Patch Picks: Read Across America Day

A local librarian gives book suggestions for kids and adults.

We here at Patch love a good read, and in honor of March 2 being named National Education Association's Read Across America Day, we asked a local literary expert for some book recommendations. 

Youth Services Librarian Chris Davis of the Rancho Cordova Library shared her literary suggestions with us, and we're passing them on to you.  They're all part of the Sacramento Public Library stock, and if you can't find them at your branch, you can make an online request to have the particular item sent there.  Grab your favorite beverage, settle into a comfy chair and stimulate your mind with one of the following options.

Local Librarian's Choices for Kids and Adults

1. "The Pleasure of My Company: A Novella" by Steve Martin.

"Daniel Pecan Cambridge has a good life—so long as he never leaves his apartment," Davis said. "A man trapped by his strange compulsions and phobias, he is always the outsider; the spectator—until his unexpected act of compassion toward a young boy turns his life upside down."

Beautifully put; and yes, the author is THE Steve Martin, whose writing abilities are as strong as his acting skills. 

2. "Going Postal" by Terry Pratchett. 

Set in the fictitious city of Ankh-Morpork, this humorous British novel sheds light on the daily grind of post office employees and their challenge to entice the public to continue to send hard mail, despite the conveniences of online communication, as well as employer/employee interactions. 

3. "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman. 

Davis sums up this drama as follows:  "While in a coma following an automobile accident that killed her parents and younger brother, 17-year-old Mia, a gifted cellist, weighs whether to live with her grief or join her family in death." 

Although the subject matter is somber, this thought-provoking book will linger in your mind as a stellar example of a teen read.

4. "Al Capone Does My Shirts: A Tale From Alcatraz" by Gennifer Choldenko.

Looking for a graduation gift for your eighth-grader? Consider this novel, where "A 12-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935, when guards' families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment, in addition to life with his autistic sister," Davis said.

5.  "The True Meaning of Smekday" by Adam Rex. 

If you've got a precocious child with a voracious appetite for reading, stimulate his or her imagination with this offering.  Davis describes the storyline as follows:  "When her mother is abducted by aliens [called Boov] on Christmas Eve (or "Smekday" Eve since the Boov invasion), 11-year-old Tip hops into the family car and heads south to find her and meets an alien Boov mechanic who agrees to help her and save the planet from disaster." 

Happy Reading!


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