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Featured Book Lists
New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Rocks
by Joe Perry with David Ritz

Publishers Weekly In this rock and roll memoir, Aerosmith's lead guitarist tells the old story of the rise and fall of a guitar hero, although in Perry's case, the star rises again. Born in a Massachusetts suburb in the 1950s, Perry struggled with a learning disability. Chuck Berry gave him a role model; the guitar, an outlet. To the dismay of his professional parents, he dropped out of high school and knocked around in various bands until he formed Aerosmith. The band became a major 1970s hard-rock group before drug abuse, bickering, and bad management tore it apart. Yet after the breakup, a clean and sober Aerosmith rose again, leaving its mark on the MTV generation. Perry provides evocative portraits of his very American youth wandering through the woods with a BB rifle and water-skiing on Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire, and his stint as a factory worker for Draper Industries. The years of rock and roll notoriety are standard issue-drugs, partying, bad decisions-although the story shines on those rare occasions when Perry details the nuts and bolts of song making. Later chapters covering the manipulations of a Svengali-like producer have their own allure, as do the discussions of the complexity and expense of producing hits. Legal issues and diplomacy might moderate the narrative, but Perry's book will strike gold with every Aerosmith fan. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Independent Booksellers List
Click to search this book in our catalog Darth Vader and Son
by Jeffrey Brown

Publishers Weekly When the first Star Wars film conquered the world in 1977, no one could have possibly foreseen it going on to become such an ubiquitous part of our cultural heritage. Now even parenthood can be viewed through the filter of the Sith lord Darth Vader. Jeffrey Brown (Incredible Change-Bots) crashes headlong into George Lucas's galaxy far, far away with endearing, funny-and fully licensed-results. A series of full-page gag cartoons focusing on the "what if?" of Darth Vader raising a four-year-old Luke Skywalker, the book twists father/son moments into scenarios within the Star Wars playground. For instance, the addition of a wailing little Luke turns the Bounty Hunter scene into, as one bounty hunter's thought balloon puts it, Awkward!" Trick-or-treating, toy shopping, a day at the zoo, and more are rejiggered with a lighthearted, charming tone. However, the book also provides ample proof that adding a babysitting Darth Vader to any Star Wars situation makes it gently humorous. Brown's signature scratchy style is embellished with full color and stripped-down likenesses. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Lincoln: A Photobiography
by Russell Freedman

Book list Gr. 4-10. This realistic, perceptive, and unromanticized biography of Lincoln includes a sampler of quotations from his writings and speeches.

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly This Newbery Award-winning study of our 16th president is highly readable and meticulously organized. In a boxed review, PW hailed it as a ``superb, encompassing account'' of ``an intriguing, recognizable human being.'' Ages 8-12. (Sept.)

Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog The False Princess
by O'Neal, Eilis

School Library Journal Gr 7 Up-One day after her 16th birthday, Nalia, the Princess of Thorvaldor, learns that she isn't "Nalia" after all. She is Sinda, a poor peasant who has been used as a decoy to save the true princess. Because of a prophecy that foresaw her death before her 16th birthday, the true Nalia was sent to a convent where she was kept safe. Now, she returns to Thorvaldor, and Sinda is sent to live with her aunt in Treb, where she struggles with her new identity and misses the king and queen, the only parents she ever knew, and Kiernan, her best friend. When a friend betrays her trust, she becomes overwhelmed and magic begins bursting out of her-magic that she didn't know she possessed and can't control. She goes back to Thorvaldor and becomes a scribe to the eccentric Philantha. One night, she watches someone put a spell on Nalia, or the girl who she thought was Nalia. It is the same spell that was repeatedly put on Sinda to hide her true identity during her first 16 years. Could there be another decoy? Who is deceiving the king and queen? The plot line is unpredictable, causing readers to be pulled along with each page turn to find out what will happen next. The thick character descriptions allow for teens to empathize and put themselves in the place of Sinda and the others. The characters are dealing with the angst of change and identity development, so readers can really relate to the issues that come up in this exciting story. Written from Sinda's perspective, this book takes readers on a wild ride of deception, mystery, and young love.-Kathryn Kennedy, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Young readers who have ever wondered if they are in the right family might heed O'Neal's fantasy as a cautionary tale. Princess Nalia was switched at birth, when the king and queen of Thorvaldor hid their infant daughter to avoid a deadly curse due before her sixteenth birthday. A stand-in princess was arranged and then cruelly torn from the palace when the danger had passed. Now called Sinda, the forme. princes. lives a hardscrabble existence as scribe to a minor wizard. Bright and plucky, Sinda does not meekly slip away. She comes to realize she holds magic powers that need taming, and she also uncovers a good deal of palace intrigue connected to master wizard Melaina, and even a second birth switch that has ensconced the latter's daughter in the palace in place of the true princess. Who will believe Sinda? Brave and clever Kiernan, a good friend from her palace days, helps her plot and triumph. This novel crackles with adventure and suspense and will delight fans with its blend of wizardry and court life.--O'Malley, Ann. Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Just after her 16th birthday, the princess of Thorvaldor finds out she is no princess at all, but a peasant girl named Sinda Azaway, switched at birth with the real princess after a prophesy predicted the royal's death; Sinda has ceased to be useful to the king and queen now that the fated birthday of their real daughter has passed. Readers will feel for Sinda, who's immediately exiled from palace life, sent to live with an unknown aunt, and burdened with having lived a lie. Debut novelist O'Neal deftly draws a protagonist to root for as Sinda forges a new identity, comes into her own as a talented wizard, and discovers further royal intrigue. Sinda's sadness and anger feel righteous, never grating, and O'Neal quickly buoys Sinda's new life with her best friend from the palace, Kiernan, who proves his loyalty, and a wonderful teacher in the eccentric Philantha, who takes Sinda in as a wizard's apprentice. Fans of Shannon Hale will enjoy this compelling fantasy, which is filled with magic, political drama, and romance. Ages 10-up. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Pulitzer Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog The Haunted Land
by Tina Rosenberg

Choice Freelance journalist and scholar Rosenberg, presently a fellow at the World Policy Institute, has turned her superior talents to a profound question facing Eastern Europe since the collapse of communism. How does society-- its people and its leaders--restore the truth and the historical past after communism? The need to come to terms with history after any war or revolution is problematic and is not always a matter of restoring truth. The legacy of living in communist societies makes this task perilous and necessary. Eastern Europeans have had to adjust their sense of the historical past to a reconstituted present on several occasions in this century, as new orthodoxies replaced old. With depth, and a style appealing to general readers as well as scholars, Rosenberg weaves a tapestry of stories, personal and public, gathered since 1991. She concentrates on the four previously communist nations of Poland, Germany, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, where the ghosts of the haunted lands raise profound ethical dilemmas. Rosenberg suggests that these countries are not truly dealing with the past, because of the way it lives within them. One great challenge is for democratic societies to purge themselves of a communist past, and punish old villains (yesterday's heroes?) without violating democratic ideals. A powerful text. All levels. A. R. Brunello; Eckerd College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Book list Rosenberg, the first freelance journalist to receive a MacArthur "genius" grant, has written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and The New Yorker; her first book--Children of Cain: Violence and the Violent in Latin America (1991)--was widely praised. In this study, Rosenberg investigates another kind of violence: the repression and coercion that were, until recently, an inescapable part of daily life for most citizens of Eastern Europe. Focusing on Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia), Germany, and Poland, Rosenberg humanizes her description of the aftermath of Communism's collapse with tales of three individuals: Rudolf Zukal, a longtime Czech dissident, denounced in 1991 as a collaborator; Wojciech Jaruzelski, the general who headed Poland after the first Solidarity uprising; and Michael Schmidt, an East German border guard who was tried, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, for killing the last person who attempted to escape to the West. Rosenberg compares totalitarianism in Latin America and Eastern Europe, suggesting that trials and punishment are vital for Latin America's "regimes of criminals" but are clumsy tools at best in coming to terms with Eastern Europe's "criminal regimes," which drew most citizens into their operations. A provocative study of a critical component in building the world's newest democracies. --Mary Carroll

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Freelance journalist Rosenberg's frequent trips since 1991 to eastern Europe and the former Soviet empire led to this trenchant report on the moral, political and legal dilemmas confronting Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia as they face their Communist pasts. She focuses on Czech dissident/human rights activist Rudolf Zukal, whose parliamentary career was shattered in 1989 by the revelation that he had been an informer for the secret police in the early 1960s. She also interviewed Polish Communist leader General Wojciech Jaruzelski, who, at his 1992 impeachment trial, argued that his imposition of martial law in 1981 was a necessary evil to save Poland from a Soviet invasion. Documents and testimony presented here contradict that rationale, showing that Jaruzelski was anxious to undercut Solidarity's growing power. Rosenberg also profiles Berlin Wall border guards and East German secret police informers now condemned for their unquestioning obedience to the old regime. Rosenberg wrote Children of Cain: Violence and the Violent in Latin America. (May)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog The Black Heart Crypt: A Haunted Mystery
by Chris Grabenstein

Book list Gruesome, hilarious, and truly scary, the latest entry in the prizewinning Haunted Mysteries series about Zack, 11, is a great read-aloud for Halloween. In fact, that is when it is set, on the night when ghosts gets special powers and the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest. Zack and his friends dress up as killer bees, and from the school bus to a family crypt in the cemetery ( totally creepy but totally cool ), they encounter demons, including ghosts of gangsters with scores to settle. Zack, who loves his stepmom, is terrified when his dead birth mother returns as a dybbuk demon: Does she want to harm him or make amends? The story is set in contemporary New England, and the characters rely on cell phones and texting to communicate, but the horror is timeless. Caught up in the fast-paced action, kids will want to share the irreverent commentary, including the occasional gross-out rhyme: There's one little worm that's very shy / Crawls in your stomach and out your eye. --Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 4-7-Zack, 13, is still seeing spirits. and they see him. He has more or less come to terms with them, though, and he thinks that he has defeated the worst the spirit world could throw at him. But that was before the spell was broken, releasing 13 ghosts, the entire Ickleby clan. Zack's family moved the Icklebys' coffins and imprisoned their spirits decades ago. Now, with the curse broken and their ancestor offering up his body for possession, they have the ability to exact their revenge on Zack for his family's deeds. This novel speeds along at a breakneck pace, hauling readers along as Zack and his friends (and his dog, Zipper) attempt to dodge and defeat the vengeful, rather inept, spirits. The action-packed short chapters and vivid imagery will make this book an easy sell to young teens and reluctant readers, even if they haven't read the previous books in the series.-Heather Miller Cover, Homewood Public Library, AL (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.