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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Enclave
by Aguirre, Ann

Publishers Weekly In this skilled though violent postapocalyptic thriller, Deuce has newly earned the rank of Huntress, after years of training have taught her to "wield a knife or a club with equal proficiency." It's her duty to provide meat for her loveless, draconian enclave, deep beneath the streets of a ruined city, as well as to defend it against cannibalistic Freaks, who are gradually eliminating the scattered human survivors of a vaguely remembered plague. Deuce's is a world of terrifying encounters in near-complete darkness, but she's very good at what she does. Then Deuce stands up for a friend unfairly accused of hoarding and, accompanied only by her talented but unpopular partner, Fade, is soon exiled with little chance of survival either in the lightless and dangerous sewers or Topside. In her first young adult novel, Aguirre (the Sirantha Jax series) has created a gritty and highly competent heroine, an equally deadly sidekick/love interest, and a fascinating if unpleasant civilization. This series is likely to hold considerable appeal for fans of The Hunger Games. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Aguirre's young adult debut is a gripping survival story set in an apocalyptic future. At her naming ceremony, Deuce receives triple slashes on each arm, signifying her status as a Huntress, an elite warrior who protects their underground enclave. She is paired with Fade, a scarred, taciturn veteran who claims to have lived Topside and chafes under their exacting rules. When they find proof that the mutant Freaks who share the tunnels are banding together, they are exiled to silence their warnings. Forced Topside, the pair heads toward a settlement Fade has only heard stories about, picking up two others: Stalker, a violent gang leader, and Tegan, a brutally abused girl. This is a tense, action-packed dystopian story with intriguingly gray characters, much more thriller than romance although Aguirre teases at a future love triangle, it never intrudes. While the enclave's elders are initially presented as morally corrupt antagonists, Aguirre's gritty future is not so simple; like Deuce, readers must weigh the comparative values of law and freedom in a functioning society.--Hutley, Krista Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

School Library Journal Gr 8-10-Deuce gets her name when she is declared Huntress and protector of College, the enclave where the survivors of "the second holocaust" dwell. They live in abandoned subway tunnels, never venturing Topside; the stories of aboveground dangers are enough to keep everyone below. Deuce and her partner, the enigmatic Fade, bring news of the destruction of enclave Nassau by the mutant cannibal Freaks and are banished Topside for their trouble. Once there Deuce recognizes the treachery of the College enclave elders and must face the real dangers-and wonders-of a long-ruined New York City. Joined by vicious ganger Stalker and abused Breeder Tegan, the four young adults make their way North to fabled safety. While the pace is quick, the characterizations are flat, and without a personality on which to hang an empathetic hat, there is little to involve readers emotionally. Continuity problems and some contradictions in logic result in world-building that does not fare well under scrutiny: the inhabitants of College lack knowledge of their own environs and the people who dwell there despite constant patrolling and occasional trading; the gangs who take over the city never range beyond its boundaries, and no one in the finally reached safety of the aboveground enclave returns to the city, despite apparently frequent trade-runs elsewhere. The familiar tropes of postapocalyptic fiction get no new handling here, but those looking for a "Hunger Games" read-alike might be willing to accept this lukewarm offering.-Janice M. Del Negro, GSLIS Dominican University, River Forest, 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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ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous
by Georgia Bragg


New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog America's Bitter Pill
by Steven Brill


Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Learning To Swim
by Sara J. Henry

Publishers Weekly Freelance writer Troy Chance, the protagonist of Henry's impressive first novel, impulsively, and literally, dives into trouble when she sees a youngster fall from a ferry boat on Lake Champlain. Troy manages to rescue the boy, discovers that his fall was no accident, and after brief, anonymous reports to the police, embarks on an ill-conceived attempt to become the boy's protector. Bonding with the boy, she eventually learns his name, Paul Dumond; his age, six; and that he and his mother had been kidnapped and his mother later shot and killed. Troy locates Paul's Canadian father, Philippe, and reunites father and son, but she is unwilling to end her involvement. When the police can't find the kidnappers, Troy starts to probe more deeply into the lives of Philippe, his abducted wife, and Paul's captivity. Henry adroitly handles Troy's exposure to new emotions as she re-examines her life and relationships. An inconclusive ending may signal that Chance's journey is not yet over. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list When Troy Chance spots what she thinks is a small boy being tossed off the back of a passing ferry, she instinctively jumps into the icy waters of Lake Champlain. She rescues the youngster and discovers that his arms were bound with an adult sweatshirt. He's incredibly frightened, speaks only French, and won't tell her what happened. Troy determines that she will keep him safe rather than turn him over to the police. When he finally begins to confide in her, he tells a bizarre tale of being kidnapped, hearing his mother murdered by gunshot, and then being held for months. As Troy tracks down the boy's father, she begins to question whether she will be able to let him go, since he has unleashed within her a maternal instinct she had no idea she possessed. In her debut, the first in a projected series, Henry proves herself to be a smooth and compelling storyteller. And her lead is highly appealing: an athletic, fiercely independent young woman who, like crime-fiction author Gillian Flynn's feisty females, is capable of making delightfully acerbic observations.--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

Library Journal Freelance writer Troy Chance sees a child thrown from a ferry and jumps into the water to save him. Haunted by a past experience with an abandoned child, she decides to be sure that his parents weren't responsible before she notifies the police. She travels to Canada to meet with Paul's divorced father and realizes that she has become more attached to the child than she wanted to be. Accepting an invitation to stay with the family for a few days while Paul recovers from the trauma of his kidnapping, Troy finds herself falling for his father. At the same time, she is unable to leave the investigation in the hands of the police, still fearing that one of the parents could have been involved. Verdict Fans of both mystery and romantic suspense will welcome this promising new author; the unsettled ending hints at a follow-up mystery.-Linda Oliver, MLIS, Colorado Springs (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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Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog The Rapture of Canaan
by Sheri Reynolds


Pulitzer Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov)
by Stacy Schiff

Publishers Weekly V?ra Nabokov was not only devoted to her husband's literary career; she was crucial to it. Schiff (Saint-Exup?ry) contends that Nabokov's public image was V?ra's doing: "we are used to husbands silencing wives, but here was a wife silencing, editing, speaking for, creating, her husband." For almost all their married lives, the Nabokovs were inseparable. Russian ?migr?s in Germany, France and then the U.S., they eked out a bare existence despite Nabokov's reputation as a stellar Russian novelist. With no market for his writing, he needed his wife to work as a translator so they could survive. After hours she also edited and translated his writings, conducted his professional affairs and maintained their marriage. Only the runaway international success of Lolita when they were in their later 50s freed the couple from scraping together a living. (A film advance gave Nabokov 17 times his annual salary at Cornell, a post that had taken years to secure.) Suddenly flush, the Nabokovs, by choice, again became ?migr?s, wealthy residents of a Swiss luxury hotel. Schiff's best pages evoke the years of adversity, as when the Jewish V?ra, regal even in penury, perilously remained in Nazi Germany until May 1937 (after non-Jewish Vladimir exited) because it was the only country where either one could legally work. Often described as "hovering" over her husband by his Cornell colleagues, V?ra was always close byÄeven working as his teaching assistantÄbecause, according to Schiff, he simply could not function without her. This book offers more than a peek at the famous author through his wife's eyes. When her 1991 New York Times obit called V?ra "Wife, Muse, and Agent" it only hinted at her role, which is rescued from obscurity in Schiff's graceful prose. 16 pages of b&w photos. (Apr.)

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

Choice The Vera Nabokov who emerges from Schiff's compelling book proves an even more complex character than hitherto suspected: a strong personality eager to sacrifice herself for her husband's art, without ever giving up even one iota of her own identity. Though Schiff of necessity covers the same events as Brian Boyd's monumental two-volume biography (Vladimir Nabokov: The Russian Years, CH, Jan'91; Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years, CH, Feb'92), she puts Vera at the center of the narrative, a spot Mrs. Nabokov always avoided and instead saved for her husband's talent alone. Schiff elaborates on Boyd's portrait of Vera, a difficult task, especially in light of Mrs. Nabokov's well-known reticence about herself. Only about 20 pages deal with Vera Nabokov before she met her future husband, but the marriage is truly the focus of the biography. The Nabokovs' loving union is legendary, and Schiff sheds light on the facts behind that legend. Relying on extensive research, scores of in-depth interviews, and meticulous documentation, Schiff offers an objective portrait of Vera Nabokov in all of her moods, good and bad. Accessible to the general reader, this biography also offers new insights and perspectives to students and scholars of Vladimir Nabokov's life and works. All collections. C. A. Rydel Grand Valley State University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Book list Vera's first encounter with her husband-to-be--a young, handsome, up-and-coming poet--prefigured the intensity of their artistically fruitful marriage. It was spring in Berlin in 1923 when the two Russian emigres rendezvoused on a bridge and Vera entranced Vladimir by wearing a black satin mask and reciting his poems. Even after she became his muse, soulmate, champion, translator, business manager, and bodyguard (she was a crack shot and carried a pistol in her purse), Vera remained concealed behind her alabaster beauty, unfailing discretion, and strict decorum, devoting herself utterly to her husband and his dazzling creations. Schiff, a gifted biographer whose first book was an insightful portrait of Antoine de Saint-Exupery, not only draws this fascinating and accomplished woman out from behind her cherished mask and celebrated husband, she illuminates the profoundly collaborative process by which Vladimir wrote his scintillatingly original and provocative works. Every page he composed passed through Vera's keen mind and tirelessly typing fingers. She was his first and foremost reader, his shrewdest editor, and the inspiration for his unique aesthetics, erudite wit, and deep sophistication. Schiff tracks their often precarious lives in increasingly dangerous Berlin, then in the wide-open U.S., focusing most energetically on Vera's extraordinary involvement in Vladimir's academic and literary careers. It was Vera who bullied publishers on Vladimir's behalf; Vera who negotiated contracts, oversaw translations, drove the car, and kept her hero free from all the nagging details of everyday life. She was the moon to his sun, and his dedication "To Vera" in every book quietly marks the immensity and magic of their passion. --Donna Seaman

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

Library Journal Vladimir Nabokov's works have come to the attention of the public again with the publication of Library of America editions and the recent film version of Lolita. Several years ago, Brian Boyd produced a two-volume definitive biography: Vladimir Nabokov: The Russian Years (LJ 10/1/90) and Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years (LJ 8/91). Schiff's book distinguishes itself by focusing on the relationship between Vladimir and his wife V?ra, a marriage that lasted some 50 years. Schiff (Saint Exup?ry, LJ 10/1/94) traces the years in France and Germany before World War II, followed by a hurried immigration to the United States and Nabokov's eventual literary success. Schiff also handles the difficulties within the marriage, including affairs. Through it all, the couple forged a close alliance as V?ra oversaw the editing of manuscripts, translation, the negotiation of contracts, and much of Vladimir's correspondence. The result is a scholarly, readable look at a remarkable literary duo.ÄRonald Ray Ratliff, Chapman H.S. Lib., KS

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 The Best Paper Airplanes You'll Ever Fly
by Klutz Guides


National Book Critics Circle
Click to search this book in our catalog Distant Reading
by Franco Moretti


Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Joyful Noise
by Paul Fleischman

Publishers Weekly In resonant voices and striking use of language, this 1989 Newbery Medal-winner explores the various sounds and concerns of the insect world. All ages. (Aug.)

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

Publishers Weekly In resonant voices and striking use of language, this 1989 Newbery Medal-winner explores the various sounds and concerns of the insect world. All ages. (Aug.)

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