Middle Grade Fiction for Adults

For a long time as an adult, I told myself that middle grade books were no longer for me. But I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was wrong! Not only can middle grade novels simply be great stories, they can also transport you back into the world of being a kid. This includes the importance and depth of friendships that we make when we are young, the sense of adventure and openness to the fantastical and the unknown, and the complex and often difficult experience of being a kid. If you, too, love a good story regardless of age, here are some of my recommendations:

Amari and the Night Brothers 

After Amari’s older brother goes missing, she discovers a mysterious briefcase in his closet. Soon, a whole secret world opens up for Amari. She is nominated to join the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs where she must compete against other students, fight against an evil magician, and find out what really happened to her brother. 


After moving to a new home, Coraline goes exploring and discovers a mysterious door that opens into a world that looks very similar to her own. At first it seems like a better version of her own life, until she begins to realize that things are eerily off–and her new set of parents want her to stay with them forever.


Front Desk

After recently immigrating from China, Mia and her family begin to live and work at a motel in Southern California. Mia must navigate helping at the motel front desk, dealing with racism and bullying at school, and her growing dreams of being a writer.


The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy

Marya Lupu lives in a world where boys are born with the potential to become sorcerers. When Marya makes a mistake on the day of her brother Luka’s sorcerer test, she is sent to the Dragomir Academy for Troubled Girls. While at the academy, Marya makes powerful friendships and begins to discover what she and her friends are really capable of.




~Posted by Siri A.

Girl Power

March is Women’s History Month. To celebrate, I’ve compiled a list of picture books from the last few years that feature amazing women that will hopefully inspire you and your children. Highlighted below are a few favorites that stood out from the crowd.

Sweet Justice: Georgia Gilmore and the Montgomery Bus Boycott , by Mara Rockliff. It’s really easy to notice and get inspired by people who do big things and are major movers and shakers in a movement, such as Rosa Parks. I love this book because it showcases someone whose involvement was a bit quieter. During the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Georgia Gilmore cooked and raised money to help pay for gas for car drivers helping the boycott, and later for fines for people who were ticketed. When she stood up and told her own story of discrimination by the buses during a trial for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she was fired from her job. King gave her money to help start her own cooking business, and often used her house for meeting with important leaders like JFK and Lyndon B. Johnson. It takes a lot of people to really get a revolution going, and I loved reading this story of one woman’s contribution.

Continue reading “Girl Power”

The Central Library Expands Hours, and 20-Plus Things to Do There

The Central Library at dusk
The Central Library at dusk

Tourists stop by all the time, but when was the last time you visited The Seattle Public Library’s internationally acclaimed downtown location?

If it’s been a while, we have good news: Starting Wednesday, Jan. 18, the Central Library will be open two nights a week until 8 p.m. (with the exception of the Faye G. Allen Children’s Center on Level 1, which will continue to close at 6 p.m. each evening). The Central Library’s nonfiction book spiral, located on Levels 6 through 9, also recently expanded its hours. It’s now open seven days a week, during all Central Library open hours.

If you need a refresher on what to explore at the Central Library, you can follow one of our self-guided tours, including this kids’ tour for families, chock full of fun facts. And below are floor-by-floor highlights.

Map from the kids tour of the Central Library
Map from the kids’ tour of the Central Library

Level 1, Fourth Avenue entrance

After you enter from Fourth Avenue, you can learn about the Rem Koolhaas-designed building at the displays in the lobby, then peruse the Peak Picks display (near the circulation desk) for the hottest new titles. Make sure to admire Ann Hamilton’s floor artwork of raised text in 11 languages.

Look down at the Peak Picks display to see the Ann Hamilton floor art
Look down at the Peak Picks display to see the Ann Hamilton floor art

Bring the children in your life to the spacious Faye G. Allen’s Children’s Center and cozy up with a book under the twinkling lights. Kids can browse books, play on filtered computers, and look for colorful artwork such as Mandy Greer’s Babe the Blue Ox. Or check out a Read-Aloud book, which comes with a built-in MP3 player.

Continue reading “The Central Library Expands Hours, and 20-Plus Things to Do There”

What Seattle Read in 2022: Teen Edition

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What are the teenagers checking out these days? We were curious, so as a follow-up to our post on The Seattle Public Library’s most popular books for adults in 2022, we’ve compiled the top-circulated 10 fiction and nonfiction books for teen audiences. It’s a diverse, fascinating list, ranging from award-winning graphic novels to an Ojibwe coming-of-age story to a youth edition of Trevor Noah’s memoir. Maybe you’ll find a new book for your young adult reader — or for yourself.

Top teen fiction: Print books

  1. Firekeeper's Daughter, by Angeline BoulleyMaus: A Survivor’s Tale, by Art Spiegelman
  2. Firekeeper’s Daughter, by Angeline Boulley
  3. Last Night at the Telegraph Club, by Malinda Lo
  4. We Hereby Refuse: Japanese-American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration, by Frank Abe, Tamiko Nimura, with art by Ross Ishikawa, Matt Sasaki
  5. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, by Suzanne Collins
  6. The Girl from the Sea, by Molly Knox Ostertag
  7. Maus, I, A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History, by Art Spiegelman
  8. A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas
  9. Heartstopper, Volume 1, by Alice Oseman
  10. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

Top teen fiction: E-books

  1. Shadow and Bone: The Grisha Trilogy, Book 1, by Leigh BardugoShadow and Bone: The Grisha Trilogy, Book 1, by Leigh Bardugo
  2. A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah M. Maas
  3. Siege and Storm: The Grisha Trilogy, Book 2, by Leigh Bardugo
  4. A Snake Falls to Earth, by Darcie Little Badger
  5. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
  6. Ruin and Rising: The Grisha Trilogy, Book 3, by Leigh Bardugo
  7. The Summer I Turned Pretty, Book 1, by Jenny Han
  8. Firekeeper’s Daughter, by Angeline Boulley
  9. Heartstopper, Volume 1, by Alice Oseman
  10. We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart

Continue reading “What Seattle Read in 2022: Teen Edition”

What Seattle Read in 2022: Most Popular Checkouts of the Year

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Curious about which books Seattle’s insatiable readers turned to in 2022? Need a little inspiration for that 2023 book list you’re already making? The Library has you covered.

The most popular fiction book checked out from January through November 2022 was “The Sentence,” by Louise Erdrich. The most checked out e-novel was “The House of Broken Angels” by renowned Mexican-American author Luis Alberto Urrea, the selection for the Library’s 2022 Seattle Reads program. Seattle’s community of e-audiobook listeners checked out “Braiding Sweetgrass,” read by author Robin Wall Kimmerer, more than any other e-audiobook.

Several books by Northwest authors also ranked high in popularity in 2022, including “Secret Seattle,” by Library staff member Susanna Ryan; “Red Paint,” by Coast Salish author Sasha LaPointe; The Final Case, by David Guterson; and “Grains for every Season,” by Oregon chef Joshua McFadden (with Martha Holmberg).

Here are the other most popular fiction and nonfiction books, e-books and e-audiobooks among Library patrons last year. Please note that these lists were compiled from anonymous checkout data collected from January 1 through November 30, 2022.

(Also be sure to see the Library’s most popular books of the year in visual form at “Your Checked-Out 2022.”)

10 most popular adult fiction physical books

  1. The Sentence, by Louise Erdrich
  2. The Maid, by Nita Prose
  3. Sea of Tranquility, by Emily St. John Mandel
  4. The Final Case, by David Guterson
  5. The Swimmers, by Julie Otsuka
  6. Book Lovers, by Emily Henry
  7. One Italian Summer, by Rebecca Serle
  8. This Time Tomorrow, by Emma Straub
  9. Remarkably Bright Creatures, by Shelby Van Pelt
  10. The Candy House, by Jennifer Egan

Continue reading “What Seattle Read in 2022: Most Popular Checkouts of the Year”