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Off the shelf @ your local library - Staff Pics 2013


By Kathy Pillatzki
Assistant Director
Henry County Library System

  A surefire way to start a lively conversation is to ask any employee of the Henry County Library System what books they’ve read lately. When asked what books they’re recommending to library visitors, several members of our staff had great suggestions for teens and kids:

  From Andrea at the McDonough library: “I recently read The Queen of Water by Laura Resau. It is classified as a young adult book, but adults would enjoy it, too. It's a novel based on a true story. An indigenous girl in Ecuador is sent to be a servant for a mestizo couple (mestizos are Hispanics, or Spaniards who had mixed with the Indians over time) when she is only seven years old. They promise her pay and a monthly visit to her parents, but do not deliver on either promise.

  As the years go by, the girl, Maria Virginia Farinango strives to educate herself in secret, and decides she needs to escape what is becoming a dangerous situation with the family. She returns back to her home village and succeeds in making a business for herself and doing well in school. She tries to hide that she is an indigena until she realizes she can be proud of who she truly is.”

  I liked it because I enjoy reading books from multicultural perspectives, especially from Latin America (where I grew up as a child with missionary parents). I also liked that it had a happy ending despite all the hardships and abuse that Maria Virginia suffered. The way she never lost her strength of spirit was fascinating. I believe those who enjoy learning about other cultures, specifically indigenous and/or Latin American culture would enjoy this book, as well as those who thrive on stories of the underdog winning in the end over adverse circumstances.”

  Levet, who works in the young adult section at the Stockbridge library, recommends The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. “This was a Stockbridge book club pick. Several of the staff here read it also. I found the book sad because it deals with illness. The characters though seriously ill are strong, brutally honest and loyal. The majority of those who read the said it was well worth the read. Cancer is a part of the story, but wanting to know the conclusion motivated everyone to finish it.”

  For older elementary age and up, Levet recommends Son by Lois Lowry. Son concludes the story begun in The Giver and continued in Gathering Blue and The Messenger. “The Giver is one of the most haunting children’s books I’ve ever read. It introduces a seemingly utopian future world and gradually reveals the terrible price mankind has paid for peace, safety and health.” Levet says that after the recent publication of Son, several of the Stockbridge staff reread the entire series and had fun discussing the story.

  The Hampton library has a new exhibit of books by Georgia authors. Assistant manager DiAnn picked a children’s book from the display. I read How the Caboose Came to Rutledge by Molly Lesnikowski. Then I went to Rutledge and met the author. The book will appeal to kids because of the colorful and graphic illustrations. It is a true story and very entertaining.”

  Thanks to Andrea, Levet and DiAnn for your thoughtful recommendations. Check out one of their favorites on your next library visit!



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