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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Recovery Road
by Nelson, Blake

Book list Madeline is starting junior year in rehab. She hates the losers surrounding her all except Trish. Soon the two are escaping the halfway house every Tuesday to go to the movies with other recovering addicts. It is here that Madeline meets Stewart, another recovering addict, and the two teens are immediately drawn together. What follows is a story about being in love while trying to survive sobriety. Eventually, the two are released from rehab and must return to their previous lives; for Madeline that means returning to school and her old friends and routines. Her struggle to stay sober and find a new path is realistic and the strength of the story. Her relationship with Stewart, on the other hand, has the expected narrative ups and downs. When a tragedy strikes, Madeline is left to figure out what she really wants from life and how Stewart fits into her plans. Spanning over three years, the book finds its biggest fireworks in the first half, with the rest proceeding like an extended epilogue.--Yusko, Shauna Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

Publishers Weekly Nelson offers another sharply focused portrait of a teen in crisis in this story of ex-party girl Maddie, who struggles to renew herself after being released from a rehab center. At Spring Meadow, Maddie's best moments come during her fleeting romance with another young patient, Stewart. After returning home, 16-year-old Maddie counts the days until Stewart's release, hoping they can take up where they left off. Meanwhile, she battles loneliness and isolation at her high school where her earlier drunken escapades earned her the nickname "Mad Dog Maddie," and her old friends pressure her to start using again. "It's so weird being straight," Maddie thinks. "You have no defenses. Shit happens and you have to feel it." Predictably, reuniting with Stewart isn't the answer to Maddie's problems, and tension rises as both teens' resolve to stay sober shows signs of weakening. Nelson (Destroy All Cars) gives a hard, honest appraisal of addiction, its often-fatal consequences, and the high probability of relapse. This is an important story that pulls no punches. Ages 13-18. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Gr 8 Up-After one too many incidences of drinking and fighting, Madeline Graham's parents send her to Spring Meadows, which is just one of a string of rehab centers on what is called Recovery Road. She is just getting used to the routine of it all-therapy, work, and mealtime-but then, on one fateful weekly Movie Night in town, Maddie meets Stewart, a damaged teen fighting demons of his own. The two begin an intense relationship that flourishes in the bubble of recovery's routine. Once Maddie is released, though, she finds that their connection just isn't the same, even though she still loves him. She has sex for the first time while not drunk. When she tries to move on with her life, though, she feels the need to keep rescuing Stewart from himself. The story, told by Maddie, is all about finding the wrong kind of love and trying to make it right. She and Stewart have a deep connection because they understand one another on a different level due to what they are both going through. Maddie is a strong, likable teen, and the rest of the characters are believable and genuine as they help her move on with her life after rehab. The chapters are concise, which will grab reluctant readers. This is a great book for teens who are, or know someone who is, dealing with drug or alcohol addiction. Nelson doesn't glamorize it, but paints a portrait of the struggle that people go through when fighting substance abuse.-Kimberly Castle, Medina County District Library, 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 Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site
by Sherri Duskey Rinker

Book list *Starred Review* To say that a book makes you yawn well, it's usually not a compliment. But in the case of bedtime books, it's high praise and well deserved by this engaging picture book. As the sun sets on a construction site, five big, tough trucks settle in for the night. After placing one last beam, hardworking Crane Truck folds his boom, grins sleepily, and tucks himself in for the night. Cement Mixer takes a bath before pulling up his chute and beginning to dream. Tired Dump Truck dims his lights and (loudly) snores. Nearby, sleepy Bulldoze. curls up in his soft dirt bed. while Excavator sets down his scoop and falls asleep. Rinker writes her first book in rhyming, rhythmic verses that read aloud well. Deceptively simple, they manage to be simultaneously absorbing and soporific. Lichtenheld, who illustrated Duck! Rabbit! (2009) and Shark vs. Train (2010), contributes dynamic oil-pastel illustrations ranging from comical close-ups of anthropomorphic trucks to lyrical scenes of the construction site and city skyline at dusk. With strong lines and effective use of shading, the scenes offer plenty of visual details for children to discover. Even the endpapers combine beautiful design with stealthy wit. A standout picture book, especially for those who like wheels with their dreams.--Phelan, Caroly. Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

School Library Journal K-Gr 1-After each truck completes its work for the day, it cuddles up and says goodnight. Crane Truck raises one last beam and then hugs his teddy and turns on his nightlight. Cement Mixer gives a final spin before snuggling with his blanket. Dump Truck delivers his last load, closes his eyes, and starts to snore. Bulldozer and Excavator follow suit until the entire construction site is tucked in tight. Lichtenheld's detailed and textured illustrations, rendered in wax oil pastels on vellum paper, perfectly complement the fun, rhyming text, cleverly personifying each truck with expressive eyes and amusing details. The bright, golden background changes to pinkish red as the Sun begins to set and then to dark blue when the Moon appears. The repeated refrain, "Shh. goodnight, Crane Truck [Cement Mixer, Dump Truck, Bulldozer, Excavator], goodnight," will invite participation. Recommended for vehicle- and bedtime-themed storytimes, this is sure to be a hit with truck-loving preschoolers.-Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL (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 The Lost Island
by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child


Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Lowcountry boil : a Liz Talbot mystery
by Susan M. Boyer.

Library Journal When PI Liz Talbot learns that her grandmother has been murdered at her South Carolina island home, she returns to Stella Maris, where she will stay until she can help solve the shocking homicide. Two other factors sway this decision: the ghost of her late best friend from high school is talking to her, and she inherited Gram's house. Her big brother, Blake, who is also chief of police, doesn't want her meddling-as if his hardheaded sister is giving him a choice. Plenty of secrets, long--simmering feuds, and greedy ventures make for a captivating read. VERDICT Boyer's chick lit PI debut charmingly showcases South Carolina island culture. Her light paranormal garnered nominations for the 2012 RITA Golden Heart Award and the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. A nice pairing with Sue Ann Jaffarian's "Ghost of Granny Apples" series. (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.

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Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog A New Earth
by Eckhart Tolle

Library Journal Tolle follows up his successful The Power of Now-it's sold two million copies worldwide since 1997-with a plea to reject egotistic ways for a new form of consciousness. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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


Pulitzer Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog The Haunted Land
by Tina Rosenberg

Choice Freelance journalist and scholar Rosenberg, presently a fellow at the World Policy Institute, has turned her superior talents to a profound question facing Eastern Europe since the collapse of communism. How does society-- its people and its leaders--restore the truth and the historical past after communism? The need to come to terms with history after any war or revolution is problematic and is not always a matter of restoring truth. The legacy of living in communist societies makes this task perilous and necessary. Eastern Europeans have had to adjust their sense of the historical past to a reconstituted present on several occasions in this century, as new orthodoxies replaced old. With depth, and a style appealing to general readers as well as scholars, Rosenberg weaves a tapestry of stories, personal and public, gathered since 1991. She concentrates on the four previously communist nations of Poland, Germany, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, where the ghosts of the haunted lands raise profound ethical dilemmas. Rosenberg suggests that these countries are not truly dealing with the past, because of the way it lives within them. One great challenge is for democratic societies to purge themselves of a communist past, and punish old villains (yesterday's heroes?) without violating democratic ideals. A powerful text. All levels. A. R. Brunello; Eckerd College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Book list Rosenberg, the first freelance journalist to receive a MacArthur "genius" grant, has written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and The New Yorker; her first book--Children of Cain: Violence and the Violent in Latin America (1991)--was widely praised. In this study, Rosenberg investigates another kind of violence: the repression and coercion that were, until recently, an inescapable part of daily life for most citizens of Eastern Europe. Focusing on Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia), Germany, and Poland, Rosenberg humanizes her description of the aftermath of Communism's collapse with tales of three individuals: Rudolf Zukal, a longtime Czech dissident, denounced in 1991 as a collaborator; Wojciech Jaruzelski, the general who headed Poland after the first Solidarity uprising; and Michael Schmidt, an East German border guard who was tried, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, for killing the last person who attempted to escape to the West. Rosenberg compares totalitarianism in Latin America and Eastern Europe, suggesting that trials and punishment are vital for Latin America's "regimes of criminals" but are clumsy tools at best in coming to terms with Eastern Europe's "criminal regimes," which drew most citizens into their operations. A provocative study of a critical component in building the world's newest democracies. --Mary Carroll

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

Publishers Weekly Freelance journalist Rosenberg's frequent trips since 1991 to eastern Europe and the former Soviet empire led to this trenchant report on the moral, political and legal dilemmas confronting Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia as they face their Communist pasts. She focuses on Czech dissident/human rights activist Rudolf Zukal, whose parliamentary career was shattered in 1989 by the revelation that he had been an informer for the secret police in the early 1960s. She also interviewed Polish Communist leader General Wojciech Jaruzelski, who, at his 1992 impeachment trial, argued that his imposition of martial law in 1981 was a necessary evil to save Poland from a Soviet invasion. Documents and testimony presented here contradict that rationale, showing that Jaruzelski was anxious to undercut Solidarity's growing power. Rosenberg also profiles Berlin Wall border guards and East German secret police informers now condemned for their unquestioning obedience to the old regime. Rosenberg wrote Children of Cain: Violence and the Violent in Latin America. (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 Painters of the Caves
by Patricia Lauber


National Book Critics Circle
Click to search this book in our catalog Childrens Literature: A Readers History from Aesop to Harry Potter (University of Chicago Press)
by Seth Lerer

Library Journal Apropos of his subject matter, Lerer (English & comparative literature, Stanford; Inventing English) has accomplished something magical. Unlike the many handbooks to children's literature that synopsize, evaluate, or otherwise guide adults in the selection of materials for children, this work presents a true critical history of the genre, from Aesop to the present. Scholarly, erudite, and all but exhaustive, it is also entertaining and accessible. Lerer takes his subject seriously without making it dull. He asks important questions about writers' intentions and readers' reactions, about why some texts endure and others do not, about the influence of science and religion on children's literature, and even about the impact of libraries and literary prizes upon the genre. He traces the lineage from fairy tales to Philip Pullman, from comic books to anime, analyzing the appeal of the various forms of children's literature, the cultural forces that mold it, and its transformative effect on anyone who has ever been a child. Essential for academic libraries; highly recommended for public libraries.--Alison M. Lewis, Drexel Univ., Philadelphia Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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

Choice Splendidly well written, and both wide-ranging and comprehensive, this account of western European and American children's literature is, as Lerer (Stanford) writes, "a history of what children have heard and read" from classical antiquity to the current day. Covered are Homer, Aesop, and Virgil; medieval "alphabets, prayer books, Psalters and primers"; works that conveyed the Puritans' worldview (The New England Primer, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress) and the "moral growth centered on the sensory perception of the outer world" (e.g., Defoe's Robinson Crusoe); the Darwinian age (e.g., Kipling's The Jungle Book); and much more. Throughout, Lerer elucidates changing attitudes toward the child and childhood and especially the importance of books to children--as physical artifacts, possessions, and personal keys to knowledge. Lerer is a gifted interpreter not only of tales for children but also of the illustrations that so often shape the young reader's first (and lasting) impression of a text. He concludes that "the story of the child is the story of literature itself," and he reminds the reader that those who enter a work of fiction "step back into a childhood of 'what if' or 'once upon a time.'" Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers. J. J. Benardete The New School

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Book list The erudite Lerer, whose Inventing English (2007) was enthusiastically reviewed in these pages, has now undertaken an ambitious, one-volume history of children's literature. He begins in classical antiquity and ends with the salutary likes of Weetzie Bat and the Time Warp Trio, giving particular attention along the way he being a philologist to the language of literature, whether critical or narrative. Always in search of large ideas and overarching themes, he has what many may find an annoying tendency to pronounce (The book now ends with bedtime as all great children's stories really do) and to presume his reader's tacit agreement, offering far too many propositions beginning How can we not . . . Nevertheless, Lerer does an extraordinary job of expanding our understanding of individual titles by richly contextualizing them in the world of their creation and stimulates readers' imaginations by some surprising juxtapositions (Darwin and Dr. Seuss!). Though the book's principal audience will be an academic one, general readers will find much of interest here as well.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2008 Booklist

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

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Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Tale of Despereaux
by Kate DiCamillo

School Library Journal Gr 3 Up-In this delightful novel, a tiny mouse risks all to save the princess he loves from the clutches of a devious rat and a slow-witted serving girl. With memorable characters, brief chapters, and inventive plot twists, this fast-paced romp is perfect for reading alone or sharing aloud. Winner of the 2004 Newbery Medal. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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

School Library Journal Gr 3 Up-A charming story of unlikely heroes whose destinies entwine to bring about a joyful resolution. Foremost is Despereaux, a diminutive mouse who, as depicted in Ering's pencil drawings, is one of the most endearing of his ilk ever to appear in children's books. His mother, who is French, declares him to be "such the disappointment" at his birth and the rest of his family seems to agree that he is very odd: his ears are too big and his eyes open far too soon and they all expect him to die quickly. Of course, he doesn't. Then there is the human Princess Pea, with whom Despereaux falls deeply (one might say desperately) in love. She appreciates him despite her father's prejudice against rodents. Next is Roscuro, a rat with an uncharacteristic love of light and soup. Both these predilections get him into trouble. And finally, there is Miggery Sow, a peasant girl so dim that she believes she can become a princess. With a masterful hand, DiCamillo weaves four story lines together in a witty, suspenseful narrative that begs to be read aloud. In her authorial asides, she hearkens back to literary traditions as old as those used by Henry Fielding. In her observations of the political machinations and follies of rodent and human societies, she reminds adult readers of George Orwell. But the unpredictable twists of plot, the fanciful characterizations, and the sweetness of tone are DiCamillo's own. This expanded fairy tale is entertaining, heartening, and, above all, great fun.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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

Publishers Weekly The author of Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tiger Rising here shifts gears, demonstrating her versatility while once again proving her genius for mining the universal themes of childhood. Her third novel calls to mind Henry Fielding's Tom Jones; DiCamillo's omniscient narrator assumes a similarly irreverent yet compassionate tone and also addresses readers directly. Despereaux, the diminutive mouse hero ("The last mouse born to his parents and the only one of his litter to be born alive"), cares not a whit for such mundane matters as scurrying or nibbling, and disappoints his family at every turn. When his sister tries to teach him to devour a book, for example ("This glue, here, is tasty, and the paper edges are crunchy and yummy, like so"), Despereaux discovers instead "a delicious and wonderful phrase: Once upon a time"-a discovery that will change his life. The author introduces all of the elements of the subtitle, masterfully linking them without overlap. A key factor unmentioned in the subtitle is a villainous rat, Chiaroscuro (dwelling in the darkness of the Princess's dungeon, but drawn to the light). Ering (The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone) brings an understated drama to the black-and-white illustrations that punctuate each chapter. His artwork conveys a respect for the characters even as they emit the wry humor of the narrator's voice. The teller of the tale roots for the hero and thus aligns himself with the audience: "Reader, you must know that an interesting fate (sometimes involving rats, sometimes not) awaits almost everyone, mouse or man, who does not conform." In addition to these life lessons, the narrator also savors a pointer or two about language (after the use of the word "perfidy," the narrator asks, "Reader, do you know what `perfidy' means? I have a feeling you do, based on the little scene that has just unfolded here. But you should look up the word in your dictionary, just to be sure"). Reader, I will let you imagine, for now, how these witticisms of our omniscient narrator come into play; but I must tell you, you are in for a treat. Ages 7-12. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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

Book list Gr. 3-6. Forgiveness, light, love, and soup. These essential ingredients combine into a tale that is as soul stirring as it is delicious. Despereaux, a tiny mouse with huge ears, is the bane of his family's existence. He has fallen in love with the young princess who lives in the castle where he resides and, having read of knights and their ladies, vows to honor her. But his unmouselike behavior gets him banished to the dungeon, where a swarm of rats kill whoever falls into their clutches. Another story strand revolves around Miggery, traded into service by her father, who got a tablecloth in return. Mig's desire to be a princess, a rat's yen for soup (a food banished from the kingdom after a rat fell in a bowl and killed the queen), and Despereaux's quest to save his princess after she is kidnapped climax in a classic fairy tale, rich and satisfying. Part of the charm comes from DiCamillo's deceptively simple style and short chapters in which the author addresses the reader: Do you think rats do not have hearts? Wrong. All living things have a heart. And as with the best stories, there are important messages tucked in here and there, so subtly that children who are carried away by the words won't realize they have been uplifted until much later. Ering's soft pencil illustrations reflect the story's charm. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2003 Booklist

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

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