“The Thirteenth Cat,” by Mary Downing Hahn – Zoey loves spending the summer with her Aunt Alice, and her aunt’s new house is the perfect place to cozy up with a good book. But she’s unnerved by the overgrown forest next door, which is creepy even in the daytime and full of eerie sounds at night. Worse, there are rumors in town of a dark force in those woods. And Zoey can’t deny that the wild black cats who live there seem to be watching her. When she encounters a mean old woman who claims to be their owner, Zoey realizes there’s more to the cats than meets the eye. But little does she know that the closer she comes to discovering their secret, the more danger she’s in …
“The Bones of Ruin,” by Sarah Raughley – As an African tightrope dancer in Victorian London, Iris is used to being strange. She is certainly a strange sight for leering British audiences always eager for the spectacle of colonial curiosity. But Iris also has a secret that even strange doesn’t capture. She cannot die. Haunted by her unnatural power and with no memories of her past, Iris is obsessed with discovering who she is. But that mission gets more complicated when she meets the dark and alluring Adam Temple, a member of a mysterious order called the Enlightenment Committee. Adam seems to know much more about her than he lets on, and he shares with her a terrifying revelation: the world is ending, and the Committee will decide who lives and who doesn’t.
“This Thing Between Us,” by Gus Moreno – Random cold spots and scratching noises in the walls are just a few of the strange incidents that Thiago Alvarez and his wife, Vera, notice upon moving into their Chicago condo. The incidents only worsen with the arrival of Vera’s new smart speaker, the Itza: weird packages, including industrial-strength lye and a book on contacting the dead, begin arriving at their home; music plays at odd hours; and the Itza is heard having conversations in otherwise empty rooms. When Vera dies in an accident, Thiago is left reeling. Unable to cope with his overwhelming grief, he leaves Chicago for a cabin in Colorado. But despite his newfound isolation, Thiago can’t run from his feelings of loss and rage. Plagued by dreams that tear at the seams of reality, Thiago’s paranoia nears its breaking point as an unrelenting evil force follows him, feeding off of his distress.
“What if You Had Animal Scales?” by Sandra Markle – If you could have any animal’s coat, whose would you choose? What if you woke up one morning and discovered your body was covered in an animal’s scales, feathers, or fur instead of your own skin? How would that change your life? “What If You Had Animal Scales?” is the next imaginative book in Sandra Markle’s popular “What If You Had” series. If you had a chinchilla’s fur, you’d never need to worry about bug spray. If you had a hammerhead shark’s scales, you’d be the fastest swimmer on the team! And if you had a honeybee’s coat, you’d always bring home the biggest haul on Halloween. Discover what your life would be like if you had these special coats – and find out why your skin is just right for you.
“A Hot Mess: How the Climate Crisis is Changing Our World,” by Jeff Fleischer – We already know what climate change is and many of us understand the human causes. But what will climate change do to our world? Who will be affected (spoiler: all of us!) and how will our lives change in the future? Topics include sea levels, extreme weather, drought, animal and plant extinction, and human and animal migration. Drawing on real-life situations and stories, journalist Jeff Fleischer takes an informed, approachable look at how our world will likely change as a result of our actions, including suggestions on what we can still do to slow down these unprecedented effects.
“No Cure for Being Human: (And Other Truths I Need to Hear),” by Kate Bowler – It’s hard to give up on the feeling that the life you really want is just out of reach. A beach body by summer. A trip to Disneyland around the corner. A promotion on the horizon. Everyone wants to believe that they are headed toward good, better, best. But what happens when the life you hoped for is put on hold indefinitely? Kate Bowler believed that life was a series of unlimited choices, until she discovered, at age 35, that her body was wracked with cancer. In “No Cure for Being Human,” she searches for a way forward as she mines the wisdom (and absurdity) of today’s “best life now” advice industry, which insists on exhausting positivity and on trying to convince us that we can out-eat, out-learn, and out-perform our humanness. We are, she finds, as fragile as the day we were born. With dry wit and unflinching honesty, Kate Bowler grapples with her diagnosis, her ambition, and her faith as she tries to come to terms with her limitations in a culture that says anything is possible. She finds that we need one another if we’re going to tell the truth: Life is beautiful and terrible, full of hope and despair and everything in between – and there’s no cure for being human.
– Stark County District Library