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Latest staff reviews

The Eleventh Trade – Staff Review – Corinna

The Eleventh Trade by Alyssa Hollingsworth

2019-2020 maine student book award list, available in book format on the cloud library.

The Eleventh Trade takes place in Boston Massachusetts where twelve year old Sam is living with his grandfather, after immigrating from Afghanistan. While in Sam’s possession, the instrument Sam’s grandfather uses to make a living is stolen. And thus the quest to find the rebab begins. As we follow Sam’s search for the instrument, he also begins to find friendship also the way. And in pieces we begin to learn what had happened to Sam and his family, and his journey to America.I decided to read this book to familiarise myself with as many of the maine student book awards I I could. I found that the book started off a little slow for me, but as Sam’s journey continued, I became more and more invested to see if Sam was able to get his grandfather’s rebab back, and to learn about their journey to Boston. Spoiler alert: I would suggest finishing this book with a box of tissues at hand. But in the good way, I think we all could use a happy ending right now. 

5  stars

A Gentleman In Moscow – Staff Review – Maddy

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles and read by Nicholas Smith
 

Available on the cloud library in both ebook and audiobook, A Gentleman in Moscow is a nice long book to read while in quarantine.

In 1922 Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a prominent hotel, for being an unrepentant aristocrat by the Bolsheviks (political party in power after the revolution). Going from a prominent man of the upper class who has never worked a day in his life, Rostov is moved to a from his expansive suite to a small attic apartment and left to provide for himself. But being stuck in a hotel, it turns out, is not as boring as it seems. In fact, there will be a lot going on as the times that can be gleaned from inside the Metropol. Some might even happen inside its doors. 
A Gentleman in Moscow is a historical fiction that spans the 1920s-1950s in Moscow. I enjoyed reading about Count Rostov and the rest of the characters in this book. Rostov knows a thing or two about being stuck at home and making the most of it. No spoilers here, but, I was slightly surprised by the ending turned out. 

3 stars

The Serpent King – Staff Review – Cherise

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

This book has been on my To Be Read List for a long time. I finally picked it up after a friend of mine sent me a copy. I was struggling to find something to read that caught my attention even while in a reading slump. The Serpent King was able to do that. I devoured it. It was the first book in a long time I didn’t put aside to read another book. And then another book. 

This book follows three friends, Dill, Lydia, and Travis in their senior year of high school in a small Tennessee town. All three are misfits, not exactly fitting in at school. It’s how they became friends. Dill is the son of a Pentecostal preacher who used live snakes in his services who was arrested, grandson of the famed Serpent King, believing madness comes to each Dillard Early (he is the third). Travis deals with hardships at home and the grief over the death of his brother. Lydia is made for big city life, having managed to somehow run an extremely popular blog and is in some cases famous in the larger world but not where she lives. There was something so completely wonderful and aching about this story that simply kept your attention through the whole thing. If spots were slow, it was done in a way that was still entertaining. This story truly knows how to get you to become attached to these characters quickly and to leave you completely wrapped up in their happiness and loses. 

I recommend this book for anyone who wants to read about small town life (though in the south in a lot of ways you can relate with living in a small town even here in Maine) with wonderfully descriptive writing that really connects with you. The Serpent King is available on the CloudLibrary to check out and I highly recommend it. Just be prepared for some tissues!

5 Stars

Wicked as You Wish – Staff Review – Cherise

Wicked as You Wish by Rin Chupeco

I’ve been looking forward to this book since it was announced, so being able to read and review it was amazing. It was in all ways a great book. I really loved it. Rin is an amazing author who wrote some of my favorite books but this book brings out a whole new side of her writing. From dark and death to lighter and sillier side, but also talking about REAL issues in a way that changes our own stories.

Tala is a great character. She’s complicated. She has a magic that’s different from everyone else while at the same time being nonmagic. She’s strong and focused but is so clearly a teen trying to do what’s right or what she believes is right.
I admit, I wasn’t a fan of Alex. I know he has the right to act the way he does, but he left me frustrated and wanting to shake him half of the time. Because honestly, no one should treat their best friend the way he treats Tala.

I highly recommend this book. You can find it on the Cloud Library.

4 stars.

Circe – Staff Review – Maddy

Circe by Madeline Miller read by Perdita Weeks

Circe is the daughter of Helios, god of the sun, but unlike other gods and goddesses, she doesn’t show signs of possessing powers until later on in life when she starts interacting with mortals. As time with tell, Circe turns out to be a powerful witch- much more powerful than her family ever expected her to be. But her powers come with the price of exile to her own remote island when Zeus and other gods feel threatened. But for Circe, exile may not be the worst way to spend eternity.She can receive visitors and those familiar with greek mythology may know how this goes, at least in the beginning. Madeline Miller’s retelling of Circe gives the goddess the spotlight she doesn’t often get in mythology. 
 I listened to the audiobook version on Circe, which is available on the cloud library. This was my first time listening to an audiobook and its prompted me to listen to more. The woman who read Circe had an aesthetically pleasingvoice for the for the character of Circe. Being able to listen to the story offline while working or traveling allowed me to read a story I might not have otherwise had time for. Check out Circe and all the other great ebooks and audiobooks available for download at the cloud library!”

Star Trek: Picard: The Last Best Hope – Staff Pick – Nancy Mes.

Star Trek: Picard: The Last Best Hope by Una McCormick

My experience with tie-in fiction has been mixed. At best, they’re an excuse to spend more time with characters and a universe that I love. At worst, they feel like cheap filler. But with The Last Best Hope, Una McCormick elevates my expectations by providing a great sci-fi novel that does a wonderful job setting things up for the new Star Trek: Picard series.

With the Romulan star set to supernova, Jean Luc Picard finds himself in charge of a massive undertaking that will require him to leave his beloved Enterprise behind. Now an Admiral, Picard must find a way to relocate billions of Romulans to new planets. Not only is this a logistical nightmare, but he faces pushback at every turn, both from people who want to downplay the severity of the supernova, and members of Federation that do not want to invest so many resources into a foreign power. To Picard, his quest is all about saving lives, but will political squabbles at home derail the most important humanitarian mission of his career?

The Last Best Hope is an engrossing novel that feels sharply relevant today’s issues. While watchers of the show know how Picard’s mission will ultimately end, it’s impossible not to get caught up in the story as he continues to hope, against all odds, that things will turn out for the best. Author McCormick does a great job of presenting all characters as complex individuals, taking time to explain to the audience why even the more selfishly minded people feel the way they do.

If you’re a fan of Star Trek: Picard, then The Last Best Hope is a must-read. An ebook version can currently be found on the cloud library. 

5 stars

Spring Reading Challenge

We are moving our Spring Reading Challenge online! Read around the world with us and enjoy some armchair travel. We have some goodies (including a map to track your travel) to give out once we reopen!

Let the Adventure Begin!

Our Spring Reading Challenge is a virtual trip around the world.

We’ve divided the world into 21 regions, and invite you to travel the world by reading a book for each, OR by spending an hour learning a language spoken in that region, using the online program Mango (a free
program offered by the library). 

As you travel, use the dots to indicate each country you have visited. Once you’ve visited 7 or more regions, stop by the library for a free gift (while supplies last).

How to get to Mango: Go to the Auburn Public Library website. Scroll down until you see the Mango logo on the home page. It’s under the Quick Link section just below digital main library logo.

Once there, sign in as a guest using the barcode number on your library card.

The booklets will give you examples of both fiction and nonfiction books for each region, but you are not limited to these books.


Let us know if we can help!

Fun Stuff for Kids Online!

FREE EBOOKS Several sites are providing free access to ebooks while schools are closed.

JLG Digital – free access for families to Junior Library Guild’s ebooks (fiction and nonfiction) and other resources.

  • Elementary
    • Username: JLGELM
    • Password: JLGFREE
  • Middle School
    • Username: JLGMID
    • Password: JLGFREE

Tumblebooks

Audible–Listen to free eaudiobooks at stories.audible.com

Here is a list of websites you might find useful over the next few weeks to help your children during the school closure.
READING

GENERAL INTEREST

INSTAGRAM

  • For customers on Instagram  author Dan Santat is offering an online survival guide: Santat Online Survival School for the Pandemic. You just need to follow him on Instagram
  • Author Rafael Lopez is posting black and white drawings that didn’t make it into his books for kids to color. He is the author of Drum Dream Girl

STEAM

FOR YOUR LITTLES

  • Jbrary: Storytime Songs and fingerplays to share with your little ones
  • Resources for families during the Pandemic from Common Sense Media

Book returns now closed, all due dates will be extended

Per the order of Gov. Mills and the urging of Mayor Levesque, the Library has shut down. If you have any questions, please reach out through our email at email@auburnpubliclibrary.org. We will be back up and running at the earliest moment possible. We all miss you! 

We encourage you to check our website for online services, and to follow the Auburn Public Library on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We will also send out updates through our email newsletter (subscribe here).

We are happy to respond to questions via email. Although the library will not be staffed, we will try to respond to phone messages. However, email, social media, and our contact form remain the best ways to contact us. For general questions, please send to email@auburnpubliclibrary.org. If you have reference questions or would like assistance in using online resources, please use reference@auburnpubliclibrary.org.

Checkouts and Holds

  • If you have materials checked out, we have extended those due dates.  Due dates are currently set to April 15, but we will further extend them to one week after we reopen as needed. This includes all Auburn Public Library items, as well as interlibrary loans.
  • If you’ve placed holds on materials, those requests will be activated when we reopen. New requests are not being accepted during the closure. If you no longer want an item you have on hold you can cancel the hold by accessing your record online.
  • Interlibrary loan services are suspended during the closure.
  • After hours materials returns (book drops) will be closed. The extended due dates mean there’s no need to return items for fear of incurring overdue fees.

We are extending library card expiration dates so you can continue using our digital services.

Get an Auburn Public Library card

If you don’t have a library card, apply for an online card with this form and a card will be mailed to you. An e-card will give you access to e-books, e-audiobooks and online databases. 

Digital services

Visit our website to view online resources available to you. Many vendors are making additional resources available during this time, and we will try to keep you updated. We will also post updates on our Facebook page.


The library wi-fi will be on until 10PM and can generally be accessed from the parking lot. Be sure to observe social distancing!

For more information about COVD-19 and what you can do to keep healthy and safe, visit the Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov or the Maine Health Department at https://www.maine.gov/dhhs.


Stay safe and strong.

Mamie Anthoine Ney, Director

mmaney@auburnpubiclibrary.org, Ext. 2020

Programs cancelled

In cooperation with the City of Auburn, the Library has cancelled all activities for the next two weeks. At that time, we will reevaluate the COVID situation. This means all meeting rooms, study rooms, and Teen Center will not be available. Also we are suspending the use of our public computers, computer lab, and media lab. Please check this page often for updates. Stay healthy and strong. Mamie Anthoine Ney, Library Director.

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