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50 High-Impact, Low-Care Garden Plants

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Snow is still on the ground but gardening is blooming in my heart.   The month of March finds seed catalogs, gardening books, and over wintered herbs strewn all over my kitchen and dining room.  The need is for spring!

My favorite gardening books for Ohio are authored by Tracy Disabato-Aust. Every spring I start a plant list for my garden from Tracy’s book, 50 High-Impact Low Care Garden Plants.  The book has a little bit of everything from grasses to shrubs, but all are Ohio hardy and easy care.  My favorite stand out plants are Bear’s Breeches, Variegated Aralia, Blue False Indigo, Bleeding Heart, and Hellebore.  The Dragon's Eye Pine made the list this year but where to plant, the garden is getting full!

Dreaming Spies, by Laurie King

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Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, return for their thirteenth adventure (which, chronologically speaking, takes place between seventh and eighth books in the series, The Game and Locked Rooms, respectively). On their way from India to San Francisco in 1924, Russell and Holmes encounter a missing woman on a cruise ship and a nobly-born British blackmailer who had previously escaped Holmes. Soon, they’re working with a family of Japanese ninjas to avoid a major embarrassment—and a serious diplomatic incident—for Prince Hirohito, the heir to the empire of Japan.

Witty and well-paced, fans of Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes will find much to enjoy in this novel, which fills in a once-missing gap in the adventures of this detective duo. While Dreaming Spies references other incidents in the series, it can easily be read alone.

Carter & Lovecraft, by Jonathan Howard

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After a disturbing encounter with a serial killer, police detective Daniel Carter is ready for the (relatively) quiet life of a private investigator. When he unexpectedly inherits a bookstore from a relative he’s never heard of, though, he finds himself in the middle of an investigation that gets stranger by the minute. People dying in impossible ways, a disturbing community of dead-eyed men and terrifying women, and a rift in reality that a madman calls The Twist … if Carter can’t find some answers soon, it may be the end of the world we know, and the beginning of something horrifying.

Lilac Girls: A Novel by Martha Hall Kelly

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Caroline Ferriday, Herta Oberheuser, and Kasia Kuzmerick’s lives couldn’t be more different. Caroline, a New York socialite and former Broadway actress, volunteers at the French consulate in New York. Herta, an ambitious young German doctor, seeks to leave her dreary life by taking a government medical position in northern Germany. Kasia, a Polish teenager, leads a typical carefree teenager’s life focused on boys and her best friend. Their lives change abruptly, however, with Germany’s invasion of Poland and France. Kasia is arrested for being a courier for the underground resistance and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women, where she struggles to survive.

This captivating and powerful novel by a debut author is based on the true story of women subjected to the gruesome reality of the Ravensbrück concentration camp and those who sought to help them. 

Juvenile Fiction Selection: The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry

Wyatt Palmer is an eighth-grader at Culver Middle School in Miami, Florida and along with all his classmates is on his way to Washington, DC.  This trip is supposed to be full of museum and monument tours but turns into an adventure that they could never have imagined, and not in a good way.  On the plane from Miami to DC Wyatt's best friend Matt becomes suspicious of the strange men sitting in the seat behind them. Determined to find out what they are up to Matt gets a hold of one of their bags and steals a small box that he thinks might be a detonator.  The boys draw way too much attention to themselves and the strange men, and end up almost getting kicked off the trip and that's just the beginning.  Soon the strange men are in pursuit of them and what they stole.  The boys, with the help of Wyatt's crush Suzana, are in a race to keep themselves from getting caught and stop the two men before they can follow through with their presumed attack on the White House, all while trying to slip under the radar of their teachers.  This is a laugh-out-loud story and will be sure to please even the most reluctant of readers.  (Grades 5-7 School Library Journal)

Adventure Novels for Teens: Vengeance Road

When her father is murdered for a journal revealing the location of a hidden gold mine, Kate disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are untrustworthy strangers, endless dust and heat, and a surprising band of allies. As Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, a startling truth becomes clear; some men will stop at nothing to get their hands on gold, and Kate's quest for revenge may prove fatal.

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