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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Anna Dressed in Blood
by Blake, Kendare

Publishers Weekly Effectively blending horror and romance, Blake (Sleepwalk Society) delivers an exciting and witty gothic ghost story. Seventeen-year-old loner Cas follows in his late father's footsteps, hunting down vengeful ghosts and dispatching them before they can hurt more people. He and his mother (a witch) move from town to town, and his latest target is the titular Anna, a 16-year-old girl killed on the way to a dance in Thunder Bay, Ont., in 1958. When the ghost eviscerates a local in front of Cas, he realizes it will be a much harder struggle than previously anticipated, joining forces with psychic Thomas and popular girl Carmel to discover Anna's history and attempt to free her from her curse without destroying her. Blake occasionally gets too cute-naming a character "Will Rosenberg" in a story in which characters are aware of Buffy is pushing things, as is the notion that today's small-town teens are all Rules of Attraction. But the pop culture references are generally sharp (Ghostbusters references make for an effective running gag) and on point, and the result is an enjoyable horror tale. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Theseus Cassio Lowood (Cas for short) is the son of a white witch and a ghost killer. He inherited his father's knife and talent for dispatching vengeful spirits when his father was gruesomely murdered by a particularly powerful ghost. Now he and his mother travel around helping restless spirits that need help moving on. Cas is blindsided when he meets Anna Korlov, the ghost of a murdered teen who kills anyone who sets foot in her completely haunted house except Cas. Blake's vivid imagery, especially in the many scary scenes, is cinematic and compelling, as is the predictable but touching relationship between Anna and Cas. Once Cas solves Anna's dilemma, he moves on to the issue of avenging his father's death. It's one too many threads and feels tacked on to the otherwise complete and engrossing ghost story. Several interesting secondary characters, including a surprisingly un-Queen Bee popular girl, should become more developed in future books, signaled by the abrupt ending. Blake's smooth combination of gore and romance should have little problem attracting the Twilight crowd.--Carton, Debbi. Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

School Library Journal Gr 10 Up-Theseus Cassio Lowood is a legacy ghost killer. He inherited his gift and his weapon, an athame, from his father, who was killed and devoured by a ghost when Cas was seven. The teen and his mother, a white witch, are constantly on the move following leads to unquiet spirits wreaking havoc on the innocent. After the killing with which the book opens, Cas and his mom head to Thunder Bay, Ontario, on the trail of a particularly violent ghoul nicknamed "Anna Dressed in Blood." Here, he finds friendship as well as his ghost. Just when readers think they've reached the denouement, Blake propels the plot in new and unexpected directions. The novel is a love story, a high-school buddy story, a story of revenge and tragedy, and a bildungsroman. The language is typical-teenage-coarse, and it is totally in keeping with the realities of adolescent speech. The violence is fittingly disgusting and not for the weak of stomach. The relationships among the characters, including Cas and his mother, are multidimensional and satisfying.-Nina Sachs, Walker Memorial Library, Westbrook, ME (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 Saints
by Gene Luen Yang; color by Lark Pien


New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog America
by Dinesh D'Souza


Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog The Long Quiche Goodbye
by Avery Aames


Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog The Invention of Wings
by Sue Monk Kidd


Pulitzer Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog American Pastoral
by Philip Roth

Library Journal It's the Sixties, and hard-working, prosperous Seymour Levov has done everything right. So why has his daughter become a terrorist? A 100,000-copy first printing.

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

Library Journal In his latest novel, Roth shows his age. Not that his writing is any less vigorous and supple. But in this autumnal tome, he is definitely in a reflective mood, looking backward. As the book opens, Roth's alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman, recalls an innocent time when golden boy Seymour "the Swede" Levov was the pride of his Jewish neighborhood. Then, in precise, painful, perfectly rendered detail, he shows how the Swede's life did not turn out as gloriously as expected?how it was, in fact, devastated by a child's violent act. When Merry Levov blew up her quaint little town's post office to protest the Viet Nam war, she didn't just kill passing physician Fred Conlon, she shattered the ties that bound her to her worshipful father. Merry disappears, then eventually reappears as a stick-thin Jain living in sacred povery in Newark, having killed three more people for the cause. Roth doesn't tell the whole story blow by blow but gives us the essentials in luminous, overlapping bits. In the end, the book positively resonates with the anguish of a father who has utterly lost his daughter. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/96.]?Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"

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

Book list There is no sex in the new Philip Roth novel, but that is only one shortcoming. Pastoral, like Roth's 21 previous works, is well crafted with vivid, crisp prose, but unlike the others, it's empty. There's no there there. Roth resurrects alter ego Nathan Zuckerman to introduce Seymour "Swede" Levov, a Phineas-like character from Roth's childhood at Newark's Wequahic High School. Swede and Nathan meet by chance at a Mets' game years later. Swede, a towheaded, square-jawed, six-foot superathlete, had a knack for transcending the turbulence of wartime America. A marine at the end of World War II, he is spared the South Pacific slaughterhouse and is kept stateside to play baseball for the Parris Island squad. After the war, he marries Dawn, the blond Miss New Jersey, buys a house in the country, and takes over his father's multimillion-dollar glove factory in Newark. And after that, Roth delights in the destruction of his all-American hero, filling page after page with frustration, humiliation, and anxiety: Vietnam radicalizes Swede's daughter, Merry, destroying the family; Dawn's depression and infidelity ruin their marriage; and a jealous, vindictive brother and controlling father each take a toll. Pastoral is both sentimental and savage. Roth vents his bitterness with America and himself. Once again, no one escapes the misery that personifies modern America. Ted Leventhal

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

Publishers Weekly The protagonist of Roth's new novel, a magnificent meditation on a pivotal decade in our nation's history, is in every way different from the profane and sclerotic antihero of Sabbath's Theater (for which Roth won the National Book Award in 1995). It's as though, having vented his spleen and his libido in Mickey Sabbath, Roth was then free to contemplate the life of a man who is Sabbath's complete opposite. He relates the story of Seymour "Swede" Levov with few sex scenes and no scatological sideshows; the deviant behavior demonstrated here was common to a generation, and the shocks Roth delivers are part of our national trauma. This is Roth's most mature novel, powerful and universally resonant. Swede Levov's life has been charmed from the time he was an all-star athlete at Newark's Weequahic high school. As handsome, modest, generous and kind as he is gifted, Swede takes pains to acknowledge the blessings for which he is perceived as the most fortunate of men. He is patriotic and civically responsible, maritally faithful, morally upstanding, a mensch. He successfully runs his father's glove factory, refusing to be cowed by the race riots that rock Newark, marries a shiksa beauty-pageant queen, who is smart and ambitious, buys a 100-acre farm in a classy suburb?the epitome of serene, innocent, pastoral existence?and dotes on his daughter, Merry. But when Merry becomes radicalized during the Vietnam War, plants a bomb that kills an innocent man and goes underground for five years, Swede endures a torment that becomes increasingly unbearable as he learns more about Merry's monstrous life. In depicting Merry, Roth expresses palpable fury at the privileged, well-educated, self-centered children of the 1960s, who in their militant idealism demonstrated ferocious hatred for a country that had offered their families opportunity and freedom. After three generations of upward striving and success, Swede and his family are flung "out of the longed-for American pastoral and into everything that is its antithesis and its enemy?into the fury, the violence and the desperation of the counterpastoral?into the American berserk." Roth's pace is measured. The first two sections of the book are richly textured with background detail. The last third, however, is full of shocking surprises and a message of existential chaos. "The Swede found out that we are all in the power of something demented,'' Roth writes. And again: "He had learned the worst lesson that life could teach?that it makes no sense." In the end, his dream and his life destroyed by his daughter and the decade, Swede finally understands that he is living through the moral breakdown of American society. The picture is chilling. 100,000 first printing; BOMC selection. (May)

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 Mud Matters: Stories from a Mud Lover
by Jennifer Owings Dewey

School Library Journal Gr 3-5ÄA unique book on the author's personal experiences with mud. Dewey offers good information on quicksand, primordial ooze, adobes, etc., and describes finding a fossilized bone of a Camalops, a sort of prehistoric, humpless camel. Full-color photographs and black-and-white drawings appear throughout. However, the writing gets so bogged down in dialogue that most youngsters will have a difficult time wading through it to get to the facts. Another problem is accessibility. Students researching the Zuni and their Mudheads, the nest-building techniques of wasps, or the Rio Grande will probably not think to look in this book. An appended list of plants and animals named after mud could prove handy, but the glossary, which includes words such as muddle and muddlehead, seems to be of marginal relevance. Students seeking material on the subject should look to Peter Goodwin's Landslides, Slumps, & Creep (Watts, 1997). Mud Matters will find little use in libraries.ÄAnne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI

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 One with Others
by CD Wright

Book list Wright revisits her native Arkansas, during the 1960s, to pay homage to V, a friend and mentor. We learn in a percussively expressive mix of memories, testimonials, news, history, and ruminations that V was unhappily married, too often pregnant, forthright, flintily smart, and avidly literary. ( She had a brain like the Reading Room in the old British Museum. ) Much admired within her circle, bookish, card-playing, and bourbon-drinking V was an unlikely yet magnificent hero. MacArthur fellow Wright is known for her social consciousness and improvisational style, and she takes both qualities up a notch in this dramatically investigative and looping portrait of V, both in her prime--when she went against her overtly racist and staunchly segregationist neighbors to join a group of African Americans on a Walk against Fear and in her long subsequent exile and martyrdom. Such hate, such sorrow, such valor. Wright's sharply fractured, polyphonic, and suspenseful book-length poem is both a searing dissection of hate crimes and their malignant legacy and a lyric, droll, and fiery elegy to a woman of radiant resistance.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

Publishers Weekly In 1969, a Tennessean known as "Sweet Willie Wine led a small group of African-American men on a "walk against fear through smalltown Arkansas. This event grounds Wright's most recent blending of poetry and investigative journalism. A tribute to Wright's mentor "V-an autodidact, activist, and bourbon-swilling mother of eight, whose support for the march ("I would have followed Sweet Willie Wine into hell) made her "a disaffiliated member of her race-the book probes the limits and intersections of the personal and the political. Wright intersperses descriptions of the Arkansas landscape; her own journey researching; transcriptions from V, her family, and others who experienced the events of that violent summer; lists of prices ("the only sure thing in those days); the weather ("temperatures in the 90s even after a shower), newspaper headlines; and personal memories. Through juxtaposition and repetition, she weaves a compelling, disturbing, and often beautiful tapestry that at once questions the ability of language to get at the complicated truth of history ("because the warp is everywhere), and underscores the ethical imperative to try. As Wright learns from V, "To act, just to act. That was the glorious thing. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog A Visit to William Blake's Inn
by Nancy Willard

Publishers Weekly The Newbery Medal-winning, Caldecott Honor book about an imaginary inn belonging to William Blake, where remarkable guests are attended by an even more remarkable staff. Ages 4-8. (September)

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

Publishers Weekly The Newbery Medal-winning, Caldecott Honor book about an imaginary inn belonging to William Blake, where remarkable guests are attended by an even more remarkable staff. Ages 4-8. (September)

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