Lima Public Library Book Reviews


I Am the Light of This World by Michael Parker

In the early 1970s, in Stovall, Texas, 17-year-old Earl—a loner, a dreamer, a lover of music and words — meets and is quickly infatuated with Tina, the new girl in town. She convinces Earl to drive her to see her mother in Austin, where, after a hazy night of partying, Earl and Tina are separated. Two days later, Earl is being questioned by the police about Tina’s disappearance and the blood in the trunk of his car. But Earl can’t remember what happened in Austin, and with little support from his working-class family, he is sentenced for a crime he did not commit.

When the Hibiscus Falls by M. Evelina Galang

Moving from small Philippine villages of the past to the hurricane-beaten coast of near-future Florida, “When the Hibiscus Falls” examines the triumphs and sorrows that connect generations of women. Daughters, sisters, mothers, aunties, cousins, and lolas commune with their ancestors and their descendants, mourning what is lost when an older generation dies, celebrating what is gained when we safeguard their legacy for those who come after us.

Dances by Nicole Cuffy

At 22 years old, Cece Cordell reaches the pinnacle of her career as a ballet dancer when she’s promoted to principal at the New York City Ballet. She’s instantly catapulted into celebrity, heralded for her “inspirational” role as the first Black ballerina in the famed company’s history. Even as she celebrates the achievement of a lifelong dream, Cece remains haunted by the feeling that she doesn’t belong.

Crow Mary by Kathleen Grissom

In 1872, 16-year-old Goes First, a Crow Native woman, marries Abe Farwell, a white fur trader. He gives her the name Mary, and they set off on the long trip to his trading post in Saskatchewan, Canada. Along the way, she finds a fast friend in a Métis named Jeannie; makes a lifelong enemy in a wolfer named Stiller; and despite learning a dark secret of Farwell’s past, falls in love with her husband.


Lifting the Chains: The Black Freedom Struggle Since Reconstruction by William H. Chafe

Chafe argues that, despite the wishes and arguments of many whites to the contrary, the struggle for freedom has been carried out primarily by Black Americans, with only occasional assistance from whites. Chafe highlights the role of all-black institutions—especially the churches, lodges, local gangs, neighborhood women’s groups, and the Black college clubs that gathered at local pool halls—that talked up the issues, examined different courses of action, and then put their lives on the line to make change happen.

Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of “Latino” by Héctor Tobar

Taking on the impacts of colonialism, public policy, immigration, media, and pop culture, Our Migrant Souls decodes the meaning of “Latino” as a racial and ethnic identity in the modern United States, and gives voice to the anger and the hopes of young Latino people who have seen Latinidad transformed into hateful tropes and who have faced insult and division―a story as old as this country itself.

Erasing the Finish Line: The New Blueprint for Success Beyond Grades and College Admission by Ana Homayoun

For years, we’ve been led to believe that great grades, high test scores, and college acceptance are key to a successful life. Yet our laser focus on these achievements leaves students feeling anxious, demoralized, and unprepared. What if we’ve overlooked the critical skills young adults need to navigate an ever-changing world? What fundamental skills help young people adapt, persevere, and thrive?

How to Survive History: How to Outrun a Tyrannosaurus, Escape Pompeii, Get Off the Titanic, and Survive the Rest of History’s Deadliest Catastrophes by Cody Cassidy

In each chapter of How to Survive History, Cody Cassidy explores how to survive one of history’s greatest threats: getting eaten by dinosaurs, being destroyed by the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs, succumbing to the lava flows of Pompeii, being devoured by the Donner Party, drowning during the sinking of the Titanic, falling prey to the Black Death, and more. Using hindsight and modern science to estimate everything from how fast you’d need to run to outpace a T. rex to the advantages of different body types in surviving the Donner Party tragedy, Cassidy gives you a detailed battle plan for survival, helping you learn about the era at the same time.


Wants vs. Needs vs. Robots by Michael Rex

Do you know the difference between wants and needs? It can be hard to understand sometimes, especially when you want something so much that you feel like you have to have it. The robots in this book are here to help us figure it out. They need stuff like a battery, oil and arms and legs to function. But they want cool stuff like unicorn hats, jelly-bean tacos, cool T-shirts, remote platypuses and cake. Come along as they make trades with each other to get stuff they want (yay!) but give away some important stuff they need (oops!) At the end of the story, Rex reminds us that all books NEED a back cover, and ALL books want to be read. Also available at the Library: Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots.

Ages: 4–8


Lima Public Library is open to the public six days a week. Hours for the Main Library in Lima are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Our Cairo, Elida and Spencerville branch libraries are open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Our Lafayette branch is open from 12 noon to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday.