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Oct 24

Series Saturday - Tween Series - The Gaither Sisters

Posted on October 24, 2018 at 4:00 PM by Lindsey Kult

Gaither Sisters trilogy 1 One Crazy Summer 2 PS Be Eleven 3 Gone Crazy in Alabama

This week's Series Saturday is a trilogy that can be found in our Tween section - The Gaither Sisters Series by Rita Williams-Garcia! The stories follow three sisters and their family during the late 1960's. While the summaries of the books sound almost too intense for a regular late-elementary or middle school student to enjoy reading, they are full of humor and relatable topics - first crushes, sibling squabbles, and summer adventures! They are an excellent way to learn about history and the Civil Rights culture. 

Genre:

Tween, Historical Fiction, Humor, African American Fiction

Location in Howard Miller: 

Tween, TW WILLIAMS-GARCIA

Setting: 

The series takes place in three distinct settings: 
Book 1. California
Book 2. Brooklyn
Book 3. Alabama

Meet the Characters: 

Delphine Gaither is the eldest of the Gaither sisters. She narrates the stories and is the most mature. She cares for and takes care of her two younger sisters. Sometimes she pushes herself too hard and forgets to be a kid! 
Vonetta Gaither is the middle child and she craves the spotlight! She is feisty, outgoing and loves to perform for people. 
Fern (Afua) Gaither is the youngest daughter. She is outspoken and courageous, but really would like to stay close to her doll, Miss Patty Cake. 
Cecile (Nzila) is the girls' mother. She left after Fern was born and moved to California to be a poet. She supports the Black Panthers and does not want to be with her children. When they visit her she sends them to the Black Panthers camp. 
Louis Gaither (Pa) is the girls' father. He lets his mom raise the girls. 
Big Ma is Louis's mother. She raises her grandchildren and tries to teach them how to "fit in". She does not like Cecile nor the beliefs Cecile tries to share with the girls. 
Darnell Gaither is the girls' uncles and Louis's younger brother. He is fighting in Vietnam during the first book, but returns during the second book a changed man. He no longer is fun and goofy, but withdrawn and stays in his room. 

Number in the Series: 

There are 3 books in the series and they probably should be read in order. Click here  to place them on hold. We also have these books available for downloadable audiobooks via OverDrive
  1. One Crazy Summer
  2. P.S. Be Eleven
  3. Gone Crazy in Alabama
Final Word: 

As you can see from the cover of One Crazy Summer these books have received a lot of acclaim and awards! There is barely any room left on the cover for the title! Don't let the heavy themes of this series scare you away from the humor, history, and family values that have made these books beloved by millions. These books are great to read together as a family and can provide parents with a great jumping off point to discuss a period of history that can be difficult to teach to children. 
Aug 22

UPDATED Series Saturday: Charley Davidson Novels by Darynda Jones

Posted on August 22, 2018 at 2:32 PM by Lindsey Kult

Charley Davidson Collage with the 13 book covers

After a much too long break we are finally getting back to our Series Saturday! This week's Series Saturday is Darynda Jones's Charley Davidson series. This is a goofy fantasy romance series without any mythical species.

Genre: 

Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance

Setting: 

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Location in Library: 


Adult Fiction, AF JONES

Meet the Character: 


We hope that you don't have to meet the main character of this series anytime soon, as Charley is the Grim Reaper! Spirits who are lingering around have to pass through her to get into heaven. If they are unwilling, she can use force to help them along. In addition to this very important job, she's also a private investigator in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Coming from a family of police officers, she is great at this - but it helps that she can use the spirits of the dead to aide her investigation!
Her most useful "aides" are Angel and Rocket. Angel was killed at the age of 13 during a drive-by shooting. He's Charley's most reliable investigator and is protective over her.
Rocket is a departed who died in a mental asylum in the 1950's. He is a
clairvoyant and knows the exact moment someone has passed and keeps track by charging the names in the walls of the asylum. 
Among the living Cookie and Uncle Bob help Charley close cases. Cookie is Charley's best friend, sole employee, and neighbor. She is always willing to go with Charley's outrageous ideas and completely trusts her boss. Her 12 year-old daughter, Amber, is like the niece Charley never had.
Uncle Bob or Ubie is, well, Charley's uncle! He's a detective with the Albuquerque Police Department. Charley has helped his career by asking the departed for information on crimes and passing their information on to Ubie. Having a high ranking ally in the police department allows Charley to get around the law in very illegal ways.
Garrett Swopes is another Private Investigator who loves or hates Charley depending on his mood. He's good at what he does and is Ubie's go-to skip tracer.
Reyes Farrow is the literal son of Satan and has similar powers to Charley. They're drawn to each other peanut butter and jelly, but with a lot more heat! He was wrongly convicted for his "father's" murder and spent 10 years in prison for it.


Number in the Series:

There are 13 books in this series and it is rumored that book 13 will be the last one. It comes out in January 2019. 

  1. First Grave on the Right
  2. Second Grave on the Left
  3. Third Grave Dead Ahead
  4. Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
  5. Fifth Grave Past the Light
  6. Sixth Grave on the Edge
  7. Seventh Grave and No Body
  8. Eighth Grave After Dark
  9. The Dirt on the Ninth Grave
  10. The Curse on the Tenth Grave
  11. Eleventh Grave in Moonlight
  12. The Trouble with the Twelfth Grave
  13. Summoned to Thirteenth Grave

Final Word:

With the series wrapping up in January 2019, this is the perfect time to reread the whole series! However, these books are not for everyone. They have plenty of action and comedic relief, but also have more sexual situations and swearing than many of our patrons enjoy. You also must suspend your beliefs for these books - this series is about the Grim Reaper! 

Aug 03

Series Saturday - Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan!

Posted on August 3, 2018 at 4:16 PM by Lindsey Kult

Crazy Rich Asians Movie Poster

This week’s Series Saturday is headed to the big screen in a couple of weeks - it’s Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asian series! Both of the Lindseys are huge fans of this series. They enjoy how outrageous the characters are and the exotic settings! Lindsey K. feels like the series only got better after the first book, while Lindsey S. thought they were all great. Much like the “Real Housewives” series, this book shows a world that most people will never experience but of which can’t get enough.


Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy Covers

Genre: 

Fiction

Location in Howard Miller: 

Adult Fiction, AF KWAN

Setting: 

Mostly in Singapore but also Paris, New York, private islands, and mainland China.

Tysersall Park is the ancestral home of the Young family and becomes an important plot point.


Meet the Characters: 

This is a LARGE family! We’ll be covering characters in the first book, as we’d be giving away spoilers to tell you about the later characters. To help you keep track here is a photo of the family tree:


Crazy Rich Asians Family Tree from Refinery29
(From Refinery29’s article, “Trust Us - You’ll Need This Crazy Rich Asians Family Tree")

The main characters in these books are absolutely Rachel Chu and Nicholas Young. However, like many books, each character carries his or her own plot points which can overlap. But we’ll start from the beginning.


Rachel Chu is a Chinese-American girl who was raised by her single mother. Having grown up in a mainly white community, Rachel is unaware of the dynamics of Asian culture. She has never even dated Asian guys prior to meeting Nick. Both she and Nick are professors in New York City and have been dating for 2 years when he asks her to come back to Singapore with him to attend a wedding. Her first shock comes when they get special treatment on the flight to Singapore. Suddenly she is questioning not only the clothes she packed, but who Nicholas Young is.


Nicholas Young is the only grandson bearing the Young name, giving him the strongest claim to the Young family fortune. He is from one of, if not the, richest families in Singapore. His grandmother, Shang Su Yi, literally lives in a palace. Despite being raised as practical royalty, Nick has no interest in the material goods of his family. This is one of the reasons he hasn’t told Rachel about his family. Nor has he let his family have access to Rachel up until now.


Eleanor Young is Nick’s mother. She married into the Young family, and Su Yi has never let her forget it. Like any mother, she wants the best for her only child - and the best is NOT dating an American girl while living in relative poverty in New York City. So Eleanor takes it upon herself to find out more about this young girl from a disgraced family who has stolen her son from his family. Despite not being in Su Yi’s good graces, Eleanor has a number of wealthy friends who she can turn to for information and support.


Astrid Teo is Nick’s cousin and is the child of two of the richest families in Asia. Astrid’s beauty has made her a fashion icon. Despite both her fame and fortune, Astrid is an extreme private person. Her father has worked hard to keep his family out of the public eye and Astrid has always followed his wishes. This becomes more difficult as her husband, Michael Teo, continues to fall from her family’s graces and his start-up nears financial collapse.


Felicity Leong is Astrid’s mother and eldest child of Su Yi. She tries to stay out of her husband’s way.


Victoria Young is Astrid and Nick’s aunt. She is unmarried and extremely religious. She is the only family member living at Tysersall Park with Su Yi.


Alix Cheng is Nick and Astrid’s other aunt. She is married to world-renowned heart surgeon, Dr. Malcolm Cheng. She and Malcolm have two sons. They attempted to raise them humbly, but their oldest son Eddie has always been frustrated with their apparent refusal to spend their great wealth.


Eddie Cheng is Nick and Astrid’s cousin. He is extremely materialistic and insists on his family being picture perfect at all times. He can become abusive when things do not work out the way he hoped. He is probably one of the most dramatic characters in the series.


Fiona Cheng is Eddie’s wife. She is also from old money, but Hong Kong money. She is almost everything her husband is not. She does not care what people think of her and her family. She often appears embarrassed by Eddie’s antics.


Alistair Cheng is Eddie’s younger brother. He desperately wants to be involved in the Hong Kong movie business. He comes across as very naïve, especially in his relationship with Kitty Pong.


Kitty Pong is a soap opera star who is dating Alistair without fully understanding his family history. She denies the rumors that she was in porn before meeting Alistair. The only thing Kitty wants more than anything is to be accepted in the richest circles.


Goh Peik Lin is Rachel’s best friend and seemingly her only ally in Singapore. Peik Lin thinks her family is rich, until she meets the Young family.


Colin Khoo is Nick’s best friend and is getting married in the first book. He is also Astrid’s cousin on her father’s side, making him one of the richest men in the world. He is marrying fashion icon Araminta Lee. Their wedding is comparable to the royal wedding for East Asia.


Jacqueline Ling is Su Yi’s goddaughter and mother to Nick’s ex-girlfriend. She aides Eleanor’s attempts to undermine their relationship - so her daughter can marry into the Young fortune.


Oliver T’sien is a cousin of Nick’s and is almost like the family fixer. His social game cannot be beat and he is a master manipulator.


Carol Tai is one of Eleanor’s closest friends. She runs prayer groups as a devout Christian. Her husband is a corrupt billionaire, but no one seems to mind. Her son, Bernard Tai, is a young man who has become a spoiled brat thanks to his father.


Charlie Wu is Astrid’s ex-fiancé. He still has feelings for her, especially since it was her parents’ disapproval of his family line that broke up the engagement.


Number in Series: 

There are three books in this series. They’re all on OverDrive and available in the library. The first book is also on the NOOK.

  1. Crazy Rich Asians
  2. China Rich Girlfriend

  3. Rich People Problems


Final Word: 

These books are like definitely “fluff” reads. They’ve been called the Asian version of Gossip Girl! You’ll be caught up in the drama, humor, and outrageous situations that suddenly make up Rachel’s life. These books definitely use adult language, but they’re not graphic. They introduce you into a world you might not have known exists, but that you’ll be drooling over by the time you get to the last book.