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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Shine
by Myracle, Lauren


ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic
by Robert Burleigh

Book list *Starred Review* A worthy new addition to the recent spate of books about the famous aviatrix, Burleigh's story concentrates on Earhart's 1932 solo flight from Newfoundland to Ireland, placing compelling poetic emphasis on her single-hearted struggle. Why? Because women must try to do things as men have tried,' writes Burleigh, quoting Earhart. Terse two-sentence stanzas tell a story focused upon the flight's trials: a sudden storm ( the sky unlocks ), ice buildup on the plane's wings, a precipitous plunge toward the Atlantic's frothing surface, and a cracked exhaust pipe ( The friendly night becomes a graph of fear ). The loneliness of the effort is finally relieved over a farmer's field, where Amelia lands and says, Hi, I've come from America. Minor's illustrations maintain tension by alternating between cockpit close-ups and wide views of the plane crossing the foreboding ocean. Predominant reds and blues convey the pure excitement of the nail-biting journey. An afterword, along with Internet resources, a bibliography, and a column of Earhart quotes, increases the book's value for curious children who might want more. Finally, Minor's endpapers, with a well-drawn map and mechanical illustration of the plane Earhart called the little red bus, also work to inspire further learning.--Cruze, Karen Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

School Library Journal Gr 2-5-On a May evening in 1932, Amelia Earhart climbed into her single-engine, red Lockheed Vega and flew across the ocean, departing from Newfoundland and landing on a farm in Northern Ireland. Burleigh's suspenseful text and Minor's shifting perspectives work in tandem to pull readers into the drama as they experience the anxiety and exhilaration that accompanied this historic flight. Earhart's skill, stamina, and courage are put to the test when a thunderstorm erupts, her altimeter breaks, and icy wings cause the plane to plummet. She faces the "Hour of white knuckles....Hour of maybe-and maybe not." The third-person narrative is arranged in two-line stanzas of free verse; the language is fresh and evocative, morphing to match the mood-by turns terse, lyrical, relentless. Minor's gouache and watercolor scenes pull back from intense close-ups and cockpit perspectives to sweeping panoramic vistas, his fluid brushwork a perfect match for a tale of sea and sky. This book will encourage children to consider the inner resources required to undertake such a feat when pilots had only themselves to rely on-in this case, traversing 2000 miles without the security of land. Back matter includes a technical note, bibliography, and inspirational quotes from Earhart's writings. Endpapers depict a map of the flight and a rendering of the plane. Pair this with Nikki Grimes's Talkin' About Bessie (Scholastic, 2002) to present another female aviator who experienced the pleasures and perils of being a pioneer.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library (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.

Publishers Weekly A gripping narrative and dynamic art immediately pull readers into the story of Earhart's historic 1932 solo transatlantic flight. Urgent yet lyrical, Burleigh's (One Giant Leap) account opens with Earhart's takeoff: "It is here: the hour, the very minute. Go!" A clear sky darkens as a storm erupts and lightning "scribbles its zigzag warning across the sky: danger." Earhart must also contend with mechanical difficulties-a broken altimeter, a cracked exhaust pipe, a gas leak. The tension reaches a crescendo as ice on the wings causes Earhart to lose control of the plane: "Everything she has ever learned courses through her blood. Now or never. All or nothing." Minor's (The Last Train) gouache and watercolor paintings easily convey the journey's intense drama, balancing lifelike closeups of Earhart with images of her imperiled plane. Stunning skyscapes are suffused with shadow and light; a breathtaking spread reveals streaks of multicolored clouds at daybreak as "Splinters of sunlight stab down through cloud slits and brace themselves on the vault of the open sea." Hearts will be racing. Back matter includes notes on Earhart's life. Ages 4-8. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Written In My Own Heart's Blood
by Diana Gabaldon


Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog The Devil in Music
by Kate Ross

Library Journal Ross's historical mysteries featuring English dandy Julian Kestrel (e.g., Whom the Gods Love, LJ 4/1/95) have earned a loyal following. This fourth entry in the series moves Kestrel from his usual London haunts to Milan and moves Ross from trade paperback to hardcover status. While traveling the Continent with his friend, Dr. MacGregor, Kestrel reads of the recent uncovering of a four-year-old murder involving the aristocratic Malvezzi family and decides to try out his investigating skills once again. The victim was Lodovico Malvezzi, a Milanese marquis and famed music lover. Given his imperious manner, suspects are all to easy to find, especially among his family. Added to the mystery of his death are the disappearances of a talented musical protégé of the marquis and a surly servant, various intrigues related to Italian politics, and rebellions. Kestrel is undaunted by these challenges but finds Malvezzi's beautiful young widow a dangerous distraction. While the plotting is not as tight as in previous novels, the final chapters are replete with enough revelations and twists to please Ross's fans and leave them looking forward to the next novel.?Jan Blodgett, Davidson Coll., Davidson, N.C. (c) Copyright 2010. 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.

Publishers Weekly In her fourth novel featuring the sharp-witted English dandy Julian Kestrel, Ross (Whom the Gods Love) adeptly fashions a mystery from lethal family secrets, political strife, passion for great music and an opulent early 19th-century setting. While in Geneva on a continental holiday, Kestrel learns that the death of Marchese Lodovico Malvezzi in Italy some four years earlier was actually a homicide. The chief suspect is Orfeo, a talented young English singer whom Lodovico had been secretly grooming for a brilliant opera career and who disappeared the night of the murder. Kestrel, accompanied by his valet, Dipper (an ex-pickpocket), and his irascible friend Dr. Duncan MacGregor, travels to Milan, in the heart of Austrian-controlled northern Italy. He offers his services to Marchesa Beatrice Malvezzi, the beautiful and quite possibly dangerous young widow, who introduces him to Milanese society. Especially adroit are Ross's scenes at La Scala, where the operas performed on stage are mere backdrops to the social intrigues occurring in the private boxes of the aristocracy. Suspects abound, and Kestrel's principal adversaries are worthy foes. Gaston de la Marque, his rival for the Marchesa's attentions, is a clever and piquant Frenchman whose verbal duels with Kestrel are knife-edged. Commissario Grimani of the Milanese police is also a formidable obstacle, more concerned with a quick solution to impress his Austrian superiors than with finding the real murderer. The large cast, intricate plot and historical setting are all of operatic proportions, yet Ross never loses control of her story. The result is an elegant and finely tuned performance. Author tour. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog The Reader
by Bernhard Schlink


Pulitzer Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog Ghost Wars
by Steve Coll


Scientific America Young Readers Book Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Slime, Mold and Fungi
by Elaine Pascoe

School Library Journal Gr 3-6-Two introductions distinguished by excellent, full-color photos and succinct texts. Both books briefly describe their respective topics and include a chapter on the ways people are affected by them. The bulk of the texts discusses how to collect and house the creatures and offers step-by-step instructions for conducting experiments and related activities. About a dozen species are depicted in each title. Appendixes offer the names and addresses of biological supply companies and short lists for further reading. The texts are clearly written and well organized, and the photographs are outstanding in their clarity and composition. One or two sharp images, many of which are close-ups, appear on almost every page. With its excellent visuals and simple experiments, Ants will be a useful supplement to other material about the topic. While the Silversteins' Fungi (21st Century, 1995) provides basic facts about fungi and their various methods of reproduction, it does not give as much detail on slime molds as Pascoe's book; also, it offers only a few close-up color photographs, and they are not of the same caliber as Kuhn's photos.-Karey Wehner, San Francisco Public Library

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

School Library Journal Gr 3-6-Two introductions distinguished by excellent, full-color photos and succinct texts. Both books briefly describe their respective topics and include a chapter on the ways people are affected by them. The bulk of the texts discusses how to collect and house the creatures and offers step-by-step instructions for conducting experiments and related activities. About a dozen species are depicted in each title. Appendixes offer the names and addresses of biological supply companies and short lists for further reading. The texts are clearly written and well organized, and the photographs are outstanding in their clarity and composition. One or two sharp images, many of which are close-ups, appear on almost every page. With its excellent visuals and simple experiments, Ants will be a useful supplement to other material about the topic. While the Silversteins' Fungi (21st Century, 1995) provides basic facts about fungi and their various methods of reproduction, it does not give as much detail on slime molds as Pascoe's book; also, it offers only a few close-up color photographs, and they are not of the same caliber as Kuhn's photos.-Karey Wehner, San Francisco Public Library

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

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National Book Critics Circle
Click to search this book in our catalog Savage Art
by Robert Polito

Publishers Weekly A series of Vintage reprints and Hollywood films like The Getaway and The Grifters have helped develop a wider popular and critical following for crime author Jim Thompson (1906-1977) than he sustained while alive. More twisted, sadistic and nihilistic than Chandler or Caine, Thompson's trademarks were his fiendish first-person psychopaths and lowlifes and his grim tales of failed lives and thwarted crimes. Polito, director of the writing program at Manhattan's New School, here untangles the man from his two-volume autobiography (Bad Boy and Roughneck), revealing a maverick alcoholic who was dogged by spells of depression and missed opportunities throughout his hand-to-mouth career. The son of a corrupt Oklahoma sheriff who lost his money speculating in oil, Thompson had his first alcohol-induced nervous breakdown as a hotel busboy in Ft. Worth while still in high school. He oscillated between low-wage jobs, hack journalism and literary circles for the rest of his life; joined the Communist Party in 1936; briefly became director of the Oklahoma Writer's Project; and struggled to publish novels that were often either too dark or slapdash for the mainstream. He enjoyed his most prolific period under editor Arnold Halo at Lion Books in the 1950s, eventually landing in Hollywood as a part-time film and television writer. This meticulous study adroitly evokes the rise of pulp adventure and crime magazines like Saga and True Detective, where Thompson honed his style, and the seedy underworld of hoboes and grifters who formed the models for his ``savage art.'' Photos. (Oct.)

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

Book list Jim Thompson--author of The Killer inside Me and many other noir classics--suffered from the artistic curse of being ahead of his time. Though he made a living of sorts as a writer, it was only long after his death in April 1977 that his work received the acclaim it deserved. Polito, who edited an anthology of Thompson's uncollected work entitled Fireworks (1988), examines both the life and the work in this satisfying biography. He moves chronologically through Thompson's life, offering parallel critiques of his writings, from the early true-crime magazine work through the later, now-celebrated novels. The critical analysis is perceptive and focuses on Thompson's influence on succeeding crime writers, but it is the personal biography that will entrance readers. Thompson led a troubled life, beset by chronic alcoholism and associated physical ailments, and it seems at times as if he couldn't maintain a deep emotional relationship with anyone over a long period. Somehow that loneliness and isolation flowed through Thompson's pen and transformed itself into a fictional world in which only greed and lust and jealousy motivate human behavior. It makes compelling reading, but it must have been hell to live there. --Wes Lukowsky

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

Library Journal Polito, who directs the writing program at New York City's New School for Social Research and who edited and wrote the introduction for the Thompson anthology Fireworks (Donald I. Fine, 1988), presents an intimate, meticulously researched portrait of the author of such classic noir novels as The Killer Inside Me, Pop 1280, and The Grifters. Polito interviewed members of Thompson's family, researched historical records, and carefully combed Thompson's own autobiographical writing to provide insight into his character and development as a writer. Thompson's readers will recognize here the wellspring of his art: his peripatetic childhood, his tormented young manhood, and his ultimately disappointing adulthood. Polito described Thompson's struggles with alcohol and his associations with an amalgamation of grifters and hobos, but he also presents fond reminiscences from people who knew Thompson as a loving brother, mentor, and friend. Thompson's life, like his book, makes wrenching reading. Recommended where biographies or crime fiction are collected.?Denise Johnson, Bradley Univ. Lib., Peoria, Ill.

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

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Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Missing May
by Cynthia Rylant