Top Staff Picks - June 2022

Top Staff Picks - June 2022

Non-Fiction Picks 

The Diary of A Young Girl Anne Frank edited by Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler

Sensitively edited and with a connecting commentary by editor, Mirjam Pressler, the abridged edition of The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank gives younger readers their first introduction to the extraordinary diary of an ordinary girl who has long become a household name. This abridged edition has a short prologue written by the editor, Mirjam Pressler, as well as a connecting commentary. There are beautiful line drawings, family photographs, and an Afterword to explain why the Diary ends so abruptly. This shorter edition is ideal for younger children who want to read Anne's diary for themselves but are too young to appreciate the teenage issues that Anne faces during her time in hiding.

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell

In this treatise spurred by the 2015 death of African American academic Sandra Bland in jail after a traffic stop, the author aims to figure out the strategies people use to assess strangers - to "analyze, critique them, figure out where they came from, figure out how to fix them," in other words: to understand how to balance trust and safety. The author uses a variety of examples from history and from headlines to illustrate that people size up the motivations, emotions, and trustworthiness of those they don't know both wrongly and with misplaced confidence.

Fiction Picks 

Dune by Frank Herbert

If you haven’t seen the movie, this book is tells the story of young Paul Atreides, whose family accepts the stewardship of the planet Arrakis. While the planet is an inhospitable and sparsely populated desert wasteland, it is the only source of melange, or "spice", a drug that extends life and enhances mental abilities.

Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes

Paris for One is a story of empowerment told via the blossoming of Nell from a shy, exacting, quiet girl into a beautiful, confident woman who takes charge of her destiny with a new zest for life. The remaining tales in this collection are short stories, all told from a woman's point of view.

Young Adult Picks

Period Queen: Life hack your cycle and own your power all month long by Lucy Peach

Ladies, meet your four period superpowers! Just like the seasons, there are four phases that keep coming around. Once you learn this self-awareness, you'll come to love and appreciate how your body tells you when to dream, do, give and take. By harnessing the power of your menstrual cycle, you're about to learn the greatest life hack of them all. For so long, girls are given the 'talk,' then told how to 'manage' their periods - the beginning of a tedious bloody grind, one of the last great taboos. But the truth is the menstrual cycle has benefits. Big, fantastic, daily, monthly, even lifelong benefits which, when understood, will change the lives of half the people on the planet. 

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey 

After graduation, everything Lila Reyes had planned for her life fell apart. Her worried parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavour (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila. Until she meets Orion Maxwell. A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion appoints himself as Lila's personal tour guide. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila's mind-- one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind.

Age guide: 13+

Children’s Fiction Picks 

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Milo is bored. But all that changes when he receives a mysterious Tollbooth through the post. Having nothing better to do, Milo points his little car towards the strange land beyond the Tollbooth. And before he knows what he’s doing, he’s entered the Kingdom of Wisdom, where everything is unexpected.

Age rating: 8+

The Lion Above the Door by Onjali Q. Raúf

Leo and his best friend Sangeeta are the odd ones out in their school. But as Leo's dad is always telling him, it's because they're special. Only thing is, if they're so special, how come they never see anyone who looks like them in their school history books? Then, on a class trip to a nearby cathedral, Leo's attention is drawn to a large marble slab high above the doors of the hall. Right there, bang in the middle of a list of war heroes, Leo finds himself staring at something incredible: his own name. Desperate to know who this other Leo was, the two friends embark on a search. And together, they begin to uncover missing stories from the past, ones which they are determined to put back into their rightful place in the pages of history. Touching on themes of historical racism, The Lion Above the Door shines a light on the stories our history books have yet to contain and the power of friendships that can last through generations. The first edition of this book also contains a special collection of historical photos and stories of real-life forgotten heroes from World War Two.

Age rating: 9+

Children’s Non-fiction Picks 

The Māori Picture Dictionary: Papakupu whakaahua by Margaret Sinclair

Contains illustrations for over 1400 of the most common words used in daily life. Illustrated by two up-and-coming Maori artists, The Maori Picture Dictionary / Te Papakupu Whakaahua has a sense of fun. Many words are clarified in short sentences in both English and te reo. There is also an index of Maori to English words at the back for quick reference. Other useful sections cover numbers, days of the week and months of the year, plus full-page themed illustrations covering school, home and the marae.

I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast: A celebration of plants around the world by Michael Holland

Enter the incredible world of plants to learn about the green machines of the natural world. Using just the rays of the sun, trees and flowers help create everything from rubber to honey. Find out the powerful science going on in every leaf, petal and stem with vibrant illustrations that will make you look at plants in a whole new way. From expert ecologist and educator Michael Holland, this illustrated compendium celebrates the plants in your life, from minty toothpaste to the floral names in your classroom. This comprehensive guide covers everything from the parts of a plant through to conservation, and also features DIY projects for young gardeners.