Treasure Valley librarians recommend books

Boise Public Library

“The Cranky Ballerina” by Elise Gravel.

Picture book. Saturdays make Ada cranky. That’s the day she has to go to ballet lessons. Ada does not like ballet. Things just always seem to go wrong when she tries to dance. After one particularly disastrous class, Ada pirouettes out the door and runs into another teacher. He’s so impressed with her spinning and kicking that he asks her to come demonstrate for his class — which just happens to be a karate class. She’s a big hit, and now Ada loves Saturdays.

Eagle Public Library

“The Swamp Fox: How Francis Marion Saved the American Revolution” by John Oller.

Adult nonfiction. In the darkest days of the American Revolution, Francis Marion and his band of militia freedom fighters kept hope alive for the patriot cause during the critical British “southern campaign.” Employing insurgent guerrilla tactics that became commonplace in later centuries, Marion and his brigade inflicted enemy losses that were individually small but cumulatively a large drain on British resources and morale. In “The Swamp Fox,” the first major biography of Marion in more than 40 years, John Oller compiles striking evidence and brings together much recent learning to provide a fresh look both at Marion, the man, and how he helped save the American Revolution.

Meridian Public Library

“Generation Chef: Risking It All For a New American Dream” by Karen Stabiner.

Nonfiction. “Generation Chef” takes us inside the high-stakes, high-speed world of the restaurant chef, where the pressure to succeed early is intense, and owning only one restaurant is considered failure. Passion and talent are essential but not enough to prevail in an increasingly crowded field: a young chef needs business savvy, a thick skin and a lot of luck.

Kuna Library

“Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin” by Duncan Tonatiuh.

Children’s picture book. From first-time Mexican author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh comes the story of two cousins, one in America and one in Mexico, and how their daily lives are different yet similar. Charlie takes the subway to school; Carlitos rides his bike. Charlie plays in fallen leaves; Carlitos plays among the local cacti. “Dear Primo” covers the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of two very different childhoods, while also emphasizing how alike Charlie and Carlitos are at heart. Spanish words are scattered among the English text, providing a wonderful way to introduce the language and culture of Mexico to young children.

Garden City Library

“Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything” by Jennifer Keishin.

Adult nonfiction. Learn fun facts about your favoriteTV characters and how “Seinfeld” came to fruition. For example, did you know that the character of Kramer is based on an actual neighbor of Larry David? They shared a car, a TV and a pair of black slacks for special occasions. Fans of the show will love the behind-the-scenes info and how it makes you fall in love with the show all over again.

Ada Community Library

“The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper” by Phaedra Patrick.

Adult fiction. When 69-year-old Arthur’s wife, Miriam, dies, he is left lonely. For a year he stays at home with a revived fern he names Frederica. He keeps to their routine of eating, drinking tea and basically living half of a non-existent relationship. One day he motivates himself to get rid of some of the items left after Miriam’s passing and discovers a piece of unexplained jewelry. This charm bracelet leads him on a series of quests way outside his comfort zone and is an entertaining and touching tale of a man finding out more about himself through curiosity about his wife’s unshared past.

Nampa Public Library

“Our Chemical Hearts” by Krystal Sutherland.

Young adult fiction. John Hughes meets John Green in this irresistible story of first love, broken hearts and the golden seams that put them back together again. Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him — at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into an Ivy League college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first-period class on the third Tuesday of senior year, and he knows everything’s about to change. Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl — she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys clothes and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. And yet, this isn’t your average story of boy meets girl. Krystal Sutherland’s brilliant debut is equal parts wit and heartbreak, a potent reminder of the bittersweet bliss that is first love.