Friends’ Bookstore – 507.328.2306

bookpile2The Friends bookstore is located on the main floor of the Rochester Public Library with the entrance in the Library lobby. Quality used books at reasonable prices are our specialty. Stock includes children’s books, fiction, non-fiction and foreign language fiction. Check our store regularly as we are constantly stocking shelves with new arrivals.

In addition to books, gift items such as canvas bags, gift certificates, music CDs, and signed books are also available.

The Bookstore is operated by the Friends of the Rochester Public Library as a non-profit organization with all proceeds going to the Rochester Public Library. All of our books are donated and we are staffed by volunteers. Please consider becoming a Friend’s member and volunteer in the library or bookstore.

HUGE WINTERFEST BOOK SALE!

The Library auditorium will be the place for an amazing array of fiction, hardcover and paperback, non-fiction items, including vhs, cassette tapes, cds, dvds. We even have a couple of paper cutters!  AND Lots and Lots of Children books.Image
The Friends preview is Thursday, Feb. 6 from 5-7 pm.
Feb 7 & 8 the sale will be open 9:30-5 pm.
Sunday, Feb. 9 the sale is from 1:30-4pm.

Book Review – “Slammed”

13372690Slammed
A Review by Catherine H. Armstrong

Several months ago I read another book by Colleen Hoover called Hopeless.  It was a book I deeply enjoyed and wasn’t at all what I was expecting.  Since then, I’ve noticed several other titles by this same author and have been trying to decide whether to try another by her…not because I didn’t completely enjoy the first, but because the first was so “perfect” that I wasn’t sure I was ready for the letdown that often happens when an author doesn’t meet your expectations.  After noticing the nearly perfect 4.5 ratings by almost 2,000 Amazon readers, I had to give this one a try.  I’m glad I did.

First let me start with the genre.  Though I’m not 100% certain, I think this book would be classified as a YA novel since the main characters are 18 (a high schooler) and 21 (an almost college grad).  As a reader, I “like” YA novels, but I don’t usually love them.  My biggest pet peeve is that (though I’m 43), I hate when an author talks down to young readers and assumes all of their life problems are frivolous.  This is where Colleen Hoover greatly succeeds where other authors often leave me irritated.

The young adult characters in this book are truly inspiring.  They’re young, but their problems are “real.”  Neither is whiny or wishy-washy, but tackle their problems with the maturity of full adults.  And to be honest, I think that any “kid” in these types of situations would grow up quickly in the same way that Hoover has portrayed them.

So…what’s this book about?  I can’t give you a lot of detail without ruining it for you, but I’ll try to break it down.  Layken has recently turned 18.  Her father has suddenly passed away and her mother moves her and her 9-year old brother, Kel, to Michigan from their home in Texas.  They move next door to a young man, Will, who is 21 and raising his 9-year old brother after the sudden death two years previous of both of their parents.  He’s grown up quickly to be both mother and father to his younger brother, and he’s taken on more responsibilities than a “kid” his age should ever have to take on.  But he’s done it admirably well.

Within only a couple of days of becoming neighbors, the two younger brothers quickly become best friends and Layken and Will acknowledge their chemistry and begin a relationship.  The chemistry takes them both off guard, but the reader immediately realizes that this is going to be a very special couple.  After only one date, Layken and Will are suddenly hit with a brick wall that will keep them apart in spite of how much they want to be together.  I can’t tell you what that brick wall is, but I can tell you that it seems completely insurmountable even for the reader.  There is simply no good solution that will allow the two to continue a relationship.

Slammed is a beautiful story of two young people – far older and wiser than their years – who understand the importance of commitment and responsibility.  It’s sweet and heartbreaking (for a variety of reasons), and there are moments when you are so proud of one or both of the characters for taking a stand in moments where they should be intimidated.  The bottom line is that this is an excellent read.

I’d recommend this book for YA readers (15+, probably) as well as for adults.  There is no gratuitous sex, so the subject matter – while sometimes difficult – is completely appropriate for younger readers as well as interesting enough to keep the interest of older readers.

Very nicely done!

This books is available in traditional format at the Rochester Public Library.

Author Visit- January 30, 2014

Alison McGhee is a Pulitzer Prize nominee and a #1 New York Times bestselling author. She writes for all ages and in all forms, from poetry and stories to novels and picture books and essays, and her books are popular with critics and readers alike. Her novel Shadow Baby was a Today Show Book Club pick, and her picture book Someday was featured on NPR.

This project was funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

 January 30, 2014 in the Rochester Public Library auditorium from 7 pm to 8 pm.Image

November 24: Visiting Author

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR NOV. 24 at 2 PM
The Cartographer of No Man’s Land
by P.S. Duffy

This debut novel from a Rochester, MN author is getting glowing reviews.

When his beloved brother-in-law goes missing at the front in 1916, Angus defies his pacifist upbringing to join the war and find him. Assured a position as a cartographer in London, he is instead sent directly into the visceral shock of battle. Meanwhile, at home, his son Simon Peter must navigate escalating hostility in a fishing village torn by grief. A soulful portrayal of World War I and the lives that were forever changed by it, both on the battlefield and at home.
P.S. Duffy will be at the Rochester Public Library on Nov. 24 at 2 PM

Book Review: Scary School Book 3 – Northern Frights

9780061960987_p0_v2_s260x420Scary School Book 3:  Northern Frights
A review by Catherine H. Armstrong

A couple of years ago, I was on a mad search for a book that would appeal to my then 7-year old son.  He was going through a period where he didn’t like to read, and his attention span was so short that reading to him was not only a challenge, but pure torture for me.  I knew I’d have to find something that would capture his interest so completely that he’d be glued to the story and beg me to turn the pages.  After an endless Google search using search words like “great boy books” and “hilarious chapter books for boys,” I kept stumbling upon one title over and over:  Scary School by Derek the  Ghost.

Once the Scary School title had popped up for about the fifteenth time, I started to look a little closer at the title and found that it had received rave reviews from hundreds of different reviewers – both kids and adults alike.  It didn’t seem to have a bad review, and so I took a leap of faith and ordered the book.  The result:  It was a complete hit!  Not just for my son; but for myself…my husband…my teenage daughter…and eventually the entire 2nd, 3rd and 5th grade classes at Bamber Valley Elementary this past May when the school was fortunate enough to receive a personal visit from the author.  We just couldn’t get enough!  Teachers were reading to their students and enjoying the books; parents were reading to their kids; and kids who had professed a dislike for reading were literally devouring the book.  The school library ordered several copies of the first two books and the wait-list to check them out was so long that the media specialist wasn’t sure they’d be able to get through the list even if they’d had another few months of school.  The books were that good!  After all, who could possibly get enough of a school run by monsters, where just making it to the end of the day without being eaten was considered to be a “good day”?

Scary School is back, now with its third installment:  Scary School:  The Northern Frights.  And oh boy are readers in for a treat!

Fans of the first two Scary School books will see a return of their favorite characters:  Charles Nukid, the newest kid at Scary School; Jason Borjees, a hockey fanatic who always wears a hockey mask and just happens to carry around a chainsaw at all times; Fred Kroger, who has razor-sharp fingernails and assumes that all-things-scary must be a dream; Petunia Petals (Yup!  We learn her last name in this book!), the purple girl with the endless swarms of bees; Dr. Dragonbreath, a ginormous dragon-teacher at Scary School who is simply biding his time until you break a rule so that he can eat you; and the painfully shy Penny Possum, who becomes so terrified that she plays dead to avoid confrontation.  They’re all back, and they’re just as fun and colorful as in previous books.

New in this book is Lattie the Ninja Girl, who is hands-down my favorite character of any of the Scary School books!  Lattie was trained by a Ninja Master and is amazing!  She’s brave, swift on her feet, and can catch a spitwad from across the room with just two pencils held in her hand like a set of chopsticks.  And she’s wise, spouting off Zen-like advice reminiscent of the Karate Kid’s Mr. Miyagi.

In this newest installment of Scary School, six students are selected in an exchange program to attend the scariest school of all:  Scream Academy!  The only human student to ever survive is Scary School’s own Principal Headcrusher, and the students will need to rely on their wits – and especially each other – to come out unscathed.

Kids will love this book for the same reasons they loved the original two Scary School books:  the characters are fantastic and the story-line is fun!  Parents will love this book for the same reasons as their kids, but they’ll also find laugh-out-loud passages that carry inside-jokes that only parents of the 80s will get (i.e. Fred Kroger, Jason Borjees, and the spooky aspiring writer, Steven Kingsly).  More than that, though, parents will like this book for the lessons that are hidden within.  In order for the students of Scary School to survive Scream Academy, they’ll have to learn to work together.  There are strong themes of friendship, not judging others by how they look,  and – my favorite – not being afraid to stand up for your friends when they’re being teased or bullied.

This title was released today and is currently on order at the Rochester Public Library (and already has 3 reserves!).

Come back tomorrow for our exclusive interview with Scary School author, Derek the Ghost!  Asking some of our questions will be 9-year old guest contributor and Scary School fan, Logan Ackerman.  You won’t want to miss it!