Search All Libraries...
 
 

  

 Instructions for using OverDrive

  

 

"A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted. You   should live several lives while reading it." 
--William Styron
 
 
 
 
 
Featured Book Lists
Book JacketMidnight in Europe
by Alan Furst
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781400069491 After a slow start, this spy thriller set in 1938 from Edgar finalist Furst (Mission to Paris) settles into a lazy pace, as it charts the attempts of two part-time arms dealers, Chistian Ferrar and Max de Lyon, to serve the Spanish Republic and its beleaguered army while most of the continent has its eye on Berlin. Every clandestine mission they undertake-a prolonged quest for cannons in Poland, a nifty operation to trick Russia out of field guns and antiaircraft weaponry in Odessa-is fraught with struggle, and the pro-Franco Nazi spy apparatus always seems one step ahead. A revolving cast of secondary characters leads several plotlines that peter out, heavy on atmosphere, light on action. As usual, Furst manages to capture the fragile, itinerant nature of European life during the interwar period, dropping in hints of the horror to come, but this is one of his less memorable efforts. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781400069491 *Starred Review* In 1937, the lights were going out in Europe, but jackbooted blackness had not quite swept the Continent. Through multiple novels, Furst has illuminated moments of reluctant courage and desperate love in a world teetering on the edge of destruction. He does so again here, and, as always, he does it exquisitely. We've met Furst's unwilling heroes before, typically in Paris, as they bask in the City of Light while turning away from the chaos in their homeland, whether Poland, Italy, or Germany. This time it's Spain, where a doomed war is already raging. Spanish emigre Christian Ferrar is a successful lawyer at an international firm, juggling his time between Paris and New York and happy to be far from the troubles in Spain. Yet, when he is approached to aid those supplying the Republican troops with arms, he is surprised to find himself complying. And so begins another tale of clandestine operations in which civilians step up, not out of idealism but out of the realization that history affords them no other choice. Furst is a master of mood, but, above all, he is able to show how the most personal of emotions love, especially drives the actions of men and women caught in a time of peril.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist
...More
Book JacketMiddle school cool
by Maiya Williams
Book JacketThe Elephant Scientist
by Caitlin O'Connell and Donna M. Jackson

School Library Journal Gr 5-8-O'Connell traveled to Africa in 1992 to observe wild animals; the trip turned into a job offer to study elephants at Etosha National Park; the text focuses on the scientists' work, findings, and problems encountered. The authors offer an outstanding look at new discoveries about elephant communication and how this knowledge can be used to slow the animal's slump into extinction. Combined with stunning full-color photographs by the scientists, the elephants' world is brought to the forefront. Readers enter the researchers' camp to see their setup, fieldwork, and takedown in action. They will learn how elephant anatomy and hierarchy work together to aid in communication. Children will be interested in O'Connell's growing interest in science, how family and teachers encouraged her, and her efforts to protect these threatened animals. This amazing presentation is a must-have for all collections.-Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA (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.

Book list After studying entomology, researcher O'Connell observed elephants in Africa and noticed that the large mammals were behaving strangely, like the small insects she had previously studied. Both would freeze and lean forward, leading her to wonder if the elephants, like the insects, were sensing vibrations through their feet. She worked with other scientists to identity the vibration-sensitive cells in elephants' feet and trunks that enabled to them to hear sounds transmitted through the ground. Illustrated with many well-captioned, color photos, this eye-catching book provides a sometimes fascinating look at O'Connell's work with elephants in America and in Namibia. Not only the book's subject, O'Connell is also listed as its coauthor, yet the text refers to her in third person and quotes her extensively. The presentation concludes with brief lists of recommended books, DVDs, and websites; a glossary; and selected source notes, though without links to particular passages or pages in the text. This intriguing volume from the Scientists in the Field series will interest readers of Downer's Elephant Talk (2011).--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

...More
Book JacketThe Three Pigs
by David Wiesner
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780618007011 Even the book's younger readers will understand the distinctive visual code. As the pigs enter the confines of a storybook page, they conform to that book's illustrative style, appearing as nursery-rhyme friezes or comic-book line drawings. When the pigs emerge from the storybook pages into the meta-landscape, they appear photographically clear and crisp, with shadows and three dimensions. Wiesner's (Tuesday) brilliant use of white space and perspective (as the pigs fly to the upper right-hand corner of a spread on their makeshift plane, or as one pig's snout dominates a full page) evokes a feeling that the characters can navigate endless possibilitiesDand that the range of story itself is limitless. Ages 5-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780618007011 Ages 3^-6. This spectacular, large-format edition has double-page-spread illustrations that resonate with bold strokes and exuberant images of the moon as it prepares for its nightly activities. The moon paints the sky, gets rid of fog and mist, plants dreams, locks up nightmares until morning comes and it's time to go to sleep. Even very young children will understand this simple, almost poetic Spanish rendition of a sweet bedtime story.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780618007011 K-Gr 6-In Tuesday (Clarion, 1991), Wiesner demonstrated that pigs could fly. Here, he shows what happens when they take control of their story. In an L. Leslie Brooke sort of style (the illustrations are created through a combination of watercolor, gouache, colored inks, and pencils), the wolf comes a-knocking on the straw house. When he puffs, the pig gets blown "right out of the story." (The double spread contains four panels on a white background; the first two follow the familiar story line, but the pig falls out of the third frame, so in the fourth, the wolf looks quite perplexed.) So it goes until the pigs bump the story panels aside, fold one with the wolf on it into a paper airplane, and take to the air. Children will delight in the changing perspectives, the effect of the wolf's folded-paper body, and the whole notion of the interrupted narrative. Wiesner's luxurious use of white space with the textured pigs zooming in and out of view is fresh and funny. They wander through other stories-their bodies changing to take on the new style of illustration as they enter the pages-emerging with a dragon and the cat with a fiddle. The cat draws their attention to a panel with a brick house, and they all sit down to soup, while one of the pigs reconstructs the text. Witty dialogue and physical comedy abound in this inspired retelling of a familiar favorite.-Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
...More
Book JacketAt Night
by Jonathan Bean

Book list "*Starred Review* In a dark house, a girl lies awake while her family sleeps. Then a breeze floats through a window, and she follows it through her room, up a staircase, and onto a rooftop garden, where she makes a nest of chairs, pillows, and blankets, and finally falls asleep under a starry sky. Illustrator Bean makes his authorial debut in this quiet story that mixes a touch of whimsy with a meditative sense of calm. The spare sentences have a lulling rhythm that echo the words' soothing references to breath and breeze, while the silvery, ink-and-watercolor pictures add a quiet drama. Frames resembling movie stills zoom in on the solitary, small girl in the big room, and then zoom out in expansive aerial views as the girl gains a comforting sense of the wide world all around her. Kids will recognize the girl's thrill in her small, private adventure, even as they're deeply reassured when Mom appears and sits with her sleeping daughter. Pair this peaceful, moonlit offering with Elisha Cooper's A Good Night Walk (2005)."--"Engberg, Gillian" Copyright 2007 Booklist

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

Publishers Weekly Bean (The Apple Pie That Papa Baked; reviewed below) creates almost magical rhythms in this pitch-perfect story. As the opening pages describe bedtime at the main character's urban house ("At night, after her brother and sister went to bed/ long after her parents whispered "Good night, happy dreams!" and went to sleep"), square watercolor panels move from scenes in the emptying hallway and into the girl's room. There, readers learn, she lies "AWAKE," and the blank space surrounding the single, jarring word contains all the feeling in the close-up of the girl's face, seen for the first time on the opposite page. The plot is so quiet it would escape a lesser writer: lured by a breeze, the girl brings pillows and bedding up to the roof, followed by her cat (and, unbeknown to her, by her mother). Bean makes a visual poetics of this concept as the square panels now yield to full-spread illustrations. The artist supplies luminous aerial scenes of the roof garden amid a friendly, well-lit cityscape, then zooms out for more panoramic views ("She thought about the wide world around her and smiled"). His eye returns to rest on an image of the girl and her cat, comfortable at last in an improvised bed, at home in the world. The story breathes reassurance and adventure at the same time-just in case, after the girl has fallen asleep, the mother appears by her side. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal PreS-K-This quiet book tells the story of a city girl who can't sleep. When she feels a breeze blow in through her open window, she gathers pillows, her blanket, and the family cat and follows the wind up to the roof of her building. She doesn't realize that her mother is also awake and is trailing her up the stairs. On the rooftop, the child snuggles into a bed made of two chairs pulled together and contemplates the wide world and the open sky, eventually falling asleep. The final scene shows her mother, sitting next to her and thoughtfully gazing at the full moon. The watercolor illustrations, some full-page, some panels, perfectly depict the shadows, darkness, and light of the slumbering city. The volume's small size makes it most appropriate for sharing one-to-one.-Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI (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.

...More
Book JacketBitter End
by Brown, Jennifer
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780316086950 Gr 9 Up-Alex is looking for something real-more real than her distant father, who never speaks in complete sentences, more real than the faded memories of her mother, who died on the night she was leaving her family, even more real than her two best friends and their plan for a graduation trip to Colorado. She thinks she has found what she has been looking for in Cole, the new boy at school whom she has been assigned to tutor. Alex is flattered when he shows interest in her, and he rapidly becomes her entire world. As she tries to balance her friends and Cole, her life begins to unravel. Bethany and Zack do not like Cole, and he does not want to share her. His increasing jealousy leads to escalating abuse, both physical and verbal. Her friends and coworkers know something is wrong, but Alex covers for him because she loves him and believes him when he says that he is going to change. When a former girlfriend comes to talk to her about Cole's abuse of her and others, and tells her that he and his family moved because of her lawsuit against him, Alex finally admits that her boyfriend is an abuser. That night he is waiting at her car after work and beats her until she is certain she is going to die. Thanks to the intervention of her boss she survives and begins the long road to recovery. Gritty and disturbing, this novel should be in all collections serving teens. It could be used in programs about abuse, as well as in psychology or sociology classes.-Suanne Roush, Osceola High School, Seminole, FL (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780316086950 When Alex and new-guy Cole hit it off during their tutoring sessions, Alex can't believe her good fortune. Not only is Cole sweet, gorgeous, and fun but he knows exactly how to make her feel special. He wants to be where she is, even watching her while she works at the Bread Bowl. He cares enough to be jealous of her best friends, Zack and Bethany, especially Zack. He is certainly different from her still grieving, emotionless father! Many readers will spot Cole's ultimately abusive tendencies early on, but Bitter End is rarely didactic, and Brown draws on her professional psychology background to create a nuanced novel that will help young readers explore not only why women allow themselves to be abused but how love factors into their inertia in seeking help. Brown creates multifaceted characters as well as realistic, insightful descriptions of Alex's emotions, and readers will empathize with Alex's terrifying decision to cut all ties before Cole harms her further. A tough but important addition to the YA romance shelves.--Bradburn, France. Copyright 2010 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780316086950 Haunted by the death of her mother many years earlier in a car accident, Alex has long dreamed of visiting the Colorado mountains that were her mother's destination. Alex and BFFs Bethany and Zack are gearing up for a cross-country road trip to Colorado as a graduation present when Alex falls for Cole, a new senior who seems to understand her in ways no one has before-and who is prone to violent rages. As in The Hate List, Brown demonstrates an expert ability to handle difficult subject matter. Cole's brutal abuse and manipulations, Alex's inability to disclose her battering (and her willingness to make excuses for Cole), and Bethany and Zack's frustration and fear all feel entirely authentic. The book's power-and its value-comes from the honest portrayal of characters who simply can't figure out how to bring an ugly, evident truth to light. Brown's deliberate pacing and the gradual unveiling of Cole's nature make the story, and Cole and Alex's relationship, feel akin to a train gathering momentum, one whose destruction is as assured as it is tragic. Ages 15-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
...More
Book JacketThe View From Saturday
by E.L. Konigsburg
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780689809934 Gr. 4^-7. Four offbeat students are picked by their wheelchair-bound teacher to be a team for the Academic Bowl. How the children are chosen is the central question around which the intricate plot revolves.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780689809934 Glowing with humor and dusted with magic, this contemporary novel explores the ties that bind the four members of a championship academic quiz-bowl team. Sixth-grade teacher/coach Mrs. Olinski, teaching for the first time since becoming paraplegic, proudly observes her students' victories from the confines of a wheelchair. She is not sure what propelled her to choose the members of her team, nor does she fully comprehend the secret of their success in repeatedly beating older, more sophisticated competitors. Readers will be equally mystified until the backgrounds of the foursome (who call themselves The Souls) unfold during a series of first-person narratives that reveal the links between the students' private lives. Newbery Medalist Konigsburg (From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler) orchestrates a stunning quartet of harmoniously blended voices. She expresses the individual struggles of each of her characters while showing how they unite to reach a common goal. Wrought with deep compassion and a keen sense of balance, her imaginative novel affirms the existence of small miracles in everyday life. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780689809934 Gr 4-6?Take four sixth graders; combine them as the Epiphany School team for Academic Bowl; add one paraplegic teacher; toss in formal tea times, grandparents of team members getting married, and some magic and calligraphy. Stir them with Konigsburg's masterful hand and you have an ingenious story. Nadia, Noah, Julian, and Ethan are not the top honor students, but Mrs. Olinski has chosen them for other reasons, ones unclear even to her. As the team beats all odds and expectations and reaches the finals, flashbacks told by each member shape a scenario that's like a bundle of pick-up sticks, each piece touching, supporting, and overlapping with the others, and one move effects them all. Stunning interplay of Nadia's turtle watches on Florida beaches, Noah's role as best man at a senior-citizen wedding, Ethan's discovery of himself through new friends, and Julian's ethical decision involving a bully skillfully wrap their stories into one, with amazing insights. Brilliant writing melds with crystalline characterizations in this sparkling story that is a jewel in the author's crown of outstanding work.?Julie Cummins, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780689809934 Gr. 4^-7. Four offbeat students are picked by their wheelchair-bound teacher to be a team for the Academic Bowl. How the children are chosen is the central question around which the intricate plot revolves.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780689809934 Gr. 5^-7. Four sixth-graders are chosen by their teacher, Mrs. Olinski, to be the class representatives for the Academic Bowl team. When the team goes on to perform amazing feats of erudition, including winning the state championship, people keep asking Mrs. Olinski how she chose the participants. Although the questioners never get a real answer, the story, told from different perspectives, lets readers in on the secret. Konigsburg's latest shows flashes of her great talent and her grasp of childhood, but the book is weighted down by a Byzantine structure that houses too many characters and alternating narratives that will confuse readers. The story begins at the wedding of two senior citizens in which young Noah is the best man. Two of the other team members, Ethan and Nadia, are grandchildren of the bride and groom, and the fourth member, new boy Julian Singh, cements the group when he invites the others for tea (yes, tea). Mrs. Olinski, who is wheelchair bound, only thinks she is choosing the quartet, when it is just as true they are choosing her. Overriding themes of civility and inclusiveness add interesting elements, but this is more ambitious than it is successful. --Ilene Cooper
...More
Book JacketSlime, Mold and Fungi
by Elaine Pascoe
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781567111828 Gr 3-6-Two introductions distinguished by excellent, full-color photos and succinct texts. Both books briefly describe their respective topics and include a chapter on the ways people are affected by them. The bulk of the texts discusses how to collect and house the creatures and offers step-by-step instructions for conducting experiments and related activities. About a dozen species are depicted in each title. Appendixes offer the names and addresses of biological supply companies and short lists for further reading. The texts are clearly written and well organized, and the photographs are outstanding in their clarity and composition. One or two sharp images, many of which are close-ups, appear on almost every page. With its excellent visuals and simple experiments, Ants will be a useful supplement to other material about the topic. While the Silversteins' Fungi (21st Century, 1995) provides basic facts about fungi and their various methods of reproduction, it does not give as much detail on slime molds as Pascoe's book; also, it offers only a few close-up color photographs, and they are not of the same caliber as Kuhn's photos.-Karey Wehner, San Francisco Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781567111828 Gr 3-6-Two introductions distinguished by excellent, full-color photos and succinct texts. Both books briefly describe their respective topics and include a chapter on the ways people are affected by them. The bulk of the texts discusses how to collect and house the creatures and offers step-by-step instructions for conducting experiments and related activities. About a dozen species are depicted in each title. Appendixes offer the names and addresses of biological supply companies and short lists for further reading. The texts are clearly written and well organized, and the photographs are outstanding in their clarity and composition. One or two sharp images, many of which are close-ups, appear on almost every page. With its excellent visuals and simple experiments, Ants will be a useful supplement to other material about the topic. While the Silversteins' Fungi (21st Century, 1995) provides basic facts about fungi and their various methods of reproduction, it does not give as much detail on slime molds as Pascoe's book; also, it offers only a few close-up color photographs, and they are not of the same caliber as Kuhn's photos.-Karey Wehner, San Francisco Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
...More
Book Jacket13 Hours
by Mitchell Zuckoff with members of the Annex Security Team
Book JacketThe Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832
by Alan Taylor
Book JacketG
by John Berger