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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog A Web of Air
by Reeve, Philip

Book list Two years have passed since Fever fled London at the end of Fever Crumb (2010), set centuries before Reeve's Hungry City Chronicles. Now the engineer-raised girl is living the most irrational sort of life with a traveling theater group, which makes a stop in a small coastal city at the edge of Europa. She meets another genius sort who is convinced that he has discovered the old-tech secret to flying, if only he could cobble together an engine light enough to do the trick. They join up, Fever experiences the weird sensation of love, and together they try to outwit a gaggle of deadly villains. Though Reeve again displays a knack for the sort of inviting cleverness that makes readers feel as if they are in on an inside joke, this follow-up is a bit less crammed full of imaginative delights than the first. There is still plenty of high-wire action and inventive writing to savor, though, and if the downer of an ending leaves some crestfallen, the promise of what is in store (the mechanizing and mobilizing of cities) should keep appetites hungry for the next book.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

School Library Journal Traveling with a troupe of actors, Fever uses her knowledge of technology to add special effects to the shows performed in a future England. This well-written, richly imagined story is the second about Fever Crumb. (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.

School Library Journal Gr 6-10-Having fled London and her recently discovered parents, Fever Crumb is traveling around a postapocalyptic Europe with an acting troupe. She earns her keep by using her knowledge of technology and electricity to provide lighting and special effects. The audiences and performers are appreciative, but deep inside, Fever is unhappy about how unreasonable the acting business is, since her childhood training by the Order of Engineers focused on facts and rational thought. Then, at a seaside town, Fever comes across a model glider built by a mysterious young recluse named Arlo Thursday, who is trying to rediscover the lost mysteries of flight. Fever wants to help him, but shadowy powers seem to be working against any inventor, philosopher, or engineer who wants to study flight and flying machines. Reeve's intricately imagined world, combined with a fast-paced plot, offers a rich, rewarding reading experience. In the bittersweet ending, Fever continues to develop as a character as she experiences the transformative power of love and makes sacrifices that none of her family and friends can truly appreciate. This book can be read as a stand-alone work, though readers familiar with Fever Crumb (Scholastic, 2010) will have a better understanding of the backstory.-Misti Tidman, Licking County Library, Newark, OH (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.

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ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917
by Sally M. Walker

School Library Journal Gr 5-8-This intriguing title tells the story of a little-known event. In late 1917, the French freighter Mont-Blanc was sent to North America to be refitted and loaded with much-needed war material. With its hull packed with TNT, picric acid, and gun cotton, and its deck stacked with barrels of benzene, it made its way along the coast of Nova Scotia to Halifax Harbour before setting sail for Europe. It was there, as it entered Bedford Basin, that the Mont-Blanc encountered the empty Belgian relief ship Imo riding high in the water. Amid a cacophony of ships' whistles, communication became muddled, and the Imo rammed the Mont-Blanc. Sparks soon ignited the leaking benzene. Though the ship began to burn almost immediately, it happened slowly enough that people became aware of it and either started toward the harbor or stood at their windows to watch. Unfortunately, it did explode, creating the largest man-made blast in the world prior to the dropping of the atomic bomb. The impact flattened more than 16 square miles and killed almost 2000 people. The author describes the holocaust and how it changed the lives of five families. The text reads smoothly with unfamiliar words defined in the text. Illustrations consist of two full-page maps and numerous black-and-white photos. The final chapter revisits the featured families and their descendants, thus tying up the loose ends. The acknowledgments, source notes, and bibliography indicate thorough research. This tragic, but well-told story belongs in most collections.-Eldon Younce, Anthony Public Library, KS (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 Disasters make for gripping reading, and this account of the huge explosion of a munitions ship and its devastating effects in Halifax harbor, Canada, in 1917 tells the dramatic history with clear, detailed facts that combine the science and technology of why and how the accident happened with powerful personal accounts of what it meant for families who were there. The story of the largest man-made explosion until Hiroshima begins with two ships floating quietly in the night as families nearby prepare for their day: The Imo is loading food and coal; the Mont Blanc, like a monstrous bomb, carries 2,925 tons of explosive material. When the two ships collide, people rush to see the dramatic fire in the harbor, and many die in the fiery explosion after huge benzine-filled drums and the main cargo blow up, creating a tsunami that sweeps people away. With archival photos on almost every page, the narrative will connect readers with recent tsunami and earthquake disasters and the drive for recovery and reconstruction. Source notes and a selected bibliography conclude this title by an award-winning science writer.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

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New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Blood Feud
by Edward Klein


Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog The beautiful mystery : a Chief Inspector Gamache novel
by Louise Penny.


Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog The Treasure Hunt
by Bill Cosby


Pulitzer Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog John Adams
by David McCullough

Book list John Adams and George H. W. Bush share a unique place in American history: both were presidents themselves, and both fathered presidents. McCullough's masterpiece of biography--his first book since the equally distinguished Truman (1992)--brings John Adams pere out from the shadow of his predecessor in the presidency, the Founding Father George Washington. Of hardy New England stock and blessed with a happy upbringing, Adams led an adult life that paralleled the American colonies' movement toward independence and the establishment of the American republic, a long but inspiring process in which Adams was heavily involved. Adams' historical reputation is that of a cold, cranky person who couldn't get along with other people; McCullough sees him as blunt and thin-skinned--and consequently not good at taking criticism--but also as a person of great intelligence, compassion, and even warmth. According to McCullough, Adams' drive to succeed influenced nearly every move he made. He was a lawyer by profession, but when rumblings of self-governance began to stir, Adams' inherent love of personal liberty inevitably drew him into an important role in what was to come. Interestingly, McCullough avers that Adams did not view his election to the presidency as the crowning achievement of his career, for he "was inclined to look back upon the long struggle for independence as the proud defining chapter." But Adams' greatest accomplishment as president, so he himself believed, was the peace his administration brought to the land. This is a wonderfully stirring biography; to read it is to feel as if you are witnessing the birth of a country firsthand. --Brad Hooper

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

Publishers Weekly Here a preeminent master of narrative history takes on the most fascinating of our founders to create a benchmark for all Adams biographers. With a keen eye for telling detail and a master storyteller's instinct for human interest, McCullough (Truman; Mornings on Horseback) resurrects the great Federalist (1735-1826), revealing in particular his restrained, sometimes off-putting disposition, as well as his political guile. The events McCullough recounts are well-known, but with his astute marshaling of facts, the author surpasses previous biographers in depicting Adams's years at Harvard, his early public life in Boston and his role in the first Continental Congress, where he helped shape the philosophical basis for the Revolution. McCullough also makes vivid Adams's actions in the second Congress, during which he was the first to propose George Washington to command the new Continental Army. Later on, we see Adams bickering with Tom Paine's plan for government as suggested in Common Sense, helping push through the draft for the Declaration of Independence penned by his longtime friend and frequent rival, Thomas Jefferson, and serving as commissioner to France and envoy to the Court of St. James's. The author is likewise brilliant in portraying Adams's complex relationship with Jefferson, who ousted him from the White House in 1800 and with whom he would share a remarkable death date 26 years later: July 4, 1826, 50 years to the day after the signing of the Declaration. (June) Forecast: Joseph Ellis has shown us the Founding Fathers can be bestsellers, and S&S knows it has a winner: first printing is 350,000 copies, and McCullough will go on a 15-city tour; both Book-of-the-Month Club and the History Book Club have taken this book as a selection. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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

Library Journal This life of Adams is an extraordinary portrait of an extraordinary man who has not received his due in America's early political history but whose life work significantly affected his country's future. McCullough is here following his Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, Truman, and his subjects have much in common as leaders who struggled to establish their own presidential identities as they emerged from the shadows of their revered predecessors. The author paints a portrait of Adams, the patriot, in the fullest sense of the word. The reader is treated to engaging descriptions and accounts of Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin, among others, as well as the significant figures in the Adams family: Abigail, John's love and full partner, and son John Quincy. In tracing Adams's life from childhood through his many critical, heroic, and selfless acts during the Revolution, his vice presidency under Washington, and his own term as president, the full measure of Adams a man widely regarded in his time as the equal of Jefferson, Hamilton, and all of the other Founding Fathers is revealed. This excellent biography deserves a wide audience. Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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

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Scientific America Young Readers Book Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Isaac Newton and the Scientific Revolution
by Gale Christianson

Book list Gr. 8^-12. Christianson, a distinguished professor who has written extensively on Newton and his times, makes few concessions to the lay reader in this biography in the Oxford Portraits in Science series. Those who know some physics will find the science fascinating, but the technical explanations aren't easy: just what did that falling apple show Newton about gravity? How did he come to his theory of the calculus? What are the connections with Einstein's work on relativity and quantum mechanics? However, all readers will enjoy the personal life story, and they will feel the excitement of Newton's discoveries of the laws that govern an orderly and knowable universe. Far from reverential, Christianson shows us a genius who could be treacherous, revengeful, and arrogant: "Time itself must stand still for Isaac Newton; after all, he was one of the Lord's anointed." Bibliography; chronology; many contemporary prints and diagrams. --Hazel Rochman

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

School Library Journal Gr 8 Up?This is not just a great biography?it's one of the best-written science books around for young people. Christianson has sifted through the historical documents and accounts of Newton to paint a convincing and intelligent picture of the complex and at times irascible genius. Even more remarkable, the biographical portrait he presents is a compelling story. It begins with a beheading?that of Charles I?and ends with the poetic image of visitors to Newton's gravesite pausing "in silent tribute to the sacred permanence of the dead." The author demonstrates a remarkable sense of Newton and his times. For example, while many other biographers struggle to explain his experiments in alchemy, Christianson puts them in context of the great scientist trying to unravel the mysteries of the atomic world with the best tools available to him. The narrative also shows how Newton changed as he grew older: from a young, intense, reclusive academic to a living legend justifiably vain about his reputation. Reproductions of documents, Newton's sketches, and paintings of well-known figures illustrate this fine book.?Alan Newman, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC

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 Swimming Studies
by Leanne Shapton


Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Criss Cross
by Lynne Rae Perkins

Publishers Weekly Through narrative that has the flavor of stream-of-consciousness writing but is more controlled and poetic, Perkins (All Alone in the Universe) captures the wistful romantic yearnings of three friends on the brink of adolescence. There's Debbie, who makes a wish that "something different would happen. Something good. To me." There's Hector, who hears a guitarist and quite suddenly feels inspired to learn how to play the instrument. Then there's mechanical-minded Lenny who feels himself drawn to Debbie. The characters spend spring and summer wandering about their neighborhood, "criss crossing" paths, expanding their perspectives on the world while sensing that life will lead them to some exciting new experiences. (During a walk, Hector feels "as if the world was opening, like the roof of the Civic Arena when the sky was clear. Life was rearranging itself; bulging in places, fraying in spots.") Debbie forms a crush on a boy from California visiting his grandmother. Hector falls for a girl in his guitar class. Lenny hints at his feelings for Debbie by asking her on a date. All three loves remain unrequited, but by the end of the novel, Debbie, Hector and Lenny have grown a little wiser and still remain hopeful that good things lie ahead if they remain patient. Part love story, part coming-of-age tale, this book artfully expresses universal emotions of adolescence. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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

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