Archive | Reviews & Recommendations

Newly Updated: The Recommended Reading List!

Newly Updated: The Recommended Reading List!

cover of the 2018 Recommended Reading ListCasti Library’s Recommended Reading List has been updated for 2018! These books have been handpicked by your librarians as truly excellent reads. We have a mix of genres, and many of the books are available on our digital library as ebooks or audiobooks. If you want more personalized recommendations, come on in and talk to a librarian.

Click here to view the new list!

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Middle School Book Review Blog

Middle School Book Review Blog

The Middle School’s book review elective has started a book review blog!

Called To Read or Not to Read, the blog features reviews of books from different genres, written by the members of the elective.

Check it out!

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New Periodical Alert: frankie Magazine!

New Periodical Alert: frankie Magazine!

Lexi B. ’19, our very own Aussie, takes a look at Australian magazine frankie:

cover of frankie, October 2017frankie magazine could simply be described as Australia’s answer to the Rookie Yearbook, except it’s so much more than that. The trendy magazine consists of “design, art, photography, fashion, travel, music, craft, home, and life,” as proclaimed on the front cover, and includes a writer’s piece section containing works of unknown poets and other contributors, all-inclusive beauty tips, cute craft and home life sections, and did I mention that the entire layout of the magazine is super cute? The colorful, disposable camera-like aesthetic of the entire magazine makes it just as appealing to

cover of frankie, December 2017read as the engaging content. Though some parts of the magazine aren’t necessarily applicable to our daily lives — unless you’ve somehow suddenly become Australian — the rest of the magazine contains information that is both necessary and fun! I always enjoy reading frankie and get super excited every time it comes to the library. Check out the latest issue of frankie in the library!

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Background Information: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Background Information: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

cover of The Hate U GiveAs Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give remained on the New York Times young adult best seller list for the better part of 2017, the topics the book deals with clearly resonate with readers. The Hate U Give is about a sixteen year old black girl named Starr who splits her time between the world of her fancy prep school and the poor neighborhood where she lives. When she witnesses the police shoot her friend Khalil, and Khalil turns out to be unarmed, protestors swarm the streets and her neighborhood is catapulted into the national eye. As the only witness, what Starr does or does not reveal could change her community forever.


The plot of The Hate U Give reflects national events and discussions on police violence and race. If you’re interested in gaining a deeper understanding of these issues, the library has some books that may help.

cover of Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter by Sue Bradford Edwards and Duchess Harris

This slim book traces the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, from the shootings that sparked it to the protests and the activists working to chagne the United State’s justice system.
cover of The Fire This Time

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, edited by Jesmyn Ward

A response to the famed The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, this book of essays and poetry explores race in America in the words of today’s leading thinkers and writers, such as Claudia Rankin and Edwidge Danticat.


Stop by the library for more recommendations from your librarians!


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Small Bites: Short Story Anthologies

Small Bites: Short Story Anthologies

I love short story anthologies. If you’re in a reading slump, they’re a great way to discover new authors. Almost all of my favorite authors I found through reading anthologies.

They’re also great if you’re busy. If you feel like you don’t have the time for pleasure reading, short stories provide a quick reading experience to get a whole narrative in twenty or so pages. They’re wonderful, and you should totally try some, because the Casti library has a great selection. Here’s a few recommendations to get you started:

Unnatural Creatures
Edited by beloved author Neil Gaiman, this anthology features stories about mythical and imaginary animals from science fiction and fantasy greats like Peter Beagle, Samuel Delaney, and Nnedi Okorafor.

Tyranny of Petticoats, edited by Jessica Spotswood
This unique collection is full of stories of girls and women from America who buck tradition and gender roles. From the Old West to Prohibition to the Summer of Love, read about pirates, gunslingers, monsters, and heiresses.

I See Reality, edited by Grace Kendall
If John Green, Rebecca Stead, or David Levithan are more your taste, try this anthology featuring twelve tales of real life by up and coming realistic fiction authors.

Women of Futures Past, edited by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Trace the foundations of science fiction with this incredible collection of female speculative fiction authors that spans generations.


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Sequels and New Books

Sequels and New Books

To keep you updated on your favorite authors and series, we’ll be doing a round up of new books and sequels a few times a year. Here’s some exciting stuff that’s come out since the summer edition!

New Sequels

The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye, the follow up to The Crown’s Game

Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner. A new book in her Queen’s Thief series!

Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson. The final book in the Goldseer trilogy.

Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford, sequel to Greenglass House

Ringer by Lauren Oliver, sequel to Replica

The Dire King by William Ritter. The final book in the Jackaby series.

Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer Holm, sequel to Sunny Side Up

Whichwood by Taherah Mafi, companion novel to Furthermore


New from Favorite Authors 

Warcross by Marie Liu, author of the Legends and Young Elites series

Jane Unlimited by Kristin Cashore. The first book she’s written since the Graceling series.

The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman. The start of a new series set in the His Dark Materials world, a prequel to The Golden Compass.

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater. Her first book since finishing The Raven Cycle!


Ongoing Comics

Giant Days, vol. 6

Goldie Vance, vol. 3

Princeless, vol. 5

Bandette, vol. 3

Faith, vol. 4

Jughead, vol. 3

Dawn and the Impossible Three: the Baby-Sitters Club, vol. 5

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