.14 The Legend of Rock Paper ScissorsTHE LEGEND OF ROCK PAPER SCISSORS
    By Drew Daywalt
    Illustrated by Adam Rex

    This is a great picture book—and I liked it so much that I even bought it! Really, it is a good book. It tells the story of Rock (who lives in the Kingdom of the Backyard) and is the strongest in the land. No one could beat Rock in any challenge. Then (in the Empire of Mom’s Home Office) there lived another warrior named Paper. Once again in this empire there was none who could best Paper. In a third place (the Kitchen Realm) there lived a warrior named Scissors who could not be beaten in all of her challenges. Daywalt and Rex put together a hilarious tale as to why these three warriors battle together (and thus explains the rock, paper, scissors game that children all over the world play). Seriously, this is a pretty funny book. 


    2.14 Orphan IslandORPHAN ISLAND
    By Laurel Snyder

    It is not often that you find a Juvenile Fiction title as divisive as this one, or one that can get as many people talking. Orphan Island tells the story of Jinny, a girl who has grown up on a secluded island populated only by nine orphans. Each year, a boat arrives to deliver a new child and the oldest is expected to leave without knowing what awaits them on the boat. But when Jinny’s boat comes, she doesn’t leave and the island – once a perfect, nurturing home – begins to change. This book is in many ways a classic “coming of age” story, but also it isn’t. This book, its setting and its plot are wildly imaginative and are bolstered by truly skillful writing – providing lots of opportunities for discussion. It’s hard to discount the buzz surrounding this book – it’s a National Book Award Longlist Title and it’s on the Mock Newbery list of anyone who has such a list – but it’s also incredible divisive with vocal people arguing about it either way. While this wasn’t one of our favorite books of the year, it’s been discussed too much to leave off our list completely. 


    2.14 Real FriendsREAL FRIENDS
    By Shannon Hale
    Illustrated by LeUyen Pham

    Shannon Hale joins up with LeUyen Pham (who also illustrates Shannon’s PRINCESS IN BLACK series) in this graphic novel memoir about making and keeping friends. Shannon and her best friend Adrienne have been best friends since they were little, but when Adrienne becomes friends with the most popular girl in school, things begin to change between them and Shannon questions whether or not she and Adrienne will be able to stay friends. This story is one that most readers will be able to identify with – whether they’ve been bullied by the popular kids or not.  Also, since Shannon Hale is a local author, it’s set in Salt Lake City which is sort of extra fun for kids from Utah. This story is honest and a little heartwarming, and though it didn’t make our final list is a great choice for Raina Telgemeir or Cece Bell fans. 


    by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm

    This is a great nonfiction title (which follows up the brilliant book Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth). Bang and Chisholm explain how water moves around the world thanks to the heat of the sun—both through the sun’s part of the water cycle and due to the sun heating various currents in the oceans. This is a book full of information and facts presented in a picture book format so even the younger scientists can understand how water works and how the sun plays a major part to what happens to the water. 


    2.14 Harry Millers RunHARRY MILLER'S RUN
    By David Almond
    Illustrated by Salvatore Rubbin

    Most juvenile intermediate books are formula books—ones where they are part of a series and you can predict that the book will (re)introduce the characters in chapter one, throw in a bit of conflict (usually of the same variety as previous books in the series) in chapter two, etc. Not Harry Miller’s Run. This book is a stand-alone story that is beautifully written AND happens to be a juvenile intermediate book. Liam needs to train for an upcoming race and so he talks to his older neighbor (Harry Miller) who happens to have run the same race when he was younger. This is a great story about something seemingly insignificant (like talking to an elderly neighbor) can actually be interesting, fun, and helpful. Plus, the way Harry Miller tells his tale, readers will almost feel like going out for a jog themselves. Almond has written yet another great story—and lucky for us this one is an intermediate book!

  • Easy Readers 2

    One of my favorite things I get to do at work is ordering the Easy Reader Nonfiction books (JENF for short). These books are nestled in with the Easy Reader and Very Easy Reader section, but I think they are extra special. These books are a great way for curious minds to learn about all the things they might be interested in – in a language they can read for themselves. 

    Our JENF books are in the red Easy Reader corner of the Children’s Department and are eager to be discovered. Here are some great new JENF series to go hunting for: 


    9.6 Rookie National ParksZION NATIONAL PARK
    By Jodie Shepherd

    Rookie is a series of books from Scholastic, and within the Rookie series there are a lot of series on all kinds of topics – and I don’t think that they are all good, but the National Parks series (new this year!) is definitely worth reading. Each book in this series has facts about the flora and fauna of the National Park in question, the geographical formation, and must-sees within the parks – all on pages full of stunning photographs from inside the national parks. If you have young explorers, definitely bring these books home. 



    By Tedd Arnold

    Sometimes informational books with popular characters thrown in can seem a little gimmicky, but the Fly Guy Presents series has none of that. These informational books on a variety of topics (everything from Sharks to the White House) have all the fun of Fly Guy stories but with a ton of great facts as well. I love these books, which follow Fly Guy and Buzz on various field trips and are filled with Tedd Arnold’s signature funny illustrations and cool photographs throughout.     



    By Trey King

    I have to confess that I am not a big Transformers fan so I cannot personally speak to how cool these books are, but my elementary school aged cousins tell me that these books are cool and I’ll take their word for it. From a librarian perspective, this series is great because even though it is fairly new it is already covering a good range of topics (firefighters, monster trucks, under the sea). The pages are a good mix of photographs and illustrations and these books are full of good information. 



    9.6 I wish I was a GorillaI WISH I WAS A GORILLA
    By Jennifer Bove

    I grew up reading Ranger Rick magazines and this new series of Easy Readers carries all the same good parts of Ranger Rick magazines, but in a compact, focused design focused on beginning readers. This series of books includes volumes focused on other animals like orcas and lions and all are really well done. This book is filled with a ton of information about gorillas – where they live, what they look like, what they eat, and how they care for their families. Plus there are incredible photos courtesy of the National Wildlife Federation.  



    9.6 Jesse OwensJESSE OWENS
    By Laurie Calkhoven

    If your little readers are curious about real people and the interesting lives they lived, this series is one of my favorites. These books tend to focus on figures that young readers may not have learned about yet (i.e. not another Thomas Edison or Abraham Lincoln bio). This book, about Jesse Owens the African American runner who caused a sensation at the 1936 Berlin Olympics is well written with little readers in mind. Other books to look out for include Mae Jemison and a group biography Women in Science. 


    Did we miss any of your favorite Easy Reader Non Fiction sections? Tell us in the comments!

  • disney

    When I was growing up, my family was always a “Disneyland family.” You know, some families take trips to Disney theme parks and some don’t – mine was always in the first category. In fact, some of my fondest family memories are from trips to Disney parks. Even as an adult, I have something of a reputation for being a Disney person – that may be because I have an Annual Pass to Disney World (yes, in Florida) even though it is 2,321 miles away from the Provo City Library. 

    I like to think that all of these trips over the years were training me for the day that a patron would walk into the Library and ask “we’re planning a trip to Disneyland. Do you have any books to help get our kids excited?” The answer, of course, was yes. Here are my five favorite recommendations, from the unofficial Disney Expert at the PCL, to anyone who has the same question. 

    By Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville
    Illustrated by Brigette Barrager

    This book is actually one of my favorite recent books, even for non-Disney fans. It is all about Mary Blair, the most famous Disney animator you’ve never heard of. In the 1950s she worked as a concept animator for films like Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and Cinderella before leaving to work in advertising. She was then brought back by Walt Disney himself to design It’s a Small World. This  book is filled with lots of Disney goodness and will make even the most reluctant willing to board “the happiest cruise that ever sailed.” 


    By Dinah Williams

    When I was a kid visiting Disney, the best part was bugging my parents and older siblings with secret, hidden, little-known facts and tidbits I had collected (I was a youngest child who would grow up to be a librarian, what can I say?). This book is filled with all kinds of behind-the-scenes information that kids will be excited to share. If you’re headed to Florida instead of Anaheim there is also a Disney World version – SECRETS OF WALT DISNEY WORLD: WEIRD AND WONDERFUL FACTS ABOUT THE MOST MAGICAL PLACE ON EARTH


    By Doreen Rappaport

    If you’re trying to get excited for a Disney trip, there is no better place to start than with the man himself. This new picture book biography explores the life of Walt Disney for young readers with beautiful illustrations featuring Walt, Mickey Mouse, and other familiar faces.   


    By Xavier Atencio

    Let’s be honest, no Disney trip preparation is complete without a little Disney music. Pirates of the Caribbean is one of my favorite rides at Disneyland and this picture book captures the magic of the ride with original illustrations to accompany everyone’s favorite pirate song. 


    1.28 Keymasters QuestTHE KEYMASTER’S QUEST
    By Jason Lethcoe

    For older readers looking to get in on some pre (or post) Disneyland action, this adventurous series of Middle Grade novels is a good place to start. Set in the worlds of Disney’s Adventureland (The Enchanted Tiki Room, the Jungle Cruise, etc.) this book follows Andy Stanley as he ventures deep into the jungle to keep magical artifacts from falling into the wrong hands. It’s an adventurous story made better by some good puzzles and Disney magic.

  • BFYR 3

    The Books for Young Readers Symposium is a pretty exciting event when we get to have some big names in Children’s literature come and visit our library. It’s always wonderful to have authors in our library, but it’s even more exciting when we get to have famous, local authors like Tess Hilmo stop by. 

    Tess Hilmo is a Southern California native who attended Brigham Young University where she studied Communications. She had a few different careers before becoming a published author here in Utah and then in California, where her family moved when her husband started medical school. What is so impressive about Tess Hilmo’s career is that even though she didn’t start as an author, once she decided to write she was very persistent. 

    She started her first novel while pregnant with her second child, and it took twelve years for WITH A NAME LIKE LOVE to be published. This debut novel achieved critical acclaim—receiving both a Kirkus and Booklist starred review. Since then, Hilmo has written two other middle grade novels, each met with positive critical attention. 

    Tess Hilmo’s repertoire is impressive—each of her three novels is unique in setting, and you could read all three back to back without a feeling of repetition. Her stories are engaging and interesting, and all feature likable characters who are easy to identify with but still different from one another. 

    To read more about Tess Hilmo and her journey to become a successful author, check out her website! You should also check out a few of these great books owned by the Provo Library: 

    7.6.17 With a Name Like LoveWITH A NAME LIKE LOVE
    Tess Hilmo

    Thirteen-year-old Olivene Love gets tangled up in a murder mystery when her itinerant preaching family arrives in the small town of Binder, Arkansas in 1957. 



    7.6.17 Skies Like TheseSKIES LIKE THESE
    By Tess Hilmo

    While visiting her eccentric aunt who lives in Wyoming, twelve-year-old Jade befriends a boy who believes he is a descendant of Butch Cassidy. 




    7.6.17 Cinnamon MoonCINNAMON MOON
    By Tess Hilmo

    Historical fiction about two siblings and a friend trying to find a new family and a home after the Great Chicago Fire.




  • Discovery Kits are a curated selection of themed books, toys, and activity ideas appropriate for kids ages 3-5. Each Discovery Kit checks out for three weeks so you have plenty of time to do all the Discovery Kit things included. Curious about Discovery Kits? Here are some of the nitty-gritty details:

    discovery 01 1

    To make your own Discovery Kit reservation, go here.

  •  Robert Burns

    I’m only slightly embarrassed to say that my first exposure to Robert Burns came in 2003 from an episode of Lizzie McGuire. Ever since then, I’ve been interested in Bobbie Burns (as he’s called in his native Scotland) and in Burns Night, one of the more random celebrations you’re likely to learn about. Every January 25th, people all over the world (okay mostly in Scotland) celebrate the life of Robert Burns on Burns Night by hosting a Burns Supper where you eat Scottish food and act Scottish and celebrate Scotland (people in Scotland are clearly very into being Scottish).

    So, for those who don’t know, who was Robert Burns? And how can you celebrate your own Burns Night?

    Robert Burns, who lived from 1759-1796, is definitely the most famous Scottish poet of all time, and there is something so distinctly Scottish about his writing that he is often regarded as the national poet of Scotland. His poetry is famously written in the Scots language (so it’s a little hard to understand) but it also deals with themes that are important to the Scottish people—life, death, loyalty, country, agriculture, etc.

    For these reasons and others, people were eager to keep the Spirit of Robert Burns alive after he died—and so Burns Night came into existence. Burns’s fanboys are divided on exactly what Burns Night should be; for some it is a night of drinking and revelry, for others it is a somber academic endeavor. Some aspects, however, are non-negotiable.

    1.24 Classic Recipes from ScotlandCLASSIC RECIPES FROM SCOTLAND
    By Tom Bridge

    To properly celebrate the Great Robert Burns, you need to eat like him. Though haggis and blood pudding are traditional, you can probably get away with meat pies instead. 


    By Karen Jo Shapiro

    A key part of any good Burns Night is the reading of poetry inspired by, about, or even satirizing good ol’ Bobbie. This children’s book has goofy parodies written in the style of a lot of well-known poets including Burns. 


    1.24 WhiskeyWHISKEY
    By Michael Jackson

    Most die-hard fans agree that Burns Night is not complete without scotch—and this definitive guide will tell you all you need to know about how to pick the best scotch, bourbon, or whiskey. Of course, if that isn’t quite your speed, this book is also a great novice guide to learn about how scotch is distilled. 


    By Robert Burns
    Edited by Allan Cunningham

    Ultimately, and despite what people may say, the one thing you truly need to celebrate Burns Night is a reading of his poetry. Luckily, you can check out the Complete Works of Robert Burns with your Overdrive account so you can have them wherever you go. I’m personally partial to “To a Haggis” or the near-epic “Tam O’Shanter” because of how decidedly Scottish they are. 



    And of course, if you are unsure how to end your Burns Night, the traditional ending is with the singing of his most famous song – Auld Lang Syne. You can download lots of versions of this song for free from Freegal using your Provo City Library Card.

    Image from page 337 of "Hill's album of biography and art : containing portraits and pen-sketches of many persons who have been and are prominent as religionists, military heroes, inventors, financiers, scientists, explorers, writers, physicians, actors, via photopin (license)
  • fashionable

    Working at a library as a grown-up, I’m often really jealous of kids who get to read books I would have loved when I was their age but which didn’t exist yet. These days, kids interested in fashion have a bevy of books to choose from—something I will always be jealous of. Here are my favorite books for fashionable kids. 

    By Philip Hopman

    This dual biography of Hubert de Givenchy (who passed away just last week) and his most famous client, Audrey Hepburn, is a beautiful, fashionable, and colorful story of two best friends. Young readers may not appreciate the depictions of a fish-out-of-water Audrey in famous movie costumes yet, but will still enjoy the water colors of beautiful dresses. 


    By Kyo Maclear
    Illustrated by Julie Morstad

    This new picture book biography is about Elsa Schiaparelli, a fashion designer known for creating innovative dresses that were works of art. This book is inspiring—reminding young readers that they can accomplish great things and “bloom” into something beautiful—and filled with illustrations of flowers and dresses in Elsa’s signature shade of hot pink. 


    By Steven Guarnaccia

    In this fashionable and “mod” retelling of Cinderella, the titular character is transformed into haute couture by a fairy godfather who looks suspiciously like Karl Lagerfeld. Fashion aficionados will love the references to some recognizable styles of the 20th century (the end pages will help you identify them) and little fashionistas will love the bright and unique illustrations. 


    By Chesley McLaren and Pamela Jaber

    This ABC book takes kids on a simple tour through the history of fashion mentioning ruffs, chopines, flappers, and more. The swirly, often silly, illustrations enhance the goofy (and true) stories about high fashion through time. This book is a must for fashionable readers and the pink cover definitely adds to the kid appeal. 


    By Jennifer Croll
    Illustrated by Ada Buchholc

    This is the only book on my list that isn’t a picture book, but it is still filled with illustrations of fashionable ladies and the clothes that made them famous. This book tells the story of famous women who made history because they were well-dressed and not in spite of it. Slightly older readers with an interest in celebrity and fashion will love this in-depth look at the power of clothes.

  • gilmoregirls

    All true Gilmore Girls fans can relate to my excitement about two things – the Netflix revival series responsible for bringing our girls back to the screen, and the feeling every time I can cross another book off of 339 books either read or referenced during the original series. In celebration of the revival, and the twenty-one books added to the list in the new four-part series, here are five of my personal favorite Rory-books.  

    Me Talk Pretty One DayME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY
    by David Sedaris

     It is pretty unsurprising to me to find this book on a Gilmore girls reading list – because the Gilmores and David Sedaris have one very important thing in common, they are very funny and far cleverer than I can ever hope to be. For those of you who watch Gilmore girls for the humor, I’m including this one.


    Northanger AbbeyNORTHANGER ABBEY
    by Jane Austen

    Northanger Abbey is by far my favorite Jane Austen novel and I’m glad to see that Rory took the time to read it as well. This is Austen’s most obviously satirical novel, and I think that Rory and Lorelai would definitely appreciate Austen’s cynical humor and her references to popular novels of her day. Plus, like many books on Rory’s list this one features a strong female character.

    Wuthering HeightsWUTHERING HEIGHTS
    by Emily Bronte

    Maybe Rory read too much into the love story between Catherine and Heathcliff and so her own relationships seemed less dysfunctional as a result. Or maybe, like so many other books on her list, she read it because it features a strong (if unlikable) female character. I’m including it because I think it is cool and atmospheric – even if the characters are pretty unlikable.  

    Fahrenheit 451FAHRENHEIT 451
    by Ray Bradbury

    This is novel is another classic that seems right at home on Rory’s list. Lovers of books love this story, set in a dystopian world where firemen start fires to burn books and book lovers are exiled. I’m including this because I am a proud book-nerd and think others should be as well.  


    charlottes webCHARLOTTE'S WEB
    by E.B. White

    I’m including this book for two reasons. First, Wilbur and Charlotte share one of the greatest friendships in literature and Gilmore girls is about nothing if not friendship. Second, to prove wrong the impression that in order to be “well-read” like Rory Gilmore you can only read classic, sophisticated, adult books and definitely not books written for children.  

    BONUS: recently the internet has compiled a list of all the movies referenced in the series as well. Those of you who identify more closely with Lorelai than Rory, or who have somehow already finished Rory’s booklist can get started on this one.      

  • favoritefavorite 1

     Anyone who reads a lot can empathize with the pressure I feel, as a librarian, to pick a favorite book. It’s often the first question people ask me when I tell them that reading is my favorite hobby. The problem, of course, is that I don’t have a favorite book.  

    Or rather, I have way too many! I could easily come up with a categorized list of about 400 favorite books separated into genre, age group, guilty pleasure books, etc. But, if I had to pick, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is my favorite book on my long list of favorite books. The story is fun and classic and well-known enough that you don’t seem pretentious when you say that you love it. And, like many childhood classics, there are always new interpretations to explore.  

    Here are a few favorite books based on my official favorite book:  

    Alices Adventures in WonderlandAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland 
    By Lewis Carroll
    Illustrated by Anna Rifle Bond

    The illustrations in Alice have always been one of the best parts for me, and while hundreds of artists have taken the time to illustrate Wonderland, this edition offers a unique interpretation of a magical and fantastic world. Every page in this book is pretty and cartoonish, offering a fun new journey to Wonderland alongside Lewis Carroll’s original and unabridged text.  


    By Marissa Meyer

    In this prequel to Alice in Wonderland, Lady Catherine is reluctant to marry the King of Hearts, especially once she finds love with the king’s mysterious new jester. Marissa Meyer crafts her own beautiful version of Wonderland filled with romance and a little bit of darkness. I love this new look at Wonderland.  




    Queen of HeartsQueen of Hearts  
    By Colleen Oakes

    This book offers another exploration into Wonderland before Alice, but here the future Queen of Hearts is called Princess Dinah, and she has yet to learn about the darkness that fills her future kingdom. I was not expecting to enjoy two new Queen of Hearts origin stories in the same year, but this book – the first in a new series – convinced me that there should be even more.  



    There are so many Fractured Wonderland stories that it was hard to pick out a few favorites (obviously). Are there other favorites that we missed? 


  • pete seeger

    For any 10-year-olds with an interest in the folk music of the 1960s, this blog post is for you!***crickets***Okay, okay. I know how it sounds, but one of the fascinating things about biographies written for children is that many are written about people that most children aren’t initially interested in. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be books about Einstein, Disney, and Muhammad Ali. But some of the real gems of our biography collection are about people that may not have obvious “kid-appeal” in 2017.Take Pete Seeger. I became a fan of his music as a sophomore in college when I became a little more politically active, a little more frustrated at “modern life,” and a little more convinced that the 1960s was the time to live. Ask me as a ten-year-old who Pete Seeger was, though, and I would have had no answer. I think the same is probably true of most kids.Still, for whatever reason there have been four well-written, fairly acclaimed children’s biographies about Pete Seeger published in the last year. Perhaps it is because he passed away in 2014 and publishers are eager to capitalize on a chance to make new biographies. Or perhaps it’s just because the stars aligned. We may never know. But if you’re interested in teaching your child the value of folk music and peaceful political activism – which might not be such a bad thing – here are all the Pete Seeger books our children’s department has to offer:

    10.13 Who Was Pete SeegerWHO WAS PETE SEEGER? 
    By Noel MacCarry

    The newest installment in a series of books that has written a biography for everyone. This book provides a good amount of detail and presents a charming caricature of the artist.




    By Anita Silvey

    This book provides a lot of good information about the life of Pete Seeger and the causes that were important to him – enough for kids to go out and explore more on their own.



    By Leda Schubert
    Illustrated by Raul Colon

    This is my favorite of the bunch—mostly because I like picture book biographies. But also because it shows the influence Pete Seeger had in unexpected ways. Plus, it includes the titles of all his songs, which is fun for fans.


    By Susanna Reich
    Illustrated by Adam Gustavson

    This one is a little text heavy for a picture book biography, but it does maybe the best job of explaining the oppression that Pete Seeger sought to overcome by making a statement with his music. 

    10.13 AbiyoyoBONUS: ABIYOYO 
    By Pete Seeger
    Illustrated by Michael Hays

    This picture book version of Seeger’s own ballad was a Reading Rainbow pick back in the day and is an adaptation of a South African folktale. With a note from Seeger in the front of the book, this is perhaps the best way to introduce young music fans to Pete Seeger.


  • frozen

    I spend a little time babysitting for my niece each week. She is happy, fun, really cute, and I love spending time with her. The only downside is that, like many kids her age, she could easily spend the whole day watching FROZEN. I love Disney movies, but even I can’t bear to listen to “Let it Go” as many times as she would like. 

    Here’s how the library helped me (and how it can help anyone else with little Disney Princess fans) to get a break. 

    1. Find a different Disney movie. The Provo City Library has a ton of great options, including older films that are harder to find (anyone else remember THE RELUCTANT DRAGON? Just me? Cool). Give yourself a break and see what hidden gems you can find on the shelf.

    2. Branch out from movies and look into some original source material. If this solution seems blindingly obvious, I apologize. But really, if you’ve gotten a little tired of Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, and Sven, consider reading THE SNOW QUEEN. The story is different, but some fans might like seeing how different the story used to be.

    3. Take a craft break. Always a good solution, consider checking out one of the many kids craft books in our collection. I’m a fan of ICE PRINCESS CRAFTS, to stick with the FROZEN theme, but there are plenty of other options to spark creativity.

    4. Learn to draw! If crafting isn’t your strength, try your hand at learning to draw – we even have LEARN TO DRAW DISNEY FROZEN if you want to stay on-brand.

    5. Grab a snack. Really this should be my first solution, because who doesn’t love food? Plus, our fairly sizable collection of children’s cookbooks is a real highlight of the J Informational section. There are a ton of fun ones to pick from like SWEET TOOTH!: NO-BAKE DESSERTS TO MAKE AND DEVOUR which has a tons of yummy treats, including some that are frozen (Forgive me. I had to do it).

    6. Check out a Discovery Kit. If you have preschoolers who are into themed fun (with, I promise, fewer bad jokes than this list) look into borrowing a DISCOVERY KIT from the Children’s Department. These kits are filled with books, toys, and a binder full of fun ideas all focused on a particular topic. 

    These ideas should buy you at least one Elsa-free afternoon. Go make the most of it!

  • Aladdin

    aladdin 01 

    Find them in the catalog:




  • girl power biographies 01

    Find them in the catalog: 




  • Female Jazz Biographies 01


    Find them in the catalog: 




  • illustrated songs 01


    I listen to a lot of music. I always have. I grew up listening to music on road trips with my family, I listen to music when I am with friends, and I almost always listen to music when I am alone. Even though I am not really musical, I love music and I love listening to music because I love the lyrics. I love to sing along with songs even when I don’t know them very well. The lyrics are the best part of a song for me, and I often feel like if people would only read songs and not hear them they would still like them just as much – maybe more.

    One trend in picture books that I really like are books that do just that – illustrated song lyrics, just for reading. These can be a good way to introduce kids to classic songs, and a good way to really appreciate some of your favorites. There are dozens in our picture book section but here are some favorites.

    forever youngFOREVER YOUNG
    by Bob Dylan
    illustrated by Paul Rogers



    what a wonderful worldWHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD
    by  Bob Thiele & George David Weiss (Most famous as a Louis Armstrong song)
    illustrated by Tim Hopgood


    coat of many colorsCOAT OF MANY COLORS
    by Dolly Parton
    illustrated by Brooke Boynton-Hughes



    octopuss gardenOCTOPUS’S GARDEN
    by Ringo Starr (Most famous as The Beatles song)
    illustrated by Ben Cort




    Plus, you can always use Freegal to listen to and download any of the new songs you discover for yourself!

  • Rom Com 

    There are certain things I will never apologize for and one of those is my unabashed love for romantic comedies. I grew up watching and re-watching favorites like LEGALLY BLONDE, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, and YOU’VE GOT MAIL and as a grown-up I will jump to watch any movie described as “the best rom-com since 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU.” But, if I’m being honest, there are just not a lot of rom-com movies out recently to sufficiently scratch an itch. There are dozens of online news stories about the decline (and recent resurgence) of romantic comedies since the golden age of rom-coms. Here are my suggestions for book – to – movie romances (because no one wants a CLUELESS reboot. 

    By Rainbow Rowell

    Fans of the genre will know that the best rom-coms are able to bring a tear to your eye (I’ll refer again to 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU) and this one balances the emotions of a failing relationship with all the tingly, giggly laughter of young love. It’s clear that Georgie’s marriage may be at its end when her husband heads to Nebraska for Christmas with her kids and without her. Then, Georgie discovers she has a chance to reconnect with her husband Neal – through a magical rotary phone that calls the Neal of 15 years earlier. Speaking with younger Neal the week before he proposes may be just the ticket to save their marriage. It is one of life’s greatest injustices that there is no screen adaptation of this deeply satisfying romantic comedy. 


    5.13 Twenties GirlTWENTIES GIRL: A NOVEL 
    By Sophie Kinsella

    I will put Sophie Kinsella on booklists as long as I am making booklists because she is queen. And because our world is unfair, only two of her books have been adapted for the screen: CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC and the still-in-production CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET? This book, TWENTIES GIRL, is the story of Lara and the ghost of her great-aunt Sadie who won’t rest until her treasured necklace is returned to her. As Lara – busy with relationship drama, a struggling business, and a busy life in London – helps Sadie to find peace, Sadie is more concerned with setting Lara up with the dreamy (but living) American named Ed. Seeing ghost-Sadie decked out in flapper wear on the streets of modern London as she meddles in Lara’s personal life (for the better) is the movie we all deserve – please, someone, make it. 


    5.13 The Hating GameTHE HATING GAME: A NOVEL
    By Sally Thorne

    This one doesn’t quite belong on this list, because a film version is currently listed as “in development” on IMDB – but until I have a cast-list and trailer I’ll be begging for a movie of this book. Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman are top-notch executive assistants to the CEOS of the new Bexley-Gamin Publishing company and they each hate everything about the other. Things start to really come to a head when both Lucy and Josh are put up for an executive level promotion and Josh takes advantage of the new tension to explore some other more romantic tension. Be advised that this book is not the “cleanest read” on this list, but it is a banter-filled riff on a classic love story - one totally ready for the Hollywood treatment. 


    5.13 Tell Me Three ThingsTELL ME THREE THINGS
    By Julie Buxbaum

    After her father elopes, Jessie is uprooted from Chicago to live in “the Valley.” Jessie is still mourning the death of her mother two years earlier when she suddenly has to cope with a stepfamily, a giant mansion, a new prep school, and mean girls at school. When she receives an anonymous email from “Somebody/Nobody” (“SN”) offering to guide her through the ins and outs of her new school Jessie is suspicious at first, until she accepts she might need help. This book lays its cards out pretty quickly, but even this familiar teenage rom-com ground is filled with heartfelt lessons about love and loss. In the same vein as SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA or YOU’VE GOT MAIL this tale of young online love would be fun to see playout on screen. 


    By Anne Tyler

    In this retelling of a classic romantic comedy, Kate Battista is the daughter of a scientist who is convinced he is nearing a breakthrough but only if he can hold on to his research assistant Pyotr. Pyotr’s visa is about to expire and Dr. Battista is desperate to keep him – desperate enough to propose a green-card marriage between his older daughter and his thickly-accented Russian assistant. THE TAMING OF THE SHREW is familiar rom-com territory, but this laugh-out-loud-able reimaging deserves its day on the silver screen.

  • Moon Landing

    By now, most people are probably aware that 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing on July 20, 1969. Many moments in history are forgotten or their anniversaries are overhyped. Other moments, like the moon landing, really are a Big Fat Deal – even fifty years later. As we celebrate this lunar anniversary, here are some books all about the moon landings for even the youngest readers. 

    7.22 Rocket to the MoonROCKET TO THE MOON!
    By Don Brown

    This nonfiction comic book tells the story of the Apollo 11 mission, and not just the story of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. This well-illustrated book is more than an introduction to lunar travel – it takes readers on a journey through the history of rockets and fleshes out the story with less-known details of the famous mission. All of this rolled into a bite-sized graphic novel good for kids or older readers. 


    Apollo 8 The Mission That Changed EverythingAPOLLO 8: THE MISSION THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING
    By Martin W. Sandler

    This book is a little different, because it isn’t about Apollo 11 – the mission that resulted in the first lunar landing. Instead, this is the story of Apollo 8 the first manned spacecraft to leave Earth’s orbit and circle the moon. With a good overview of the Cold War and space race, this book gives historical context to the lunar missions that young readers may not know. This book is also filled with full-color photographs including the famous Earthrise. 


    By Alexander Irvine
    Illustrated by Ben Bishop

    Another nonfiction comic book, this very small little number focuses almost entirely on the third member of Apollo 11’s crew – Michael Collins, the one who never set foot on the moon. He doesn’t always get a lot of credit, but this book honors his essential role in the mission; orbiting the moon, keeping the command module functioning, and getting everyone home safely. In a limited palette of black, white, and deep purple we see the details of the moon landing play out with stark reality. 


    By Pamela Dell

    We might forget, fifty years later, that the world was watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin take their first steps on the moon. We might forget that for so long this had seemed completely impossible – it was a moment that changed the world. The photograph of Buzz Aldrin in his spacesuit on the moon was called one of the 100 photographs that changed the world by Time magazine. This book is all about the legacy of that picture and just what it took to get there. A totally unique lens through which to view the past. 


    7.22 Reaching for the MoonREACHING FOR THE MOON
    By Buzz Aldrin
    Illustrated by Wendell Minor

    Written in first person by Buzz Aldrin, this book has a personal touch that few books about the lunar landing can offer. This picture book autobiography is an unusual look at space travel told with lots of personal detail and heart. Illustrations throughout offer new vantages on an iconic moment in history, all culminating with the words left by Aldrin and Armstrong on the moon: 


    “Here men from the planet earth
    First set foot upon the moon
    July 1969. A.D.
    We came in peace for all mankind.”

  • movies worth waiting

     Did you know that our library has over 14,000 DVDs in our collection? Even if you don’t, I’m sure you do know that you can check out 8 DVDs at a time, including new releases, classics, mind-blowing documentaries, and all of your guilty pleasures. The best part? You can, of course, borrow these DVDs for free!  

    With so many different movies in our collection, it isn’t hard to walk in and find something to suit your movie night fancy. But, just like some of our favorite books, there are some movies that seem like they’re ALWAYS CHECKED OUT – even if they aren’t new releases!  

    Sometimes the sweetest things in life require a little bit of patience.   So, the next time you stop by the Provo City Library, consider asking your friendly neighborhood librarian to put one of these movies on hold for you (because you know that every copy will be checked out):  

    Singin in the RainSINGIN' IN THE RAIN 

    The movie that needs no explanation. It’s classic, it’s funny, it’s romantic, and best of all it’ll be stuck in your head for a week. It doesn’t surprise me that we have a hard time keeping this movie on our shelf—It’s worth the wait.





    If you are surprised that this movie is always checked out, you probably haven’t seen it. Because even though all the STAR WARS movies are pretty popular, there is something special about the first one.  




    A Little PrincessA LITTLE PRINCESS 

    I was on hold for this movie when I thought about writing this post. It’s pretty different from the book, but is a classic for a reason—I used to beg to watch this movie every weekend when I was little, and I’m not surprised that it is still in high demand.  




    Shes the ManShe’s the Man 

    This adaptation of W. Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT is much funnier than you might think. It’s insanely quotable, laugh-out-loud funny, and will be even more enjoyable once you finally get to check it out.  




    If you’ve never put an item on hold before, ask a librarian to help explain the process. It’s pretty convenient, and I think it is so rewarding when you finally get to check out a movie or book you have been waiting for. (I won’t compare it to Christmas morning… but if you think that comparison is apt then I wouldn’t disagree.)


  • Movie Theater Chairs

    At this point, it’s hardly a surprise that some of the Greatest Films of All Time have been based on books. The Oscars even gives an award to the Best Adapted Screenplay every year—because movies based on books are awesome. This year I was surprised that more of the Oscar nominations for Best Picture aren’t based on books. It’s easy to guess that as long as movies are being made and books are being written, we’ll see book adaptions winning Best Picture. As we approach the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4th, here is a look back at some of the great books that have gone on to become Oscars’ Best Picture winners. 

    2.28 Oliver TwistOLIVER TWIST
    Charles Dickens

    It’s not surprising that one of the greatest novels of all time would be adapted into a Best Picture winner, it’s more surprising that that film is OLIVER! – a larger than life, musical retelling of the classic Victorian novel featuring songs such as “Food, Glorious Food.” 


    2.28 Out of AfricaOUT OF AFRICA
    Isak Dinesen

    Often counted as one of the greatest nonfiction books of all time, OUT OF AFRICA tells the true story of Karen Chistentze Dinesen and her life on a Kenyan coffee plantation. The film adaptation, also called OUT OF AFRICA, stars Meryl Streep and Robert Redford in a sweeping romance filmed on location outside Nairobi. 


    F.X. Toole

    This collection of short stories, originally published as ROPE BURNS, is based on the real-life experiences of boxing trainer Jerry Boyd (using the pen name F.X. Toole), and was adapted into the Best Picture winner MILLION DOLLAR BABY. The film, directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, is an emotional story about a female boxer and the bond she forms with her coach. 


    J.R.R. Tolkein

    This beloved and larger-than-life epic fantasy series was given the Hollywood treatment in the early 2000s with films that have become legendary in their own right. Though the first and second installments in the series were nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, only the third – LORD OF THE RINGS, THE RETURN OF THE KING clinched the win. 


    2.28 Forrest GumpFORREST GUMP: THE NOVEL
    Winston Groom

    Maybe this is more common knowledge than I thought, but I was surprised to learn that FORREST GUMP was a book before it became a Best Picture winner. The fictional story of a kind man with a low IQ who happens to be present for the most significant moments in 1960s, 70s, and 80s without realizing the significance of his actions. FORREST GUMP is a heartwarming look at modern American History. Oh, and the movie stars Tom Hanks.

  • reading hacks


    Like a lot of librarians, I love books – really and truly I love books. I have blown off plans with friends THREE times in the past week so that I can finish a book I’m in the middle of. But guys, believe me when I say this: I am the laziest reader around.

    I recently vetoed a book club suggestion because it was 480 pages long – I got tired just thinking about all the work it was going to be to read that WHOLE book. Sometimes I’ll lie on my bed for hours doing literally nothing because I’m not jazzed about the book I’m supposed to be reading. Like, seriously, I will sit on my bed and stare at a book instead of reading it because that is how lazy I am. 

    Unfortunately, I am a glutton for punishment, so I set my Goodreads reading goal for the year at 250 books. (A goal which, as Goodreads is happy to remind me, I am currently about 44 books behind schedule on.) Even more unfortunately, I am also a children’s librarian who can’t just admit to younger library patrons that sometimes I am too lazy to read books. Can you imagine the horror if a ten-year-old heard a librarian admit this? 

    Instead, I’ve developed a few hacks for reading more and reading better. 

    1. Get it out of your head that you are a smarter, morally superior, prettier, stronger, or a downright better person by reading those critically acclaimed books that are soooo good but that you have no interest in. Sure, there is merit to challenging yourself through reading, but there is no merit in doing something you hate to impress people. Seriously, no one cares. Stop reading books you don’t want to read. 
    2. Middle grade fiction is where it’s at. When I told my book club that a 480 page book sounded really long, they laughed at me—so I laughed it off by pointing out that I read a lot of books intended for eleven-year-olds. I’ve been feeling bad that I was so apologetic about it because I am not. Middle Grade fiction—books aimed at children ages 8-12—is usually shorter, more concise, and much more straightforward than a lot of adult literary fiction. But don’t be deceived into thinking that you are losing quality: Some of those books are good! Like life-changing, stare-at-the-page-for-a-full-twenty-minutes-in-total-awe-good. If you’re still reluctant, ask yourself why you became a reader. I guarantee it was not by forcing yourself to finish a 19th Century Russian novel you hated; it probably started when you were in elementary school. Why not return to your roots? 
    3. This is the hardest thing for me to suggest, but if you are halfway through a book and you really can’t power through – step away. Maybe not forever. Don’t be afraid to shelve that book as “did-not-finish.” If you regret not knowing the ending, you can always come back.
    4. Go fangirl over a favorite book. Do you love Harry Potter? Don’t be afraid to read ALL the books and watch ALL the movies and DO ALL THE THINGS that fans do. Go hard. Maybe it will just last for a few days, but what a glorious few days they will be. 
    5. Sometimes my biggest problem is the amount of text on a page. My most recent reading funk was broken by trying to read more graphic novels. Switching up my genres helped me get back into reading and find a new way to identify with the youths. The same thing has happened when I’ve decided to read more infographic-heavy nonfiction, magazines, short stories, or whatever it is. 

    These are my tips for lazy readers. Have more? Let us know!

  • Beach Reads

    For me, one of the best things about living in Utah is appreciating a dramatic change in seasons. I love bundling up to see the Midway Ice Castles in Winter and cooling off at the Provo Rec Center poolside with a Diet Coke in the summer. The downside of seasons, though, is that even though I mostly love the winter – it’s cold, it’s snowing, and my cabin fever is bad enough that I might be willing to sell my most prized books in exchange for a 90 degree day at the pool. 

    What I’m trying to say here is – I wore a cardigan over a sweater to work today and I am dreaming of summer vacation. Here are some choices for beach reads to help us all escape the snow if only in our dreams

    For Middle Grade Readers 

    3.18 Secret Sisters of the Salty SeaSECRET SISTERS OF THE SALTY SEA
    By Lynne Rae Perkins

    For the first time in their life, Alix and her sister Jools are going on a real-life vacation. One where they aren’t just going to visit cousins and stay with family – and they even get to go to the real ocean for the first time. This is an episodic novel that focuses on the extraordinary ordinary things that happen over a summer vacation and the sights, sounds, smells and feelings of the beach are perfectly described in this quick read. 


    For Young Adults 

    3.18 The Summer I Turned PrettyTHE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY
    By Jenny Han

    ***A quick round of applause for the master of YA Romance Ms. Jenny Han.***

    Fans of TO ALL THE BOYS I LOVED BEFORE will love this summer-centric trilogy about Belly and the boys she loves at the beach – Jeremiah and Conrad. If you take the time to look up “YA Beach Reads” this book will often show up on the list because it is so synonymous with summer. Each book in this series focuses on summers at the beach house owned by Belly’s mother’s best friend Susannah because as Belly reminds us – everything important happens from June to August. This book has some emotional depth (divorce, parents with cancer, etc.) but it is filled with the kind of warm, poignant writing that makes a beach read satisfying. 


    For Fans of Light and Fluffy 

    3.18 My Not So Perfect LifeMY (NOT SO) PERFECT LIFE: A NOVEL
    By Sophie Kinsella

    Listen, Sophie Kinsella is the Queen of Chick-Literature and whenever I want a nice romantic-comedy to make me think of warmer times she is the first lady I turn to. This book is the story of Katie Brenner who quickly learns that a “perfect” life might not actually exist after she is fired from her London advertising job and forced to return to her family farm – where her parents are attempting to create a luxury “glampground.” Then of course Katie’s former boss Demeter shows up at the family farm causing Katie’s two worlds to crash and collide with hilarious results. It we want to get technical, this book is more of a spring-farm than summer-beach read, but I’ll allow it. 


    For Fans of the Dark Side 

    3.18 First We Were IVFIRST WE WERE IV
    By Alexandra Siroway

    Sometimes you just want to read a dark, pulpy, page-turning thriller and this is the book for you. Four best friends form a secret society to call out misbehaving adults in their small sea-side community and solidify their bond as a group. The group of four soon learn that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and something good can easily turn catastrophic. This is a jet-black mystery thriller with an ocean setting that makes for a perfect dark beach read. 


    For Celebrity-stalkers 

    3.18 This Will Only Hurt A LittleTHIS WILL ONLY HURT A LITTLE
    By Busy Philipps

    As is my advice with all celebrity memoirs, I probably wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone who isn’t at least a casual fan of Busy Philipps. But if you are a fan of Busy – from DAWSON’S CREEK, FREAKS AND GEEKS, or her remarkably relatable Instagram – her autobiography is filled with the best (and at times worst) of Busy. She is well-known to her internet fans for her impressive candor and this book is lacking none of that – she shares her personal experiences with betrayal, body shaming, and bullying in a voice that is totally and undeniably her own.  

  • millenial pink

    If you don’t know what Millennial Pink is, don’t feel bad. As a millennial—and being self-described “basic”—I make sure that I keep up to date on all of the latest trends. And since I love pink, I’m obviously all about this fad.

    For the un-initiated, Millennial Pink is that one shade of pink that seems to be popping up everywhere these days – hipster restaurants, indie album covers, food (Starbucks’ pink drink anyone?), crushed velvet ballet flats, etc. It’s that not quite peach, not quite coral, not quite Pepto Bismal hue that you’ve seen all over the place whether you realize it or not. If you google “Millennial Pink” you’ll find dozens of articles trying to over-explain its appeal to youths – and they will confirm one thing: it is in.

    Millennial Pink has even crept its ways into publishing houses and libraries – there are a ton of Millennial Pink covered books that have been published recently. I can’t say for sure whether or not you’ll understand young people better by reading a book with a visually appealing cover, but I can say that your Instagram will look a lot better.

    Here’s a list of books in our collection – some old, some new – to help you achieve that Millennial ~aesthetic~

    8.10 Alex and ElizaALEX & ELIZA: A LOVE STORY
    By Melissa De La Cruz






    8.10 Dear Fang With LoveDEAR FANG, WITH LOVE
    By Rufi Thorpe






    8.10 Tell Me How This Ends WellTELL ME HOW THIS ENDS WELL: A NOVEL

    David Levinson






    8.10 White FurWHITE FUR: A NOVEL
    By Jardine Libaire






    8.10 The Rules Do Not ApplyTHE RULES DO NOT APPLY: A MEMOIR
    By Ariel Levy





    8.10 Girl In PiecesGIRL IN PIECES
    By Kathleen Glasgow






    8.10 The Husbands SecretTHE HUSBAND’S SECRET
    By Liane Moriarty






    8.10 Rebel BelleREBEL BELLE
    By Rachel Hawkins






    8.10 Broken Hearts Fences and Other Things to MendBROKEN HEARTS, FENCES AND OTHER THINGS TO MEND
    By Katie Finn





    8.10 The LuxeTHE LUXE
    By Anna Godbersen





    8.10 PrettyPRETTY
    By Justin Sayre






    Hopefully these recommendations will make your #bookstagram a little more pink and a little more basic. Be sure to tag the Provo City Library in any of your #booksofinstagram finds!

  • when I grow up

    I like to tell people that working at the library is the dream job I never knew I wanted. Let me explain. 

    I grew up coming to the Provo City Library – it has been my library since it moved to Academy Square, and even before that I remember going to the old library on Center Street. My family would visit the library at least once a week, and we would leave with armfuls of books and VHS tapes. My mom was a stickler for “summer learning,” and so once school let out we would come by even more often – we would earnestly participate in the summer reading program, we checked out educational videos (I’m not kidding - my mom was really invested in expounding on our intellect during the summer), and my sister and I would go to library programs to make crafts – some of which my parents have still saved.

    I think the library meant more to me than my siblings - when they all got interested in sports, I stayed interested in books. When they grew up and went to college and stopped visiting the library, I would still find reasons to go. I stopped reading as much, as people tend to do when life gets busier, but even then I would still come and check out CDs or DVDs regularly. This library has always been a special place for me. I still have a copy of my favorite book from childhood – BOSTON JANE by Jennifer L. Holm– that I won at a children’s program when I was in fourth grade. When I was choosing my prize, I remember the librarian in charge of the program guiding me towards that particular book –

    “You’ll really like this one,” she told me, “since you like historical fiction.”

    She was right. 

    Now that I work at the library, I strangely feel like my life has come full circle. I like to sit at the reference desk and smile at the families leaving with arms full of books and DVDs (some things do change) and I love recommending books to readers in the hopes that I’ll manage to find a new group of kids their favorite novel. I really do love watching the kids running around the children’s section or coming into the programs I teach and hoping that someday they will learn to love books and this library in the way that I do.

    I never imagined myself as a librarian, but after all the good the library has done for me it only seems fitting that I would feel right at home working here. The dream job I never knew I wanted, if you will. 



  • frankenstein 01


    The first time I ever read Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN; OR, THE MODERN PROMETHEUS I knew it would always be one of my favorite books. I, of course, found the monster terrifying and was excited by the storyline but more than anything I was fascinated by Dr. Victor Frankenstein – the young, curious, brilliant scientist who accidentally created a monster. It’s a scary thought – trying to do something noble and instead doing something absolutely terrible.

    This January marks the 200th anniversary of the first publishing of Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN and in honor, here are some reading recommendations for Dr. Victor Frankenstein:

    By Jane Miller

    In the novel, we learn that Dr. Frankenstein spent two years alone at college experimenting before he was able to animate his monster, and one of the main themes of the book is what happens when people get lonely. Dr. Frankenstein definitely needed some companionship, but maybe all he needed was a nice fluffy puppy to focus his attention on. I mean… who would want to spend all night in a spooky laboratory when this guy was waiting at home?

    via GIPHY


    01.22.2018 Sewing EssentialsTHE NEW SEWING ESSENTIALS
    By The Singer Company

    So let’s say that you’re Victor, and you’re past the point of no return. You’ve already assembled all the necessary… parts… to create your monster, and you’re in the building stage. You’re certainly going to need some instruction in sewing to make sure that your finished product is the best that he can be. He may still behave like a “wretch,” but he doesn’t need to look like one.


    By Ross W. Greene

    While we’re talking about “the wretch,” I don’t want to imply that the monster is somehow responsible for all of Victor’s problems. (If you’ve read the novel then you know that all the monster wants is to be loved.) But the monster sure does make things hard for his creator. It seems like Victor could use some parenting guides to help him treat his creation with love and compassion – even when the monster is being super angry and threatening to destroy everything Victor holds dear. (I mean – what teenager hasn’t said some version of that to their parents?)


    By Dr. Sue Johnson

    At the climax of Frankenstein’s sad story, he refuses to make a female monster to keep his creation company and “the wretch” promises Victor he’ll be there on his wedding night. This is especially inconvenient because Victor is so ashamed of what he’s created that he doesn’t tell anyone—INCLUDING HIS WIFE—about the monster systematically killing his loved ones and ruining his life. Then, because Victor is certain he can keep everything secret from his bride, he leaves her alone in their wedding bed to confront the monster himself. Not realizing that the monster is after the bride and not the groom – duh. I prescribe some open conversation between Dr. and Mrs. Frankenstein—preferably before a murderous creature intervenes.


    01.22.2018 My Man JeevesMY MAN JEEVES
    By P.G. Wodehouse

    Dr. Frankenstein is clearly in need of some self-help books. I also don’t think it helps that he is known to carry around a copy of John Milton’s PARADISE LOST – maybe that’s even where his obsession with creation began. Frankenstein really needs some light reading, and I’dr ecommend the King of the Comic Novel: P.G. Wodehouse. Sure, this book won’t make any of his problems go away, but at least he’ll have something to laugh about.


  • belle 01


    I know, I know – Belle is already a big reader, but even the biggest readers need recommendations nowand again. Besides, given her penchant for reading the same books over and over, who knows if she’ll ever get around to these:

    By Peter Boxall

    Listen, far be it from me to judge Belle for re-reading some of her favorite books (I am beyond guilty of that), I’m just saying the girl might do well to have a little variety. At the very least, this book will definitely give her some guidance for where to start reading in her new library from the Beast.  



    first time managerTHE FIRST-TIME MANAGER
    By Loren B. Belker

    There are few things quite as hard as finding yourself suddenly put into a position where you need to act as a supervisor over your friends. While Cogsworth, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, and even Chip have been tremendous friends to Belle, the transition to a boss-employee relationship now that Belle is the lady of the castle has the potential to be difficult. This book is here to help.  



    By Virginia Morris  

    We all know that Belle is a loving, caring, thoughtful daughter to Not-Crazy (yet?) Old Maurice, but I’m anticipating possible future tension in recommending this book to Belle. After all, it can’t be easy to adjust to your new life with someone you love while also remaining the primary caregiver for a father who spends a little too much time closed up with his inventions (and, let’s be honest, their fumes).  


    sun kingTHE SUN KING
    By Nancy Mitford  

    To be frank, Belle is a lovely and refined young lady – but she is not a born aristocrat. I can only imagine that now that the Beast is a prince again, court functions will be required of the young couple and Belle should be prepared for the intricacies of the French Court in the 18th century.    



    By Newt Scamander and J.K. Rowling  

    I think that Belle clearly misunderstood the title of this book – and, without reading it, mistook it for a dating guide. (It is not. At all. In the slightest.) Once she takes the time to read this book, I think she will love this magical guide to magical creatures – especially now that her life includes a bit more magic than it did before.  




    I think that Belle would be a big fan of the Provo City Library - a beautiful building filled with books and people who love to read! What other books would you recommend to our most bookish princess?