Under the Radar: New and Intriguing Titles You Might Have Missed (May 2020)

While many new titles arrive at the Saint Paul Public Library after much anticipation and a big marketing push, other new but no less exceptional additions slip in under the radar. Here are a few recently added books and DVDs that arrived without a lot of fanfare (or a long holds list!) but that look intriguing nonetheless.  

New Picture Books: 
Grandpa Grumps by Katrina Moore: A young girl named Daisy excitedly awaits the arrival of her Yeh-Yeh (Grandpa) from China, and has great plans for his visit. He, on the other hand, does not initially seem to share that excitement. Will they find something to do to make them both smile? The illustrations in this book, which can guide conversations about empathy and expectations, are lively and expressive. 

Remembering Ethan by Lesléa Newman: Sarah wants to talk about her brother older Ethan, who died, but even hearing his name makes her parents sad. The illustrations gently supplement this story about grief, the special bond of siblings, and finding ways to heal.  

Middle Grade:  
Into the Tall, Tall Grass by Loriel Ryon: “In the last year, Yolanda has lost her grandfather and become distanced from best friend Ghita and twin Sonja, who both acquired a gift of affinity with insects when they turned 12, while Yolanda showed no signs of giftedness. Now Wela, her grandmother and caretaker, is dying. After weeks of non-responsive deep sleep, Wela calls to Yolanda in the night and tells her that all will be set right if Yolanda takes her to the lone pecan tree on their family property. Then, mysterious tall grass grows overnight. What does it all mean?” -- From Booklist 

A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Joy McCullough: Sutton and Luis couldn’t be more different -- or so they think. Sutton’s dad is dating Luis’s mother, and when the kids are separated from the parents during a hike they will learn a lot about each other as they work together, through adventures and missteps, to find their way.  

This Boy by Lauren Myracle: “Paul and Roby are best friends and have been since they were freshmen in high school. Their friendship is tested when Paul falls in love with beautiful Natalia, upon whom Roby has a major crush, but it survives. Paul tells their story, which is sometimes eventful, sometimes not, in his own first-person voice as it proceeds through their years in high school. It's when they've become seniors that their world falls apart. More than a simple cautionary story, this is a deeply felt, highly empathetic exercise in survival and a celebration of friendship.” -- From Booklist 

They Went Left by Monica Hesse: “A heartbreaking and heartwarming story of survival, loss, and renewal. Suffering from memory loss in a hospital with other survivors, Zofia relies on the kindness of Dima, a Russian soldier, to get home and find her little brother, Abek. However, the home Zofia returns to is not one she recognizes. She quickly discovers that she needs to continue her search for Abek elsewhere. Alone, Zofia travels across borders to locate her brother; she doesn't know what happened to him or where he ended up, but she will not give up hope that he is alive and looking for her.” -- From Library Journal 

Adult Nonfiction: 
How to Build a Car by Adrian Newey: Formula One car designer Adrian Newey had one purpose over his 35 year career: to make cars go faster. Ride along on an illustrated journey from his youth making pencil sketches of cars, through his experiences designing for racing legends such as Mario Andretti and Nigel Mansell.     

Ebony Magazine and Lerone Bennett Jr.: Popular Black History in Postwar America by James E. West: Ebony magazine transcended its role as a culture and lifestyle monthly to capture and reflect African-American history. According to the publisher, this new book uses "the magazine as a window into the transition of black history from the margins to the center of American cultural, historical, and political representation."

Adult Fiction:
A Tender Thing by Emily Neuberger: Eleanor O'Hanlon pursues a lifelong love of musical theater from rural Wisconsin to New York City in this “page-turning homage to 1950s Broadway.” (Booklist) Cast in a controversial play by the director of her dreams, Eleanor must contend with jeering journalists, a family rift, and her own naivete as she navigates her new life.  

Raphael, Painter in Rome by Stephanie Storey: When Renaissance master painters Michelangelo and Raphael are both summoned to Rome by Pope Julius II, rivalry ensues. Raphael is tasked with painting the Pope’s private apartments, while Michelangelo sets to work on the ceiling of the Sistine chapel. A welcome journey for fans of historical fiction in evocative settings.  

Missing all the drama and action of your favorite team sports? Experience what is regarded as one of the greatest moments in sports history with this 2002 documentary Do You Believe in Miracles? The Story of the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team

Fans of live theater may enjoy the new French film Cyrano, My Love, a fictional account of the story behind the creation of one of the best-loved characters on the stage, Cyrano de Bergerac.   

(Post by Becky A.)