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"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 JacketWritten in my own heart's blood
by Diana Gabaldon
Book JacketLady Macbeth's daughter
by Lisa Klein
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781599903477 Like Ophelia (2007), Klein's latest is a riveting, nuanced historical drama based on a Shakespearean play. The title sets up the premise: How would the famous plot alter if Macbeth had had a daughter? Would this child have joined in her parents' treachery? Klein, who has taught Shakespeare at the university level, does much more than just rework the original story's arc and themes. Alternately narrated by Lady Macbeth and Albia, Macbeth's banished daughter, the chapters flip between the Scottish queen's terrifying plots and the story of Albia her rescue from death by Lady Macbeth's maid, her secret childhood being raised by the three soothsaying sisters, and her teenage confrontation with her murderous parents. As in Ophelia, Klein nimbly inserts feminist themes and vivid detail into the story, balancing the political tragedy and battlefield action, which culminates in an unforgettable scene of mercy. Readers won't need a firm grasp of Macbeth to enjoy this natural choice for English class, but the wrenching, richly told story may well send teens in search of the original, daughterless drama.--Engberg, Gillian Copyright 2009 Booklist
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781599903477 Gr 8 Up-This reworking of Macbeth is told in alternating points of view by Albia, Macbeth's daughter, and Grelach, her mother and Macbeth's wife. Because Albia is born with a crippled foot, Macbeth orders that she be killed. Grelach's servant rescues her, and she is raised by Rhuven's sisters. Albia grows up ignorant of her true heritage, believing herself to be Geillis's daughter. She realizes that she has second sight, and she begins to foresee terrifying, bloody events that are to come. After Macbeth murders King Duncan, Geillis sends her to be fostered by Banquo and his family. As the Scottish kingdom falls into even greater disorder under Macbeth's tyranny, Albia finds out the truth about her birth, and she must decide if she should use her gifts to overthrow her father and help bring order to the realm once again. A number of sections of the book are based directly on scenes from the play. This is a strong feminist reenvisioning of the original that raises issues about the treatment and social positions of women at the time. Grelach, Lady Macbeth, is far more sympathetic than in Shakespeare's version, and Albia is a compelling character who fights for the good of her country and refuses to allow anyone to use her as a political pawn. Klein has gone to historical sources predating Shakespeare's primary source, Holinshed's Chronicles, and has restored some of the history Shakespeare changed, most notably by including the character of Luoch, Grelach's son by her first husband. A great choice for teen book groups.-Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book JacketJefferson's Sons: A Founding Father's Secret Children
by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780803734999 Gr 6-9-This well-researched fictional look at the lives of the sons of Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings echoes with the horrors of slavery and the contradictions within the author of the Declaration of Independence and an admired champion of liberty. Bradley depicts Sally Hemings as a determined woman who accepts her role as a slave and secret lover of the president while she focuses on the promised freedom for her children. The story is told mainly by her three sons, Beverly, Madison, and Eston. Hemings never allows her children to forget that they are slaves while they live at Monticello and makes sure that they are aware of slavery's repulsiveness, despite their somewhat special status. She plans to have her light-skinned son Beverly and daughter Harriet go out in the world and "pass" as white people, but this will require that they never acknowledge her or their darker family members again. Eventually financial difficulties grow, and Jefferson is forced to sell many possessions, including 130 slaves. Maddy and Eston are given their freedom at the age of 21, but Sally Hemings was never set free. Bradley's fine characterization and cinematic prose breathe life into this tragic story.-Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ (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. 9780803734999 Don't you ever call him Papa. This gripping novel captures the viewpoints of the young children President Thomas Jefferson fathered with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings. Growing up in a cabin at Monticello, the children are told not to mention their father. The president is kind to Sally's oldest son, Beverly, and encourages him to play the violin. Jefferson promises the children they will be freed at 21. Beverly and his sister, Harriet, look white. Could they pass? But what about their brother, Maddy, who is dark-skinned? Could they leave him behind? The detailed history may overwhelm some readers. But told from the children's naive viewpoints, first Beverly's, then Maddy's, then that of little Peter, another young slave who is beloved by the Hemings family, the young innocents' elemental questions raise fundamental issues for the reader. How could founding father Jefferson sell off Maddy's best friend? What does it mean, all people are created equal?--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2010 Booklist
Book JacketMy Friend Rabbit
by Eric Rohmann

Publishers Weekly My friend Rabbit means well, begins the mouse narrator. But whatever he does, wherever he goes, trouble follows. Once Rabbit pitches Mouse's airplane into a tree, Rohmann tells most of the story through bold, expressive relief prints, a dramatic departure for the illustrator of The Cinder-Eyed Cats and other more painterly works. Rabbit might be a little too impulsive, but he has big ideas and plenty of energy. Rohmann pictures the pint-size, long-eared fellow recruiting an elephant, a rhinoceros and other large animals, and coaching them to stand one on top of another, like living building blocks, in order to retrieve Mouse's plane. Readers must tilt the book vertically to view the climactic spread: a tall, narrow portrait of a stack of very annoyed animals sitting on each other's backs as Rabbit holds Squirrel up toward the stuck airplane. The next spread anticipates trouble, as four duckling onlookers scurry frantically; the following scene shows the living ladder upended, with lots of flying feathers and scrabbling limbs. Somehow, in the tumult, the airplane comes free, and Mouse, aloft again, forgives his friend... even as the closing spread implies more trouble to follow. This gentle lesson in patience and loyalty, balanced on the back of a hilarious set of illustrations, will leave young readers clamoring for repeat readings. Ages 4-8. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book JacketPocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes
by Salley Mayor
Book JacketFixing Delilah
by Ockler, Sarah
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780316052092 Delilah Hannaford's grandmother was estranged from her daughters for eight years, but when she dies, 16-year-old Delilah, her workaholic mother, and her tarot-reading aunt spend the summer at the family lake house, tying up loose ends with her estate-and within their family. Well-written and ambitious, Ockler's (Twenty Boy Summer) book is a bit overstuffed with secrets: what exactly happened eight years ago? why doesn't anyone talk about her mother's youngest sister, who died as a teenager? Delilah even learns that her father is not who she thought he was. Readers may have a hard time knowing where to focus, especially when a romance with a long-lost childhood friend is mixed in, plus Delilah's strained relationship with her mother and the discovery of her dead aunt's secret diary. Even so, Delilah's gradual acceptance of her family's complicated history feels authentic, as does her growing ability to recognize her own flawed coping mechanisms. Readers will appreciate her honest assessment that while the Hannaford women cannot fix all past hurts, "some of them can be repaired, piece by piece, rebuilt into something even more cherished and loved and unique." Ages 12-up. (Dec.) (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. 9780316052092 Gr 8 Up-When Del's grandmother's dies, the teen and her mother, Claire, immediately head to Red Falls, VT. The house is a Victorian relic where her mother and aunt grew up and it holds fond memories for Del, particularly of Rickie, the boy who was once her inseparable companion. An unexplained fight between her mother and her grandmother ended any contact. Claire is a secretive sort who has a demanding job and seems to pay attention only when Del gets in trouble, and Del has obliged. The summer is spent working on clearing the house and repairing it to get it ready to sell, with the aid of Rickie, now known as Patrick, and his father, who run a construction business. Romance ensues, along with uncovering clues about the family mystery regarding an aunt who died at age 19. Although the plot is sometimes melodramatic, romance lovers will enjoy the tender love scenes, while more practical folk may tire of Del's vacillations and whining. The ending seems telegraphed, and nothing is new, except a friend who declares herself a lesbian. The story will satisfy readers who crave romance that focuses on the moments spent kissing and touching rather than on the sex.-Carol A. Edwards, Denver Public Library, CO (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. 9780316052092 Tragedy and deception tore 17-year-old Delilah's family apart nearly a decade ago. After her grandmother dies, Delilah and her mother head to Vermont for another summer at the family home, where they settle the estate and revive unresolved family matters. Delilah discovers her deceased aunt Stephanie's lost diary; as she reads about her teenage aunt's relationships and her slip into depression, Delilah is worried to see parallels in her own life. She also learns of the secret that split the family apart, and threatens to do so again. A nice cast of characters adds a homey feel and small-town color to the narrative, including Patrick, Delilah's childhood buddy, who has grown steadfast and handsome. Ockler's follow-up to 20 Boy Summer (2009) is another perfect fit for those seeking expressive writing, emotional depth, and lush, cinematic romance, cementing her comfortably next to similar teen favorites like Deb Caletti, Carolyn Mackler, and Sarah Dessen.--Booth, Heather Copyright 2010 Booklist
Book JacketA Visit to William Blake's Inn
by Nancy Willard
Publishers Weekly Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. 9780152938239 The Newbery Medal-winning, Caldecott Honor book about an imaginary inn belonging to William Blake, where remarkable guests are attended by an even more remarkable staff. Ages 4-8. (September)
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780152938239 The Newbery Medal-winning, Caldecott Honor book about an imaginary inn belonging to William Blake, where remarkable guests are attended by an even more remarkable staff. Ages 4-8. (September) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Book JacketPainters of the Caves
by Patricia Lauber
Book JacketImage by: AmazonAs You Wish
by Cary Elwes with Joe Layden
Book JacketAmerican Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer
by Kai Bird

Publishers Weekly Though many recognize Oppenheimer (1904-1967) as the father of the atomic bomb, few are as familiar with his career before and after Los Alamos. Sherwin (A World Destroyed) has spent 25 years researching every facet of Oppenheimer's life, from his childhood on Manhattan's Upper West Side and his prewar years as a Berkeley physicist to his public humiliation when he was branded a security risk at the height of anticommunist hysteria in 1954. Teaming up with Bird, an acclaimed Cold War historian (The Color of Truth), Sherwin examines the evidence surrounding Oppenheimer's "hazy and vague" connections to the Communist Party in the 1930sAloose interactions consistent with the activities of contemporary progressives. But those politics, in combination with Oppenheimer's abrasive personality, were enough for conservatives, from fellow scientist Edward Teller to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, to work at destroying Oppenheimer's postwar reputation and prevent him from swaying public opinion against the development of a hydrogen bomb. Bird and Sherwin identify Atomic Energy Commission head Lewis Strauss as the ringleader of a "conspiracy" that culminated in a security clearance hearing designed as a "show trial." Strauss's tactics included illegal wiretaps of Oppenheimer's attorney; those transcripts and other government documents are invaluable in debunking the charges against Oppenheimer. The political drama is enhanced by the close attention to Oppenheimer's personal life, and Bird and Sherwin do not conceal their occasional frustration with his arrogant stonewalling and panicky blunders, even as they shed light on the psychological roots for those failures, restoring human complexity to a man who had been both elevated and demonized. 32 pages of photos not seen by PW. (Apr. 10) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in the life, career, achievements, and trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the "father" of the atomic bomb. In 2004, there were two new biographies by significant science writers-Jeremy Bernstein's Oppenheimer: Portrait of an Enigma and David C. Cassidy's J. Robert Oppenheimer and the American Century. In addition to this current title, another is scheduled for publication in 2005, Abraham Pais and Robert Crease's Shatterer of Worlds: A Life of J. Robert Oppenheimer. This collaboration between writer Bird and English professor Sherwin is an expansive but fast-paced and engrossing work that draws its strength from the insights provided into Oppenheimer's thoughts and motives and the many anecdotes. The book's five parts cover his youth and education, his early career and dalliance with communism, the Manhattan Project, his return to academe and growing political influence, and, finally, his dealings with the FBI and eventual retreat from public life. The emphasis throughout is on Oppenheimer's personality and how he navigated the sociopolitical minefields of the era, with relatively less discussion of his scientific work. For a readable and well-researched biography of the man, this suffices quite well. However, with so many other biographies available, not to mention histories of the Manhattan Project, it provides little new information here. For general readers in larger public and academic libraries.-Gregg Sapp, Science Lib., SUNY at Albany (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.

Book list Robert Oppenheimer's work as director of the Manhattan Project--bringing hundreds of iconoclastic nuclear physicists together in the New Mexico desert to design and build the first atomic bomb--remains one of the most remarkable feats, both triumphant and tragic, of the twentieth century, but as this definitive biography makes clear, it was only one chapter in a profoundly fascinating, richly complex, and ineffably sad American life. Bird and Sherwin set the stage beautifully, detailing Oppenheimer's young life as a multidisciplinary child prodigy at the progressive Ethical Culture School in Manhattan. The young Oppenheimer was a tangled mix of precocity and insecurity--a far cry from the charismatic leader who would emerge at Los Alamos. Funneling more than 25 years of research into a captivating narrative, the authors bring needed perspective to Oppenheimer's radical activities in the 1930s, and they reprise the familiar story of the Manhattan Project thoroughly, though without attempting the scope and scientific detail of Richard Rhodes' The Making of the Atomic Bomb 0 (1987) .0 Where Bird and Sherwin are without peer, however, is in capturing the humanity of the man behind the porkpie hat, both at Los Alamos and in the tragic aftermath, when Oppenheimer's tireless efforts to promote arms control made him the target of politicians and bureaucrats, leading to the revoking of his security clearance by the Atomic Energy Commission in 1954, during a hearing that the authors portray convincingly as a kangaroo court. That Oppenheimer both helped father the bomb and was crucified for lobbying against the arms race remains the fundamental irony in a supremely ironic story. That irony as well as the ambiguity and tortured emotions behind it are captured in all their intensity in this compelling life story. --Bill Ott Copyright 2005 Booklist

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

Choice Oppenheimer became one of the world's best-known physicists in 1945 when the public learned that he had successfully led the effort to design and construct the first nuclear fission bombs. He and other researchers worked hard after WW II trying to convince the government to place nuclear materials under international control. Oppenheimer lobbied against a program to produce a nuclear fusion bomb on the grounds that it would be massively destructive. In order to squelch his influence, some of his opponents instigated a hearing before a board of the Atomic Energy Commission; as a result, Oppenheimer lost his security clearance in 1954. He spent the rest of his career at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton, where he had been director since 1947. Writer Bird and Sherwin (English; American history, Tufts Univ.) offer this comprehensive biography based on analysis of masses of documentation and many interviews. Their book stimulates thinking about key issues--international control of nuclear materials, openness in science and politics, freedom of debate, and discussion of ideas--that are as important today as they were then. ^BSumming Up: Essential. All levels. M. Dickinson Maine Maritime Academy

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Book JacketThe Line of Beauty
by Alan Hollinghurst
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781582345086 Among its other wonders, this almost perfectly written novel, recently longlisted for the Mann Booker, delineates what's arguably the most coruscating portrait of a plutocracy since Goya painted the Spanish Bourbons. To shade in the nuances of class, Hollingsworth uses plot the way it was meant to be used-not as a line of utility, but as a thematically connected sequence of events that creates its own mini-value system and symbols. The book is divided into three sections, dated 1983, 1986 and 1987. The protagonist, Nick Guest, is a James scholar in the making and a tripper in the fast gay culture of the time. The first section shows Nick moving into the Notting Hill mansion of Gerald Fedden, one of Thatcher's Tory MPs, at the request of the minister's son, Toby, Nick's all-too-straight Oxford crush. Nick becomes Toby's sister Catherine's confidante, securing his place in the house, and loses his virginity spectacularly to Leo, a black council worker. The next section jumps the reader ahead to a more sophisticated Nick. Leo has dropped out of the picture; cocaine, three-ways and another Oxford alum, the sinisterly alluring, wealthy Lebanese Wani Ouradi, have taken his place. Nick is dimly aware of running too many risks with Wani, and becomes accidentally aware that Gerald is running a few, too. Disaster comes in 1987, with a media scandal that engulfs Gerald and then entangles Nick. While Hollinghurst's story has the true feel of Jamesian drama, it is the authorial intelligence illuminating otherwise trivial pieces of story business so as to make them seem alive and mysteriously significant that gives the most pleasure. This is Nick coming home for the first and only time with the closeted Leo: "there were two front doors set side by side in the shallow recess of the porch. Leo applied himself to the right hand one, and it was one of those locks that require tender probings and tuggings, infinitesimal withdrawals, to get the key to turn." This novel has the air of a classic. Agent, Emma Parry. (Oct.) Forecast: Widely praised for his three previous novels, Hollinghurst (The Swimming-Pool Library) is primed for even greater acclaim and sales with this masterful volume, the latest in a wave of Jamesian novels. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781582345086 Hollinghurst's first novel, The Swimming-Pool Library 0 (1988), won major acclaim and many awards. His latest novel engages similar themes--a young man new to both his sexuality and the manners of high society. Set in London during the early 1980s, the economy is booming, the Tories have just been swept into power, Margaret Thatcher is prime minister, and the country is awash in hope and excitement. Nick Guest, fresh out of Oxford, is staying in London with the Fedden family--whose son, Toby, was Nick's dearest friend at Oxford. The father, Gerald, is a newly elected conservative member of parliament and is infatuated with Thatcher, whom he calls "the Lady." Nick, by his proximity to the Feddens, attends swank parties, packed with MPs, cabinet ministers, and nobility, all of whom harbor the expectation that "the Lady" might appear at any minute. Meanwhile, Nick embarks on two love affairs--first with Leo, a young black London clerk, and later with Wani, a Lebanese millionaire and friend from Oxford. After nights of parties, drugs, sex, and snobbery, scandal--in which Nick plays an unwilling part-- visits the Fedden family. The material and social excesses of the 1980s are deftly portrayed in Hollinghurst's latest success. --Michael Spinella Copyright 2004 Booklist