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: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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 Using historical documents, first person accounts, and expert information, Hollars digs deep to understand the riveting and surprisingly long-lasting impacts these legends have on our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! 

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Banned Book Club Cover Image
ISBN: 9781945820427
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Iron Circus Comics - April 21st, 2020

Banned Book Club tells the true story of Kim Hyun Sook's first year at university in 1983 South Korea. Hyun Sook is excited to start classes and begin her educational career, but she soon finds out that university is not quite what she imagined. Campus protests, police retaliation, and hostility between students is all in a day's work. But all Hyun Sook wants is to read the books she is assigned for class, make good grades, and stay out of trouble! Hyun Sook quickly finds herself enticed to join a book club that, just like university, might not be exactly what she is expecting. This graphic memoir is highly entertaining while also extremely educational. I felt like I was learning right alongside Hyun Sook as she became enlightened to her nation's history and political turmoil. This book stands out as not only an examination on history but also an important critique of our current political climate. Banned Book Club is a must-read! 

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Three Things I Know Are True Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062908025
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - January 7th, 2020

  1. Liv's older brother, Jonah, accidentally shoots himself while fooling around with a gun, owned by his best friend Clay's dad. Now Jonah needs 24-hour care to stay alive, and their mom is suing Clay's dad. Liv is torn between being loyal to her struggling mom and figuring out how Jonah would want things solved. Should she really turn her back against Clay and his family? And what about what she wants... and needs? 
  2. The characters in this gorgeously written book are incredible. I was immediately struck by how complex every single one of them was. It only takes a few pages to become invested in every single one of their stories. I haven't seen so much character growth in a single character, as I have with Liv, in a long time. I couldn't help but root for her and love her. 
  3. Betty Culley is truly a talent to watch. I was so shocked that this was a debut! The plotting was expertly crafted, the characters were fully developed, and the writing itself was spot on! I cannot wait to read whatever she does next.

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One of Us Is Next: The Sequel to One of Us Is Lying Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525707967
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Press - January 7th, 2020

Bayview High School is no stranger to murder, mystery, and mayhem. 18 months ago, 4 students were framed for the murder of a classmate who ran a popular gossip blog. Now copycat blogs have been popping up and causing a stir, but they have been harmless... until now. Truth or Dare? Students are receiving texts containing this ominous message, and they will quickly discover you should ALWAYS chose dare! Or should you? This companion to McManus's One of Us Is Lying is a great read for old fans and new readers alike. Fans of the previous novel will love seeing where the old cast of characters have gone since the shocking conclusion of book one, while also getting to know all the lovely new characters. 

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Tweet Cute Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250237323
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Wednesday Books - January 21st, 2020

Pepper's family started Big League Burger as a mom-and-pop shop when she was a little girl. Now they have gone corporate and, possibly soon, international. Now Pepper is in at an elite private school for the children of business moguls, where she is expected to make high grades, all while her mother asks her to write snarky tweets for the company. Enter Jack, a classmate of Pepper's whose family has owned the local deli, Girl Cheesing, since his Grandma started it. Soon Big League Burger announces a new line of grilled cheeses, one of them using the exact same (secret) recipe as Girl Cheesing's most popular sandwich. Jack takes this attack against his beloved Grandma to Twitter, sending a tweet at Big League Burger’s account. Twitter war commence! Pepper and Jack find themselves going head-to-head and tweet-to-tweet to defend their families’ businesses. Little do they know that they have also been talking to each other anonymously via Weazel, a messaging app Jack developed for the students at their school. I knew I was going to love Tweet Cute as soon as I hit page two. Emma Lord's debut is fantastic! I was incredibly invested in Pepper and Jack's stories, from their family and school dramas to their romance, I haven't wanted two characters to get together as badly as I did with them. Emma Lord's writing is extremely witty, which led to perfect banter and hijinks between the characters. I loved this book with every fiber of my being, I can't recommend this one enough!