The links below the groupings direct you to various blog posts featuring the listed titles. Happy Reading! -Jenna Dauer, Smithton Public Library District Library Director

Children’s Chapter/Picture Books

Tween (5th grade and up) interests: 

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, by Grace Lin โ€“ 2009

Inspired picture books:

Thumpy Feet, by Betsy Lewin โ€“ 2013

This is Not My Hat, by Jon Klassen โ€“ 2012

The Tortoise & the Hare, by Jerry Pinkney โ€“ 2013

What Do You Do with a Tail Like This?, by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page โ€“ 2003

Action, Suspense, Thriller, DVDs

Mysteries youโ€™ll WANT to see more than once:



Unique superpowered movies:


Modern zombie/infection movies:



World War Z

Horror, Mystery, Supernatural

Books accompanied by Cindaโ€™s highest recommendations:

The Rook, Daniel O’Malley โ€“ 2012

Best enjoyed in paper/text form:

Mangaman (or Manga Man in some records), by Barry Lyga โ€“ 2011

Exotic Places:

Nocturne Infernum โ€“ or โ€“ Nocturne, by Elizabeth Donald โ€“ 2006

Mysteries youโ€™ll WANT to see more than once:

Knives Out

Books questioning identity:

Dark Matter, by Blake Crouch โ€“ 2016

Horns, by Joe Hill โ€“ 2010

Diversity, Inclusion Teen Interest

Teen Interests:

Almost Perfect, by Brian Katcher โ€“ 2009

Does My Head Look Big in This?, by Randa Abdel-Fattah โ€“ 2005

Tween (5th grade and up) interests:

Rain Reign, by Ann M. Martin โ€“ 2014

P.S. Be Eleven, by Rita Williams-Garcia โ€“ 2013 โ€“ or โ€“ One Crazy Summer

Banned, Burned, and Challenged stories I happen to love:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (best as a digital book, 2012)by Sherman Alexie โ€“ 2007

May in September โ€“ Asian-American reads:

We Are Not Free, by Traci Chee โ€“ 2020

Adult and YA Graphic Novels

Not your kidโ€™s Graphic Novels:

Locke & Key, Vol 1: Welcome to Lovecraft โ€“ by Joe Hill, 2009

Chew: the Omnivore Edition, Vol 1, by John Layman โ€“ 2012

Marvel 1602, by Neil Gaiman โ€“ 2005

Identity Crisis, by Brad Meltzer โ€“ 2005

Watchmen, by Alan Moore โ€“ 1987

Teen interests:

Ms. Marvel: No Normal (Vol 1), by G. Willow Wilson โ€“ 2014

Children’s Graphic Novels

Childrenโ€™s Lighter Graphic Novels: (Ages 8-13, grades 4-9)

Binky the Space Cat, by Ashley Spires โ€“ 2009

Maya Makes a Mess, by Rutu Modan โ€“ 2012

The Bad Guys (#1), by Aaron Blabey โ€“ 2015

Story-heavy graphic novels for kids: (Ages 8-13, grades 4-9, but more advanced in ability)

Urban Legendz, by Paul Downs โ€“ 2019

Stargazing, by Jen Wang โ€“ 2019

The Great Chicago Fire: Rising from the Ashes, by Kate Hannigan and Alex Graudins โ€“ 2020

Excellent Female Performances

Shakespeare, Period:

Tempest (2010) starring Helen Mirren, Djimon Hounsou, Felicity Jones

Ophelia (2019) starring Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts, Clive Owen

Banned, Burned, and Challenged stories I happen to love:

The Hate U Give (listing the movie only because I have yet to read the source material, 2018) by Angie Thomas โ€“ 2017

Adventure, Mayhem, Hullabaloo

Books accompanied by Cindaโ€™s highest recommendations:

Wild Cards (1), by G R R Martin and the Wild Cards Trust (various authors) โ€“ 1987

An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors, Curtis Craddock โ€“ 2017

Soulless, by Gail Carriger โ€“ 2009

Books questioning identity:

Dhampir, by Barb and J C Hendee โ€“ 2003

Trouble comes in genders:

Undead and Unwed, by MaryJanice Davidson (2004)

Superpowers Aren’t Just for Good Guys

Unique superpowered movies:

Fast Color โ€“ 2019, starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw

The Darkest Minds โ€“ 2018, starring Amandla Stenberg

Birds of Prey โ€“ 2020, starring Margot Robbie

Code 8 โ€“ 2019, starring Robbie Amell

Easy Reads, Humor and Romance

Exotic Places:

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, by Balli Kaur Jaswai โ€“ 2017

Much Ado About You, by Samantha Young โ€“ 2021

Trouble comes in genders:

Ten Rules for Faking It, by Sophia Sullivan (2020)

May in September โ€“ Asian-American reads:

A PhแปŸ Love Story, by Loan Le โ€“ 2021

A Taste for Love, by Jennifer Yen โ€“ 2021

Extreme Emotion and Situations

Trouble comes in genders:

This Close to Okay, by Leesa Cross-Smith (2021)

Good Girl, Bad Girl, by Michael Robotham (2019)

The Last Thing He Told Me, by Laura Dave (2021)

Audiobooks from this summer:

To Be Taught, If Fortunate, by Becky Chambers โ€“ 2019

A Hundred Thousand Worlds, by Bob Proehl โ€“ 2016

Banned, Burned, and Challenged stories I happen to love:

Speak (I have only read the book, not the 2018 graphic novel nor watched the 2004 movie.)by Laurie Halse Anderson โ€“ 1999

Enlightening Nonfiction

Enlightening nonfiction:

The Talk: Conversations about race, love & truth, by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson โ€“ 2020

Childfree by Choice: The Movement Redefining Family and Creating a New Age of Independence, by Dr. Amy Blackstone โ€“ 2019

The Book Collectors: A band of Syrian rebels and the stories that carried them through a war, by Delphine Minoui โ€“ 2020

Leonardo da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson โ€“ 2017

Popular: A Memoir โ€“ Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek, by Maya Van Wagenen โ€“ 2014

Enigmatic Voices on Audiobook

Enigmatic Voices:

Dolly Parton โ€“ Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, 2020

Michelle Obama โ€“ Becoming, 2018

Julie Andrews โ€“ Home Work, 2019

Alan Alda โ€“ If I Understood You, Would I have This Look on my Face?

Eddie Izzard โ€“ Believe Me: a memoir of love, death, and jazz chickens

Young Adult, Speculative Fiction

Books accompanied by Cindaโ€™s highest recommendations:

Gone, by Michael Grant โ€“ 2008

Books questioning identity:

Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell โ€“ 2015

Teen interests:

Iโ€™ll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson โ€“ 2014

About the author

Smithton Public Library

The Smithton Public Library District is located in southern Illinois, near St. Louis, MO. The library serves nearly 5,000 residents. We hope you visit us soon!