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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 JacketPlaying for the commandant
by Suzy Zail
Book JacketBeing mortal :bmedicine and what matters in the end
by Atul Gawande
Book JacketSaints
by Gene Luen Yang; color by Lark Pien
Book JacketPolar Express
by Chris Van Allsburg
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780395389492 Gr 1-3 Given a talented and aggressive imagination, even the challenge of as cliche-worn a subject as Santa Claus can be met effectively. Van Allsburg's Polar Express is an old-fashioned steam train that takes children to the North Pole on Christmas Eve to meet the red-suited gentleman and to see him off on his annual sleigh ride. This is a personal retelling of the adult storyteller's adventures as a youngster on that train. The telling is straight, thoughtfully clean-cut and all the more mysterious for its naive directness; the message is only a bit less direct: belief keeps us young at heart. The full-page images are theatrically lit. Colors are muted, edges of forms are fuzzy, scenes are set sparsely, leaving the details to the imagination. The light comes only from windows of buildings and the train or from a moon that's never depicted. Shadows create darkling spaces and model the naturalistic figures of children, wolves, trees, old-fashioned furniture and buildings. Santa Claus and his reindeer seem like so many of the icons bought by parents to decorate yards and rooftops: static, posed with stereotypic gestures. These are scenes from a memory of long ago, a dreamy reconstruction of a symbolic experience, a pleasant remembrance rebuilt to fufill a current wish: if only you believe, you too will hear the ringing of the silver bell that Santa gave him and taste rich hot chocolate in your ride through the wolf-infested forests of reality. Van Allsburg's express train is one in which many of us wish to believe. Kenneth Marantz, Art Education Department, Ohio State University, Columbus (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 9780395389492 Several treasured titles make a comeback as reissues. In preparation for the November release of the book-based film starring Tom Hanks, Houghton has reshot the artwork for the 1986 Caldecott Medal- winning The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, sprucing up this perennial holiday favorite. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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Book JacketRed-Eyed Tree Frog
by Joy Cowley
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780590871754 PreS-Gr 3-In a tropical rain forest in Central America, a red-eyed tree frog spends the night looking for food while avoiding potential predators. Bishop's high-speed photographic techniques transport viewers to this distant world and allow them to see other creatures from the tree frog's perspective. Larger-than-life images document the hunt, brought to a satisfying conclusion as the well-camouflaged frog settles among the leaves to spend the daylight hours in sleep. Cowley's simple text provides a narrative arc for the amazingly sharp, clear photos. Those who want more information can consult the two pages of explanations that follow the story. Accessible to a much younger age group than most books about rain forests, this volume will also attract older readers because of the striking visuals.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato (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. 9780590871754 Ages 2^-5. Stunning color photographs and a gripping interactive text bring you right up close to a red-eyed tree frog in a rain forest in Central America. The big pictures are arranged to tell an exciting narrative, and a few simple words draw you in and build the suspense. As evening comes, the frog wakes up hungry. What will it eat? "Here is an iguana. Frogs do not eat iguanas." Do iguanas eat frogs? A photo shows the two creatures eyeing each other, and the frog does not wait to find out. It does not eat the ant or the katydid. Will it eat the caterpillar? No! the caterpillar is poisonous. Then suddenly, the hunter becomes the prey: a hungry boa snake slips and slithers along a branch. It gets very close. The snake's tongue flickers as it tastes frog in the air. Then, in a climactic double-page spread, the frog jumps and escapes. It finds a moth and crunches it. Finally, the frog shuts its red eyes, as morning comes to the rain forest. The photographs in rich shades of green and red show each creature very close up, even the hairs on the caterpillar, as the small frog would see them. The questions will draw in young preschoolers, who will be held by the pictures and by the exciting story they tell. For older readers, the afterword provides more astonishing facts. --Hazel Rochman
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Book JacketThe FitzOsbornes in Exile
by Cooper, Michelle

Book list Cooper's follow-up to A Brief History of Montmaray (2009) has the surviving members (all five of them) of the fictional kingdom of Montmaray taking refuge in England following the Nazi bombing of their tiny island home. In journal entries that span the tumultuous years from 1937 to 1939, Princess Sophie recounts her aunt's attempts to get her and her cousin, the firebrand Veronica, introduced to society and married off to the richest royalty she can find. But the girls are far more preoccupied by the growing threat of fascism and finding a way to present their minute nation's case to the moribund League of Nations than tea parties and debutante balls. Readers looking for frippery and fluff won't find much in Cooper's thorny, rewarding novel, which cleverly injects the Montmaravian kingdom into a rich historical, political, and ideological context. Though it lacks some of the dramatic tension of the first book, this is still top-shelf historical fiction that offers a glimpse of the conflicts that defined the middle part of the twentieth century from within the prism of high society.--Chipman, Ia. Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-At the end of A Brief History of Montmaray (Knopf, 2009), the FitzOsbornes flee their fictional island kingdom after an attack by the Nazis. The young royals are homeless and are taken in by their widowed Aunt Charlotte at her English estate. Although they are relieved to have a roof over their heads and food to fill their stomachs, being "kept" comes with a price. Aunt Charlotte begins training the girls to be proper ladies and find wealthy husbands, while the boys are expected to receive a respectable education and find suitable wives. Aunt Charlotte has her hands full. While Veronica and Sophie comply with being thrust into London Society's Season, they do so reluctantly; Veronica has her eye on getting the word out about the injustices of Nazism, and Sophie's goal is to not look foolish. All of the characters challenge the notions of "proper" behavior while trying to stay under their aunt's scornful radar. They are not always successful, and young Henry's antics are some of the funniest moments in the book. Political activism is a major theme in this story. The author explains, "While Montmaray does not exist, most of the world events described in the novel actually occurred," and she includes a lengthy list of real people who are mentioned in the book. Readers who enjoys good character development and/or historical novels will be drawn in easily.-Wendy Scalfaro, G. Ray Bodley High School, Fulton, NY (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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Book JacketFlora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
by Kate DiCamillo
Book JacketThe Nightingale
by Kristin Hannah
Book JacketInvisible Enemies: Stories of Infectious Disease
by Jeanette Farrell
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780374336370 Gr. 7^-12. From the jacket reproduction of a painting by Pieter Brueghel the Elder through the rich bibliography, this book illustrates the hope and confusion, the logic and paranoia that humankind has experienced when confronting terrifying diseases. Farrell's vivid prose, which occasionally flirts with melodrama, describes the cultural impact of diseases such as malaria, leprosy, tuberculosis, and AIDS, as she recreates the medical breakthroughs, the racial scapegoating, and the tremendous loss of life during the struggle to cope with and combat the illnesses. What makes this book particularly powerful is Farrell's gift for capturing the small moments that expose humanity's best and worst side: a medical pioneer tracing a town's cholera outbreak to a single water pump; the use of English orphans to test a smallpox inoculation before treating the royal family. Such examples make this fascinating reading as well as a revealing look at the intersection of science and social studies. --Randy Meyer
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780374336370 Gr 6 Up-Seven infectious diseases (smallpox, leprosy, plague, tuberculosis, malaria, cholera, and AIDS) are covered in this excellent book. For each one, the author highlights the causes of the affliction, the history of its treatment or lack thereof, popular notions and fears that have often led to additional suffering beyond the trauma caused by the illness, and the story of how breakthroughs came about (or what still needs to be done). Filled with fascinating facts, the text is written in a crisp and lucid style that makes the most complex matters understandable. Although this could easily be a dry subject, the author does such a wonderful job of presenting it that some chapters are as exciting as any work of fiction. The black-and-white photos and reproductions illuminate details about historical perceptions of the diseases. A riveting account.-Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Book JacketThe Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945
by Saul Friedlander
Book JacketThe Seige of Krishnapur
by J G Farrell