Posted in Blogging for Books

A gripping, modern Midwestern Gothic!

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel has arrived!!

Was this book written just for Ms. Pickett? It’s so in my wheelhouse! It’s ringing all of my bells! I’m here for The Roanoke Girls! Here’s why: that intriguing cover, a spookily labyrinthine farmhouse, seemingly idyllic small-town life churning with betrayals, a young woman’s struggle to break free of her own history, and the (really) dark secrets of the Roanoke family ….

After her mother’s suicide, 15-year old Lane Roanoke is sent to New Osage, Kansas, to live with her grandparents and cousin Allegra. Ten years later, Allegra has vanished and Lane returns to the Roanoke estate at her grandfather’s request. Chapters alternate between Lane’s indelible summer in Osage Flats (“Then”), and the fraught days following Allegra’s disappearance (“Now”). It all feels like standard girl-gone-missing fare until Amy Engel tosses a literary flash bang at the reader on page 32. Allegra’s own words are prophetic: “Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.” It’s finding out why the Roanoke girls don’t last long that will keep you turning pages at a frantic pace even as the chills run down your spine.

This modern twist on a rural Gothic noir calls to mind some of my recent favorites: S•Town PodcastWhere All Light Tends to Go by David Joy, The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh, All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda, My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh, and (from my TBR list) Let Me Die In His Footsteps by Lori Roy.

The Roanoke Girls is available now in the Ridley High School Library. Thank you to Blogging for Books for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review!

Posted in Library News

The Big Library Read is Here!

Big Library Read is the first-ever “global eBook club,” connecting people around the world who read the same eBook (or listen to the audiobook) at the same time! The new selection is A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain!

McElwain.jpgHere’s a quick summary from the publisher:

Beautiful and brilliant, Kendra Donovan is a rising star at the FBI. Yet her path to professional success hits a speed bump during a disastrous raid where half her team is murdered and she herself is severely wounded. As soon as she recovers, she travels to England to assassinate the man responsible for the deaths of her teammates. While fleeing from an unexpected assassin, Kendra escapes into a stairwell. When she stumbles out again, she is in the same place but in a different time: 1815, to be exact. Mistaken for a lady’s maid hired to help with weekend guests, Kendra is forced to quickly adapt to the time period until she can figure out how to get back home. However, after the body of a young girl is found on the grounds of the county estate, she starts to feel there’s some purpose to her bizarre circumstances. Stripped of her twenty-first century tools, Kendra must use her wits alone in order to unmask a cunning madman.

Through July 7, unlimited copies of the book are available for checkout through OverDrive! Just visit (you’ll need a Delaware County Library System card for this one), and borrow the Big Library Read today!


Posted in Blogging for Books, new books

If You Love The Wire Like I Love The Wire….

At fifteen years old, East has never left Los Angeles. He works as a look-out in his Uncle Fin’s drug organization in a neighborhood known as “The Boxes.” But after failing to warn his crew about a police raid, East is called up to redeem himself by running a special favor for Fin. East and three other boys, including his younger brother Ty, are tasked with driving to Wisconsin to murder a key witness. Beginning with a quick but complicated stop in Las Vegas, the plans go tragically awry as the boys barrel headlong into the heartland in search of their mark. Along the way, East realizes that maybe, just maybe, a better life awaits him somewhere down the road.


In depicting East’s cross-country journey, debut novelist Bill Beverly incorporates elements of crime fiction, travelogue, and classic coming-of-age stories. With a teen protagonist, Dodgers is an excellent crossover selection for readers looking to experience a poetically austere new voice in fiction. With frank depictions of drug dealing, violence, and urban survival, it is strongly reminiscent of the brilliant TV series The Wire. If that sounds like something that’s in your lane, check out Dodgers ASAP in the high school library!

Thank you to Blogging for Books for providing a copy of Dodgers in exchange for an honest review!

Posted in new books

The Little Paris Bookshop is here!

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George has just landed among the New Arrivals at the Ridley High School Library!

The Little Paris BookshopMonsieur Jean Perdu is the owner of the Literary Apothecary, a bookshop aboard a barge on the River Seine in Paris. Perdu has the gift of transperception, the ability to see past a person’s camouflage to their dreams, worries, and emotional aliments. He prescribes books the way a doctor prescribes medicine: to cure what ails his customers and make them feel better. When a beautiful new neighbor discovers a letter from Perdu’s long lost love, old feelings threaten his safe but lonely little world. With two cats and one newly famous author for companions, Perdu pulls anchor and sets sail down the River Seine for a journey too long untraveled. This novel is a love letter to books, the French countryside, and love! While I wish that it had more crossover appeal for teen readers (and a good deal less navel-gazing), it’s a perfect choice for anyone who is looking for something to read over coffee and a croissant!

Don’t miss the amazing gallery of The Little Paris Bookshop‘s international covers on the author’s Web site! And thanks to Blogging for Books for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Library News

We have a winner!

Congratulations to Mrs. Claire Voelker, a science teacher here at Ridley High School and the winner of our book giveaway for a copy of Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin!IMG_0517

THANK YOU to everyone who entered the giveaway by subscribing to the Ridley High School Library blog. Stay tuned for more new arrivals, book reviews, excerpts, tech tips, library events, and fundraisers … all the library news worth checking out!

Posted in Uncategorized

A Back-to-School Book Giveaway!

Thanks for making your way to the Ridley High School Library blog! Weekly posts on the blog feature new arrivals, book reviews, excerpts, tech tips, library events, and fundraisers. And now, we are showcasing our very first giveaway! Ridley School District teachers and administrators may enter to win a copy of Black Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin simply by signing up to follow this blog! Click FOLLOW (on the right-hand side) to get notifications of new posts via email AND be automatically entered in the giveaway. Entries will be accepted through September 18, 2015, so don’t wait! Click on the book cover for an excerpt of this brand new psychological thriller with plenty of “crossover” appeal to teen readers:
Black Eyed Susans

Thanks again for visiting the Ridley High School Library blog. Subscribe to stay up to date on all of the library news worth checking out!

Posted in Uncategorized

New Book: Hyacinth Girls by Lauren Frankel

“Do you know your children?” That’s the question that reverberates through the pages of Hyacinth Girls, a debut novel by Lauren Frankel, which the Ridley High School Library received from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. Hyacinth_GirlsAfter the death of her best friend, Rebecca took custody of Joyce’s young daughter. Now 13, Callie has been accused of bullying another girl at school. Rebecca is sure it’s all a misunderstanding … Callie would never! But as the puzzle pieces fall into place, Rebecca is forced to question what (and who) she thought she knew. Indelible events from Rebecca’s adolescence are interspersed throughout the narrative, as are transcripts of Callie’s online chats with Robyn (her alleged target), adding teen appeal to this adult novel. A mid-narrative shift to Callie’s point of view cements Hyacinth Girls as a strong crossover read. Frankel enticingly reveals answers to unspoken questions: How did Joyce die? Why are Rebecca and Callie receiving letters from York Correctional Institution? Why is Robyn leaving inflammatory notes at Joyce’s grave? This is an intriguing, suspenseful depiction of two generations of adolescent female friendship and all of its accompanying contradictions and drama. This novel is recommended for fans of Kimberly McCreight’s Reconstructing Amelia and Where They Found Her.