Reviews

Teen Review
The Boy in the Black Suit book cover

The Boy in the Black Suit

By Jason Reynolds
5
Rated by Kristen Re.
Apr 8, 2021

Matt Miller, a senior in high school, is dealing with the recent death of his mom to cancer.  Mr. Ray, Matt’s neighbor, offers him a job at the funeral home.  He is hesitant to take it but can’t pass up the good paycheck. So, Matt becomes the boy in the black suit because he starts wearing it every day.  In a way it brings Matt comfort to watch the funerals.  “I liked watching other people deal with the loss of someone, not because I enjoyed seeing them in pain, but because, somehow, it made me feel better knowing that my pain isn’t only mine.”

Teen Review
Influence by Sara Shepard

Influence

By Sara Shepard & Lilia Buckingham
4
Rated by Heather Mi.
Apr 1, 2021

It’s perfect, but is it real? Influence follows the lives of four teen influencers who live what seem like perfect lives: Delilah Rollins, a newbie who shot to fame after posting a viral video, Jasmine Walters-Diaz, a former child star who’s tired of hiding her real self, Fiona Jacobs, an aspiring actress who harbors a dark secret from her past, and Scarlet Leigh, the quintessential mean girl of the group. In the whirlwind of events and auditions and shoots, the tension escalates and one of the girls ends up dead.

Staff Review
Black mother kisses child goodnight

Bedtime Bonnet

By Nancy Amanda Redd
5
Rated by Becky C.
Feb 4, 2021

Bedtime Bonnet is a joy. The premise is simple, showing how each person in a multi-generational Black family prepares their hair for bedtime, and how they fix their hair the next morning before going about their day. I highly recommend reading this picture book with young children of every race and ethnicity. I wish this book had been available in the 1970s, when I was a white girl growing up in the segregated suburbs of Kansas City.

Staff Review
Book Cover

Deacon King Kong

By James McBride
5
Rated by Chris K.
Feb 2, 2021

Deacon King Kong is a sort of love letter to a few blocks of New York City projects in 1969, and to the endearing cast of colorful characters brimming with personality. McBride has a magical touch bringing to life the adage everyone has a story. His descriptions are vivid, engrossing, and entertaining, giving both people and setting depth and truth. His dialogue, as well. It's a hard setting full of people living hard, flawed lives.

Staff Review
Photo of Karen Morales

Reflections on Race Contest Winner

By Karen Morales
5
Rated by Jack V.
Jan 30, 2021

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Karen Morales has won our open writing contest on the theme of Reflections on Race with her piece "Beyond Instagram Graphics.”

Karen Morales is a high school student who is passionate about journalism.

Beyond Instagram Graphics

Staff Review
Airplane over open water

After Elias

By Eddy Boudel Tan
5
Rated by Heather C
Jan 7, 2021

Truly one of the best books I've read this year. Very few books can balance heart wrenching grief as well as a mystery; a suspenseful thriller if you will.

Coen Caraway and Elias Santos are engaged to be married in a beautiful resort in Mexico. Just days before the wedding, with guests already en route, the plane Elias is co-piloting crashes into the ocean.  The last words heard on the 'black box' leave more questions than answers and Coen must now plan a memorial instead of a wedding.