Dec 14

Series Saturday - Santa Paws

Posted on December 14, 2018 at 2:33 PM by Lindsey Kult

Santa Paws Series Collage

This Series Saturday is about a series that we recommended on Facebook last week! It’s the Santa Paws series by Nicholas and Kris Edwards. Nicholas Edwards is the pen name for Ellen Emerson White. She is best known for her young adult books. I think her background in young adult writing allowed her to avoid the cheesy dialogue and descriptions that can plague junior fiction books. Goodreads reviewers (myself included) believe that this series does not have to be just for elementary students! The stories are well-written and enjoyable to adults without children as well as families reading together. While they all take place around Christmas, only the first one seems to be about finding the meaning of Christmas.

Genre: 

Junior Fiction, Holiday, Adventure, Animal


Location in Howard Miller: 

Junior Fiction, JF EDWARDS


Setting: 

A coastal town in Massachusetts called Oceanport.


Meet the Characters: 

Obviously the main character of the story is Santa Paws (also named Nicholas). He’s a stray puppy whose mother and siblings were caught by Animal Control and adopted to loving families. Sadly, Santa Paws doesn’t realize this and is a scared street dog for the first book. He has a knack for finding people who need help. He is eventually “caught” by the Callahan family, but the whole town views him as a mascot.


Gregory Callahan is the youngest Callahan. He’s in Middle School at the beginning of the series. Gregory is Santa Paws’ main human since he was the one who wanted to help Santa Paws the most. He likes sports and loves his family - especially his older sister Patty, even if they do fight occasionally.


Patty Callahan is Gregory’s older sister. She’s in the Junior High School at the start of the series and is mainly concerned about whether something is cool or uncool. She’s also very smart and hopes to become a police officer when she grows up.


Mrs. Callahan is Gregory and Patty’s mom. She’s a high school science teacher. She loves her family very much and usually struggles to keep Patty in warm clothes - being warm is not fashionable so is very uncool.


Mr. Callahan is an eccentric author. He loves to listen to Frank Sinatra and dress up in costumes while writing. He also loves his family, but is easily distracted while writing.


Uncle Steve is Gregory and Patty’s uncle. He’s a war veteran and a police officer in town. He is very serious on the job, but goofy when around his family. He and his wife had a baby around the time the Callahans brought Santa Paws home.


There are dozens of townspeople who are grateful to Santa Paws and the Callahans, but most of them are not reoccurring characters.


Number in the Series: 

There are 6 books written by Nicholas Edwards and at least 1 by Kris Edwards. It appears that Kris Edwards wrote more Santa Paws books, but for some reason they are not considered part of the series. We don’t carry all of the Santa Paws books, so use this link to put a hold on the books you want. It is definitely best to read the first book before any of the others.
  1. Santa Paws
  2. Return of Santa Paws
  3. Santa Paws, Come Home
  4. Santa Paws to the Rescue 
  5. Santa Paws, Our Hero
  6. Santa Paws and the New Puppy
  7. Santa Paws Saves the Day
Final Word: 

This series is older; the books were written in the mid-1990s and early 2000s. The writing is so strong that it might not seem like the books are 23 years old. So your children might not understand why the Callahans or other townspeople don’t just use their cell phones to call for help or take pictures!  Not all of the characters are likable, but none are pure evil. Instead, Edwards writes about very sad events (homelessness and widows for example) through a dog’s eyes. The innocence of Santa Paws provides parents with an opportunity to have a conversation with their little ones about sad parts of life. Like many books in a series, they do get progressively longer but the longest is 205 pages. It’s a wonderful series for animal lovers of all ages and a great way to prepare for Christmas!


Oct 24

Series Saturday - Tween Series - The Gaither Sisters

Posted on October 24, 2018 at 4:00 PM by Lindsey Kult

Gaither Sisters trilogy 1 One Crazy Summer 2 PS Be Eleven 3 Gone Crazy in Alabama

This week's Series Saturday is a trilogy that can be found in our Tween section - The Gaither Sisters Series by Rita Williams-Garcia! The stories follow three sisters and their family during the late 1960's. While the summaries of the books sound almost too intense for a regular late-elementary or middle school student to enjoy reading, they are full of humor and relatable topics - first crushes, sibling squabbles, and summer adventures! They are an excellent way to learn about history and the Civil Rights culture. 

Genre:

Tween, Historical Fiction, Humor, African American Fiction

Location in Howard Miller: 

Tween, TW WILLIAMS-GARCIA

Setting: 

The series takes place in three distinct settings: 
Book 1. California
Book 2. Brooklyn
Book 3. Alabama

Meet the Characters: 

Delphine Gaither is the eldest of the Gaither sisters. She narrates the stories and is the most mature. She cares for and takes care of her two younger sisters. Sometimes she pushes herself too hard and forgets to be a kid! 
Vonetta Gaither is the middle child and she craves the spotlight! She is feisty, outgoing and loves to perform for people. 
Fern (Afua) Gaither is the youngest daughter. She is outspoken and courageous, but really would like to stay close to her doll, Miss Patty Cake. 
Cecile (Nzila) is the girls' mother. She left after Fern was born and moved to California to be a poet. She supports the Black Panthers and does not want to be with her children. When they visit her she sends them to the Black Panthers camp. 
Louis Gaither (Pa) is the girls' father. He lets his mom raise the girls. 
Big Ma is Louis's mother. She raises her grandchildren and tries to teach them how to "fit in". She does not like Cecile nor the beliefs Cecile tries to share with the girls. 
Darnell Gaither is the girls' uncles and Louis's younger brother. He is fighting in Vietnam during the first book, but returns during the second book a changed man. He no longer is fun and goofy, but withdrawn and stays in his room. 

Number in the Series: 

There are 3 books in the series and they probably should be read in order. Click here  to place them on hold. We also have these books available for downloadable audiobooks via OverDrive
  1. One Crazy Summer
  2. P.S. Be Eleven
  3. Gone Crazy in Alabama
Final Word: 

As you can see from the cover of One Crazy Summer these books have received a lot of acclaim and awards! There is barely any room left on the cover for the title! Don't let the heavy themes of this series scare you away from the humor, history, and family values that have made these books beloved by millions. These books are great to read together as a family and can provide parents with a great jumping off point to discuss a period of history that can be difficult to teach to children. 
Aug 22

UPDATED Series Saturday: Charley Davidson Novels by Darynda Jones

Posted on August 22, 2018 at 2:32 PM by Lindsey Kult

Charley Davidson Collage with the 13 book covers

After a much too long break we are finally getting back to our Series Saturday! This week's Series Saturday is Darynda Jones's Charley Davidson series. This is a goofy fantasy romance series without any mythical species.

Genre: 

Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance

Setting: 

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Location in Library: 


Adult Fiction, AF JONES

Meet the Character: 


We hope that you don't have to meet the main character of this series anytime soon, as Charley is the Grim Reaper! Spirits who are lingering around have to pass through her to get into heaven. If they are unwilling, she can use force to help them along. In addition to this very important job, she's also a private investigator in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Coming from a family of police officers, she is great at this - but it helps that she can use the spirits of the dead to aide her investigation!
Her most useful "aides" are Angel and Rocket. Angel was killed at the age of 13 during a drive-by shooting. He's Charley's most reliable investigator and is protective over her.
Rocket is a departed who died in a mental asylum in the 1950's. He is a
clairvoyant and knows the exact moment someone has passed and keeps track by charging the names in the walls of the asylum. 
Among the living Cookie and Uncle Bob help Charley close cases. Cookie is Charley's best friend, sole employee, and neighbor. She is always willing to go with Charley's outrageous ideas and completely trusts her boss. Her 12 year-old daughter, Amber, is like the niece Charley never had.
Uncle Bob or Ubie is, well, Charley's uncle! He's a detective with the Albuquerque Police Department. Charley has helped his career by asking the departed for information on crimes and passing their information on to Ubie. Having a high ranking ally in the police department allows Charley to get around the law in very illegal ways.
Garrett Swopes is another Private Investigator who loves or hates Charley depending on his mood. He's good at what he does and is Ubie's go-to skip tracer.
Reyes Farrow is the literal son of Satan and has similar powers to Charley. They're drawn to each other peanut butter and jelly, but with a lot more heat! He was wrongly convicted for his "father's" murder and spent 10 years in prison for it.


Number in the Series:

There are 13 books in this series and it is rumored that book 13 will be the last one. It comes out in January 2019. 

  1. First Grave on the Right
  2. Second Grave on the Left
  3. Third Grave Dead Ahead
  4. Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
  5. Fifth Grave Past the Light
  6. Sixth Grave on the Edge
  7. Seventh Grave and No Body
  8. Eighth Grave After Dark
  9. The Dirt on the Ninth Grave
  10. The Curse on the Tenth Grave
  11. Eleventh Grave in Moonlight
  12. The Trouble with the Twelfth Grave
  13. Summoned to Thirteenth Grave

Final Word:

With the series wrapping up in January 2019, this is the perfect time to reread the whole series! However, these books are not for everyone. They have plenty of action and comedic relief, but also have more sexual situations and swearing than many of our patrons enjoy. You also must suspend your beliefs for these books - this series is about the Grim Reaper!