George Saunders book among those recommended by Treasure Valley librarians

Ada Community Library

“Congratulations, By the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness” by George Saunders.

Adult nonfiction. This slim volume speaks to the idea of what a human might regret most when looking back over the years. George Saunders shares short personal anecdotes about his life. The stories and conclusions he opens to the reader are sweet and helpful ideas for people to carry forth into their lives, boiling down to essentially “Try to be kinder” — a great reminder for most of humankind. This book began as a convocation address at Syracuse University in New York, where the author teaches in the creative writing program.

Boise Public Library

“23 Things To Do Before You Are 11-1/2” by Mike Warren.

Juvenile nonfiction. Build a birdhouse or a pair of stilts. Make a soda bottle greenhouse, or a stomp rocket launcher. Using clear, easy-to-follow instructions, this book is filled with lots of fun things to make and do with the help of an adult.

Eagle Public Library

“How Machines Work: Zoo Break!” by David Macaulay.

Children’s nonfiction. Interactive is one way to describe “How Machines Work: Zoo Break!” Sloth and his sidekick, Sengi, are tired of the zoo. Help Sloth and Sengi escape, using pop-ups, pull-outs and lift the flaps to turn gears, pull a lever, screw and drill making simple machines to create a complex machine. This book is fun from cover to cover.

Meridian Public Library

“Paper: Paging Through History” by Mark Kuriansky.

Nonfiction. Paper is one of the simplest and most essential pieces of human technology. For the past two millennia, the ability to produce it in ever more efficient ways has supported the proliferation of literacy, media, religion, education, commerce and art. Now, amid discussion of “going paperless” — and as speculation about the effects of a digitally dependent society grows rampant — Mark Kurlansky challenges common assumptions, affirming that paper is here to stay.

Kuna Library

“Jacky Ha-Ha” by James Patterson.

Juvenile fiction. With her irresistible urge to tell a joke in every situation — even when she really, really shouldn’t — 12-year-old Jacky Ha-Ha loves to make people laugh. And cracking wise helps distract her from thinking about not-so-funny things in her life, like her mom serving in a dangerous, faraway war, and a dad who’s hardly ever home. But no matter how much fun Jacky has, she can’t seem to escape her worries. So one starlit night, she makes a promise to keep her family together — even if she has to give up the one thing that makes her happy. But can she stop being Jacky Ha-Ha, if that’s who she really is?

Garden City Library

“I Woke Up Dead at the Mall” by Judy Sheehan.

Young adult fiction. What happens to teens who have been murdered? They end up at the Mall of America, waiting to resolve their unfinished business. For Sarah, that means figuring out who killed her — and stopping them before they can strike again.

Nampa Public Library

“The Fog Diver” by Joel Ross.

Juvenile fiction. Joel Ross debuts a thrilling adventure series in which living in the sky is the new reality and a few determined slum kids just might become heroes. Once the Fog started rising, the Earth was covered with a deadly white mist until nothing remained but the mountaintops. Now humanity clings to its highest peaks, called the Rooftop, where the wealthy Five Families rule over the lower slopes and floating junkyards. Thirteen-year-old Chess and his friends Hazel, Bea and Swedish sail their rickety air raft over the deadly Fog, scavenging the ruins for anything they can sell to survive. But now survival isn’t enough. They must risk everything to get to the miraculous city of Port Oro, the only place where their beloved Mrs. E can be cured of fogsickness. Yet the ruthless Lord Kodoc is hot on their trail, for Chess has a precious secret, one that Kodoc is desperate to use against him. Now Chess will face any danger to protect his friends, even if it means confronting what he fears the most.