Book Review: With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

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With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (physical book, ebook and eaudiobook)

Are you looking for a book that you want to savor, yet at the same time you want to binge read? With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo fits this expectation.

With the Fire on High focuses on the struggles of being a teen mother and the challenges of being a senior in high school. Emoni’s only outlet is her gift of cooking. She dreams of working in a kitchen after she graduates. Her school offers the opportunity to enroll in a cooking class that includes the possibility of a trip to Spain. However, she must overcome differences with her instructor and raise enough funds to be able to go on the class trip.

I enjoyed reading With the Fire on High, which was like reading a diary. Emoni’s voice has an honest and warm tone that, as a reader, allows you to empathize with the character. Emotions in this book range from anger to sadness to happiness; it covers all of what it means to be human.

The book is divided into three parts. At the beginning of each part is Emoni’s recipe that serves the purpose of soothing a person’s mood, such as missing someone you love.

If you’re looking for a book with a depth that will satisfy your reading appetite, then I would highly recommend this book.

Bon Appetit!

Review by Kendra Ellison, Lead Circulation Librarian and YA Consultant

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Washington’s Spy: Digital Escape Room

You’re a Patriot soldier in the Revolutionary War and a spy in the Culper Spy Ring. Can you safely deliver a message in time? This escape room is intended for adults and may be completed individually or as a group.

Click on the image below or here to play this fun digital escape room!

Washington's Spies Escape Room Cover


Check out all of our fun digital escape rooms here!

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Book Review: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo


If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo Review

When I opened my copy of If I Was Your Girl I saw a long list of awards, recognitions, and reviews of praise. Now that I have finished the book, I can understand why. This novel is groundbreaking, painfully real, and makes a meaningful argument for representation. 

Amanda is an eighteen-year-old high school senior who has been through a lot in her short life. The story switches timelines from when Amanda was young to the present day so that the reader can begin to understand the journey she has been on. Amanda was born a boy but has known for the majority of her life that she wanted to be a girl. She attempted suicide a few years back, went through the transition process, and experienced a lot of bullying throughout her school years. Her mom thinks Amanda needs a fresh start, so Amanda moves in with her dad (who has lived in a small town ever since Amanda’s parents got divorced) for her senior year. Amanda keeps her secret to herself at the beginning of her stay, wanting to just live a normal teenage life. She quickly makes friends with a group of girls and she meets a boy she really likes. All this excitement makes Amanda feel good about her move, but she knows she’ll need to tell her new social circle about her past eventually.

This book inspires me to be more honest and accepting of others. There is a scene in the story where Amanda’s dad calls her brave and she explains that she doesn’t think she’s brave; she just thinks she’s herself. There are so many people out there who just want to live life as their authentic selves, Amanda’s story will hopefully bring hope to others. I was deeply moved by this story and I think it will have a great impact.

Review by Cathy Liebenau

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