Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Emily’s Book Picks: When an accidental find becomes a family favorite

Book reviews: “An Island Grows“ by Lola Schaefer, “Apples Never Fall“ by Liane Moriarty.

Book picks for kids (and adults):

When fellow parents ask how I find time to read with a toddler and a preschooler at home, I tell them I read what I love! Here’s a peek at what I’m enjoying and what my children and I are reading together, because finding books they love will help your kids read more too.

All KCLS libraries are now open for modified in-building services. Plan your next visit at

What I’m Reading: “Apples Never Fall“ by Liane Moriarty

Moriarty is known for penning twisty thrillers that combine interpersonal drama with nefarious goings-on, like the death at the center of “Big Little Lies” or the mysterious surveillance at the wellness resort in “Nine Perfect Strangers.” She’s also a surprisingly funny writer with an eye for human foibles. Both of those qualities shine in her newest, “Apples Never Fall.” In it, 69-year-old Joy Delany has gone missing after sending a typo-ridden text about going off-grid. Her four adult children are varying degrees of concerned; her husband of 50 years will only say that they argued before her disappearance. In alternating timelines, readers begin to understand the family’s complicated relationships and untangle the mystery of Joy’s whereabouts.

What We’re Reading: “An Island Grows“ by Lola Schaefer, illustrated by Cathie Felstead

We discovered “An Island Grows” by accident at the library, and it has become such a staple in our house that both my preschooler and I can recite most of it from memory. It’s a simple introduction to the formation of volcanic islands. More than just a recommendation for a book, this is a gentle reminder (one that I needed too!) to follow your child’s interests. Thanks to the curiosity this book sparked, we checked out a stack of volcano books, and my preschooler now rattles off the earth’s structure as she gets dressed. Whatever your child is interested in, the library offers a lifetime of discovery.


Find more book picks for kids from Emily Calkins here


About the Author

Emily Calkins

Emily Calkins is the readers' services program coordinator for the King County Library System, where she specializes in connecting readers with stories, authors and each other. She is also the co-host of the library’s podcast, The Desk Set. As a reader, she likes flawed characters, atmospheric world-building, and anything with a slow-burn romance. When she’s not reading or listening to audiobooks, she’s cooking, gardening and spending time with her family.