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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: A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord

In this new book by Cynthia Lord we meet Lily, a young girl who lives with her grandparents near the shore and blueberry barrens of Maine. Lily's summer is just starting and she is feeling a little lost since her and her best friend Hannah have started growing apart. While out walking, her blind dog Lucky slips from his leash and runs across the blueberry barrens and it is a girl named Salma who catches him, using her sandwich as bait. Immediately a friendship begins to bloom between Lily and Salma, the daughter of a migrant family living in town for the blueberry-picking season. Salma and Lily spend the summer painting bee houses in Lily's grandparents' store and are growing even closer when Hannah starts coming around again. Hannah is the reigning Blubbery Queen and sparks an interest in Salma to compete in the local annual pageant. Together the girls help to get Salma ready for the pageant and all learn a few things about friendship and belonging along the way. This is a wonderful summer read for realistic fiction fans!  (Grades 4-6 School Library Journal)

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