Hockey Night in Kenya by Danson Mutinda

“Looking at this early chapter book, you know it’s probably going to be about a kid playing hockey. But it’s really about the attitude and perseverance of Kitoo, an orphan in Kenya, and the loving support he has from all the people in his life. His struggles are presented with acceptance and a calm tone and softened with his trademark positive thinking. A heartwarming read!” – DG Library Staff

Kitoo and Nigosi, two friends living in a Kenyan orphanage, discover ice hockey and totally love it. Well, love reading about it. Kitoo is pretty sure that it’s too hot for there to be any ice. One day, while helping out the adults who care for them, Kitoo finds a busted old pair of rollerblades. This surprise opens up a new world, and he starts working towards something he thought would have been impossible.

Paris is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay

“Half romance, half relationship fiction, Paris is Always a Good Idea made me smile. Chelsea’s journey took her to some memorable locations. The romantic twists were great to read. This was an excellent romance.” – Sharon, Kids Room 

Seven years after her mother’s death, Chelsea Martin doesn’t respond very well to the news her father is remarrying. When her father suggests she doesn’t remember how to laugh, Chelsea seeks to find the person she was before she learned her mother was ill. This takes her on an adventure through Europe and the three loves of her summer abroad.

A Place at the Table by Saadia Faruqi & Laura Shovan

“Not only was mouth-watering food at the center of this story, I thought Sara and Elizabeth showed that it isn’t always easy to keep up a new friendship. It is something that you have to want and work at all the time.” – Miss. Traci, Kids Room

6th graders Sara and Elizabeth are paired up in an after-school cooking class and don’t exactly hit it off. However, they soon discover that they make good cooking partners and team up to win a spot on a local food show by creating a “mouth-watering cross-cultural dish.” If only it were that easy to connect with one another and become actual friends.

Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore

“My first five-star read of 2021! It was sweet, it was funny, it was diverse, and the cast of characters pops. It’s one of those books that I finished and was so happy that it exists.” – Erin, Kids Room

Former best friends Lita and Chicky team up to help Lita win the Miss Meteor pageant–a feat that no girl who looks like either of them has ever done. For Lita, winning the pageant means not fading into stardust (yes, really). For Chicky, it’s a way to save her family’s struggling restaurant. Together, along with the boys they may have feelings for, and Chicky’s opinionated older sisters, they’re determined to prove they can win it all.

Heartstopper Vol. 1 by Alice Oseman

“Sweet, wonderfully paced story about those early stages of attraction against the backdrop of high school. You feel those early emotions with them of “are we friends, or does he like me.” – Karen B., Adult & Teen Services

Quiet Charlie attends an all-boys school and was outed the previous school year. He slowly becomes friends with an older student. Watch their friendship develop into maybe something more.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End by Naughty Dog

“I’m a married woman in my 30s, and my husband and I (like Nate and Elena) often wonder whether life is merely a series of bills to be paid. Uncharted 4 resonated with me on so many levels. The globe-trotting is thrilling, the scenery is gorgeous, the puzzles and secret passages are atmospheric. There are car chases, cliff-scaling, (non-gore-y) gunfights, consistently funny quips and banter, bro-time with the guys, and romance. It’s Indiana Jones + Tomb Raider + Jason Bourne + Pirates of the Caribbean (the 1st one, of course!) all rolled into one. But more than that, it’s a cinematic story about being yourself while accepting new phases of your life.” – Kelly, Circulation

Nathan Drake is an ex-treasure-hunter who’s been out of the game for years. Though his marriage to journalist Elena is a happy one, the tedium of staying in one place is wearing him down. He eagerly throws himself back into an adventure to help someone from his past… even if that means lying to his wife and putting himself and (fan-favorite) Victor “Sully” Sullivan back into bad guys’ cross-hairs.

The Sweeney Sisters by Lian Dolan

“It’s an engaging novel, perfect for fans of Elin Hilderbrand and readers who love novels about family relationships.” – Lora, Adult & Teen Services

Liza, Maggie, and Tricia are the daughters of famous writer William Sweeney and when he passes away, they reunite at the family home to sort out his affairs. While mourning their father, the women learn that they have another sister, Serena, whom William learned about a month before he died. The Sweeney Sisters is the story of the four over the course of a summer as they come to terms with the secret, bond, and move forward.

Be Dazzled by Ryan La Sala

“As a self-proclaimed nerd and amateur cosplayer, this book took me into the world of conventions that have been temporarily taken away from us. Ryan La Sala weaves the world of cosplay and conventions with an adorable romance that brought me so much joy while reading.” – Gina R., Circulation

Told between the present and in flashbacks, Be Dazzled is the story of Raffy, a dedicated crafter and cosplayer. He is entered in the biggest cosplay competition at the Controverse convention and is determined to not let anything ruin it for him, even when he finds out that his ex-boyfriend is also competing.

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

“In Khorram’s hands, Persian culture and the country of Iran truly shine. Darius is a sweet teenager struggling with self-identity and his place in the world. It’s for anyone who has ever felt a sense of longing for something, without knowing what that something is. This YA book is a perfect read-alike for Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.” – Erin, Kids Room 

Darius is about to embark on a trip to Iran for the very first time. He’s never really felt Persian, doesn’t know how to speak Farsi, and is struggling with clinical depression. When he arrives in Iran, he meets his grandparents and his mother’s family for the very first time, and he meets Sohrab, the boy next door. For the very first time, Darius may feel at home.

Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim

“Stand Up, Yumi Chung! is a feel-good, laugh-out-loud story for middle-grade readers that has plenty of appeal for older readers as well. Anyone who has struggled with finding their voice, especially without their family’s support, can identify with the story’s message. The writing features tender and humorous moments between Yumi and her parents without veering into stereotypes or caricatures. Readers are touchingly reminded that we must overcome our fear of failure, not failure itself.” – Van, Adult & Teen Services

Readers follow Yumi, a shy young Korean girl who loves stand-up comedy but her immigrant parents would rather she concentrate on school.