Twelve-year-old Myrtle Hardcastle has a passion for justice and anobsession with criminal science. Armed with her father’s law books and her mum’s microscope, Myrtle studies toxicology, keeps abreast of the latest developments in crime scene analysis, and observes her neighbors in the quiet village of Swinburne, England.
When her neighbor dies under Mysterious Circumstances, Myrtle seizes her chance. With her unflappable governess, Miss Ada Judson, by her side, Myrtle takes it upon herself to prove Miss Wodehouse was murdered and find the killer, even if nobody else believes her — not even her father, the town prosecutor.
Welcome to Check Your Shelf. My library begins its first week of curbside services today, so keep your fingers crossed and spare a few extra good thoughts for my coworkers and me!
Black Lives Matter Resources
- “Publishers want more Black authors, so why have they silenced us for so long?”
- Do the soaring sales of anti-racism books signal a true cultural shift?
- The limitations of an anti-racist reading list.
- Your bookshelf may be part of the problem.
- Books, films, and podcasts to start learning about racism (Entertainment Weekly, NPR, PBS)
- Children’s and YA anti-racist reading lists (Essence, Publishers Weekly).
- Fiction anti-racist reading list. (The Millions, Publishers Weekly)
- Graphic novel anti-racist reading list.
- Poetry anti-racist reading list.
- A criticism of the Poetry Foundation’s statement on Black Lives Matter.
- Reading lists to understand police brutality. (Chicago Review of Books, Vox)
- 10 nonfiction books to explain why we need to defund the police.
- A conversation about YA lit, police brutality, and the nuances of Black storytelling.
- 7 anti-racist books recommended by educators and activists.
- 9 books about the world-changing power of protest.
- Resistance reading 101.
- 20 books about Black Lives Matter and civil rights.
- 5 books about race on college campuses.
- 9 essential Angela Davis books.
- 16 books about Black history.
- 9 books by Black authors that might not be on your radar yet.
- Lists of upcoming books by Black authors. (Electric Lit, EpicReads, O: Oprah Magazine, Parade, Vogue)
- 20 books to read if you want to get into Black SFF.
- 34 YA books by Black authors with love and other worlds.
- 8 queer books in translation
- 9 queer YA comics
- 10 comics to celebrate Pride
- 20 must-read happy queer books for Pride.
- Essential LGBTQ+ books to read for Pride Month
- Poetry collections about being a queer person of color
- 16 Canadian books to read for Pride Month
- Fantasy novels by LGBTQ creators
Collection Development Corner
- Over 1000 publishing workers strike to protest industry racism.
- After coming under fire for her response to suspected looting in the area, Dawn Frederick of Red Sofa Literary Agency has threatened a lawsuit against two former agents and an author who have accused her of racism.
- Here’s a BuzzFeed explainer on the #PublishingPaidMe movement on Twitter.
New & Upcoming Titles
- There’s a new Star Wars anthology coming out called The Empire Strikes Back: A Certain Point of View, that retells events from Episode V from 40 different background characters.
- Zadie Smith is releasing an essay collection about the lockdown, out on July 28th.
- June picks from Bitch Media, BookPage (mystery & suspense), The Millions (poetry), and Tor.com (genre-bending fiction).
- 10 story collections you may have missed in May.
- Summer reading picks from Amazon & Kirkus.
What Your Patrons Are Hearing About
- You Exist Too Much – Zaina Arafat (NPR, Washington Post)
- Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre – Max Brooks (Washington Post)
- The Jane Austen Society – Natalie Jenner (Washington Post)
- Broken People – Sam Lansky (New York Times)
- Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World – Chris Wallace & Mitch Weiss (Washington Post)
- If you don’t have time to reread the Hunger Games series before reading The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, here’s a primer.
On the Riot
All Things Comics
- The Black Caucus of the American Library Association and the American Library Association Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table are collaborating on new Black Lives Matter comics.
- The co-creator of Punisher is using the skull symbol to support Black Lives Matter and to take it away from white supremacists.
- Trailer for Season 2 of Doom Patrol
On the Riot
- Jeff Daniels is narrating Jim Carrey’s upcoming audiobook.
- Check out Libro.fm’s summer listening challenge!
- Audiobook recs from Black bookstagrammers
- 10 spy book series on audio for espionage lovers
- 7 historical fiction audiobooks for kids and teens
On the Riot
Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists
- 20 picture books that celebrate fatherhood
- 20 Canadian books for kids and teens to read for National Indigenous History Month.
- 20 YA books with multiple narrators
- 23 YA books with flowers on the cover (Fun digital display idea, perhaps?)
- 7 thrillers about identity and re-invention
- Books to read when you’re at low energy
- The best books for every type of dad
On the Riot
- 6 of the best baby sign language books for parents
- 20 of the best Kindle books for kids
- Best books for 4th graders and 5th graders
- 12 summertime cookbooks for kids
- 9 funny cat books
- 9 feel-good road trip books
- 9 British mystery series you won’t want to put down
- 5 South Asian novels that deserve more attention
- 6 readalikes for Normal People
- 15 paranormal mystery books
Level Up (Library Reads)
Do you take part in Library Reads, the monthly list of best books selected by librarians only? We’ve made it easy for you to find eligible diverse titles to nominate. Kelly Jensen created a database of upcoming diverse books that anyone can edit, and Nora Rawlins of Early Word is doing the same, as well as including information about series, vendors, and publisher buzz.
Stay safe and stay well, everyone. Black Lives Matter.