What to know what new books the library has in the Young Adult Area? Listen to the new monthly Bookcast, where teen librarian Terry will talk about what's new.
Titles discussed this month:
Bliss by Lauren Myracle Neptune's Children by Bonnie Dobkin Cycler by Lauren McLaughlin Bonechiller by Graham McNamee The Devouring by Simon Holt Dead is a State of Mind & Dead is the New Black by Marlene Perez Torn to Pieces by Margot McDonnell Nothing by Robin Friedman The Summoning by Kelly Armstrong The Fetch by Laura Whitcomb The Devil's Breath by David Gilman Can You Spell Revolution by Matt Beam Skinned by Robin Wasserman Nathan Fox: Dangerous Times by L. Brittney
New Manga/Graphic Novels:
Fairy Tale Vol. 3 by Hiro Mashima Boys Over Flowers Vol. 1-2 by Hana Yori Dango The Record of a Fallen Vampire Vol 1-3 by Kyo Shirodaira Oh My Goddess Vol. 31 by Kosuke Fujishima Bone Volume 9 by Jeff Smith World of Warcraft Book 1 by Walter Simonson
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith is the story of Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's first (and only) female private eye. Her cases are the usual blend of missing people, cheating husbands and small crimes, but her observations about life, Africa and people in general are a delight. You'll cheer her on as she gossips her way to solutions, as she falls just a little bit in love with her mechanic, and in the process you'll learn a great deal about the people and culture of Botswana. The best part is that this is the first book in series, so if you didn't get enough the first time, you can get a second helping.
Here is the novel Russo was born to write. Coursing with humor and humanity, the sixth novel by the bard of Main Street U.S.A. gives full expression to the themes that have always been at the heart of his work: the all-important bond between fathers and sons, the economic desperation of small-town businesses, and the lifelong feuds and friendships that are a hallmark of small-town life. Following a trio of best friends who grew up in upstate Thomaston, New York, over 50 years, the novel captures some of the essential mysteries of life, including the unanticipated moments of childhood that will forever define one’s adulthood. Louis Charles (“Lucy”) Lynch has spent his entire life in Thomaston, married for 40 years to his wife, Sarah, and finally living in the rich section of town, thanks to the success of his father’s convenience stores. Long planning a trip to Venice, he tries in vain to communicate with the couple’s best friend, Bobby Marconi, now a world-famous painter living in Venice. Meanwhile, the irascible ex-pat, now approaching 60 and suffering from night terrors, is still chasing women, engaging in fistfights, and struggling to complete his latest painting. Russo slowly and lovingly pieces together rich, multilayered portraits not only of the principals but also of their families, and, by extension, their quintessentially American town. It is a seamless interweaving of childhood memories (sometimes told from three points of view), tragic incidents (the town river, once the lifeblood of local industry, has become a toxic stew that is poisoning residents), and unforgettable dialogue that is so natural, funny, and touching that it may, perhaps, be the best of Russo’s many gifts.
Jan Zabinski, the innovative director of the Warsaw Zoo, and Antonina, his empathic wife, lived joyfully on the zoo grounds during the 1930s with their young son, Ryszard (Polish for lynx), and a menagerie of animals needing special attention. The zoo was badly damaged by the Nazi blitzkrieg, and their bit of paradise would have been utterly destroyed but for the director of the Berlin Zoo, Lutz Heck, who wanted Jan’s help in resurrecting extinct “pure-blooded species” in pursuit of Aryan perfection in the animal kingdom. Resourceful and courageous, the Zabinskis turned the decimated zoo into a refuge and saved the lives of several hundred imperiled Jews. Ackerman has written many stellar works, including A Natural History of the Senses (1990) and An Alchemy of Mind (2004), but this is the book she was born to write. Sharing the Zabinskis’ knowledge of and reverence for the natural world and drawing on her poet’s gift for dazzling metaphor, she captures with breathtaking precision and discernment our kinship with animals, the barbarity of war, Antonina’s unbounded kindness and keen delight in “life’s sensory bazaar,” Jan’s daring work with the Polish Underground, and the audacity of the Zabinskis’ mission of mercy. An exemplary work of scholarship and an “ecstasy of imagining,” Ackerman’s affecting telling of the heroic Zabinskis’ dramatic story illuminates the profound connection between humankind and nature, and celebrates life’s beauty, mystery, and tenacity. — Donna Seaman
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Victor Davis Hanson locates the cause of our immigration quagmire in the opportunistic coalition that stymies immigration reform and, even worse, stifles any honest discussion of the present crisis. Conservative corporations, contractors and agribusiness demand cheap wage labor from Mexico , whatever the social consequences. Hanson follows the fortunes of Hispanic friends he has known all his life -- how they have succeeded in America and how they regard the immigration quandary.
Next month's selection: September 5: Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
October 3: Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick
November 7: Children's Blizzard by David Laskin
December 5: Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
For more information call 793-8888 and ask for Chris.
Dragonsdale. Drake, Salamanda (author). Illustrated by Gilly Marklew. May 2007. 288p. Scholastic/Chicken House, hardcover, $16.99 (0-439-87173-5). Grades 3-6. REVIEW. First published June 1, 2007 (Booklist).
Illustrated chapter books that don’t belong to cookie-cutter paperback series are increasingly rare; the same goes for light, straightforward fantasies for early middle-grade readers. This title, the first in a hardcover series by an author who claims to be a 16-year-old resident of its made-up world, fills both needs with unusual flair. Set in a land where dragons and their (mostly female) riders train to compete in equestrian-style tournaments, this will delight precisely the audience it’s meant to—young girls who find tame dragons captivating. The story centers on Caroline, who lives and works among dragons but is forbidden to ride. Smoothly folded-in elements include the intense bond she forms with a particularly obstinate, spirited dragon, and the mean-girl machinations of a snotty rival. A literary achievement? Of course not. But the intense emotions of flight and competition are well realized, and details of hoof and stable have been cleverly adapted to the fantasy context, from mucking out fireproof stalls to flying an airborne obstacle course. It’s also worth noting that these dragons don’t speak to their riders, who must rely on subtler cues, which sidesteps the overly convenient interspecies communication found in so many fantasies. Finished off with a die-cut cover and Marklew’s appealing pencil drawings, this one will soar right off the shelves and send readers wheeling around for more.
“The Deadly Embrace” is the winner of the W. Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction for 2007
W.Y. Boyd Literary Award recipient named
CHICAGO –Robert Mrazek’s novel “The Deadly Embrace” is the winner of the W. Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction for 2007.
The W.Y. Boyd Literary Novel Award honors the best fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. The $5,000 award and citation, donated by author W.Y. Boyd, recognizes the service of American veterans and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction.
“Robert Mrazek has written an excellent work on a critical period in the Second World War,” said jury chair Robert Schnare. “It is a very compelling tale that enables the reader to obtain a perspective of what it was really like in war-weary England in the days before the Allied invasion of France on June 6, 1944.”
The intrigue, the tension, and the secrecy surrounding those critical days before the invasion are chronicled through the eyes of American officers, Lieutenant Elizabeth “Liza” Marantz and Major Sam Taggaret. They must uncover who is killing women who may know the date of the invasion. We follow these two individuals as they battle the British and American chains of command in their effort to uncover the identity of the individual to compromise the invasion.
The author uses his narrative to keep the reader in suspense as Lieutenant Marantz and Major Taggaret race frantically to discover who is behind this conspiracy. This, according to Schnare, helped depict the stakes that were at risk in keeping the vital secret of the invasion from the Germans in order to save thousands of Allied lives and not alter the course of the war.
Members of the 2007 W.Y. Boyd Literary Novel Award Jury are: Chair, Robert Schnare, Naval War College, Newport, R.I.; Lawrence Clemens, United States Naval Academy, Nimitz Library, Annapolis, Md.; Nancy Davenport, Consultant, Washington, DC; Maxine Reneker, Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library, Monterey, Calif.; James Schenkel, Library of Congress, Washington, DC; and Ronald Steensland, Panama City, Fla.
The W.Y. Boyd Literary Award will be presented on Tuesday, June 26, 2007 during the American Library Association Annual Conference in Washington, DC.
Featured review: Reference Shearer, Benjamin F., editor. Home Front Heroes: A Biographical Dictionary of Americans during Wartime. Jan. 2007. 3 vols., 935p. Greenwood (978-0-313-33420-7). Here is a unique A–Z biographical dictionary that profiles 1,001 individuals whose actions “affected how the United States made, supported, perceived, and protested its major war efforts from the Revolution to Gulf War II.” The editor is a librarian who has written and edited several reference works, and the 65 contributors are experts in history and other relevant areas. Numerous black-and-white portraits enhance the biographical sketches, which highlight the subjects’ wartime contributions (although some oddly allude to multiple marriages and offspring when those details seem irrelevant)....