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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Lola and the Boy Next Door
by Perkins, Stephanie

Book list Lola, 17, is committed to her older musician boyfriend, Max, who is 22. And Max seems committed to Lola, so much so that he even joins her for family brunch on Sundays with her gay dads. Then the boy next door, who had moved away, comes back, and Lola has to figure out who she really wants in her life. The first half of this novel moves along with brio, introducing a slew of interesting characters, including the druggy mother who gave Lola to her brother and his partner to raise, her movie-theater coworkers, Max, and Lola's neighbor and first love, Cricket. Readers will be taken with Lola's strong voice as she tries to fit the ubernice Cricket back into her life even as she fights her strong attraction to him. The latter half of the book could have been tightened as it winds slowly to its inevitable yet sweet conclusion. Throughout, Lola wears costumes instead of clothes, in some ways to mask who she really is, and Perkins skillfully shows that learning to let one's authenticity shine through is what true love can make happen.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

School Library Journal Gr 9-11-Seventeen-year-old Lola lives with her two fathers in San Francisco. An aspiring costume designer, she has an extreme style and a penchant for outlandish outfits, sequins, and wigs and no longer cares what anyone else thinks about her exotic outfits. She also dreams of a future with her boyfriend, Max, as he pursues his rock-and-roll career. But life rarely follows a plan, and Lola's seems to be falling apart. Her parents don't like Max, who is 22, and seem to go out of their way to express their displeasure (not that the restrictions have stopped Max and Lola's more amorous activities). Then Cricket Bell, the guy who broke Lola's heart two years earlier, and his twin sister move back into the house next door, and Lola's unstable birth mother moves in until she can find a new place to live. As everything begins to come apart at the seams, she learns that, like fabric, life's pieces can be sewn back together to create something better than what was originally designed. Perkins's novel goes a bit deeper than standard chick-lit fare, and Lola is a sympathetic protagonist even when readers disagree with her decisions. Her shaken certainties and the obstacles that are thrown in her path give her maturity and depth and, ultimately, settle her more firmly into her dreams with a greater confidence. Secondary characters are well developed and lend believability to the novel. Step back-it's going to fly off the shelves.-Heather Miller Cover, Homewood Public Library, AL (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 Like its predecessor, Perkins's companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss has snappy dialogue and sexy love interests, though high-school junior Lola is a much more unconventional heroine. With an array of wigs and costumes at her disposal (her outfits include an Egyptian-inspired gown made from a sheet and a cheetah-print number adorned with red ribbons and brooches to protest game-hunting), she has no interest in blending in. As Lola begins her junior year, her goals are to get her fathers to approve of her 22-year-old boyfriend, Max, and to create a masterpiece Marie Antoinette costume for the winter dance. But complications arrive when Cricket Bell moves back next door. Two years ago he broke her heart, and seeing him again shakes her faith in her relationship with Max. What's a girl to do when two guys are into her? Lola indulges her inner angst plenty, but her self-deprecating sense of humor and Perkins's skill at capturing Lola's seesawing emotions make for a lively romance about a girl trying to understand who she is under all the gowns and glitter. Ages 14-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog The Unforgotten Coat
by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Book list With both humor and sorrow, this chapter book tells a contemporary refugee story in which illegal immigrants help a local kid find a sense of belonging. When Mongolian Chingis and his younger brother, Nergui, turn up in Julie's sixth-grade class in Bootle, near Liverpool, they ask her to be their guide i. learning themselves ordinary. They ask about the rules of football and the right buzzwords, and Chingis tells Julie about the exotic wonders of Genghis Khan's Xanadu and shows her, and the reader, amazing Polaroids of nomads in the desert. In her first-person narrative, Julie describes the moving friendship, and even while the brothers hide from authorities, they help Julie learn to see the strange and wonderful in her own home, especially after she discovers that thei. exoti. pictures were taken right where she lives, in the nearby fields and alleyways. Inspired by the many photo images throughout the story, readers will see the riches in the smallest details even schoolyard trash cans.--Rochman, Haze. Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

Publishers Weekly Boyce follows Cosmic with a tight, powerful story-brimming with humor, mystery, and pathos-about illegal immigration and the price it exacts on children. Two Mongolian brothers, Chingis and Nergui, arrive at a British school wearing fur coats and refusing to follow the teacher's instructions that Nergui remove his hat that's low on his face: "When you need your eagle to be calm," Chingis says, "you cover its eyes with a hood. When you want the eagle to fly and kill, you take off the hood." The class is enthralled, and when Chingis singles our sixth-year Julie to be their "Good Guide," things that had previously fascinated her (makeup, boys) fall away as she bones up on Genghis Khan and helps the boys learn Liverpudlian slang and the rules of football-"learning themselves ordinary," she terms it. They tell her they are hiding from a demon, punctuating their tall tales with Polaroids, taken by Hunter and Heney (Boyce's filmmaker collaborators), which deepen the mystery. In an author's note Boyce explains his inspiration, making an already moving story even more so. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Gr 5-7-It's the end of sixth grade, and all Julie can think about is makeup and boys. Things change when two oddly dressed brothers show up at school. Even though it's hot outside, they wear identical fur-lined coats and claim to be Mongolian nomads. Chingis is cheeky to the teacher, demanding in no uncertain terms that his younger brother, Nergui, stay in the class with him for protection. The boys single out Julie to be their Good Guide. She takes her title seriously-she shows them how to dress and act and researches Mongolian history to share with the class. She's hoping that all this helpfulness will translate into an invitation to their home-she is sure it is filled with exotic silks and samovars. As Julie gets to know the brothers, she discovers that their life isn't as romantic as she imagined. They are fearful and evasive, believing that a demon is trying to make them vanish. Nergui isn't even the younger boy's real name-it means "no one," and he uses it to confuse the demon. When the boys disappear from school, Julie decides to follow them, using the images in Chingis's photos to guide her to their whereabouts. This story stems from the author's encounter with a young deportee, a Mongolian girl. Although the novel deals with the serious subject of illegal immigration, Boyce's dialogue is warm and humorous, keeping the book engaging. Chingis's mysterious Polaroids, displayed throughout the book, make for an intriguing format. Julie narrates the story as an adult, looking back, but an unusual ending gives it a contemporary, touching twist.-Diane McCabe, Loyola Village Elementary School, Los Angeles (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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New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Killing Patton
by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard


Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog The Body in the Transept
by Jeanne M. Dams

Publishers Weekly Drawing on American sensibilities and English tradition, Dams's debut introduces widowed American sleuth Dorothy Martin, who will delight lovers of cozies set on both sides of the Atlantic. Dorothy has moved to the fictional university/ cathedral town of Sherebury, where she and her academic husband had planned to retire before his unexpected demise. After the Christmas Eve service in the Cathedral, Dorothy stumbles over the body of Canon Billings. Once she recovers her equilibrium, she finds herself feeling involved in the case and curious about the unpleasant but learned Canon, who had made more enemies than friends. He had recently argued vehemently with his young, hot-headed assistant in the library, had tried to get the choirmaster fired and was gathering evidence against the verger who was stealing from the collection plate. Dorothy charmingly insinuates herself into village life in the best Miss Marple tradition, talking to neighbors and befriending others (including widower Chief Constable Alan Nesbitt) and determinedly pursuing the killer even as she puts herself in danger. With her penchant for colorful hats, Dorothy establishes herself as a fresh, commanding?and always genteel?presence among female elder-sleuths of the '90s. (Nov.)

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

Library Journal This offering from newcomer Dams gleams with all the polish of a quaint English-village mystery. American widow Dorothy Martin, sixtyish and plump, inhabits a picturesque Jacobean house in Sherebury. Feeling low, she attends Christmas Eve services at a nearby cathedral and afterwards trips over the bloody body of a clergyman. Unable to put the matter out of her mind, and in need of something to do, she begins sleuthing. Nicely described small-town antics, a cleverly concocted plot, and a charmingly competent heroine. Recommended.

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

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Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog While I Was Gone
by Sue Miller

Library Journal Thirty years ago, Joey Becker's carefree bohemian life was shattered by the brutal, unsolved murder of her best friend, Dana. Joey coped with her loss while building a career, marrying, and raising a family. She thinks she is happy, but ever since her children have left home Joey has felt a vague sense of disappointment. She cannot share the depth of her feelings for Dana with anyone, even her husband. Then Eli, Joey and Dana's former housemate, arrives in town. Joey and Eli are first drawn to each other because they both loved Dana and still mourn her, but their mutual attraction grows until it threatens Joey's marriage and her relationship with her daughter. Miller (The Good Mother, LJ 5/15/86) presents a suspenseful, penetrating look at the tenuous bonds of love, the ease with which even a good marriage can be destroyed, and the need to forgive ourselves for the mistakes of the past. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/98.]?Karen Anderson, Superior Court Law Lib., Phoenix

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

Book list The domestic scene is Miller's terrain, a place where steadiness is hoped for by all parties involved but where earthquakes are bound to come along and disassemble the landscape. So it was in perhaps her most famous novel, The Good Mother (1986), about a child-custody battle, and so it is in her latest effort, about the incredibly unexpected results of a close encounter with marital infidelity. Joey Becker is 52, a successful veterinarian and married to a man she deeply loves. She has three children who present her with motherly concerns, but, overall, they are an asset to her life. Then one day a man she had lived with in a community of other young people, at a time when she had fled from her first husband, reappears. But something had happened to one of their housemates back then: she was brutally murdered. When this man from Joey's past reappears, Joey is attracted to him like a moth to a flame. But her attraction leads to his confession of the killing so many years ago. The horror of this knowledge traumatizes her, and the fact that she instigated a rendezvous with the man in the first place threatens to ruin her happy marriage. In her signature straightforward prose, Miller captures the thrill of the unknown and the draw of the known. --Brad Hooper

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

Library Journal Thirty years after she discovers her best friend murdered, Jo Becker finds her now-happy life unraveling.

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

Publishers Weekly The shadowy and inexorable nemesis of past secrets to a reclaimed life, and the inability even of those who are intimates to really know one another, are poignant themes in Miller's resonant fifth novel. Narrator Jo Becker, now a veterinarian married to a minister in a small Massachusetts town, was once a runaway bride who assumed a false name and lived with other dissaffected '60s bohemians in a group house in Cambridge. Her special friend in the house was sweet-spirited and generous Dana Jablonski, whose shocking?and unsolved?murder broke up the group and left Jo with unresolved questions about her own identity. She manages to ignore the memories of that time until, almost three decades later, one of the former housemates, Eli Mayhew, moves to her town. Eli, now a distinguished research scientist, provides a revelation that acts as the catalyst provoking Jo to face her guilt about her past behavior?and to act impulsively once again. Her moral conundrum occasions a heartrending change in her heretofore strong marriage and undermines her relationship with her three grown daughters. As usual, Miller (The Good Mother; Family Pictures) renders the details of quotidian domesticity with bedrock veracity and a sensitivity to minute calibrations of family dynamics, especially the nuances of sibling rivalry. But while the pacing, tone and measured exposition are handled with masterly skill, the way in which Jo's decision to make amends for her past rebounds on her present life seems staged and convoluted, since her husband and children seem to think that retribution for a murder should take second place to their own emotional needs. That cavil aside, Miller's narrative is a beautifully textured picture of the psychological tug of war between finding integrity as an individual and satisfying the demands of spouse, children and community. 150,000 first printing; Random House audio; BOMC selection; author tour. (Feb.)

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Pulitzer Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
by Junot Diaz

Library Journal Having caught everyone's attention with his short stories, D!az offers a debut novel starring ghetto geek Oscar, whose family labors under a Fuk# (or curse) that delivers prison, tragic accidents, and, worst of all, bad luck in love. With a national tour. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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

Publishers Weekly Matthew Sharpe is the author of the novels Jamestown and The Sleeping Father. He teaches at Wesleyan University. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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

Book list "*Starred Review* Díaz's gutsy short story collection Drown (1996) made the young Dominican American a literary star. Readers who have had to wait a decade for his first novel are now spectacularly rewarded. Paralleling his own experiences growing up in the Dominican Republic and New Jersey, he has choreographed a family saga at once sanguinary and sexy that confronts the horrific brutality at loose during the reign of the dictator Trujillo. Díaz's besieged characters look to the supernatural for explanations and hope, from fukú, the curse unleashed when Europeans arrived on Hispaniola, to the forces dramatized in the works of science fiction and fantasy so beloved by the chubby ghetto nerd Oscar Wao, the brilliantly realized boy of conscience at the center of this whirlwind tale. Writing in a combustible mix of slang and lyricism, Díaz loops back and forth in time and place, generating sly and lascivious humor in counterpoint to tyranny and sorrow. And his characters Oscar, the hopeless romantic; Lola, his no-nonsense sister; their heartbroken mother; and the irresistible homeboy narrator cling to life with the magical strength of superheroes, yet how vibrantly human they are. Propelled by compassion, Díaz's novel is intrepid and radiant."--"Seaman, Donna" Copyright 2007 Booklist

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

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Scientific America Young Readers Book Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog The Best Paper Airplanes You'll Ever Fly
by Klutz Guides


National Book Critics Circle
Click to search this book in our catalog How to Live OR a life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty
by Sarah Bakewell

Publishers Weekly Bakewell's biography of Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), the French nobleman and father of the exploratory, free-floating essay, departs from chronology to present his life through questions and answers ("How to Live? Don't Worry About Death" and "Be Convivial: Live with Others") that consider "the man and writer" as well as the "long party"-the "accumulation of shared and private conversation over four hundred years." The author, a British book curator and cataloguer, begins with Montaigne's near-death after a fall from a horse, then traces back to his Latin education, his years in public service, his friendship with Etienne de La Boetie, his exploration of Hellenic philosophies, and his topics that would resonate with later Renaissance scholars and general readers alike. Blakewell (The Smart) enlivens Montaigne's hometown, 16th-century Bordeaux, with a wit that conveys genuine enchantment with her subject. Montaigne preferred biographers who tried to "reconstruct a person's inner world from the evidence." Blakewell honors that perspective by closely examining his writings as well as the context in which they were created, revealing one of literature's enduring figures as an idiosyncratic, humane, and surprisingly modern force. Illus. (Oct.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Shiloh
by Phyllis Reynolds Taylor

Publishers Weekly In the tradition of Sounder and Where the Red Fern Grows comes this boy-and-his-dog story set in rural West Virginia. When he finds a mistreated beagle pup, 11-year-old Marty knows that the animal should be returned to its rightful owner. But he also realizes that the dog will only be further abused. So he doesn't tell his parents about his discovery, sneaks food for the dog and gets himself into a moral dilemma in trying to do the right thing. Without breaking new ground, Marty's tale is well told, with a strong emphasis on family and religious values. This heartwarming novel should win new fans for the popular Naylor. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Gr. 4-8. In the West Virginia hill country, folks mind each other's privacy and personal rights, a principle that is respected in 11-year-old Marty Preston's family and reinforced by a strict code of honor--no lying, cheating, or taking what isn't yours. When a beagle he names Shiloh follows him home, Marty painfully learns that right and wrong are not always black and white. Marty's dad realizes that the beagle is Judd Travers' new hunting dog and insists they return Shiloh to his rightful owner, even though they both know that Judd keeps his dogs chained and hungry to make them more eager hunters. Sure enough, Judd claims the dog and greets him with a hard kick to his scrawny sides. Marty worries about Shiloh being abused and makes plans to buy the dog . . . if Judd will sell him. Then Shiloh runs away again, and Marty secretly shelters the dog, beginning a chain of lies as he takes food and covers his tracks. Though troubled about deceiving his family, Marty reasons, "a lie don't seem a lie anymore when it's meant to save a dog." The West Virginia dialect richly seasons the true-to-life dialogue. Even when the Prestons care for Shiloh after he is nearly killed by another dog, Mr. Preston insists Shiloh be returned to Judd if he recovers; however, Marty makes a deal with the malicious Judd to earn Shiloh for his own. Not until the final paragraph can readers relax--every turn of the plot confronts them with questions. Like Marty, readers gain understanding, though not acceptance, of Judd's tarnished character. Fueled by the love and trust of Shiloh, Marty displays a wisdom and strength beyond his years. Naylor offers a moving and powerful look at the best and the worst of human nature as well as the shades of gray that color most of life's dilemmas. ~--Ellen Mandel

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

School Library Journal Gr 4-6-- Marty Preston, 11, is a country boy who learns that things are often not what they seem, and that adults are not always ``fair'' in their dealings with other people. Marty finds a stray dog that seems to be abused and is determined to keep it at all costs. Because his family is very poor, without money to feed another mouth, his parents don't want any pets. Subsequently, there is a lot of conflict over the animal within the family and between Marty and Judd Travers, the dog's owner. Honesty and personal relations are both mixed into the story. Naylor has again written a warm, appealing book. However, readers may have difficulty understanding some of the first-person narration as it is written in rural West Virginian dialect. Marty's father is a postman--usually one of the better paying positions in rural areas--yet the family is extremely poor. There seems to be an inconsistency here. This title is not up to Naylor's usual high quality. --Kenneth E. Kowen, Atascocita Middle School Library, Humble, TX (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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