Librarians' Picks: Monster Hunt and a History of Cheese

Montgomery County librarians pick their favorites and popular selections from the public library system.

What's on your reading list? Montgomery County librarians share their recommendations. Tell us in the comments what you're reading this week.

Children’s Fiction 

Llama Llama Time to Share by Anna Dewdney

Viking, 2012

Picture Book

Ages 3 to 5

Llama Llama faces more drama when he is expected to share his toys with a visitor. Will he be able to do it?

Llama Llama fans may also enjoy a song on YouTube (even if it’s captioned with the wrong book title).



A Home for Bird by Philip Stead

Roaring Brook Press, 6/5/2012

Picture Book

Ages 3 to 6

While out foraging for interesting things, Vernon the toad finds a new friend - a small blue bird who is curiously silent. Vernon shows Bird the river and the forest and some of his other favorite things, but Bird says nothing. Vernon introduces Bird to his friends, Skunk and Porcupine, but Bird still says nothing.

"Bird is shy," says Vernon, "but also a very good listener."

Vernon worries that Bird is silent because he misses his home, so the two set off on a journey to help find a home for Bird.

By the author of A Sick Day for Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal.


Children’s Non-Fiction

HELLO, BABY BELUGA by Darrin P. Lunde

J 599.5 LUN, Preschool-Grade 1

The youngest animal lovers will learn about the beluga whale using a question and answer format. “Baby beluga, how do you live in the cold water?” Additional facts are included at the back of the book. For example, these whales are never fully asleep-parts of their brains take turns staying awake!



J 398.4 ARN, Grades 3 – 5

Could the Loch Ness Monster have been a plesiosaur? And wasn’t the giant squid once thought to be a mythical creature? And then there is the expedition that the author and his wife and three grandsons take to Lake Champlain to search for “Champ,” a plesiosaurlike reptile possibly living in the water there. Intriguing mysteries for the curious reader!


Young Adult Fiction

I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb

Age 11 and up

Twelve-year-old Oliver Watson has everyone convinced that he is extremely stupid and lazy, but he is actually a very wealthy evil genius, and when he decides to run for seventh-grade class president, nothing will stand in his way. [from Baker & Taylor]


Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Age 14 and up

Micah will freely admit that she’s a compulsive liar, but that may be the one honest thing she’ll ever tell you. Over the years she’s duped her classmates, her teachers, and even her parents, and she’s always managed to stay one step ahead of her lies. That is, until her boyfriend dies under brutal circumstances and her dishonesty begins to catch up with her. But is it possible to tell the truth when lying comes as naturally as breathing? Taking readers deep into the psyche of a young woman who will say just about anything to convince them and herself that she’s finally come clean, Liar is a bone-chilling thriller that will have readers see-sawing between truths and lies right up to the end. Honestly. [from the publisher]


Adult Fiction 

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

An orphan's life is harsh - and often short - in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains - a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected "family" of orphans - a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting. [from the publisher]


Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney

When her teenage son disappears in the aftermath of a brutal murder, a determined mother sets out from her snow-covered nineteenth-century settlement to find him, an effort that is hampered by vigilante groups and the harrowing forces of nature. [from Baker & Taylor]

A brilliant and breathtaking debut that captivated readers and garnered critical acclaim in the United Kingdom, The Tenderness of Wolves was long-listed for the Orange Prize in fiction and won the Costa Award (formerly the Whitbread) Book of the Year. [from the publisher]


Adult Nonfiction


Island Practice : Cobblestone Rash, Underground Tom, and Other Adventures of a Nantucket Doctor by Pam Belluck.

"If you need an emergency appendectomy on Nantucket, the man who will perform it knows how to do so with an arrowhead. Island life is like that: a little unusual, improvised, independent and outside the mainstream. At a time when America's family doctors are under siege, and so many things in health care are combustible and complicated, Timothy Lepore is an extraordinary character. He is the glue that holds health care together on Nantucket, a place where rich and poor, natives and washashores, celebrities and illegal immigrants, tourists and seventh-generation descendants of seafaring adventurers come together. ‘Island practice’ takes readers deeply into this world, showing what it is like to practice medicine in a place where life can sometimes seem to be forgotten by time and sometimes seem to be overtaken by it, a place that sits apart from the rest of the country and is yet inextricably tied to its struggles and transformations"--Provided by publisher.


637.309 KIN.

Cheese and Culture: a History of Cheese and its Place in Western Civilization by Paul Kindstedt.

Kindstedt (food science, Univ. of Vermont) delivers an extensively researched and comprehensive history of cheese and its place in the development of Western civilization. Beginning with the ancient origins of cheese making and moving through the classical, medieval, and Renaissance periods to the modern era, the author examines the traditional cheeses that came about during each period and how they were tailored to the environment and culture of the time. Finally, he explores the friction that has developed between the United States and the European Union over issues surrounding cheese making and trade, such as protecting traditional product names, food safety regulation, and the use of new agricultural technologies such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and hormones—Library journal.


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