Category Archives: Series Reading

Welcome Back! An intro and two new titles for back-to-school

Dear Students and Families,

It’s a beautiful day on the Hill as we approach the end of our first full week of classes. I’ve always loved this time of year: the still-warm days and cooler nights, and the excitement, anticipation – and yes, craziness – of a new school year, new schedules, new friends…and new books!

For those of you who don’t know me yet, I’m Anna Murphey. I’m thrilled to be back at Hill Top for a second year as the Librarian after assisting Ms. Gillespie in the library last year (thankfully, she’s still literally just around the corner in the Reading Room, making awesome things happen in her expanded role as Director of Post-Secondary Transitions).

I look forward to seeing some familiar faces and meeting many of you for the first time at today’s Back to School Night. In the meantime, here are two new books with back-to-school themes. Come check ’em out!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two by John Tiffany and Jack Thorne (based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling)

Some of you Harry Potter fans gobbled up this much-anticipated eighth installment to the series immediately after the book was released on July 31st. As you probably know, it’s the script to the new stage play which is being produced in London. Set nineteen years after the Battle of Hogwarts, the book follows Harry (now a middle-aged bureaucrat at the Ministry of Magic) and his reluctant son, Albus, who as the story opens is just starting his first year at Hogwarts.

Complex father-son dynamics, adolescent angst, and Time-Turners…all your favorite themes, characters, and magic are here. But it’s a play, not a novel, which makes for a unique reading experience. Once you get used to navigating the clunky-looking dialogue and stage directions, you may find your imagination is filling in the blanks – like a movie sequel playing in your head. Make some popcorn, find yourself an air-conditioned room, dim the lights, and read. It’s as good as going to the movies.


SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki

This book is weird and wonderful. Though it’s technically a graphic novel, there’s little in the way of linear story-telling here from the brilliant author of This One Summer. The book takes place at a private school that’s a little like Hogwarts – that is, for kids who have some kind of special magic ability and are, well, mutants. And they’re also typical teenagers grappling with crushes, class projects, and the existential question of what to do after graduation. I loved these characters and the dreamy artwork in each comic strip. Recommended for mature readers with an absurdist sense of humor.



Stormy Books for a Stormy Weekend

It looks like Hurricane Joaquin is going to stay out to see, so the impending storms aren’t going to be as bad as originally thought. But, staying with the theme of weather disasters…

Lone Survivors series

I heard that the discussion for life as we knew it was quite lively at the beginning of the year. So, I thought I’d just mention that it’s a series – a quartet actually. The second book is the dead & the gone. It retells the disaster through the eyes of a teen boy, Alex, living in New York City with his two sisters.

In the third book, this world we live in, it’s a year later, and Miranda’s dad shows up with Alex and his sisters. Finally, in the fourth book, the shade of the moon, it’s two years later and Miranda’s brother Jon tells his story.

New Book – Another First

Another new book that arrived on Monday is also the first book in a new series: Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt.
Max’s parents are well-known actors, and at the start of the book, they are invited to India to perform for the Maharajah of Kashmir. On the day they are leaving, Max is to meet them on the boat after his art lesson. When he arrives at the dock, Max discovers no boat, no record of the boat his parents were on, and no parents. He goes to his grandmother (a librarian!) and together they work on figuring out what has happened to Max’s parents.
Meanwhile, Max wants to live at his house, not with his grandmother. So, to support himself, he uses the skills he’s learned in his parents’ theatre to try to find a job. What he ends up doing is solving people’s problems–lost dogs, a lost spoon, a lost nephew, and a lost love. While some want to call him a detective, Max points out that he simply finds the answers to peoples’ problems; he’s more of a “solutioneer.”
This book is so much fun. There are great characters. And I can’t wait for the rest of the series!

New Book – First in a Series

Since it’s the start of a new year, I thought it would be fun to look at books that start a series. I’ve got a bunch of them on display in the library.P1010906





Yesterday brought a new shipment of books, including the graphic novel series Locke & Key by Joe Hill. Joe Hill is a master of creepy suspense and this series is full of it! A family moves into a house that has doors that lead to places other than adjacent rooms, keys that open things besides doors, a well with a ghost, and some dark family secrets. I started this series over the summer and LOVED it. Eli recently asked if the library could acquire it…so we’ve got the first four. And Welcome to Lovecraft is the first.

Check out the tumblr for more “firsts” through the rest of the month.