Town of Johnsburg Library Kids Summer Reading Challenge — July 7 to Aug 13

  • The Summer Reading Challenge runs from July 7 to August 13.
  • For ages 4 to those entering 6th grade in the fall.
  • Pick up the Summer Reading Challenge card from the library or click on the link below to print it yourself.
  • Cross out the squares when you complete the activity; complete any five squares of the Challenge card to receive a prize bag.
  • Bring your challenge card to the library to claim your prize.
  • Complete another five squares for another prize.
  • Complete the entire Challenge card and you will be entered into a grand prize drawing.
  • Bring your card to the library to claim your prize.
  • This year’s Summer Reading theme is Tails and Tales.

*Grownups reading to their children counts as reading!

The Library’s Summer Reading program is supported by a Stewart’s Holiday Match Grant.

Free Container Garden Kits for Kids

*Limited Quantities Available

  • The Free take-home kits include everything needed to grow a container garden of vegetables and herbs–including seeds, soil, and a container.
  • Weekly gardening tips and activities.
  • Call the Town of Johnsburg Library at 518-251-4343 to register. There is a limited number of kits available.

Reading Around – Beverly Cleary & YA Reads

The recent passing of the beloved author Beverly Cleary (1916-2021) brought to mind some of my favorite Cleary reads, such as Cleary’s YA classics Fifteen (1956), The Luckiest Girl (1958), Jean and Johnny (1959), and Sister of the Bride (1963)–I recently reread these gems. This quartet of novels, sometimes called malt shop novels, are all set in California and revolve around first romances. In the deft hands of Cleary, these books rise above the pack. Still, there are new YA books to consider. Below are listed a few new YA arrivals at TOJL.

Happily Ever Afters (2021) by Elise Bryant is surely in the vein of Cleary’s Fifteen. It is contemporary and smart, and the romance narrative is set within the context of today’s issues. Budding romance writer Tessa struggles to find her place in a new town and a new school and encounters real-life romance as well. This is Bryant’s debut novel.

Another recent YA novel at the library is You Have a Match (2021) by Emma Lord. In this novel of “romance, sisterhood, and friendship” we meet Abby who signs up for a DNA service on a lark only to find a secret sister. Lord is also the author of Tweet Cute (2020).

Also recently published is Lore (2021) by Alexandra Brackman. According to Publishers Weekly, this tale, set in New York City, “blends Greek mythology and modern-day Manhattan.” Bracken is New York Times best-selling author of The Darkest Minds series of books.


Reading Around – New Books, Recent Reads

All the new thinking is about loss.

In this it resembles all the old thinking.

               –Robert Hass from Meditation at Lagunitas


These lines from poet Robert Hass came to mind while reading Ann Napolitano’s 2020 novel Dear Edward. The novel follows Edward, a twelve-year-old boy en route to a new life with his family—from New York to California—when the plane crashes leaving him as the sole survivor. Dear Edward is certainly about loss, unfathomable loss for most of us, but it’s also about surviving and moving forward in the most tragic of situations and with the help of compassionate strangers–which made the novel, in the end, joyful and hopeful. I highly recommend it. Napolitano’s other works include A Good Hard Look and Within Arm’s Reach.

Another “Ann”

Ann Patchett had me at the title. Although the Dutch house in Patchett’s novel is outside Philadelphia, in New York Dutch domestic architecture is part of the air we breathe. This latest Patchett work, The Dutch House, begins in midcentury America and follows the story of a brother and sister over five decades. Similar to Dear Edward, this novel also examines loss—loss of a house and much more—but is also about healing. The portraits of the brother and sister are well wrought and compelling.

Literary Fiction

Several new literary fiction titles have arrived at the library, including Chang-rae Lee’s My Year Abroad, which I am currently reading and enjoying, and Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. Also, just in, Jennifer Ryan’s novel The Kitchen Front set in WWII around a BBC radio cooking contest. Check out NPR’s review. You might also want to consider Ghanaian-American novelist Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom and, if you like fantasy, the best-selling The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab.


A patron recommended the works of recently deceased mystery author Margaret Maron. We have many of her titles, so we created a display of her works in the library. Maron’s works include two series both of which feature female sleuths.

New mysteries/thrillers in the library include works by Jonathan Kellerman, C.J Box, and J.A. Jance.


Need Tax Forms?

Curbside Pickup — Call the library at 518-251-4343 for an appointment to pick up tax forms.

Go to to view and download or call 1-800-829-3676 to order by phone.

Go to to view and download or call 518-457-5431 to order by phone.