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"A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted. You   should live several lives while reading it." 
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Featured Book Lists
Book JacketOne plus one
by Jojo Moyes
Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780525426585 Jess Thomas works hard to support her ten-year-old, math-genius daughter and bullied teenage stepson, but it never seems to be enough. With two part-time jobs and no child support from her estranged husband, Jess is desperate to change her fortune. Ed Nicholls suddenly finds his world crashing down as he comes under investigation for insider trading. Facing the loss of his business, his oldest friend, and likely his freedom, he flees to his vacation home in the south of England. Jess discovers just how far she will go for the sake of her family when an opportunity to send her daughter to an elite school presents itself, even if that means a road trip to Scotland with the kids, their enormous dog, and a near stranger, Ed. Without fail, everything goes wrong. But in the end, this amazing novel is about more than a road trip; it is about trust, dignity, desperation, and, ultimately, love. VERDICT Moyes (The Girl You Left Behind) has a remarkable gift for creating balanced, deep characters who struggle to find their own way. With humor, and insight, and an amazing ability to see how personal hitting rock bottom can become, she has written an emotional, rich, and satisfying novel. Highly recommended. [Eight-city tour.]-Jennifer Beach, Cumberland Cty. P.L., VA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780525426585 Bestselling British author Moyes (Me Before You) blends a sobering commentary on the widening gap between haves and have-nots into this quirky tale of lopsided families finding the courage to love. Jess, barely able to make ends meet as a house cleaner after her husband, Marty, walks out, enlists the help of rich client Ed to drive her math-genius daughter Tanzie to a competition. If Tanzie wins, the prize will be enough to pay for her to attend a top-notch school. Along with Jess's Goth stepson, Nicky, who is Marty's son, and the slobbering family dog, Norman, the misfits cram into Ed's car for an alternately hilarious and heartbreaking adventure. With side trips to visit Ed's dying father and Jess's now-estranged husband, the travelers learn to reconcile with pasts they can't change and futures they're afraid to imagine. "Good things happen to good people," Jess insists. "You just have to keep faith." There's never anything predictable about stubbornly optimistic and protective Jess and her oddball kids, or the distracted Ed and his disjointed work-family relationships. It's exactly that quality that makes this offbeat journey so satisfying, and Moyes's irrepressible flaws-and-all characters so memorable. Agent: Sheila Crowley, Curtis Brown. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780525426585 Jess Thomas works hard to support her ten-year-old, math-genius daughter and bullied teenage stepson, but it never seems to be enough. With two part-time jobs and no child support from her estranged husband, Jess is desperate to change her fortune. Ed Nicholls suddenly finds his world crashing down as he comes under investigation for insider trading. Facing the loss of his business, his oldest friend, and likely his freedom, he flees to his vacation home in the south of England. Jess discovers just how far she will go for the sake of her family when an opportunity to send her daughter to an elite school presents itself, even if that means a road trip to Scotland with the kids, their enormous dog, and a near stranger, Ed. Without fail, everything goes wrong. But in the end, this amazing novel is about more than a road trip; it is about trust, dignity, desperation, and, ultimately, love. VERDICT Moyes (The Girl You Left Behind) has a remarkable gift for creating balanced, deep characters who struggle to find their own way. With humor, and insight, and an amazing ability to see how personal hitting rock bottom can become, she has written an emotional, rich, and satisfying novel. Highly recommended. [Eight-city tour.]-Jennifer Beach, Cumberland Cty. P.L., VA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780525426585 Bestselling British author Moyes (Me Before You) blends a sobering commentary on the widening gap between haves and have-nots into this quirky tale of lopsided families finding the courage to love. Jess, barely able to make ends meet as a house cleaner after her husband, Marty, walks out, enlists the help of rich client Ed to drive her math-genius daughter Tanzie to a competition. If Tanzie wins, the prize will be enough to pay for her to attend a top-notch school. Along with Jess's Goth stepson, Nicky, who is Marty's son, and the slobbering family dog, Norman, the misfits cram into Ed's car for an alternately hilarious and heartbreaking adventure. With side trips to visit Ed's dying father and Jess's now-estranged husband, the travelers learn to reconcile with pasts they can't change and futures they're afraid to imagine. "Good things happen to good people," Jess insists. "You just have to keep faith." There's never anything predictable about stubbornly optimistic and protective Jess and her oddball kids, or the distracted Ed and his disjointed work-family relationships. It's exactly that quality that makes this offbeat journey so satisfying, and Moyes's irrepressible flaws-and-all characters so memorable. Agent: Sheila Crowley, Curtis Brown. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780525426585 *Starred Review* One Plus One equals one fine novel. With its ensemble cast of skillfully crafted characters from single-mom Jess Thomas to tortured goth teen Nicky and gifted sister Tanzie to Ed Nicholls, technology millionaire each person's story flows on its own, yet they all meld together into an uncommonly good story about family, trust, and love. Best-selling Moyes (The Girl You Left Behind, 2013) gets things rolling as this hysterically mismatched melange along with Norman, a slobbering 80-pound dog of indeterminate breed embarks on a road trip from the English shore to Aberdeen, Scotland, so that Tanzie can compete in a maths Olympiad. Her ability to enroll in a prestigious school rides on whether she can win the competition's cash prize. She's certainly earned the best education; her family just can't afford it. In a riotous twist and momentary lapse of good sense, Ed volunteers his top-of-the-range Audi, complete with his services as driver. There are high jinks galore as perhaps one-too-many gastrointestinal problems arise, but, in all, the trip, with what Ed perceives as its terrifying boundarylessness, delivers on its promise, just not in the way anyone anticipated. Bravo to Moyes for delivering toothsome characters in a story readers will truly care about. Is that Hollywood calling?--Chavez, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Book JacketFor the good of mankind?: the shameful history of human medical experimentation
by Vicki Oransky Wittenstein
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781467706599 Gr 8 Up-This chilling narrative exposes the history of human medical experimentation, much of which has occurred in the United States. By examining the use of humans as guinea pigs in medical research since the 1700s, Wittenstein explains the evolution of modern regulations, review boards, and organizations focused on ethical treatment of patients and approved research procedures. While the exploitation of unsuspecting orphans and pregnant women or intentionally withholding established medical cures from sick patients may seem gruesome, the narrative is successful at presenting both sides of the issue: the patient whose rights are being violated and the doctor intent on furthering science. Of particular note is the discussion of stem-cell research, which brings these historical medical controversies to light in a modern setting. The black-and-white photographs present a human face to these experiments and, if used in the classroom, this title will spark an educated debate. A "Critical Analysis" section presents questions for readers to consider and discuss while sources for additional information list print, media, and websites that will appeal to a wide variety of readers. This title is an important addition to public and school libraries. It will pair well with books on topics ranging from medicine and history to human rights and law.-Meaghan Darling, Plainsboro Public Library, NJ (c) Copyright 2013. 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. 9781467706599 More than just a historical treatment of human experimentation, this title also offers an introduction to timely related issues involving biospecimens, stem cell research, and genetic enhancement. Archival photographs of test subjects, including prison and concentration camp inmates, accompany chilling tales of torturous experimentation. How do respect, beneficence, and justice, as described in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, and The Common Rule that department published in 1991 fit with the ongoing practice of using humans as guinea pigs? Writing from a mindful, balanced perspective, Wittenstein keeps the essential ethical questions about rights of the individual, the advancement of science, and the evolution of informed consent in clear view. Chapter notes offering further critical analysis focus mainly on bioethical issues, while the source notes, a selected bibliography, lists of additional resources, and an index extend this substantive, informative resource. Researchers may find additional suggestions for further exploring the topic on the publisher's website.--Bush, Gail Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Book JacketThe dark
by by Lemony Snicket ; illustrated by Jon Klassen.
Book JacketOfficer Buckle and Gloria
by Peggy Rathmann

School Library Journal K-Gr 3?A fresh, funny story about the wonders of teamwork. Officer Buckle is a safety-conscious policeman who spends his time devising tips for avoiding accidents. Unfortunately, the children of Napville School are an ungrateful audience, snoring through his lectures and ignoring his advice. Enter Gloria, Napville's new police dog and Officer Buckle's new partner. She accompanies him when he gives his lecture and performs her duties with aplomb. Buckle is surprised to see the children so attentive, but each time he checks on Gloria, she is sitting at attention. Thanks to the humorous illustrations, readers know what Buckle does not?Gloria is performing to beat the band, acting out the various accidents behind his back. Things are swell until a news team videotapes Buckle and his amazing sidekick and he learns that the reason for his newfound popularity is really Gloria's comedy routine. This sends the officer into quite a slump. Her act is a complete flop without him, however, and Napville School has its biggest accident ever after her solo performance. In the end, Buckle realizes that they're only successful as a team, and he is jolted out of his self-pitying funk. The vibrant palette of the cartoon art, as well as the amusing story, make this title an appealing read-aloud choice. Older children will enjoy poring over the many safety tips presented on the endpapers, all illustrated by Gloria's antics. A five-star performance.?Lisa S. Murphy, formerly at Dauphin County Library System, Harrisburg, PA (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 Ages 4^-7. When rotund, good-natured Officer Buckle visits school assemblies to read off his sensible safety tips, the children listen, bored and polite, dozing off one by one. But when the new police dog, Gloria, stands behind him, secretly miming the dire consequences of acting imprudently, the children suddenly become attentive, laughing uproariously and applauding loudly. The good policeman is first gratified with the response, then deflated to learn that Gloria was stealing the show. Finally, he realizes that he and Gloria make a great team, and they take their show on the road again, adding a new message, "ALWAYS STICK WITH YOUR BUDDY!" Like Officer Buckle and Gloria, the deadpan humor of the text and slapstick wit of the illustrations make a terrific combination. Large, expressive line drawings illustrate the characters with finesse, and the Kool-Aid-bright washes add energy and pizzazz. Children will enjoy the many safety-tip notes tacked up on the endpapers and around the borders of the jacket front. Somehow, the familiar advice (like "Never leave a bar of soap where someone might step on it" or "Never tilt your chair back on two legs" ) is more entertaining accompanied by little drawings of Gloria hamming it up. --Carolyn Phelan

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

Book list Ages 4^-7. When Officer Buckle visits schools to give safety tips, his presentation gets a slapstick shot of life after he is joined by a police dog named Gloria.

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

Publishers Weekly Rathmann (Good Night, Gorilla) brings a lighter-than-air comic touch to this outstanding, solid-as-a-brick picture book. Officer Buckle, a mustachioed policeman who wears a crossed-out-banana-peel patch on his sleeve, has a passion for teaching students about safety, but his audiences tend to doze off during his lectures. They awaken, however, when police dog Gloria joins Buckle onstage. As Buckle speaks, Gloria-behind Buckle's back-mimes each safety lesson (e.g., leaping sky-high for ``Never leave a thumbtack where you might sit on it!'' and making her fur stand on end to illustrate ``Do not go swimming during electrical storms!''). School safety increases tenfold and Buckle and Gloria find themselves in great demand. But when he finally learns of his sidekick's secret sideshow, Buckle's feelings are terribly hurt. Rathmann's high-voltage cartoons, outlined in black ink for punchy contrast, capture her characters' every feeling, from Gloria's hammy glee and Buckle's surprised satisfaction to Gloria's shame at having tricked her partner. In a sound and sensitive conclusion, Gloria's disastrous attempt to go solo inspires Buckle's ``best safety tip yet'': ``Always stick with your buddy!'' As a bonus, equally sage sayings decorate the volume's endpapers. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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Book JacketCold Feet
by Cynthia DeFelice
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780789426369 Gr 3-6-This ghost story for the strong of stomach features a bagpiper by the name of Willie McPhee. Hard times have forced him to seek a place where people can afford his entertainment. Months pass. His boots are "more holes than leather." Alone, hungry, and tired, he trips on what he soon realizes is the frozen body of a man whose boots are too fine to leave behind. He can't remove them until he drops the man's leg, which then snaps in two. Carrying the boots (and feet within them) tied around his neck, Willie seeks shelter on a farm, only to be told by the inhospitable owner to sleep in the barn with the cow. In the morning, Willie plays a trick on his mean-spirited host and places one foot in the cow's mouth, the other beside her. The shocked farmer quickly buries the feet, and when Willie reappears to play his pipes on the grave, the man and his wife take off, never to be seen again. Later that night, as Willie enjoys the cozy warmth of the farmhouse, a footless stranger appears at the door. So ends the tale. DeFelice's language, tone, and pacing capture the essence of the oral tradition while Parker's dark and stylized watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations reflect the playfully somber mood of the story. This is a yarn meant to amuse as well as frighten, and it succeeds at both.-Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schools (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780789426369 DeFelice and Parker (previously paired for The Dancing Skeleton) join forces again, this time to polish up a Scottish ghost story. When ragged, penniless Willie McPhee, "the finest bagpipe player in all of Scotland," stumbles across a dead man in the forest one snowy night, he helps himself to the boots. Unfortunately the man's feet come with them, snapping off when Willie tugs on the frozen legs. But "a poor man must be practical, after all," and Willie carries off the boots (and feet). Later he decides to play a trick on a heartless farmer who grudgingly sends him to the barn when he asks for shelter: Willie arranges the now-thawed feet to make it appear that their cow has eaten him. The horrified farmer and his wife quickly bury the evidence, but when Willie comes out of hiding and pipes a farewell tune atop the "wee small grave," they flee, thinking him a ghost. In the end, a bona fide ghost does appearDto Willie. DeFelice pitches this deliciously eerie tale in the kind of cadence and language that make for a grand read-aloud (e.g., the near-shoeless Willie goes "flip-flap, flip-flap, flip-flap down the road"), and she neatly preserves the regional flavor ("Och! They were fine-looking boots, they were!"). Beautifully set off by the understated book design, Parker's watercolors rank with his finest. The blotted impressionistic colors and scrawled lines are both edgy and amusing, while the cool gray tones create an appropriately chilly backdrop for the spooky antics. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780789426369 Gr. 2^-4. In this picture book for older children, DeFelice retells an old Scottish legend based on the "trickster tricked" theme. Willie McPhee, the finest bagpipe player in Scotland, is forced to travel far from home to find paying customers. He spends so many months on the road that "his boots [are] more holes than leather." He manages to get by in summer, spring, and fall, but he suffers when winter comes. One day, when he's nearly frozen, he stumbles over a dead body in the forest--a body with a nice pair of boots. Temptation leads to grotesque action. The eerie ending is a fine twist, and Parker's watercolors, depicting a misty Scottish landscape, are well suited to the ghostly story. The book may appear to be for young children, but the grisly theme is better suited to older ones. --Connie Fletcher
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Book JacketKarma, A Novel in Verse
by Ostlere, Cathy
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781595143389 This epic novel, written in free verse poems in a diary format, straddles two countries and the clash of Indian cultures in the tale of 15-year-old Maya. Raised in Canada, Maya is the product of a marriage between her Hindu mother and Sikh father, a union that upset both families. Her 1984 trip to India with her father, after her mother's suicide, thrusts her life into further chaos when her father disappears during riots that follow Indira Gandhi's assassination. In her first YA novel, Ostlere (Love: A Memoir) makes Maya's subsequent muteness believable in the wake of the many traumas she endures. Burdened with guilt over her parents' fate, as well as that of a Sikh man burned alive in front of her, she asks, "Is my silence unfounded too?/ No. I do not deserve to be found./ Or loved." A family in a desert town takes Maya in, and 17-year-old Sandeep (who contributes kinetic, lovestruck journal entries) takes special interest in her. In contrast to the hatred, mistrust, and violence, the friendship-and then love-between Maya and Sandeep offers hope, rebirth, and renewal. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) (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. 9781595143389 Gr 8 Up-This epic tale unfolds through the pages of alternating diaries from October 28th through December 16th, 1984. Yet countless layers peel off with the turn of each page, leading readers deeper into the rich and sometimes tortured history beneath the tale's present. Fifteen-year-old Maya, half Hindu/half Sikh, has lived her entire life in rural Canada. Her family's religion and ethnicity set them apart from their community, but also from one another. Maya's name itself signifies the tension between her parents, lovers who forsook their families for each other, but who have lived in different states of mourning and regret since. Her given name is Jiva or "life," yet her mother blasphemously calls her Maya or "illusion," an insult to her Sikh father. Thus, when life and loss lead Maya and Bapu back to India at the time of Indira Gandhi's assassination, they are plunged deep into a nation in bloody turmoil. Maya's sense of otherness escalates dramatically as she is forced to consider it on a personal and near-universal scale. The middle diary belongs to that of Sandeep, with whom Maya experiences love, tragedy, ancestry, and loyalty at an intimate (yet physically innocent) level. The novel's pace and tension will compel readers to read at a gallop, but then stop again and again to turn a finely crafted phrase, whether to appreciate the richness of the language and imagery or to reconsider the layers beneath a thought. This is a book in which readers will consider the roots and realities of destiny and chance. Karma is a spectacular, sophisticated tale that will stick with readers long after they're done considering its last lines.-Jill Heritage Maza, Greenwich High School, CT (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. 9781595143389 *Starred Review* After her Hindu mother's suicide, 15-year-old Maya and her Sikh father travel from Canada to India for a traditional burial. The year is 1984, and on the night of their arrival in New Delhi, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by her Sikh guards. When the city erupts in chaos, both Maya and her father find themselves in great danger. Through a sequence of horrifying events, father and daughter are separated, and Maya is left alone in a violent foreign country where she must rely on the help of strangers to reach safety. In her YA debut, acclaimed adult author Ostlere offers a riveting, historically accurate coming-of-age tale of gutsy survival, self-sacrifice, and love. Set during a six-week period, the novel in verse makes the most of its lyrical form with lines of dialogue that bounce back and forth in columns across the page and singularly beautiful metaphors and similes that convey potent detail and emotion. With artful compassion, Ostlere reveals the infinitely complex clash of cultures within both India and Maya's family, and although the allusions to karma could have seemed awkward in less talented hands, here they lead into well-framed larger questions that will stay with readers. A fascinating, epic page-turner.--Bradburn, Frances Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Book JacketDear Mr. Henshaw
by Beverly Cleary

Publishers Weekly This amusing, often touching series of letters from Leigh Botts to a children's book author he admires again demonstrates Cleary's right-on perception of a kid's world. Ages 8-12. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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Book JacketMud Matters: Stories from a Mud Lover
by Jennifer Owings Dewey

School Library Journal Gr 3-5ÄA unique book on the author's personal experiences with mud. Dewey offers good information on quicksand, primordial ooze, adobes, etc., and describes finding a fossilized bone of a Camalops, a sort of prehistoric, humpless camel. Full-color photographs and black-and-white drawings appear throughout. However, the writing gets so bogged down in dialogue that most youngsters will have a difficult time wading through it to get to the facts. Another problem is accessibility. Students researching the Zuni and their Mudheads, the nest-building techniques of wasps, or the Rio Grande will probably not think to look in this book. An appended list of plants and animals named after mud could prove handy, but the glossary, which includes words such as muddle and muddlehead, seems to be of marginal relevance. Students seeking material on the subject should look to Peter Goodwin's Landslides, Slumps, & Creep (Watts, 1997). Mud Matters will find little use in libraries.ÄAnne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI (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.

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Book JacketYes Please
by Amy Poehler
Book JacketMiddlesex
by Jeffrey Eugenides
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780374199692 Adult/High School-From the opening paragraph, in which the narrator explains that he was "born twice," first as a baby girl in 1960, then as a teenage boy in 1974, readers are aware that Calliope Stephanides is a hermaphrodite. To explain his situation, Cal starts in 1922, when his grandparents came to America. In his role as the "prefetal narrator," he tells the love story of this couple, who are brother and sister; his parents are blood relatives as well. Then he tells his own story, which is that of a female child growing up in suburban Detroit with typical adolescent concerns. Callie, as he is known then, worries because she hasn't developed breasts or started menstruating; her facial hair is blamed on her ethnicity, and she and her mother go to get waxed together. She develops a passionate crush on her best girlfriend, "the Object," and consummates it in a manner both detached and steamy. Then an accident causes Callie to find out what she's been suspecting-she's not actually a girl. The story questions what it is that makes us who we are and concludes that one's inner essence stays the same, even in light of drastic outer changes. Mostly, the novel remains a universal narrative of a girl who's happy to grow up but hates having to leave her old self behind. Readers will love watching the narrator go from Callie to Cal, and witnessing all of the life experiences that get her there.-Jamie Watson, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780374199692 The author of The Virgin Suicides is known for his daring, so it's hardly surprising that "Middlesex" refers not to a town but a state of being: Calliope, a student at an exclusive girls school during the 1970s, discovers that she is a hermaphrodite. (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. 9780374199692 In his second novel, the author of The Virgin Suicides (1993) once again proves himself to be a wildly imaginative writer, this time penning a coming-of-age tale, ranging from the 1920s in Asia Minor to the present in Berlin, about a hermaphrodite. Perhaps what is most surprising about Eugenides' offbeat but engrossing book is how he establishes, seemingly effortlessly, the credibility of his narrator: "I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan." So starts Cal's remarkably detailed odyssey, which began when his grandparents, who were siblings, married and vowed to keep the true nature of their relationship a secret; however, their deception comes back to haunt them in the form of their grandchild. With a sure yet light-handed touch, Eugenides skillfully bends our notions of gender as we realize, along with Cal, that although he has been raised as a girl, he is more comfortable as a boy. Although at times the novel reads like a medical text, it is also likely to hold readers in thrall with its affecting characterization of a brave and lonely soul and its vivid depiction of exactly what it means to be both male and female. --Joanne Wilkinson
Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780374199692 Eugenides's second novel (after The Virgin Suicides) opens "I was born twice: first, as a baby girl...in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy...in August of 1974." Thus starts the epic tale of how Calliope Stephanides is transformed into Cal. Spanning three generations and two continents, the story winds from the small Greek village of Smyrna to the smoggy, crime-riddled streets of Detroit, past historical events, and through family secrets. The author's eloquent writing captures the essence of Cal, a hermaphrodite, who sets out to discover himself by tracing the story of his family back to his grandparents. From the beginning, the reader is brought into a world rich in culture and history, as Eugenides extends his plot into forbidden territories with unique grace. His confidence in the story, combined with his sure prose, helps readers overcome their initial surprise and focus on the emotional revelation of the characters and beyond. Once again, Eugenides proves that he is not only a unique voice in modern literature but also well versed in the nature of the human heart. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/02.] - Rachel Collins, "Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Book JacketThe White Tiger
by Aravind Adiga
Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781416562597 This first novel by Indian writer Adiga depicts the awakening of a low-caste Indian man to the degradation of servitude. While the early tone of the book calls to mind the heartbreaking inequities of Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance, a better comparison is to Frederick Douglass's narrative about how he broke out of slavery. The protagonist, Balram Halwai, is initially delighted at the opportunity to become the driver for a wealthy man. But Balram grows increasingly angry at the ways he is excluded from society and looked down upon by the rich, and he murders his employer. He reveals this murder from the start, so the mystery is not what he did but why he would kill such a kind man. The climactic murder scene is wonderfully tense, and Balram's evolution from likable village boy to cold-blooded killer is fascinating and believable. Even more surprising is how well the narrative works in the way it's written as a letter to the Chinese premier, who's set to visit Bangalore, India. Recommended for all libraries.-Evelyn Beck, Piedmont Technical Coll., Greenwood, SC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781416562597 A brutal view of India's class struggles is cunningly presented in Adiga's debut about a racist, homicidal chauffer. Balram Halwai is from the "Darkness," born where India's downtrodden and unlucky are destined to rot. Balram manages to escape his village and move to Delhi after being hired as a driver for a rich landlord. Telling his story in retrospect, the novel is a piecemeal correspondence from Balram to the premier of China, who is expected to visit India and whom Balram believes could learn a lesson or two about India's entrepreneurial underbelly. Adiga's existential and crude prose animates the battle between India's wealthy and poor as Balram suffers degrading treatment at the hands of his employers (or, more appropriately, masters). His personal fortunes and luck improve dramatically after he kills his boss and decamps for Bangalore. Balram is a clever and resourceful narrator with a witty and sarcastic edge that endears him to readers, even as he rails about corruption, allows himself to be defiled by his bosses, spews coarse invective and eventually profits from moral ambiguity and outright criminality. It's the perfect antidote to lyrical India. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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