Parker's Staff Recommendations

Welcome to Parker's staff recommendations page.

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Midwestern Strange: Hunting Monsters, Martians, and the Weird in Flyover Country Cover Image
ISBN: 9781496215604
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Nebraska Press - September 1st, 2019

BJ Hollars explores creatures, aliens, and bizarre happenings across flyover country, from mothmen and giant turtles to pancake delivering flying saucers, and even Wisconsin's own Beast of Bray Road, Hodag, Project Elf, and those space pancakes. Hollars does not intend to debunk the existence of these enigmas. Rather, he wants to explore and understand the mysteries and how they inform and impact us all. Using historical documents, first person accounts, and expert information, Hollars digs deep to understand the riveting and surprisingly long-lasting impacts these legends have on our communities. They have transformed worldviews, created economies, and brought us closer together. Hollars is able to do this all while blurring the lines between journalism and memoir. Midwestern Strange is a nice combination of academic writing and readability.  I was amazed at the precision in the writing; every case is handled with care and intrigue, which leads to an engrossing and fascinating read. Midwestern Strange is the perfect read for anyone who is interested in the otherworldly or simply understanding the ways in which we understand and make sense of the world around us.

Coyote Doggirl Cover Image
ISBN: 9781770463257
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Drawn and Quarterly - August 21st, 2018

Lisa Hanawalt (producer of BoJack Horseman) prseents a hog-killin' good time with her delightfully bizarre graphic novel. Stuffed full of humor and rad art, Coyotoe Doggirl should not be passed by!

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Opioid, Indiana Cover Image
ISBN: 9781641290784
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soho Press - September 17th, 2019

After the death of both of his parents, seventeen-year-old Riggle finds himself being uprooted from his comfortable life on the Texas-Mexico border and sent to live with his Uncle and his girlfriend in rural Indiana.  Riggle finds himself confronted by confederate flags, the rising opioid crisis, and Trump voters. But of course, things only go from bad to worse, and it’s not long until his opioid addicted uncle disappears with all $800 of their rent money. It’s Monday, and rent is due Friday. Lucky for Riggle he has a week of suspension from school to try and track down his uncle and the money. Told in the span of one week, this unique novel takes the best qualities of Grit-lit and gives readers a heartfelt look at small town America. I truly felt this book had the most genuine examination of the changing landscapes of American culture and politics that I've read in a while. Carr was amazingly able to capture the way many young Americans feel about race, pop culture, and politics. The dialogue and internal monologues of Riggle blew me away due to the accuracy and authenticity they held when it comes to the minds and opinions of Gen-Zers. This book is one to check out for both Adult and YA readers alike.  

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Guts Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545852500
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphix - September 17th, 2019

In the third installment of Telgemeier's graphic memoirs she explores the manifestation of her anxiety and the impacts it had on her childhood. After having a bad food (and bathroom) experience, a young Raina Telgemeier develops a fear of food and sickness. These worries only grow as she goes back to school and must deal with changing relationships and difficult classmates. Telgemeier excels in writing authentic stories that children, and adults, will love. I have truly loved every book Telgemeier has put out, but Guts may be her most important work yet. Throughout the book she explores therapy, healthy coping mechanisms, and support systems for those dealing with anxiety. This is the kind of book I wish I had in my hands as an anxious youngster myself. I'm thrilled to know a story containing this subject matter, and one so beautifully crafted, will fall into the hands of so many kiddos. What a wonderful book this is to open up the conversation for children, parents, and teachers. This book and its messages may mean a lot for the young ones who pick it up, and maybe some of us older folks as well. Kudos Telgemeier!