Reviews

Staff Review Apr 20, 2021

Baked beans, bog mutants and interdimensional travel are the ingredients in this hilarious middle grade debut novel by John Cusik. 

I listened to the audio version of the book, which I highly recommend.  The narrator, Gary Furlong, does a remarkable job of giving life to the full cast of strange and quirky characters with the added bonus of doing so with a British RP accent. 

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. When a young child’s special bedtime bonnet goes missing, she searches the house for clues, interviewing each person in her multi-generational family as they prepare their own hair for bed. Brother twist his locs into a durag, Grandma rolls her “silver mane” with old-timey foam rollers, and Dad brushes his hair before donning his wave cap. Mom and Sister fix their hair too, but Grandpa doesn’t need to worry about getting his bald head ready for bed.

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