One Tiny Vermont Town’s Secret to Happiness and Excellence
By Karen Crouse
Adult Non-Fiction, 2018
Reviewed by Kelly McCagg, Library Director

Norwich, located on the western bank of the Connecticut River, boasts beautiful farms and a bucolic downtown—pretty much what you would expect from a small New England town. However, Karen Crouse, sportswriter for The New York Times, discovered something quite remarkable about this community of 3,400 residents. Over the past 30 years, 11 Olympians have originated from Norwich. Come along as she uncovers the unique approach this town employs with athletics and life in general. Learn how to live a balanced life, and raise happy, fulfilled children.

Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel
By Kimberly Willis Holt
Juvenile Fiction, 2017
Reviewed by Hannah Peacock, Youth Services Librarian

This book has all the makings of a tearjerker, as it starts with Stevie’s parents being killed by a drunk driver. She is sent off to live at her grandfather’s run-down motel in Texas. He is a stranger to her and doesn’t seem to really want her there. Ms. Holt knows how to build pace. It is a necessarily slow story, with a good balance of super sad and uplifting. It is not perfectly tied up, not saccharin, just the right amount to of build-up, tension and resolution.

While the two main characters are strong, there are equally strong secondary characters. It is these people, the crazy crew that live or work at the Texas Sunrise Motel, who bring the story to life, helping Stevie to settle in and find meaning after such devastation.