'Meet Me at the Barbershop' by Rashi Dildy

“Meet Me at the Barbershop” focuses on the lives of four young men fresh out of high school. Like brothers in high school, adulthood provides challenges and changes to their lives and relationships. This story follows their growth and adjustments to life’s early disappointments.

"Meet Me at the Barbershop" by Rashi Dildy. (Contributed image)
"Meet Me at the Barbershop" by Rashi Dildy. (Contributed image)

Rashi Dildy grew up in Chicago and has lived in Albert Lea since 2013. He opened Ra’s Supreme Clientele, a barbershop specializing in clipper-cut design work, in October 2017. This is his first book.

Rashi Dildy. (Contributed photo)
Rashi Dildy. (Contributed photo)

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“Meet Me at the Barbershop” is available online from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Xlibris (www.xlibris.com).

'The Accidental Heiress' by Cj Fosdick

“The Accidental Heiress” is the third book in the Accidental Series. This book contains enough background to be read without reading the first two books, but for a deeper storyline, the first two are also great reads. The series follows Jessica Brewster through time as she learns about her family’s past secrets and finds love along the way. This fictional book is packed with historical facts and details that take the reader on an enticing journey.

"The Accidental Heiress" by Cj Fosdick. (Contributed image)
"The Accidental Heiress" by Cj Fosdick. (Contributed image)

The first two books, set in Laramie, Wyo., bring the past to life for the reader, and the third book, set in Ireland, takes the reader to a whole other world.

Reminiscent of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, this series pulls the reader in with both hands and stands on its own merit. It is a fun read.

Cj Fosdick was born and raised in Milwaukee but has lived in Rochester for decades. She has worked for newspapers and as a freelance writer and continues to work on her fiction writing. She has written four books and contributed to two more.

Cj Fosdick. (Contributed photo)
Cj Fosdick. (Contributed photo)

“The Accidental Heiress” is available online from Amazon. “The Accidental Wife” is available from Amazon and at the Rochester Public Library.

'Begin with a Bee' by Liza Ketchum, Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Phyllis Root, illustrated by Claudia McGehee

This children’s book follows the queen rusty-patched bumblebee as she wakes up from hibernation and begins her work of starting a whole new colony. This bee species was the first to be placed on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species list. This magical story is engaging and informative, and includes ways for children to help preserve this special species and help all bees live their best lives.

"Begin with a Bee" by Liza Ketchum, Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Phyllis Root, illustrated by Claudia McGehee. (Contributed image)
"Begin with a Bee" by Liza Ketchum, Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Phyllis Root, illustrated by Claudia McGehee. (Contributed image)

The illustrations by McGehee done in scratchboard and watercolor are something to behold. Their thick black lines and soft, yet expressive colors make each page dance. The rich, earthy tones are very evocative of nature and the bees.

My daughters gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars (average). My eldest daughter loved this book!

Ketchum is the author of 17 books for youth, and a founding faculty member of Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults Program.

Briggs Martin is the author of 21 picture books for children and a recipient of the Caldecott Medal.

Root has written more than 50 books for children and won the Riverby award twice among many other awards.

McGehee is the author/illustrator of eight picture books and has received many awards, including the Iowa Author Award.

“Begin with a Bee” is available for preorder online from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Minnesota University Press (upress.mn.edu).