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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Payback Time
by Deuker, Carl

School Library Journal Gr 7 Up-Senior Daniel True is short, pale, and round, hence his nickname the Michelin Man, or Mitch, for short. His former elementary school best friend, Horst Diamond, is the star quarterback and BMOC at their Seattle high school. Mitch's ambition is to be an ace investigative reporter, a la Woodward and Bernstein, but the new editor of the school newspaper assigns him to cover sports. Worse still, Coach McNulty makes it clear that Mitch's job is to be Horst's cheerleader. McNulty intends to ride his star player to a college coaching job, and he won't let Mitch do anything to jeopardize that opportunity. While covering a practice, Mitch notices Angel Marichal, a senior transfer student. Angel is clearly the best athlete in the school, but McNulty keeps him hidden, playing second string, changing his jersey number, and denying any interview requests. Mitch knows that McNulty and Angel are hiding something, and he is determined to get to the bottom of it. What he finds is far different from what he suspects, and along the way his personal and journalistic ethics are tested. Deuker has crafted another entertaining and readable football story. The game descriptions are well done and will appeal to players and fans. Many teens who dreamed of being a star as children but don't make the team in high school will identify with Mitch.-Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School, CA (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.

Book list *Starred Review* Deuker (Gym Candy, 2003) really cranks up the suspense in his newest pageturner, combining a Seattle high-school football team's march toward the state championship game with a school reporter's investigation of an apparent ringer that the coach has slipped in to bolster the defense. Mitch doesn't think much of his new assignment as sports reporter, but when he sees how Coach McNulty keeps Angel a reclusive new student who shows star-quality abilities in practice benched until late in each hard-fought game his suspicions are aroused. Thrilled to think that he has caught wind of an actual cheating scandal, Mitch digs into Angel's past. What he discovers stirs up far more trouble than he has bargained for, and pitches him into a series of terrifying situations. The game action alone is riveting even for readers who don't know a naked bootleg from a hook-and-ladder play, but Deuker enriches the tale with several well-tuned subplots and a memorable narrator/protagonist who turns a corner on his own self-image while weathering brutal tests of his courage and determination. Definitely one for the top shelf.--Peters, John Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

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ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog Something big
by Sylvie Neeman and Ingrid Godon ; translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick.

Publishers Weekly Midway through this knowing exchange between a parent and child (who are referred to throughout as "the big one" and "the little one"), Neeman gets to the heart of the story's paradox: "You want to do something big but it's hard because you're still little, isn't that right?" the boy's father asks. The father tries to tease out what his child has in mind, but they aren't quite connecting. "I said it would be something big like a lighthouse... but I never said for sure it would be a lighthouse by the ocean," complains the boy. "Oh, I get it," replies his father, "even though he no longer gets anything." Illustrating in childlike, crayony lines, Godon is entirely attuned to the boy's frustration, her images jumbling together in much the same way one's thoughts entangle when trying to work through a problem. When the two walk to the ocean together, the horizon line cuts through their bodies, which overlap with each other's, too. "Big" and "little" are a matter of perspective, readers will understand, as Neeman and Godon elevate an intimate, everyday moment into something significant. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (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 Personal
by Lee Child

Book list How do you find Jack Reacher, the ultimate unencumbered man, who's always on the move to the next place? You put a personal ad in the Army Times, of course. No, Reacher's not a subscriber, but there's always an abandoned copy in a bus depot somewhere. So Reacher finds the ad, and, suddenly, our guy is tracking a sniper who may be planning to pick off a few heads of state at an upcoming G8 meeting in London. But not just any sniper. This is personal, too, as Reacher, back in his MP days, coerced this particular sniper into confessing to a murder. Now the sniper is out of the brig and looking to do some sniping, warming up on Reacher before moving on to the G8 turkey shoot. So it's off to London for Reacher and his minder, a pill-popping, twentysomething CIA analyst with little knowledge of the field. That changes quickly, as the unlikely pair (a rookie analyst and a retired military cop) skirmish with East End mobsters on the way to confronting the sniper. Child sets up a thriller premise better than anybody, expertly mixing gun talk, trivia, and tension and, when the time comes, detailing the bloodletting with the care of a connoisseur. This time, though, the dipsy-do of a plot twist is apparent at 100 yards, which hurts a little. But it's still Reacher cracking heads with gusto, which, for thriller devotees, makes up for almost anything. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Child is the alpha dog of thriller writers, each new book zooming to the top of best-seller lists with the velocity of a Reacher head butt.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2014 Booklist

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

Library Journal Starred Review. In Child's 19th Jack Reacher novel (after Never Go Back), our loner protagonist is on a bus nearing Seattle when he picks up a copy of the Army Times newspaper that contains an ad asking him to contact Rick Schroeder, an old army connection. Paired with rookie Casey Nice from the Special Forces, Reacher is sent on a mission to find the sniper who tried to kill the French president with a rifle shot from three-quarters of a mile away. Their mission takes them to England with multiple suspects in mind. But Jack is watching someone with a personal grudge against him, an American marksman named John Kott. At the same time, being undercover avails them little government help. Casey's personal demons and Jack's memory of another young agent's death make this a taut and relentless suspense story. VERDICT Longtime fans won't be disappointed by this suspense-filled, riveting thriller. Those readers who haven't experienced this irresistible series should definitely start at the beginning and catch up to this book.-Susan Carr, Edwardsville P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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

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Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog A Fatal Grace
by Louise Penny


Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog Light in August
by William Faulkner


Pulitzer Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog Ashes to Ashes
by Richard Kluger

Book list The debate over smoking has become, quite literally, one about life and death. These books by Glantz and his coauthors and by Kluger will both become instant landmarks in this debate and in the history of the tobacco industry. The story behind Glantz's book is as significant as the book itself. The title is more than just a pun; it also acknowledges parallels with Daniel Ellsberg and the so-called Pentagon Papers. Glantz runs a cardiology lab at the University of California^-San Francisco, and his studies on the effects of secondhand smoke have had enormous impact. He has also used NIH grant money to investigate tobacco company campaign contributions and lobbying. In May 1994, a box containing 4,000 pages of internal Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company documents was mysteriously delivered to Glantz's office. These documents seem to offer irrefutable evidence that as of at least 30 years ago, tobacco companies were aware not only of the harmful health effects of smoking but also of nicotine's addictive quality. The drama involving B&W's attempts to suppress these documents and Glantz's success in getting them into the public domain includes UCSF's library, the Internet, and the California Supreme Court. Now Glantz finds himself under attack and has had his funding eliminated by Congress. The previously anonymous sender of the documents, a paralegal temp working for one of B&W's law firms, faces criminal contempt charges. The result is The Cigarette Papers. It extensively quotes and analyzes these documents, which include company-sponsored research, public relations strategies, legal opinions, etc. Kluger, a journalist and author of several books, including Simple Justice: The History of Brown vs. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality (1976), is more dispassionate, though his book's dedication--to his "life's companion who is all too familiar with the subject" --betrays his sympathies. His epic social history looks at the culture and commerce of the cigarette. He uses Philip Morris as his guidepost, detailing the company's advertising campaigns, battles for market share, and reactions to various antismoking crusades. Kluger analyzes Philip Morris' move to diversify and become less dependent on cigarette sales, and he exposes the industry's efforts to exploit markets in Asia and Eastern Europe. More than a company history, this massive, fascinating work is a valuable social document. --David Rouse

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

Library Journal Two recent releases chronicle the history of the current political status of the controversial tobacco industry from different vantage points. Kluger's (The Paper, LJ 10/15/87) Ashes to Ashes is riveting and highly readable despite its length. From the Native American usage of tobacco through the lawsuits of the 1990s, Kluger follows the industry's agricultural and labor practices, technical advances, and marketing campaigns; he also considers research on tobacco's deleterious health effects and the tobacco control movement. Significant personalities and events such as the invention of the cigarette-rolling machine are featured. An extensive bibliography is provided, and a lengthy list of the Phillip Morris executives (and ex-executives!) are interviewed. Suitable for readers of high school age on up, this book belongs in every library. Much more scholarly, The Cigarette Papers focuses more on one company?Brown & Williamson?and one issue?health effects. In 1994, Glantz received an anonymous package containing thousands of pages of internal documents from Brown & Williamson. The author's analysis of these indicate that, public statements to the contrary, the company did indeed know about the health and safety effects of their products and actively sought to suppress the information. The documents, made available by the University of California via the Internet (http://www.library.ucsf.edu/tobacco), are quoted extensively. Also included is a statement by Brown & Williamson in response to the 1995 publication of some of these data in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This work is extemely thorough and at times makes for tedious reading. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.?Eris Weaver, Marin Inst. for the Prevention of Alcohol & Other Drug Problems, Rohnert, Cal.

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

Publishers Weekly The time is right for a comprehensive history of cigarettes in America and their effect on public health and the economy. This book, passionate yet measured, bulky but absorbing, looms as definitive. Kluger (Simple Justice) traces the rise of the cigarette to the onset of mass production in the late 19th century. He moves forward with cross-cutting stories, about the barons and hucksters who developed the industry, the slow rise of medical and civic concern over smoking and the industry's increasingly obfuscatory and combative stance. Kluger has harsh words for government regulators, long too timid to take on a powerful industry. And while he ultimately indicts industry leader Philip Morris, his narrative suggests that the company, which has moved overseas and also diversified into the food business, has been managed with supreme savvy. Kluger concludes with an innovative policy remedy: because the tobacco companies will inevitably lose big in court someday, why not trade a federal exemption from lawsuits for limits on advertising, higher cigarette taxes, an end to tobacco price supports and required reductions on tar and nicotine? (Apr.)

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 Children Just Like Me: Celebrations
by Anabel Kindersley

School Library Journal Gr 2-6?A rich, multicultural look at holidays around the world. The celebrations are arranged by season and include: Christmas in Germany, Halloween in Canada, Hanukkah in the U.S., Diwali in India, Hina Matsuri in Japan, and Egemenlik Bayrami in Turkey. Each holiday is shown on a two-page spread with a large photograph of a featured child or children and many smaller captioned photographs of the festivities and the culture. A preface by Harry Belafonte in his role as Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF opens the book. It is a superb addition to country/cultural teaching units, and also makes a wonderful lead-in to writing, art, and creative-drama activities used to teach holidays. An enjoyable visual experience.?Stephani Hutchinson, Pioneer Elementary School, Sunnyside, WA

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


National Book Critics Circle
Click to search this book in our catalog Boswells Presumptious Task
by Adam Sisman

Choice Sisman's biography of the famous biographer invites comparison with Peter Martin's A Life of James Boswell (CH, Apr'01). Whereas Martin gives roughly equal attention to all the phases of Boswell's life, Sisman dispenses with the years before his meeting with Johnson in a mere 19 pages, and the years he spent with Johnson in another 40. The author devotes the rest of the book to the years during which Boswell wrote Journal of a Tour (published in 1785) and especially The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791): the endless delays, the quests for inaccessible information, the personal disputes, the rivalries with other biographers, the emotional crises, and the frequent career disappointments. Sisman's Boswell is no mindless tape recorder but a dedicated (if too easily sidetracked) literary craftsman, working to shape a life into a narrative--and sometimes struggling with things that do not fit in a biography. Nothing here will be news to scholars, but the book is lively and accessible, and complements Martin's Life well. Highly recommended for general readers and undergraduates. J. T. Lynch Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Library Journal Sisman, a former publisher and author of A.J.P. Taylor: A Biography, notes in his introduction that "Boswell was the first biographer to attempt to tell the whole truth about his subject...an aim we take for granted today, but in Boswell's time a startling innovation." One might consider Sisman's study an innovation as well. Unlike Peter Martin's A Life of James Boswell (LJ 1/90), it focuses not on reassessing a gifted writer considered by his contemporaries to be a "foolish failure" but on recounting the epic story of Boswell's seven-year struggle to write the book for which he would become famous. Noting that "it was not Boswell the man that interested meso much as Boswell the biographer," Sisman seeks to answer such professional questions as "What drew Boswell to Johnson in the first place?" and "Did his ideas change as his writing progressed?" The result is an intriguing study of how Boswell translated a life into art. Under Sisman's sympathetic hand, Dr. Johnson's "lackey" emerges as a brilliant storyteller who, with "meticulous care, with long-practiced skill, and with a generous imagination...crafted a character who lived and breathed." Recommended for public and academic libraries. Robert C. Jones, Central Missouri State Univ., Warrensburg Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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

Library Journal Noted biographer Sisman (A.J.P. Taylor) here considers the most famous biographer of all. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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

Book list Of course, this is a biography of James Boswell, the feckless Scotsman long conceived of as trailing after Samuel Johnson, literary dictator of eighteenth-century London, scribbling down whatever the great man said. But it is primarily the biography of that towering masterpiece of biography, Boswell's Life of Johnson (1791). The Life consumed Boswell, and he survived it by only four years. As inheritor of a prudent Scottish judge's land and acquisitions, Boswell fancied himself a laird, but he disliked Scotland's provincialism and spent as much time in London as he could. He was 23 when he met Johnson, who took a liking to him as to few others; indeed, Boswell was roundly liked, despite his bad habits--drinking and wenching. Sisman doesn't touch his vices much, emphasizing Boswell's bouts of depression as his most substantial handicap. For the Life, Boswell created the procedures of the modern biographer: tirelessly writing up his own experience with Johnson; collecting every letter and recollection of his subject; striving to verify every incident in Johnson's life; and shaping what he had gathered into a literary creation. He needed a partner, Edmund Malone, to coach and edit him, and the hectoring of friends to finish. But he did it, though it took another 200 years before his artistic accomplishment was fully recognized. Writing with immense assurance and suavity, Sisman has fashioned his own work of art in telling the story of Boswell's. --Ray Olson

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

Publishers Weekly Aged 45, health waning from alcoholism, beaten to the press by rivals quick to exploit the death of literary icon Samuel Johnson in 1784, James Boswell finally began his ambitious biography two years later, in June 1786. For 21 years Boswell had been the acolyte of the creator of the great Dictionary and author of the influential Lives of the Poets. Boswell reconstructed his subject's life largely from his own proximity and other people's memories and documents. But, as Sisman points out, only the first fifth of the biography covers the 53 years of Johnson's life before master and pupil met. From that point on, the biographer is a major character in his own book. Evidently, as Sisman shows in analyzing the relationship of the two very different men, Johnson realized that he spoke for posterity each time he talked to the adoring Boswell, and that every particularity of his slovenly dress and gross behavior would be recorded. Indeed, Johnson comes alive in those and other minute details. Sisman (A.J.P. Taylor: A Life) focuses on the seven years late in Boswell's career when he finally disciplined himself to write the early masterpiece of biography. Even so, much of the credit, according to Sisman, is due not to the bibulous, prostitute-chasing Boswell, who often abandoned his tubercular, dying wife as well as his book, but to Shakespeare scholar Edmund Malone, Boswell's devoted friend. Malone kept the faltering biographer on task and despite failing eyesight painstakingly revised the ever-lengthening manuscript. When Malone was unavailable, the project languished. "I go sluggishly and comfortless about my work," Boswell confesses. "As I pass your door I cast many a longing look." While the pathos of Boswell's life lingers, Sisman's study will appeal largely to Boswell and Johnson aficionados. (Aug.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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 A Year Down Yonder
by Richard Peck

Publishers Weekly In this hilarious and poignant sequel to A Long Way to Chicago, Peck once again shows that country life is anything but boring. Chicago-bred Mary Alice (who has previously weathered annual week-long visits with Grandma Dowdel) has been sentenced to a year-long stay in rural Illinois with her irrepressible, rough and gruff grandmother, while Joey heads west with the Civilian Conservation Corps, and her parents struggle to get back on their feet during the 1937 recession. Each season brings new adventures to 15-year-old Mary Alice as she becomes Grandma's partner in crime, helping to carry out madcap schemes to benefit friends and avenge enemies. Around Halloween, for example, the woman, armed with wire, a railroad spike and a bucket of glue, outsmarts a gang of pranksters bent on upturning her privy. Later on, she proves just as apt at squeezing change out of the pockets of skinflints, putting prim and proper DAR ladies in their place and arranging an unlikely match between a schoolmarm and a WPA artist of nude models. Between antic capers, Peck reveals a marshmallow heart inside Grandma's rock-hard exterior and adroitly exposes the mutual, unspoken affection she shares with her granddaughter. Like Mary Alice, audience members will breathe a sigh of regret when the eventful year "down yonder" draws to a close. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Gr. 6^-10. With the same combination of wit, gentleness, and outrageous farce as Peck's Newbery Honor book, Long Way from Chicago (1998), this sequel tells the story of Joey's younger sister, Mary Alice, 15, who spends the year of 1937 back with Grandma Dowdel in a small town in Illinois. It's still the Depression; Dad has lost his job, and Mary Alice has been sent from Chicago to live with Grandma and enroll in the "hick-town's" 25-student high school. As in the first book, much of the fun comes from the larger-than-life characters, whether it's the snobbish DAR ladies or the visiting WPA artist, who paints a nude picture of the postmistress (nude, not naked; he studied in Paris). The wry one-liners and tall tales are usually Grandma's ("When I was a girl, we had to walk in our sleep to keep from freezing to death"), or Mary Alice's commentary as she looks back ("Everybody in this town knew everything about you. They knew things that hadn't even happened yet" ). That adult perspective is occasionally intrusive and Mary Alice sometimes seems younger than 15, though her awkward romance with a classmate is timeless. The heart of the book is Grandma--huge and overbearing, totally outside polite society. Just as powerful is what's hidden: Mary Alice discovers kindness and grace as well as snakes in the attic. Most moving is Mary Alice's own growth. During a tornado she leaves her shelter to make sure that Grandma is safe at home. In fact, as Mary Alice looks back, it's clear that Grandma has remained her role model, never more generous than when she helped her granddaughter leave. --Hazel Rochman

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

School Library Journal Gr 5-8-Peck charms readers once again with this entertaining sequel to A Long Way from Chicago (Dial, 1998). This time, 15-year-old Mary Alice visits Grandma Dowdel alone for a one-year stay, while her parents struggle through the recession of 1937 looking for jobs and better housing. With her older brother, Joey, working out west in a government program, Mary Alice takes a turn at recounting memorable and pivotal moments of her year with Grandma. Beneath the woman's fierce independence and nonconformity, Mary Alice discovers compassion, humor, and intuition. She watches her grandmother exact the perfect revenge on a classmate who bullies her on the first day of school, and she witnesses her "shameless" tactics to solicit donations from Veteran's Day "burgoo" eaters whose contributions are given to Mrs. Abernathy's blind, paralyzed, war-veteran son. From her energetic, eccentric, but devoted Grandma, she learns not only how to cook but also how to deal honestly and fairly with people. At story's end, Mary Alice returns several years later to wed the soldier, Royce McNabb, who was her classmate during the year spent with Grandma. Again, Peck has created a delightful, insightful tale that resounds with a storyteller's wit, humor, and vivid description. Mary Alice's memories capture the atmosphere, attitudes, and lifestyle of the times while shedding light on human strengths and weak- nesses.-Gerry Larson, Durham School of the Arts, NC (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.

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