Women’s History Month | Picture Books

Women’s History Month is a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society! Celebrate all month long with picture books about some of the most iconic women in history!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark

by Debbie Levy

Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.

Malala’s Magic Pencil

by Malala Yousafzai

Malala’s first picture book will inspire young readers everywhere to find the magic all around them. As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true.

Be Bold! Be Brave! 11 Latinas Who Made U.S. History / ¡Sé audaz, Sé valiente! 11 Latinas Que Hicieron Historia en los Estados Unidos

Available in English and Spanish, this bilingual book highlights 11 Latinas who excelled in their professions and made U.S. History by accomplishing something that hadn’t been done before in various fields including medicine, science, sports, art and politics. By presenting the true biographical stories of these outstanding Latinas in rhyming verses, young readers will easily follow their journey to success. Some of the women highlighted include Antonia Novello (first female Surgeon General in the U.S.), Ellen Ochoa (first Latina to go to space), Sonia Sotomayor (first Latina Supreme Court Justice,) Rita Moreno (first Latina to win an Oscar), and Pura Belpre (first Latina to incorporate and promote bilingual literacy in Public Libraries).

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race

by Margot Lee Shutterly

Explores the previously uncelebrated but pivotal contributions of NASA’s African American women mathematicians to America’s space program, describing how Jim Crow laws segregated them despite their groundbreaking successes. Includes biographies on Dorothy Jackson Vaughan (1910-2008), Mary Winston Jackson (1921-2005), Katherine Colman Goble Johnson (1918-), Dr. Christine Mann Darden (1942-).

Through Georgia’s Eyes

by Rachel Rodríguez

Georgia O’Keeffe saw the world differently from most people. As a child she roamed the prairie with a sketch pad in her hand, struggling to capture on paper what she saw all around her. At art school she learned to speak in paint on canvas. But Georgia felt confined by city life. She longed for vast expanses of space, and she found it in the red hills and silent deserts of New Mexico. Lyrical and vivid, this is a portrait of an exceptional artist, a woman whose eyes were open to the wideness and wonder of the world.

I Am Jane Goodall

by Brad Meltzer

Features Jane Goodall, the scientist and conservationist who is famous for her work with chimpanzees. After receiving a stuffed animal chimpanzee for her first birthday, Jane Goodall’s love of animals only grew. She saw what humans and animals had in common, not what makes us different, and used that to advocate for animal rights everywhere.

Shark Lady, the true Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist

by Jess Keating

At 9 years old, Eugenie Clark developed an unexpected passion for sharks after a visit to the Battery Park Aquarium in New York City. At the time, sharks were seen as mindless killing machines, but Eugenie knew better and set out to prove it. Despite many obstacles in her path, Eugenie was able to study the creatures she loved so much. From her many discoveries to the shark-related myths she dispelled, Eugenie’s wide scientific contributions led to the well-earned nickname “Shark Lady”.

Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement

by Stephanie Roth Sisson

As a child, Rachel Carson lived by the rhythms of the natural world. Spring after spring, year after year, she observed how all living things are connected. And as an adult, Rachel watched and listened as the natural world she loved so much began to fall silent. Spring After Spring traces Rachel’s journey as scientist and writer, courageously speaking truth to an often hostile world through her book, and ultimately paving the way for the modern environmental movement.

Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still

by Karlin Gray

Nadia Comaneci was a feisty and fearless little girl who went from climbing trees in the forests of Romania to swinging into history at the 1976 Olympic Games, where she received an unprecedented seven perfect scores in gymnastics. In this first-ever illustrated picture book about Nadia’s journey to Olympic gold, the road from small-town girl to world-class athlete was full of many imperfect moments. 

Fossil Huntress: Mary Leaky, Paleontologist

by Andi Diehn

What was the world like millions of years ago? Did early humans walk on all fours? Did giant sloths lie in trees? Did dinosaurs have feathers? Even as a young girl, Mary Leakey was fascinated by questions like these! Meet Mary as a girl growing up in France and visiting the site of archeological wonders, such as Pech Merle, Fond de Gaume, and La Mouthe. As an adult, Mary leaps at the chance to travel to Africa, where she spends much of her life working in the field in Tanzania, making discoveries that change the face of paleontology forever. True grit, passion, and high standards for scientific rigor made Mary a pioneer in the field of paleontology!

Here Come the Girl Scouts!

by Shana Corey

Juliette Gordon Low–Daisy to her friends and family–was not like most girls of the Victorian era. Prim and proper? BOSH! Dainty and delicate? HOW BORING! She loved the outdoors, and she yearned for adventure! Born into a family of pathfinders and pioneers, she too wanted to make a difference in the world–and nothing would stop her. Combining her ancestors’ passion for service with her own adventurous spirit and her belief that girls could do anything, she founded the Girl Scouts. One hundred years later, they continue to have adventures, do good deeds, and make a difference!

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

What To Read After Watching “Hamilton”

Can’t get enough of the smash Broadway musical, “Hamilton”?  We’ve hand-selected some of our favorite “Hamilton” read-alikes — historical accounts, fiction reads, graphics novels, and more — for a variety of ages!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Hamilton: The Revolution

by Lin-Manuel Miranda

A backstage pass to the groundbreaking, hit musical Hamilton, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Eleven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, including the award-winning libretto, behind-the-scenes photos and interviews, and exclusive footnotes from composer-lyricist-star Lin-Manuel Miranda

Audience: All 

Alex & Eliza: A Love Story

by Melissa De La Cruz

1777. Albany, New York. It’s one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Eliza Schuyler can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Alex is an orphan, and a bastard one at that; only his association with Washington puts him in such esteemed company. And he has arrived at the ball as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers. But when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

Audience: Teen & up

Alexander Hamilton

by Ron Chernow

The book that inspired the musical! Chernow offers the whole sweep of Hamilton’s turbulent life: his exotic, brutal upbringing; his brilliant military, legal, and financial exploits; his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and Monroe; his shocking illicit romances; his enlightened abolitionism; and his famous death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July 1804.

Audience: Adult

Duel With The Devil

by Paul Collins

The true story of how Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr teamed up to take on America’s first sensational murder mystery.

Acclaimed historian Paul Collins’ remarkable true account of a stunning turn-of-the-19th century murder and the trial that ensued — a showdown in which iconic political rivals Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr joined forces to make sure justice was done.

Audience: Adult

Eliza Hamilton

by Tilar J. Mazzeo

A comprehensive and riveting biography of the extraordinary life and times of Eliza Hamilton, the wife of founding father Alexander Hamilton, and a powerful, unsung hero in America’s early days. Fans fell in love with Eliza Hamilton–Alexander Hamilton’s devoted wife–in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s phenomenal musical Hamilton. But they don’t know her full story.

Audience: Adult

Alexander Hamilton: The Graphic History of an American Founding Father

by Jonathan Hennessey

This complete graphic novel-style biography presents the life and legacy of one of the most influential figures in United States history. Alexander Hamilton was on hand for the Revolutionary War, the development of the Constitution, and the establishment of the Treasury and banking as we have come to know them today.

Audience: Teen & up

Gmorning, Gnight!

by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Good morning. Do NOT get stuck in the comments section of life today. Make, do, create the things. Let others tussle it out. Vamos! Before he inspired the world with Hamilton and was catapulted to international fame, Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspiring his Twitter followers with words of encouragement at the beginning and end of each day. He wrote these original sayings, aphorisms, and poetry for himself as much as for others. But as Miranda’s audience grew, these messages took on a life on their own. Now Miranda has gathered the best of his daily greetings into a beautiful collection.

Audience: Teen & up

I, Eliza Hamilton

by Susan Holloway Scott

In this beautifully written novel of historical fiction, bestselling author Susan Holloway Scott tells the story of Alexander Hamilton’s wife, Eliza–a fascinating strong-willed heroine in her own right and a key figure in one of the most gripping periods in American history.

Audience: Adult

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Happy Chinese (Lunar) New Year! | Non-Fiction Books

Happy Chinese New Year February 12th, 2021 / The Year of the Ox

Celebrate the bovine bash with an exploration of Chinese influence and rich culture in cuisine, art, history, philosophy, poetry and music through these suggestions—

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Chinese Painting

by James Cahill

The history and development of Chinese painting from the Han Dynasty, 206 b.c. through the 18th century.

1434: the year a magnificent Chinese fleet sailed to Italy and ignited the Renaissance

by Gavin Menzies

The brilliance of the Renaissance laid the foundation of the modern world. Textbooks tell us that it came about as a result of a rediscovery of the ideas and ideals of classical Greece and Rome. But now bestselling historian Gavin Menzies makes the startling argument that in the year 1434, China—then the world’s most technologically advanced civilization—provided the spark that set the European Renaissance ablaze. From that date onward, Europeans embraced Chinese ideas, discoveries, and inventions, all of which form the basis of Western civilization today.

The Path: what Chinese philosophers can teach us about the good life

by Michael Puett

For the first time, an award-winning Harvard professor shares his wildly popular course on classical Chinese philosophy, showing you how ancient ideas—like the fallacy of the authentic self—can guide you on the path to a good life today.

Why is a course on ancient Chinese philosophers one of the most popular at Harvard? Because it challenges all our modern assumptions about what it takes to flourish.

The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry: from early times to the thirteenth century

by Burton Watson

The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry presents translations of more than 420 poems by 96 poets drawn from the great ages of Chinese poetry. It begins with selections from the Book of Odes, the oldest anthology of Chinese poetry compiled around the seventh century B.C., and covers the succeeding generations down to the end of the Sung dynasty in A.D. 1279.

The Chinese Takeout Cookbook: quick and easy dishes to prepare at home

by Diana Kuan

America’s love affair with Chinese food dates back more than a century. Today, such dishes as General Tso’s Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork, and Egg Rolls are as common as hamburgers and spaghetti. Probably at this moment, a drawer in your kitchen is stuffed with Chinese takeout menus, soy sauce packets, and wooden chopsticks, right? But what if you didn’t have to eat your favorites out of a container? 

Breathing Spaces (CD)

by Jiang Xiao-Qing

Download and enjoy from Freegal Music:  This beautiful Chinese GuZheng (Koto) album performed with grace and sensitivity.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Chinese (Lunar) New Year | Picture Books

The Lunar New Year falls on February 12th, and it’s the Year of the Ox!

Tied to the Chinese lunar calendar, the holiday was traditionally a time to honor household and heavenly deities as well as ancestors. It was also a time to bring family together for feasting. Check out this list picture books all about Chinese (Lunar) New Year, hand-picked by our Youth Services Department staff! 

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Chinese New Year Colors

by Rich Lo

This bilingual color concept book celebrates a rainbow of traditional objects seen during the Chinese New Year. Hóng is the color of explosive firecrackers! Jīn is the hue of lucky coins. Zŏng is the shade of sweet peanut puffs. Welcome to the festivities of the Chinese New Year, where symbolic gifts, foods, and objects come together in a celebration of beautiful colors. This vibrant, simple, and highly graphic bilingual book is the perfect introduction to Chinese and English words for colors as it honors one of the biggest holidays around the world.

Nian, the Chinese New Year Dragon

by Virginia Loh-Hagan

An illustrated retelling for young readers of the Chinese folktale about a dragon that threatens a village each spring and Mei, the young girl who is destined to defeat him.

Mulan’s Lunar New Year

by Natasha Yim

It’s the Lunar New Year, which just happens to be Mulan’s favorite festival! There is a lot to do to prepare for this important celebration, and for the first time, Mulan is old enough to help out. But everthing Mulan does seems to turn out wrong.

Maisy’s Chinese New Year

by Lucy Cousins

Spending Chinese New Year with her friend Tiger, Maisy learns about traditional symbols, shares a delicious cultural feast and exchanges lucky red hongbao envelopes before listening to a story about the holiday and staying up late to watch a fireworks display.

Ruby’s Chinese New Year

by Vickie Lee

As Ruby travels to her grandmother’s house to bring her a gift for Chinese New Year, she is joined by all of the animals of the zodiac. Includes the legend of the Chinese horoscope and instructions for crafts.

The Great Race: Story of the Chinese Zodiac

by Christopher Corr

Celebrate Chinese New Year and learn how every animal earned its place in the Chinese zodiac by taking part in the Great Race! Discover who will come first to win the ultimate prize, and find out why Cat will never forgive his friend Rat in this ancient folk tale that has been passed from generation to generation.

Curious George Dragon Dance

by Adah Nuchi

George, Marco, and their new friend Lily get to dance in the dragon costume during the Chinese New Year parade.

Bringing in the New Year

by Grace Lin

A Chinese American family prepares for and celebrates the Lunar New Year. End notes discuss the customs and traditions of Chinese New Year.

This Next New Year

by Janet S. Wong

A family prepares to celebrate the Lunar New Year and looks forward to the good luck they hope it will bring.

It’s Chinese New Year

by Richard Sebra

Presents an introduction to the Chinese New Year holiday and discusses its traditions, including family meals, remembering loved ones, decorating with the color red, and giving gifts.

How to Catch a Dragon

by Adam Wallace

A real, wily dragon winds through streets in China, eluding the traps set by a group of children during the Chinese New Year celebration.

Lunar New Year

by Hannah Eliot

Introduces lunar new year, describing the food, decorations, and activities of the holiday.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

In Honor of Black History Month: 15 Picture Books about Black Heroes and Icons for Kids!

Every February, people in the United States celebrate the achievements and history of African Americans as part of Black History Month.

Take a look at this list, compiled by our Youth Services Department, that highlights picture books on black heroes and icons!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Brave, Black, First: 50+ African American Women Who Changed the World

by Cheryl Willis Hudson

An illustrated biographical compilation of over fifty African American women from the 1700s through to the present day.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul

by Carole Boston Weatherford

Aretha Franklin was born to sing. The daughter of a pastor and a gospel singer, her musical talent was clear from her earliest days in her father’s Detroit church. Aretha sang with a soaring voice that spanned more than three octaves. Her incredible talent and string of hit songs earned her the title “the Queen of Soul.” This Queen was a multi-Grammy winner and the first female inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And there was even more to Aretha than being a singer, songwriter, and pianist: she was an activist, too. Her song “Respect” was an anthem for people fighting for civil rights and women’s rights. With words that sing and art that shines, this vibrant portrait of Aretha Franklin pays her the R-E-S-P-E-C-T this Queen of Soul deserves. 

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

by Vashti Harrison

Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of forty trailblazing black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.

Rise: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou

by Bethany Hegedus

A biography of African American writer, performer, and activist Maya Angelou, who turned a childhood of trauma and emotional pain to become one of the most inspiring voices of our lifetime.

Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery

by Sandra Neil Wallace

Discover the true story of NFL star Ernie Barnes, a boy who followed his dreams and became one of the most influential artists of his generation with this beautifully illustrated nonfiction picture book.

Sisters: Venus and Serena Williams

by Jeanette Winter

Before they were famous tennis stars, Venus and Serena Williams were sisters with big dreams growing up in Compton, California. In the early mornings, they head to the tennis courts, clean up debris, and practice. They compete in their first tournament and they both win. From there, the girls’ trophy collection grows and grows. Despite adversity and health challenges, the sisters become two of the greatest tennis players of all time. This inspiring story of sisterhood, hard work, and determination is perfect for budding athletes or any young reader with a big dream.

Human Computer: Mary Jackson, Engineer

by Andi Diehn

When Mary Jackson was growing up, she thought being an engineer was impossible for her. Why? After all, she was fantastic at math and science. She worked really hard to learn all she could in school. Why did this smart little girl think she couldn’t be an engineer?

Dream Big: Michael Jordan and the Pursuit of Olympic Gold

by Deloris Jordan

From the age of nine years Michael dreams of playing basketball for the United States in the Olympics, and with hard work and his mother’s encouragement, he realizes his dream.

Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions

by Chris Barton

A love for rockets, robots, inventions, and a mind for creativity began early in Lonnie Johnson’s life. Growing up in a house full of brothers and sisters, persistence and a passion for problem solving became the cornerstone for a career as an engineer and his work with NASA. But it is his invention of the Super Soaker water gun that has made his most memorable splash with kids and adults.

Muhammad Ali: Champion of the World

by Jonah Winter

Provides a profile of this legendary and flamboyant boxer and the complicated life he led, from changing his religion and his name to dodging the draft during the Vietnam era and fighting his way to regain a stripped title.

Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice

by Nikki Grimes

Discover the incredible story of a young daughter of immigrants who would grow up to be the first woman, first Black person, and first South Asian American ever elected Vice President of the United States in this moving picture book biography of Kamala Harris.

Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope

by Nikki Grimes

Ever since Barack Obama was young, Hope has lived inside him. From the beaches of Hawaii to the streets of Chicago, from the jungles of Indonesia to the plains of Kenya, he has held on to Hope. Even as a boy, Barack knew he wasn’t quite like anybody else, but through his journeys he found the ability to listen to Hope and become what he was meant to be: a bridge to bring people together.

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom

by Carole Boston Weatherford

Describes Tubman’s spiritual journey as she hears the voice of God guiding her north to freedom on that very first trip to escape the brutal practice of forced servitude. Tubman would make nineteen subsequent trips back south, never being caught, but none as profound as this first one.

A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech that Inspired a Nation

by Barry Wittenstein

The true story behind the writing of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

When Rosa Parks Went Fishing

by Rachel Ruiz

No discussion of the Civil Rights Movement is complete without the story of Rosa Parks. But what was this activist like as a child? Following young Rosa from a fishing creek to a one-room schoolhouse, from her wearing homemade clothes to wondering what “white” water tastes like, readers will be inspired by the experiences that shaped one of the most famous African-Americans in history.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Robert Burns: Who’s That Guy in the Garden?

  • That guy is none other than famous Scots patriot & poet, Robert Burns! (Lyricist of the traditional New Year’s ditty Auld Lang Syne.)
  • Robert Burns is recognized as a pre-Romantic poet for his sensitivity to nature, his high valuation of feeling and emotion, his spontaneity, his fierce stance for Scots freedom and against authority, his individualism, and his antiquarian interest in old songs and legends.
  • Read more about him: The Bard: Robert Burns, a Biography
  • Read a wonderful translation of his Scots vernacular works
  • Check out Alasdair Fraser on BCPL’s Freegal for some Scots fiddle tunes!

Best Gothic Fiction of 2020

Gothic novels and books have been around for more than 200 years, since the late 18th century, and a recent “gothic revival” has been taking place within the fiction genre for a couple years now. These modern gothic novels borrow heavily from traditional gothic tropes: spooky old castles, creeping wanderers and housekeepers, and even the madwoman in the attic.

Like what you hear? Below are some of the best gothic fiction reads of 2020, hand-picked by our Adult Services Department staff.

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

The Sun Down Motel

by Simone St. James

Upstate New York, 1982. Viv Delaney wants to move to New York City, and to help pay for it she takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York. But something isnʼt right at the motel, something haunting and scary.

Upstate New York, 2017. Carly Kirk has never been able to let go of the story of her aunt Viv, who mysteriously disappeared from the Sun Down before she was born. She decides to move to Fell and visit the motel, where she quickly learns that nothing has changed since 1982. And she soon finds herself ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed her aunt.

Mexican Gothic

by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.   
 
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

The Deep

by Alma Katsu

Someone, or something, is haunting the ship. Between mysterious disappearances and sudden deaths, the guests of the Titanic have found themselves suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone from the moment they set sail. Several of them, including maid Annie Hebley, guest Mark Fletcher, and millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, are convinced there’s something sinister–almost otherwordly–afoot. But before they can locate the source of the danger, as the world knows, disaster strikes.

Years later, Annie, having survived that fateful night, has attempted to put her life back together. Working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic‘s sister ship, the Britannic, newly refitted as a hospital ship, she happens across an unconscious Mark, now a soldier fighting in World War I. At first, Annie is thrilled and relieved to learn that he too survived the sinking, but soon, Mark’s presence awakens deep-buried feelings and secrets, forcing her to reckon with the demons of her past–as they both discover that the terror may not yet be over.

Things in Jars

by Jess Kidd

Bridie Devine—flame-haired, pipe-smoking detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors in this age of discovery.

Winding her way through the sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing secrets about her past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot-tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where nothing is quite what it seems.

Catherine House

by Elisabeth Thomas

Catherine House is a school of higher learning like no other. Hidden deep in the woods of rural Pennsylvania, this crucible of reformist liberal arts study with its experimental curriculum, wildly selective admissions policy, and formidable endowment, has produced some of the world’s best minds: prize-winning authors, artists, inventors, Supreme Court justices, presidents. For those lucky few selected, tuition, room, and board are free. But acceptance comes with a price. Students are required to give the House three years—summers included—completely removed from the outside world. Family, friends, television, music, even their clothing must be left behind. In return, the school promises a future of sublime power and prestige, and that its graduates can become anything or anyone they desire.

Plain Bad Heroines

by Emily M. Danforth

Our story begins in 1902, at the Brookhants School for Girls. Flo and Clara, two impressionable students, are obsessed with each other and with a daring young writer named Mary MacLane, the author of a scandalous bestselling memoir. To show their devotion to Mary, the girls establish their own private club and call it the Plain Bad Heroine Society. They meet in secret in a nearby apple orchard, the setting of their wildest happiness and, ultimately, of their macabre deaths. This is where their bodies are later discovered with a copy of Mary’s book splayed beside them, the victims of a swarm of stinging, angry yellow jackets. Less than five years later, the Brookhants School for Girls closes its doors forever—but not before three more people mysteriously die on the property, each in a most troubling way.

The Searcher

by Tana French

Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a bucolic Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens. But when a local kid whose brother has gone missing arm-twists him into investigating, Cal uncovers layers of darkness beneath his picturesque retreat, and starts to realize that even small towns shelter dangerous secrets.

The Hollow Ones

by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Odessa Hardwicke’s life is derailed when she’s forced to turn her gun on her partner, Walt Leppo, a decorated FBI agent who turns suddenly, inexplicably violent while apprehending a rampaging murderer. The shooting, justified by self-defense, shakes the young FBI agent to her core. Devastated, Odessa is placed on desk leave pending a full investigation. But what most troubles Odessa isn’t the tragedy itself — it’s the shadowy presence she thought she saw fleeing the deceased agent’s body after his death.

From the authors who brought you The Strain Trilogy comes a strange, terrifying, and darkly wondrous world of suspense, mystery, and literary horror. The Hollow Ones is a chilling, spell-binding tale, a hauntingly original new fable from Academy Award-winning director Guillermo del Toro and bestselling author Chuck Hogan featuring their most fascinating character yet.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Parish’s Staff Picks: Movies & TV Series

Hey hey… You know Parish from the Youth Services Department! He’s put together a list of some of his favorite movies and TV series — some for the whole family, teens, and even adults!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Little Nemo

Nemo is a young boy whose dreams transcend reality. He is sucked into his own fantasy, which is everything he has dreamed of. He journeys into the realm of Slumberland, where the King grants him a magical key that opens the door to the Nightmare World. In doing so he unleashes a century old secret that may not only destroy this perfect dream world but reality itself. Now, its up to him to banish nightmares forever.

From Parish: A movie from my childhood! Little Nemo is one of my favorite go to movies when I’m needing that blast from the past. Full of magic, colorful characters, and a flying bed! This is a must watch! All ages

Promare

Thirty years have passed since the appearance of the Burnish, a race of flame-wielding mutant beings,
who destroyed half of the world with fire. When a new group of aggressive mutants calling themselves
Mad Burnish appears, the epic battle between Galo Thymos, a new member of the anti-Burnish rescue
team Burning Rescue, and Lio Fotia, the leader of Mad Burnish begins.

From Parish: One of my all time favorite newly released movies! I highly recommend everyone to watch this movie! I’m a big fan of anime. One of the reasons why I love it is because the art style is beautiful; I love seeing how amazing the animation is. Promare delivers on the beauty and great storytelling! Teen

Spirited Away

When a young girl gets trapped in a strange new world of spirits, she must call upon the courage she
never knew she had to free herself and rescue her parents.

From Parish: YES! You can’t have a favorite movie list without adding a Studio Ghibli movie! Spirited Away is my favorite Studio Ghibli film and yes, it’s a must-watch movie! Everything about this movie is good; the story, the visuals and the music! I watch this movie at least once every month. Teen

Ok K.O.! Lets Be Heroes TKO

In the video game inspired world, K.O. works at Gar’s Bodega in Lakewood Plaza, a one-stop shop for all your hero needs. Whether he is mopping the floor with Lord Boxman’s evil robots or literally mopping the floor, K.O. tackles everything with his cheery, endless enthusiasm. Every person is a hero to look up to, every challenge is a chance to grow stronger and every success or failure is just another stepping-stone to becoming the ultimate hero.

From Parish: A show that used to air on Cartoon Network! This is a super family friendly show that has tons of funny jokes and puns. New and old gamers will enjoy! It’s one of my favorite series that I wished still aired! All ages

Avatar: The Last Airbender

After a lapse of 100 years, the Avatar-spiritual master of the elements -has returned. And just in the nick of time. The Four nations (Water, Earth, Fire and Air) have become unbalanced. The Fire Nation wants to rule the world, and its first conquest will be the Northern Water Tribe. It’s up to a 12-year-old Airbender named Aang to find a way to stop it. Join Aang, Katara, Sokka, Momo, and Appa as they head north on the adventure of a lifetime. The Chosen One who can restore the world order. This adventure, set in a fantastical Asian-influenced world, follows the story of Aang, the Chosen One, who must forgo his selfish wandering to learn to master his latent powers over the four elements.

From Parish: You may have already seen this show! But if not, it’s one you MUST watch! Trust me it speaks for itself why I like it! Teen

Kidnap

A typical afternoon in the park turns into a nightmare for single mom Karla Dyson when her son suddenly disappears. Without a cell phone and knowing she has no time to wait for police help, Karla jumps in her own car and sets off in pursuit of the kidnappers. Karla will stop at nothing to recover her kidnapped son.

From Parish: Who doesn’t love a good thriller with Halle Berry in it! This movie will not only get your heart racing, it’ll also leave you speechless with what this mother will do to get her son back!

Rated R

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Meet charming and jobless Scott Pilgrim. A bass guitarist for garage band Sex Bob-omb, the 22-year-
old has just met the girl of his dreams, literally. The only catch to winning Ramona Flowers? Her seven evil exes are coming to kill him. As Scott gets closer to Ramona, he must face an increasingly vicious rogues’ gallery from her past, from infamous skateboarders to vegan rock stars and fearsome identical twins. If he hopes to win his true love, he must vanquish them all.

From Parish: If you love the graphic novel, you’ll love this movie! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this movie! Michael Cera is one of my favorite actors and the gaming puns and effects are the best!

Rated PG-13

Ghost Whisperer

Ever since she was a young girl, Melinda Gordon has been able to see and talk to dead people. Earth-bound
spirits who have yet to cross over to the other side seek her help in communicating and resolving unfinished business with the living.

From Parish: YES! I’m serious this is one of my favorite shows! It’s so good! You wouldn’t think it would hook you, but it does!

Teen/Adult

Infinity Train

Join Tulip on a mind-bending journey aboard the mysterious Infinity Train, alongside her companions Atticus, the canine king of Corginia, and One-One, a robot with dueling personalities. With puzzles and perils awaiting them in every car, and the relentless Steward on their trail, will Tulip ever find a way off the train and return home?

From Parish: In my opinion one of Cartoon Networks best shows next to “ Ok. K.O”. Infinity Train is a unique Sci-fi cartoon that will leave you on the edge of your seat!

Teen

Over the Garden Wall

From creator Patrick McHale, one of the minds behind Adventure Time. Cartoon Network’s first every animated mini-series. It follows the story of two brothers, Greg and Wirt, who find themselves in a strange forest. Along the way, they meet a bluebird named Beatrice who helps them navigate the strange land in the hopes of making their way home.

From Parish: I LOVE THIS SHOW! It’s a great binge worthy show that you can finish in a couple of hours! I love watching this in October, for its spooky theme.

Teen

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!