Librarians' Picks: The History of the Potomac River and More

Montgomery County librarians pick their favorites and popular selections from the public library system.

What's on your reading list? Montgomery County librarians share their recommendations. Tell us in the comments what you're reading this week.


Homer, by Elisha Cooper

Greenwillow Books, 2012

Picture Book, Ages 4 and up

This gentle book, suitable for adult dog lovers as well as for children, generated a buzz on the Internet even before publication and has gathered many starred reviews since. An aging yellow lab is content to lie on the porch of his family’s seaside home all day and watch the world flow around him. After everyone's safe return in the evening, the father asks Homer if he needs anything. "No," Homer thinks, absorbing the sunset before stretching, entering the house for dinner, and settling into his favorite chair, "I have you." The expansiveness of the landscapes and the nuanced expression of Homer convey so much more than the simple story might suggest.

Same Sun Here, by Silas House

Candlewick Press, 2012

Fiction: Ages 9 and up

Meena and River have a lot in common: fathers forced to work away from home to make ends meet, grandmothers who mean the world to them, and faithful dogs. But Meena is a twelve-year-old Indian immigrant girl in New York City and River is a Kentucky coal miner's son. They become pen pals, and eventually best friends, through a series of revealing letters, exploring such topics as environmental activism, immigration, and racism as Meena’s family studies for citizenship exams and River’s town faces devastating mountaintop removal by a coal mining company. 

Harsuper Nature Encyclopedia: The 100 Most Incredible Creatures on the Planet, by Derek Harvey

Children’s Nonfiction J 590

Grades 3- Up

How can a cheetah accelerate from zero to forty miles per hour in three seconds? What is that Alien-like set of jaws in a moray eel’s mouth for? Find the answers to these questions and more with facts enhanced by 3-D models and detailed cross-sections. Great White Sharks, Howler Monkeys, and African Elephants are just a few of the spotlighted animals. (From the publisher).  

Adult Nonfiction

The Potomac River: a history & guide, by Garrett Peck

Adult Nonfiction 975.2 PEC

“The great Potomac River begins in the Alleghenies and flows 383 miles through some of America s most historic lands before emptying into the Chesapeake Bay. The course of the river drove the development of the region and the path of a young republic. Maryland's first Catholic settlers came to its banks in 1634, and George Washington helped settle the new capital on its shores. During the Civil War, the river divided North and South, and it witnessed John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry and the bloody Battle of Antietam. Author Garrett Peck leads readers on a journey down the Potomac, from its first fount at Fairfax Stone in West Virginia to its mouth at Point Lookout in Maryland. Combining history with recreation, Peck has written an indispensable guide to the nation’s river”—Amazon. 

Hellhound on his trail: the stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the international hunt for his assassin, by Hampton Sides

364.152 SID

April, 1967: a prison escape. James Earl Ray, nondescript thief and con man, drifts through the South, into Mexico, and then Los Angeles, where he is galvanized by George Wallace's racist presidential campaign. February, 1968: a Memphis garbage strike. Martin Luther King joins the sanitation workers' cause, but their march turns violent. King vows to return to Memphis in April. Historian Sides follows Ray and King as they crisscross the country, one stalking the other, until the drifter catches up with his prey. Against the backdrop of the resulting nationwide riots and the pathos of King's funeral, Sides gives us a cross-cut narrative of the assassin's flight and the 65-day search that led investigators to Canada, Portugal, and England--a massive manhunt ironically led by Hoover's FBI. Drawing on previously unpublished material, this nonfiction thriller illuminates how history is so often a matter of the petty bringing down the great--From publisher description.


Do any of these books strike your fancy? You can search for them in the library catalog.


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