Read On! Staff picks

Lately, I have found myself yearning for new things to read or view, so I asked other Library staff members for some recommendations. I now present to you a list of selected “Staff Picks.” All of these titles are owned by the Library in print and/or digital formats. 

Beartown by Fredrik Backman – Adult fiction; downloadable ebook & audiobook

Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros – Adult fiction (in Spanish); downloadable audiobook (in English)

Caraval by Stephanie Garber – YA Fiction; downloadable ebook & audiobook

Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys – YA fiction; downloadable ebook & audiobook

Geronimo Stilton series by Geronimo Stilton – Juvenile fiction; J Graphic Novels; downloadable ebook & audiobook 

Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Adult fiction; downloadable ebook, audiobook, and video adaptation

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones – Downloadable ebook & audiobook; movie adaptation on DVD

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult – Adult fiction; downloadable ebook & audiobook

My Side of the Mountain by Jean George – Middle Grade fiction; downloadable ebook & audiobook

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite – Adult fiction; downloadable ebook & audiobook

Seeds by Carme Lemniscates – Picture books

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen – Adult & Large Print fiction; downloadable ebook & audiobook

If you haven’t filled out your 2020 census, please do! Being counted as part of the census helps the Library receive funding and other resources. Plus, having a good resident count means we’ll have more representation at the national level, which is vital. 

If you want to fill your census out online, we have computers and internet access (including wifi) that are free to use. It takes about 10 minutes to complete the survey. A little longer if you have a large family. 

Read On! Representation matters

Growing up, I was always the tallest kid in my class by quite a lot. It wasn’t a hardship, but it made me feel different and set apart from my classmates. In the mid-to-late 1980s Hasbro released fashion dolls based on the cartoon “Jem and the Holograms.” Jem and her companion dolls were 12” tall (a full inch taller than their Barbie counterparts) and had big, flat feet. I remember getting my first Jem doll and truly feeling Seen. Suddenly, I had a doll who was similarly set apart from her peers and it was such a relief to know I wasn’t alone.

In early high school, I checked out “The Haunting of Frances Rain” by Margaret Buffie from the school’s library. Again, I found myself in my media. The main character was dealing with so many of the same family issues I had that I read it multiple times. The book became so precious to me that I snuck into the teachers’ workroom at school to copy each and every page so I could keep it forever. (I have since made amends to the keepers of copyright)

That feeling of discovering yourself in toys or media was so powerful for me that I have a Jem doll on my desk at work and the Buffie book on my bookshelf at home. I’m not alone in this feeling. It’s an important and sometimes life-changing moment for anyone who feels different from their peers.

One of the things we strive to do at your Library is make sure we have a variety of materials in our collection so members of our community can find themselves like I did growing up. Growing up is hard and feeling different makes it that much harder. The Library hopes to make Life easier for everyone through the simple act of providing a good, well-rounded collection that is free for anyone to access. If you haven’t found yourself in our collection yet, let us know. We’ll figure out how to fix that.

Read On! Video games

My kids are always a little dismayed when I’m good at video games (and a lot distraught when I beat them at video games). Apparently, to them, I’m a crusty old lady who never saw a video game until my kids did me the favor of discovering the world of PlayStation and Nintendo. Little do they know, I grew up playing “Burgertime,” “Tekken,” “Sonic,” “Kingdom Hearts,” and every Mario game I could find. 

“Super Mario Bros. 3” remains one of my all-time favorites. I logged hours and hours on our old cabinet TV making cheat sheets for the White Mushroom House puzzles and collecting every Warp Whistle in the game. Now, I spend a lot less time playing video games (though I am pretty good at “Pokemon Go,” “Minecraft,” and “Fortnite” thankyouverymuch), but they haven’t lost their relevance to me or within our culture. 

References to video games appear in countless movies and playing them has spawned their own genre of YouTube “walkthrough” videos that kids seem glued to. There are even college scholarships for gamers! 

During the most isolating parts of the COVID-19 shutdown, my son’s primary means for communicating with his friends was through “Fortnite.” Playing that game and being connected to his peers became an integral part of how he coped with not being able to see his friends in school every day. 

Our friends at FTW here in Pryor understand that video games have become a vital part of our society and have decided to help give our community easier access to them. They donated more than 50 games for PS3, Xbox, and Wii to the library for anyone to check out for 4 weeks. Now, we have games like “Epic Mickey,” “Need For Speed,” and “Fallout” to loan to families in our community for free. 

Search “video game” in our catalog to find a list or come check them out near our DVD collection.

Read On! What the Rerats are reading

We’re doing a lot of reading in my house right now. With two adults and two children at home all the time, we’re finding it more and more necessary to have some quiet, alone time. 

I just finished “Fear Nothing” by Dean Koontz, a well-written mystery set in a small California town. Christopher Snow, moments after his father’s death at the local hospital, accidentally witnesses two men and the town’s mortician switching his father’s body for a stranger’s. As he follows the trail to figure out the whos and whys, he discovers that his small town is not the sleepy coastal town he has always known. 

“Fear Nothing” is a good pick for anyone who likes some science fiction with their mysteries.

My son is listening to “Minecraft: The Island” by Max Brooks. He is having a good time with it. We’ve played the Minecraft game for a few years, so I think he enjoys being plunged into a world he is so familiar with. Plus, he knows some of the answers to the questions and problems the main character encounters, which always “makes a reader feel smart,” he says.  

My daughter is listening to the first “Captain Underpants” book by Dav Pilkey. A connoisseur of the show, she too is delighting in reading a book that’s familiar to her. She thinks George and Harold, the main characters, are hilarious and wishes they were in her class. 

All of these titles are available through Overdrive, our digital library. If you need help using it, give us a call or send us an email. We’re still available to help!