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Welcome back to Shelf Care, MSM, and happy Easter break!

I thought I’d post a couple days early in case you’re looking for some entertainment during your time off.

Before diving into this week’s recommendations, I have some exciting news to share: The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library has set up a way to sign up for eLibrary cards from the comfort of your own homes! If you don’t already have a library card and you are a resident of Erie County, 13 years or older, you can go to the “Get a Library Card” page on their website, choose the “Online Application” option, fill out the form, and soon after that you’ll receive an email with your brand new eLibrary card number. Once you have the number, you can download one of two apps to your phone or tablet: Libby or Overdrive (they are essentially the same app and they have all the same books available, but I recommend Libby–it’s designed a little better, and easier to navigate). Just sign into the app with your eLibrary card number and the 4-digit PIN you selected, and you’ll have access to thousands of *completely free* eBooks and audiobooks! You can check these books out for either 7 or 14 days, and they will return automatically on the day they’re due so that you never have to worry about overdue fees. Need more time to finish the book, or want to get in line for a book that’s already checked out by someone else? There are renewal and hold options as well. It’s an incredible service, and I really hope you take advantage of it.

If you already have a physical library card but don’t remember your 4-digit PIN, you can reset it by selecting the “Contact Us” option on the B&ECPL website. Have any questions or need help signing up? Feel free to email me at lkostempski@msmacademy.org and I’d be happy to walk you through it.

Now, onto this week’s book recommendations. I’m really excited for these ones!

The first is a perfect spring break romance: I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn. It’s the story of a Japanese American girl named Kimi, who has always believed that she would become an artist like her mother. There’s only one problem: Kimi doesn’t really love painting anymore. When her grandparents invite her to visit them in Japan, Kimi jumps at the opportunity in the hopes that a trip will inspire her to discover what her true passion is. On her first day there, she meets a boy named Akira working as a mascot at a mochi stand. They quickly fall for each other, and Akira vows to help Kimi on her journey of self-discovery. But what’s going to happen when Kimi has to return to America? Will she have to break up with Akira? Will she ever be able to face her mother again after admitting that she doesn’t love painting anymore? It’s such a romantic, sweet story about identity, mother-daughter relationships, and what it takes to turn hobbies into potential careers. It also made me laugh and cry so many happy tears. I highly recommend it.

The second book is The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. I’ll be honest–I haven’t finished reading this one yet because I just started it this morning. But April is National Poetry Month, so I figured this would be a good recommendation. This book is about a girl named Xiomara Batista, or “X,” who lives in Harlem. Her parents constantly praise everything her twin brother Xavier does, and yet they always seem disappointed in Xiomara. She finds comfort in writing poems and desperately wants to compete in slam poetry contests, but she knows her parents would never allow it. So she writes in secret–until her mother inevitably discovers the poems and it forces a confrontation between them. I’m only about 30 pages in, but so far it’s a beautifully-written book with such a strong voice that pulls you right into Xiomara’s head. The entire thing is written in verse. If you’re not a fan of poetry, don’t give up on this book just yet! Sure, there are metaphors and similes, but reading these poems feels like sitting down and having a heart-to-heart with a close friend. Since I haven’t finished the book yet I can’t exactly give my opinion of the plot, but when it was published in 2018 it won tons of awards, including the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Maybe that fact will help you decide whether this is a book you might like to read.

 

I hope you all have a lovely Easter and a relaxing break. Happy reading!

Ms. Lee Ann Kostempski, Library Media Specialist

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