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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog White Crow
by Sedgwick, Marcus

Book list Using three wildly different voices and two time periods separated by more than 200 years, Sedgwick's horror offering is pretty ambitious for its modest page count. The good news: he pulls it off. Sixteen-year-old Rebecca and her policeman father have just moved from London to the seaside town of Winterfold to escape the controversy surrounding his failure to save a girl's life. There Rebecca meets Ferelith, a philosophic goth whose tricky mannerisms keep her status constantly in question is she friend or foe? While the two play increasingly dar. games. Sedgwick cuts back to 1798, when the town priest teamed up with a visionary doctor to try to learn the secrets of the afterlife. These sections, written as the priest's journal in convincing period tongue, are masterful in their ominous vagueness ( But, oh! The blood! The blood! ). The chapters from Ferelith's point of view as well as her character feel far less assured. Still, Sedgwick dovetails the plot splendidly. This book is one thing very few YA novels are: genuinely scary.--Kraus, Danie. Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-Rebecca's vacation with her father in a small English coastal village takes a dark turn when a strange local girl befriends her. This chilling, compulsive read switches back and forth from the teens' stories to that of an 18th-century rector obsessed with communicating with corpses. (Aug.) (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 Sedgwick (Revolver) addresses themes of death and what may (or may not) await in the afterlife in this chilling story, told in three voices and in two parallel stories set 200 years apart. In contemporary England, teenage Rebecca reluctantly moves to the coastal village of Winterfold, trading her life back in Greenwich for a lonely town where she knows no one and that every year loses more of itself to the inexorable pull of the sea. Soon, though, Rebecca is discovered by Ferelith, "the strangest-looking girl she's ever seen," who opens a dangerous new world to Rebecca, as Ferelith draws her into Winterfold's dark secrets and legends. The mystery that is Ferelith-a calculated and intelligent girl who left school at age 14, lives in a commune, and doesn't seem entirely human-will pull readers through the book, as will a twin mystery that unspools through the increasingly frenzied journal entries of a local priest in 1798, himself in the thrall of a mysterious stranger. Showing his customary skill with a gothic setting and morally troubled characters, Sedgwick keeps readers guessing to the very end. Ages 12-up. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-Three lives intersect in this disquieting but skillfully written tale of the human desire to know what awaits us after death. Beautiful and bitter Rebecca has come to the crumbling seaside village of Winterfold with her police-officer father to escape the consequences of a deadly choice he made. She meets Ferelith, a peculiar local girl who prefers "things that are frightening," and who convinces Rebecca to join her in rebellious and perilous activities. Ferelith shares a troubling story of dark doings in the history of Winterfold, which leads to the third part of this tale, which is told through excerpts from the diary of a priest, written in 1798, about a devilish scientific experiment. The three characters around whom the narrative revolves are well realized and realistically flawed, and the story is hugely compelling. The plot moves forward with Sedgwick dangling juicy details in front of readers, revealing just enough information to keep them guessing, never allowing everything to be exposed at once. As all the puzzle pieces fall into place, the peril for the girls rises to a terrifying crescendo, and teens will have no choice but to continue until the last page is turned.-Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO (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 Flyaway
by Lucy Christopher

Book list *Starred Review* Like her father and grandfather, 13-year-old Isla seems to have a mystical connection, as well as emotional bond, with the swans that migrate to their area each winter. But after her dad collapses during a birding expedition, Isla's focus abruptly shifts from the nature preserve to the hospital's coronary care unit. Though worried about her father, she finds solace in her deepening friendship with Harry, a boy who has leukemia; in her bond with a lone whooper swan nearby; and in an unusual school project that takes on a life of its own. Christopher, who wrote the Printz Honor Book Stolen (2010), offers younger readers a quiet but compelling story with several well-realized, idiosyncratic characters. She skillfully develops the novel's varied elements and weaves them into a unified narrative that occasionally falls into a predictable pattern only to surprise the reader once again. As narrator, Isla conveys with equal sensitivity her discomfort in the initially alien hospital environment, her growing understanding of family history, and her realizations about herself and those she loves. Though written for a slightly older audience, this sensitive novel will resonate with many readers who enjoyed Gill Lewis' Wild Wings (2011).--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

School Library Journal Gr 5-8-Thirteen-year-old Isla and her father have long been fans of the wild swans that migrate through the nearby preserve, but environmental changes and birds flying into wires without warning markers are diminishing their numbers. After her dad has a heart attack, Isla, her brother, and her mum spend time at the hospital, where she finds a friend in Harry, a patient her age in the cancer ward. The two spot a lone swan and work together to try to help it. Details about daily life, soccer, school assignments, and family pressures are folded into the bigger traumas of life and death in this portrait of a girl growing into her own opinions and figuring out what matters most to her. Isla's art project, inspired by da Vinci's flying model sketches, becomes a mission to create wings for a flying machine, a project that helps her connect to her special swan, Harry, and an estranged grandfather. Beautiful writing with lyrical moments and mystical descriptions of nature creates a story that is rich and compelling with plenty of action to balance out the many reflective moments. Isla and Harry are experiencing first love while confronting the real possibility of death. The result is a rewarding and superb celebration of life.-Carol A. Edwards, Denver Public Library, CO (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 In her first middle-grade novel, Christopher (Stolen) offers a story ribboned with metaphors involving themes of trauma, freedom, and hope. Isla and her father share a special relationship with the swans that migrate to a nearby lake each winter, until he is hospitalized with a heart condition. Isla's best friend has also moved away, and she feels isolated until meeting Harry, an optimistic and imaginative leukemia patient undergoing chemo treatments at the hospital and awaiting a bone marrow transplant. After Isla discovers a lost swan that has been separated from its flock, she makes it her mission to renew hope in Harry, her father, and herself by teaching the swan to fly, using a da Vinci-inspired flying machine that she creates with help from her estranged grandfather. Readers who share Isla's love of nature and penchant for introspection will easily gravitate to her; her determination and pithy observations make for a strong, sensitive portrait of a girl trying to make sense of difficult changes in her life, while learning to draw strength from those around her. Ages 10-14. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal After her father's heart failure, Isla hopes that saving a lone swan that is struggling to fly will make everything better. At the hospital, she meets an understanding young cancer patient who becomes the assistant in her plan. This modern-day realistic novel is tender, sensitive, and compelling. (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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New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog The Innovators
by Walter Isaacson

Library Journal Starred Review. Isaacson (Steve Jobs) is a storyteller of the kind he admires among the people who made the bits and pieces that would become computers, wrote programs, invented games, miniaturized the computer, created the Internet, and found ways for ordinary people to access technology and build communities. The author relates the history of the computer by describing these individuals vividly and succinctly. Most were brilliant. Some were shy, others wild. Many had flaws. All are fascinating. At each crucial point in the development of the machine, explains Isaacson, there were usually several people who worked almost as one, even though their personalities differed considerably: an engineer carefully planned the steps, a manager kept people on track, and a pied piper involved others. Ada Lovelace is an example of the visionaries covered in the book; the outlook detailed in her 1843 Notes on Babbage's Analytical Engine took 160 years to be realized, but Lovelace's predictions describe our world today, where humans and machines work together in the arts and sciences to create new knowledge and solve old problems. As well as relevant personalities, Isaacson's work describes organizations and corporations with similar color and clarity. The volume lacks an index, and with many people and concepts mentioned more than once, it would be fascinating to reference these connections (a searchable electronic file would be a logical and helpful addition). VERDICT Anyone who uses a computer in any of its contemporary shapes or who has an interest in modern history will enjoy this book. It should be on the reading lists of book discussion groups and high school and college courses across the curriculum.-Linda Loos Scarth, Cedar Rapids, IA (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.

Book list *Starred Review* In 1843, Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron, wrote in a letter to Charles Babbage that mathematical calculating machines would one day become general-purpose devices that link the operations of matter and the abstract mental processes, correctly predicting the rise of modern computers. Thus begins a remarkable overview of the history of computers from the man who brought us biographies of Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Henry Kissinger. The story is above all one of collaboration and incremental progress, which lies in contrast to our fascination with the lone inventor. Here we find that in a world dominated by men with their propensity for hardware, the first contributions to software were made by women. While we have those storied partnerships of the digital age Noyce and Moore, Hewlett and Packard, Allen and Gates, and Jobs and Wozniak all of their contributions were built upon the advances of lesser-known pioneers, who are heralded in these pages. Although full biographies of the individuals profiled here have been written in spades, Isaacson manages to bring together the entire universe of computing, from the first digitized loom to the web, presented in a very accessible manner that often reads like a thriller.--Siegfried, David Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

Publishers Weekly Starred Review. The history of the computer as told through this fascinating book is not the story of great leaps forward but rather one of halting progress. Journalist and Aspen Institute CEO Isaacson (Steve Jobs) presents an episodic survey of advances in computing and the people who made them, from 19th-century digital prophet Ada Lovelace to Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. His entertaining biographical sketches cover headline personalities (such as a manic Bill Gates in his salad days) and unsung toilers, like WWII's pioneering female programmers, and outright failures whose breakthroughs fizzled unnoticed, such as John Atanasoff, who was close to completing a full-scale model computer in 1942 when he was drafted into the Navy. Isaacson examines these figures in lucid, detailed narratives, recreating marathon sessions of lab research, garage tinkering, and all-night coding in which they struggled to translate concepts into working machinery. His account is an antidote to his 2011 Great Man hagiography of Steve Jobs; for every visionary—or three (vicious fights over who invented what are ubiquitous)—there is a dogged engineer; a meticulous project manager; an indulgent funder; an institutional hothouse like ARPA, Stanford, and Bell Labs; and hordes of technical experts. Isaacson's absorbing study shows that technological progress is a team sport, and that there's no I in computer. Photos. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Starred Review. Isaacson (Steve Jobs) is a storyteller of the kind he admires among the people who made the bits and pieces that would become computers, wrote programs, invented games, miniaturized the computer, created the Internet, and found ways for ordinary people to access technology and build communities. The author relates the history of the computer by describing these individuals vividly and succinctly. Most were brilliant. Some were shy, others wild. Many had flaws. All are fascinating. At each crucial point in the development of the machine, explains Isaacson, there were usually several people who worked almost as one, even though their personalities differed considerably: an engineer carefully planned the steps, a manager kept people on track, and a pied piper involved others. Ada Lovelace is an example of the visionaries covered in the book; the outlook detailed in her 1843 Notes on Babbage's Analytical Engine took 160 years to be realized, but Lovelace's predictions describe our world today, where humans and machines work together in the arts and sciences to create new knowledge and solve old problems. As well as relevant personalities, Isaacson's work describes organizations and corporations with similar color and clarity. The volume lacks an index, and with many people and concepts mentioned more than once, it would be fascinating to reference these connections (a searchable electronic file would be a logical and helpful addition). VERDICT Anyone who uses a computer in any of its contemporary shapes or who has an interest in modern history will enjoy this book. It should be on the reading lists of book discussion groups and high school and college courses across the curriculum.-Linda Loos Scarth, Cedar Rapids, IA (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.

Book list *Starred Review* In 1843, Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron, wrote in a letter to Charles Babbage that mathematical calculating machines would one day become general-purpose devices that link the operations of matter and the abstract mental processes, correctly predicting the rise of modern computers. Thus begins a remarkable overview of the history of computers from the man who brought us biographies of Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Henry Kissinger. The story is above all one of collaboration and incremental progress, which lies in contrast to our fascination with the lone inventor. Here we find that in a world dominated by men with their propensity for hardware, the first contributions to software were made by women. While we have those storied partnerships of the digital age Noyce and Moore, Hewlett and Packard, Allen and Gates, and Jobs and Wozniak all of their contributions were built upon the advances of lesser-known pioneers, who are heralded in these pages. Although full biographies of the individuals profiled here have been written in spades, Isaacson manages to bring together the entire universe of computing, from the first digitized loom to the web, presented in a very accessible manner that often reads like a thriller.--Siegfried, David Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

...More

Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Three-Day Town
by Margaret Maron

Book list In her seventeenth Deborah Knott mystery, Maron's two series protagonists the warm North Carolina judge, Knott, and the cool NYPD lieutenant, Sigrid Harald (last seen in Fugitive Colors, 1995) meet for the first time. A year after their marriage, Deborah and Deputy Sheriff Dwight Bryant are off to New York for a weeklong honeymoon, staying at Dwight's sister-in-law's Manhattan apartment. They are asked to deliver a package to Sigrid's mother. When Sigrid comes to get the package for her vacationing mother, during a party in a neighboring apartment, the building superintendent is found dead and the risque and potentially valuable statue from the package is missing. Then the body of one of the building's elevator men is found in a garbage bag, and the teenage son of the chair of the co-op board goes missing. Maron tosses in plenty of red herrings before Deborah's intuition and curiosity combine to break the case. A reliably entertaining addition to an always enjoyable series, though, by the end, it's clear that, for Deborah and Dwight, home proves a lot more enticing than Broadway glitter.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

Publishers Weekly Bestseller Maron's charming 17th Deborah Knott mystery (after 2010's Christmas Mourning) takes the North Carolina judge and her husband of one year, Dwight Bryant, to New York City for a belated honeymoon. They bear an unusual gift, a small bronze sculpture, for photojournalist Anne Lattimore Harald from Anne's dying mother, wealthy Jane Lattimore, who's a distant cousin of Deborah's. Deborah arranges to meet Anne's daughter, NYPD Lt. Sigrid Harald, who will pick up the gift, at a large party next door to the Manhattan apartment that an absent friend is letting the couple use. When Sigrid and Deborah return to the borrowed apartment, the sculpture is missing from the kitchen counter; worse, the dead body of the building's super is lying on the balcony. Could someone from the party be responsible for the theft and the murder? Deborah, with her inveterate curiosity, assists Sigrid, last seen in her own series in 1995's Fugitive Colors, in the official investigation. This is a strong addition to a series that's won Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Judge Deborah Knott's (Christmas Mourning) honeymoon in New York City is tainted by murder. It's always good to see our favorites in new venues, even if it turns out to be a busman's holiday. (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 Songs in Ordinary Time
by Mary McGarry Morris

Publishers Weekly Set in Vermont during the summer of 1960, Morris's latest concerns a dysfunctional family that falls prey to a dangerous con man. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Pulitzer Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog Interpreter of Maladies
by Jhumpa Lahiri


Scientific America Young Readers Book Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Earthquake Games: Earthquakes and Volcanoes
by Matthys Levy

Book list Gr. 5^-8. What causes earthquakes and volcanoes? How dangerous can they be? The authors answer these and other questions in a book for eager, science-minded children. Readers will gain a better understanding of the peculiarities of the earth's surface through explanations and enjoyable, well-designed games and experiments that range from reproducing a tsunami in the bathtub to constructing a seismograph to building a cardboard volcano. Although some of the experiments, which use familiar household items, require adult supervision, children can do many of the projects alone. Occasionally, the text may need further explanation, but those moments are offset by the book's many activities, illustrations, and straightforward questions and answers. An informative tool that effectively uses hands-on techniques to teach kids about geologic wonders. --Kathleen Squires

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

School Library Journal Gr 5-8?For readers searching for a science experiment or a project dealing with earthquakes or volcanoes, this book will be a solid source of ideas. Classroom teachers should find it a gold mine of facts and feats to make understanding the dynamics of these geological phenomena (and their effects on man-made structures) easier and more enjoyable. The use of the term game seems loosely applied (e.g., "Build a Seismometer Game" gives directions for constructing a seismometer) and seems to be more for appeal than accuracy. Safety instructions involving heat and flame are not always placed before the how-to's. Many of the accompanying diagrams are not on the same page as the instructions/information, which can lead to page-flipping confusion. For those who simply must create a volcanic eruption, there are several variations, which can be quite messy and/or slightly dangerous without adult supervision. A good deal of geology is imparted in the text. There is a chronology of important earthquakes and eruptions, and their global effects noted. While this title has its drawbacks, it is a rich source of experiments on a popular topic.?Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY

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 George F. Kennan: An American Life
by John Lewis Gaddis

Book list *Starred Review* Diplomat and historian Kennan (1904-2005) cooperated with this biography that in its documentary thoroughness and lucidity about his enigmatic, fragile personality must stand as the definitive portrait. Of undoubted brilliance in his adulthood, Kennan throughout his life was acutely sensitive, solitary, often pessimistic, but ultimately philosophical an outlook encapsulated in his Around the Cragged Hill (1993). The youthful sources of those traits Gaddis roots in feelings of abandonment provoked by the premature death of Kennan's mother, in testing experiences in military school and Princeton University, and in rapidly maturing appreciations for the behaviors of governments, his own and others, while he was a young foreign service officer in the 1920s and 1930s. An inveterate diarist and letter writer, Kennan probably deluged Gaddis with his interior life, which seemed beset by self-doubt and despair over matters personal (Kennan apparently had several affairs) and public. Apart from the years 1946-50, politicians ignored his advice and prophecies on world politics, but within that window, Kennan was uniquely influential as the enunciator of containment policy toward the Soviet Union during the early Cold War. The work of an eminent historian of that very subject, Gaddis' biography is doubly significant and a new essential in any reading, recreational or scholarly, in the history of American foreign policy.--Taylor, Gilbert Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

Publishers Weekly No one is better suited than Gaddis to write this authorized biography of George F. Kennan: the noted Yale cold war historian had total access to Kennan's papers as well as to his family members and associates-Kennan so trusted his biographer that he remarked, "write [the book], if you will, on the confident assumption that no account need be taken of my own reaction... either in this world or the next." Through his privileged relationship with Kennan, Gaddis reveals the man behind the public persona as an agonized and fragile individual who often felt alienated from the U.S. and his fellow citizens, despite his tireless service to his country. In addition to the intimacies of the work, Gaddis offers critical analyses of Kennan's key roles as diplomat, policy maker, and scholar of Russian history. Unsurpassed in his strategic vision during the cold war, Kennan is credited with being responsible for much of America's eventual victory, and therein lies the impetus behind this remarkable biography. Adroitly managed (if occasionally barnacled with extraneous facts), Gaddis's work is a major contribution to Kennan's legacy and the history of American foreign policy. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal George F. Kennan (1904-2005) exerted a profound influence on the conduct of American foreign policy, especially during the years of the Cold War. His famous 1947 Foreign Affairs article, "Sources of Soviet Conduct," published under the pseudonym X, laid the theoretical groundwork for "containing" the Soviet Union in those hectic and dangerous postwar years. As Kennan's authorized biographer, Gaddis (The Cold War: A New History)-himself one of our most distinguished diplomatic historians-had unfettered access to Kennan's diaries and personal papers. The result is a nearly 800-page book with by far the most sophisticated and nuanced examination of Kennan's remarkable contributions to our nation during his lengthy life. Gaddis's portrayal of Kennan's personal life is more workmanlike, with less nuance. VERDICT Gaddis has crafted an in-depth study of Kennan as a thinker and practicing diplomat. The focus on Kennan as foreign policy maker will not trouble most scholars of the diplomatic arts, but for the average reader the level of detail may prove more burdensome. Highly recommended for Cold War scholars and for all library collections, alongside Nicholas Thompson's more personal The Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War. [See Prepub Alert, 5/2/11.]-Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames (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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Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Sarah, Plain and Tall
by Patricia MacLachlan