New Titles Coming to the Free Library in May

By Rachel F. RSS Fri, April 26, 2024

There's a lot to celebrate this month — spring has sprung, Mother's Day is around the corner, and it's Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month!

Young Children (up to 2nd Grade)

Roar-choo! by Charlotte Chen; illustrated by Dan Santat

Everyone knows that dragons are fierce and capable of taking on the world! But this dragon can’t stop sneezing long enough to get a roar out. Even with friendly Phoenix insisting that Dragon get some rest, this powerful creature refuses to stop for any orange ginger tea or a drop of bone broth soup. It's only when Dragon realizes Phoenix has caught the same cold that they are both able to take the break they so badly need. This tale of helping your friends and valuing differences is a sure thing for storytime.


Older Children (3rd Grade to 6th Grade)

Maybe it’s a Sign by E.L. Shen

Seventh-grader Freya June Sun is obsessed with Chinese superstition and signs she believes are from her late father, but an unexpected partnership with a classmate leads her on a path of self-discovery as she learns to rely on herself for luck.


Teen Fiction

Kill Her Twice by Stacey Lee

Los Angeles, 1932: Lulu Wong, star of the silver screen and the pride of Chinatown has a face known to practically everyone, especially the Chow sisters — May, Gemma, and Peony — Lulu's former classmates and neighbors. So the girls instantly know it's Lulu when they discover a body one morning in an out-of-the-way stable, far from the Beverly Hills home where she lived after her fame skyrocketed. The sisters suspect Lulu's death is the result of foul play, but the police don't seem motivated to investigate. Even worse, some signs point to a cover-up, and powerful forces in the city want to frame the killing as evidence that Chinatown is a den of iniquity and crime, even more reason it should be demolished to make room for the construction of a new railway depot, Union Station. Worried that neither the police nor the papers will treat Lulu fairly — no matter her fame and wealth — the sisters set out to solve their friend's murder themselves, and maybe save their neighborhood in the bargain. But with Lulu's killer still on the loose, the girls' investigation just might put them square in the crosshairs of a cold-blooded murderer.


Adult Fiction

Ella by Diane Richards

When 15-year-old Ella Fitzgerald's mother passed away during the height of the Depression in 1932, the teenager must work for the mob to support herself and her family. When the law finally catches up, the "ungovernable" adolescent is incarcerated in the New York Training School for Girls in upstate New York — a wicked prison infamous for its harsh treatment of inmates, especially Black ones. Determined to be free, Ella escapes and makes her way back to Harlem, where she is forced to dance for pennies on the street.

Looking for a break into show business, Ella draws straws to appear at the Apollo Theater's Amateur Night on November 21, 1934. Rather than perform a dance routine directly after "The World Famous Edwards Sisters" number, the homeless Ella, wearing men's galoshes a size too big, risks everything when she decides to sing "Judy" instead. Four years later, at barely 21, Ella Fitzgerald has become the bestselling female vocalist in America.

Diane Richards' Ella Fitzgerald is inspiring and intriguing — an emotionally rich, psychologically complex character, a flawed mother and wife who struggles with deep emotional scars and trauma and battles racism, sexism, and colorism as she learns to find her voice on the stage. Ella takes us from the brothels, speakeasies, and streets of Depression-era New York City to the grand hotel suites where Ella, now older and wiser, looks back on her life and finally confronts the demons from childhood that torment her.


Adult Nonfiction

Where Rivers Part: A Story of My Mother's Life by Kao Kalia Yang

Where Rivers Part is a mesmerizing and hauntingly beautiful memoir about a Hmong family's epic journey to safety told from the perspective of the author's incredible mother who survived and helped her family escape war-torn Laos, against all odds.


DVDs and Blu-rays

Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell 

Release Date: January 19, 2024

Director: Thien An Pham

Starring: Le Phong Vu, Nguyen Thinh, Nguyen Thi Truc Quynh, Vu Ngoc Manh, Dylan Besseau

Winner of the prestigious Camera d'Or for best first film at this year's Cannes Film Festival, the enthralling Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell from Vietnamese filmmaker Pham Thien An is a reverie on faith, loss, and nature expressed with uncommon invention and depth. It's a simple tale told with visual complexity: after a car accident claims the life of his sister-in-law and leaves his 5-year-old nephew an orphan, a 30-something man named Thien leaves Saigon for a trip back to his rural hometown. During his meditative, wandering visit, Thien wrestles with his agnosticism in the face of others' religious beliefs, summons memories of his long-disappeared brother, and reconnects with a former girlfriend who now lives as a nun at a Christian church and school. With its drifting camera, evocative use of natural light, and gratifying perambulatory nature, this film has the power to readjust one's perceptions of the world around us.

You can find these new titles and many more great books, e-books, audiobooks, movies, and music in our catalog and at a neighborhood library near you!

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