Category Archives: Library News

NEW ARRIVALS – JUNE 2016

ADULT FICTION

“The Book of Strange New Things” by Michel Faber – “…It is a portrait of a living, breathing relationship, frayed by distance. It is an enquiry into the mountains faith can move and the mountains faith can’t move. It is maniacally gripping. It is vibrant with wit and overcast with prescience and social commentary. Like all superlative science fiction, its real subject is that most mystifying of alien species, humanity. I didn’t so much read The Book of Strange New Things as inhabit it, the way you inhabited that handful of books which, as a kid, first got you hooked on this wonderful drug known as reading.” —David Mitchell

“The Bricks that Built the Houses” by Kate Tempest – “”[The Bricks that Built the Houses] marks the arrival of a significant new voice . . . deeply affecting: cinematic in scope; touching in its emphatic humanity . . . Tempest’s voice–by turns raging and tender–never falters. By the time the novel reaches its cleareyed climax, cleverly undercutting its own promised happy ending, the reader is left with the impression of a work that hums with human life.” ―New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice

“Brighton” by Michael Harvey – “Harvey has taken the elements of a classic crime novel and heightened them with race and class tensions, as well as the story of a remarkable friendship and an unforgettable family drama. The result is a novel that crackles with energy and makes you hold on until the final page.” —  (Ivy Pochoda, author of Visitation Street)

“The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper” by Phaedra Patrick – “A year after the death of his wife, Miriam, Arthur Pepper discovers a charm bracelet she’d hidden away, and the charms point to parts of her life he’d never known during their 40 years of marriage. Arthur sets out on a quest to uncover the provenance of the charms. From a family home in India to a tumbledown English manor to an author’s home in London to a Parisian wedding-dress shop, Arthur is surprised and rattled by the places, people, and experiences he discovers shaped Miriam’s life before their simple, content existence in York. With the help of his adult children and a meddlesome neighbor, Bernadette, Arthur realizes that what their life lacked in adventure was made up for in abiding love. Patrick’s debut novel tells a sweet and poignant story about marriage, grief, and memory. Readers will find bumbling, earnest Arthur utterly endearing.” — Walker, Aleksandra. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2016.

“Dear Fang, With Love” by Rufi Thorpe – Lucas has only recently been involved with his 17-year-old daughter, Vera, and the past year has been a doozy. Newly diagnosed with a severe mental illness after a psychotic break, Vera is now heavily medicated and deeply depressed. Hoping to snap her out of the funk, Lucas takes her on a guided tour of his ancestral town in Lithuania. There, while touring the town’s Russian, Polish, and Jewish sites, he hopes to forge a stronger relationship with Vera while chasing down more information about his family’s mysterious past. But while the truth seems elusive, being father and friend to a scared teenager proves harder than he imagined, and Vera has her own questions about his role in her life. Lucas’ point of view is an honest account of parenting a teen with mental illness, while e-mails and messages give voice to Vera’s perspective. Thorpe… sets this tale of parental guilt and teenage angst against the town’s WWII past, adding true-life authenticity to an already stirring story.” — Ophoff, Cortney. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

“The Distant Marvels” by Chantel Acevedo – “…a significant contribution to contemporary literature. The elderly Maria Sirena has lived through and, as a young girl, participated in the Cuban war for independence; now, in 1963, at the dawn of Castro’s new Cuba, with Hurricane Flora on the way, she is evacuated with other women to a historic mansion being used as a shelter. A former cigar-factory lector (a reader-out-loud of fiction into which she surreptitiously weaves her own stories), Maria Sirena entertains her fellow refugees with personal and richly imagined stories that will remind delighted readers of everything from Chaucer to Garcia Marquez. Her life story and that of her mother, including their time spent with the insurgents and in a reconcentrado during the 1890s, becomes a stunning confession. This extraordinary narrative tells, from these women’s perspectives, how war brings lovers together and tears families apart. This is a major, uniquely powerful, and startlingly beautiful novel that should bring Acevedo’s name to the top echelon of this generation’s writers.” — Levine, Mark.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“Fatal Thunder” by Larry Bond – “Guaranteed to scare the hell out of you . . . Loose nukes are on the march, and you won’t be able to put Fatal Thunder down till the last page.” —W. E. B. Griffin, New York Times bestselling author of Top Secret

“Heart Like Mine” by Maggie McGinnis – “”Joshua and Delaney’s hot and emotionally charged romance will delight readers.” — Publishers Weekly

“Heat and Light” by Jennifer Haigh – “…a stunning book, a grand book, a book of old-fashioned power and scale…it takes aim at power and greed, plunder and the profit motive, the rapacity inherent in the American Dream and the complicity of its victims..This is an unsparing book, and one that sings.” (Joshua Ferris, author of THEN WE CAME TO THE END)

“Ice Chest” by J.D. Rhoades – “A whip-smart and really funny crime novel. The dialogue is snappy and entirely believable. There are twists and turns galore and enough heroes to populate a war movie. If you only read one crime novel this year, make it this one. You will be entirely entertained.”—Manhattan Book Review

“The Last Painting of Sara de Vos” by Dominic Smith – “… Smith crafts a novel about three individuals connected over centuries by a single painting. In 1631, Sara de Vos is the first woman to be admitted as a master painter to the Guild of St. Luke’s in Holland. Now, her only surviving painting belongs to a wealthy descendant of the original owner, though it was forged by celebrated art historian Ellie Shipley in her desperate youth, when she needed to pay the rent. That’s a problem, because she’s currently curated a show on Dutch women painters.” — Barbara Hoffert. LJ Prepub Alert Online Review. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2015.

“Like Never Before” by Melissa Tagg – “Amelia has sought redemption in Maple Valley for the past three years, after a difficult divorce left her reeling. The arrival of Logan Walker and his sweet daughter, Charlie, starts to mend her broken heart as they pursue the mysterious story of Kendall Wilkins, the town’s oldest citizen, who died and left behind a secret. Amelia and Logan’s love forms quickly in the short time they are together, brought together by small-town charm and their knowledge that people matter more in life than fame. Tagg (From the Start) fashions another endearing, pithy story of finding love at the perfect time.” — Publishers Weekly

“Lily and the Octopus” by Steven Rowley – ““A quirky and deeply affecting charmer of a novel, Lily and the Octopus is funny, wise, and utterly original in its exploration of what it means to love any mortal creature. This brave little dachshund will capture your heart, as will her prickly, tenderhearted, and irresistible owner. Don’t miss their adventures together.” —Sara Gruen, bestselling author of Water for Elephants 

“Missile Paradise” by Ron Tanner – “…set in the Marshall Islands, this poisoned island paradise besieged by poverty, disease, and rising sea levels precipitated by global warming, each irresistibly self-embattled character makes grievous mistakes, suffers from regret, and plunges into disaster. Tanner (From Animal House to Our House, 2012), who lived in the Marshall Islands and launched the Marshall Islands Story Project, brings this microcosm of human folly and valor to captivating realization with bracing insights, tangy humor, profound respect, and rebounding resonance.” Seaman, Donna.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2016.

“People Who Knew Me” by Kim Hooper – “Hooper’s debut novel poses the evocative question, have you ever thought about what it would be like to start your life over? Emily Morris answers that question in the most extreme way possible. On 9/11, while the U.S. is experiencing its first wave of mass terror as the World Trade Towers collapse, Emily, who would have died if she had gone to work that day, makes the rash decision to let her family assume that she was killed so that she can disappear from her life for good. However, as she learns, such a selfish, desperate act rarely leaves the actor truly free, especially when there is a child involved. Readers will ponder Emily’s difficult situation and often disturbing choices as they are glued to this compulsively readable tale. Hooper does not shy away from human nature’s less attractive qualities but rather engages with them head on, asking ever more demanding questions: what must one sacrifice in a marriage? What does it take to care for someone who is chronically ill? What does it mean to love yourself?” –. Spanner, Alison D. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2016

“Solemn” by Kalisha Buckhanon – “Focusing) on the coming of age of Solemn Redvine, as well as life in the small town of Bledsoe, Miss. Solemn’s life changes when a baby who could be her half-sibling is born to her neighbor Pearletta Hassle, and she sees Pearletta’s husband throw the baby into a well. The plot becomes more complicated when Pearletta disappears and Earl Redvine, Solemn’s father, commits a robbery, landing Solemn in a group home. Solemn’s relatives, including older brother Landon and sister-in-law Akila, attempt to support her and look to the future, but her uneasy alliance with her roommate, a Chicago girl named Majority, makes the situation even more tense. Eventually, Majority and Solemn are forced to make a decision together about which directions to take in their respective lives. Buckhanon memorably depicts the difficulty of Solemn’s situation, but as she attempts to move forward, Buckhanon also gives readers glimpses of hope. This standout novel is anchored by its vulnerable and brave heroine.” —  Al Zuckerman, Writers House. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2016.

“Some Possible Solutions: Stories” by Helen Phillips – “Helen Phillips sings like a Siren on the page (if a Siren also had a killer sense of humor). The short stories in Some Possible Solutions feature doppelgangers and sister-savants, impossible staircases and surreal city parks; they swing open like doors onto rich, strange worlds, which, on closer inspection, reveal themselves to be our own…These tales are true originals, shining their eerie, lovely lights on the water and asking questions that linger.” ―Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!

ADULT MYSTERY

“After the Fire” by Jane Casey – “A fatal fire rages through the rundown Murchison House, part of north London’s Maudling Estate, in Casey’s thrilling sixth mystery featuring feisty, determined Det. Constable Maeve Kerrigan…. Surprisingly, among the dead is the “far-right, immigrant-hating, welfare-criticizing MP” Geoff Armstrong, who either jumped or was pushed from the 10th floor and who seemingly would have no cause to be in such a disreputable place. Uncertain whether the fire is arson, Maeve and her colleagues, including her rough-edged former partner, Det. Insp. Josh Derwent, painstakingly wade through the evidence, witness statements, and profiles of the estate’s down-and-out residents. Maeve and her team succeed in identifying a number of suspects capable of criminal acts. Meanwhile, Maeve is battling health problems resulting from job stress and avoiding a rapist who has been following her for years. Well-drawn characters and engaging subplots compliment the intricate main investigation. Casey keeps the suspense high throughout.” — Ariella Feiner, United Agents PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2016.

“Beijing Red” by Alex Ryan – “This earnest, workmanlike series debut.. introduces Nick Foley, a former Navy SEAL now working with a nongovernmental organization. Foley is leading an irrigation project in western China when a worker collapses with symptoms that look like Ebola. At a local hospital, the victim and Foley are treated as if they were living biohazards, and the government rushes Chen Dazhong, a representative of the Chinese version of the CDC, to the scene from Beijing. The situation could be bioterrorism, but Chen’s investigation is covered up by Commander Zhang of the Snow Leopard unit of China’s counterterrorism team. Foley and Chen, predictably, can’t let go of the matter, which spirals outward to involve a Russian spy, an American spy, and an evil genius who wouldn’t be out of place in a James Bond movie.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2016.

“Extreme Prey” by John Sandford – A Hillary Clinton-like presidential candidate is slated for death… Lucas has quit the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, but the state’s governor, Elmer Henderson, needs his help. Henderson is running for president in the primaries against Michaela Bowden, who’s seeking to be the first woman to hold that office. Henderson expects her to win and hopes that she will name him as her running mate. However, he fears that she may be assassinated after two people separately approach him and advise him to “be ready for the nomination” in case something were to happen to Michaela. With little more than a bad photograph of one of the two to go on, Lucas must identify the plotters before it’s too late. Sandford reveals the plans of the would-be assassins, Marlys Purdy and her son, Cole, from the opening chapter, and the plot follows a familiar path toward the dramatic resolution that suggests a new direction for the long-running series. Readers who are looking for yet another assassination thriller that paints within the lines will be satisfied..” — Esther Newberg,  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2016.

“Fool Me Once” by Harlan Coben – ““Harlan Coben, master of the suburban thriller, has written another compelling and twist-filled tale with ‘Fool Me Once.’…The unpredictability of the story will keep readers literally turning the pages to try and figure out what is really going on. Even those savvy enough to figure out some of the ending will not uncover everything, and the whopper of a payoff not only will have jaws dropping, but also demonstrates Coben’s skill as a writer.” —Associated Press on Fool Me Once

“The Forgotten Room” by Karen White, Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig – “Even with three authors, the story is seamless, and the transitions between narrators are smooth. Focusing on both a family and a single location throughout time makes for a compelling and emotionally worthwhile novel.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Honky Tonk Samurai” by Joe R. Lansdale – “Listening to a Joe R. Lansdale’s East Texas detective yarn in the Hap Collins-and-Leonard Pine series is like hanging out with a skilled barroom raconteur. Lansdale’s language dances with colorful and regular profanity as he performs a shotgun wedding between wild and ridiculous, tying it together with enough cartoonish violence and abundant wit to send you reaching for your wallet to buy the next round. . . . Altogether it’s wild, funny, utterly improbable and thoroughly satisfying entertainment.”―Jenni Laidman, Chicago Tribune

“June: A Novel” by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore – “Love between a small-town girl and one of Hollywood’s leading men leads to murder, blackmail, and secrets. Beverly-Whittemore returns with another charming page-turner, this time marrying old Hollywood elegance to Midwestern practicality… A lightly gothic tale of hearts broken and mended in small-town America.” – Kirkus

“The Last Mile” by David Baldacci – “Amos Decker, the former pro football player, then cop, then private eye introduced in Memory Man (2015), is now working for the FBI, using his special gift–he has hyperthymesia, giving him essentially a perfect memory–to bring criminals to justice. Amos is especially curious about Melvin Mars, convicted of the murders of his own parents two decades ago and who now might be set free because someone else has suddenly confessed to the killings. But is the confession legit? Is Mars a wrongly convicted man, or a murderer whom someone, for some reason, wants back on the streets? The story might be a bit more convoluted than it needs to be, but the characters are solid, and Decker moves from an interesting one-off protagonist to an engaging and multilayered series lead.” — Pitt, David. Booklist Online. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2016.

“Murder Comes by Mail” by A. H. Gabhart – “As the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished, as Deputy Michael Keane learns when he saves a man from jumping off a bridge. The man tells Keane he will wish he’d pushed him, which proves to be correct when Keane learns that he has saved the life of a serial killer, who has now escaped from the hospital. Even though the killer’s first murder after his escape is out of Keane’s jurisdiction, the deputy wants to assist the detective in charge, who makes it clear he doesn’t want Keane’s help. Keane investigates anyway, and soon the killer seems fixated on Keane, taunting him, then beginning to threaten the women closest to Keane, including high-powered Washington, D.C., attorney Alex. Deeply rooted in Hidden Springs, Kentucky, Keane is a decent, hardworking deputy who hopes he can persuade the ambitious Alex to join him in his charming village, far from the Beltway. Well-drawn, sometimes-quirky characters and the charming frame of small-town America add to this page-turning mystery chock-full of plot twists.” — O’Brien, Sue. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2016

BIOGRAPHY

“The Only Street in Paris” by Elaine Sciolino – “”Countless authors have used a city as their muse… In The Only Street in Paris, Elaine Sciolino explores the rue des Martyrs, a quiet street that cuts through the French capital’s ninth arrondissement… Vivid… a blend of memoir and research, as Sciolino mixes her personal memories of expat life with the stories of artists and luminaries who walked the rue des Martyrs before her.” – (The New Republic)

ADULT NON-FICTION

“Alter Egos : Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and the Twilight Struggle Over American Power” byY Mark Landler – “A superb journalist has brought us a vivid, page-turning, and revelatory account of the relationship between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as well as of their statecraft. Alter Egos will make a signal contribution to the national debate over who should be the next American president.”—Michael Beschloss, bestselling author of Presidential Courage

“Galvanized: New and Selected Poems” by Leland Kinsey – “All of Leland Kinsey’s poetry is closely connected to the natural world, with its expert (and highly entertaining) use of history, stories, characters – many from Leland Kinsey’s own family and ancestors – and images from nature, rural work and avocations, and the traditions of a very harsh but authentic, off-the-beaten track Vermont.” ―Howard Frank Mosher, author of Stranger in the Kingdom

“The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt’s New World” by Andrea Wulf – “Alexander von Humboldt may have been the preeminent scientist of his era, second in fame only to Napoleon, but outside his native Germany his reputation has faded. Wulf does much to revive our appreciation of this ecological visionary through her lively, impressively researched account of his travels and exploits, reminding us of the lasting influence of his primary insight: that the Earth is a single, interconnected organism, one that can be catastrophically damaged by our own destructive actions.” —The New York Times Book Review,

“Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination that Changed America” by Wil Haygood – “If the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the civil rights movement’s brightest star, Thurgood Marshall was its unsung hero. But to his contemporaries—admirers, allies and enemies alike—Marshall’s string of legal victories, highlighted by Brown vs. Board of Education, placed him at the epicenter of this crusade for justice. . . . Showdown’ is not a standard biography. . . . Instead, Haygood, who has written biographies of Sugar Ray Robinson and Sammy Davis, Jr., frames the book through this confirmation fight. And what a fight it was. . . . A richly textured account that brings to life the political and cultural stakes involved.”
Los Angeles Times

ADULT AUDIO BOOK

MUSIC

BLUE/DVD

“And Then There Were None”
“The Brokenwood Mysteries: Series 1”
“Bridge of Spies”
“Eleventh Hour”
“The Good Dinosaur”
“The Hunger Games” Mockingjay Part 2″
“The Last Unicorn”
“The Revenant”
“Spotlight”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
“The Wiz Live!”
“Zootopia”

BOARD BOOK

“Maisy’s First Numbers” by Lucy Cousins
“You Are My Sunshine” by Jimmie Davis

PICTURE BOOK

“Amelia Bedelia Helps Out” by Peggy Parish
“The Bell in the Bridge”
by Ted Kooser
“Circle”
by Jeannie Baker
“The Cow Who Climbed a Tree”
by Gemma Merino
“Douglas, You Need Glasses”
by Ged Adamson
“Explorers of the Wild”
by Cale Atkinson
“Fred”
by Kaila Eunhye Seo
“A Goofy Guide to Penguins” by Jean-Luc Coudray & Philippe Coudray
“Hensel and Gretel Ninja Chicks” by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca J. Gomez
“How to Babysit a Grandma” by Jean Reagan
“I’m Trying to Love Spiders” by Bethany Barton
“The Lion Inside” by Rachel Bright & Jim Field
“A Morning with Grandpa” by Sylvia Liu
“My Baby Crocodile” by Gaetan Doremus
“Nobody Likes a Goblin” by Ben Hatke
“Over on a Mountain: Somewhere in the World” by Marianne Berkes
“A Piece of Home” by Jeri Watts
“Ragweed’s Farm Dog Handbook” by Anne Vittur Kennedy
“Suite for Human Nature” by Diane Charlotte Lampert
“Woodpecker Wants a Waffle” by Steve Breen
“The Zoomers’ Handbook” by Ana & Thiago de Moraes

JUVENILE AUDIO BOOK

“The War That Saved My Life” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

JUVENILE BIOGRAPHY

“Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine” by Laurie Wallmark – “”This enchanting book brings to vibrant life the biography of Ada Lovelace, a girl who loved numbers and dreamed up the world’s first computer program before computers existed. By rescuing Ada’s story from the overbearing shadow of her famous father, poet Lord Byron, Laurie Wallmark and April Chu provide a valuable role model for all young women destined to pursue careers in math and science.” — Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

JUVENILE FICTION

“The Blackthorn Key” by Kevin Sands – “An auspicious debut middle grade novel . . . The story is well paced, managing not only to keep readers hooked, but also second guessing everything they think they know. Sands integrates a series of fun and interesting riddles and codes with chemistry concepts—no easy feat. The ending is dynamic and rewarding, with just the right blend of the fantastical and realistic. One of the true triumphs is the author’s ability to create a character who feels accurate for the time period, while also displaying a modern sensibility that will keep readers engaged . . ” (School Library Journal STARRED REVIEW)

“The Case of the Girl in Grey: The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency, No. 2) by Jordan Stratford and Kelly Murphy – “This history-mystery series continues with another fine display of brains and bravery from the Wollstonecraft GirlsAda Bryon Lovelace and Mary Shelley. Inspired fun for middle grade readers and fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society and Lemony Snicket! The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency was supposed to be a secret constabulary, but after the success of their first case, all of London knows that Lady Ada and Mary are the girls to go to if you have a problem. Their new case is a puzzle indeed. It involves a horrible hospital, a missing will, a hasty engagement, and a suspiciously slippery servant. But Marys stumbled onto a mystery of her own. She spotted a ghostly girl in a grey gown dashing through the park. A girl who is the spitting image of their new client. The two cases must be linked . . . or else theres a perfectly supernatural explanation.” — Onix annotations

“Demigods & Magicians” by Rick Riordan – “Magic, monsters, and mayhem abound when Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase meet Carter and Sadie Kane for the first time. Weird creatures are appearing in unexpected places, and the demigods and magicians have to team up to take them down. As they battle with Celestial Bronze and glowing hieroglyphs, the four heroes find that they have a lot in common–and more power than they ever thought possible. But will their combined forces be enough to foil an ancient enemy who is mixing Greek and Egyptian incantations for an evil purpose? Rick Riordan wields his usual storytelling magic in this adrenaline-fueled adventure.” — back cover

“Full Cicada Moon” by Marilyn Hilton – “Half-Japanese, half-black, Mimi Yoshiko Oliver loves looking at the moon and wants to be an astronaut. In January 1969, she moves from California to the frosty Vermont town of Hillsborough, an unwelcoming place. The farmer next door is always rude, and Mimi is teased at school. Even after she forms a tentative friendship with a girl named Stacey, she’s not invited to Stacey’s home. Then there’s the matter of shop class. Mimi would rather take shop than home ec so she can use power tools to work on her science project, but girls are supposed to “learn how to cook and sew so they can be good homemakers.” Slowly, Mimi and her family discover small moments of harmony, like finding the first crocuses in the snow. When Mimi and Stacey decide to challenge the exclusion of girls from shop classes, their courage inspires the entire eighth grade to an act of civil disobedience. Told in evocative free verse, Full Cicada Moon is a lyrical portrait of a strong family at a time of immense change, perfect for that budding scientist who loves to look at the stars.” — Deborah Hopkinson, BOOKPAGE, c2015.

“The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell” by Chris Colfer – “It’s been a hard year for twins Alex and Connor since their father passed. They miss his stories, especially the fairy tales he used to teach them about life, as well as soothe their fears. They know better now: life rarely has a happy ending. But then a magic book from their grandmother, a gift on their twelfth birthdays, sends the twins hurtling into the Land of Stories, where happy endings are usually expected. Their biggest concern is gathering the materials needed for the Wishing Spell, which will send them back home. So begins a scavenger hunt for some of the most recognizable symbols and characters in fantasy lore: Cinderella’s glass slippers, a lock of hair from Rapunzel, tree bark from Little Red Riding Hood’s basket, etc. Golden Globe–winner Colfer writes for an audience that will likely include plenty of teen readers (i.e., fans of Glee), and generally they will not be disappointed by the giddy earnestness of the writing, cut with a hint of melancholy.” –  Jones, Courtney. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2012.

“The Lord of the Rings 50th Anniversary Edition” by J.R.R. Tolkien – “This is a single-volume edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, in which the hobbit Frodo and his elfish friends get swept up in a mighty conflict with the dark lord Sauron (who owes much to proud Satan in Paradise Lost), the monstrous Gollum, the Cracks of Doom, and the awful power of the magical Ring. The book’s characters–good and evil–are recognizably human, and the realism is deepened by the magnificent detail of the vast parallel world Tolkien devised, inspired partly by his influential Anglo-Saxon scholarship and his Christian beliefs. (He disapproved of the relative sparseness of detail in the comparable allegorical fantasy his friend C.S. Lewis dreamed up in the Chronicles of Narnia, though he knew Lewis had spun a page-turning yarn.) It has been estimated that one-tenth of all paperbacks sold can trace their ancestry to J.R.R. Tolkien. But even if we had never gotten Robert Jordan’s The Path of Daggers and the whole fantasy genre Tolkien inadvertently created by bringing the hobbits so richly to life, Tolkien’s epic about the Ring would have left our world enhanced by enchantment.” —Tim Appelo, Amazon.com

“A Night Divided” by Jennifer A. Nielsen – “The sudden construction of the Berlin Wall stranded her father and middle brother in West Berlin, while Gerta, her mother, and her older brother Fritz were stuck in Communist East Berlin. When life gets unbearable, Gerta, now twelve, and Fritz try to tunnel their way to the West. Rich with period detail and tense, nail-biting action, Nielsen’s historical thriller holds wide appeal.” — THE HORN BOOK, c2016.

“The Seventh Most Important Thing” by Shelley Pearsall – “After hurling a brick at the “Junk Man,” thirteen-year-old Arthur is sentenced to community service helping the local trash-picker rummage for items for his artistic masterpiece. The punishment not only helps the dying artist, but also helps Arthur cope with his father’s death. Set in 1963, Pearsall’s semi-biographical story of little-known folk artist James Hampton delicately addresses redemption through art, friendship, and understanding.” — THE HORN BOOK, c2016.

“Stella by Starlight” by Sharon M. Draper – “…Draper draws inspiration from her grandmother’s journal to tell the absorbing story of a young girl growing up in Depression-era, segregated North Carolina. One frightening night Stella and her brother Jojo witness a meeting of the Ku Klux Klan, practically in their own backyard. This meeting is the signal of trouble to come to the black community of Bumblebee. The townspeople must come together to find strength and protection to face the injustices all around them. This is an engrossing historical fiction novel with an amiable and humble heroine who does not recognize her own bravery or the power of her words. She provides inspiration not only to her fellow characters but also to readers who will relate to her and her situation. Storytelling at its finest.” —Tiffany Davis, Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, NY

“The Thing About Jellyfish” by Ali Benjamin – “Benjamin’s sense of timing and delivery is extraordinary, as she blends the visceral experiences of Suzy’s journey with an internal dialogue that is authentic and poignant….readers…will fully immerse themselves in this superbly written, heartfelt novel.”―School Library Journal, starred review

“Waiting for Unicorns” by Beth Hautala – “After her mother dies of cancer, twelve-year-old Talia accompanies her whale-researcher father to Canada. As she grapples with the “Mom-sized space” separating her and her father, Talia finds comfort in her jar of wishes, a narwhal (“sea unicorn”) folktale, and new friendships. It’s a touching novel, with a strong sense of place and well-developed themes of loss and grief, hope and healing.” — THE HORN BOOK, c2015.

JUVENILE NON-FICTION

“Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay” by Susan Hood – “Cateura, a town built on a landfill in Paraguay, one of the poorest areas of South America, is where Ada Rios lives. Most people in the town spend their days searching through the landfill for things that can be sold, and Ada is no different, until the day a man named Favio Chavez offers to start teaching music classes to the children of the neighborhood. There aren’t enough instruments to go around, so he improvises, building drums and violins out of objects he finds in the landfill. Ada chooses a violin, and the hodgepodge group of kids slowly becomes an orchestra, eventually gaining confidence and fame, touring around the world. The mixed-media collages are a particular effective medium for this true story, layering images of Ada and the orchestra over the landfill. The nuances of the subject may strike a stronger chord with adults rather than children, but the interesting visuals and the underlying message of hope and perseverance should help this find an audience.” — Reagan, Maggie. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2016.

“Awkward” by Svetlana Chmakova – “Flawed protagonist Peppi is fantastically imperfect in this middle school graphic novel. She is the new girl at Berrybrook Middle School and is having a hard time fitting in because of her struggles with social anxiety. The work opens with the young teen pushing away the first person who tries to help her, Jaime, and it only gets more awkward from there. A feud between Peppi’s after-school art club and Jaime’s science club springs up. Can the two groups stop fighting long enough to earn a spot in the school fair? Will Peppi overcome her social anxiety and apologize to Jaime? Will any of them feel comfortable enough in their own skins to have a good school year? The story is told with a clear, believable voice. Diversity is reflected in this average middle school setting, and there are characters from a variety of ethnicities and are differently abled. Chmakova is an adept storyteller and organically incorporates messages of kindness and understanding without being preachy. The placement of the text and images were carefully considered. The illustrations and lettering are playful, bright, and fun, in keeping with the tone of the work. Readers will connect with the relatable, complex characters.” —Julie Zimmerman, Brooklyn Public Library

“The Blobfish Book” by Jessica Olien – ““A misunderstood deep-sea dweller gets its moment in the sun in this tongue-in-cheek informational picture book…Olien pulls off the humor and the positive friendship message without a hitch, while also whetting the appetites of young readers to find out more about Earth’s most mysterious frontier.” (School Library Journal (starred review))

“The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club” by Phillip Hoose – “In April 1940, occupying German forces made Denmark a “protectorate” of the Third Reich. The Danish government accepted the occupation, but a small group of teen boys, angry at their nation’s cowardice, formed the secret Churchill Club to resist the Germans and conducted a six-month spree of sabotage and destruction. Incorporating lengthy first-person reminiscences of one of the group’s leaders, Knud Pedersen, Hoose describes how the club recruited members, exploited their youth and innocent looks to deceive their parents and the Germans, appropriated weapons, and carried out guerilla-style attacks from their bicycles.” —Mary Mueller, Rolla Public Schools, MO

“Dear Pope Francis: The Pope Answers Letters from Children Around the World” by Pope Francis – “A uniquely candid project that reveals the curiosities, dreams, and insecurities of contemporary children and offers comfort and advice from a Catholic perspective.” –Publishers Weekly

“Good Enough to Eat: A Kid’s Guide to Food and Nutrition” by Lizzy Rockwell – “This picture book about healthy eating begins at the beginning: food is necessary for one’s well-being and it tastes good, too. Six categories of nutrients are introduced: carbohydrates, protein, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals. Digestion is described, as is the Food Guide Pyramid. Five recipes are given at the end. The large, square format invites readers in, beginning with a bright watercolor scene of a hungry family: the dog is howling, the baby is crying in her high chair, the cranky boy is bringing in the bread, and the mother and father are doing what they can to get everyone fed. …There’s an amazing amount of information packed into this inviting, clear, and valuable book.” — Carolyn Jenks, First Parish Unitarian Church, Portland, ME

“Hare and Tortoise” by Alison Murray – “A delightful and witty retelling of the traditional Aesop fable. The story remains true to the original, while adding in wonderfully quirky descriptions of the main characters. In doing so, Murray makes the well-known animals that much more lovable. It is impossible not to smile at Tortoise’s catchphrase, “I may be slow, but watch me go,” as she trundles along at the bottom of the pages. An added bonus is the modeling of good sportsmanship by both characters, who go off to celebrate in the lettuce patch at the end of the tale. The illustrations are the perfect blend of full color and white space. Each character, though simply rendered, shows emotions and energy levels that really aid in telling the story. ” — Jasmine L. Precopio, Fox Chapel Area School District, Pittsburgh. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2016.

“Hilo, Book 2, Saving the Whole Wide World” by Judd Winick – “Hilo, a robot from another dimension, disappeared after saving Earth from destruction. His human friends DJ and Gina miss him and are thrilled when he suddenly returns, even though he’s accompanied by a giant explosion. But now portals are opening all over town, dropping killer robots and aliens from other realities, and DJ, Gina, and Hilo must stop these invaders before their friends and family are hurt. Book two of Hilo’s adventures amps up both the silliness and the action. Young readers will laugh at Hilo’s wacky jokes and Winick’s terrific comic timing while appreciating the bravery shown by not only DJ and Gina but also DJ’s little sister and Polly, a warrior cat from another dimension. In vibrant color, Winick’s art is cartoonish, especially when drawing aliens or robots, but also reflects a realistically multicultural world. There is a recap for new readers as well as a cliff-hanger ending that prepares readers for the next volume in this satisfying and fun series.” — Wildsmith, Snow. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2016.

“Lost City: The Discovery of Machu Picchu” by Ted Lewin – “In 1911, a Yale professor in search of a lost Inca city was led to the site of Machu Picchu by local Indians. In this lavishly illustrated picture book, Lewin traces Professor Bingham’s steps through the tangled mountain jungle to his exciting discovery. The language is graceful and uncomplicated, weaving in bits of background history along the way, and Lewin builds suspense at just the right pace: “They came to a grand stone staircase. Where could this lead? What else was here?” But it’s the artwork that will really attract attention. Full-page watercolor spreads of the stunning vistas and thick forests contrast with dark, intimate views of Bingham inside homes and walking along walled city streets, searching for leads. …An exciting, eye-catching story .”– Gillian Engberg

“Masters of Disguise: Amazing Animal Tricksters” by Rebecca L. Johnson – “Duped! Hoodwinked! Bamboozled! Animals have long developed fantastic traits and abilities, or disguises, to help them survive and navigate their environment. Johnson hooks readers with gripping descriptions, close-up photographs, and profiles of the various scientists dedicated to studying these animals. Each creature and scientist combo is given four pages–just enough to whet readers’ appetites. As Johnson includes more recent discoveries (Cyclosa, the “puppeteer spider,” was discovered only in 2012), readers will feel the rush of learning something before anyone else. Scientists working in both field and lab are presented in candid photographs. With an almost equal number of men and women scientists featured, this work makes it easy for today’s students to picture themselves in similar scientific shoes.” —  Jennifer Wolf, Beaverton City Library, OR. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2016.

“Nature’s Day: Discover the World of Wonder on Your Doorstep” by Kay Maguire and Danielle Kroll – “This attractive look at nature attempts a lot. The author covers eight settings… describing the changes that occur to each throughout four seasons. The result is 32 oversize spreads of painted birds, flowers, animals, and insects. Most enlightening are the “Veg-Patch” pages, which provide labeled illustrations of a large variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as facts about general garden maintenance. “The Pond,” “The Forest,” “The Garden,” and “The Orchard” offer general tips for observing nature, including looking for (but not touching) animal scat. Captions present more detail in addition to the introductory paragraph on each page. …” -Jennifer Wolf, Beaverton City Library, Library Journals LLC

“Nimona” by Noelle Stevenson – “Ballister Blackheart (ex-knight and current supervillain) gets a new sidekick: plucky shapeshifter Nimona. Although Nimona proves an effective accomplice, Blackheart must rein in her powers due to her blasi attitude about human life and love of explosives. This webcomic-cum-graphic-novel’s setting–a medieval-type kingdom mixed with futuristic science–entertainingly tweaks both the science-fiction and fantasy genres. Nimona is a beautifully flawed, refreshingly unstereotypical protagonist.” — THE HORN BOOK, c2015.

“Orangutan Orphanage” by Suzi Eszterhas – “…explores why orangutans are in danger, how they come to the care center, and the process of healing and rehabilitating these amazing creatures for return to the wild.” — back cover

“Rutabaga: The Adventure Chef: Book 2: Feasts of Fury” by Eric Colossal – “…Exploring abandoned castles and haunted forests, Rutabaga and his pet pot scour the land for the rarest ingredients possible to make the most unique dishes imaginable. Once again, he is in over his head; this time, the young chef tries to assist everyone from a troupe of actors putting on a play about a poisoned meal to a befuddled old man who can’t remember how his favorite recipe is made. Overall, the individual stories that comprise the book feel more tied together than in the previous installment, resulting in a more complete narrative. Colossal’s anime-inspired artwork continues to serve up action and laughs, while his simple language and fast pace make this a perfect recommendation for reluctant readers. Kid-friendly recipes at the end, inspired by Rutabaga’s adventures, are a nice touch that will certainly motivate some children to venture into the kitchen….” Peter Blenski, Greenfield Public Library, WI. 128p. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2016.

“Somewhere There is Still a Sun” by Michael Gruenbaum with Todd Hasak-Lowy – “Young Misha’s narration sets this Holocaust memoir apart from others. Initially unaware of the dark implications of the events, Misha adapted to camp life, playing soccer and making new friends, until he could no longer ignore the truth. His innocence contrasts with what readers (and the adults around Misha) know is going on, which creates a foreboding tone. The use of present-tense narration contributes to the urgency of the narration, and Misha’s sense of fairness and his unfailing faith that things will improve will resonate with students.” — (School Library Journal)

YOUNG ADULT

“All American Boys” by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely – “When a quick stop at the corner store suddenly escalates into police brutality, high school classmates Rashad (who is African American) and Quinn (who is white) are linked and altered by the violence–Rashad as victim and Quinn as witness. This nuanced novel explores issues of racism, power, and justice with a diverse (ethnically and philosophically) cast and two remarkable protagonists.”– THE HORN BOOK

“After the Woods” by Kim Savage – “Savage offers up a mystery wrapped in a psychological breakthrough tied with the bow of lyrical language. The characters are engaging beyond their habitation of an intricately woven plot and supply readers with the motivation to care beyond the simple solving of the mystery. A riveting exploration of what it’s like when the enemy is much closer than you suspect.” ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir – “This epic debut, set in a fantasy empire with nods to ancient Rome and Egypt, relates the intersecting struggles of Elias, an elite enforcer, and Laia, a Resistance spy. Nuanced, multileveled world-building provides a dynamic backdrop for an often brutal exploration of moral ambiguity and the power of empathy. A compelling emergent romance is only one reason among many to anticipate the sequel.” — THE HORN BOOK, c2015.

“Between the World and Me” by Ta-Neshi Coates – In a series of essays, written as a letter to his son, Coates confronts the notion of race in America and how it has shaped American history, many times at the cost of black bodies and lives. Thoughtfully exploring personal and historical events, …the author poignantly asks and attempts to answer difficult questions that plague modern society. In this short memoir,… (he) sums up the terrible history of the subjugation of black people in the United States. A timely work, this title will resonate with all teens—those who have experienced racism as well as those who have followed the recent news coverage on violence against people of color. … This stunning, National Book Award-winning memoir should be required reading for high school students and adults alike.—Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal

“Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans” by Don Brown – “It has been 10 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and, in the highly capable hands of Brown, the story remains as immediately captivating and tragic as it was in 2005. Told chronologically from the hurricane’s seemingly benign origin in West Africa, the story follows the storm almost hourly, revealing every misstep along the way that resulted in so much unnecessary loss. By the time Katrina passed over New Orleans, more than 1,400 people were dead and hundreds of thousands had fled the city. Brown’s narrative is clear and precise, relying exclusively on data and statistics interspersed with quotes from residents, rescue crews, journalists, and news reports. Alone, the text might lack impact, but combined with the haunting imagery, it hits readers like a punch in the gut. The illustrations capture the intensity of the disaster with saturated monochromatic panels featuring figures who appear to be literally melting with oppressive heat and fear. Small poignant scenes punctuate the narrative throughout, constantly reminding viewers of the very human costs of the disaster. Spare but emotionally resonant, this outstanding title will appeal to graphic novel and nonfiction readers alike.” Hayes, Summer. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

“Exit, Pursued by a Bear” by E. K. Johnston – “A unflinching exploration of what it means to be a girl, what it means to be a friend, and what it means to be a survivor. A determined, transformative book that every teen girl should read.” — Tess Sharpe, author of Far From You

“School’s Out Forever – A Maximum Ride Novel” by James Patterson – “Max and her flock are back in this new volume in the Maximum Ride series…. In a flying fight with Erasers, Fang is injured so seriously that the flock takes him to a hospital. It’s obvious he’s not a normal human (having wings and avian DNA), so it isn’t long before the FBI shows up. Anne Walker, the lead agent, takes the flock home to her Virginia farm, where she tries to mother the kids and enrolls them in a nearby private school. Living a somewhat normal life for the first time, Max, 14, manages a date and a first kiss, and others in the flock begin the quest to find their birth parents. Then everything falls apart, and the six kids face betrayal and extreme danger. Patterson, an accomplished storyteller, once again demonstrates his ability to write page-turning action scenes, this time leavening the suspense with some surprising humor; at one point, Max declares that she’s “Avian American.”  — Diana Herald, Booklist

“Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad” by M.T. Anderson – “The storytelling is captivating, describing how Shostakovich began composing the symphony under relentless bombardment in Leningrad and later finished it in Moscow, its triumphant performance in Leningrad during the siege, and how it rallied worldwide sympathy for Russia’s plight. Music is at the heart of the story. As Anderson writes in the prologue, “it is a story about the power of music and its meanings,” and he communicates them with seeming effortlessness in this brilliantly written, impeccably researched tour de force. A triumphant story of bravery and defiance that will shock and inspire.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

NEW ARRIVALS – MARCH 2016

ADULT FICTION

“The Cold Spot” by Tom Piccirilli – “The Cold Spot” is crime fiction at its very best, an exceptional revenge story so vivid you feel like you’re in the back seat of a getaway car with a master storyteller at the wheel.”—Jason Starr, author of The Follower

“Cry Wolf: (A Sebastiano Cangio Thriller)” by Michael Gregorio – “Gregorio effectively captures the grisly incongruities of mob relationships and the hypocrisies of Italian marital accommodations in this stark tale of violent murder and rampant political corruption” (Publishers Weekly)

“The Gods of H.P. Lovecraft” by Aaron J. French – “H. P. Lovecraft and his Mythos have seen a resurgence in popularity, but this collection stands out among the crowd. This is an excellent introduction to the Mythos for novices but will also be grabbed up by Lovecraft enthusiasts. All 12 stories are scary and well-crafted with plenty to offer. This volume contains original artwork and a commentary on each deity by Lovecraft scholar Donald Tyson. These essays are particularly compelling as readers encounter them after being immersed in each God’s terrifying world. This is a must for all horror collections.”– ALA Booklist Starred Review

“Just Another Trip” by Martin Whittle – “(August 1943 and the Allies air war in Europe is not going well and losses are mounting.) Mark White and the crew of Lancaster bomber M-Mother have become a close-knit team as the battle intensifies, the raw brutality of the endless night operations has a devastating effect on them. This novel tells their story.” — back cover

“The Paris Protection” by Bryan Devore – “Explosive thrills…Devore masterfully builds and maintains suspense…plunges readers into the tense and tactical world of Secret Service agents pushed to their limits.” –Kirkus Reviews

“The Tsar of Love and Techno” by Anthony Marra – “Marra, in between bursts of acidic humor, summons the terror, polluted landscapes, and diminished hopes of generations of Russians in a tragic and haunting collection.”
Booklist (starred)

“Youngblood: A Novel” by Matt Gallagher – “Not only does Youngblood rank among the very best books of our seemingly endless Iraq war, it’s one of the best novels I’ve ever read of war, period. A mystery as taut as that of any thriller lies at the heart of the story, and as the layers peel away and the mystery coils tighter and tighter, grim truths are revealed about love, loyalty, violence, power–about life in a very hard place made so much harder by years of war. Matt Gallagher’s fierce, brilliant novel should serve as a slap in the face to a culture that’s grown all too comfortable with the notion of endless war.” (Ben Fountain, New York Times bestselling author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk)

ADULT MYSTERY

“Death Descends on Saturn Villa” by M.R.C. Kasasian  –“A well-plotted mystery full of twists and turns, skullduggery, danger, and double-dealing.” — (Good Book Guide)

“The Plague of Thieves Affair” by Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini — “… the late nineteenth-century private detectives are working a couple of cases. John Quincannon, a former Secret Service operative, is looking into the suspicious death of a brewery employee, while Sabina Carpenter, who used to be a detective for the Pinkerton agency, is hot on the trail of Sherlock Holmes. Or, to be more precise, an elusive man who claims he is Holmes (and who stands to inherit a sizable fortune if he can demonstrate that he is not a lunatic). When two top-class writers join forces, the results can be wonderful. …A match made in literary heaven, in other words, and their latest collaboration is just splendid.” —  Pitt, David. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2016.

“A Song for the Brokenhearted” by William Shaw – “Superb . . . Shaw picks up multiple plot threads, expertly weaving them into a complex story . . . Shaw perfectly captures the end of an uneasy era, and the utterly terrifying final scene will leave readers breathless.”―Publishers Weekly (starred)

“When Falcons Fall: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery” by C. S. Harris – “With such well-developed characters, intriguing plotlines, graceful prose, and keen sense of time and place based on solid research, this is historical mystery at its best.”—Booklist (starred review)

BIOGRAPHY

“You Come Too: My Journey with Robert Frost” by Lesley Lee Francis – “Francis, a granddaughter of Robert Frost, says this book is a memoir but grants its biographical qualities and basis in scholarship―hers―as well as her own life. It is something altogether extraordinary, an insider’s view of a great family that constantly but hardly deliberately reminds us that it is personal… Francis neatly balances anecdote, commentary, and emotion-laden incident throughout… It is hard to imagine a better book about the poet and his most intimate heritage.” — (BOOKLIST starred review)

ADULT NON-FICTION

“Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land” by Sandy Tolan – “[Tolan] portrays the multigenerational Israeli-Palestinian conflict by focusing on the life and musical abilities of one youngster, Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan, and his family and friends . . . This is an engrossing and powerful story, moving skillfully amid the failure of the never-ending battles and ‘peace’ talks between Israel and Palestine and the determination of one brave young man to change his world.” ―starred review, Booklist

“Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right” by Jane Mayer – “[B]ombshells explode in the pages of Dark Money, Jane Mayer’s indispensible new history . . . .combines her own research with the work of scores of other investigators, to describe how the Kochs and fellow billionaires like Richard Scaife have spent hundreds of millions to ‘move their political ideas from the fringe to the center of American political life.’”
The Guardian 

“Excellent Daughters: The Secret Lives of Young Women Who Are Transforming the Arab World” by Katherine Zoepf – “Many of the women and girls in Excellent Daughters strive toward freedom, but they do so in ways that most Westerners would be unable to parse. Zoepf has achieved not only intimate access to this population, but also profound insight into the joys, anxieties, and revelations they experience behind the collective abaya. Superbly reported and compassionately told, at once clear-eyed and forgiving, these brave narratives will foster understanding, forgiveness, and respect. This moving book is an act of cultural translation of the very first order.” —Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree and The Noonday Demon

“The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia, a Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth” by Karen Branan – “Karen Branan goes where few white Southerners dare to tread: to the skeletons in the family closet. Rather keeping the door closed, Branan takes an honest look at her family’s connection to a lynching that occurred more than a century ago. The result is a gripping and chilling story of race and a legacy of racism that echoes into the present.”
(W. Ralph Eubanks, author of Ever is a Long Time)

“Magicians of the Gods: The Forgotten Wisdom of Earth’s Lost Civilization” by Graham Hancock – “New scientific evidence proves that the earth was hit by a comet 12,800 years ago. The comet broke up into multiple fragments. Some were more than a mile in diameter and hit the North American ice cap, instantly melting millions of square miles if ice and causing the global deluge that is remembered in myths all around the world.” — back cover

“Midnight in Broad Daylight: A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two Worlds” by Pamela Rotner Sakamoto – “… a deeply moving, well-written work that ranks among the better accounts of the injuries inflicted in wartime on civilian and ethnic populations. Students of war crimes and crimes against humanity are sure to notice this book.” (Herbert Bix, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan)

“Soldier’s Heart: The Campaign to Understand My WWII Veteran Father” by Carol Tyler – “While centered around the author’s efforts to process her father’s wartime experience, Tyler’s story bleeds out into the circumstances of her family’s history, her pages racing through narrative stratagems, practically one per situation; the enormous versatility of her drawing unifies paneled pages, booming splashes and mixed media-type info outlays into a self-evident means of making sense of things you’ve lived with, but not actually witnessed.” — (Joe McCulloch – The Comics Journal)

ADULT AUDIO BOOK

“Career of Evil” by Robert Galbraith -“Pure pleasure. . . . That’s what makes these novels so good: They are clever, tightly plotted mysteries with all of the most pleasurable elements of the genre (good guy, bad guy, clues, twists, murder!), but with stunning emotional and moral shading.”―Annalisa Quinn, NPR

MUSIC

“Frank Sinatra: – A Voice in Time 1939-1952”
“Game of thrones. Season five, Music from the HBO series”

BLUE/DVD

“Ant-Man”
“Cave of Forgotten Dreams”
“The Flash: Season 1”
“Furious 7”
“The Good Dinosaur”
“Hotel Transylvania 2”
“The Martian”
“Minions”
“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”
“Sicario”
“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”
“Trainwreck”

BOARD BOOK

“Baby Penguins Love Their Mama” by Melissa Guion
“May I Please Have a Cookie?” by Jennifer E. Morris

PICTURE BOOK

“ABC Dream” by Kim Krans
“Always Remember” by Cece Meng
“Be a Friend” by Salina Yoon
“Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep!” by Todd Tarpley
“Big Friends”
by Linda Sarah & Benji Davies
“Dylan the Villain” by K. G. Campbell
“Greenling” by Levi Pinfold
“How to Put Your Parents to Bed”
 by Mylisa Larsen
“Ida, Always” by Caron Levis and Charles Santoso
“Lola and I” by Chiara Valentia Segre
“My Dog’s a Chicken” by Susan McElroy Montanari & Anne Wilsdorf
“The Goodbye Book” by Todd Parr
“Peddles”
by Elizabeth Rose Stanton
“Snappsy the Alligator” by Julie Falatko
“The Story of Diva and Flea” by Mo Willems
“Strictly No Elephants” by Lisa Mantchev
“Super Happy Magic Forest” by Matty Long
“Whatever Happened to My Sister?” by Simona Ciraolo
“When Andy Met Sandy” by Tomie de Paolo
“Whoops!” by Suzi Moore
“The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits” by Douglas Florian
“Worm Loves Worm” by J. J. Austrian

JUVENILE AUDIO BOOK

“The Hollow Boy” by Jonathan Stroud – … the latest escapades of Lockwood and Co., a ghost-hunting agency staffed by the crack team of Anthony Lockwood, George Cubbins, and Lucy Carlyle, start with a hair-raising scene of murder, mayhem, and ghostly apparitions. Narrator Lucy finds herself on shaky ground as her ability to speak to ghosts grows ever more powerful and more dangerous, while changes to the agency in the form of a tidy, Type A assistant named Holly Munroe seem to spell doom for Lucy’s future with the company. Meanwhile, The Problem grows exponentially worse and a fading, famous department store holds more horrors than Lucy has ever seen. A series of disturbing discoveries, building on revelations in the earlier books, make it clear that there is a more malevolent human force than The Problem at work in London, and Lucy, George, and Lockwood are drawing ever closer to its source. As always, the descriptions of the hauntings are genuinely frightening, especially that of a spindly, humanoid creature that crawls on all fours and whispers Lucy’s name. ” —Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla, Darien Library, CT

JUVENILE BIOGRAPHY

“Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement” by Carole Boston Weatherford – “Caldecott Honor winner Weatherford (Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, 2006) has rendered Hamer’s voice so precisely that it is like sitting at her knee as she tells her story. Holmes’ multimedia collages perfectly capture the essence of each poem. Like Hamer’s life, the illustrations are filled with light, texture, movement, and darkness. They are both abstract and realistic, brilliantly juxtaposing gentle floral motifs with protest placards and Fannie Lou Hamer’s face in bold relief. Ultimately, though this is Hamer’s story, it includes the collaborative struggles of others with whom she worked and fought for a different America. Bold, unapologetic, and beautiful.” —Booklist (starred review)

“You Never Heard of Casey Stengel?!” by Jonah Winter and Barry Blitt – “Blitt infuses his artwork with physical humor, and as readers follow Stengel through his highs, lows, and head-scratching in-betweens (like forgetting to put on pants before taking the field), they’ll agree that ‘They just don’t make ’em like Casey Stengel anymore.’ ” —Publishers Weekly starred review

JUVENILE FICTION

“The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle” by Janet Fox – ““With nods to Narnia, Harry Potter and The Golden Compass, Janet Fox has created hair-raising suspense and drama. My heart is still pounding from this action-packed, imaginative read!” —Kirby Larson, Newbery Honor-winning author of Hattie Big Sky

“Echo: A Novel” by Pam Munoz Ryan – * “The book’s thematic underpinnings poignantly reveal what Friedrich, Mike, and Ivy truly have in common: not just a love of music, but resourcefulness in the face of change, and a refusal to accept injustice.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Free Verse” by Sarah Dooley – “The story mounts a quiet defense of the nobility of broken people… who hold on when all seems lost and sacrifice much out of love for their children. Sasha’s quietly moving poems… trace the evolution of her appreciation for what she has and her understanding that one must find one’s own way to wholeness after loss.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books 

“Friday Barnes, Girl Detective” by R. A. Spratt – “With off-the-wall plot turns and small mysteries scattered throughout, this is the perfect choice for mystery fans with a silly sense of humor, and the cliff-hanger ending promises more sleuthing on the horizon. Gosier’s black-and-white spot illustrations add to the charming atmosphere. A sheer delight.” ―Booklist, starred review

“Friends for Life” by Andrew Norriss – “Norriss (I Don’t Believe It, Archie!) has written a sensitive novel that illustrates how easy it is to feel alone, the ways differences can be isolating, and the power of friendship and connection. This memorable story will leave readers thinking about how small actions can have a significant impact.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The Girl Who Could Not Dream” by Sarah Beth Durst – “This book is self-aware, playing with common fantasy tropes, thus reinvigorating the familiar underlying story of a loner having to learn to overcome her fears to save the ones she loves…A fun, fast read with broad appeal.”
School Library Journal, starred review

“The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns” by Chris Colfer – “It’s hard not to love [the book]…Colfer gets off many good lines [and] the nifty ending ties the plot’s multiple strands up while leaving room for further fairy tale adventures.”―Publishers Weekly

“The Lemonade War” by Jacqueline Davies – “The basics of economics take backseat to Evan and Jessie’s realizations about themselves and their relationship. Davis . . . does a good job of showing the siblings’ strengths, flaws, and points of view in this engaging chapter book.” —Booklist, ALA

“The Lightning Queen” by Laura Resau – “Inspired by true stories from rural Mexico, this astonishing novel illuminates two facsinating but marginalized cultures — the Romani and Mixteco Indians. Award-winning author Laura Resau tells the exhilarating story of an unlikely friendship that begins in the 1950’s and reaches into today.” — inside front cover

“Maybe a Fox” by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee –  “…a fantastical, heartbreaking, and gorgeous tale about two sisters, a fox cub, and what happens when one of the sisters disappears forever.” — Amazon.com

“The Nine Lives of Jacob Tibbs” by Cylin Busby – “With engrossing action and great character description and development, Busby has created a story that will enthrall fans of animal fantasy.” —Booklist starred review

“Paper Wishes” by Lois Sepahban – “…It’s 1942, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Manami and her family are Japanese American, which means that the government says they must leave their home by the sea and join other Japanese Americans at a prison camp in the desert. Manami is sad to go, but even worse is that they are going to have to give her and her grandfather’s dog, Yujiin, to a neighbor to take care of. Manami decides to sneak Yujiin under her coat and gets as far as the mainland before she is caught and forced to abandon Yujiin. She and her grandfather are devastated, but Manami clings to the hope that somehow Yujiin will find his way to the camp and make her family whole again. It isn’t until she finds a way to let go of her guilt that Manami can reclaim the piece of herself that she left behind and accept all that has happened to her family.” — Amazon.com

“The Smell of Other People’s Houses” by Bonnie-Sue Hitchock – “Using alternating narratives, debut novelist Hitchcock deftly weaves these stories together, setting them against the backdrop of a native Alaska that readers will find intoxicating. The gutsiness of these four teens who, at heart, are trying to find their places in the world and survive against challenging odds, will resonate with readers of all ages.” —Publishers Weekly

JUVENILE NON-FICTION

“Breakthrough: How Three People Saved “Blue Babies” and Changed Medicine Forever” by Jim Murphy —  “Murphy masterfully interweaves discussions of discrimination, the controversy over animal testing, and the background of each protagonist into the main narrative, building tension as he leads up to the surgery itself.” —Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

“Hey, Seymour! A Search & Find Fold-Out Adventure” by Walter Wick – “While the adult reader might marvel at the work involved in constructing the attractive sets, young readers will simply have eyes for the visual game. Fans of the previous titles will be thrilled to lose themselves once more.” — Booklist

“When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons” by Julie Fogliano – “Fogliano’s book is a treasure. She has captured it! That elusive stage of life and self-expression that is childhood. The syntax, the imagery, the intimacy with nature and most importantly, the WONDER that we all had the privilege to possess as children and again through out kids.” — Natalie Merchant

YOUNG ADULT

“The Dragonriders of Pern” by Anne McCaffrey – “Anne McCaffrey’s Pern is one of the most memorable worlds in science fiction and fantasy. Humans and their flying dragon companions live in fear of thread, a caustic, deadly material that falls sporadically from space. But when the thread doesn’t fall for a long time, people become complacent, forgetting that it is the brave dragonriders who can save them from the periodic threat. But when the thread falls, human and dragon heroes must fight the scourge. This edition encompasses the first three unforgettable novels of McCaffrey’s epic series: Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon.” — Amazon.com

“Giant Days: Volume One” by John Allison – “From Esther’s dramatic tendencies to Susan’s temper and Daisy’s lack of social experience, the eccentricities of Giant Days main cast should appeal to anyone seeking a fresh approach.” — Newsarama

“Guitar Notes” by Mary Amato – “An upbeat teen with a talent for drawing and soccer who hails from the wrong side of the tracks learns to bloom where he’s planted…” — Kirkus Reviews

“A Little in Love” by Susan E. Fletcher – “The entire tale will be long remembered, and is a must-read for all Les Mis fans.” — School Library Journal, starred review

NEW ARRIVALS – DECEMBER 2015

ADULT FICTION

“God’s Kingdom” by Howard Frank Mosher – “Few writers plumb the cords that link fathers and sons with the hope – and humor – of Howard Frank Mosher. He is wistful and wise, and his moral compass is as precise as his immense skills as a storyteller. I cherish my visits to the mythical Kingdom County that once upon a time was Vermont.” ―Chris Bohjalian, author of The Sandcastle Girls and Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands

“The Immortal Nicholas” by Glenn Beck – “From the snowy mountains of Western Asia, to the deserts of Egypt, to Yemen’s elusive frankincense-bearing boswelia trees, this is an epic tale that gives the legend of Santa a long-overdue Christ-centered mission.” — inside front cover

“In the Shadow of the Banyan” by Vaddey Ratner – “This stunning memorial expresses not just the terrors of the Khmer Rouge but also the beauty of what was lost. A hauntingly powerful novel imbued with the richness of old Cambodian lore, the devastation of monumental loss, and the spirit of survival” — Publishers Weekly

“A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” by George R. R. Martin – “Readers who already love [George R. R.] Martin and his ability to bring visceral human drama out of any story will be thrilled to find this trilogy brought together and injected with extra life.”—Booklist

“Little Beach Street Bakery” by Jenny Colgan – “To keep her mind off her troubles, Polly throws herself into her favorite hobby: making bread. But her relaxing weekend diversion quickly develops into a passion. As she pours her emotions into kneading and pounding the dough, each loaf becomes better than the last. Soon, Polly is working her magic with nuts and seeds, chocolate and sugar, and the local honey—courtesy of a handsome beekeeper. Packed with laughter and emotion, Little Beach Street Bakery is the story of how one woman discovered bright new life where she least expected—a heartwarming, mouthwatering modern-day Chocolat that has already become a massive international bestseller.” — back cover

“The Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett – “A radical departure from Follett’s novels of international suspense and intrigue, this chronicles the vicissitudes of a prior, his master builder, and their community as they struggle to build a cathedral and protect themselves during the tumultuous 12th century, when the empress Maud and Stephen are fighting for the crown of England after the death of Henry I. The plot is less tightly controlled than those in Follett’s contemporary works, and despite the wealth of historical detail, especially concerning architecture and construction, much of the language as well as the psychology of the characters and their relationships remains firmly rooted in the 20th century. This will appeal more to lovers of exciting adventure stories than true devotees of historical fiction.” — – Cynthia Johnson Whealler, Library Journal

“The Survivor” by Vince Flynn – “… When Joe “Rick” Rickman, a former golden boy of the CIA, steals a massive amount of the Agency’s most classified documents in an elaborately masterminded betrayal of his country, CIA director Irene Kennedy has no choice but to send her most dangerous weapon after him: elite covert operative Mitch Rapp. Rapp quickly dispatches the traitor, but Rickman proves to be a deadly threat to America even from beyond the grave. Eliminating Rickman didn’t solve all of the CIA’s problems—in fact, mysterious tip-offs are appearing all over the world, linking to the potentially devastating data that Rickman managed to store somewhere only he knew. It’s a deadly race to the finish as both the Pakistanis and the Americans search desperately for Rickman’s accomplices, and for the confidential documents they are slowly leaking to the world. To save his country from being held hostage to a country set on becoming the world’s newest nuclear superpower, Mitch Rapp must outrun, outthink, and outgun his deadliest enemies yet.” — Inside front cover

“The Water Knife: A Novel” by Paolo Bacigalupi – “A fresh cautionary tale classic, depicting an America newly shaped by scarcity of our most vital resource. The pages practically turn themselves in a tense, taut plot of crosses and double-crosses, given added depth by riveting characters. This brutal near-future thriller seems so plausible in the world it depicts that you will want to stock up on bottled water.”—Library Journal

“Welcome to Night Vale” by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor – ““This is the novel of your dreams. . . . A story of misfit family life that unfolds along the side streets, back alleys and spring-loaded trap doors of the small town home you’ll realize you’ve always missed living in. When it says ‘welcome,’ it’s mandatory. You belong here.” — Glen David Gold, author of Carter Beats the Devil and Sunnyside

“The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine” by Alexander McCall Smith – “”In his character of Precious Ramotswe, McCall Smith created a stunningly moral and intelligent woman detective whose views of life in Botswana–and, in fact, the world–are simple yet profound. Mma Ramotswe solves crimes and, in the same breath, she solves the questions of love, life, happiness and human kindness.” The Globe and Mail

ADULT MYSTERY

“A Banquet of Consequences: A Lynley Novel” by Elizabeth George – “George’s . . . ability to continually enhance the portraits of Lynley, Havers, and other recurring characters while generating fully fleshed new ones for each novel is nothing less than superlative, and her atmospheric prose, complete with lovely and detailed descriptions of her setting, combines to add literary gravitas to her work . . . A worthy addition to her portfolio and one that simultaneously disturbs and satisfies.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Career of Evil” by Robert Galbraith – “Satisfying . . . Strike and Robin are as powerful a fictional pairing as any in recent memory. . . . Galbraith demonstrates a breezy command of the intricacies of both the central mystery and of the form itself.”―Robert Wiersema, Toronto Star

“The Crossing” by Michael Connelly – “A classic whodunit…an extra treat for the reader is being able to follow the case from the dual perspectives of the prosecution and the defense… Brothers Bosch and Haller may be, but at times they seem a lot like an ego and its id.”
―Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

“The Murder House” by James Patterson – “Full of the twist and turns that have made James Patterson the world’s #1 bestselling writer, The Murder House is a chilling, page-turning story of murder, money and revenge.” — inside front cover

“Once Shadows Fall” by Robert Daniels – ““Darkly intriguing and full of unexpected twists, ONCE SHADOWS FALL is a psychological cat-and-mouse game that’s both intense and emotionally resonant.” –Meg Gardiner, Edgar Award winning author

“Slade House” by David Mitchell — “What can’t David Mitchell do? Slade House is a page-burning, read-in-one-sitting, at times terrifying novel that does for the haunted-house story what Henry James did for the ghost story in The Turn of the Screw. It has all the intelligence and linguistic dazzle one expects from a David Mitchell novel, but it will also creep the pants off you. Just as Slade House won’t let go of its unsuspecting guests, you won’t be able to put this book down. Welcome to Slade House: Step inside.”—Adam Johnson, author of Fortune Smiles and The Orphan Master’s Son, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

“Someone is Watching” by Joy Fielding – “Someone Is Watching is a gripping, fast-paced psychological thriller reminiscent of Rear Window and the works of Lisa Gardner. Fielding has crafted a flawed yet likable heroine in Bailey by allowing her to experience the varied emotions of recovery instead of pigeonholing her as a helpless victim or bloodthirsty vigilante. Not geared to the faint of heart, Fielding’s story of one woman’s search for justice, understanding, and internal peace is nothing short of arresting.”—Booklist

“X” by Sue Grafton – “Just beneath the extroverted mask she presents at bookstore appearances is the deeply contemplative writer still determined to stretch her chops and chart territory that removes any semblance of a comfort zone.” —Sarah Weinman, Los Angeles Times

BIOGRAPHY

“Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush” by Jon Meacham – “This astonishing book is both timely and timeless. Based on candid interviews and intimate letters and diaries, it provides a deep insight into the character of George H. W. Bush, flavored with colorful anecdotes depicting his relationships with people ranging from Gorbachev and Reagan to his sons George and Jeb. The result is a fascinating and insightful portrayal of the life of an exemplary American citizen.”—Walter Isaacson

“Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern” by Francine Prose – “With fresh insights and illuminating details, Prose vividly tells the poignant and remarkable story of this complex, combative, and passionate art champion and innovator, who weathered misogyny, anti-Semitism, betrayal, and her own demons to help build an audience for modern art.” — Donna Seaman, Booklist

ADULT NON-FICTION

“Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates – “The powerful story of a father’s past and a son’s future . . . Coates offers this eloquent memoir as a letter to his teenage son, bearing witness to his own experiences and conveying passionate hopes for his son’s life. . . . This moving, potent testament might have been titled Black Lives Matter.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning” by Timothy Snyder – “Timothy Snyder is now our most distinguished historian of evil. Black Earth casts new light on old darkness. It demonstrates once and for all that the destruction of the Jews was premised on the destruction of states and the institutions of politics. I know of no other historical work on the Holocaust that is so deeply alarmed by its repercussions for the human future. This is a haunted and haunting book—erudite, provocative, and unforgettable.” —Leon Wieseltier

“The Conversation: A Revolutionary Plan for End-of-Life Care” by Angelo E. Volandes, M.D. – “Through seven stories of seven patients, Angelo Volandes movingly and evocatively tells the tale of how American healthcare does death wrong, often with tragic consequences, and how we can do it right. This is a book about how to live life as well as possible right up until the end, and it should be required reading for anyone who is mortal.” ―Shannon Brownlee, author of OVERTREATED

“The End of the Cold War: 1985-1991” by Robert Service – “In this authoritative and deeply informed political and diplomatic history, Service (Trotsky), a seasoned British historian specializing in studies of Soviet Russia, delivers a masterful account of the final years of the Cold War, when a small, remarkable group of statesmen sought an end to the dangerous standoff between superpowers. … scholarly yet accessible: detailed, expansive, and engaging.” —Publishers Weekly

“Future Crimes: Everything is Connected, Everyone is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It” by Marc Goodman – “In Future Crimes, Goodman spills out story after story about how technology has been used for illegal ends…The author ends with a series of recommendations that, while ambitious, appear sensible and constructive…Goodman’s most promising idea is the creation of a “Manhattan Project” for cyber security…[Future Crimes is] a ride well worth taking if we are to prevent the worst of his predictions from taking shape.” —  Financial Times

“Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency” by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard – “Killing Reagan reaches back to the golden days of Hollywood, where Reagan found both fame and heartbreak, up through the years in the California governor’s mansion, and finally to the White House, where he presided over boom years and the fall of the Iron Curtain. But it was John Hinckley Jr.’s attack on him that precipitated President Reagan’s most heroic actions. In Killing Reagan, O’Reilly and Dugard take readers behind the scenes, creating an unforgettable portrait of a great man operating in violent times.” — Amazon

“Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath” by Ted Koppel – “In Lights Out, Ted Koppel uses his profound journalistic talents to raise pressing questions about our nation’s aging electrical grid. Through interview after interview with leading experts, Koppel paints a compelling picture of the impact cyberattacks may have on the grid. The book reveals the vulnerability of perhaps the most critical of all the infrastructures of our modern society: the electricity that keeps our modern society humming along.” — MARC GOODMAN, author of Future Crimes

ADULT AUDIO BOOK

“Ever After: A Nantucket Bride’s Novel” by Jude Deveraux – “Jude Deveraux takes us to a place where dreams are made. . . . For All Time is a page-turning time-travel romance that captures your imagination from the start and keeps hold till the very last page.”—Fresh Fiction

MUSIC

“The S’Wonderful Ray Conniff: The Big Band Years 1939-1947”

BLUE/DVD

“Jurassic World”
“Mad Men: The FInal Season Part 2”
“Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Series 2”
“Mr. Holmes”
“Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2”
“Poldark: The Complete First Season”
“Scooby-Doo! and Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery”
“The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
“Ted”
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Return to NYC”

BOARD BOOK

PICTURE BOOK

“Buddy and Earl” by Maureen Fergus
“Counting Lions: Portraits from the Wild” by Katie Cotton
“A Dog Wearing Shoes” by Sangmi Ko
“Dory Fantasmagory”
by Abby Hanlon
“Five Little Pumpkins” by James Dean
“Flashlight”
 by Lizi Boyd
“Goodnight Already” by Jory John & Benji Davies
“I Really Like Slop!’ by Mo Willems
“I Will Take a Nap!” by Mo Willems
“Ketzel the Cat Who Composed” by Leslea Newman
“Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt De La Pena
“Little Melba and Her Big Trombone” by Katheryn Russell-Brown
“Mr. Putter & Tabby Smell the Roses” by Cynthia Rylant & Arthur Howard
“Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page” by Cynthia Rylant & Arthur Howard
“The New Small Person” by Lauren Child
“The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Moore
“Oskar and the Eight Blessings” by Richard Simon & Tanya Simon
“Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machine” by Gloria Whelan
“The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep” by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin
“This is Sadie” by Sara O’Leary
“Toys Meet Snow” by Emily Jenkins and Paul O. Zelinsky
“Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt” by Kate Messner
“What Pet Should I Get?” by Dr. Seuss
“Where’s Walrus? and Where’s Penguin?” by Stephen Savage
“Whispers of the Wolf” by Pauline Ts’o
“Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh” by Sally Walker
“The Wonderful Things You Will Be” by Emily Winfield Martin
“You Are (Not) Small” by Anna Kang

CHILDREN’S MUSIC

“American Folk, Game & Activity Songs for Children” by Pete Seeger

JUVENILE AUDIO BOOK

“Lost in the Sun” by Lisa Graff –  “Graff writes with stunning insight into boyhood and humanity, allowing Trent to speak for himself in a pained, honest narration. Investing Trent with all the tragic frailty of Holden Caulfield, Graff tackles issues of loss, isolation, and rage without apology. Graff consistently demonstrates why character-driven novels can live from generation to generation, and here she offers a story that can survive for many school years to come.”–Kirkus Reviews 

JUVENILE BIOGRAPHY

“A Boy and A Jaguar” by Alan Rabinowitz – “In this poignant autobiography, Rabinowitz recalls the alienation he felt as a child who thought he was “broken” because he could not get his words out fluently. But there are other, more powerful ways of communicating, which Alan knows from the ease with which he talks to animals. As he grows up, he learns to both conquer and embrace the fact that he will always be a stutterer, and he soon becomes an advocate for animals. When, in the forest, he looks into the eyes of a jaguar and sees “strength and power and sureness of purpose,” readers will feel privileged to be part of this magical experience. Chien’s impressionistic illustrations lend a gentle playfulness to the overall solemnity, with muted colors, expressive faces, and arrangements that draw attention to scale and size—all of which remind us that there are many ways to tell a story, whether you are one with words, like Rabinowitz, or one without any, like the jaguar. A mature look at how some observant children understand the world better than some adults.” — Grades 1-4. –Amina Chaudhri

“The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower or John Howland’s Good Fortune” by P. J. Lynch – “The clearly written, first- person account, told from John’s point of view, combines history with adventure and a hint of romance. Based on historical sources, the narrative is laced with well-imagined characterizations and conversations. The book’s wide format showcases Lynch’s dramatic and richly atmospheric watercolor and gouache paintings, which include strong individual character portrayals as well as beautifully composed scenes on land and at sea. This handsome volume offers a dramatic personal story of the Pilgrim’s voyage on the Mayflower and their early experiences in America.” — Booklist 

“Hello, I, Johnny Cash” by G. Neri – “Even those who aren’t fans of musician Johnny Cash will appreciate the beauty of this biographical picture book. Written in free verse, with colorful, realistic illustrations done in oil, this title poignantly portrays the powerful influences of poverty, religion, family, and music on Cash’s life. … This is a real tribute to the Man in Black, written in an easily accessible, engaging manner that demonstrates the qualities he possessed that make him a hero to so many.” — School Library Journal

“The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton: Poet” by Don Tate – “Born a slave, George Moses Horton taught himself to read, memorizing the poems he composed until he later learned to write. Hand-lettered excerpts of Horton’s writing amplify his successes and setbacks as he gains a reputation as a poet among students at the University of North Carolina, to whom he sold produce. Horton’s poems drew additional attention and were published (“Needless to say, it was a dangerous time for Horton, whose poems often protested slavery,” Tate writes in an afterword), but freedom remained elusive until the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, when Horton was 66 years old. Tate’s mixed-media illustrations glow with bright greens and yellows, radiating a warmth, hope, and promise that echo this stirring biography’s closing message: “Words loosened the chains of bondage long before his last day as a slave.” Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency.  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.
JUVENILE FICTION

“The Art of Secrets” by James Klise – After her family’s apartment goes up in flames, Saba Khan’s Chicago high school organizes a benefit auction for her family. When a book by the famous outsider artist Henry Darger turns up among the items that have been gathered for sale, it raises a number of perplexing questions: How did such a unique piece go missing for so long? Shouldn’t the financially floundering school get a cut of the profits? Instead of bringing everyone together, the discovery further marginalizes the school’s outsiders. The story is told through documents, interviews, journal entries, and text messages from Saba, her father, teachers at her school, and her classmates as their suspicions about the art and the origin of the fire grow, and fingers are pointed in every direction. Klise lets loose a chorus of genuine voices as the disturbing truth emerges, and people’s secrets grow too large to hide. This art mystery is that rare book that will be passed around by teens as well as teachers in the faculty lounge, discussed and dissected and immediately reread to scour for hidden clues and motivations. The incidents at Highsmith School will stay on readers’ minds long after the last page. ” — Erin Downey Howerton

“The Battle for Skandia, Ranger’s Apprentice, Book 4” by John Flanagan – “Following Will and Evanlyn’s escape from slavery in The Icebound Land (2007), Halt determines that the Temujai mean to attack Araluen and decides to help the Skandians defend their land. Rejoining Halt, Will and Evanlyn become warriors in the stronghold where they had recently been captives and use their wits and skills to fight the common enemy. The story plunges forward with irresistible narrative drive toward the climactic battle scene. Even readers drawn to the series for its deftly drawn characters and setting may find themselves caught up in the action. A fine entry in the increasingly popular Ranger’s Apprentice series.”  —  Carolyn Phelan, Booklist

“Circus Mirandus” by Cassie Beasley – “The book is a fantastical circus romp…a delicious confection and much more: it shows that the human heart is delicate, that it matters, and that it must be handled with care.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The Hollow Boy” by Jonathan Stroud – “…the latest escapades of Lockwood and Co., a ghost-hunting agency staffed by the crack team of Anthony Lockwood, George Cubbins, and Lucy Carlyle, start with a hair-raising scene of murder, mayhem, and ghostly apparitions. Narrator Lucy finds herself on shaky ground as her ability to speak to ghosts grows ever more powerful and more dangerous, while changes to the agency in the form of a tidy, Type A assistant named Holly Munroe seem to spell doom for Lucy’s future with the company. Meanwhile, The Problem grows exponentially worse and a fading, famous department store holds more horrors than Lucy has ever seen. A series of disturbing discoveries, building on revelations in the earlier books, make it clear that there is a more malevolent human force than The Problem at work in London, and Lucy, George, and Lockwood are drawing ever closer to its source. As always, the descriptions of the hauntings are genuinely frightening, especially that of a spindly, humanoid creature that crawls on all fours and whispers Lucy’s name.” — Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla, Darien Library, CT

“The Icebound Land, Ranger’s Apprentice, Book 3” by John Flanagan – “Laced with humour, credible characters and the poignancy of slavery and drug addiction, The Icebound Land is a gripping tale” — The School Librarian

“NIght on FIre” by Ronald Kidd — “Kidd creates strong-willed, contemplative heroines while capturing period details and the energy of the civil rights movement. As Billie acknowledges the insidiousness of the prejudice within herself and her community and makes steps toward uprooting it, her transformation is painful and profound.” — Publishers Weekly

“Peter and the Starcatchers” by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson – “Barry and Pearson, no strangers to the literary spotlight, offer humor and thrills for a young audience in this prequel to Peter Pan. At sea, unwittingly heading toward a perilous fate in a cruel king’s court, Peter and a group of fellow orphans become involved in a plot to steal a mysterious star substance that can make people fly. Teenager Molly, also aboard ship, is one of the Starcatchers, those who want to preserve the integrity of the substance and save it from falling into the wrong hands. Alas, there are evil, grabby hands all around, including those of the cruel pirate Black Stache–though by book’s end, Stache will have only one. It’s not so much the story that’s good here, though it’s a rousing tale, and to the authors’ credit, there are explanations for everything found in the classic story–from Peter’s inability to grow up to the name Neverland. The real lure is the richly drawn characters, especially the villains, who exhibit just the right amount of swagger and smirk. The pacing is excellent as well. Although this is a long book, very short chapters make it manageable for younger readers, and the nonstop action will keep the pages turning. This deserves the hype.” —  Ilene Cooper, Booklist

“The One Safe Place” by Tania Unsworth – “The story of Hansel and Gretel gets a dystopian sci-fi revamp in Unsworth’s ominous offering. Devin has just buried his grandfather, which forces him to leave the fertile valley of his farm and venture out into the drought-plagued, food-scarce world. After befriending fellow street urchin Kit, the two are discovered by a young man who invites them to a place where food, water, and diversions are in abundance. Indeed, the Gabriel H. Penn Home for Childhood seems to be just that, crawling with well-fed kids hoping to be adopted by the elderly visitors. But then Devin and Kit learn of the Place, where every few weeks, they receive a shot and disappear into a dream for two days. Something is rotten, and they need to figure it out before their brains become spoiled. Mostly this book acts as a protracted wait for the big reveal, without much in the way of detail or characters. But the wait is delicious, and the reveal is plenty icky, making this a page-turner perfect for fans of Mike A. Lancaster.” —  Grades 6-9. –Daniel Kraus

“Rules for Stealing Stars” by Corey Ann Haydu — ““[A] lyrical story of love and loss… The way the sisters fight and love in equal measure, as well as their basic need for one another, rings poignantly true in this touching and heartwarming story, which contains a ‘tiny bit of magic, right here in the real world.’” — Booklist

“The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place” by Julie Berry – “Berry’s prose is reminiscent of the dark comedy and melodrama of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes” mysteries . . . This is a well-researched, clever, and deliciously dark comedy with an emphasis on female empowerment.” ―School Library Journal

“The Sword of Summer” by Rick Riordan – “Rick Riordan’s new series is simply brilliant-maybe his best yet! I thought I knew Norse mythology, but now that I’ve read the gripping and hilarious Sword of Summer, I’ll never see Thor the same way again. Get ready to stay up all night reading!”―New York Times #1 best-selling author Harlan Coben

“The Tale of Rescue” by Michael J. Rosen – “Rosen portrays the dog’s attempts to save the family so astutely that readers will feel the dog’s determination and exhaustion, and his somber, parsed descriptions of the blizzard and the family’s subsequent disorientation in the whiteout bring their cold and fear close. The writing is matched by Fellows’ superb watercolor illustrations—expertly rendered scenes that are, thankfully, liberally sprinkled throughout…A fine, superbly illustrated tale of adventure, bravery, and loyalty.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The Trouble with Ants” by Claudia Mills – ““In drily funny writing and b&w illustrations, Mills (the Franklin School Friends series) and Kath capture Nora’s delightful enterprising and willingness to push the boundaries—sometimes (she knows the limit when it comes to sitting with the boys at lunch). Nora’s genuine love for ants will resonate with children who have a passion for something out of the ordinary.” — Publishers Weekly

“Unfriended” by Rachel Vail – “With keen insight, Vail reveals the internal struggles with uncertainty and self-doubt that can plague young teens regardless of popularity status. . . With a resolution that is both realistic and hopeful, Vail captures the complexity of middle school social challenges, insightfully addressing the issues of friendships and integrity.” —Publishers Weekly

JUVENILE NON-FICTION

“Amazing Places” by Lee Bennett Hopkins – “… 14 poems celebrate landmarks and attractions across the United States, such as the Grand Canyon, Fenway Park, and San Francisco’s Chinatown. In the tender opening poem from Janet S. Wong, a girl treasures a night camping with her mother in Alaska’s Denali National Park: “When the fire is spitting ready,/ she reaches/ in the bag, rustling,/ and hands me/ one big, fat, luscious/ marshmallow.” Joan Bransfield Graham’s concrete poem, “Sandy Hook Lighthouse,” is both written from the lighthouse’s perspective and shaped like one: “Wild/ storms rage,/ lightning crackles,/ nothing/ deters me./ I have/ stood on/ duty in this/ place for/ more than two/ centuries.” The far-ranging locations and multicultural, multigenerational cast help create a broadly appealing testament to the American landscape and people.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

“Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands” by Katherine Roy – “Look closely at the cover of this impressive account of great white sharks off the Northern California coast: that bright red in the illustration is blood trailing from a chunk of freshly killed immature elephant seal–and a signal that Roy’s book will fully examine the sometimes chilling, always fascinating details of what makes this animal a predator.” ―The Horn Book

“Out of the Woods: A True Story of an Unforgettable Event” by Rebecca Bond – “In 1914, four-year-old Antonio lives with his mother in the hotel she runs next to Gowganda Lake in Ontario, Canada. The large hotel is inhabited by short-term visitors as well as long-term renters, including lumberjacks and trappers. Because there aren’t many children to play with, the boy spends his time with the hotel’s employees and residents. He also enjoys the surrounding forest but seldom sees animals as they stay away, due to the lodgers’ activities. One summer day, fire is spotted in the distance and quickly spreads through the forest toward the building. The only safe place is the nearby lake, and people rush toward that refuge. Watching in wonder, they’re soon joined by the forest animals fleeing the fire, including moose, porcupines, wolves, and deer. For the next several hours, humans and animals have one common goal–to survive. Sepia-tone backgrounds and scratchy pen-and-ink drawings add life to the remembrance and give it the appropriate, old-fashioned feel. Children will be fascinated with the story experienced by the author’s grandfather and passed down for generations.” — Owen, Maryann. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“Smart and Spineless: Exploring Invertebrate Intelligence” by Ann Downer – “Gr 6 Up—Invertebrates of all stripes are given fully researched attention here. Downer examines the intelligence of a variety of animals: worms, slime molds, bees, spiders, ants, shrimp, and jellyfish. This slim volume is superficially deceptive: though crowded with full-color photographs, drawings, charts and side boxes,… Readers will discover that bees can learn to associate an abstract symbol with a sweet-tasting reward or a bitter-tasting punishment. Charles Darwin realized that earthworms were expert soil engineers with the ability to navigate their world through trial and error. Animal behaviorists believe that octopuses have personalities. The female tarantula hawk wasp can analyze surroundings and compare size and volume when hunting her prey. Extensive back matter makes this title perfect for research. VERDICT Downer does a fine job revealing the intelligence of the spineless creatures that make up more than 90 percent of animals on Earth.” —Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI

YOUNG ADULT

“Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow” by Rainbow Rowell – “”With rock-solid worldbuilding, a sweet and believable romance subplot, and satisfying ending, Carry On is a monumentally enjoyable reading experience. Hand this to fans of Rowell, Harry Potter, love stories, and magic.” ―School Library Journal

“The Emperor of Any Place” by Tim Wynne-Jones – “Readers will be swept up quickly in the tense relationship between Evan and Griff, as well as the unlikely friendship between enemy soldiers fighting for survival in a surreal landscape. Without spelling out the metaphoric significance of the story within the story, Wynne-Jones provides enough hints for readers to make connections and examine the lines between war and peace, as well as hate and love.” — Publishers Weekly

“Freedom Summer: The Savage Season That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy” by Bruce Watson – “… Set against the backdrop of the puzzling disappearance of three of these young volunteers (known by the FBI case file as “Mississippi Burning”), Rubin’s crackling narrative chronicles the work of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee amid threats by the Ku Klux Klan. It’s no surprise, coming from Rubin, that this reads like suspenseful—and almost unbelievable—fiction, filled with courageous characters, shocking turns of events, and potent emotion. Fascinating and copious details are drawn from the author’s personal interviews with key figures, oral histories, and primary documents, all meticulously sourced in the back matter. Design is the sole weak spot: nonglossy pages and spreads of unadorned text are not especially welcoming. The photographs themselves, though, are well chosen, as are the reproductions of leaflets, reports, and papers, all of which bring vivid life to the events and speak to the human aspects of history. An educator’s guide available on the publisher’s website offers countless more leads for deeper research and lesson-plan inspiration. This well-researched and heartfelt work covers every angle, thereby honoring the brave inroads made by activists a half century ago.” — Erin Anderson

“The Hired Girl” by Laura Amy Schlitz – “Written as a diary, the first-person narrative brings immediacy to Joan’s story and intimacy to her confessions and revelations. The distinctive household setting and the many secondary characters are well developed, while Joan comes alive on the page as a vulnerable, good-hearted, and sometimes painfully self-aware character struggling to find her place in the world. A memorable novel from a captivating storyteller.” —Booklist

“Out of Darkness” by Ashley Hope Perez – “The beauty of Perez’s prose and her surefooted navigation through the dangerous landscape of the East Texas oil field in the 1930s redeem the fact that anyone who dares read this agonizing, star-crossed love story will end up in about six billion numb and tiny pieces. Absolutely stunning.” — Elizabeth Wein, author of Code Name Verity and Michael L. Printz Award Nominee

“What We Saw” by Aaron Hartzler – ““This book is real. Like the protagonist, it’s vulnerable, honest, and incredibly brave. Kate’s story will be a lifeline for kids observing impossible situations and wondering where the right and wrong is in all of it. I could not put it down.” (Maya Van Wagenen, New York Times Bestselling Author of Popular)

 

NEW ARRIVALS – SEPTEMBER 2015

ADULT FICTION

“The Blue” by Lucy Clark – “”[Clarke] paints brilliant images of physical surroundings and takes readers on an emotional journey as she explores the fragile bonds that connect each crew member to the others. . . . The narrative is punctuated with interesting, unpredictable plot twists that keep coming until the final page.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The Cartel: A Novel” by Don Winslow – “A monster of a novel—big in story, big in ambition. Based on real events, it’s unavoidably violent but not voyeuristic. There is a deep understanding of the bonds and betrayals inherent to the drug trade, considerable musing about the difference between vengeance and justice, and a recognition that even in the face of soul-sapping depravity, there can be nobility and courage.”  — John Wilkens, The San Diego Union-Tribune

“Crossing the Horizon” by Deanna Emberley Bailey – “Based on the author’s own loss of her two sons, Crossing the Horizon demonstrates love’s unstoppable ability to connect us forever to those we cherish. This is at once a poignant and ultimately uplifting tale of love reaching beyond the boundaries of life and death to a lasting relationship — one that crosses the horizon.” — back cover

“Dragonfly in Amber” by Diana Gabaldon – “”A judicious blend of history and romance…proves that, regarding talent, Diana Gabaldon is light-years ahead of her romance-novelist colleagues.”
Daily News (New York)

“Four Knights with the Duke” by Lisa Kleypas – “A smart, desperate heroine who will do anything to protect her nephew and his heritage and a hero worthy of the challenge find love and trust, as well as a surfeit of passion, in this latest from James. Sparkling dialog, well-placed Shakespearean quotes, and an engaging cast of sharply rendered supporting characters (especially a plucky youngster and a marvelous horse) add to the fun. Readers will also enjoy the cameo appearance by the Duke of Villiers and Mia’s hilarious romance novel notes.” —  Kristin Ramsdell. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2015.

“The French Prize” by James L. Nelson – “A lively, rapidly paced yarn set in 1799, a year in which America is embroiled in an undeclared war at sea with its former ally, France. … This is vintage Nelson, with finely drawn characters and vivid shipboard action written by one who has sailed before the mast. Nelson is at his best describing a ship assaulted in a tempest by howling winds and heaving seas.” — Quarterdeck on The French Prize

“A Garden of Sand” by Earl Thompson – “Destitution, hunger, cruelty, rootlessness—all the odds stand against Jacky, the young boy at the center of this powerful, popular American classic, yet still he prevails. Resourcefully, doggedly, Jacky nurtures his spirit of independence, his capacity to love, and his faith in a nation’s dream in a journey that takes him from Wichita to Corpus Christi and from poverty to possibility.” — back cover

“Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee – “Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor, and effortless precision—a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context, and new meaning to an American classic.” — back cover

“Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon – “Unrivaled storytelling,,,unforgettable characters…rich historical detail…these are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work….Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters. Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and history that combines exhilarating adventure with a love story for the ages…” — back cover

“Twice a Texas Bride” by Linda Broday – “Broday crafts a richly atmospheric Western complete with the grittiness of the frontier as well as the tenderness of blossoming love… With a touching and gentle, yet rugged and real story, Broday captures the West – and readers’ hearts.” – RT Book Reviews

“Voyager” by Diana Gabaldon – “In this rich vibrant tale, Diana Gabaldon continues the story of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser that began with the now-classic novel Outlander and continued to Dragonfly in Amber. Sweeping us from the battlefields of eighteenth-century Scotland to the exotic West Indies, Diana Gabaldon weaves magic once again in an exhilarating and utterly unforgettable novel. ” — back cover

“Written in the Blood: A Novel” by Stephen Lloyd Jones – “In The String Diaries (2014), the author introduced us to a hidden element of society: a group of people, called the Long Lives, who can change their shapes. There aren’t many of these shape-shifters, and if an ancient evil beast has its way, there soon will be none of them. In this fast-paced sequel, Leah Wilde races against time, and against a creature of almost unimaginable power and deceptiveness, to save the few remaining Long Lives (including her own mother). Even though the book carries over characters and story threads from the previous novel, readers can approach it as a stand-alone; the author provides enough background to keep us from feeling disoriented. And the pace is so fast that readers are essentially propelled through the book, carried from one character to another, bouncing around from one place in the world to another, completely caught up in the story. A novel that’s just as good as the one that came before–and, in this case, that means essential reading for devotees of high-end sf.” — Pitt, David. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

ADULT MYSTERY

“Aunty Lee’s Deadly Specials” by Ovidia Yu – “Rosie “Aunty” Lee, the feisty widow and amateur sleuth and proprietor of Singapore’s best-loved home-cooking restaurant, is back in another delectable, witty mystery involving scandal and murder among the city’s elite.” — back cover

“Aunty Lee’s Delights” by Ovidia Yu – “Wise, witty and charming, Aunty Lee’s Delights is a spicy mystery about love, friendship, and food in Singapore, where money flows freely and people of many religions and ethnicities coexist peacefully, but where tensions lurk just below the surface, sometimes with deadly consequences.” — Ovidia Yu

“Big Little Lies” by LIane Moriarty – “Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.” — inside front cover

“Boo” by Neil Smith – Short story writer Smith (Bang Crunch) delivers a splendidly confident debut novel, a fantasy of emotional healing in a unique afterlife.. … Smith smoothly develops his vision of an afterlife in which a theoretical god supplies random items from the living world, electronics run without power, and kids are left to their own devices. The story is never about providing solid answers, but readers who appreciate that sort of ambiguity will find that the emotional payoffs are both surprising and moving. ” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

“Hush, Hush: A Tess Monaghan Novel” by Laura Lippman — “Motherhood plus murder equals one intense, uproarious, and riveting mystery from a classy crime writer (Lippman) of wit and wisdom. … With an intriguing cast of characters, stinging dialogue, hilarious moments, and a superbly convoluted and suspenseful plot, Lippman has created an incisive and provocative tale about parents good and evil.” —  Seaman, Donna. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Miss Julia Lays Down the Law” by Ann B. Ross – “Spirited, sassy, and thoroughly charming, Etta Mae Wiggins manages to turn a day of misfortune and mishaps into an endlessly entertaining adventure.” — Erika Marks, author of It Comes in Waves

“Miss Julia’s Marvelous Makeover” by Ann B. Ross – “.A fun confection where Miss Julia, in letting go of some of her hidebound ideas and social prejudices, learns that her worst enemy may well be the guy she helped elect…and her best ally may be [one] she’s always thought beneath her contempt. Yes, Miss Julia is back, and I, for one, am a happy camper.” — J.A. Jance

“The Murderer’s Daughter: A Novel” by Jonathan Kellerman – “In his latest, Kellerman introduces psychologist Grace Blades. …Kellerman doesn’t let off-the-charts genius Grace become one-dimensional. Her backstory and challenge to fit in, even into adulthood, are an engaging part of this satisfying mystery, which, though billed as a stand-alone, could certainly make a spin-off series.” — Keefe, Karen. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag” by Alan Bradley – “… Flavia’s world is 1950s England—specifically, a very old country house that just happens to have a long-abandoned chemistry laboratory. And Flavia just happens to be fascinated by chemistry—particularly poisons. This helps her solve mysteries because, as Flavia says, “There’s something about pottering with poisons that clarifies the mind.” This time she becomes involved with the members of a traveling puppet show that features the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. When the puppetmaster is mysteriously electrocuted during the show, Flavia knows it can’t be an accident and eventually finds the murderer. The rest of Flavia’s family are also eccentric, to say the least, and add greatly to the overall fun. Thank goodness Bradley is not allowing Flavia to grow up too quickly; we need more sleuths whose primary mode of transportation is a bicycle.” –Judy Coon

ADULT NON-FICTION

“Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?” by Alan Weisman – “Spirited descriptions, a firm grasp of complex material, and a bomb defuser’s steady precision make for a riveting read… Weisman’s cogent and forthright global inquiry, a major work, delineates how education, women’s equality, and family planning can curb poverty, thirst, hunger, and environmental destruction. Rigorous and provoking, Countdown will generate numerous media appearances for Weisman and spur many a debate.” — Booklist (starred review)

“Daughters of the Samurai” by Janice P. Nimura – “A riveting story of three remarkable girls, caught in the maelstrom of one of the strangest culture clashes in modern history, Daughters of the Samurai is history writing at its finest and required reading for anyone interested in Japan.” — (Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being)

“H is for Hawk” by Helen Macdonald – Beautiful and nearly feral, H is for Hawk reminds us that excellent nature writing can lay bare some of the intimacies of the wild world as well. Her book is so good that, at times, it hurt me to read it. It draws blood, in ways that seem curative.” — Dwight Garner, New York Times

“Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution” by Kathleen Duval – ““With deep research and lively writing, Kathleen DuVal musters a compelling cast to recover the dramatic story of the American Revolution in borderlands uneasily shared by rival empires, enslaved people, and defiant natives. She deftly reveals powerful but long-hidden dimensions of a revolution rich with many possible alternatives to the triumph of the United States.”—Alan Taylor, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Internal Enemy 

“The Lost Girls: The True Story of the Cleveland Abductions and the Incredible Rescue of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus” by John Glatt – “A New York Times best-selling crime writer, Glatt recounts a case that shook us all: Ariel Castro’s over-decade-long imprisonment and repeated rape and beating of three young women in Cleveland and their May 2013 escape. Castro’s family and musician friends weigh in, as do the neighbors who saw the rescue. Creep- and anger-inducing, for sure.” — Barbara Hoffert. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.

“Pig Tales: An Omnivore’s Quest for Sustainable Meat” by Barry Estabrook – ““Estabrook puts his substantial reporting, storytelling, and writing talents in the service of the pig. He documents the horrors perpetrated in America on this miracle creature, but he also describes the ways to break away from those horrors. . . . Pig Tales appalled me, terrified me, and then filled me with hope.” (Michael Ruhlman, author of Charcuterie and Salumi)

ADULT AUDIO BOOK

“Finders Keepers” by Stephen King – “… Here, the actor’s  (Patton) deceptively mellow, vaguely Southern delivery helps spin a thrilling yarn that shuffles two tales separated by 35 years. … Both stories converge when Morris is released from prison and arrives in town expecting to find his cache. Though the novel unfolds in third-person narration, King slants each chapter toward its featured player, and Patton adds an appropriate attitude. For example, he reads the chapters focused on Morris with a sort of grim determination laced with anger. The Pete chapters have a halting quality that reflects the teen’s suspicious nature and lack of self-confidence. The chapters devoted to Drew Halliday, a crooked book dealer, are given a smarmy air of extreme self-satisfaction. The bottom line is that King has added another superb novel of suspense to his ever-increasing list, and Patton’s inventive interpretations make it a must-hear audio.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

“The Winthrop Woman” by Anya Seton – …The novel focuses on the life of Elizabeth Winthrop, the vibrant and rebellious niece of the colony’s first governor. … The expansive story provides James scope to demonstrate her skill at voicing characters of both genders, and their stories add to the picture of early seventeenth-century life in these colonies. In tone and pace, James’ voice reveals her sympathy for Elizabeth’s travails. Her characterization of Elizabeth’s relationship with Telaka, the Indian woman who becomes her maid and confidant, is especially poignant. The tapestry of English, Dutch, and Indian characters and their stories enliven the novel. Seton’s attention to historical detail, coupled with the narrator’s clear sense of character, makes this a rewarding listening experience.” —  McCay, Mary. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

BLUE/DVD

“Airplane”
“Black or White”
“Far From the Madding Crowd”
“Home”
“How to Get Away with Murder; The Complete First Season”
“The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh”
“Paddington”
“A Place to Call Home Season 1”
“A Place to Call Home Season 2”
“Homeland The Complete Fourth Season”
“The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season”
“Woman in Gold”

BOARD BOOK

“The Babies and Doggies Book” by John and Molly
“Whose Tools?” by Toni Buzzeo & Jim Datz

CHILDREN’S MUSIC

“Peter, Paul and Mommy”

PICTURE BOOK

“Archie the Daredevil Penguin” by Andy Rash
“Beautiful Moon: A Child’s Prayer” by Tonya Bolden
“A  Dance Like Starlight” by Kristey Dempsey & Floyd Cooper
“The Day the Crayons Came Home” by Drew Daywalt
“The Farmer and the Clown” by Marla Frazee
“Frog and Toad Storybook Treasury” by Arnold Lobel
“Grandaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box” by Michael S. Bandy & Eric Stein
“Interstellar Cinderella”
by Deborah Underwood
“Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965” by Jonah Winter
“Lizard from the Park” by Mark Pett
“My Teacher is a Monster! No I Am Not.” by Peter Brown
“Night Animals” by Gianna Marino
“Over in the Wetlands” by Caroline Starr Rose & Rob Dunlavey
“R is for Rocket” by Tad Hills
“Sun and Moon” by LIndsey Yankey
“The Tea Party in the Woods” by Akiko Miyakoshi
“We Forgot Brock!” by Carter Goodrich
“What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night” by Refe & Susan Tuma
“Winnie Plays Ball”  by Leda Schubert

JUVENILE AUDIO BOOK

“Smek for President” by Adam Rex – “”First-time novelist Rex has written an imaginative, wacky, hilarious sci-fi story that will appeal to fans of Eoin Colfer and Jon Scieszka. Lively cartoon-paneled illustrations are interspersed throughout and add to the fun. This is a fast-paced adventure with a whip-smart protagonist, a lovable and resourceful extraterrestrial, and plenty of social commentary.”―School Library Journal, starred review

JUVENILE BIOGRAPHY

“The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse” by Patricia MacLachlan – “K-3. In this exploration of the painter’s early encounters with color, Henri’s mother brightens his gray surroundings, brings him fruits and flowers to arrange, and swathes a room in red rugs. Most inspiring are the changeable colors of pigeons (given to Henri by his father). Relief prints with digital techniques become bolder and brighter as the book progresses while incorporating Matisse’s own imagery.” —  THE HORN BOOK, c2015.

JUVENILE FICTION

“Lexie” by Audrey Couloumbis – “Gr. 3-6. Lexie isn’t looking forward to a week at the summer beach house without her mother, but she is looking forward to spending some time with her dad. It will be their first time at the beach house since the divorce. The idea of time alone with Daddy is upset when Lexie learns that Daddy has invited his new girlfriend and her children to the beach house for the week. Couloumbis has written a story that is relevant to young readers, and Lexie tells her story with an honesty that admits her own petty feelings, but also shows her attempt to see the world from others’ viewpoint. Illustrations and a fast-paced storyline make this a quick read.” — Lisa Hunt, Apple Creek Elementary, ABC-CLIO, INC., c2011.

“Out of my Mind” by Sharon M. Draper – “Narrator Melody is a fifth grader with cerebral palsy. She’s brilliant, but few people realize just how brilliant until she receives ‘Elvira,’ her Medi-Talker computer. Draper paints the picture of a real girl–with tantrums and attitude, problems with mean girls and oafish adults. This is an eye-opening book with an unforgettable protagonist and a rich cast of fully realized, complicated characters.” — THE HORN BOOK, c2010.

“The Serpent’s Shadow” by Rick Riordan – “… This epic battle and the quiet concluding chapters glow, alternating heroism and humanity, with any trace of bombast erased by the wry wit of the alternating narrators, Sadie and Carter. As in The Red Pyramid (2010) and The Throne of Fire (2011), the cast of characters here is confusingly large and the backstory sometimes seems tucked into the spaces between the battles. But powered by Riordan’s talent for creating vividly written action scenes and his ability to keep a complicated story moving, this volume brings the Kane Chronicles series to a rousing conclusion.” — Phelan, Carolyn. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2012.

JUVENILE NON-FICTION

“Amulet Book One The Stonekeeper” by Kazu Kibuishi – “Gr 4 Up-Hurrying to pick up her brother, Emily and her parents have a tragic accident, and her father dies. After this dark beginning, the story skips forward two years to when the remaining family members are forced to move to an ancestral house in a small town. Rumored to be haunted, it is unkempt and forbidding. The first night there, Emily’s mother goes down to the basement to investigate a noise and doesn’t return. The kids search for her and discover a doorway into another world, where their mother has been swallowed by a monster and is being taken away. An amulet that Emily found in the house tells her that together they can save her, but her brother isn’t so sure that this voice can be trusted. Still, what other choice do they have in this strange place? Gorgeous illustrations with great color bring light to this gloomy tale. Filled with excitement, monsters, robots, and mysteries, this fantasy adventure will appeal to many readers, but it does have some truly nightmarish elements.” –Dawn Rutherford, King County Library System, …CAHNERS PUBLISHING, c2008.

“Beautiful Hands” by Kathryn Otoshi & Bret Baumgarten – “Ages 3-up. This celebration of human capability subverts expectations with every page turn, as Otoshi (Two) and Baumgarten twist physical actions, such as planting or lifting, into more abstract ideas. “What will your beautiful hands do today?” begins the book; the question is one Baumgarten asked his children daily, before his death in 2014. Images created from handprints and fingerprints, inked in a vibrant palette of paint and set against white backgrounds, accompany reader-directed questions that are broken up over page turns, allowing each surprising conclusion to make its full impact. “Will you plant… ideas?” write the authors, as circles of handprints attached to green stems suggest both fiery dandelions and the explosive energy of an epiphany. In two spreads dedicated to the phrase “Will they lift… spirits?” a tiny bird is first seen perched on a yellow hand; a page turn reveals the bird in its full splendor as its wings stretch across the spread, slender blue and magenta fingerprints transformed into delicate feathers. It’s an inspiring reminder of all the intangible things that our bodies, hearts, and minds have the capacity to do.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

“The Colossus Rises: Seven Wonders Series” by Peter Lerangis – “Grades 4-8. Part Goonies, part MacGyver, part Percy Jackson, this big series starter is sure to please readers looking for underdog heroes and their unbelievable adventures. … The tension of whom to trust and why keeps readers guessing, and the quick action, high stakes, and clever solutions make this a slam dunk. ” — Booth, Heather. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2012.

“Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome” by Brad Montague and Robby Novak – “Grades 3-6. Ten-year-old Novak became a YouTube sensation with his Kid President series, coproduced by actor Rainn Wilson, which encourages positivity and cooperation with funny pep talks and celebrity interviews. … Plenty of interviews with inspiring young people who are agents of positive change serve as the backbone of the book’s message. A dynamic mixed-media layout of photographs, illustrations, and fan submissions punctuate Novak’s platform. Even the most ardent cynics will find themselves laughing along with the Kid President’s silly but hugely insightful musings.” — Anderson, Erin. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“The Knight at Dawn: Magic Tree House #2” by Mary Pope Osborne – Let the magic tree house whisk you on an adventure with brother and sister Jack and Annie. From a mysterious knight and a medieval castle to a spooky dungeon and a secret passage, The Knight at Dawn has everything to keep young readers turning pages.” — inside front cover

“The Magic Trap” by Jacqueline Davies – “Grades 3-6. Since their parents’ divorce many years earlier, Evan and Jessie have been disappointed that their dad, who travels the world as a journalist, seldom calls or visits. Now he is back in their lives, for a week at least, looking after them while their mother is away. .. their father’s unexpectedly early departure leaves them home alone, and soon they are figuring out how to survive a hurricane on their own. …As the third-person narrative switches from one child’s point of view to the other, the contrast between the two is marked and consistently believable. Readers intrigued by the magic theme will also appreciate the appended instructions for a card trick. ” — Phelan, Carolyn. 248p. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Mama Built a Little Nest” by Jennifer Ward – “PreS-Gr 3. A practically perfect science picture book. Ward features a different kind of bird’s nest on each spread, with a four-line rhyming verse suitable for reading aloud on the left-hand pages, and a few sentences offering more information, at a higher reading level, on the right. Jenkins’s colorful cut-paper collages, set against white backgrounds that emphasize their attention to detail, illuminate each of the birds’ creations. Readers will find nests ranging from the tree-hole cavities of woodpeckers to the scrape nests of falcons to the astonishing woven nests of weaverbirds, and even some that challenge readers’ assumptions about what a nest is, such as the emperor penguin egg’s “nest” on top of the father’s feet. Equally excellent for classroom or storytime, this harmonious blend of text and illustrations executes a simple concept beautifully, in a manner that allows readers of various ages to approach the book in different ways.” — Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.

“The Most Amazing Creature in the Sea” by Brenda Z. Guiberson – “Handsome, softly realistic illustrations depict an assortment of ocean dwellers, each accompanied by a brief paragraph full of interesting factoids as each creature proclaims itself “the most amazing creature in the sea.” . . . An eye-catching jumping-off point for further investigation.” — School Library Journal,

“Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf” by Olivia Bouler – “Eleven-year-old Bouler, who raised more than ,000 for the Audubon Society’s Gulf Coast oil spill recovery efforts through the sale of her bird paintings, pairs her artwork with casual, informative passages to create an upbeat lesson on bird identification, habitat, and nature preservation. Birds are organized according to kid-friendly classifications, like ‘Birds That Live in the Woods’ and ‘Weird & Wacky Birds,’ including the pyrrhuloxia and Eastern phoebe (‘Dogs wag their tails–and so do these birds perched on a branch!’). Bouler’s depictions of familiar birds like the Canada goose, bald eagle, and hummingbird are carefully observed and spirited; her vivacious attitude may inspire ecologically minded readers to get involved.” —  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2011.

“Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes” by Rick Riordan – “The age-old stories are endlessly strong, resonant, an surprising, while the telling here is fresh, irreverent, and amusing. This hefty volume is also a tall, handsome one, with fine paper, richly colorful full-page and spot pictures, and simple, attractive borders on pages of text. John Rocco…illustrates the myths with drama, verve and clarity. A must-have addition to the Percy Jackson cannon.” — back cover

“Princess Academy” by Shannon Hale – “Gr. 6-9. Miri would love to join her father and older sister as a miner in Mount Eskel’s quarry. Not a glamorous aspiration for a 14-year-old, perhaps, but the miners produce the humble village’s prize stone, linder, and mining is a respected occupation that drives the local economy. When the local girls are rounded up to compete for the hand of the kingdom’s prince, Miri, the prize student in the Princess Academy, gets her chance to shine. …. Hale nicely interweaves feminist sensibilities in this quest-for-a-prince-charming, historical-fantasy tale. Strong suspense and plot drive the action as the girls outwit would-be kidnappers and explore the boundaries of leadership, competition, and friendship.” — Anne O’Malley.AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2005.

“Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle” by Miranda Paul – “A biracial brother and sister explore the out-of-doors (and a bit of mischief) through the four seasons in this poetic look at the many forms water takes on its trip through its cycle. … The water cycle’s importance is brought home in the closing pages, snow leading to spring to mud to roots to apples to cider. Backmatter tells more about each step in the cycle, using solid explanations and science vocabulary. An engaging and lyrical look at the water cycle. (water facts, further reading, bibliography) (Informational picture book.” —  KIRKUS MEDIA LLC, c2015.

YOUNG ADULT

“All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven – “”In her YA debut, adult author Niven creates a romance so fresh and funny. . . The journey to, through, and past tragedy is romantic and heartbreaking, as characters and readers confront darkness, joy, and the possibilities—and limits—of love in the face of mental illness.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Brisingr” by Christopher Paolini – “In most respects, this third chapter in Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle feels like the calm before the storm; the majority of the more than 700 pages are dominated by storytelling, plotting, and preparations for battle. If there is a complaint from readers, it will be that Paolini revels too much in long conversations between his characters while action takes a backseat, but fans of the genre will bask in his generosity: …. In fact, clarity is the author’s best asset: few could make such a Tolkienesque universe so manageable. ” — Daniel Kraus. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2008.

“Bone: Crown of Horns” by Jeff Smith –  “This final volume in the popular graphic-novel series takes Bone and his companions on one last journey: to seek out Thorn’s vision, a ‘Crown of Horns,’ in the hopes that it will return peace to the kingdom. As all parties converge on the royal city for battle, Smith packs the pages with action, adventure, and a satisfying conclusion.” — THE HORN BOOK, c2009.
“Eldest” by Christopher Paolini – “The second book in the Inheritance Trilogy,…takes up the epic story just three days after the end of the bloody battle in which Eragon slew the Shade Durza, and the Varden and dwarves defeated the forces of the evil ruler of the Empire. … Alternating narratives follow the exploits of Eragon and of Roran as each plays his role in the inevitable advance toward the final battle. Once again, the expected fantasy elements are well in place, and the characters and their relationships continue to develop nicely. The ending promises an even more cataclysmic battle ahead.” — Sally Estes. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2005.

“Eragon” by Christopher Paolini – “… 15-year-old Eragon discovers an odd blue gemstone while exploring an infamous stretch of forest. It is a dragon egg, fated to hatch in his care. Eragon quickly develops a psychic connection with the female dragon that emerges, whom he names Saphira (‘His emotions were completely open to her mind, and she understood him better than anyone else’). Eragon narrowly escapes doom with Saphira’s help, but the uncle who raised him is killed, setting up a robust revenge/adventure tale. … Paolini, who was 15 years old himself when he began this book, takes the near-archetypes of fantasy fiction and makes them fresh and enjoyable, chiefly through a crisp narrative and a likable hero. … An auspicious beginning to both career and series.” — CAHNERS PUBLISHING, c2003.

Inheritance or The Vault of Souls” by Christopher Paolini – … “Inheritance is the final book of the wildly popular “Inheritance Cycle” by wunderkind Christopher Paolini. …The Christian Science Monitor “Featuring spectacular artwork by John Jude Palencar, this book brings the bestselling Inheritance cycle to a breathtaking conclusion.” Middlesbrough Evening Gazette “It is an extremely compelling and well written book, set in the magical land of Alagaesia, and is one of the best fantasy books I have read. Christopher Paolini is a great author who has been able to conjure up a fantastical yet believable world. This is just as brilliant as all the other books in the series and ends spectacularly, but not in the way I expected…” Kate Lazenby Western Morning News

 

New Books for Children

The Greensboro Free Library was fortunate recently to receive a grant from the Books for Children Program of the Libri Foundation. The foundation is a nationwide organization which donates new, high quality hardcover children’s books to small, rural public libraries.

Our library received a total of 79 books with a total retail value of $1,401.36. Some of these books are new math & science books. Some of them are:

gideon and otto

“Gideon and Otto” by Olivier Dunrea for Preschool – When Gideon the gosling loses his favorite toy, panic ensues as he searches everywhere for Otto. When Otto returns home, on the back of a turtle, all is once again right with the world.

“How to Clean a Hippopotamus: A Look at Unusual Animal Partnerships” by Steve Jenkins for how to clean a hippopotamusgrades K-3 – In a book accessible enough for young readers but with enough information for older researchers, this books introduces the symbiotic relationship that exists between many unlikely animal pairs.

al capone does my homework“Al Capone Does My Homework” by Gennifer Choldenko for grades 5-8 – When the family apartment burns down after his father’s promotion to associate warden, Moose Flanagan has a mystery to solve; Who did it?

 

Come to the library and check out one of these wonderful books or go to our catalog to find more.

NEW ARRIVALS – JUNE 2015

ADULT FICTION

“The Book of Aron” by Jim Shepard – “The Warsaw Ghetto during the darkest days of World War II is the setting of this important, heartbreaking but also inspiring new novel from National Book Award nominee Shepard (Like You’d Understand, Anyway). Told from the perspective of Aron, a Jewish boy in the ghetto, it is the study of the sadistic and systematic deprivation and dehumanization of a people. Forced with his family from the countryside into the ghetto, where he joins a band of hardy young smugglers, Aron eventually loses his entire clan to typhus, malnutrition, and forced labor and ends up in an orphanage in the ghetto run by Janusz Korczak, an important historical figure from this period. Korczak was a well-known advocate for children’s rights before the war and became famous for the orphanage he ran in the ghetto, and the author brings this heroic figure powerfully to life. Shepard also skillfully depicts the blighted human and moral landscape within the ghetto, where normal understandings of right and wrong have become impossibly compromised under the pressure of extermination. Surrounded by devastation, hopelessness, and cruelty, Korczak becomes an exemplar of all that is good and decent in the human spirit. Few will be able to read the last terrible, inspiring pages without tears in their eyes.” –Patrick Sullivan, Manchester Community Coll., CT.  LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.

“Death and Mr. Pickwick” by Stephen Jarvis – “In this astounding first novel, Jarvis re-creates, in loving and exhaustive detail, the writing and publication of Charles Dickens’s first novel….The book offers an impressively imagined account of Seymour, Dickens, and a huge host of others (the sheer scale of the book is, itself, Dickensian)…[Death and Mr. Pickwick] is a staggering accomplishment, a panoramic perspecitive.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“The Debtor Class” by Ivan G. Goldman – “A chance encounter with collection-agency owner Philyaw leads ex-con Bento to a job and an unexpected sense of belonging in this gripping, elliptical novel from Goldman (Isaac: A Modern Fable). Bento and colleague Liz Huizar–who racked up student loans to obtain a master of library science degree, then found herself working as a dancing chicken for a fast-food restaurant–are at the center of an eccentric cast, including Bogart look-alike Philyaw; Gillespie, an unscrupulous cop whose Y2K fears led him to imbibe silver, permanently turning his skin blue; and Roland Sussman, a bestselling writer who returns from a three-year retreat in a commune to learn that his ex-girlfriend has stolen all his assets. Though Goldman doesn’t develop all his potentially intriguing characters or give much more than cursory accounts of their interactions, this is a sobering and triumphant read about the recent recession’s effects on average Americans, the challenges ex-convicts face in society, and the bonds people forge in unlikely circumstances. ” —  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

 “Discount” by Casey Gray – “As a microcosm of contemporary society, few places have the potential for being more evocative than a nationally recognized, big-box retailer. Set in the increasingly quirky border region of New Mexico (thank you, Breaking Bad), Gray’s tale of a few short days in the life of a discount superstore parses the activities and ambitions, desires and frustrations of its owners, management, employees, customers, and their families and cohorts on a minute-by-minute basis. There’s a widow whose dead husband lies cooling in their RV parked in the store’s lot, a severely disfigured Iraq war veteran learning the checkout ropes, a sometimes gang member working the deli counter, and a floor manager who opens a Pandora’s box of trouble by sending an inappropriate text to a coworker with troubles of her own. From disaffected goth teens to lonely housewives, Gray’s characters are far from being the cliched stereotypes these labels would suggest. Their frailties and pride, confusion and alienation, conformity and disdain reflect society’s essential conundrums with a zest and vigor that elevate them to prototypes of a new and daring culture. Fans of Jonathan Franzen and T. C. Boyle, Sam Lipsyte and Jonathan Tropper will flock to Gray’s hearty satire of rampant consumerism and corporate arrogance.” —  Haggas, Carol. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe” by Fannie Flagg – “As she listens to nursing home resident Ninnie Threadgoode tell stories of Whistle Stop, AL, in the 1930s, Evelyn decides to make positive life changes that lift her out of a midlife crisis. VERDICT Though this story of small-town characters may appear quaint, it packs great emotional punch, fearlessly touching on issues ranging from racism to depression. The storytelling never wavers, and bittersweet events are laced with gentle humor. A modern novel with the feel of a classic.” — Ala-Rusa Codes. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2013.

“Girl at War” by Sara Novic – “Novic’s important debut brings painfully home the jarring fact that what appears in today’s headlines on a daily basis–the atrocities of wars in Africa and the Mideast–is neither new nor even particularly the worst that humankind can commit. Take it from 10-year-old Ana Juric, conscripted into the Yugoslav civil war in the early 1990s by the bad luck of simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She is able to calm herself by going through the motions of loading and reloading a munitions magazine. And she’s one of the so-called lucky ones who survived and who was, by the grace of UN peacekeepers, delivered from her nightmarish homeland to the safety of an adoptive American family. However, as Novic gradually reveals, you can take the girl out of the war zone, but you can’t take the war zone out of the girl. By the time Ana becomes a student at a New York university, all that violence has been bottled up inside her head for a decade. Thanks to Novic’s considerable skill, Ana’s return visit to her homeland and her past is nearly as cathartic for the reader as it is for Ana.” — Chavez, Donna. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“This Heart of Mine” by Brenda Novak – “After serving 17 years in prison for a fatal accident she didn’t cause, Phoenix Fuller is back in Whiskey Creek to help her difficult, reclusive mother and get to know Jake, the son she hasn’t seen since the day she gave birth. Sadly, Riley Stinson, Jake’s dad and the man who is raising him, just wants her gone–and so do many of the townsfolk, especially the family of the girl she supposedly ran down. But Phoenix is not the frightened girl who left years earlier, and when the sparks begin to fly, she is more than willing to take the flak and fight for what she knows is right–and the man she’s never stopped loving. VERDICT A courageous, humble heroine intent on getting on with her life, a hero torn between his feelings and others’ expectations, and a surprisingly mature teen make this another engrossing addition to Novak’s addictive series.” —  Kristin Ramsdell. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2015.3

“The Jazz Palace” by Mary Morris – “”Not only does Morris, rhapsodically fluent in the liberating innovations of jazz, vividly convey the passion to make music that rules the precarious lives of Benny and Napoleon. She also turns this tale of brutal hardships and stubborn dreams into a lush, swirling, evocative jazz composition, in which she sensitively depicts a city-in-flux shaped by poverty and romance, immigrants and migrants, anti-Semitism and racism, visionaries and gangsters. A graceful and involving affirmation of the transcendent power of art.”
—Booklist, starred review

“Language Arts” by Stephanie Kallos – “At two, Cody Marlow started talking to God. But just a few months later, he started losing his language, with God the last word to go. With Cody’s autism at its core, this story weaves back to his father Charles’ formative fourth-grade year, when he excelled in the Palmer handwriting method, entered a pilot language-arts program, won a citywide short story competition, and befriended the strange new boy, autistic Dana McGucken. When it’s clear that something is wrong with Cody, his mother, Allison, is relentless in seeking remedies, while Charles, teaching language arts at a private alternative school, finds his son pulling away from him. As Cody turns 21, his parents are divorced, with Charles, living alone in the family house, writing daughter Emmy as she leaves for college, and Allison seeking comfort in Judaism. After startling revelations, comfort comes, thanks to an ambitious art student and a feisty Italian nun with dementia. Kallos’ earlier novels,…This novel, masterfully plotted and written, is a wondrously beautiful story of love and loss, offering hope in the face of the harshest reality.” —  Leber, Michele. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“The Liar” by Nora Roberts – “Appalled by the depth of her husband’s deceit and the debt he leaves behind when he is lost in a boating accident, Shelby Pomeroy Foxworth takes her three-year-old daughter, Callie, and heads home to her family and her Smoky Mountain roots. Reconnecting with her past and building a life for herself and Callie is the order of the day. Having another man in her life–especially one as appealing as Griff Lott–or realizing that something evil and dark has followed her to Rendezvous Ridge is certainly not on the agenda. … Riveting.” —  Kristin Ramsdell. 512p. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2015.

“Our Souls At Night” by Kent Haruf – “Within the first three pages of this gripping and tender novel, Addie Moore, a 70-year-old widow, invites her neighbor, Louis Waters, to sleep over. “No, not sex,” she clarifies. “I’m talking about getting through the night. And lying warm in bed, companionably.” Although Louis is taken off guard, the urgency of Addie’s loneliness does not come across as desperate, and her logic will soon persuade him. She reasons that they’re both alone (Louis’s wife has also been dead for a number of years) and that, simply, “nights are the worst.” What follows is a sweet love story, a deep friendship, and a delightful revival of a life neither of them was expecting, all against the backdrop of a gossiping (and at times disapproving) small town. When Addie’s six-year-old grandson arrives for the summer, Addie and Louis’s relationship is tested but ultimately strengthened. Addie’s adult son’s judgment, however, is not so easily overcome. In this book, Haruf, who died in 2014, returns to the landscape and daily life of Holt County, Colo., …with a stunning sense of all that’s passed and the precious importance of the days that remain.” —  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

 “Paradise Sky” by Joe R. Lansdale – “The latest novel from Lansdale (The Thicket) revolves around an unfortunate misunderstanding that leads Ruggert, a local landowner, to seek vengeance against a young African American man, Willie. Ruggert and his men kill Willie’s father, and Willie flees his Texas home. Loving, a Civil War veteran, takes Willie under his wing and teaches him how to shoot and ride a horse. When Loving dies, Willie renames himself Nat Love in honor of his mentor and heads to the town of Deadwood in South Dakota Territory, where he befriends Wild Bill Hickock, among other colorful characters. When Ruggert hears that Nat is living in Deadwood, he sets out after the young man again. VERDICT Loosely based on the true story of African American cowboy Nat Love (1854-1921), this fast-paced Western with its multicultural cast of characters is a winner. Readers of Patrick deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers will welcome Love’s sense of humor and resilience in the midst of the rough-and-tumble American West.” — Emily Hamstra, Univ. of Michigan Libs., Ann Arbor. 416p. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2015.

“Royal Wedding: A Princess Diaries Novel” by Meg Cabot – “…When last we saw her, Mia had just graduated high school. Now 26, she’s still lovable, albeit more mature; (slightly) less of a hypochondriac; and a tad burned out by fame. But when longtime love Michael finally pops the question, Mia is more than happy to surrender to the fairy tale. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Princess Diaries book without a royal scandal: another surprising secret from Mia’s father, as well as interference from the ever-present, deliciously wicked Grandmere, creates a whirlwind of jaw-dropping, hilarious, and occasionally touching events. … Original fans of the series, now adults themselves, will be thrilled with this, but it will be enjoyable for those on either side of Cabot’s extensive fan base … ” –Reagan, Maggie. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“The Sympathizer” by Viet Thanh Nguyen – “Adept in the merciless art of interrogation, the nameless spy who narrates Nguyen’s dark novel knows how to pry answers from the unwilling. Unexpectedly, however, this Vietnamese communist sympathizer finds himself being tortured by the very revolutionary zealots he has helped make victorious in Saigon. He responds to this torture by extending an intense self-interrogation already underway before his incarceration. The narrator thus plumbs his singular double-mindedness by reliving his turbulent life as the bastard son of a French priest and a devout Asian mother. Haunted by a faith he no longer accepts, insecure in the communist ideology he has embraced, the spy sweeps a vision sharpened by disillusionment across the tangled individual psyches of those close to him–a friend, a lover, a comrade–and into the warped motives of the imperialists and ideologues governing the world he must navigate. In an antiheroic trajectory that takes him from Vietnam during the war to the U.S. and then back, Nguyen’s cross-grained protagonist exposes the hidden costs in both countries of America’s tragic Asian misadventure. Nguyen’s probing literary art illuminates how Americans failed in their political and military attempt to remake Vietnam–but then succeeded spectacularly in shrouding their failure in Hollywood distortions. Compelling–and profoundly unsettling.” — Christensen, Bryce.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“Your Next Breath” by Iris Johansen – “In bestseller Johansen’s… novel …, the CIA operative is pleased to be reunited with her 11-year-old son, Luke, after his rescue from a Russian criminal who kidnapped him when the boy was two. Meanwhile, Catherine determines that the man responsible for the brutal murders of three people close to her is Tomas Santos, a drug dealer who was recently released from prison in Caracas–and who hates Catherine for killing his wife in a shoot-out. Hu Chang, her best friend from Hong Kong (where she grew up), and Richard Cameron, a security chief for a powerful conglomerate with whom she once worked on a case, assist Catherine in the hunt for Santos, as do Eve Duncan, the heroine of the author’s main series, and Eve’s policeman husband, Joe Quinn. Paranormal scenes in which Catherine and Cameron communicate at a distance serve to heighten the sexual tension between them. ” –Agent: Andrea Cirillo, Jane Rotrosen Agency. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

ADULT MYSTERY

“The Bone Tree” by Greg Iles – “Penn Cage and fiancee Caitlin Masters doggedly continue their search for the truth behind a series of murders from the 1960s. Past secrets have resurfaced to haunt Penn’s father, Dr. Tom Cage. When Tom is accused of killing his former nurse, he jumps bail to evade the far-extending reach of the Double Eagles, a Ku Klux Klan secret cell. Frank Knox, the deceased Double Eagles leader, was rumored to have been highly involved with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Tracking this theory, FBI special agent John Kaiser is determined to hear the truth from Cage. High-ranking state policeman Forrest Knox, Frank’s son, is also hunting for Cage, using his extensive network of corrupt police and government officials. Tangible proof of the conspiracy is rumored to be in a giant cypress known as the Bone Tree, but Forrest and the rest of the Double Eagles will do anything to stop Penn, Caitlin, and Cage. VERDICT Picking up immediately from Natchez Burning, best-selling author Iles superbly blends past and present in his swift and riveting story line.”  Joy Gunn, Paseo Verde Lib., Henderson, NV.  LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2015.

“Death by Dinosaur” by J. D. Mallinson – “A visiting professor from Germany has been found dead of unnatural causes at a natural history museum in London, where he cut a controversial figure. Is his demise a result of acute rivalries within the academic community? Or is it related to his background in Germany? Inspector George Mason, of Scotland Yard Special Branch, is assigned to solve this crime, which has major repercussions in official circles in England, Germany and France. Mason is ably assisted in his investigations by Detective Sergeant Alison Aubrey, as by detectives seconded from other police forces in Britain. His enquiries take him to parts of rural England, France, Switzerland and Germany, accurately portrayed by an author who spent several years teaching and traveling in Europe. ” — Amazon.com

“Death in the Floating City” by Tasha Alexander – “Alexander’s seventh Lady Emily mystery, set in Venice, is one of her best, not only for the fabulous Lady Emily (a relative of Amelia Peabody?), her comely mate Colin Hargreaves, and the circuitous plot, but also because readers will fall in love with the vividly described nineteenth-century Floating City…Fun to read, fast paced, and delightfully suspenseful…the perfect entertainment for both Elizabeth Peters fans and readers who have enjoyed Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation novels.” – Booklist

“A Demon Summer” by G. M. Malliet – “Agatha-winner Malliet’s entertaining fourth Max Tudor cozy…finds the former MI5 spy turned Anglican priest working up the nerve to tell his bishop that he plans to marry Awena Owen, who holds decidedly untraditional religious views. But before Max and Awena can tie the knot, the bishop dispatches him to the nunnery of Monkbury Abbey, where the sisters produced a fruitcake that sickened the Earl of Lislelivet some months after he visited the abbey. The bishop, who’s worried that the poisoning wasn’t an accident, believes that Max is better suited than the police to gain the sisters’ confidence and learn the truth about the fruitcake. The community, Max learns, is divided between those who want the abbey to have more contact with the outside world and those who don’t. Meanwhile, he has a possibly related crime to solve. The ending with a traditional gathering of the suspects will please Golden Age fans.” — Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary.  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“Destroyer Angel” by Nevada Barr – “Bestseller Barr’s gripping 18th Anna Pigeon novel (after 2012’s The Rope) takes the National Park Service ranger on an autumn camping trip along the Fox River of the Iron Range in upstate Minnesota. Anna’s first vacation since her honeymoon three years earlier doubles as a get-together with Heath Jarrod, a paraplegic; Heath’s daughter, Elizabeth; Leah Hendricks, who designs outdoor gear; and Leah’s daughter, Katie. For Leah, the trip also is a “shakedown cruise” to test a new line of equipment to make the outdoors accessible to the handicapped. On their second night, four armed men invade the campsite while Anna is on a solo canoe float. Barr touches again on her recurring theme, that man is the biggest threat in nature, as Anna works unseen to disarm the thugs and free her friends. Barr’s gift for depicting breathtaking scenery elevates the story, as does Anna’s complex, ever-evolving personality.” —  Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency.  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“Dry Bones: A Longmire Mystery” by Craig Johnson – ““The [Longmire] series continues to be fresh and innovative. In Dry Bones, Johnson accomplishes this through a ‘sixty-five-million-year-old cold case’ with current social and political implications, as well as via vibrantly complex characters. Devoted series fans won’t feel a sense of déjà vu in Dry Bones, but they will easily identify Johnson’s tendency toward innovative imagery (‘my brain felt like it was bouncing around like a sneaker inside a washing machine’), crack dialogue, humor and a strong sense of place. Absaroka’s maker brings dem bones to life, and readers are sure to rejoice.”
—Shelf Awareness

“Gathering Prey” by John Sandford – “With his usual electrifying plot, wit, and fascinating characters, Sandford commits multiple murders that will keep his legion of readers awake late into the night.” — Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Heirs and Graces” by Rhys Bowen – “Set in 1934, Bowen’s rollicking seventh Royal Spyness mystery (after 2012’s The Twelve Clues of Christmas) finds Lady Georgiana Rannoch, a distant cousin of George V, typing up her mother’s life story. But once Mummy decides her memoirs are too scandalous for publication, Georgiana must seek new employment. With options limited, she writes Queen Mary, who rewards her with a royal audience and a business proposition. The son of the dowager Duchess of Eynsford, a friend of the queen’s, has not produced an heir, and the future of the family hinges on a newly discovered relation, Australian Jack Altringham. But Altringham, an uncouth sheep farmer, needs help acclimating to British high society, which is where Georgiana comes in. Inevitably, a murder crosses her path, and the quasi-royal again gets to show off her detecting chops. The appealing lead and breezy prose will remind many of James Anderson’s period mysteries featuring the Earl of Burford.” — Agent: Meg Ruley, the Jane Rotrosen Agency.  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2013.

“Pursuit in Provence” by Phyllis Gobbell – “Gobbell’s refreshing debut introduces Jordan Mayfair, an architect from Savannah, Ga., who joins her 72-year-old travel writer uncle, Alex Carlyle, on a journey to Provence. Jordan’s troubles begin when their flight to Paris is diverted to Brussels, where she leaves her suitcase on a commuter train. The efforts of an American dressed like a cowboy to get it to her before the train pulls out of the station are to no avail. Later, in Paris, Jordan is stunned to see the cowboy-looking American she encountered in Brussels. Stranger still is the cowboy ending up outside her hotel as a hit-and-run victim. Jordan and Alex eventually reach the village of Fontvieille, where her hotel room is ransacked and her new suitcase flung open. Someone apparently believes Jordan has something valuable in her possession, but what? Seasoned with humor and evocative descriptions of magnificent historic sites, this whodunit should appeal to fans of both cozies and traditional mysteries.” —  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

“The Rest is Silence” by James R. Benn – “Benn offers a thrilling mix of fact and fiction in his ninth whodunit featuring Boston cop-turned-army investigator Billy Boyle (after 2013’s A Blind Goddess). On the eve of D-Day, Boyle, who serves on Eisenhower’s staff, travels to Kingsbridge, England, and looks into the death of an unknown man whose corpse washed ashore on a beach. Since the location was used as practice for the amphibious assault that will be launched shortly in France, the higher-ups are concerned that a link may exist between the dead man, who was shot in the head, and the secret invasion plans. A feud among local gangsters that Boyle learns about suggests a less sinister theory, but the path to the truth is appropriately complex. The affable and capable Boyle continues to grow as a character, and Benn effectively uses the impending Allied invasion of Europe as the background for the whodunit plot.” —  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“The Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith – “Private detective Cormoran Strike, quite busy after his last high-profile case (The Cuckoo’s Calling), is now investigating the disappearance of author Owen Quine. Quine’s wife thinks he’s off at a writer’s retreat, but, of course, matters aren’t that simple. Quine’s new manuscript has been leaked to key people in the London publishing world, and his thinly veiled caricatures of his colleagues’ most private weaknesses have made him very unpopular. Meanwhile, Cormoran’s capable assistant Robin is planning her wedding and wishing she could resolve the unspoken tension between her boss and her fiance. Good luck with that. Verdict This Cormoran Strike adventure delivers on all the promise of the first one.”  –Laurel Bliss, San Diego State Univ. Lib. . LJ Xpress Online Review. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.

ADULT BIOGRAPHY

“George Harrison: Behing the Locked Door” by Graeme Thomson – “He was known as the Quiet One, a “shallow” and “simplistic label,” as journalist and music biographer Thomson rightly notes. But George Harrison, the youngest Beatle, was a complicated fellow, “the least flashy, the least brash,” asserts Thomson; the Beatle who was least drawn to the glare of fame. Indeed, Harrison, who had a serious green thumb, seemed happier tending his garden than playing the role of the rock star. Many critics thought he would disappear from the spotlight after the Beatles officially split in April 1970. Instead, he enjoyed his most fertile period with the release of a triple album, All Things Must Pass, and the “symbolic pinnacle” of his career, the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971, the first benefit music concert. Thomson looks at Harrison’s normal upbringing in Liverpool; his joining the Beatles and the chaos that followed; his forging a solo career as well as his stint with the Traveling Wilburys; his role as a movie producer; and his final years, including a violent attack in his home and his death in 2001 in Beverly Hills at 58. Thomson is especially compelling in his illumination of Harrison’s inner life, his robust spirituality, and his deep love of Indian culture. A must for all Beatles collections and for fans of the quiet man himself.” — Sawyers, June.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“Words Without Music: A Memoir” by Philip Glass – “An absorbing, graceful, and humane window into the interior life of one of our most important and arguably most famous composers…. For everyone who has been fascinated and moved by his music, the book will be full of deep insights into how Glass the man became Glass the composer.” — George Grella – The Brooklyn Rail

“The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough – “Mechanical invention is close to a religious calling in this reverent biography of the pioneers of heavier-than-air flight. Pulitizer-winning historian McCullough (Truman) sees something exalted in the two bicycle mechanics and lifelong bachelors who lived with their sister and clergyman father in Daytton, Ohio. He finds them–especially Wilbur, the elder brother–to be cultured men with a steady drive and quiet charisma, not mere eccentrics. McCullough follows their monkish devotion to the goal of human flight, recounting their painstaking experiments in a homemade wind tunnel, their countless wrong turns and wrecked models, and their long stints roughing it on the desolate, buggy shore at Kitty Hawk, N.C, Thanks largly to their own caginess, the brothers endured years of doubt and ridicule while they improved their flyer. McCullough also describes the fame and adulation that the brothers received after public demonstrations in France and Washington, D.C., in 1908 cemented their claims. His evident admiration for the Wrights leads him to soft-pedal their crasser side, like their epic patent lawsuits, which stymied American aviation for years. Still McCullough’s usual warm, evocative prose makes for an absorbing narrative; he conveys both the drama of the birth of flight and the homespun genius of America’s golden age of innovation.” —  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

ADULT NON-FICTION

“Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer – “With deep compassion and graceful prose, botanist and professor of plant ecology Kimmerer (Gathering Moss) encourages readers to consider the ways that our lives and language weave through the natural world. A mesmerizing storyteller, she shares legends from her Potawatomi ancestors to illustrate the culture of gratitude in which we all should live. In such a culture, Everyone knows that gifts will follow the circle of reciprocity and flow back to you again… The grass in the ring is trodden down in a path from gratitude to reciprocity. We dance in a circle, not in a line. Kimmerer recalls the ways that pecans became a symbol of abundance for her ancestors: Feeding guests around the big table recalls the trees’ welcome to our ancestors when they were lonesome and tired and so far from home. She reminds readers that we are showered every day with gifts, but they are not meant for us to keep… Our work and our joy is to pass along the gift and to trust that what we put into the universe will always come back.” — PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY

“Don’t Trust Don’t Fear Don’t Beg” by Ben Stewart – “In 2013, the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise was boarded by Russian commandos after a protest at a state-owned oil platform in the arctic. The 30 crew members were arrested and, along with their ship, taken to Murmansk, where, after cursory court appearances, they were promptly remanded for two months while facing piracy charges carrying 15-year sentences. Stewart was part of the international group that mobilized to get the Arctic 30 released, and he has crafted not only a gripping narrative about their capture and jail experiences but also an invaluable look at the Russian prison system and the country’s political and economic dependence on oil. The personal stories that Stewart recounts are appealing enough, but the crew was deeply affected by their time in prison and the people they met there, and the author wisely imparts that immensely interesting aspect of the story as well. This broadens the book’s appeal to far beyond its obvious environmentalist audience, and, indeed, anyone seeking to understand modern Russia will find it enlightening. Enormously compelling and important, Stewart’s account commands attention on each and every powerful page.” — Mondor, Colleen. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“The Great Detective: The Amazing Rise and Immortal Life of Sherlock Holmes” by Zach Dundas – “Learn, if you don’t already know, that Doyle regarded his Holmes efforts not as crime stories but “fairy tales.” Or what happened when Doyle applied Holmes’ methods to a crime on his own patch. Or why, since Holmes never wore a deerstalker, he’s seen today wearing one anyway. Dundas’ matey writing style makes the details easy to absorb while we wait for the real meat: the scraping away of a century of misunderstandings that have made the great detective something he’s not, and, in the process, the revealing of what he really is–a warmhearted man, kind and courteous, with a prankish sense of humor. Dundas might have said more about the furrow-browed scholarship Holmes is attracting lately, like the observation that Holmes’ obsession with logic is a cover for his passion for justice. He would rather play tricks with the law of England than with his own conscience, as Holmes put it after he let a killer go free. A delight for Baker Streeters.” — Crinklaw, Don. 320p. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted” by Ian Millhiser – ““A powerful critique of the Supreme Court, which shows that it has largely failed through American history to enforce the Constitution and to protect our rights. With great clarity and poignant human stories throughout, Ian Millhiser has written a book that all who are interested in American government and our legal system—which should be all of us—must read.” —Erwin Chemerinsky, founding dean and distinguished professor of law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law

“Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General” by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard – “At he time of his death, Patton had become known … as both an exalted commander … and a controversial hero, relieved of his duties by General Dwight Eisenhower … For almost seventy years, there has been a suspicion that his death was not an accident. … O’Reilly and Dugard reveal the true man and the many powerful people who wanted him dead.” — inside front cover

“The Lost World of the Old Ones” by David Roberts – “Roberts expands and updates his In Search of the Old Ones (1996),…exploring the prehistoric ruins of Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and southwest Colorado. In recounting his treks over the past 20 years, Roberts addresses debates both academic, …and moral, such as whether discovered objects, including baskets and pottery shards, should be left in place or removed and incorporated into museum collections. In the company of fellow adventurers, archaeologists, and native guides, Roberts explores Range Creek, a tributary of Utah’s Green River, and finds granaries left by the ancient Fremont Puebloans; Fortress Rock, near Canyon de Chelly, where a band of Navajos hid for four and a half years to escape the Long Walk to Bosque Redondo in 1863; and the little-explored, nearly inaccessible Kaiparowits Plateau, now part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah. Roberts’ captivating retelling of these and other exploits in search of the Southwest’s ancient history has the pull and excitement of a suspense novel and appeals to a wide range of readers interested in this region’s deep past and great beauty.” — Donovan, Deborah.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“The Millionaire and the Bard: Henry Folger’s Obsessive Hunt for Shakespeare’s First Folio” by Andrea Mays – ““The Millionaire and the Bard” weaves a thrilling tale of literary detective work, high financial stakes, and the vision of one man, Henry Folger, to preserve one of the great written treasures of civilization. ” — Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana and A World on Fire

My Generation” by William Styron – “My Generation is the definitive gathering of William Styron’s nonfiction, exposing the core of this greatly gifted, highly convivial, and profoundly serious artist from his literary emergence in the 1950’s to his death in 2006.” — inside front cover

“Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis” by Robert D. Putnam – “Robert D. Putnam vividly captures a dynamic change in American society—the widening class-based opportunity gap among young people. The diminishing life chances of lower-class families and the expanding resources of the upper-class are contrasted in sharp relief in Our Kids, which also includes compelling suggestions of what we as a nation should do about this trend. Putnam’s new book is a must-read for all Americans concerned about the future of our children.” — William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard University

“The Quartet” Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1733-1789″ by Joseph J. Ellis – “…True to form, here he (Elli) reviews this short but important time in America’s history through the eyes of its major figures–George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison–rather than offering an analysis of the weighty interval between the nation’s failed first constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and the ratification of the second (and successful) constitution and its first 10 amendments, which we now know as the Bill of Rights. … With his usual skill, Ellis brings alive what otherwise might seem dry constitutional debates, with apt quotations and bright style. There may be equally solid surveys of “the second American Revolution,” a term Ellis borrows from other historians, but this one will be considered the standard work on its subject for years to come. ..” Agent: Ike Williams; Kneerim, Williams & Bloom.  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

“The Road to Character” by David Brooks – ““The road to exceptional character may be unpaved and a bit rocky, yet it is still worth the struggle. This is the basic thesis of Brooks’s engrossing treatise on personal morality in today’s materialistic, proud world. . . . [His] poignant and at times quite humorous commentary on the importance of humility and virtue makes for a vital, uplifting read.”—PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY

ADULT AUDIO BOOK

BLUE/DVD

“Birdman”
“The Forsyte Saga The Complete First Series”
“Foyle’s War, Set 8”
“Halt and Catch Fire The Complete First Season”
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the FIve Armies”
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1”
“Ken Burns: Cancer The Emperor of all Maladies”

“Penguins of Madagascar”

ADULT MUSIC

BOARD BOOK

“The Napping House” by Don Wood
“Yummy Yucky”  by Leslie Patricelli

CHILDREN’S MUSIC

“Night Night” by Caspar Babypants

PICTURE BOOK

“The Baseball Player and the Walrus by Ben Loory
“Billy’s Booger” 
by William Joyce
“By Mouse and Frog”
by Deborah Freedman
“Drum Dream Girl”
by Margarita Engle
“Hippos are Huge”
by Jonathan London
“How to Draw a Dragon”
by Douglas Florian
“I Don’t Like Koala”
by Sean Ferrell
“I Wish You More”
by Any Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld
“Janine”
by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
“Look!”
by Jeff Mack
“Mama Seeton’s Whistle”
by Jerry Spinelli
“Marilyn’s Monster”
by Michelle Knudsen
“Orion and the Dark”
by Emma Yarlett
“Sidewalk Flowers”
by JonArno Lawson
“Spots in a Box”
by Helen Ward
“Stick and Stone”
by Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld
“Such a Little Mouse”
by Alice Shertle
“Tommy Can’t Stop” by Tim Federle
“What a Wonderful World” by Bob Thiele & George David Weiss
“Wild About Us! b
y Karen Beaumont
“Yard Sale” by Eve Bunting

JUVENILE AUDIO BOOK

“Frostborn” by Lou Anders – “Grades 4-6. In a fantasy world imbued with Norse mythology, young Karn is rescued from undead pursuers by a half-giant girl named Thianna. Thianna and Karn are both being hunted by magical foes and rely on one another to survive. Narrator Tassone has developed separate accents for the people of the story–the Ymirian frost giants; the humans of Norrongard; and the wyvern riders, who hail from a foreign southern land. He does well voicing inhuman characters like the oafish trolls; the undead draug; and an ancient, irritated dragon. The story switches between Karn’s voice and Thianna’s. These transitions are seamless, and Tassone is equally compelling narrating a female character. The on-point readings of an abundance of unfamiliar Nordic words and fantastical names make listening to this fantasy a particular pleasure. This fast-paced story, with heroes who defeat vicious enemies using their wits, launches the Thrones and Bones series.” — Blau, Amanda. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

JUVENILE BIOGRAPHY

“The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch” by Chris Barton – “Grades 3-5. The fascinating story of John Roy Lynch’s life from slavery to his election to the U.S. House of Representatives at age 25, gets a stirring treatment here. Barton has a lot of territory to cover, from slavery to the Civil War to Reconstruction and beyond, along with Lynch’s personal journey. Because of this, the information at times seems clipped, though it’s consistently incisive. The complete time line at the end of the book helps fill in the gaps, and the story generates interest that will encourage additional research. Tate’s often expansive illustrations emphasize important incidents in the text. A reference to harsh laws passed by whites is coupled with a dramatic two-page spread of whipping, a potential lynching, and lots of angry white faces in the foreground, fists clenched. A small African American boy covers his eyes at the scene. A scene of the horrors of a school burning shows praying figures overshadowed by masked attackers with burning torches. The emphasis in other illustrations is on faces, full of emotion, which adds to the power of the telling, and the rich, soft tones of Tate’s palette welcome the eye to linger.” — Ching, Edie. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

JUVENILE FICTION

“Adventures with Waffles” by Maria Parr – “Ages 7-9. This heartfelt and humorous debut novel comes to the U.S. having received award attention abroad and spawned a television show in the author’s native Norway. Trille considers his classmate Lena his best friend (“There isn’t really any such thing as an ordinary day when you’ve got a… friend like Lena”), but she’s too free-spirited to think of their relationship in those terms. The episodic novel follows the friends as they make mischief together–playing Christmas music in June for money on the street, for example, or pretending they are spies while riding on Trille’s grandfather’s moped. “You and Lena never do the same thing twice,” exclaims Trille’s father after the busking incident. “You only come up with more insanity!” Trille and Lena’s warm friendship recalls that of Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi and Tommy, though Parr does engage in serious issues, too. Lena’s hunt for a father (her mother is her only family) often has Trille considering his own close-knit family, and the loss of Trille’s grandmother and his shared grief with his grandfather are tenderly and authentically treated.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

“The Fourth Apprentice” by Erin Hunter – “Gr. 5-8. Fans of the ongoing Warriors series will enjoy this first volume in the Omen of the Stars subset. Cats Jayfeather and Lionblaze are grieving for Hollyleaf and are uncertain of the identity of the third cat with the ‘power of the stars.’ All of the clans are suffering from the heat and drought. When Lionblaze discovers his apprentice Dovepaw can ‘see’ events happening far-off, he organizes a patrol to investigate a vision about the river. Dovepaw is a reluctant heroine, furious about her powers and new responsibilities. The perilous journey creates powerful bonds between the clans, but ancient grievances portend new battles.” — Chris Sherman.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2009.

“Ice Dogs” by Terry Lynn Johnson – “Grades 6-9. In the year since 14-year-old Alaskan Victoria lost her father, she has felt isolated from her mother and her community. She pours herself into working with the dog-sled team she and her dad loved and runs in local sledding races, finding little else to engage her interest or energy. Setting out one morning with the team to a distant neighbor, she comes across a wrecked snowmobile and its unconscious driver, Chris, as a deadly snowstorm rolls in. Thus begins an adventure in the vein of Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet (1987) as Victoria and Chris struggle to survive in the harsh Alaska wilderness. Johnson has crafted a vivid setting and cast of characters, teens and dogs, coupled with pacing that locks the reader in from the opening descriptions of a sled race to Victoria and Chris’ semi-cooperative three-day attempt to make it home. Some gentle gender-role switching–athletic but citified Chris can sew but doesn’t know survival basics–adds even more texture to this dynamic adventure. Emotionally satisfying and insightful, this story has staying power.” — Goldsmith, Francisca. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Lost in the Sun” by Lisa Graff – “Ages 10-up. Less than a year ago, 12-year-old Trent Zimmerman accidentally contributed to the death of his teammate Jared during a hockey game, after nailing him with a puck (Jared had a “bad heart”). Already prone to overthinking, Trent is overwhelmed by disturbing thoughts, which he draws in a closely guarded book, and very angry. He backs away from his best friend, acts out at school, and clashes with his family. With help from a persistent classmate, who is known as much for the large scar on her face as for her weird outfits, and a similarly dedicated teacher, Trent is gradually able to let go of his intense guilt and regain his confidence. Trent’s barely constrained rage is visceral, and the moments when he lashes out, verbally and physically, are as frightening as they are realistic. In an ambitious and gracefully executed story, Graff (Absolutely Almost) covers a lot of emotional ground, empathically tracing Trent’s efforts to deal with a horrible, inexplicable accident and to heal the relationships that have become collateral damage along the way.” — Agent: Stephen Barbara, InkWell Management.  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

“The Meaning of Maggie” by Megan Jean Sovern – “Ages 8-12. Maggie Mayfield aspires to be president one day, and she’s preparing by excelling at school, following the rules, and living by her family’s motto of pulling up one’s bootstraps when times get tough. Unbeknownst to Maggie, her 11th year is one of those times. The novel is structured as Maggie’s memoir, written one year later, as she recounts those tumultuous 12 months. Maggie knows that her father is ill (he requires a wheelchair ever since “his legs fell all the way asleep,” as Maggie puts it), but her family is shielding her from his diagnosis, a balancing act both they and first-time author Sovern pull off beautifully. Maggie (and readers) see hints of the grim reality, but it isn’t until halfway into the story that Maggie uncovers the full truth: multiple sclerosis. Although Sovern dials up Maggie’s precociousness a bit high (and the novel’s late 1980s setting seems entirely incidental), the author handles the topic of debilitating illness with a light touch in a story that’s heart-wrenching yet full of heart.” —  Agent: Marietta Zacker, Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“The MIsadventures of the the Family Fletcher” by Dana Alison Levy – “Grades 4-7. Two dads, four sons, one dog, one cat, one imaginary cheetah. That’s the family Fletcher. This delightful offering is reminiscent of Jeanne Beardsall’s Penderwicks books, along with other stories that hearken back to an earlier, golden age of family stories. Levy makes some bold choices here. The chapters are alternately narrated by the brothers, who each has his own problem to work through. Twelve-year-old Sam is an athlete but toying with acting; fourth-grader Eli thought he wanted to go to a strict academic school, but it’s not working out; Jax, also in fourth grade, has to interview the grumpy neighbor for a project on veterans; and kindergartner Frog can’t get anyone to believe his school pal isn’t imaginary. If the book has one problem, it’s excess. Four brothers and all their friends make for a lot of characters and a lot of story. However, the warmth of this family and the numerous issues that readers will easily identify with make this a welcome choice, especially for boys. An interview in a local paper explains how this family became one.” — Cooper, Ilene.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Night Gardener” by Jonathan Auxier – “Gr 4-6–Storytelling and the secret desires of the heart wind together in this atmospheric novel that doubles as a ghost tale. Irish immigrants to England, Molly and Kip make their way to the Windsor house in search of employment. The great house stands in the shadow of a menacing tree, which locals speak of only in fearful whispers. Despite her young age and the warnings of a local storyteller, Molly uses the power of her own words to secure work, but soon realizes that all is not right in the house. Constance, Bertrand, Penny, and Alistair Windsor each struggle with personal demons, and strange footprints appear at night. A malevolent spirit, the Night Gardener, haunts the estate, dooming its inhabitants with foul dreams while the tree grants wishes to entrap the recipients. Molly and Kip must face their own dark secrets to release the Gardener’s hold and end his evil enchantments. Auxier gives readers a spooky story with depth and dimension. Molly’s whimsical tales illustrate life’s essential lessons even as they entertain. As the characters face the unhealthy pull of the tree’s allurements, they grow and change, revealing unexpected personality traits. Storytelling as a force to cope with life’s challenges is subtly expressed and adds complexity to the fast-paced plot. Readers of Mary Downing Hahn or Peg Kehret’s ghost novels will connect with the supernatural elements and the independent child protagonists of Auxier’s tale of things that go bump in the night.” — Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association,  SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.

“Omega City” by Diana Peterfreund – ” The missing page from a kooky aerospace scientist’s lost diary is the clue that sends Gillian Seagret, her younger brother, and her friends on an adventure into an underground bunker. But the treasure she expects to find–the prototype for a long-lasting battery–is nothing compared to what they actually discover: the subterranean Omega City, built during the Cold War to support life if the Earth were to become uninhabitable. The city has fallen into disrepair, and the pitfalls in its crumbling depths are as much a threat as the trio of armed thugs who are trying to steal Dr. Underberg’s inventions for themselves. In this fast-paced series opener, the author’s first for middle-graders, Peterfreund’s (Across a Star-Swept Sea) focus on character development is complemented by the equal attention she gives to the vast underground city itself. Gillian’s instincts to protect her friends and clear her historian father’s tarnished name are admirable, but Peterfreund gives every character the opportunity to grow, revealing themselves for who they really are.” — Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

“Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures” by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater – “Grades 2-4. Nine-year-old Pip Bartlett is crazy about animals, particularly of the magical variety, and she can’t wait to spend the summer with her aunt, a magical-animal vet. When Pip arrives at the clinic, however, life soon turns chaotic: the town is infested with combustible pests (fuzzles), and a ruthless government inspector keeps threatening her aunt. Pip teams up with the neighbor boy and an anxious unicorn named Regent Maximus to save the town from a fiery end and to save the fuzzles from an untimely death. Pearce and Stiefvater perk up the “real” world considerably with the addition of miniature silky griffins, Pegasi, and lilac-horned Pomeranians to an otherwise realistic setting. Illustrated pages from Pip’s beloved Jeffrey Higgleston’s Guide to Magical Creatures are included, offering magical animal stats with ample annotations made by Pip. Through conversations with Pip–yes, she can talk to the animals–these creatures prove themselves to be memorable characters in their own rights. Lighthearted and funny, this slim book will delight readers who prefer their stories with a fantastic flair.” — Smith, Julia.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“Seven Stories Up” by Laurel Snyder – “Grades 3-6. What would you do if you had the chance to meet the adults you know back when they were kids? Annie’s mother has always kept her birth family a secret, so Annie can’t wait to meet her grandmother–until her relative turns out to be just plain mean. But something magical happens, and Annie wakes up in 1937 to discover her grandmother as a young girl. Together they embark upon adventures, and Annie uncovers her grandmother’s past–which helps shape a new future. Her discovery that her grandmother had been sickly as a child and therefore kept locked up compels her to encourage her to take a stand, thereby changing her grandmother’s whole attitude to the world around her. Snyder infuses her novel with a touch of magical realism (and, of course, time travel), and many readers will wonder what the grown-ups in their own lives were like as kids. Filled with historical facts that weave seamlessly with the narrative, this is a heartwarming story about knowing, and truly understanding, your family.” — Thompson, Sarah Bean.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2013.

“There’s an Owl in the Shower” by Jean Craighead George – “When Borden’s father finds out that there’s an owl in his house, he’s pretty angry. Mr. Watson is a logger, and spotted owls spell big trouble for the logging industry. Then the little owl imprints on the gruff Mr. Watson. And the lives–and views–of one logging family are changed forever. Author and naturalist Jean Craighead George tells a heartwarming story about an owl that made his way into one family’s home–and their hearts.” —  BRODART CO., c1997.

“Under the Egg” by Laura Marx Fitzgerald – “As he lay dying, Theodora Tenpenny’s grandfather Jack muttered something about a treasure “under the egg.” Theodora, 13, thinks this means that Jack–a thrifty, unknown artist–left a means of providing for Theo and her unreliable mother. She searches the mantelpiece, beneath Jack’s painting of an egg, and the bowl where they display an egg gathered from the chicken coop behind their Greenwich Village townhouse. Nothing. Then an accident uncovers another image under Jack’s painting, sending Theo and her new friend Bodhi, the daughter of two film stars, on a mission to discover the provenance of what appears to be a Renaissance masterpiece. Theo is smart and resourceful, and debut author Fitzgerald creates a plausible backstory for the teen’s uncanny ability to spot “the difference between a Manet and a Monet.” While the resolution falls into place too easily, the search for answers forces Theo out of her shell and into the wonderfully quirky community around her. Fans of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler will find this another delightful lesson in art history.” —  Agent: Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2013

“The Year We Sailed the Sun” by Theresa Nelson – “Ages 9-12. Nelson’s story of fiery, stubborn Julia Delaney (“She’s a biter!” somebody warns early on) is set in St. Louis in the record-breaking cold winter of 1911-1912. After the grandmother who has been caring for Julia and her siblings dies, Julia and her older sister, Mary are sent–against Julia’s zealous protests–to the House of Mercy, an orphanage run by nuns; older brother Bill goes to the local priest’s News Boys Home. While focusing on Julia’s determined efforts to run away and reunite with Bill, Nelson (Earthshine) believably recreates the complex, dangerous world of Irish gang wars in St. Louis into which Bill and then Julia are drawn, as well as the era’s Irish-Catholic milieu ruled by nuns, priests, and police officers. An endearing and high-spirited mute orphan, a gracious and compassionate society lady, and a fancy doll all play key roles in Julia’s climactic adventure during the blizzard of 1912, which leads to an ending that seems too good to be true, until readers learn in a closing note that the story is based on the life of Nelson’s mother-in-law.” — (Mar.). 432p. Web-Exclusive Review. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

JUVENILE NON-FICTION

“109 Forgotten American Heroes …and Nine or so Villains” by Chris Ying – “Learn new and amazing stories about the contributions, inventions, wisdom, savvy, courage, and ingenuity of 109 great Americans such as John Russell Bartlett (the first to compile American words and trace their origin), Mr. Charles F. Brannock (who invented the first tool to accurately measure foot size), Cher Ami (a pigeon who effectively saved 194 American soldiers during World War I), and Thomas Jefferson (founding father, author, architect, president, and the man who introduced Americans to macaroni)!” — AMAZON.COM

“The Death of the Hat: A Brief History Poetry in 50 Objects” by Paul B. Janeczko – “…Paul B. Janeczko takes readers on a journey from the Middle Ages to the present with 50 of the world’s greatest poems. Simple objects anchor Janeczko’s selected poems, but readers will revel in the power of poetic language as a candle, sword, wheelbarrow and even a birthday card are taken to otherworldly heights. Top-notch watercolors from two-time Caldecott winner Chris Raschka buoy masterpieces by the likes of William Wordsworth, Carl Sandberg, Sylvia Plath and Mary Oliver. And of course, Billy Collins’ titular piece makes an appearance. A rare picture book, The Death of the Hat is a rich but accessible collection that children and adults alike will treasure. Hilli Levin.” — BookPage Children’s Corner Web Exclusive Review. BOOKPAGE, c2015.

“Hidden” by Loic Dauvillier – “Grades K-3. Worried that her grandmother has had a nightmare, a young girl offers to listen to the story, hoping to ease her grandmother’s mind. And for the first time since her own childhood, the grandmother opens up about her life during WWII, the star she had to wear, the disappearance of her parents, and being sent to the country where she had to lie about her name and her beliefs. Every year, more stories set during the Holocaust are released, many for children, and this one is particularly well done. Dauvillier doesn’t sugarcoat the horrors of the Holocaust; instead, he shares them from the perspective of a girl young enough to not quite understand the true scope of the atrocities. Set in occupied France, the story told is honest and direct, and each scene is revealed with care. The frankness of the storytelling is tempered by appealing cartoonlike illustrations that complement the story and add a layer of emotion not found in the narration. A Holocaust experience told as a bedtime story? It sounds crazy, but here it works.” —  Volin, Eva. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Hippos are Huge!” by Jonathan London – “PreS-Gr 2. With gorgeous mixed-media illustrations and accessible, engaging language, this picture book will spur interest in the world of hippos. Trueman’s vivid images take advantage of every inch of available space to convey the size of these creatures, and the “Isn’t this cool?” tone of London’s text keeps readers hooked. Two types of text appear on each page: larger print encompasses the main narrative full of fascinating facts (ideal for reading aloud), while smaller print presents drier statistics and additional facts of interest. With a focus on high-interest details–such as a spread featuring two bull hippos flinging dung at each other in warning–this title stands out.” —  Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD. 32p. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2015.

“Look Where We Live” by Scot Ritchie – “This cheery picture book emphasizes the importance of community, describing the different facets of one particular suburban neighborhood. A multiethnic group of young friends–Nick, Pedro, Yulee, Sally, and others–take part in activities together as they prepare for a street fair to raise money for the local library. The neighborhood tour includes some familiar picture book community staples, such as the library and a community garden. Each section also highlights important aspects of living in a community and includes a brief comment or conversation prompt (“Working and playing together help make a community strong”). The sunny illustrations are packed with inviting details and friendly characters. Parents and teachers will particularly appreciate that Ritchie also stresses the role of retirees, local businesses, and ordinary citizens.” –Rachel Anne Mencke, St. Matthew’s Parish School, Pacific Palisades, CA. 32p. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2015.

“Lost in NYC” by Nadja Spiegelman & Sergio Garcia Sanchez – “Ages 8-12. In an emotionally astute (and geographically useful) comic, which incorporates archival photographs, subway maps, and other materials, Pablo’s family moves so frequently that he is determined not to become attached to anyone or anything–even New York City. During a field trip to the Empire State Building on his first day of school, Pablo shrugs off his classmate Alicia’s attempts to befriend him, as well as his enthusiastic teacher’s history lessons en route. After Pablo and Alicia accidentally get on an express train and watch their classmates and teacher pull away on the local, Pablo’s frustrations come to a head: he storms away from Alicia at Times Square and has to find his own way to the Empire State Building. Sanchez uses a mix of full spreads and panels, depicting myriad dramas unfolding on (and below) the streets. With humor and sensitivity, Spiegelman reveals how getting lost can be the first step toward finding your way–while also giving NYC residents and visitors alike a valuable primer on the subway system and its history.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

“Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled all of France” by Mara Rockliff – “Grades 1-3. … Rockliff tells the story of how Benjamin Franklin debunked Dr. Mesmer’s magical cure-all. As scientific innovation swept France in the eighteenth century, Mesmer decided to bring his own discovery to the mix–animal magnetism, an invisible force responsible for remarkable, seemingly spontaneous healing. Dubious of the true benefits of being mesmerized, King Louis XVI called on the most popular man of science, Ben Franklin, to help investigate. With a heavy emphasis on his use of the scientific method, Rockliff shows how Franklin’s experiment–blindfolding subjects so that they don’t know they’re being mesmerized–led to the discovery of the placebo effect, a vital component of medical testing to this day. Her dramatic text is perfectly complemented by Bruno’s lush, full-color illustrations, stuffed with period detail and sweeping ribbons and curlicues. Each page is teeming with personality, from the font choice to the layout to the expressive figures to the decorative details surrounding a name–on one spread, Franklin is in a tidy serif, while Mesmer is nearly choked by flourishes. Together, Rockliff and Bruno make the scientific method seem exciting, and kids interested in science and history will likely be, well, mesmerized.” —  Hunter, Sarah. 48. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Roller Girl” by Victoria Jamieson – “Grades 4-8. …Astrid’s new obsession is tough, fast-paced Roller Derby. She thinks she and Nicole can spend their summer together at junior Roller Derby camp, but Nicole opts instead for ballet camp with Astrid’s archnemesis. And when it turns out that Astrid isn’t quite the Roller Derby prodigy she had hoped to be (she can barely master falling!), it seems both her summer and the impending start of junior high will be disasters. The bright, detailed, and colorful illustrations convey Astrid’s scrappy personality while also focusing on the high-contact aspect of Roller Derby: the girls hip check and elbow one another right out of the panels. While learning the game, Astrid learns how to be a friend and, maybe, that not all friendships are forever. A touching look at the ups and downs of following one’s dreams, in addition to introducing readers to a relatively unknown sport.” — Reagan, Maggie. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“Tell Me about the Presidents: Lessons for Today’s Kids from America’s Leaders” by Mike Henry “Tell Me about the Presidents is a quick and fun book for children in the elementary grades. Each chapter is an interesting story about our country’s presidents. The stories include facts that are not usually in textbooks or taught in classes. Each chapter concludes with three short questions to test readers on what they absorbed. This books is a great learning tool that can be used by parents and teachers to teach American history in a new and exciting way.” — back cover

“Welcome to the Neighborwood” by Shawn Sheehy – “Sheehy makes an impressive children’s book debut, using dramatically unfolding pop-ups to introduce seven woodland animals with special construction skills of their own. In gracefully orchestrated spreads featuring crisp, cut-paper artwork, the animals appear alongside the structures they make: a honeybee rests on the wall of her hive, its golden combs remarkably dimensional; a beaver presides over its watery habitat (“If he can’t find a pond to build in, he makes one!”); and a land snail’s shell grows as “calcium and proteins ooze from folds on his back.” Sheehy describes each animal’s behaviors using succinct yet vivid language, and a closing scene brings all seven animals together to emphasize the interdependence of their “neighborhood,” one that humans are part of, too. A visually striking and enriching overview of animals living independently and as part of an ecosystem.” —  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

YOUNG ADULT

“The Porcupine of Truth” by Bill Konigsberg – “Konigsberg (Openly Straight) eloquently explores matters of family, faith, and sexuality through the story of 17-year-old Carson Smith, whose therapist mother has dragged him from New York City to Billings, Mont., where his alcoholic father is dying. After Carson meets Aisha, whose conservative Christian father threw her out of the house when he discovered she is a lesbian, the teens embark on a multistate road trip, chasing down fragmentary clues that might lead them to find Carson’s long-absent grandfather. Strained parent-child relationships are laced throughout this story–on top of Carson and Aisha’s anger toward their respective fathers, Carson’s mother only talks to him in detached therapyspeak (“I truly hear underneath the sarcasm that you’re feeling pain, Carson”), and Carson’s father hasn’t put his own paternal abandonment behind him. Bouts of humor leaven the characters’ intense anguish in a story that will leave readers thinking about inherited traits (whether an oddball sense of humor or a tendency to overdrink), the fuzzy lines between youth and adulthood, and the individual nature of faith.” — Linda Epstein, Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

“Skyscraping” by Cordelia Jensen – “Grades 9-12. Jensen’s semiautobiographical debut novel in verse thrusts readers into the flannel-clad early 1990s, before New York City lost its gritty edge. Mira’s senior year is supposed to be about editing the school yearbook and applying to college, but instead, it’s the year she discovers, “Things can switch so quickly, / like the flick of a light.” After walking in on her professor father and his teaching assistant James, both naked, she finds her world upturned: her parents’ marriage is open. Her father is gay. And his days are numbered, because his HIV is quickly turning into full-blown AIDS. In exquisite free-verse poems, Jensen traces Mira’s struggle as she drifts away from her family before being jerked back into their orbit. Mira’s emotional landscape is palpable and strongly rooted in celestial imagery, which she uses to make sense of her place in the universe in the midst of life-shattering change. Small period details, from Keith Haring’s artwork to the emergence of Starbucks to Kurt Cobain’s death, layer in historical context naturally, but it’s Jensen’s stunning ability to bring the raw uncertainty of the AIDS crisis in the 1990s to vivid life that is so exceptional. Illuminating and deeply felt.” — Barnes, Jennifer.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

YOUNG ADULT BIOGRAPHY

“No Summit Out of Sight” by Jordan Romero – “Ages 12-up. Inspired by a mural in his California school depicting the highest mountain on each continent, nine-year-old Romero vowed that he would reach those “Seven Summits.” Smoothly piloted by LeBlanc, this chronicle reveals how Romero, now 18, achieved this goal at a record-setting age, scaling each mountain under the guidance of his father and stepmother, professional athletes who compete in extreme adventure races. Romero sets the scene for each climb–from Mount Kilimanjaro in 2006 to Antarctica’s Mount Vinson in 2011–with notes on each region’s culture, people, topography, climate, vegetation, wildlife, altitude, and atmospheric changes. While informative, segments detailing trip preparation and training are (expectedly) less gripping than accounts of perilous climbing expeditions; in the most dramatic one, Romero describes being slammed by an avalanche on Mount Everest. The emotional pitch of the story remains high as Romero contends with extreme weather, frustration, exhaustion, and homesickness to reach, with almost palpable exhilaration, each peak. Photos document steps Romero’s odyssey throughout the book and in a color insert.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

YOUNG ADULT NON-FICTION

“Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor” by Lynda Barry – “Syllabus: Notes from an accidental professor” is the first book that will make her (Lynda Barry) innovative lesson plans and writing exercises available to the public for home or classroom use. Barry’s course has been embraced by people of all walks of life – prison inmates, postal workers, university students, teachers, and hairdressers – for opening paths to creativity. Syllabus takes the course plan for Lynda Barry’s workshop and runs wild with it in Barry’s signature densely detailed style. Collaged texts, ballpoint pen doodles, and watercolour washes adorn Syllabus’ yellow lined pages, which offer advice on finding a creative voice and using memories to inspire the writing process. Throughout it all, Lynda Barry’s voice (as author and teacher-mentor) rings clear, inspiring, and honest.” — Amazon.com

“SuperMutant Magic Academy” by Jillian Tamaki – “Bestselling Tamaki (Skim, This One Summer) returns with an offbeat coming-of-age graphic novel about mutant teenagers at a school that teaches magic alongside other, more prosaic, school subjects. Showing its origins as an infrequently updated webcomic, the book opens with one-page vignettes, which are choppy and abrupt. But as the comic progresses the characters become clearer, the vignettes get longer and more developed, and the book becomes an often painfully blunt look at the insecurities and cruelties universal to teens–even flying teens. The central story focuses around Marsha, a tomboyish, frumpy broom-flyer, and Wendy, her beautiful best friend who can transform into a fox. Marsha’s very real love for Wendy drives the text, but other students have their own agonies, which they keep hidden in plain sight. The humor is sometimes slapstick, but more often it offers ultra-dry observations on modern disengagement. Tamaki is playful and loose with her art, unafraid to be experimental as she draws us into a world where true feelings are the greatest danger.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

NEW ARRIVALS – APRIL 2015

ADULT FICTION

“The Accidental Empress” by Allison Pataki – “Fifteen-year-old Elisabeth (“Sisi”), …is utterly enchanted by her sister’s intended fiance, Franz Joseph, the dashing young Emperor of the Habsburgs. Franz is equally attracted to her, and before long the free-spirited Sisi has married Franz and taken her sister’s planned place as Empress, to her sister’s relief but her controlling mother-in-law’s horror. Unprepared for the realities of her new role, particularly the stifling rules of protocol and lack of control over her environment, Sisi repeatedly clashes with the wishes of both her mother-in-law and, more dangerously, her husband. VERDICT Sisi’s story is still popular in Austria but is less well known outside of it, and this novel offers an engrossing introduction to this colorful 19th-century personality. Even historical fiction readers who have grown weary of “royal marriage” plots will find much to savor here in the striking depictions of the Viennese court and intriguing descriptions of the political maneuvers between Austria and Hungary. “–Ed.]. Mara Bandy, Champaign P.L., IL. . LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2015.

“Almost Famous Women: Stories” by Megan Mayhew Bergman – “Every so often a work of fiction engages the reader immediately and resonates long after the book is finished. Such a work is this marvelous collection of stories about remarkable people whose lives had been reduced to mere footnotes. At the top of her craft, the empathetic Bergman (Birds of a Lesser Paradise) embellishes select moments in their history. While the stories themselves are unequivocally fictitious, the characters are not. We meet a member of the first all-female integrated swing band and Allegra, Lord Byron’s illegitimate daughter. We also meet a cigar-smoking speedboat racer who calls herself Joe; Dolly, Oscar Wilde’s disturbed niece; and Norma, the sister of Edna St. Vincent Millay, to name but a few. The author has infused her characters with passion and yearning; they are so lifelike we feel we know them. VERDICT Writing with brilliant cadence and economy, Bergman is an impressionist who uses her brilliant palette to illuminate facets of the lives of these brave and creative lesser-known strivers.” Joyce Townsend, LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2015.

“Green on Blue” by Elliot Ackerman – “In Ackerman’s debut novel, young Aziz Iqtbal and his older brother, Ali, live in the remote agriculture hamlet of Sperkai, Afghanistan, until a mortar round fired by the Taliban leader Garzan destroys their home and family. Left as orphans, the two brothers escape to the nearby city of Orgun, where they scrape by as panhandlers and transporters in the bazaar, until another explosion leaves Ali legless and requiring expensive long-term hospitalization. Aziz agrees to serve in the Special Lashkar, an American-backed local militia unit, in exchange for Ali’s medical care. Aziz swears as well to follow the Pashtun tribal code to avenge his crippled brother’s honor by fighting against Garzan. Aziz becomes a trained combatant and joins a unit opposing Garzan. While stationed at the firebase near the strategic border village of Gomal, Aziz associates with the corrupt American military liaison known as Mr. Jack and visits the village leader, Atal. An edgy romance emerges when Aziz falls in love with Atal’s ward, Fareeda, also damaged by the war. Aziz is thrown into the maelstrom of deceit, greed, and betrayal as the different factions extend the war for personal gain. Ackemna’s novel is bleak and uncompromising, a powerful war story that borders on the noir.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“House of Echoes” by Brendan Duffy – “In Duffy’s chilling debut, author Ben Tierney, who’s coping with writer’s block, moves with his family from Manhattan to Swannhaven, a village in upstate New York. Ben and his wife, Caroline, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, hope to build a new and better life by converting an old farming estate into a country inn. Instead of the idyllic life they expected, alarming things start happening. A shed on their property mysteriously catches on fire. Someone, whom the Tierneys’ eight-year-old son names “the Watcher,” leaves disturbing messages and animal carcasses in the nearby woods. On one occasion, a deer’s head is left on their stoop. To make matters worse, Caroline becomes increasingly paranoid. Ben needs to discover who or what is responsible. Having decided to write about the village, he begins seeing eerie connections between events in the past and the present. Duffy does a good job building the suspense, but some readers may feel let down by the implausible ending.” –Agent: Elisabeth Weed, Weed Literary. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

“The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy” by Rachel Joyce – A beautiful story which will grip you, make you laugh and cry, uplift your spirit and leave you feeling profoundly grateful and changed by the reading experience…a wonderful book about loss, redemption and joy.” — Daily Mail

“The Mime Order” by Samantha Shannon – “Paige Mahoney, aka the Pale Dreamer and recent escapee of the penal colony Sheol I, is back in her beloved London, but her situation is far from ideal. Branded as Scion’s most wanted, she is forced to go back to Jaxon Hall, her former mime lord, and resume her life as his mollisher so the syndicate will protect her from Scion. But when syndicate Underlord Haymarket Hector and his entire gang are brutally murdered, both Paige and Jaxon see a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity–Jaxon wants to be the new Underlord, and Paige thinks she can finally turn the self-serving, corrupt syndicate toward her cause of bringing down Scion. What Paige doesn’t know is that, just as in Sheol I, things in the syndicate are not at all what they seem, and when Warden and his Rephaite allies return, Paige once again finds herself the leader in a fight to change, and quite possibly save, the world. VERDICT Full of the action, turns, and surprising revelations that readers have come to expect from Shannon, this new installment ends on a wholly unexpected twist.” —  Elisabeth Clark, West Florida P.L., Pensacola.  LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.

“Mightier Than the Sword” by Jeffrey Archer – “Jeffrey Archer’s compelling Clifton Chronicles continue in this, his most accomplished novel to date. With all the trademark twists and turns that have made him one of the world’s most popular authors, the spellbinding story of the Clifton and the Barrington families continues.” — inside front cover

“The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah – “In this epic novel, set in France in World War II, two sisters who live in a small village find themselves estranged when they disagree about the imminent threat of occupation. Separated by principles and temperament, each must find her own way forward as she faces moral questions and life-or-death choices. Haunting, action-packed, and compelling.” — Christine Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

“Nora Webster” by Colm Toibin – “…the story of a forty-year-old widow in 1960s/70s rural Ireland who’s on the verge of slipping back into the isolated life from which her husband had rescued her. Nora Webster is, like Toibin’s best characters, iconoclastic, strong and deep. When she loses her beloved Maurice to a long and horrible illness, she seems beyond help: she resents the neighbors’ well-meaning questions and concerns and she’s so grief stricken she barely notices how her children are suffering. Nora is not entirely likable—a self-centered person mired in depression rarely is. But Nora is also proud, fierce and angry—and slowly, slowly she wins you over. Even more important, she eventually finds a way to save herself. This is not a novel that makes a lot of noise—and yet it’s musical. It has a kind of deliberate, note-by-note crescendo—but very few crashing cymbals—as Nora rediscovers her love of singing, learns how art can help her navigate through grief, and how music can help even the most quiet among us to regain our voice.” – Sara Nelson

“The Ploughmen” — Kim Zupan – “In a voice that evokes the great contemporary Western landscape, Kin Zupan’s debut novel, The Ploughmen, weaves a gripping tale both personal and epic. This is a story of two men, a deputy and his prisoner, and the uncommon bond forged between them. A stunning work from the first pages to the last, this is a book that will not be let down.” — Claire Davis, author of Winter Range and Labors of the Heart 

“Prodigal Son” by Danielle Steel – “Steel… delivers a contrived tale of suspense centered on twin brothers Peter and Michael McDowell. As a child, Peter is troubled and troublesome. In contrast, Michael, the apple of his parents’ eyes, can do no wrong. Growing up, the brothers are always at odds. Peter eventually finds success as an investment banker in New York, while Michael takes over his father’s medical practice and becomes a beloved figure in the small town of Ware, Mass. After a stock market crash wipes Peter out financially, his wife, Alana, leaves him, taking their two boys with her. Peter moves to Ware, where the brothers have a rapprochement that surprises them both and pleases Michael’s invalid wife, Maggie. When Peter contacts Bill, Michael’s estranged son, Bill shares his misgivings about his father with his uncle. Readers should be prepared for revelations of wickedness on a vast scale in a family melodrama that only dedicated Steel fans are likely to find of much interest.”– PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

“Twelve Days” by Alex Berenson – “Freelance spy John Wells survived the melee that concluded that first installment in this two-parter, but the real business was left undone: Will Wells and his strange bedfellows–Vinnie Duto, the power-hungry, former CIA director turned senator, and Ellis Shafer, veteran agency analyst waiting for a pink slip–find a way to expose the plot of billionaire Aaron Duberman to incite a war between the U.S. and Iran? The president has swallowed the bait, issuing an ultimatum to Iran: allow the U.S. to examine its nuclear facilities within 12 days, or it’s war. Wells, Duto, and Shafer know Duberman and his associate, the mysterious Salome, are behind the scam, but they don’t know where Salome got the enriched uranium that set off the crisis. Track back that connection, and the president will have to listen; fail, and another Middle East fiasco explodes. Lots of thriller writers know how to work a ticking clock, and lots more come to the genre with some experience in international politics, but few put the two together as effectively as Berenson, former New York Times reporter, does in this compelling, globe-trotting time bomb of a novel. Action fans will get all they came for, as Wells slashes his way from Russia to Israel to Egypt and on to South Africa for the High Noon-style finale, but those looking for genuine insight into the subtleties of the geopolitical chess game will be equally satisfied.” — Ott, Bill. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

ADULT MYSTERY

“Blood Infernal” by James Rollins & Rebecca Cantrell – “All thriller fans would expect from a combination of Rollins (Bloodline) and the Macavity Award-winning Cantrell (A Trace of Smoke): cutting-edge science, ancient history, and a solid gothic mystery plot … Fans of the authors will not be disappointed, and those who lapped up The Da Vinci Code will be clamoring for more in this series.” — The Library Journal

“Crash and Burn” by Lisa Gardner – “Lisa Gardner, the master of the psychological thriller, has delivered another tour de force with Touch & Go…Gardner does an amazing job of creating realistic situations and characters with emotional resonance. The constant surprises will shock even the most jaded thriller reader.” — Associated Press

“Dreaming Spies” by Laurie R. King – “… In April 1924, Russell hopes to enjoy an uneventful boat trip from India to Japan with Holmes, but the onboard presence of Lord Darley, whom Holmes believes to be a blackmailer’s accomplice, suggests that theirs will be a busman’s holiday. Sure enough, the couple soon learn of a missing passenger, possibly a victim of extortion, and reports of a poltergeist that made off with a tennis racquet. On arrival in Japan, they are asked to perform a delicate mission for the prince regent that is vital to the future of his country. While some may not like the idea of a married Holmes, many will find the character deepened by his partnership with the spirited and clever Russell.” –Agent: Linda Allen, Linda Allen Literary Agency.  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“Endangered” by C. J. Box – “… Joe Picket …, the Wyoming game warden faces a crime far too close to home. The sheriff tells him that his foster daughter, April, has been beaten and left for dead in a ditch; Joe’s reaction to the alarming news is an unequivocal “I’m going to kill Dallas Cates,” a dazzling local rodeo champion last seen running off with April. As April lies in a medically induced coma, Joe has to balance his personal crisis with an environmental one: finding the poachers who slaughtered a flock of 21 sage grouse, a species approaching endangered status. Meanwhile, the FBI is tracking the every move of Joe’s old friend Nate Romanowski, who went on the run in Stone Cold. Some of the plot devices stretch credulity, and the dialogue isn’t as crisp as usual, but the story carries the day.” — Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“Falling in Love” by Donna Leon – “Longtime readers of Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti novels are in for a treat. Her new book, Falling in Love, harkens back to the first novel in the series, Death at La Fenice, in which Brunetti cleared the name of opera singer and murder suspect Flavia Petrelli. The diva is in need of Brunetti’s help once again, this time as victim rather than as suspect. It seems an obsessed fan has entered Petrelli’s life, bombarding her with bouquets of exquisite yellow roses. At first the attention and the adulation was flattering, but that was before the roses began to pile up in her dressing room and in her locked apartment. And before a young singer publicly complimented by Petrelli was brutally thrown down a staircase. Brunetti must intervene (with the able assistance of ever-so-resourceful and devious Signorina Elettra) in an attempt to forestall any further violence. Fans of exceptionally character-driven mysteries will find lots to like here.” — Bruce Tierney.  BOOKPAGE, c2015.

“The Fifth Heart” by Dan Simmons – “…a riveting mixture of historical fact and fiction. The year is 1893. Henry James and Sherlock Holmes travel together to America to solve the mystery surrounding the death of socialite Clover Adams (whom, some say, James would later use as his inspiration for his novels Daisy Miller and The Portrait of a Lady). It’s an unlikely pairing: the two men are quite different temperamentally. James is convinced Clover killed herself, while Holmes seems equally convinced it was murder. Oh, and there’s a very good chance Holmes isn’t Holmes at all but rather a fictional character adopted as a persona by the Norwegian explorer Jan Sigerson. Simmons has a lot of fun with the whole “Is Holmes real?” question, and fans of Conan Doyle’s stories (some readers might remember that “Sigerson” was one of the great detective’s assumed names) should have a great time. But the book isn’t just for Holmes’ fans–it’s a solidly constructed, beautifully told mystery; a portrait of one of the nineteenth century’s most important writers; and an intriguing blend of fact and fantasy. Fans of Simmons’ special brand of historical metafiction should seek this one out.” — Pitt, David. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015..

“The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins – “Artfully crafted and utterly riveting, The Girl on the Train’s clever structure and expert pacing will keep you perched on the edge of your seat, but it’s Hawkins’s deft, empathetic characterization that will leave you pondering this harrowing, thought-provoking story about the power of memory and the danger of envy.” — Kimberly McCreight, author of Reconstructing Amelia

“Memory Man” by David Baldacci – “This strong first in a new thriller series from bestseller Baldacci (The Escape) introduces Amos Decker, the memory man, whose unique abilities are the result of a vicious hit he suffered as a 22-year-old NFL rookie that ended his football career. The injury induced hyperthymesia and synesthesia in Decker–he forgets nothing, and he “counts in colors and sees time as pictures in head.” Years later, the murders of his wife and daughter left him too grief-stricken to continue working as a cop in what may be Burlington, Vt. At age 42, the grossly overweight Decker is barely scratching out a living as a PI. The arrest of Sebastian Leopold for the slaughter of his family and a mass shooting at a local high school combine to put an unwilling Decker back into the game with temporary credentials as a policeman. Rusty but still brilliant, he rejoins his former partner, detective Mary Lancaster, in investigating both cases. A startling discovery links the school killings and those of his family. Baldacci supplies a multitude of clever touches as his wounded bear of a detective takes on a most ingenious enemy.” —  Agent: Aaron Priest, Aaron M. Priest Literary Agency. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

“Obsession in Death” by J. D. Robb – “In the fortieth installment in the best-selling In Death series featuring New York police lieutenant Eve Dallas, Robb reminds readers that her protagonist is not someone who “gets by with a little help from her friends.” However, when Eve arrives at her latest crime scene, she discovers that someone sees things rather differently, as evidenced by the note left near the body of defense attorney Leanore Bastwick. Not only does it say that Leanore was murdered because she didn’t respect Eve, but the killer claims to be Eve’s “true and loyal friend.” As it turns out, Eve’s new BFF has compiled a long list of people who haven’t been as nice as they should to Eve, and now they are all going to have to pay. Whether writing as J. D. Robb or Nora Roberts, this author knows how to hook readers, and her latest enthralling Eve Dallas book ticks along as smoothly as a meticulously crafted Swiss watch.” –Charles, John. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

ADULT BIOGRAPHY

“E. E. Cummings: A Life” by Susan Cheever – “Cheever, … begins this dramatic portrait of modernist poet E. E. Cummings, of “when the world is mud- / luscious” fame, with her memories of Cummings performing one of his famed readings and of listening intently in the backseat as her father, fiction writer John Cheever, drove the poet, his good friend, back to Greenwich Village. This intimacy shapes her telling of the up-and-down story of this unlikely rebel–a handsome, “flexible and slight,” rigorously educated “Harvard aristocrat” who discovered “a kind of poetic sweet spot” of scintillating innovation and complex lyric power. Cheever analyzes Cummings’ subterranean anger, anti-Semitism, excessive carousing, and flagrant antiauthoritarianism in France after enlisting during WWI, which landed him in a camp for “undesirables.” Cheever incisively dissects Cummings’ two disastrous marriages and the shocking abduction of his adored only child, Nancy Thayer, who became an artist and poet unaware of who her father actually was. With Ezra Pound as friend and mentor, Cummings deftly created “wild, expressive syntax” and wielded his signature lower-case “i” as critical response ran hot and cold, and ardent fans left flowers on his doorstep. Cheever’s reconsideration of Cummings and his work charms, rattles, and enlightens in emulation of Cummings’ radically disarming, tender, sexy, plangent, and furious poems.” Seaman, Donna. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography” by Laura Ingalls Wilder – “Fans know that Little House in the Big Woods was not Wilder’s first book; that honor belongs to a handwritten autobiography, completed in 1930. Although Wilder and daughter Rose mined it frequently for their fiction, the memoir is only now being published, and Hill’s annotated edition provides readers with much background information and context as well as a sorting out of the facts, fictions, and errors. New details emerge–including that real Pa gave away the family dog, Jack!–but Hill’s most valuable contribution is her careful comparison of this text with the Little House books. She clearly demonstrates how frequently Wilder’s ideas and exact phrasing appear in both–which should reassure those who fear that collaborator Rose was the true genius behind the series. Lengthy footnotes make the manuscript somewhat tricky to navigate, but Hill’s comments are cogent and her arguments strong, and this will be welcomed wherever there are Wilder fans. Illustrated with maps, photos, and artwork, and appended with additional manuscripts and an extensive bibliography. YA/C: Students writing reports on Wilder would be well served to start here.” — SH. Weisman, Kay. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

ADULT NON-FICTION

“Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande – “Distressed by how “the waning days of our lives are given over to treatments that addle our brains and sap our bodies for a sliver’s chance of benefit,” surgeon Gawande… confronts the contemporary experience of aging and dying. Culture and modern medicine encourage an end-of-life approach that focuses on safety and protection but is sadly shallow. He frets that residents of nursing homes are often lonely and bored. Physicians are keen on intervening whenever a body is diseased or broken. Yet this “medical imperative” applied to terminally ill individuals can be frustrating, expensive, and even disastrous. Gawande suggests that what most of us really want when we are elderly and incapable of taking care of ourselves are simple pleasures and the autonomy to script the final chapter of life. Making his case with stories about people who are extremely frail, very old, or dying, he explores some options available when decrepitude sets in or death approaches: palliative care, an assisted living facility, hospice, an elderly housing community, and family caregivers. One of these stories is the impassioned account of his father’s deterioration and death from a tumor of the spinal cord. As a writer and a doctor, Gawande appreciates the value of a good ending. ” –Miksanek, Tony. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Brave Men Don’t Cry: The World War II Memoirs of a Veteran of the 99th Infantry Division recognized as a Liberator of a Concentration Camp” by Curt Whiteway – “The vivid memoirs of a combat infantryman of the 99th Division, whose unit was at the forefront of the Battle of the Bulge and the subsequent advance into Germany during the last months of World War II. Curt’s unit came upon all the horrors of war, including brutal concentration camp settings, leading to his unit being recognized as Liberators of the Muhldorf sub-camp of the main Dachau Concentration Camp in May of 1945.” — Amazon.com

“Long Mile Home: Boston Under Attack, the City’s Courageous Recovery, and the Epic Hunt for Justice” by Scott Helman and Jenna Russell – “The Boston Globe’s extensive coverage of the April 15, 2013, attack on the Boston Marathon forms the foundation of this work by Globe reporters Helman and Russell. A compelling and comprehensive narrative woven together from five different perspectives, the title includes a sixth: that of the bombers and their family. It tells the definitive story of the event, starting before the bombings and covering through to their aftermath. Despite the multitude of sources drawn upon, the writing is seamless and riveting; the authors expertly place the reader in the center of the action: on the sidewalk next to the bombers’ backpacks, in a getaway car with the suspects, in a hospital elevator with President Barack Obama, and inside the minds of the responders and investigators. VERDICT This well-crafted tale is likely of most interest to readers similar to the people profiled: marathoners, hospital staff, emergency responders, police, investigators, and Bostonians. Sensitive in its treatment and thrilling in its pace and immediacy, the book will also appeal to those who enjoy reading about crime, disaster-response planning, and current events.” — Ricardo Laskaris, York Univ. Lib., Toronto.  LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.

“Thirty Below Zero: In Praise of Native Vermonters” by Ethan Hubbard – “…a collection of 200 portraits of native Vermonters taken over a forty-year period, 1964-2004. “These are not new transplants. These are men and women whose bloodlines carry 200 years of cold and snow, hardship and laughter, tribulations and triumphs, and thankfulness to be alive.” — Ethan Hubbard, author

“Wanting It” by Diane Whitney – “Behind Diana Whitney’s debut collection of poetry Wanting It is a tremulous spirit full of wonder and imaginative agitation. Her poems are ancient secrets that luxuriate as much in the natural world as they do in the ancient sources and songs for her forebears and our wondrous lives as humans how desire and love. Such an abundance of torrential light will be felt long after this book is read.” — Major Jackson, author of Holding Company, Hoops

ADULT AUDIO BOOK

“What I Know for Sure” by Oprah Winfrey – “You lead life; it doesn’t lead you” is the motivating message behind media super star Winfrey’s life, career, and latest book…Divided into topics including resilience, clarity, gratitude, and awe, each essay provides a brief encouraging and thought-provoking reading moment. Winfrey writes calmly and conversationally. Among many other topics, she addresses personal strength, spirituality, clutter, and debt. She encourages readers to accept and welcome change, to appreciate the gift of life, and to be true to one’s self. She digs into painful memories to share lessons she’s learned, as well as how she has moved beyond pain and regret. Those interested in her personal life will find scattered details of how she spends her days, from time with her partner or her friends to reading and exercising. Gentle and supportive, while concise and sincere, these brief observations invite readers to five minutes of quiet contemplation. Ask yourself what you know for sure, Winfrey says, and “hat you’ll find along the way will be fantastic, because what you’ll find will be yourself.”  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

BLUE/DVD

“22 Jump Street”
“Big Hero 6”
“Downton Abbey Season 5”
“Game of Thrones Season 4”
“Guardians of the Galaxy”
“A Hard Day’s Night” by The Beatles
“Harry Potter and the Sorcer’s Stone”
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
“Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb”
“Outlander Season One Volume One”
“Selma”
“The Theory of Everything”
“Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast”

ADULT MUSIC

“1989” by Taylor Swift

BOARD BOOK

“But Not the Hippopotamus” by Sandra Boynton
“Hot Dog, Cold Dog” by Frann Preston-Gannon

PICTURE BOOK

“A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat” by Emily Jenkins and Sophie Blackwell
“The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend” by Dan Santat
“Blizzard” by John Rocco
“The Everlasting Embrace” by Gabrielle Emanuel
“The Grasshopper & the Ants” by Jerry Pinkney
“Home” by Carson Ellis
“I’m My Own Dog” by David Ezra Stein
“Lindbergh the Tale of a Flying Mouse” by Torben Kuhlmann
“My Bike” by Bryon Barton
“My Grandfather’s Coat” retold by Jim Aylesworth
“Outside” by Deidre Gill
“Red: A Crayon’s Story” by Michael Hall
“Rodeo Red” by Maripat Perkins
“Shh! We have a Plan” by Chris Haughton
“Smick!” by Doreen Cronin
“Supertruck” by Stephen Savage
“Use Your Words, Sophie!” by Rosemary Wells
“Waiting is not Easy” by Mo Willems
“Wolfie the Bunny” by Ame Dyckman

JUVENILE AUDIO BOOK

” The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman – “Due to ghastly circumstances, the ghosts of a graveyard take in a young toddler whom they name Nobody, or Bod for short. The enigmatic Silas becomes Bod’s guardian and makes it his duty to protect the boy from those who intend harm. Bod grows up in the graveyard, and although he is still alive, the Freedom of the Graveyard allows him to see in darkness, fade from view, and slide through walls. As he matures, Bod encounters ghouls, a werewolf, and a witch, but none as terrifying as the man who killed his family and now wishes him dead–Jack. For the first time, listeners can hear the music of the Danse Macabre, the slithering echo of the Sleer, and the transformation of Bod from inquisitive child to self-assured young man. The full cast, including Gaiman, skillfully depicts each character’s unique traits and idiosyncrasies. Listeners will also hear some background on the book, read by the author himself, and music by Bela Fleck. A must-have for fans of the original novel and anyone who enjoys engaging fantasy.” — Amanda Spino, Ocean County Library, NJ. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.

JUVENILE BIOGRAPHY

“Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson – “Written in verse, Woodson’s collection of childhood memories provides insight into the Newbery Honor author’s perspective of America, “a country caught/ between Black and White,” during the turbulent 1960s. Jacqueline was born in Ohio, but spent much of her early years with her grandparents in South Carolina, where she learned about segregation and was made to follow the strict rules of Jehovah’s Witnesses, her grandmother’s religion. Wrapped in the cocoon of family love and appreciative of the beauty around her, Jacqueline experiences joy and the security of home. Her move to Brooklyn leads to additional freedoms, but also a sense of loss: “Who could love/ this place–where/ no pine trees grow, no porch swings move/ with the weight of/ your grandmother on them.” The writer’s passion for stories and storytelling permeates the memoir, explicitly addressed in her early attempts to write books and implicitly conveyed through her sharp images and poignant observations seen through the eyes of a child. Woodson’s ability to listen and glean meaning from what she hears lead to an astute understanding of her surroundings, friends, and family.” –Agent: Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014

“Gingerbread for Liberty! How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution” by Mara Rockliff – “Rockliff (The Grudge Keeper) and Kirsch (Noah Webster and His Words) pay playful tribute to a Revolutionary War hero whose legacy lies in his culinary talent. Just before the outbreak of the war, Christopher Ludwick emigrated from Germany to Philadelphia, where he set up a bakeshop specializing in gingerbread (“the best in all the thirteen colonies”) and let no one go hungry: “No empty bellies here!” he booms. “Not in my America!” Ludwick shrewdly uses his baking skills after enrolling in Washington’s army to feed both colonial troops and British-hired German soldiers, in an effort to persuade them to defect to the patriots’ side. Working in watercolor, Kirsch takes a cue from Ludwick’s baking to create characters that resemble gingerbread cookies with white icinglike details; speech-balloon comments add another layer of humor to the story. Rockliff’s story celebrates an unheralded historical figure, reinforces the value of creatively employing one’s skills, and reminds readers that heroes can be found in surprising places. A gingerbread cookie recipe appears on the endpapers.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos” by Stephanie Roth Sisson – “Sisson’s loosely sketched mixed-media illustrations trace the life of Carl Sagan, beginning with his childhood spent in Brooklyn, an environment seemingly ill-suited to learning about the stars. Yet thanks to his natural curiosity, a visit to the World’s Fair, and the library, Sagan’s awareness of science and the universe grew. The book does, too–a spread depicting the hazy sun over Brooklyn rooftops unfolds to show it in space (“Our sun is a big ball of fiery gas held together by gravity,” Sagan learns). Sisson goes on to recap Sagan’s later endeavors, including becoming an astrophysicist, appearing on TV, and sending messages into via the twin Voyagers. A broader message about the role wonder plays in innovation resonates throughout this story, which concludes with extensive biographical and source notes.” —  Agent: Abigail Samoun, Red Fox Literary. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014

“The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus” by Jen Bryant  – “With its spirit of old-fashioned inquiry and cabinet-of-curiosities charm, Jen Bryant’s The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus is a delightful tribute to a man of genius who changed the way the world looked at language. Born in London in 1779, Peter Mark Roget was an avid reader with a proclivity for making lists–of Latin words, of weather data, of facts about the natural world. He pursued a medical career in London, indulging his preoccupation with classification and his love of words along the way. Roget’s habits culminated in the 1852 publication of his now-ubiquitous Thesaurus, a reference volume listing words and their synonyms that sold briskly at the time and has never gone out of print. Featuring lists copied from Roget’s own notebooks, antique papers, type blocks and other ephemera, Melissa Sweet’s breathtaking mixed-media illustrations reflect the great man’s intellect–roving yet selective, inclusive but discerning. Young readers will love poring over this book of wonders.” — Julie Hale. BOOKPAGE, c2014.

JUVENILE FICTION

“Absolutely Almost” by Lisa Graff – “Half-Korean 10-year-old Albie is being forced to switch from his private New York City school to P.S. 183. His new school gives him more specialized attention, but it also means dodging a name-calling bully and making friends other than his buddy Erlan, whose family is starring in a reality TV show. Because of Albie’s academic struggles (especially in spelling and math), his mother hires Calista, a college art student, to tutor and spend time with him. Albie isn’t happy about these and other developments, and his matter-of-fact observations are often both humorous and poignant: “I didn’t think the book was for babies at all, because for one thing babies can’t read,” he thinks after his mother tells him he’s “way too old” for Captain Underpants and hands him a copy of Johnny Tremain. Graff’s (A Tangle of Knots) gentle story invokes evergreen themes of coming to appreciate one’s strengths (and weaknesses), and stands out for its thoughtful, moving portrait of a boy who learns to keep moving forward, taking on the world at his own speed.” — Agent: Stephen Barbara, Foundry Literary + Media.  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“The Crossover” by Kwame Alexander – “The Bell twins are stars on the basketball court and comrades in life. While there are some differences–Josh shaves his head and Jordan loves his locks–both twins adhere to the Bell basketball rules: In this game of life, your family is the court, and the ball is your heart. With a former professional basketball player dad and an assistant principal mom, there is an intensely strong home front supporting sports and education in equal measures. When life intervenes in the form of a hot new girl, the balance shifts and growing apart proves painful. An accomplished author and poet, Alexander eloquently mashes up concrete poetry, hip-hop, a love of jazz, and a thriving family bond. The effect is poetry in motion. It is a rare verse novel that is fundamentally poetic rather than using this writing trend as a device. There is also a quirky vocabulary element that adds a fun intellectual note to the narrative. This may be just the right book for those hard-to-match youth who live for sports or music or both.”c- Bush, Gail.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Dash” by Kirby Larson – “Mitsi is happy with her life in Seattle, with her family, her friends, her teacher, and, most of all, her white dog, Dash. But after Pearl Harbor is bombed, life takes a turn for Mitsi’s Japanese American family, and they are forced to leave everything they know for an internment camp, including one special member of the household–Dash the dog. This heartfelt story brings close what a girl like Mitsi would have experienced: the loss of friendships, dizzying change, and fear of the future. But for Mitsi, perhaps the hardest thing to bear is missing Dash. Fortunately, a kind neighbor agrees to take him in, and soon she is receiving letters from him that brighten her world. Based on a true story of a girl who had to leave her dog, this book helps readers understand the hardship that Japanese American citizens endured while at the same time offering a story of one girl with relatable hopes and worries. What also comes through is how a strong family can pull together in the worst of circumstances.” — Cooper, Ilene. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing” by Sheila Turnage – “More tightly focused than Turnage’s Newbery Honor book, Three Times Lucky (2012), this absorbing sequel quickly reacquaints readers with the Tupelo Landing, North Carolina, setting and its quirky inhabitants, while introducing a few new characters and another mystery for Mo and her friend Dale (aka the Desperado Detective Agency) to solve. Each question they answer leads to another: Who was the girl whose ghost haunts the dilapidated Old Tupelo Inn, which operated from 1880 to 1938? How did she die? Who killed her? Why does she still haunt the inn? When a sixth-grade history project sends Mo, Dale, and their classmates out to interview elderly residents, the pieces of the puzzle gradually move into place–with an occasional nudge from the ghost herself. The intrepid Mo LoBeau, who narrates the story, gives full credit to her best buddy, the occasionally trepid Dale, and slowly warms up to Harm, an initially cocky newcomer whose family history is intertwined with the mystery. The portrayal of Dale’s attitude toward his father, now in prison, is handled with sensitivity and perceptiveness. Turnage’s ability to create convincing characters and her colorful use of language combine to make this a fresh, droll, rewarding return trip to Tupelo Landing.” Phelan, Carolyn. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2013.

“Greenglass House” by Kate Milford – “Twelve-year-old Milo’s Christmas looks ruined when five eccentric guests arrive at his parents’ inn on the first day of vacation. But his new friend Meddy has other ideas, and soon the pair is investigating a series of thefts and creating alter egos based on the role-playing game Odd Trails. Milo’s new persona allows him to imagine his Chinese birth family without the guilt he usually feels toward his loving adoptive parents when he does so. The mysteries surrounding the guests and their connections to the inn unravel slowly, but Milo–with his resentment of the unexpected, his growing empathy, and his quick powers of deduction–is a well-drawn protagonist. Likewise, the fictional port of Nagspeake, whose daring smugglers face off against ruthless customs agents, makes for a unique and cozy setting, where Milo’s parents’ inn provides a refuge for “runners,” as the smugglers call themselves. The legends and folktales Milford (The Broken Lands) creates add to Nagspeake’s charm and gently prepare the ground for a fantasy twist.” —  Author’s agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“The Madman of Piney Woods” by Christopher Paul Curtis – “In 1901, Benji Alston lives in Buxton, Ont., a real-life town settled by abolitionists and runaway slaves…. Alvin “Red” Stockard, son of an Irish immigrant and a local judge, resides in nearby Chatham. The woods of the title connect the two towns, and both boys have grown up hearing cautionary tall tales about a wild boogeyman who lives there. Writing in his customary episodic style, Curtis relates their separate stories in alternating chapters, incorporating a large cast, his trademark humor and gritty hijinks, and the historical events that shaped the people and the area: slavery, the U.S. Civil War, and Irish immigration. It takes more than half the book for the boys–both 13–and their stories to connect, which may try the patience of some readers. …” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“The Penderwicks in Spring” by Jeanne Birdsall – “. With the addition of baby sister Lydia, the Penderwicks’ blended family returns with all the big-family drama and joys that fans have come to expect. In this fourth installment, musically inclined fifth-grader Batty is delighted to learn that her school’s dull music teacher has been replaced by the more appealing Mrs. Grunfeld; better still, the new teacher thinks Batty has a “rare and beautiful” voice. Inspired, Batty earns money for singing lessons by walking two unusual neighborhood dogs, a job that makes her yearn for her own, recently deceased dog. After overhearing a family secret, she starts to believe that she was responsible for the death of her mother, who passed away when Batty was a baby. It takes a lot of detective work from her older sisters, parents, and neighbors to figure out why Batty is so blue, but in true Penderwick fashion, misunderstandings are soon righted. The warmth and compassion of the Penderwick family comes through in every page of this slice-of-life novel, healing emotional bruises and reassuring readers that most problems can be overcome.” —  Agent: Barbara S. Kouts. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.

“The Pet and the Pendulum” by Gordon McAlpine – “As a satellite plummets toward Earth, nefarious Professor Perry plots to kill either Edgar or Allan Poe using a diabolical machine inspired by “The Pit and the Pendulum.” Meanwhile, the 12-year-old twin geniuses, their beloved cat, and certain dead poets in the Celestial Office Building work toward a dramatically different conclusion. Zuppardi’s droll ink drawings perfectly capture the tone of the text. Fans of the Misadventures of Edgar & Allan Poe trilogy will hang on every word of this concluding volume, relish the poetic justice of the ending, and wonder what McAlpine will dream up next. ” — Phelan, Carolyn. Booklist Online. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“The Question of Miracles” by Elana K. Arnold – “Iris is starting sixth grade in a new school in Oregon-new house, new people, new life. Her parents want to distract her from the recent death of her best friend in California. The incessant rain echoes her state of mind and she turns away from potential friends, seeking instead someone she can barely tolerate-so that she must only endure minimal interaction. His name is Boris, and while he is obviously an outcast, Iris prefers to be on the outskirts right now. Her brain is grappling with unanswerable questions-is the essence of Sarah out there somewhere? Would Sarah’s spirit follow her to her new house? Iris explores possible avenues to find the answers-priests, a psychic, and an experiment with electronic voice phenomena. Iris’s relationship with Boris transmutes into a real friendship as she expands her horizons to include him and even confide in him. Boris, meanwhile, enjoys the first real friendship he has had in a long time. This is a realistic view of grief, with particular emphasis on the agonizing longing to know if a lost loved one is truly out there somewhere. Iris’s stay-at-home dad fills the story with great flavors and textures-from the baby chicks he hatches to his homemade bread, giving the story a cozy touch despite Iris’s impossible quest for answers. Recommended for larger collections and anywhere a new title on grieving is needed.” — Kathy Cherniavsky, SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.

“The Terrible Two” by Mac Barnett and Jory John – “Miles Murphy isn’t happy about moving to small Yawnee Valley (Welcome sign: “Come look at our cows”) or leaving his friends, but he is determined to be Yawnee Valley Science and Letters Academy’s number one prankster, the title he proudly held at his old school. He is facing serious competition, however, when an anonymous–and, Miles admits, inspired–trickster delays the first day of school by somehow blocking the school’s entryway with the principal’s car. Worse, aptly named Principal Barkin blames Miles and pairs him with goody-two-shoes Niles Sparks; then he is targeted by bully Josh. Undaunted, Miles focuses on achieving premiere prankster status, but he is continually thwarted. Thus begins a rivalry of pranking one-upmanship, but perhaps an alliance is better–and ultimately rewarding in multiple ways. With plenty of humor, quirky characters, interspersed drolly related cow factoids, and fantastical, over-the-top pranking, this entertaining, enjoyable read will especially appeal to Wimpy Kid aficionados. Throughout, lively black-and-white cartoon illustrations depict characters, scenarios, and sundry ephemera with witty details. Readers will be anticipating the prankster pals’ further escapades.” — Rosenfeld, Shelle. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“Timmy Failure: Now Look What You’ve Done” by Stephan Pastis – “The too-smart-for-his-own-good kid detective is back for a second zany installment, along with his 1500-pound polar/bear business partner, Total. Timmy has big dreams for his crime-solving empire, fueled by his complete self-confidence, delusions of grandeur, and his assured win in a competition to find a stolen globe worth $500. But first, shenanigans are afoot and must be thwarted. Timmy is a wonderfully frustrating narrator. He is egotistical, oblivious to his own ineptitude, and blames any missteps on the shortcomings of others. Yet, as Timmy’s grip on reality begins to weaken and his actions begin to alienate those around him, readers will nevertheless sympathize with his unraveling. Fans of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series (Abrams) or the “Big Nate” books (Andrew McMeel) will enjoy the sharp, ironic humor as well as the black-and-white comic illustrations. While some advanced vocabulary and a few adult-directed jokes and references may escape middle-grade readers, plenty of the puns, plays-on-words, and clever comedic timing will result in laugh-out-loud moments.” — Elly Schook, Jamieson Elementary School,  SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.

“The War That Saved My Life” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley – “When word starts to spread about Germans bombing London, Ada’s mother decides to send her little brother, Jamie, to the country. Not 11-year-old Ada, though–she was born with a crippling clubfoot, and her cruel mother treats her like a slave. But Ada has painfully taught herself to walk, so when Jaime departs for the train, she limps along with him. In Kent, they’re assigned to crotchety Susan, who lives alone and suffers from bouts of depression. But the three warm to each other: Susan takes care of them in a loving (if a bit prickly) way, and Ada finds a sense of purpose and freedom of movement, thanks to Susan’s pony, Butter. Ada finally feels worthy of love and respect, but when looming bombing campaigns threaten to take them away from Susan, her strength and resolve are tested. The home-front realities of WWII, as well as Ada’s realistic anger and fear, come to life in Bradley’s affecting and austerely told story, and readers will cheer for steadfast Ada as she triumphs over despair.” —  Hunter, Sarah. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

JUVENILE NON-FICTION

“28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World” by Charles R. Smith Jr. — “… Using a variety of creative techniques (rhymed couplets, free verse, eulogies, primary source documents, and others), complemented by rich, vibrant illustrations, this account, with an entry for each of the 28 days in February, briefly but effectively summarizes significant events and individuals from the Revolutionary War through modern day. Day 17 presents a poem about Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe that lobs words from line to line. Day 25 offers a countdown of 10 biographical facts about the lives of astronauts Guy Bluford and Mae Jemison. Smith’s entries are brief enough to be shared daily during a Black History Month celebration, but they’re also sufficiently compelling to read through in one sitting. Evans’ buoyant and colorful illustrations have the look of cut-paper collage, and their expressive movement and joyfulness only add to the overall feeling of celebration. The book ends with the final day’s exhortation: words of inspiration for young readers to make the most of every day. An inspiring, fresh take on a perennial topic.” — McBroom, Kathleen.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“Bedtime Math2: This Time It’s Personal” by Laura Overdeck – “…another winning fusion of math and mirth, offering dozens of problems inspired by everything from the rate at which fingernails grow to the amount of water used in taking showers and baths. Once again, questions are available for readers at three levels, introducing basic mathematical operations, comparative size and length, counting by 10s, and other topics. On a spread entitled “There’s No Wrong Time for Pajamas,” Overdeck asks youngest participants (“Wee ones”) to predict a pattern using pajama sets, while giving “Big kids” a two-step addition problem (“If you sleep in your PJs from 8:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m., then wear them to school for another 6 hours, how many hours do you get to wear them?”). Paillot’s cartoons bring an abundance of energy and comedy to the pages, whether he’s drawing a toilet-paper mummy or a child soaking in a bathtub full of cheese puffs. It’s a smart way to get kids thinking about the ways in which math is part of their daily lives.” — Cathy Hemming, Cathy D. Hemming Literary Agency. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“El Deafo” by Cece Bell – “. A bout of childhood meningitis left Bell…deaf at age four, and she was prescribed a Phonic Ear, with a receiver draped across her chest and a remote microphone her teachers wore. Her graphic memoir records both the indignities of being a deaf child in a hearing community (“IS. THAT. AAAY. HEAR-ING. AAAID?”) and its joys, as when she discovers that the microphone picks up every word her teacher says anywhere in the school. Bell’s earnest rabbit/human characters, her ability to capture her own sonic universe (“eh sounz lah yur unnah wawah!”), and her invention of an alter ego–the cape-wearing El Deafo, who gets her through stressful encounters (“How can El Deafo free herself from the shackles of this weekly humiliation?” she asks as her mother drags her to another excruciating sign language class)–all combine to make this a standout autobiography. Cece’s predilection for bursting into tears at the wrong time belies a gift for resilience that makes her someone readers will enjoy getting to know.” — Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems” by Paul B. Janeczko – “Never more than six or seven lines long–and some are just a few words–each poem in Janeczko’s (A Foot in the Mouth) spirited anthology celebrates an aspect of the seasons. Evocative and accessible, they make excellent prompts for classroom poetry exercises. “What is it the wind has lost,” ask poets Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser, “that she keeps looking for/ under each leaf?” Sweet’s (Little Red Writing) artwork is marvelously varied. In some spreads, the animals and people are drafted in thoughtful detail, while in others her line is loopy and spontaneous. Dragonflies and crickets blink with flirtatious cartoon-character eyes in one scene, while fireflies and their haunting light are painted with meditative calm in another. Beach towels are striped in hot colors; fog in a city is rice paper glued over a collage of tall buildings. William Carlos Williams’s red wheelbarrow and Carl Sandburg’s little cat feet appear along with lesser-known works. Even Langston Hughes’s poem about a crowded subway sounds a note of hope: “Mingled/ breath and smell/ so close/ mingled/ black and white/ so near/ no room for fear.”  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.
Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust

“Seeds of Freedom: The Peaceful Integration of Huntsville, Alabama” by Hester Bass – “This picture book opens by telling of life in Huntsville, Alabama, in 1962, during the Jim Crow era. While the city takes pride in its world-renowned space center, a black family cannot eat in a whites-only restaurant. Not allowed to try on shoes, a black child draws the outline of her feet on a piece of paper and takes it to the store. When African Americans push for change, they meet resistance. But they persevere. Working with leaders in the white community, they gradually, peacefully break down barriers, gaining equal access to stores, restaurants, and, in 1963, public schools. In an appended note, Bass offers more local details as well as a broader perspective. The use of present tense gives a great sense of immediacy to the text as it transports readers into the past to watch events unfold. The relatively peaceful changes in Huntsville are briefly contrasted with the violence in Birmingham around the same time. Capturing the period with finesse, Lewis’ expressive watercolor paintings record the events and settings in beautifully composed scenes. His portrayal of people is particularly fine, conveying the personalities, attitudes, and emotions of individuals as well as the essential dignity of the nonviolent protesters. A valuable introduction to the civil rights period.” — Phelan, Carolyn. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation” – “Pura Belpre Award-winning Tonatiuh (Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote, 2013) makes excellent use of picture-book storytelling to bring attention to the 1947 California ruling against public-school segregation. The concise, informative text, with occasional and always translated Spanish lines, discusses how being banned from enrolling in an Orange County grade school because of her skin tone and Mexican surname inspired Sylvia Mendez’ family to fight for integrated schools. Soon they were joined by many others, including the NAACP and the Japanese American Citizens League, which led to their hard-won victory. Tonatiuh’s multimedia artwork showcases period detail, such as the children’s clothing and the differences between the school facilities, in his unique folk art style. An endnote essay recapping the events, photos of Sylvia and her schools, and a glossary and resource list for further research complete this thorough exploration of an event that is rarely taught. This would be a useful complement to other books about the fight for desegregation…” Goldsmith, Francisca. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees” by Franck Prevot – “Dramatic and dreamlike paintings celebrate Nobel Peace Prize–winner Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt movement. As a child in Kenya, Maathai learned the importance of nurturing forests, and after receiving her high-school diploma “at a time when very few African women even learn[ed] to read,” she traveled to the U.S. There, she studied the connections between environmental destruction, poverty, and oppression before returning to Kenya: “She asks that people think about the future even if the present is harsh and difficult.” Fronty’s fluid artwork incorporates organic motifs and African textile patterns to stirring effect, and extensive appended materials offer powerful supplemental information to conclude this standout tribute to Maathai’s perseverance and hard-won successes.” —Publishers Weekly, *starred review

“Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold” by Joyce Sidman & Rick Allen – “In Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold, Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen take a fascinating look at how animals endure the shivery, dark weeks of winter. Through rollicking rhymes and breezy free verse, Sidman examines the cold-weather habits of wolves, moose, snakes, beavers, tundra swans and more. Her lines are full of fresh imagery (bees have “eyelash legs” and “tinsel wings”), and the collection as a whole unlocks the secrets of nature in ways young readers will appreciate. (Who knew that snakes hibernate in the same place every winter?) Sidebars offer intriguing survival stories and fun facts about each creature, while Allen’s digitally layered linoleum-block prints provide detailed studies of the season. A collection that’s as crisp as the first snowfall, Winter Bees is the perfect way to pass a chilly afternoon.”  BOOKPAGE, c2014.

YOUNG ADULT

“Audacity” by Melanie Crowder – “Audacity is an evocative reimagining of a fascinating historical figure who should be remembered for her determination in the face of great odds and powerful opposition–and for her role in changing America. Melanie Crowder’s powerful verse reveals a long-past world, but the combination of hope and outrage that Clara Lemlich brought to her struggle should be both recognizable and inspirational to teen readers longing to right the injustices of our day.” — Margaret Peterson Haddix, author of Uprising

“Firefight” by Brandon Sanderson — “To the public, Epics, and Reckoners alike, David Charleston is now Steelslayer, assassin of Steelheart, the High Epic who ruled Newcago. Having rid that city of its virulent overlord, the Reckoners have infiltrated Babylon Restored, formerly Manhattan, where their new target, High Epic Regalia, rules a flooded city inhabited by devil-may-care Babilarans. David, however, is becoming uneasy with the Reckoners’ goal of slaying Epics. If indeed the Epics’ fears are the keys to their weaknesses, as he speculates, perhaps they are not destined to destroy; perhaps they can learn to control themselves and their evil compulsions. His first target for salvation? His secret love, Megan, aka Firefight. But Prof is sure Megan is playing David in order to infiltrate the Reckoners’ base and so plans to destroy her in spite of David’s protests. This lacks the constant tension and edgy technology of Steelheart (2013), but this second in Sanderson’s Reckoners series concludes in true, violent, high-action Steelslayer style, promising not only more of the same in the still-to-come Calamity, but hinting of future romance as well.” — Bradburn, Frances. 432pg. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.

“If You’re Reading This” by Trent Reedy – “Mike Wilson is a good kid. He gets good grades, works at the farm of a family friend to help his single mother make ends meet, and even tolerates his obnoxious little sister. His father died a hero in Afghanistan seven years ago, and as Mike’s fifteenth birthday approaches, he has begun receiving letters from his dad, delivered by an anonymous member of his father’s unit. All Mike wants to do is play football, and when the first piece of his father’s serialized advice encourages him to embrace the glory days of high school, he forges his mother’s signature and joins the team. What follows is hazing from a bully on the team, a complicated relationship with a Muslim girl on the social sidelines, and guilt and confusion about his interwoven secrets. Many readers will anticipate a revelation about a hidden identity, but that won’t stop them from enjoying this literary, nuanced, respectful treatment of military themes, sports dynamics, and small-town life.” — Barthelmess, Thom.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

 

NEW ARRIVALS – DECEMBER 2014

ADULT FICTION

“Dark Witch” by Nora Roberts – “With the support of her maternal grandmother, Iona Sheehan arrives in County Mayo intent on finding out more about her family’s history and legacy of magic. She has more than her share of the luck of the Irish when she meets her cousins Branna and Connor O’Dwyer on her first day. Not only do they welcome Iona into the family fold, they also don’t think she’s crazy when she tells them that she’s had dreams about an evil sorcerer named Cabhan. More than 800 years earlier their ancestress, Sorcha, the original Dark Witch, thwarted Cabhan’s plan to steal her powers, and he has been plotting his revenge ever since. After moving in with Branna and Connor and taking a job working for cranky but incredibly sexy stable owner, Boyle McGrath, Iona begins putting down roots in Ireland. But her newfound happiness may be short-lived unless she and her cousins can find a way to harness their powers and defeat Cabhan. Best-seller-extraordinaire Roberts works her own brand of literary magic as she begins a new trilogy featuring the cousins O’Dwyer.” —  Charles, John. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2013.

“Edge of Eternity: Book Three of The Century Trilogy” by Ken Follett – “Those eagerly awaiting volume three of Follett’s ambitious Century Trilogy will not be disappointed. … Spanning the globe and the latter third of twentieth century, this saga continues to follow the lives and loves of the members of five global families, as they struggle against a backdrop of tumultuous international events. As the years roll by, the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Berlin Wall, the assassination of JFK, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and the crumbling of communism are intimately viewed through the eyes and emotions of a representative array of witnesses to history. Follett does an outstanding job of interweaving and personalizing complicated narratives set on a multicultural stage. ” —  Flanagan, Margaret.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Gray Mountain” by John Grisham – “…When Wall Street law associate Samantha Kofer loses her job in the 2008 financial meltdown, her mega-firm offers her the prospect of a return to long hours and dull work after a year’s furlough as an unpaid intern for a nonprofit organization. Despite the volunteer nature of such work, Samantha discovers competition for the slots available fierce, and seizes the chance, after numerous rejections, to work at the Mountain Legal Aid Clinic in Brady, Va., population 2,200. In the Appalachian coal town, Samantha finds herself a fish out of water in more senses than one. She needs to adjust to living in a community with fewer residents than her old office building, as well as dealing with real people’s problems rather than document review. Grisham movingly portrays the evils of Big Coal and the lives it has ruined, and most readers will rapidly turn the pages, but the subtlety and full-blooded characters that mark the author’s best work are sadly absent.” — Agent: David Gernert,  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“Havana Storm” by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler – “In 1898, in Havana Harbor, someone removes a crate containing a valuable artifact from the deck of the sinking American battleship the USS Maine. In the present day, Dirk Pitt, National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA) director and star of Cussler’s long-running series of adventure novels, is looking into a series of “dead zones,” areas where no organic life can survive, in the Caribbean Sea. Meanwhile, Dirk’s daughter, Summer, and his son, also named Dirk, are searching for an Aztec artifact that could point the way to an ancient treasure. Their investigation–and their father’s–takes them to Cuba, just as the political upheaval that has spread in the wake of Fidel Castro’s death threatens to get seriously bloody. The Pitt series achieved formulaic efficiency many books ago, and new entries keep going by way of accumulated momentum and familiar characters, but at least it’s a formula readers can count on to deliver the goods. You know what to expect going into a Dirk Pitt novel, and you’re never disappointed.” —  Pitt, David. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“The Headmaster’s Wife” by Thomas Christopher Greene – “A man found running naked in Central Park is unusual, even by jaded New York City standards. But when that man turns out to be Arthur Winthrop, respected headmaster of Vermont’s venerable Lancaster private boarding school, the event becomes noteworthy. It morphs into the surreal when Arthur eagerly confesses to police interrogators that he has just murdered one of his students, Betsy Pappas, with whom he had been conducting a torrid, if unrequited, affair. The problem with Arthur’s story, however, is that his victim is very much alive. She no longer goes by the name Betsy Pappas, having relinquished it when she married Arthur soon after their college graduation. Arthur’s unreliable memories of their life together fuel the sordid tale he unveils, though Elizabeth’s recollection of their doomed marriage sheds an equally unflattering light on a relationship defined by jealousy, deception, and regret. Greene’s genre-bending novel of madness and despair evokes both the predatory lasciviousness of Nabokov’s classic, Lolita, and the anxious ambiguity of Gillian Flynn’s contemporary thriller, Gone Girl (2012).” —  Haggas, Carol. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“I Am Pilgrim” by Terry Hayes – “Soul-weary Scott Murdoch (aka the Pilgrim) has retired from the top echelon of ultrasecret espionage, but duty and faith in the human spirit call him back into service. A lone-wolf Middle Eastern native whom the Pilgrim code names “the Saracen” has a sure-fire bioterrorist plot to destroy the United States. In the cinematic chase that ensues, the action traverses the globe, from the Oval Office to the dusty trails of Afghanistan, each scene fleshed out in the smallest resonating detail (e.g., a Down syndrome child’s laughter, the mendless nausea of waterboarding). Like many pilgrimages, this one is painfully long and packed with unexpected menace, its glimpses of the goal fitful and far between, but readers will agree that this journey of body and soul is well worth the effort.” — Agent: Jay Mandel,  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014

“In Bed with Anne Boleyn” by Lacey Baldwin Smith – “Anne Boleyn possesses only two attributes that help her secure a crown – extraordinary perseverance and almost indecent ambition. Her other qualities – her nagging determination to have her own way, her cruelty and her dangerous lack of decorum – all spell disaster that no amount of sex appeal can avoid. The very steps she takes to save herself from her inability to supply the king with a male heir seal her fate. This is historical fiction wedded to historical reality at its best.” — back cover

“Lucky Us” by Amy Bloom – “This is a poignant book that manages to be tender, a tough story that manages to also have jazz and grace. Bloom is a great writer who keeps stepping into new territory, entirely unafraid. She is one of America’s unique and most gifted literary voices.” — Colum McCann

“Malice” by Keigo Higashino, translated by Alexander O. Smith – “This smart and original mystery is a true page-turner… will baffle, surprise, and draw out suspicion until the final few pages. With each book, Higashino continues to elevate the modern mystery as an intense and inventive literary form.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“Museum of the Americas” by Gary Lee Miller – “Each of these stories ushers us into a new, fully imagined world, as redolent of elsewhere as the soil samples in the Museum of the Americas, and Miller evokes those elsewheres with sharp observation and colloquial ease. A tour of the motley assemblage…might be just the right gateway to the author’s museum of American misfits, oddities and dreams. With this collection, he opens his cabinet of curiosities to us.”  –Margot Harrison, Seven Days

“One Plus One” by Jojo Moyes – “Jess Thomas works hard to support her ten-year-old, math-genius daughter and bullied teenage stepson, but it never seems to be enough. With two part-time jobs and no child support from her estranged husband, Jess is desperate to change her fortune. Ed Nicholls suddenly finds his world crashing down as he comes under investigation for insider trading. Facing the loss of his business, his oldest friend, and likely his freedom, he flees to his vacation home in the south of England. Jess discovers just how far she will go for the sake of her family when an opportunity to send her daughter to an elite school presents itself, even if that means a road trip to Scotland with the kids, their enormous dog, and a near stranger, Ed. Without fail, everything goes wrong. But in the end, this amazing novel is about more than a road trip; it is about trust, dignity, desperation, and, ultimately, love. ” — Jennifer Beach,LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.

“The Peripheral” by William Gibson – “As a favor to her brother Burton, Flynne Fisher fills in on a mysterious job beta testing a new game. She’s glad for the work, as money is tight with her mother needing constant medical care and Burton having financial troubles since he left the marines. Remotely flying a copter around a high-rise building, Flynne is tasked with simply keeping the paparazzi drones away from one of the apartments, but after she witnesses a murder, everything in her life is going to change. VERDICT Gibson leaves his one-step-into-the-future thrillers (his “Bigend” trilogy wrapped up with 2010’s Zero History) behind for something a little more complicated and shows he can still stun readers with his ability to take a trenchant look at the present and give a striking vision of the future. Just as he did with his groundbreaking first novel, Neuromancer, the author weds exciting action with an endless stream of big ideas that will stay with readers long after they turn the last page.” — Megan M. McArdle.  LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.

“Queens Never Make Bargains” by Nancy Means Wright – “In Queens Never Make Bargains, Nancy Means Wright has created a compelling multi-generational drama worthy, in breadth of historical and social setting of a Masterpiece Theatre. The gallery of sympathetically drawn characters will stay with readers long after the final moving page, as certainly will the tales of the three passionate and resolute Scottish-American women who, each in her own way and in keeping with the calamities and constraints of her own generation, staunchly refuses to ‘bargain’ away the integrity of her innermost self.” — Alison Kirk, author of True to Herself: One Vermont Writer’s Lifetime of Making Good Things from Bad

“Redeployment” by Phil Klay – “Redeployment is a stunning, upsetting, urgently necessary book about the impact of the Iraq war on both soldiers and civilians. Klay’s writing is searing and powerful, unsparing of its characters and its readers, art made from a soldier’s fearless commitment to confront their losses that can’t be tallied in statistics….” — Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!

“The Slow Regard of Silent Things” by Patrick Rothfuss – “Full of secrets and mysteries, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world. — Inside cover

“Somewhere Safe with Someone Good” by Jan Karon – “Loyal fans of Karon’s Mitford novels and Father Tim will be delighted once again to spend time in this quintessential American village with its leading citizen and his colorful coterie of friends, family, and dependent souls.”
— Booklist

“Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel – “Mandel’s .. novel examines the collapse of civilization after a deadly flu wipes out most of the world’s population. Moving gracefully from the first days of the plague to years before it and decades after, Mandel anchors the story to Arthur Leander, a famous actor who dies of a heart attack while playing King Lear on stage. We see glimpses of Arthur’s life years before his passing: his doomed relationship with his first wife, the exploitation of an old friendship, his failings as a father. And then we follow characters whose lives Arthur touched in some way: the paramedic who tried to save him, his second ex-wife and their damaged son, the child actress who joins a traveling theater troupe-cum-orchestra. In this postpandemic time, people live in gas stations and motels, curate museums filled with cell phones and car engines, and treasure tabloids and comic books. One comic book gives the novel its title and encapsulates the longing felt by the survivors for the world they have lost.Mandel’s vision is not only achingly beautiful but also startlingly plausible, exposing the fragile beauty of the world we inhabit.” —  Huntley, Kristine.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“You Should Have Known” by Jean Hanff Korelitz – “There is an exquisite but excruciating irony in the fact that Grace’s marriage is imploding. The successful Manhattan couples therapist is just about to start the PR blitz for her first book, one that examines the tell-tale, “he’s not right for you” signs that, caught early enough, can prevent shaky relationships from becoming emotional earthquakes. Mired in the media whirlwind while working on a fundraiser for her son’s tony private school, Grace is only peripherally aware that her husband, charismatic pediatric oncologist Jonathan, is characteristically but frustratingly incommunicado. Then when one of her committee associates is found brutally murdered the same time Jonathan drops off the radar screen, Grace slowly learns that everything she thought she knew about the man she married is blatantly false. Like peeling back the layers of an onion, Korelitz’s stinging deconstruction of this marital facade simultaneously reveals the inexorable lies about Grace’s supposedly ideal mate. Sensitively delving into the intricacies of self-deception, Korelitz (The White Rose, 2005) delivers a smart and unsettling psychological drama.” —  Haggas, Carol. Booklist Online. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

ADULT MYSTERY

“Bones Never Lie” by Kathy Reichs – ” …Temperance Brennan …the forensic anthropologist attends a meeting at the Law Enforcement Center in Charlotte, N.C., at which Vermont detective Umparo Rodas presents DNA evidence linking the unsolved murder of an 11-year-old Charlotte girl to Canadian serial killer Anique Pomerleau, who managed to elude Brennan and her superior, lead detective Andrew Ryan, in 2004’s Monday Mourning. Brennan first has to find Ryan, who has withdrawn from the world, and persuade him to return to find Pomerleau. Tie-ins with other old cases, signs that the killer is targeting Brennan’s own neighborhood, and Brennan’s skill at interpreting confusing, potentially misleading forensic evidence build the suspense. Brennan’s strained relations with Ryan, the antics of crass detective Erskine “Skinny” Slidell, and the uncanny aid provided by Brennan’s mother, Daisy, provide grist for series fans when Brennan finally unmasks a surprising killer.” —  Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“The Burning Room” by Michael Connelly – “An autopsy opens Edgar-winner Connelly’s superb 19th Harry Bosch mystery (after 2012’s The Black Box). Orlando Merced, a mariachi musician, was transformed into a symbol for urban violence by an opportunistic mayoral candidate when he was wounded a decade earlier, a random victim of a drive-by shooting. Merced’s death prompts a reexamination of the case, and Bosch and his young new partner, Lucia Soto, get to work. With his usual deftness, Connelly links the Merced shooting to an act of arson–an apartment fire that killed nine on the same day–and returns to his perennial themes: local politics, the media, the LAPD’s internecine warfare, and, of course, Los Angeles itself, from the wealthy enclaves of Mulholland Drive to the barrios of East L.A. Bosch is very much of the old school in this high-tech world, but his hands-on tenacity serves him and the case well–just as Connelly serves his readers well with his encyclopedic knowledge and gifts as a storyteller.” — Agent: Philip Spitzer, Philip G. Spitzer Literary. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“Deadline” by John Sandford  “Clancy Conley’s journalism career has fallen victim to his methamphetamine addiction, and he’s bounced to the bottom of the career ladder, writing part-time for a weekly paper in rural Trippton, Missouri. And that’s where his story ends. Clancy is inexplicably gunned down while jogging, and state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent Virgil Flowers (Storm Front, 2013), already in town helping his friend Johnson Johnson track down a serial dognapper, is just curious enough to pull rank and investigate. Clancy told his friend Wendy, Trippton’s lady of the evening, that he was working on an explosive story that would revive his career. But his editor denies knowing about any such story, and Clancy’s computer is suspiciously missing. Undeterred, Virgil hits the jackpot when he finds Clancy’s photo card. It seems Clancy had been looking into some sort of budgetary shenanigans and the dark deeds of some of Trippton’s most upstanding citizens. Sanford balances straight-talking Virgil Flowers’ often hilariously folksy tone and Trippton’s dark core of methamphetamine manufacturers and sociopaths; the result is pure reading pleasure for thriller fans.” —  Tran, Christine. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Cafe” by Alexander McCall Smith — “As usual, the problems that Precious Ramotswe tackles in Smith enjoyable 15th No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novel …are more the province of a therapist/counselor than of a cop. Mma Ramotswe’s longtime assistant, Grace Makutsi, now a partner in their detective agency, hopes her good fortune will transfer to a new business venture, a restaurant whose name is the book’s title. In the main plot line, the owner of a Botswana office supplies company retains the detective agency to help ascertain the identity of an amnesiac woman, whose uncertain status puts her at risk for deportation. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe’s husband, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, must make a difficult business decision, but that only provides his wife with yet another chance to display her sympathy for almost every living creature. Series fans will be moved by a supporting character’s growth, and newcomers will be charmed by the gentle humor.” —   Robin Straus,  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014

“Wait for Signs” Twelve Longmire Stories” by Craig Johnson – “Every year, Johnson e-mails friends and fans a brand-new short story on Christmas Eve. …Given the success of the Walt Longmire series and the Longmire TV show, it’s welcome, if unsurprising, to see these 12 tales–… While some of them have a heartwarming holiday feel, Johnson also takes the opportunity to visit the ghosts of his folksy but erudite sheriff’s Christmases past and explore events outside the chronology of the 10 full-length novels. “Old Indian Trick,” “Fire Bird,” and “High Holidays” are funny mini-whodunits; “Ministerial Aid” and “Slick-Tongued Devil” show Walt drinking hard and grieving his late wife; “Several Stations” delivers an act of Christmas cheer; and “Divorce Horse” and “Messenger” offer a bit more meat at longer lengths.” — Graff, Keir. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

ADULT BIOGRAPHY

“Breaking In: The Rise of Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice” by Joan Biskupic – “This is a remarkable book about an extraordinary woman in very challenging times. Sonia Sotomayor’s memoir is not complete without Breaking In. Joan Biskupic has done a wonderful and insightful job writing about the most influential Latina ever. She puts together three incredibly complex elements: Sotomayor’s life of struggle, the rise of the Latino community, and the intricacies of the Supreme Court. The result is superb. Sotomayor’s mission — that a single person can make a difference in the cause of justice– is transforming our country.” — Jorge Ramos, anchor, Univision/Fusion

“Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee” by Michael Korda – “…One hundred and forty-four years after his death, Lee is still widely revered in both North and South for his tactical military brilliance and his personal qualities of courage, honor, and kindness. Korda, … has no intention of knocking Lee off his pedestal in this excellent and generally laudatory biography. Korda stresses Lee’s accomplishments even before the Civil War as a brilliant, visionary engineer and an expert at military maneuvers. His personal characteristics endeared him to his subordinates, both officers and those of lesser ranks. Despite a hot temper, he exercised patience, courtesy, and honesty. Yet Korda does not shrink from noting Lee’s flaws and failures. His orders to his officers during the Civil War were often vague and open to misinterpretation, especially during the Gettysburg campaign. Despite his tactical brilliance, he lacked an overall, effective strategic vision for victory once he faced a relentless opponent in Grant. Still, this masterful and comprehensive single-volume biography is a worthy tribute to an icon whose greatness still shines brightly.” —  Freeman, Jay. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend” by Bob Drury & Tom Clavin – “Vivid…Lively.. A tale of lies, trickery, and brutal slaughter…In telling the story of Red Cloud, Messers. Drury and Clavin appropriately bring a number of the larger-than-life figures from that time onstage…[and] chronicle in considerable detail the shameful treatment of the Indians across the plains and the destruction of their ancient way of life.” — The Wall Street Journal

“So, Anyway” by John Cleese – “Twisting and turning through surprising stories and hilarious digressions—with some brief pauses along the way that comprise a fascinating primer on what’s funny and why—this story of a young man’s journey to the pinnacle of comedy is a masterly performance by a master performer.” — Amazon.com

“Vermont Way” by Jim Douglas – There is nothing that is wrong with the Republican Party that can’t be fixed by an outstanding leader who puts service first. That’s what Douglas of Vermont teaches us. Read this book, and learn about a model for our future.” — Governor Chris Christie, New Jersey

“The Wild Truth” by Carine McCandless – “Carine McCandless, Chris’s sister, witnessed firsthand the violent dynamic that set the stage for Chris’s willingness to embrace the harsh wilderness of Alaska. Growing up in the same troubled household, Carine finally reveals the deeper reality about life in the McCandless family. Carine McCandless says, ‘In The Wild Truth I share the real story of my family. More than just the truth behind the McCandless legend, it is the story of a quiet wilderness-of a dysfunctional family, decades of abuse, and how eight siblings came together to break the cycle for their own children. In the decades since Chris’s death, my half-siblings and I have come together to find our own truth and build our own beauty in his absence. In each other, we’ve found absolution, as I believe Chris found absolution in the wild before he died.'” — Publisher’s Annotations

ADULT NON-FICTION

“The 40’s” The Story of a Decade” by The New Yorker Magazine and Henry Finder – “…it is the record of an exceptional magazine fully coming into its own under the editorship of Harold Ross during a crucial decade, constituting a history of a pivotal, war-torn period told through its (artfully selected) pages, an absolutely breathtaking assemblage of some of America’s finest and most lasting writing. … This is magnificent stuff, a cornucopia of truly distinguished literature, a near-perfect gift to give and an entirely ideal one to receive. –Mark Levine, Booklist

“Blame it on Fast Foods” by B. J. T. Pepin – ““Blame it on fast foods” takes a satirical look at fast food’s impact on the Western world. It discusses fast food’s impact on all areas of our lives, including: Business and Work; Finances; Sports; Entertainment; Travel and Vacations; Education; Law and Politics; Religion; Health; “The Self”; Relationships; Communication; Romance and Sex; and Parenting and Socialization. The author’s primary goal in this book is to emphasize our ability to choose our own fate and prevent external influences from dictating how we live our lives.” — back cover

“The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide” by Gary J. Bass – “This magnificent history provides the first full account of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger’ secret support for Pakistan in 1971 as it committed shocking atrocities in Bangladesh….

Drawing on previously unheard White House tapes, recently declassified documents, and his own extensive investigative reporting, Gary Bass uncovers an astonishing unknown story of superpower brinkmanship, war, scandal, and conscience. Revelatory, authoritative, and compulsively readable, The Blood Telegram is a thrilling chronicle of a pivotal chapter in American foreign policy.

“Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II” by Vicki Constantine Croke – “I have to confess—my love of elephants made me apprehensive to review a book about their role in World War II. But as soon as I began to read Elephant Company, I realized that not only was my heart safe, but that this book is about far more than just the war, or even elephants. This is the story of friendship, loyalty and breathtaking bravery that transcends species. . . . [Vicki] Croke is a natural storyteller. . . . Elephant Company is nothing less than a sweeping tale, masterfully written.”—Sara Gruen, The New York Times Book Review

“The Insurgents: David Petraus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War” by Fred Kaplan – “One of the very best books ever written about the American military in the era of small wars…Fred Kaplan brings a formidable talent for writing intellectual history” — Thomas Powers, New York Review of Books

“Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights” by Katha Pollitt – “.. Pollitt (The Mind-Body Problem, 2009), the well-known feminist, poet, and award-winning columnist for the Nation, expertly lays out why she supports a woman’s right to decide whether to end a pregnancy. To argue her case “that it’s good for everyone if women only have the children they want and can raise well,” she employs the personal (her own mom had an abortion); the political (“The anti-abortion movement is a crucial chunk of the base of the Republican Party”); the practical (deaths decrease when termination is legal); the surprising (most women who have abortions are already mothers); and the statistical (half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are accidental; by menopause, 3 in 10 U.S. women will have terminated at least one pregnancy). Pollitt urges Americans to discuss why so many pregnancies are unplanned and why it’s such a big deal to ask men to wear a condom. She also states, “We need to talk about . . . the extraordinary, contradictory demands we make upon young girls to be simultaneously sexually alluring and withholding.” She notes that about half of all fertilized eggs naturally wash out of women’s bodies during menstruation. Finally, Pollitt writes that abortions will continue “because life will always be complicated, there is no perfect contraception, and there are no perfect people, either.””. Springen, Karen.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living” by Todd McLellan – ” A geeky adoration of design, disassembly, and tinkering, this collection of photographs and brief es-says draws attention to the aesthetic and practical value of taking objects apart. McLellan’s process is straightforward–50 familiar objects are presented in their disassembled states, both arranged in an artful splay that highlights every component of the design, then more chaotically staged in a “drop,” falling in front of the camera frame in groups before being digitally layered into one image. …The accompanying essays offer glancing (if occasionally trite) praise of disassembly, both for the childlike joy of mechanical experimentation and for the prac-tical environmental and material worth inherent in more accessible design. While a few clear argu-ments are made in favor of Active Disassembly technology and against disposable culture, the book as a whole functions as a celebration rather than a polemic, the photographic project of disassembly able to draw out a sense of wonder from within objects otherwise made familiar and artless by everyday use.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2013.

“Tom’s River: Story of Science and Salvation” by Dan Fagin – Tom’s Rive is an epic tale for our chemical age. Dan Fagin has combined deep reporting with masterful storytelling to recount an extraordinary battle over cancer and pollution in a New Jersey town. Along the way — as we meet chemists, businessmen, doctors, criminals, and outraged citizens — we see how Toms Rive is actually a microcosm of a world that has come to depend on chemicals without quite comprehending what they might do to our health.” — Carl Zimmer, author of A Planet of Viruses and Parasite Rex

“World Order” by Henry Kissinger – ““It is vintage Kissinger, with his singular combination of breadth and acuity along with his knack for connecting headlines to trend lines — very long trend lines in this case. He ranges from the Peace of Westphalia to the pace of microprocessing, from Sun Tzu to Talleyrand to Twitter… A real national dialogue is the only way we’re going to rebuild a political consensus to take on the perils and the promise of the 21st century. Henry Kissinger’s book makes a compelling case for why we have to do it and how we can succeed.” — Hilary Clinton, The Washington Post

ADULT AUDIO BOOK

“The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin

BLUE/DVD

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier
“Charlotte’s Web
“The Fault in Our Stars”
“Game of Thrones: Season 1”
“Game of Thrones: Season 3”
“The Gruffalo’s Child”
“How to Train Your Dragon 2”
“Million Dollar Arm”
“The Roosevelt’s: An Intimate History” (volumes 1 & 2)
“True Blood Season The Complete Seventh Season”
“Tyler Perry’s A Medea Christmas”

ADULT MUSIC

“Milo’s Aranjuez”

BOARD BOOK

“Are You a Cow?” by Sandra Boynton
“Global Babies”
“Ten Tiny Toes”
by Caroline Jayne Church
“Toot”
by Leslie Patricelli

PICTURE BOOK

“Bear Sees Colors” by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
“Book with No Pictures” by B. J. Novak
“The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery” by Graeme Base
“Emily and Daisy” by Elsa Beskow
“Fall Leaves” by Loretta Holland
“Father’s Chinese Opera”
 by Rich Lo
“Fiona’s Lace” by Patricia Polacco
“Gaston” by Kelly DiPucchio
“Here Comes Santa Cat” by Deborah Underwood
“Hug Machine” by Scott Campbell
“Ish” by Peter H. Reynolds
“Julia’s House for Lost Creatures” by Ben Hatke
“A Library Book for Bear” by Bonny Becker
“Little Elliot: Big City” by Mike Curato
“Maple & Willow Together” by Lori Nichols
The Monster at the End of this Book” by Jon Stone
“Mix It Up!” by Herve Tullet
“Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress” by Christine Baldacchino
“My Map Book” by Sara Fanelli
“Nana in the City” by Lauren Castillo
“Once Upon an Alphabet” by Oliver Jeffers
“One Big Pair of Underwear” by Laura Gehl & Tom Lichtenheld
“A Perfectly Messed-Up Story” by Patrick McDonnell
“Press Here” by Hervě Tullet
“Race from A to Z” by Jon Scieszka
“Sam & Dave Dig a Hole” by Mac Barnett
“Shooting at the Stars: The Christmas Truce of 1914” by John Hendrix
“Song for Papa Crow” by Marit Menzin
“Thank You, Mr. Falker” by Patricia Polacco
“Thimbleberry Stories” by Cynthia Rylant
“TipTop Cat” by C. Roger Mader
“When Lightning Comes in a Jar” by Patricia Polacco

JUVENILE AUDIO BOOK

“Wild Born” by Brandon Mull

JUVENILE BIOGRAPHY

“Catherine de Medici: The Black Queen” by Janie Havemeyer – “Whoa! Catherine De’ Medici … was a very bad lady. She did, however, have quite an exciting life. As a child, she was held hostage after her family was forced from power in Italy. By 14, she was married to the eventual king of France, whom she loved very much; he loved his mistress, but grew to respect Catherine, especially after she gave him children. After Henry II died, Catherine spent her time trying to keep her family on the throne and was not above poisoning people to make sure that happened. Perhaps her most horrendous crime occurred when she murdered a number of Huguenots staying at her castle and delivered the head of one to the pope. That said . . . well, she also invented side-saddle riding and pantaloons. The breathless but never sensational text will certainly hold readers, and the artwork is a satisfying mix of reproduced paintings and artifacts.” — Ilene Cooper.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2011.

JUVENILE FICTION

“Capture: Guardians of Ga’hoole” by Kathryn Lasky – “Soren, a barn owl still weeks away from fledging, is knocked from his otherwise loving family’s nest by his nasty older brother. He is swooped up from the forest floor by a pair of nefarious owls who hold him–along with many other owlets of diverse species–captive in a kind of owl social reformatory. Lasky portrays an owl world that has more in common with George Orwell than with Brian Jacques, offering readers big questions about human social psychology and politics along with real owl science. Broad themes related to the nature of personal choice, the need for fellowship based on love and trust, and sharing knowledge with one’s peers are presented compellingly and with swift grafting to the animal adventure story. Developmentally linked celebrations (such as ‘First Fur’ and ‘First Meat’), methods devised for brain-washing (including the regimental marching of sleepy owls by moonlight), and the diverse landscapes in which owls makes their homes come to life here as Soren rebels against his captors, makes a friend, and executes the first stage of his planned liberation and family reconciliation. Readers will look forward to upcoming installments.”  – Francisca Goldsmith;  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2003.

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” by Jeff Kinney – “School’s out for the summer, but Greg Heffley’s dreams of air conditioning and video games vanish in the first page of this latest installment in the iconic series. This time, Greg’s overexcited mother shepherds Greg, his reluctant father, and his two brothers into an overstuffed minivan for the road trip to end all road trips. What starts as picture-perfect family fun soon turns into a comedy of errors involving, among other things, car trouble, rival road-trippers, and a pig. Long-suffering Greg has plenty of new material with this Choose Your Own Adventure style of vacation (“The problem is, I never seem to make the choices that get me to a happy ending”), and, as always, his angst will be easily relatable to his audience. Once again, the dry, deprecating tone of the text and the cartoonish illustrations will provide endless entertainment for newcomers and devoted series fans alike. ” — Reagan, Maggie. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Gabriel Finley & the Raven’s Riddle” by George Hagen – “Gabriel’s father has long been missing, much to Gabriel’s sorrow. When his aunt gives him Dad’s old notebooks, Gabriel dives in to figure out the mysterious connection between ravens and his father and uncle (also missing) and to find out what has become of both men. He soon learns of a complex tale dating back hundreds of years involving valravens (avian zombies, who can be spotted by their absolute lack of a sense of humor), an evil magical necklace, and his own family’s rare ability to connect with ravens and form a magical bond. Luckily, Gabriel has a couple of good friends, two girls who are staunch allies, as he tries to determine his place in the raven-centered world, even while he is being threatened at every turn. The birds, some tormenters and others friends, are surprisingly engaging; like the humans that surround them, they easily emerge as memorable characters, particularly the flesh-eating but ultimately not really villainous valravens. Puzzle and riddle fans will delight in the genuine attention paid to these elements-there are plenty sprinkled throughout in ways that actually move the story toward the (for now) conclusion.” — AS.  THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE UNIV. OF ILLINOIS, c2014.

“Minecraft: The Complete Handbook Collection” – “Minecraft–the indie sandbox video game that took the world by storm–has been hailed as one of the greatest phenomena amongst gamers and educators for both its simplicity and its brilliance. Allowing players to build, explore, create, collaborate, and even survive, Minecraft has created a brave new world of gameplay. ….includes the Essential Handbook, Redstone Handbook, Combat Handbook, and Construction Handbook. Each handbook contains helpful tips and information from the creators themselves, all of which will prove vital to your survival and creativity as you learn to mine, craft, and build in a world that you control. — Amazon.com

“Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods” by Rick Riordan – “Deities, humans, and creatures from Greek mythology appear throughout the Heroes of Olympus series and the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Here, demigod Percy takes time out from his exciting, but surely exhausting, adventures to present a more organized introduction to Greek mythology–and 12 major gods and goddesses, in particular. The age-old stories are endlessly strong, resonant, and surprising, while the telling here is fresh, irreverent, and amusing. Percy’s voice, along with the many pop-culture references, may make this a better fit for the fiction shelves than the library’s mythology section, but readers will still come away with new knowledge about the deities. John Rocco,… illustrates the myths with drama, verve, and clarity. ” — Phelan, Carolyn. Booklist Online. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Rain Reign” by Ann M. Martin – “Rose, a fifth-grader who has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, is often teased at school about her obsession with homonyms and her steadfast conviction that everyone should follow the rules at all times. Rose lives with her harsh, troubled father, but it’s Uncle Weldon who cares for her in the ways that matter most. Still, her father did give her Rain, a stray dog that comforts and protects Rose. After Rain is lost in a storm and recovered, Rose learns that her dog has an identification microchip. Though she fully grasps what that means, Rose is driven by the unwavering belief that she must follow the rules, find Rain’s former owners, and give the dog back to them. Simplicity, clarity, and emotional resonance are hallmarks of Rose’s first-person narrative, which offers an unflinching view of her world from her perspective. Her outlook may be unconventional, but her approach is matter-of-fact and her observations are insightful. Readers will be moved by the raw portrayal of Rose’s difficult home life, her separation from other kids at school, and her loss of the dog that has loved her and provided a buffer from painful experiences. A strong story told in a nuanced, highly accessible way.” —  Phelan, Carolyn. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Threatened” by Eliot Schrefer – “Schrefer’s …turns to Gabon, chimpanzees, and the plight of orphans who have lost their parents to AIDS. Luc lives with other young orphan boys under the roof of Monsieur Tatagani, an unscrupulous man who exploits his charges. Professor Abdul Mohammad, a prosperous-looking Arab, meets Luc and hires him as his assistant, taking him deep into the jungle to study chimpanzees. Luc discovers he has an interest and aptitude for the work, and he thrives under Prof’s tutelage. All too soon, though, Prof disappears under mysterious circumstances, and Luc must survive on his own. With only Prof’s tiny pet vervet for company, Luc watches and learns from the chimps. When humans again appear, it’s clear we as a species are far less civilized than the chimps. Of special note is the tender, nonjudgmental portrait of Prof, a closeted gay man who lies about most things, but provides the first caring home Luc has known in years. Schrefer’s landscape descriptions are rich and evocative, and his characters, both human and chimpanzee, are complex and fascinating.” — Carton, Debbie.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

JUVENILE NON-FICTION

“Adventures of TinTin Volume 2 – The Broken Ear, The Black Island, King Ottoktar’s Sceptre” by Herg

“Animalium” by Katie Scott and Jenny Broom – “Designed to mimic the experience of visiting a natural history museum, this elegant, eye-catching volume (first in a planned series) explores the animal kingdom through gorgeously detailed pen-and-ink illustrations that resemble vintage taxonomical plates. Each “gallery” is devoted to a different class of animal: invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Within, Broom and Scott highlight individual species, which are succinctly described: the tomato frog of Madagascar “is nocturnal, burying itself in the moist earth during the day and emerging to hunt at night.” It’s easy to imagine these exquisite images hanging in the gilded hallways of a museum, but unlike a museum, readers can take this experience along with them.” —  (Sept.). 112p. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths” by Ingri & Edgar Parin D’Aulaire’s – “For any child fortunate enough to have this generous book…the kings and heroes of ancient legend will remain forever matter-of-fact; the pictures interpret the text literally and are full of detail and witty observation.”–Horn Book.

“Inside Volcanoes” by Melissa Stewart –  “Inside Volcanoes literally looks inside different types of volcanic mountains as well as comparing major eruptions and their effects. Each volume concludes with strong back matter. Excellent books for browsing or science reports.” —  Carolyn Phelan.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2011.

“Ocean: A Photicular Book” by Dan Kainen – “Showcasing stunning photographic images that ripple with movement, Dan Kainen fully immerses readers in a captivating underwater realm. Carol Kaufmann introduces each animal with tidbits about physical characteristics, behavior, and conservation. Delightful and engrossing, the text sparkles with evocative details, effervescent descriptions, and eyewitness immediacy.” — – School Library Journal Curriculum Connections

“The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the FIght for Civil Rights” by Steve Sheinkin – “…Sheinkin takes on the Port Chicago 50, a group of African American sailors who were court-martialed and convicted of mutiny when they refused to continue loading ammunition after experiencing a terrifying accidental explosion that destroyed the entire port. Tracing the history of racial discrimination in the U.S. armed forces, Sheinkin describes the U.S. Navy’s long-standing policy of restricting duties for African American servicemen, the unfair treatment the divisions received at the segregated Port Chicago facility, and the dangerous working conditions facing the sailors there, including a lack of training on how to properly handle explosives, and competitions that encouraged reckless practices. Sheinkin’s narrative shines as he recounts the frustrating court-martial trial that resulted in a guilty verdict for all 50 men, which still stands today despite repeated attempts to exonerate the sailors. Photos, reproductions of primary documents, and direct quotes from the sailors themselves flesh-out this account of a little-known piece of civil rights history.” —  Hunter, Sarah.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“A Young People’s History of the United States: Columbus to the War on Terror” by Howard Zinn, adapted by Rebecca Stefoff – ““Zinn’s work exemplifies an approach to history that is radical, regardless of its subject or geographical location. He tells us the untold story, the story of the world’s poor, the world’s workers, the world’s homeless, the world’s oppressed, the people who don’t really qualify as real people in official histories. Howard Zinn painstakingly unearths the details that the powerful seek to airbrush away. He brings official secrets and forgotten histories out into the light, and in doing so, changes the official narrative that the powerful have constructed for us. He strips the grinning mask off the myth of the benign American Empire.To not read Howard Zinn, is to do a disservice to yourself.”— Arundhati Roy

YOUNG ADULT

“Belzhar” by Meg Wolitzer – “When 10th grader Jam Gallahue meets British exchange student Reeve Maxfield, she feels like she finally understands love, and when she loses him, she can’t get over it. Her grief eventually lands her at the Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school for “emotionally fragile, highly intelligent” teenagers. There, she’s selected for Special Topics in English, a legendary class whose eccentric teacher handpicks her students and gives out journals that, Jam learns, seem to have the ability to take students back to their lives before the disasters that changed them. Making her YA debut, acclaimed author Wolitzer writes crisply and sometimes humorously about sadness, guilt, and anger–Jam’s fellow students each have lines that divide their lives into before and after, and all of them need to move forward. Jam’s class is studying Sylvia Plath, and Wolitzer weaves her life and work into the story with a light hand. Some of this lightness is missing at the end, when Jam reflects how the journals saved her and her classmates, but this is otherwise a strong, original book.” — Agent: Suzanne Gluck, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“Tabula Rasa” by Kristen Lippert-Martin – “She doesn’t know what to call herself: Sarah or Angel. In the facility where she is a test rat, she is Sarah, and the nurses keep a watchful eye on her, wondering if her memories–and her abilities–will come flooding back. Before her memories were extracted, she was known as Angel. Now, a mysterious corporation is hunting her for reasons she can’t–and may not want to–remember, and she must find her way through the facility’s bland halls to figure out why she is there, what she has done to deserve the pursuit of armed mercenaries, and, ultimately, how to survive. This never skips a beat of action or suspense, and while it is highly reminiscent of both the Hunger Games and Graceling books in its central conflict of a heroine versus a corrupt institution, it still pulses with vivid, original details, engrossing readers and leaving them begging for a sequel.” — Lynch, Caroline. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher – “When Clay Jenson plays the casette tapes he received in a mysterious package, he’s surprised to hear the voice of dead classmate Hannah Baker. He’s one of 13 people who receive Hannah’s story, which details the circumstances that led to her suicide. Clay spends the rest of the day and long into the night listening to Hannah’s voice and going to the locations she wants him to visit. The text alternates, sometimes quickly, between Hannah’s voice (italicized) and Clay’s thoughts as he listens to her words, which illuminate betrayals and secrets that demonstrate the consequences of even small actions. Hannah, herself, is not free from guilt, her own inaction having played a part in an accidental auto death and a rape. The message about how we treat one another, although sometimes heavy, makes for compelling reading. Give this to fans of Gail Giles psychological thrillers.” — Cindy Dobrez.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2007

New Arrivals – September 2014

ADULT FICTION

 “29” by Mary Sojourner – “Ever-ascending Sojourner (Going through Ghosts, 2010) cooks up wrenching sorrow and hilarious banter, environmental and moral conundrums, magnetizing characters, and a place of transcendent beauty in this intoxicating, provocative, and gloriously told desert tale of wildness and community, unexpected bonds and deep legacies, trauma and healing.” — Seaman, Donna, AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“The Care and Management of Great Lies: A Novel of the Great War” by Jacqueline Winspear – “What kind of farm wife would educated Kezia Marchant make in 1914, wonders her dearest friend, Thea Brissenden? Just before Kezia marries Thea’s brother, Tom, who runs the family farm, Thea gives the bride-to-be an ironic gift, The Woman’s Book, the actual volume, published in 1911, that inspired this novel. As it turns out, Kezia brings a different, lighter tone to the farm, particularly in cooking, which is new to her. After Tom feels duty bound to enlist in the Great War, Kezia fills her letters with mouth-watering accounts of the meals she is preparing for him, descriptions that become ragingly popular as he reads them to members of his unit on the front lines in France. As Kezia proves proficient in managing the farm and keeping discouraging news from Tom, who has become the whipping boy of his hard-nosed sergeant, Thea, in danger of arrest for her pacifist activities, also joins the war effort. In a stand-alone departure from her popular post-WWI mystery series featuring psychologist Maisie Dobbs, Winspear has created memorable characters in a moving, beautifully paced story of love and duty.” — Leber, Michele. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands: A Novel” by Chris Bohjalian – “When a disastrous meltdown occurs at a Vermont nuclear power plant, forcing people to flee for their lives and face permanent exile from their beloved homes, everyone blames Emily’s parents. Her father was chief engineer, and her mother was the communications director, and they had a reputation for drinking. Terrified, Emily, a bookish, 16-year-old only child, runs away and ends up crashing in the squalid lair of a guy called Poacher, who recruits homeless teens for his drug-and-prostitution ring. But smart Emily, who knowledgeably reveres Emily Dickinson, gets it together once she takes responsibility for a nine-year-old boy on the run from foster care and builds a trash-bag igloo to protect them from the bitter cold. … the versatile Bohjalian …has Emily tell her harrowing, tragic story retrospectively, under medical care.” .. Seaman, Donna. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“An Equal Music: A Novel” by Vikram Seth — “Seth’s third novel is a beautifully written piece set around the world of classical music. In this story of one man’s life, readers are taken on a passionate journey, as seen through the eyes of violinist Michael Holme. As Michael travels through Europe as a member of a quartet, he reminisces about his lost love, Julia McNicholl, a pianist. The former lovers are reunited, but the depth of their love and trust is put to the test when Michael discovers that not only is Julia married and the mother of a young son but that she is also going deaf. Seth’s writing is rich with emotion and imagery. His work contains strong characterizations, and his knowledge of and research into the realm of classical music is evident. Readers cannot help being drawn into the story, regardless of their level of familiarity with the world of music.” — Shirley N. Quan, Orange Cty. P. L., Stanton, CA CAHNERS PUBLISHING, c1999

“A History of the Future: A World Made By Hand Novel” by James Howard Kunstler – “In the slowly recovering upstate New York town of Union Grove, people relearn old skills as they produce their own food and libations, make music, restore old buildings, and use candles and wood-burning stoves and horses and mules. Kunstler, … revels in this back-to-basics way of life, particularly as practiced by Andrew, formerly a “dandy” in New York publishing and a painter …. As Christmas approaches, a woman commits two shocking murders, and a feudal landowner goes head-to-head with the mystically empowered Brother Jobe. All the while, the mayor longs for the return of his son, Daniel, who set out to discover the fate of the rest of America. He finds that a second civil war is underway as the white South rises again, calling itself the Foxfire Nation and worshiping its charismatic and ruthless leader, Loving Morrow, a former singer and TV evangelist. Kunstler skewers everything from kitsch to greed, prejudice, bloodshed, and brainwashing in this wily, funny, rip-roaring, and profoundly provocative page-turner”  –Seaman, Donna. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“The MIner & The Viscount” by Richard Hoskin – “…set in the author’s native Cornwall in the late eighteenth century, a time of social turbulence and historical significance, when Cornwall mirrored the history of Britain: the birth of the industrial and agricultural revolutions, the expansion of empire, the coming of the Enlightenment, the rise of Methodism. …The peninsula at the southwestern tip of Britain, Cornwall’s picturesque scenery varies from great country houses and market towns and fishing villages, to tin and copper mines, bleak moors, Neolithic monuments, rugged cliffs, the English Channel and the Atlantic Ocean. Strong characters, both historical and fictional, struggle with wealth and poverty, ambition and idealism, love and hatred, honor and revenge. They wrestle with the issues that faced them in this fascinating and vital period and offer us insights into what we face today.” — Amazon

“The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks – “…the novel opens in a nursing home as 80-year-old Noah Calhoun, ‘a common man with common thoughts,’ reads a love story from a notebook; it is his own story. In 1946, Noah, newly returned from the war, is trying to forget a long-ago summer romance with Allie Nelson, the daughter of a powerful businessman. Allie, soon to be married, feels compelled to track Noah down. One steamed-crab dinner and a canoe ride later, they fall madly in love again. We then learn that Noah, now aged and infirm, is reading his notebook to Allie in an attempt to jog her memory, severely impaired by Alzheimer’s disease, and, miraculously, he succeeds, much to the amazement of the hospital staff. … If you want to read a novel in which the romance is grounded in something real, and the magic is truly magical, read the work of Alice Hoffman. If you want to read an upscale Harlequin romance with great crossover appeal, then read The Notebook.”  – Joanne Wilkinson AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c1996.

“Road Ends” by Mary Lawson – ““Mary Lawson’s story of a dysfunctional family in a northern Ontario logging town is told in scenes that are as palpably tender and surprising as they are quietly disturbing. . . . [Lawson] has an uncanny talent for evoking the textures of her characters’ moods while moving them unsentimentally through London and Struan.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Tigerman” by Nick Harkaway – “Tigerman is an irresistible delight, something like Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand as played by James Bond. . . . What really makes Tigerman roar is its captivating blend of tones—from the light hues of domestic comedy to the bold colors of Spider-man. And Harkaway doesn’t stop there: Like some Marvel mad scientist, he has crossed strains of a modern-day environmental crisis with the sweet story of a veteran of the Afghan war trying to adopt a little boy. . . . [Tigerman] is ultimately no comic-book fantasy, just as a poisoned island is no paradise. You won’t see the next punch coming.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post

“Wayfaring Stranger” by James Lee Burke – ““Burke’s fans will recognize his lyrical strengths regarding the themes of social justice and class struggle, violence set to a stunning backdrop of natural beauty and destruction, and a Gulf Coast region that includes historically accurate details to delight Texas and Louisiana natives. . . . Perhaps more than any of Burke’s previous work, Wayfaring Stranger is a tender love story, proving yet again his versatility and skill in creating gorgeous, luscious, painful stories of the American experience. Beautifully composed and tragic, Wayfaring Stranger is a sweeping historical epic of war and the American dream.” (ShelfAwareness.com)

“Written In My Own Heart’s Blood: A Novel” by Diane Gabaldon – “With her Outlander series, [Diana] Gabaldon . . . successfully [juggles] a sizable and captivating cast of characters; developing thrilling plotlines that borrow equally from adventure, history, and romance; and meticulously integrating a wealth of fascinating period details into the story without slowing down the pace. The result is a sprawling and enthralling saga that is guaranteed to keep readers up long past their bedtimes.”—Booklist (starred review)

ADULT MYSTERY

“Back Channel: a novel” by Stephen L. Carter – “Stephen L. Carter’s gripping new novel, Back Channel, is a brilliant amalgam of fact and fiction—a suspenseful retelling of the Cuban Missile Crisis, in which the fate of the world rests unexpectedly on the shoulders of a young college student.” — Amazon.com

“Enemies At Home: A Flavia Albia Novel” by Lindsey Davis – “Set in Rome in 89 C.E., Davis’s sequel to 2013’s The Ides of April boasts a strong female lead. Flavia Albia, the adopted daughter of Marcus Didius Falco, … carries on the family tradition as an informer, the ancient Roman equivalent of a private detective. Manlius Faustus, a government official, asks Flavia to find out who strangled Valerius Aviola and Mucia Lucilla, a newlywed couple, in their apartment on the Esquiline Hill. The investigating officer has taken the easy way out by accusing some of the household’s slaves of the crime, but Faustus has his doubts. Despite violating a number of her cardinal rules (e.g., “Never take on clients who cannot pay you”), Flavia accepts the case. Diamond Dagger Award winner Davis vividly portrays the setting, “a poisoned city, where a paranoid emperor had caused often-lethal mistrust,” but she plays less than fair in her clues to the killer’s identity.” —  (July). PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“Leaving Time” by Jodi Picoult – “On the night one of the caretakers at a New Hampshire elephant sanctuary was killed, Jenna’s mother, Alice, was found unconscious nearby. Hours later, Alice checked herself out of the hospital and disappeared, leaving her 3-year-old daughter behind. Now, 10 years later, the precocious 13-year-old wants answers to the mysteries of her mother’s whereabouts. Is she dead? Was she also the victim of an unknown assailant? Or was she an abused wife and heartless mother who did not care about her child’s welfare? With her father, Thomas, incarcerated in a mental hospital since the tragedy that destroyed his family, Jenna has few people to turn to for help. Aided only by Virgil, the disgraced detective who bungled the initial investigation, and Serenity, a once-famous but now infamous TV psychic, Jenna seeks answers to the questions that have always plagued her.” — Haggas, Carol. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel” by Louise Penny – “As with all the author’s other titles, Penny wraps her mystery around the history and personality of the people involved. By this point in the series, each inhabitant of Three Pines is a distinct individual, and the humor that lights the dark places of the investigation is firmly rooted in their long friendships, or, in some cases, frenemyships. The heartbreaking conclusion will leave series readers blinking back tears.” —Library Journal (starred review).

“The Secret Place” by Tana French – “A year after the brutal murder of a young man on the grounds of posh St. Kilda’s school for girls, the case remains unsolved. Then Holly Mackey,…approaches Detective Stephen Moran with a tantalizing clue: a card with a photo of the victim and the words, “I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM,” which she says she plucked from a school bulletin board. Moran, …knows instantly that this could be his ticket into the elite Murder Squad–if the famously combative Antoinette Conway, the lead investigator on the case, will have him. As the detectives learn more about the connections of the victim to two rival Kilda’s cliques, they begin to understand that the girls are more devious, and possibly more dangerous, than they had imagined. Complex characters and a vivid sense of place are at the heart of French’s literary success (Broken Harbor, 2012), and although Conway and Moran are fine protagonists, it is the members of the two rival cliques, and St. Kilda’s itself, that make The Secret Place much more than just a solid whodunit. French brilliantly and plausibly channels the rebellion, conformity, inchoate longings, rages, and shared bonds, as well as Kilda’s role in fostering them.” — Gaughan, Thomas. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“The Sixth Extinction (Sigma Force)” by James Rollins – “Bestseller Rollins’s exciting, well-researched 10th Sigma Force novel… has everything the genre demands: Nazis, ancient maps, alien life forms, a ticking nuclear clock, and exotic, deadly beasts. Rollins makes it all believable, and ties everything together in a satisfying climax that hints at more adventures to come.” — (Publisher’s Weekly on THE 6th Extinction)

ADULT BIOGRAPHY

 “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant: A Memoir” by Roz Chast – “”Better than any book I know, this extraordinarily honest, searing and hilarious graphic memoir captures (and helps relieve) the unbelievable stress that results when the tables turn and grown children are left taking care of their parents. . . [A] remarkable, poignant memoir.” —San Francisco Chronicle  

“In Bed with Anne Boleyn” — Lacey Baldwin Smith – “This is a brutal tale of rivalry, sex and jealousy set against the sumptuous sheets of the king’s bedchamber, where dynasties were made and lives destroyed.” – – Amazon.com

ADULT NON-FICTION

“The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap” by Matt Taibbi – “Taibbi is a relentless investigative reporter. He takes readers inside not only investment banks, hedge funds and the blood sport of short-sellers, but into the lives of the needy, minorities, street drifters and illegal immigrants. . . . The Divide is an important book. Its documentation is powerful and shocking.”The Washington Post

“Kill My Mother: A Graphic Novel” by Jules Feiffer – “Jules Feiffer’s Kill My Mother is a tribute to film noir and detective fiction….But Kill My Mother isn’t mere pastiche. The story is a thoughtful meditation on female identity and whether the not-so-simple art of murder can ever be defended as a moral necessity. It is a story about stories, the myths we have to create in order to keep putting one foot in front of the other… I know what I think: Kill My Mother is terrific.” (Laura Lippman – New York Times Book Review, front page review)

“The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia 1772-1832” by Alan Taylor – “Alan Taylor has added a remarkable chapter to American history, showing how the actions of black Virginians in the War of 1812 remade the nation’s politics in ways that profoundly influenced the racialized lead-up to the Civil War. Taylor’s meticulous research and crystal-clear prose make this essential reading for anyone seeking new insights into a troubled American past.” — Elizabeth A. Fenn, (author of Pox Americana)

ADULT AUDIO BOOK

“Power Play” by Catherine Coulter

BLUE/DVD

“Dexter: the Final Season”
“Game of Thrones: Season 4”
“Homeland: Season 3”
“Lego Movie”
“Mad Men: The Final Season: Part 1”
“Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Series 1”
“Paulie Movie”
“True Blood: Season 6”

ADULT MUSIC

“Jersey Boys Music From the Motion Picture and Broadway Musical”

BOARD BOOK

“Book!” by Kristine O’Connell George
“Doggies” by Sandra Boynton
“Smile” by Roberta Grobel

PICTURE BOOK

“Arthur’s Birthday” by Marc Brown
“A Beasty Story” by Bill Martin, Jr.
“Benny and Penny in the Big No-No!” by Geoffrey Hayes
“The Bernstein Bears and Too Much TV” by Stan Bernstein
“The Black Book of Colors” by Menena Cottin
“The Clown of God” by Tomie dePaola
“Do You Want To Be My Friend?” by Eric Carle
“The Enchanted Book: A Tale from Krakow” by Janina Porazinska
“Firebird” by Misty Copeland
“The Flat Rabbit” by Bardur Oskarsson
“Grandfather Twilight” by Barbara Berger
“Hattie and the Fox” by Mem Fox
“I Love Bugs” by Emma Dodd
“I Love My White Shoes” by Eric Litwin
“The King Who Rained” by Fred Gwynne
“The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn
“Last But Not Least Lola and the Wild Chicken” by Christine Pakkala
“Perfect Square” by Michael Hall
“Quest” by Aaron Becker
“Reading Makes You Feel Good” by Todd Parr
“The Year at Maple Hill Farm” by Alice and Martin Provensen

JUVENILE AUDIO BOOK

 “How to Catch a Bogle” by Catherine Jinks

JUVENILE FICTION

“Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000” by Dave Pilkey – ” What do you get when you mix toilet monster villains, pterodactyl hamster heroes, Super Diaper Baby comic strip interludes, and a “glow-in-the-dark, time-traveling Robo-Squid suit?” A Captain Underpants adventure about saving the planet from impending doom! … Captivating comic drawings with flip-book mechanisms, punny toilet jokes (“It’s just a flush wound”), and action-packed adventures make this a sure winner for fans and newcomers alike.” —  Miller, Annie. 224p. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Lost Children of the Far Islands” by Emily Raabe – “Eleven-year-old twins Gus and Leo and their younger sister, Ila, don’t know it yet, but they are Folk, creatures of Celtic legend who can transform into animals, and when their mother can no longer hide them from a scary, vengeful monster, they are secreted away to a rocky island off the coast of Maine for protection. Once there, they learn about their mysterious heritage and how to transform into animals themselves. Soon, however, the monster learns of their presence, and they race to keep him from wreaking any more havoc. Though it suffers from a couple of distracting plot gaps, Raabe’s debut novel is brimming with pleasing details, and her description of Gus and Leo’s transformation into seals really shines–as the twins get used to darting through the sea as seals, they inhabit more than just their bodies. They also experience how seals see (they’re color-blind); feel (by sensing vibration in the water around them); and communicate (in barks and clicks and without complex concepts like time). This page-turning fantasy-adventure is tailor-made for marine-life fanatics.” — Hunter, Sarah.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart – “Lockhart has created a mystery with an ending most readers won’t see coming, one so horrific it will prompt some to return immediately to page one to figure out how they missed it. At the center of it is a girl who learns the hardest way of all what family means, and what it means to lose the one that really mattered to you.” —
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Wonder” by R. J. Palacio – “”Wonder is the best kids’ book of the year,” said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate.com and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.” — Amazon.com

JUVENILE NON-FICTION

 “Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth” by Molly Bang – “This ambitious, beautifully illustrated book offers information seldom covered in science books for young children.” — Booklist, starred reviews

 “The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls, Revised Edition” by Valorie Schaefer – “Our best-selling body book for girls just got even better! With all-new illustrations and updated content for girls ages 8 and up, it features tips, how-tos, and facts from the experts. You’ll find answers to questions about your changing body, from hair care to healthy eating, bad breath to bras, periods to pimples, and everything in between.” — Publisher’s Annotations

“Star Wars: Jedi Academy, Return of the Padawan” by Jeffrey Brown – ““Brown has taken his skill for making the day-to-day of a science fiction universe entertaining, and has expanded it on a wider scale. Old and new fans of George Lucas’ creation will find something fun in Star Wars: Jedi Academy.” -The-Trades.com

“Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes” by Nicola Davies – “A straightforward narrative packed with comparisons sheds light on “the invisible transformers of our world,” while clever, inviting watercolors help put those comparisons into context. Sutton’s paintings, reminiscent of mid 20th-century children’s book art with their subtle hues and naïve styling, lend a nostalgic, almost cozy feel to the pages. … Davies and Sutton illuminate the world of germs, fermenters, and composters in a charming, succinct package.” — Publishers Weekly

YOUNG ADULT

“Breathe, Annie, Breathe” by Miranda Kenneally – “Engaging, contemplative, and hopeful, this sensitive story recognizes the joy of romantic and physical love while reinforcing the importance of self-reliance, friendships, and personal achievement, encouraging readers to build well-rounded lives and perhaps even inspiring a future marathoner or two.” – The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

 “Illusions of Fate” by Kiersten White – “This well-written historical fantasy has romance, suspense, a fairy-tale feel, and a great ending that will leave readers cheering.” (School Library Journal)

“There Will Come a Time” by Carrie Arcos – “This nuanced story presents a close study on how different people react to loss while posing many thorny questions about relationships. . . Give this book to anyone who wants a rock-solid, character-driven story of finding one’s footing after a life-changing event.”(Booklist, STARRED REVIEW)

NEW ARRIVALS – JUNE 2014

ADULT FICTION

“All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr – “Doerr’s magnificently drawn story seems at once spacious and tightly composed. It rests, historically, during the occupation of France during WWII, but brief chapters told in alternating voices give the overall–and long–narrative a swift movement through time and events. We have two main characters, each one on opposite sides in the conflagration that is destroying Europe. Marie-Louise is a sightless girl who lived with her father in Paris before the occupation; he was a master locksmith for the Museum of Natural History. When German forces necessitate abandonment of the city, Marie-Louise’s father, taking with him the museum’s greatest treasure, removes himself and his daughter and eventually arrives at his uncle’s house in the coastal city of Saint-Malo. Young German soldier Werner is sent to Saint-Malo to track Resistance activity there, and eventually, and inevitably, Marie-Louise’s and Werner’s paths cross. It is through their individual and intertwined tales that Doerr masterfully and knowledgeably re-creates the deprived civilian conditions of war-torn France and the strictly controlled lives of the military occupiers.” — Hooper, Brad. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Blossom Street Brides” by Debbie Macomber – “Macomber continues her long-running knitting series set on Blossom Street with Lauren Elliott learning that her younger, married sister is pregnant. Lauren determines that she will never be a mother if she stays with her long-term boyfriend. After seeing a baby blanket in the window of A Good Yarn, Lauren decides to knit one for her sister’s baby, and there she meets the recently married Bethanne, whose new husband, Max, who lives in California, shows up with attractive bad boy Rooster, the antithesis of Lauren’s ex-boyfriend. Meanwhile, Casey, the adopted teen daughter of Lydia, the proprietor of A Good Yarn, is experiencing horrible nightmares, while her grandmother is losing her mind to dementia. The yarn store is barely meeting its expenses when, suddenly, baskets of knitting with A Good Yarn labels start turning up around town with an invitation to help knit a scarf for charity. Macomber’s nondenominational-inspirational women’s novel, with its large cast of characters will resonate with fans of the popular series but may leave new readers with the feeling of being strangers at the party.” –Tixier Herald, Diana. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“The Eye of the Day” by Dennison Smith – “When a brutal explosion in a cottage town in Vermont brings together Amos, a disfigured handyman, and Aubrey, the cosseted son of a wealthy New England family, neither has any idea this event will shape them forever. As their lives touch again over the years, these unlikely friends forge a bond that survives war and peace, love and loss.” — inside front cover

“Hell Bent for Leather” by Julie Ann Walker – “When bar owner Delilah Fairchild’s Uncle Theo disappears, she turns to the Black Knights, a Chicago Special Ops group working undercover as motorcycle aficionados, for help, even though this means being in close proximity to Bryan “Mac” McMillan. She’s had a gigantic crush on Mac for the past four years, while he’s pretended to ignore her. Thanks to Mac’s father’s grief over being abandoned by his wife and subsequent bankruptcy due to his search for her, Mac has sworn off sexy, glitzy women he thinks are like her. His aversion gives new meaning to commitment phobia, yet he is helplessly drawn to Delilah. Walker’s plot twists involving how the two find her uncle and then rescue Delilah, who is also taken, fight over jurisdiction with the CIA, and finally get together makes for one of the funniest military romances ever written and an instant favorite in Walker’s already excellent Black Knight series. Action-packed with hilarious dialogue, terrorists, testosterone-laden protagonists, a brave dog, and very, very good sex scenes, Hell for Leather is a wonderful read.” Chelton, Mary K., AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“The Kill Switch” by James Rollins and Grant Blackwood – “A Russian scientist with a weapon that could wreak havoc upon the world; a chilling historical mystery; a breakneck race against time–the usual kinds of ingredients, in other words, for one of Rollins’ Sigma Force novels. But this one’s a bit different: it stars former Army Ranger Tucker Wayne and his working dog, Kane (introduced in Bloodline, 2012), and it spends more time than usual exploring the relationships of its lead characters. Rollins, who was a practicing veterinarian before turning to full-time writing, makes Kane, a Belgian Malinois (they look a lot like German shepherds), a fully participating character in the story, similar to the way Jonathan Maberry makes Ghost a character in the Joe Ledger novels. Coauthor Blackwood is best known for the three Fargo novels he wrote with Clive Cussler, but his solo trilogy featuring covert op Briggs Tanner, published 2001-03, gives him solid grounding for this novel. Fans of the Sigma Force series will definitely enjoy this one, and readers who have occasionally wished Rollins would slow down a bit and spend some time with his characters will get their wish.” — Pitt, David. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Radiance of Tomorrow: A Novel” by Ishmael Beah – “In his best-selling A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (2007), Beah wrote of his traumatic experience as victim and perpetrator in Sierra Leone’s civil war. Now he works with Human Rights Watch and UNICEF in New York, and in this searing first novel, he tells of a young immigrant returning with his family to his native village seven years after the recent civil war. He finds both hope and horror, the latter driven by the overwhelming internal corruption, the former by the resilience of the people he encounters. He sees skulls and chopped hands, the remains of massacre. But there is the wonder of clean drinking water. A foreign company’s diamond mining, supported by the government, is leaving the village people displaced, houses shattered, the air thick with pollution, ancient burial grounds destroyed. A parent must see her child go to bed hungry, night after night. How much will people do for jobs to feed their families? The power of the story is in the close-up, heartbreaking detail of the struggle for survival, the cruelty, and also the kindness.” — Rochman, Hazel. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2013.

“Save the Date” by Mary Kay Andrews – “The latest charming summer romance from best-selling Andrews (Ladies’ Night, 2013) arrives just in time for wedding and beach-reading season. Savannah florist Cara Kryzik is making a name for herself designing society weddings, and her latest event, planning an enormous country wedding between two important southern families, will allow her to pay back the loan her father gave her. Divorced not long ago, she may be ready to finally reopen her heart, and by some sweet chance, local heartthrob Jack Finnerty keeps popping up at her weddings. Though Andrews does rely on a few contemporary-romance conventions–a protagonist with a fun, feminine job; a down-to-earth hero from a well-connected family; and a misunderstanding that nearly keeps them apart–her lively and expansive variations on tried-and-trusted tropes are fresh and pleasing. Readers will cheer Cara on as she deals with a runaway bride and a smarmy and cutthroat competing florist, and all will swoon over her steamy scenes with Jack, right up to the wholly satisfying happy ending.” — Walker, Aleksandra. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Shadow Spell” by Nora Roberts – “Cabhan is coming. The latest charming summer romance from best-selling Andrews (Ladies’ Night, 2013) arrives just in time for wedding and beach-reading season. Savannah florist Cara Kryzik is making a name for herself designing society weddings, and her latest event, planning an enormous country wedding between two important southern families, will allow her to pay back the loan her father gave her. Divorced not long ago, she may be ready to finally reopen her heart, and by some sweet chance, local heartthrob Jack Finnerty keeps popping up at her weddings. Though Andrews does rely on a few contemporary-romance conventions–a protagonist with a fun, feminine job; a down-to-earth hero from a well-connected family; and a misunderstanding that nearly keeps them apart–her lively and expansive variations on tried-and-trusted tropes are fresh and pleasing. Readers will cheer Cara on as she deals with a runaway bride and a smarmy and cutthroat competing florist, and all will swoon over her steamy scenes with Jack, right up to the wholly satisfying happy ending.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The latest from perennial blockbuster novelist Andrews launches with a 250,000 print run and a high tide of national promotions in print and on all other media platforms. Walker, Aleksandra. 400p. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.Despite the best efforts of Connor O’Dwyer and his circle of family and friends, the sorcerer will not stop until he has his revenge against the descendants of dark witch Sorcha. Since Connor, his sister Branna, and their cousin, Iona Sheehan, are the latest group of three to have inherited Sorcha’s powers, they are all number one on Cabhan’s hit list. Everyone’s safety depends on working together to defeat Cabhan, but much to his surprise, Connor finds himself distracted by Meara Quinn. The two have always enjoyed a terrific working relationship, until an unexpected kiss reveals the true passion they feel for each other. Pursuing a romantic relationship with Meara, however, is a risk. Not only could Connor lose her friendship; getting closer to Meara could make her an easy target for Cabhan. Roberts has a real flair for seamlessly melding day-to-day domestic details and the supernatural, and the second in her Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy not only delivers a satisfying love story but also effectively sets things up for the coming final confrontation with Cabhan.” — Charles, John. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014

“The Son” by Philip Meyer – “Spanning nearly two hundred years, The Son is the story of our founding mythology, of the men and women who tore a country from the wilderness and paid in blood by subsequent generations. An epic in the tradition of Faulkner and Melville, this is the work of a writer at the height of his power.” —  Kevin Powers

“Wolf” by Mo Hayder – “In Hayder’s best Jack Caffery thriller yet, a worn-out Jack is feeling all the years he has put into police service and his never-ending quest to find out what happened to his long-lost brother. The novel opens with a young girl finding a stray dog with a ripped note tucked into its collar that states, “Help us.” A vagrant known as the Walking Man witnesses this and promises the young girl that he will help the dog. Never one to give out information willingly, the Walking Man surprisingly contacts Jack–offering up a trade: find out who needs help and, in return, the Walking Man will give Jack some closure about his brother. This deal with the devil sets off a home invasion novel unlike no other. The Anchor-Ferrers, a wealthy family with secrets and issues of their own, are being held hostage in their estate. Will Jack find them in time? And why was this family chosen in the first place? VERDICT Dark and twisty, this gripping crime novel by an Edgar Award winner is an outstanding read, whether Jack is a new character to the reader or an old friend. For fans of John Connolly or Robert Crais.” —  Marianne Fitzgerald, Severna Park H.S., MD. LIBRARY JOURNAL,

“The Woman Who Lost Her Soul” by Bob Shacochis – “A skilled journalist …Shacochis thinks big, and his new novel … is truly magisterial. It opens with humanitarian lawyer Tom Harrington investigating the death of Jackie Scott, a feisty photojournalist who once whipped him around in Haiti. But Harrington turns out to be a relatively minor player in large-scale story dating back to the end of World War II, as the beheading of young Stjepan Kovacevic’s Iron Cross father signals coming changes in the Balkans and the world at large. Thus are sown the seeds of Stjepan’s hatred for all things communist, Muslim, and, finally, not gloriously righteous Christian West. Flash forward, and Stjepan is U.S. diplomat Steve Chambers, training the teenage daughter he covets to shift personas in the act of serving her country. Eventually, she’s the woman who loses her soul, as “America…at war behind the drapery of shadows and secrets” has lost its soul. Throughout, we see how policy is shaped by both the historical and the blindingly personal. VERDICT Densely detailed yet immensely readable, this eye-opener (which could have been titled “Why We Are in the Middle East”) is essential reading.”–Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal. 640p. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2013.

 ADULT MYSTERY

“Field of Prey: A Novel” by John Sandford – “In bestseller Sandford’s suspenseful 24th Lucas Davenport novel …, an amorous couple’s chance discovery of a body in an abandoned cistern near Red Wing, Minn., becomes a major investigation when authorities begin excavating and the body count reaches 17 and threatens to go higher. With Bob Shaffer of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension heading the investigation, and Davenport and Goodhue County deputy Catrin Mattsson assisting, they begin looking for a serial killer/rapist who’s been operating for at least 10 years in the cluster of small towns near the cistern. When a lead investigator is killed and another targeted, the pressure builds. Meanwhile, a pair of sadists plot deadly and taunting actions to confuse the investigators, and Davenport searches desperately for a clue that will help narrow the search to manageable numbers. As always, Sandford has tricks to play to confound readers before the tension rises and leads to a violent and surprising conclusion.” —  Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM.  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.

“The Son” by Jo Nesbo – “On the surface, Nesbo’s gripping new stand-alone might seem like another installment of the Harry Hole series but featuring a new cast of characters. A serial killer is at work in Oslo, and a maverick cop with his share of personal demons is on his trail. But beneath that surface, there is a complex psychological thriller churning its way into the reader’s nightmares. Sonny Lofthus is in prison for crimes he didn’t commit but for which he has agreed to take the fall–in exchange for an unending supply of heroin. The drugs are Sonny’s way of dealing with the knowledge that his father, an apparent suicide, was a dirty cop. As the novel begins, however, Sonny has new information about his father’s death and has engineered a daring escape from prison. His revenge-fueled plan is to kill those responsible for the crimes he was convicted of by re-creating the murders with the real killers now the victims. The more we learn about Sonny, the more we root for him to evade capture, either by the police or by the crime lord who wants him dead. Juggling point of view between Sonny, Simon Kefas (the cop chasing him), and the various corrupt officials who risk exposure the longer Sonny is free, Nesbo thwarts our every attempt to draw conclusions about both what happened in the past and who is the least guilty among the principals. There is an element of the classic film noir Breathless at work here but with more characters of varying shades of gray whose fates hinge on numerous moving parts. A terrific thriller but also a tragic, very moving story of intertwined characters swerving desperately to avoid the dead ends in their paths.” —  Ott, Bill. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Standing in Another Man’s Grave” by Ian Rankin – “Rankin’s iconic Edinburgh copper, John Rebus, …is now a civilian reviewing old police files in this satisfying crime thriller…. Rebus butts heads with Fox, an investigator in Complaints, who loathes “old style” cops like Rebus who may have bent the rules to get results. When Nina Hazlitt shows up at Rebus’s office, she tells him about her missing daughter, Sally, who disappeared on the A9 roadway in 1999. Though Rebus is initially skeptical, Hazlitt’s persistence slowly pays off. Rebus starts taking seriously her theories that the subsequent disappearances of other young women along the A9 are connected, and a task force is formed, including Det. Insp. Siobhan Clarke, Rebus’s protegee. The police comb through old case files, and Rebus logs many a mile in his battered Saab, driving the length of the A9 through Scotland, on the hunt for the killer. Rankin’s ear for dialogue and sense of place is as keen as ever, complementing his twisted plot. Rebus fans will be pleased to find him as cantankerous as ever, smoking and drinking as if time in the policing world has stood still.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2013.

“Stone Cold” by C. J. Box – “…Joe Pickett is back at his job as game warden with a pay increase, retention of his seniority, and the title of “special liaison to the executive branch.” Joe is once again working on a special assignment for Wyoming governor Rulon, who has an unhappy relationship with the federal government. To keep the Feds from running roughshod over his state and its citizens, Rulon sends Joe to Medicine Wheel County to investigate quietly a mysterious man named Wolfgang Templeton who might be operating an elite murder-for-hire operation. What Joe uncovers is a tangled puzzle of philanthropy, murder, and corrupt county and state officials, mixed together with the reappearance of his old friend Nate Romanowski and Joe’s mother-in-law, Missy Vankueran. Never one to hesitate, Joe jumps right into the fray. At the same time Joe’s mind is also with daughter Sheridan’s challenges at the university and foster daughter April’s obsession with a rodeo star. VERDICT …Nonstop action, a twisty plot, and great characters make his latest a must-read for fans of this series.” —  Patricia Ann Owens, LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.

“Unlucky 13” by James Patterson – “San Francisco Detective Lindsay Boxer is loving her life as a new mother. …Then the FBI sends Lindsay a photo of a killer from her past, and her happy world is shattered. The picture captures a beautiful woman at a stoplight. But all Lindsay sees is the psychopath behind those seductive eyes: Mackie Morales, the most deranged and dangerous mind the Women’s Murder Club has ever encountered. …In this pulse-racing, emotionally charged novel by James Patterson, the Women’s Murder Club must find a killer–before she finds them first.” — Amazon.com

ADULT BIOGRAPHY

“Hard Choices” by Hilary Rodham Clinton – “A subtle, finely calibrated work….Hard Choices is a statesmanlike document…with succinct and often shrewd appraisals of the complex web of political, economic and historical forces in play around the world, and the difficulties American leaders face in balancing strategic concerns with ‘core values.’ The tone is calm and measured, with occasional humorous asides, like describing an offer by Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian leader, to take Bill Clinton along on a polar-bear tagging expedition.”(Michiko Kakutani The New York Times)

“Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life” by Jonathan Sperber – “Brilliant, original, and beautifully written, Jonathan Sperber’s biography of Marx dazzles. Neither a prophet nor a purveyor of a political system gone awry, Marx emerges in these pages as a man struggling, personally and intellectually, with the profound issues of his own time. With insight and erudition, Sperber weaves Marx’s life and time seamlessly together, and gives us the first deeply researched, engaging biography of Marx in more than three decades” — (Helmut Smith, author of The Butcher’s Tale: Murder and Anti-Semitism in a German Town)

ADULT NON-FICTION

“Capital in the Twenty-First Century” by Thomas Piketty – “The book aims to revolutionize the way people think about the economic history of the past two centuries. It may well manage the feat…It is, first and foremost, a very detailed look at 200 years’ worth of data on the distribution of income and wealth across the rich world (with some figures for large emerging markets also included). This mountain of data allows Piketty to tell a simple and compelling story…The database on which the book is built is formidable, and it is difficult to dispute his call for a new perspective on the modern economic era, whether or not one agrees with his policy recommendations… We are all used to sneering at communism because of its manifest failure to deliver the sustained rates of growth managed by market economies. But Marx’s original critique of capitalism was not that it made for lousy growth rates. It was that a rising concentration of wealth couldn’t be sustained politically. Ultimately, those of us who would like to preserve the market system need to grapple with that sort of dynamic, in the context of the worrying numbers on inequality that Piketty presents.” (The Economist 2014-01-09)

“Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety” by Eric Schlosser – ” Nuclear bombs must be handled with the proper care, yet that is not always the case. Mentioning harrowing mishaps in the history of the American atomic arsenal, Schlosser singles out one for detailed dramatization, the explosion in 1980 of a Titan II missile. Some airmen were killed and injured, but since the warhead didn’t detonate, the safety system appeared to have worked. Color Schlosser skeptical, for, as he recounts this accident, which began with a mundane incident–a dropped tool that punctured the missile–he delves into nuclear weapon designs. Those are influenced by the requirement that the bomb must always detonate when desired and never when not. Citing experts in the technology of nuclear weaponry who have pondered the “never” part of the requirement, Schlosser highlights their worry about an accidental nuclear explosion. Underscored by cases of dropped, burned, and lost bombs, the problem of designing a safe but reliable bomb persists (see also The Bomb, 2009, by weapons engineer Stephen Younger). Well researched, reported, and written, this contribution to the nuclear-weapons literature demonstrates the versatility of Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation (2001).” –Taylor, Gilbert. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2013.

“No Place to Hide” by Glenn Greenwald – “Journalist and former constitutional lawyer Greenwald (With Liberty and Justice for Some) examines the impact of the revelations in the National Security Agency (NSA) documents leaked to him by Edward Snowden. It’s a fascinating read as Greenwald, a longtime writer on issues of national security and Guardian columnist at the time, describes his interactions with the whistle-blower and provides an erudite, complete time line of the events pre- and postpublication of the classified information. Greenwald dismisses the “collect it all” policy of the NSA, maintaining that its overarching surveillance powers–routinely collecting and quantifying data on billions of communications worldwide–don’t prevent acts of terror. Drawing on political theory and psychology, Greenwald likewise explains that the argument that law-abiding citizens aren’t affected is fundamentally flawed, because even the simple threat of universal surveillance impacts human behavior. He is scathing in his analysis of the “establishment media” (Washington Post, New York Times, etc.), both for what he views as deference to the U.S. government on matters of publication and their coverage of the leak, including the question of whether he himself is a journalist–or merely a “blogger” or “activist”–afforded constitutional press protection. In his analysis, the author breaks down the dense NSA subject matter and uses excerpts and slides from the documents to illustrate his points, making this work readable for even those unfamiliar with the technical concepts. VERDICT Greenwald’s delineation of the NSA’s actions, as well as his arguments for the right of privacy and a robust adversarial press, makes this book a must-read.” —  Amanda Mastrull, Library Journal. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.

ADULT AUDIO BOOK

“The Tempest” by William Shakespeare

BLUE/DVD

“American Hustle”
“The Best Years of our Lives”
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s”
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“Gravity”
“Jurrasic Park”
“The Pirate Fairy”
“Searching for SugarMan”
“Some Like it Hot”
“Twelfth Night” 

ADULT MUSIC

“Live at the Village Vanguard” with Marc Ribot

BOARD BOOK

“Clip-Clop” by Nicola Smee
“Eating the Rainbow” by Star Bright Books
“Hug” by Jez Alborough

PICTURE BOOK

” A Bad Case of Stripes” by David Shannon
“Alice the Fairy” by David Shannon
The Baby BeeBee Bird” by Diane Redfield Massie
“Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas”
by Lynne Cox
“E-I-E-I-O How Old MacDonald Got His Farm (with a Little Help from a Hen)” by Judy Sierra
“How to Lose a Lemur” by Frann Preston-Gannon
“I Went Walking” by Sue Williams
“Meet the Parents” by Peter Bently
“Lola at the Library” by Anna McQuinn
“Little Owl’s Night” by Divya Srinaviasan
“One Tiny Turtle” by Nicola Davies
“Otis and the Puppy” by Loren Long
“Pinkalicious” by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann
“The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School” by Deborah Diesen
“This is a Moose” by Richard T. Morris
“Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge” by Mem Fox

JUVENILE AUDIO BOOK

“The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw” by Christopher Healy

JUVENILE FICTION

“The Boy Problem (Notes and Predictions by Tabitha Reddy)” by Kami Kinard – “Grades 4-8. Full of asides about classmates and the kind of detailed gossip only 11 to 13-year-olds can truly follow, this giddy, giggly book reads like a diary and is aimed at tween girls who like their literature frothy. Tabbi, short for Tabitha, is a middle-school student looking for the right guy, a crush who will elevate her status and help her put aside the feeling that she is just a third wheel when she hangs out with her bestie Kara and Kara’s boyfriend, Chip. But how is she going to find the guy of her dreams? Tabbi is sure that everything, from the cheese that slid off her pizza and formed the shape of a male face (well, kind of) to a Magic 8 Ball, will predict her future. Stick-figure drawings, charts, and lists break up the text and give Tabbi’s story a Diary of a Wimpy Kid vibe. When a fund-raiser featuring cupcakes leads Tabbi to a happy ending, those who love romance will celebrate.” — Cruze, Karen. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel” by Deborah Hopkinson – “This story of the 1854 cholera outbreak in London is told through the eyes of a 13-year-old orphan. Among other jobs, Eel works as an errand boy at the Lion Brewery, cares for Dr. John Snow’s animals, and moonlights as a “mudlark,” scavenging the Thames for scraps of coal and other things to sell. Eel struggles to survive as he is falsely accused of stealing by his boss at the brewery, tries to stay clear of his evil stepfather, and watches his neighbors fall ill and die. In desperation, he turns to the only man he knows who can help: Dr. Snow. Weaving historical personages such as Dr. Snow and the Reverend Henry Whitehead with fictional characters, Hopkinson illuminates a pivotal chapter in the history of public health. Dr. Snow believed that cholera was spread by contaminated water, not by bad air or “miasma,” which was the popular theory at the time. With the help of Eel and his friends, he convinces an emergency committee that the water from the Broad Street pump is responsible and has the handle removed, thereby curtailing the outbreak. Although detailing a dire period in history, Eel tells his story in a matter-of-fact and accessible manner, making his story palatable and entertaining.” — Ragan O’Malley, Saint Ann’s School, Brooklyn, NY. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2013.

“How to Speak Dragonese” by Cressida Cowell – “Gr 3-5. Chief’s son Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, his friend Fishlegs, and his cranky dragon, Toothless, get separated from their class during ‘Boarding-An-Enemy-Ship’ practice. The peaceful fishing boat they are supposed to attack turns out to be a prowling Roman galley, crewed by some of the Empire’s least- distinguished legions. The invaders are plotting to provoke war among the Viking factions by kidnapping the heirs of Hiccup’s own Happy Hooligans and the Amazonian Bog-Burglar tribe. Then, while the locals are occupied, the Romans plan to make off with the entire dragon population of the islands. With the help of Bog-Burglar girl warrior Camicazi and the bumblebee-sized dragon Ziggerastica, the boys must find a way to counter the treacherous plan before they all end up facing combat to the death in the local arena. There is a lot of raucous humor and mock-heroic dialogue; ridiculous names add to the fun. The theme of brains over brawn is well defined. Warriors, Roman and Viking alike, are loud-mouthed, bullying braggarts, easy targets for clever, scrawny Hiccup.” — Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL. CAHNERS PUBLISHING, c2006.

“One Came Home” by Amy Timberlake – “Grades 6-9. To find out what really happened to her purportedly dead sister, sharpshooting 13-year-old Georgie Burkhardt and her sister’s one-time suitor Billy McCabe follow the trail of pigeon hunters and discover far worse going on near Placid, Wisconsin, in 1871. Georgie tells her story in a first-person narrative that rings true to the time and place. She is smart, determined, and not a little blind to the machinations of adults around her, including Billy, who has been sent by Georgie’s storekeeper grandfather to follow her and keep her safe. She does notice that Billy is well made, but this is no love story; it’s a story of acceptance, by Georgie, her family, and her small town. Timberlake weaves in the largest passenger pigeon nesting ever seen in North America, drought and fatal fires along Lake Michigan that year, a currency crisis that spawned counterfeiters, and advice on prairie travel from an actual handbook from the times. Historical fiction and mystery combine to make this a compelling adventure, and an afterword helps disentangle facts from fiction.” — Isaacs, Kathleen. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2012.

“The Outcasts: Brotherband Chronicles, Book 1” — “Gr. 5-9. Set in the Skandia, an alternate, medieval Scandinavia, the opening volume of the Brotherband Chronicles introduces Hal, who has always felt like an outsider but never more so than at the beginning of his warrior training. Two groups of 16-year-olds are chosen first by their leaders, while Hal’s group consists of the eight misfits left over. Selected as their leader, he gradually grows into the role, taking advantage of their individual talents and compensating for their weaknesses. Just as they seem to gain the upper hand after grueling military training and intense competitions on land and at sea, a humiliating setback reminds Hal’s brotherband of the training’s purpose and sends them off to settle a score with a real-world enemy. In this offshoot of the popular Ranger’s Apprentice series, Flanagan sets the stage for new adventures, peoples it with a large cast of well-developed characters, and tells a compelling coming-of-age story. Given the glossary of sailing terms that opens the book and Hal’s pride in the boat he has helped build and design, readers can expect tales on the high seas. In addition, the new series offers a complex, believable world, a rich sense of camaraderie among thoroughly likable characters, and life-or-death challenges leavened with lighter moments.” — Carolyn Phelan. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2011.

“Paperboy” by Vince Vawter – “Grades 6-8. It’s hot in Memphis during the summer of 1959–in all kinds of ways. Things heat up for the book’s 11-year-old narrator when he takes over his pal Rat’s paper route; meeting new people is a horror for the boy because he stutters. He only really feels comfortable with Rat and Mam, the African American maid who takes care of him when his parents are away, which is often. But being the paperboy forces him to engage in the world and to ask for payments from customers, like pretty, hard-drinking Mrs. Worthington and Mr. Spiro, who gives the boy the confidence to voice his questions and then offers answers that–wondrously–elicit more questions. Others intrude on his life as well. In a shocking scene, Ara T, the dangerous, disturbing junk man tries to take something precious from the boy. In some ways, the story is a set piece, albeit a very good one: the well-crafted characters, hot Southern summer, and coming-of-age events are reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird. But this has added dimension in the way it brilliantly gets readers inside the head of a boy who stutters. First-time author Vawter has lived this story, so he is able to write movingly about what it’s like to have words exploding in your head with no reasonable exit. This paperboy is a fighter, and his hope fortifies and satisfies in equal measure.” —  Cooper, Ilene.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2013.

“P.S. Be Eleven” by Rita Williams-Garcia – “Ages 8-12. Delphine and her sisters return to Brooklyn from visiting their estranged mother, Cecile, a poet who sent them off every day to a camp run by the Black Panthers in Williams-Garcia’s Newbery Honor-winning One Crazy Summer. It wasn’t the California vacation they expected, but the experience rocked their world. Big Ma, their grandmother, is no longer just a stern taskmaster, she’s an oppressor. Delphine, who again narrates, loses interest in magazines like Tiger Beat and Seventeen: “When there’s Afros and black faces on the cover, I’ll buy one,” she tells a storeowner. Reflecting society at large in 1968, change and conflict have the Gaither household in upheaval: Pa has a new girlfriend, Uncle Darnell returns from Vietnam a damaged young man, and the sixth-grade teacher Delphine hoped to get has been replaced by a man from Zambia. Though the plot involves more quotidian events than the first book, the Gaither sisters are an irresistible trio. Williams-Garcia excels at conveying defining moments of American society from their point of view–this is historical fiction that’s as full of heart as it is of heartbreak.” —  (June).  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2013.

JUVENILE BIOGRAPHY

“Knucklehead: Tall Tales & Mostly True Stories About Growing Up Scieszka” by Jon Scieszka – “Gr. 4-7 In this arch, glib, unapologetically shame-free outing, Scieszka, who grew up as the second of six sons, has written an autobiography about boys, for boys and anyone else interested in baseball, fire, and peeing on stuff. The format of the book is perfectly suited to both casual and reluctant readers. The text is divided into two- to three-page nonsequential chapters and peppered with scrapbook snapshots and comic-book-ad reproductions. The accessibly irreverent language pushes the boundaries of moderation even as it reflects a sort of skewed wholesomeness. But the real testosterone payoff here is in the stories, which range from losing battles with fractious parochial-school nuns to taking turns watching little brothers (wherein the author watched brother number six eat a cigarette butt and charged neighborhood kids to watch him do it again). By themselves, the chapters entertain with abrupt, vulgar fun. Taken together, they offer a look at the makings of one very funny author– and a happy answer to the dreaded autobiography book report.” —  Thom Barthelmess. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2008.

“Nelson Mandela: Words and Paintings” by Kadir Nelson – “This picture-book biography matches Mandela’s outsize achievements with large, powerful images, resulting in a presentation that will seize and hold readers’ attention. The front cover features a portrait of Mandela that fills the space. His pleasant but determined expression immediately projects a sense of strength. The title and author move to the back cover so as not to compete with the opening image. A stark graphic design incorporating black, green, yellow, and red, colors from the South African flag, on the title page helps set the stage for the narrative. Nelson’s paintings range from poignant, when Mandela’s mother tells him good-bye as he leaves home for more education at the age of nine, to exuberant, when Mandela and 100 men arrested for protesting apartheid respond by dancing and singing, to inspiring, when people organize rallies demanding his release. When freedom finally comes, “a colorful sea of people” celebrate. Mandela’s heroic struggle might be new to many children today, and Nelson’s dynamic treatment provides enough detail to give a sense of the man and to acknowledge his important place in history.”– Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher’s School, Richmond, VA. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2013.

JUVENILE NON-FICTION

“African Animal Alphabet” by Beverly and Dereck Joubert – “This alphabet book features vivid photographs of African animals. Readers will recognize a cheetah, elephant, and lion, but this husband-and-wife naturalist team also highlights unsung species like the tsessebe, the umbrette, and the dung beetle. Even X finds a match: ‘Xenopus bullfrogs like to sit in water that is extra shallow.’ Appended animal facts and a glossary for words like ‘vociferous’ underscore the book’s dual focus on diverse animal characteristics and language development.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2011.

“Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa’s Fastest Cats” by Sy Montgomery – “Grades 5-8. The latest entry in the Scientists in the Field series finds award-winning collaborators Montgomery and Bishop visiting a cheetah reclamation preserve in Tanzania for close-up looks at how orphaned or injured animals are rescued, nurtured, and prepared (when possible) for release back into the wild. Along with sharp views of the facility’s experts and student volunteers working with cheetahs and taking general wildlife counts, Bishop provides plenty of stunning cheetah photography–both full-body and head shots–to beautifully complement Montgomery’s detailed descriptions of daily routines, research projects, and medical procedures. The text also extends its coverage of wildlife conservation issues in explanations of how the facility’s passionately dedicated head, Laurie Marker, works to turn local herders from being part of the problem to becoming part of the solution by working to save these beautiful, threatened creatures. This is yet another engaging, well-designed entry into an essential series.” Peters, John. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.

“Everything On It” by Shel Silverstein – “Shel Silverstein, beloved author of the acclaimed and bestselling poetry collections Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up, will have a brand-new book of poetry published by HarperCollins Children’s Books in September 2011. This is only the second original book to be published since Silverstein’s passing in 1999. With more than one hundred and thirty never-before-seen poems and drawings completed by the cherished American artist and selected by his family from his archives, this collection will follow in the tradition and format of his acclaimed poetry classics.” — Amazon.com

“Mr. Lincoln’s High-Tech War: How the North Used the Telegraph, Railroads, Surveillance Balloons, Iron-Clads, High-Powered Weapons, and More to Win the Civil War” by Thomas B. Allen and Roger MacBride Allen – “Gr. 6-10 The prologue to this intriguing book points out that although Lincoln grew up using tools and farm implements that his great-great- great-great-grandfather would have recognized, his own generation saw their world irrevocably changed by technological innovations, and he was the only President ever to be granted a patent (for a device to lift boats over shoals). Well researched and clearly written, the book discusses the course of the Civil War in terms of the development of new technology, from the ironclad and the submarine to the rapid-fire, repeating rifle and the use of railroads to carry troops and supplies. When the telegraph carried news from the front and Lincoln’s orders to his generals, the term ‘commander in chief’ became more than an honorary title for the president. The many illustrations include captioned black-and-white reproductions of period prints, paintings, and photos as well as clearly labeled drawings. Sidebars comment on such topics as the mass production of armaments. A lengthy bibliography, a discussion of online resources, and source notes for quotes are appended. Readers whose knowledge of the Civil War comes from historical novels and battle-by-battle historical accounts will gain a fascinating perspective on why the war progressed as it did and how it was ultimately won.” — Carolyn Phelan.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2008.

“Trees, Leaves and Bark” by Diane L. Burns – “An introduction to the world of insects, caterpillars, and butterflies including identification information, educational activities, and fun facts.Invites young naturalists to spot wildlife. Safety tips are provided and interesting activities are sugested. Color illustrations enhance the presentation.” —-HORN BOOKS (Tracks, Scats and Signs)

“You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You: Very Short Scary Tales to Read Together” by Mary Ann Hoberman – “PreS-Gr. 2. The fourth uproarious poetry picture book in Hoberman and Emberley’s popular You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You series continues the pattern of simple, rhyming, illustrated stories for two voices. This time, though, the stories are not playful, fractured versions of old rhymes and tales; they are new shivery tales to read together. The clear words with gorgeously gruesome, comic-style pictures tell of wild action and monster characters as lurid as they come–ghouls, ogres, zombies, skeletons, phantoms–all of them readers. In one double-page spread, the ghost and the mouse living together in a house are enemies, scared of each other, until they make up and read together. One spread is ‘Trick or Treat,’ and of course, this collection is a must for Halloween sharing. ‘Gory’ rhymes with ‘story.” (Reviewed May 1, 2007). Hazel Rochman.  AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2007.

“The Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of North America” by Bill Thompson III – “Gr 6 Up–As other guides have appeared in recent years, birders have latched on to their favorites, but none is aimed so directly at the fledgling birder as this one. The 300 species most likely to be encountered in North America are described on a page each (“adult” field guides usually list several related species per spread), accompanied by a color photo of the bird, two if males and females have different plumage. Notes on habitat and what to look for (markings) and listen for (songs, calls) will help birders confirm sightings. The taxonomic arrangement, covering from waterfowl to finches, is similar to many field guides, so it will be easy for novices to graduate from this title to more extensive guides. The list of resources includes organizations, field guides, audio guides, periodicals, and, in a nod to the times, apps. A great title for both school and public libraries.”–Teresa R. Faust, Vermont Department of Libraries, Berlin. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2012.

YOUNG ADULT

“The 5th Wave” by Rick Yancey – “Yancey makes a dramatic 180 from the intellectual horror of his Monstrumologist books to open a gripping SF trilogy about an Earth decimated by an alien invasion. … A rare survivor of the invasion, 16-year-old Cassie, armed with an M16 rifle and her younger brother’s teddy bear, is trying to reunite with her brother and escape the “Silencer” (assassin) trying to kill her. Meanwhile, 17-year-old “Zombie,” an unwitting military recruit, is facing a crisis of conscience. The story’s biggest twists aren’t really surprises; the hints are there for readers to see. Yancey is more interested in examining how these world-shaking revelations affect characters who barely recognize what their lives have become. As in the Monstrum-ologist series, the question of what it means to be human is at the forefront–in the words of cartoonist Walt Kelly, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”  –Agent: Brian DeFiore, DeFiore and Co. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2013.

“Far Far Away” by Tom McNeal – “Grades 7-10. So it begins: What follows is the strange and fateful tale of a boy, a girl, and a ghost. Ghostly Jacob Grimm, of the famous Brothers, narrates this tale of Jeremy and Ginger and their near-tragic encounter with town baker Sten Blix, whose long-held grudges figure in the disappearance of several village children. Unappreciated as a youngster, Blix has elevated revenge to a sweet art, and he holds Jeremy, Ginger, and an additional victim, Frank Bailey, in a hidden dungeon under the bakery, while Jacob desperately tries to tell parents and friends of the predicament. If he fails, the three may become grist in the baker’s next batch of Prince Cakes. Reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel and rife with allusions to the Brothers Grimm tales, this is a masterful story of outcasts, the power of faith, and the triumph of good over evil. McNeal’s deft touch extends to the characterizations, where the ritual speech of traditional tales (Listen, if you will) establishes Jacob’s phantasmagoric presence amid the modernist American West. There are moments of horror (as there were in the Brothers Grimm original tales), but they are accomplished through the power of suggestion. Details aplenty about Jacob and his famous sibling make this a fiction connector to both fairy tales and Grimm biographies, too.”  –Welch, Cindy. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2013.