Staff Picks: April 2024 (All Ages!)

Adult Books | Teen Books | Kid Books

Find out what Denver Public Library staff are reading and watching this month!

Adult Books

Check out these Staff Recommendations for adult readers and listeners!

Against erasure
Aranguren, Teresa

A unique, stunning collection of images of Palestine in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and a testament to the vibrancy of Palestinian society prior to occupation.

Legends & lattes
Baldree, Travis

A delightful fantasy debut for fans of TJ Klune and T Kingfisher, about a retired orc who trades the warrior life for the quiet life. Or so she planned...

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy
Bannen, Megan

Set in a world full of magic and demigods, donuts and small-town drama, this enchantingly quirky, utterly unique fantasy is perfect for readers of The House in the Cerulean Sea and The Invisible Library.

Bauman, Valerie

Inconceivable combines memoir and investigative reporting to reveal an underground community of sperm donors and recipients who have chosen to circumvent traditional fertility avenues and meet up on their own terms. As an active participant in this community, Valerie Bauman uses her own story as a lens into this movement of people trying to dodge the costly and often discriminatory world of sperm banks and fertility clinics. Valerie's story is a window into the growing movement of single-by-choice motherhood, alternative fertility pursuits, and the unfair legal, financial, and medical entanglements that compel many single women and LGBTQ+ couples to take their fertility into their own hands.

Woman in the Sable Coat
Brooks, Elizabeth

From the acclaimed author of The Orphan of Salt Winds, The Whispering House, and The House in the Orchard comes a passionate and fateful story of love, betrayal, and the rewards—and costs—of following your heart.

The Faraway World
Engel, Patricia

A collection of ten haunting short stories linked by themes of migration, sacrifice, and moral compromise bring to life the liminality of regret, the vibrancy of community, and the epic deeds and quiet moments of love.

The illustrated etymologicon
Forsyth, Mark

The Etymologicon is an occasionally ribald, frequently witty and unerringly erudite guided tour of the secret labyrinth that lurks beneath the English language.

Anita de Monte Laughs Last
Gonzalez, Xochitl

New York Times bestselling author Xochitl Gonzalez delivers a mesmerizing novel about a first-generation Ivy League student who uncovers the genius work of a female artist decades after her suspicious death

The Orpheus Clock
Goodman, Simon

“An extraordinary piece of history...a fresh and lively read” (The Christian Science Monitor)—the passionate, gripping, true story of one man’s single-minded quest to reclaim his family’s art collection, stolen by the Nazis in World War II.

The Stolen Child
Hood, Ann

An unlikely duo ventures through France and Italy to solve the mystery of a child's fate in this moving, page-turning novel from "a gifted storyteller" (People).

The Longmire Defense
Johnson, Craig

Sheriff Walt Longmire uncovers a cold case that hits very close to home and forces him to put his life on the line with implications that some people would kill to keep buried forever

Country of the Blind
Leland, Andrew

A witty, winning, and revelatory personal narrative of the author’s transition from sightedness to blindness and his quest to learn about blindness as a rich culture all its own

Sex with a Brain Injury
Liontas, Annie

For readers of Meghan O’Rourke’s The Invisible Kingdom, Esmé Weijun Wang’s The Collected Schizophrenias, and Melissa Febos’s Girlhood, a powerful and deeply personal memoir in essays that sheds light on the silent epidemic of head trauma.

Still Alright
Loggins, Kenny

Enjoy the stories behind Kenny Loggins' legendary five-decade career as a celebrated songwriter, chart-topping collaborator, and “The Soundtrack King” with this pop icon’s intimate and entertaining music memoir.


The Enigma Affair
Lovett, Charlie

In this propulsive historical thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Escaping Dreamland, a librarian and a professional assassin team up to solve a seventy-five-year-old Nazi mystery and stop a nefarious opponent from wreaking havoc on the world.


The White Bonus
McMillan, Tracie

Award-winning journalist Tracie McMillan combines gripping memoir, top-notch original reporting, and rigorous research to measure the cash value of being white in America.

Silver Nitrate
Moreno-Garcia, Silvia

A meld of Mexican horror movies and Nazi occultism: a dark thriller about the curse that haunts a legendary lost film--and awakens one woman's hidden powers.

The Moorings of Mackerel Sky

A novel of coming out, surviving grief, and embracing myth in a Maine lobstering town purportedly founded when a sea captain fell in love with a mermaid 300 years ago. For readers of Madeline Miller, Alix E. Harrow, and Erin Morgenstern.

Birding to Change the World
O'Kane, Trish

A professor and activist shares what birds can teach us about life, social change, and protecting the environment.

Deliver Me
Persson Giolito, Malin

Scandinavian noir meets legal thriller in this brilliant, gut-wrenching story of childhood friends torn apart by gang violence and class differences in Stockholm—from the internationally bestselling author of Quicksand.

The Blueprint
Rashad, Rae Giana

In the vein of Octavia E. Butler and Margaret Atwood, a harrowing novel set in an alternate United States—a world of injustice and bondage in which a young Black woman becomes the concubine of a powerful white government official and must face the dangerous consequences.


Other Minds and Other Stories
Sims, Bennett

Cerebral and eerie, captivating and profound, these twelve stories expertly guide us through the paranoia and obsession of everyday horrors, not least the horrors of overthinking what other people might be thinking. With all of Sims’s trademark virtuosity, innovation, and wit, Other Minds and Other Stories continues to expand the possibilities of contemporary fiction.

Bird Brother
Stotts, Rodney

Rodney Stotts' incredible journey to become a master falconer shows the power and possibilities of nature and the human spirit

A short walk through a wide world
Westerbeke, Douglas

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue meets Life of Pi in this dazzlingly epic debut that charts the incredible, adventurous life of one woman as she journeys the globe trying to outrun a mysterious curse that will destroy her if she stops moving.

The Second Chance Year
Wiesner, Melissa

In this unforgettable story full of charm, wit—and just a bit of magic—a woman down on her luck is given a second chance at fixing her life and trying one year all over again. Perfect for readers of Josie Silver and Rebecca Serle. 

What's Wrong?
Williams, Erin

What’s Wrong? is author, illustrator, and scientific researcher Erin Williams’s graphic exploration of how the American health-care system fails us. Focusing on four raw and complex firsthand accounts, plus Williams’s own story, this book examines the consequences of living with interconnected illnesses and conditions.

Teen Books

Check out these Staff Recommendations for teen readers!

Where you see yourself
Forrest, Claire

Effie Galanos' goals for her senior year include her navigating her way through her high school that is not really wheelchair-friendly, getting into the perfect college, and getting her crush Wilder to accompany her to the prom--but by spring she is beginning to see herself entirely differently.

That's not my name
Lally, Megan

Who is Mary Boone? No one knows..not even Mary Boone herself. A gripping debut thriller perfect for fans of Natalie D. Richards and Vincent Ralph

Only this beautiful moment
Nazemian, Abdi

Set against the backdrop of Tehran and Los Angeles, this sweeping tale of intergenerational trauma and love is an ode to the fragile bonds of family, the hidden secrets of history, and all the beautiful moments that make us who we are today.


Kid Books

Check out these Staff Recommendations for kid readers!

A Ramadan to remember
Abbas, Marzieh

Ramadan is almost here! It's Zain's favorite time of the year. Well, it usually is. After a recent move and with no mosque or Islamic school in his new neighborhood, will Zain find a new Muslim friend to celebrate with him?

Pepper & me
Alemagna, Beatrice

Yesterday I fell. I tripped on a cobblestone--and oof! My dad cleaned my knee and told me, 'Soon you'll have a beautiful scab.' I got a scab, but it wasn't beautiful.

I'm going to build a snowman
Awan, Jashar

A young child sets out to build the best snowman ever.

Love, Lah Lah
Blackman-Thornhill, Nailah

A girl and her grandpa enjoy Carnival together.

Speak up!
Burgess, Rebecca

For fans of Click and Brave, this touching coming-of-age middle grade graphic novel debut follows an autistic girl who finds friendship where she least expects it and learns to express her true self in a world where everyone defines her by her differences.


Nana in the country
Castillo, Lauren

Nana visits her grandson, who sets out to share with her all the lovely things the country has to offer.

Day at the farm
Claire, Alexandra

Animal Adventures: Day at the Farm is perfect for early learners, inviting readers to follow cute and cuddly farm animals through a day on the farm.

Montgomery and the case of the golden key
Crowder, Tracy Occomy

In 2008 South Side Chicago, ten-year-old Montgomery "Monty" Carver's hunt to find the origins of a mysterious golden key leads him to discover the rich history of his community.

Jump for joy
Gray Ruelle, Karen

Kid seeks dog. Dog seeks kid. In this charming and imaginative tale of friendship, picture book readers will delight in what it means to have a furry best friend.

The teeny-weeny unicorn
Harris, Shawn

Teeny-Weeny Unicorn feels like the world is not made for his small stature and one day it bothers him so much he runs off, but soon after meeting a salty gnome he starts to wonder if he might just be the right size after all.

Benny the bananasaurus rex
Holden, Sarabeth

A funny and relatable story of a little boy who can be anything he wants to be (whether it’s a dinosaur, or a banana, or both!) with a big imagination and a bit of help from his anaana.


Trim helps out
Hopkinson, Deborah

On his first morning at sea, ship's cat Trim looks for ways to help out, and makes a new friend along the way.

Milo walking
Howe, James

Young Milo and his mother go for the same walk around their neighborhood every morning, but with Milo's imagination, there are always new things to see, old things to see in new ways, and the possibilities of what they will see tomorrow.

Do you know them?
Keller, Shana

Set in 1865, a young girl named Lettie saves her money so she and her uncle can place an advertisement to find the members of their family that were separated under slavery.

Masala chai, fast and slow
Larocca, Rajani

Newbery Honoree Rajani LaRocca, author of I’ll Go and Come Back, turns her focus to a careful, deliberate grandfather and his impatient grandson in a cozy family story featuring a recipe for spiced chai.

Hurricane season
Melleby, Nicole

Eleven-year-old Fig enrolls in an art class to better understand her father, a composer and pianist whose mental illness she tries to conceal from classmates, neighbors, and social services.

Moushabeck, Hannah

A Palestinian family celebrates the stories of their homeland in this moving autobiographical picture book debut by Hannah Moushabeck. With heartfelt illustrations by Reem Madooh, Homeland: My Father Dreams of Palestine is a love letter to home, to family, and to the persisting hope of people, which transcends borders.

What Rosa brought
Sager Weinstein, Jacob

Drawing on the childhood experiences of the author's mother, this story of family, immigration, and identity shows the boundless power of love. Vienna, Austria, is the only home Rosa knows. While her parents work at their store, she plays with her grandmother, reads her favorite books, and climbs trees. But when the Nazis arrive in 1938, everything changes.Rosa's family is Jewish, and the Nazis' new laws make it dangerous for Jews to live in Vienna. Rosa's parents can no longer run their store. Soon, some Jews decide to leave the country, and Rosa wants to go, too. But where would they go? And what would Rosa be able to bring with her?

Angela's glacier
Scott, Jordan

A girl grows up visiting Snæfellsjökull, the glacier near her home, but when preteen life throws her off-center she must reconnect with her icy old friend.

Sometimes I cry
Townes, Jess

There are all sorts of feelings that can make us cry--from disappointment to joy, from grief to love. Sometimes I Cry offers a gentle and necessary affirmation of the emotional complexity of growing up. Powerful, poignant, and universally relevant, it is a triumph for readers of any age.

Vanderklugt, Kyla

That's something to crow about! Learn all about these genius birds in Kyla Vanderklugt's Science Comics: Crows, the latest volume in First Second's action-packed nonfiction graphic novel series for middle-grade readers! Did you know that crows make their own tools, lead complex social lives, and never forget a human face? Scientists are just beginning to unlock the secrets of the crow's brain to discover how these avian Einsteins can be as smart as some primates, and even perform some of the same cognitive feats as human children! Crows have problem-solving skills that will make you rethink what it means to be a bird brain!

I can open it for you
Yoshitake, Shinsuke

A little boy imagines all the things he will be able to open once he gets bigger, but for now he needs his parents' help.

Summaries provided by DPL's catalog unless otherwise noted. Click on each title to view more information.