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Library's recommended reads cover fantasy stories

Library's recommended reads cover fantasy stories

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Omaha Public Library wants to help readers find new books—or at least books new to them. Every month in this space, OPL employees will recommend reading based on different writing genres, themesor styles. This year's Summer Reading Program theme is "Imagine Your Story" and has a focus on fantasies, myths and fairytales. Staff have suggested some of their favorite fantastic stories to help exercise your imagination this summer. Find these books and sign up for SRP at

Laura Evans, collection processing clerk for Omaha Public Library

"The Deep," by Rivers Solomon. This is a fantastical reimagining of merfolk in which they are the descendants of pregnant African women thrown overboard from slave ships. Inspired by a song by Daveed Diggs' (of "Hamilton" fame) rap group, clipping, this is a lyrical story about trauma, belonging and the necessity of remembering.

"The Adventure Zone," by the McElroy family and Carey Pietsch. This is a graphic novel fantasy series based on the wildly popular role-playing podcast of the same name. Hilarity ensues as a goofy dwarf cleric, an eager human warrior, and a snarky elf wizard embark on their wacky yet heartfelt quests to bring some balance to their world. With the third installment coming out this month, it's the perfect time to be whisked away to a new realm.

Theresa Jehlik, strategy and business intelligence manager for Omaha Public Library

Both of these novels are retellings of Homer's The Odyssey.

"Cold Mountain," by Charles Frazier. This book recounts the journey of Inman, a Confederate soldier, as he walks home from the Civil War to Ada in North Carolina.

"The Time Traveler's Wife," by Audrey Niffennegger. This is the story of Henry who suffers from a disorder that can suddenly move him back and forth in time with no warning, and Clare, his eventual wife.

Like Odysseus, Inman and Henry have adventures, mishaps and surprises throughout their journeys.

Kendall Munch, youth collection development librarian for Omaha Public Library

"Spin the Dawn," by Elizabeth Lim. Talented tailor Maia secretly takes her brother's place when her family receives a summons to the royal court. With the help of the court magician and a pair of magical scissors, Maia competes for the position of royal tailor and is tasked with making magical garments. The final challenge sends her on a journey throughout the land collecting near-impossible materials to construct three gowns for the emperor's bride-to-be. This Chinese myth-inspired fantasy has a powerful main character, romance and descriptions of fantastic clothes.

"The Tea Dragon Society," by Katie O'Neill. In this cute graphic novel, Greta rescues a tea dragon and is invited to learn about them by their caretaker. At the end of the book, there is a handbook about the tea dragons that gives more background on these interesting creatures. The art is delightful!

Nancy Novotny, youth services librarian at Charles B. Washington Branch

"City of Ghosts," by Victoria Schwab. One year ago, Cassidy nearly drowned. Since then, she has the ability push aside the veil that separates the living from the dead to interact with the ghosts that are still on Earth. While visiting Edinburgh, Scotland, she gets trapped on the other side of the veil. This is a perfect ghost story if you don't like to be scared, because it reads more like an adventure.

Mark Sorensen, arts & culture librarian at W. Dale Clark Main Library

"Ramayana: Divine Loophole," by Sanjay Patel. A classic of Hindu mythology is presented in vivid and kinetic style by artist and former Pixar animator Sanjay Patel. Intended as a love letter to the stories of Patel's childhood, and meant to be a more accessible form of the 24,000-verse Sanskrit epic, "Ramayana: Divine Loophole" retells the legend of the avatar Rama, his beloved wife and faithful companions, and an unforgettable host of demons and mythical creatures in a breezy, fully illustrated 185 pages.

Lynn Sullivan, library specialist at W. Dale Clark Main Library

"Abhorsen," by Garth Nix. The main character is a young girl, Lirael, who must use her inner strength to confront the evil spirit Orannis and save the Old Kingdom.

Amy Wenzl, manager at Saddlebrook Branch

"Novice Dragoneer," by E. E. Knight. This book is the first in a new young-adult fantasy series about a 14-year old orphan who joins the military in a quest to become one of her country's famed dragon riders. This book is perfect for readers 14-plus who enjoy coming-of-age stories.

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