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New Middle School Titles
2014
Middle school cool
Click to search this book in our catalog   Maiya Williams
2014
Breathing room
Click to search this book in our catalog   Marsha Hayles
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780805089615 Tuberculosis still scourged the nation in 1940, and sanatoriums such as the fictional Loon Lake facility in Hayles' first novel were established to quarantine patients and treat the illness. Shortly after Evelyn arrives there, she tries to put on a brave face, holding back tears. My head hurt with questions. Really, all of me hurt, worse than ever before. I had to close my eyes. Trying to stay alive at Loon Lake felt like it was killing me already. Eventually, she grows more comfortable with the new routines and forges friendships. Hayles provides a fascinating glimpse into the medical technology of the day, such as the pneumothorax to blow air into the chest or surgical rib removal to ease pressure on the lungs. The unique setting provides a backdrop to a well-crafted, believable story complete with happy moments and camaraderie interspersed with a daily reality of anxiety and loss. Despite a well-founded fear of how the disease could cut short her future, Evie evokes a completely normal-sounding teen trying to make sense of the world. Photos and other illustrations enhance the narrative.--O'Malley, Anne Copyright 2010 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780805089615 Set in 1940 at a sanitarium in Loon Lake, Minn., this first novel from picture-book author Hayles (Bunion Burt) is an evocative piece of historical fiction. Thirteen-year-old Evvy Hoffmeister has tuberculosis and feels abandoned by her family when she's sent to the sanitarium to be cured. The cold nurses, strict rules, mind-numbing routines, and endless bed rest are dispiriting for Evvy and her roommates: kind Beverly, glamorous Pearl, and defensive Dena. "Trying to stay alive at Loon Lake felt like it was killing me already," says Evvy. Nonetheless, the girls find strength in each other and discover creative ways to bring cheer. Evvy bonds with a new roommate and a warm nurse, but the beginning of war in Europe and the constant deaths in the institution keep the patients under a dark cloud. Evvy's strong, emphatic narration gives voice to her resentment, isolation, and determination. Hayles's sympathetic characters and detailed account is complemented by historical documents and photos throughout. Readers will feel plunged into the book's intimate-claustrophobic, even-setting and immersed in Evvy's daily struggles. Ages 10-14. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (June) (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. 9780805089615 Gr 5-8-Evvy Hoffmeister, 13, arrives at Loon Lake Sanatorium in Minnesota in the early 1940s in hopes of being cured of tuberculosis. She is confined to bed rest in a ward with three other adolescent girls, Beverly, Pearl, and Dena. Evvy misses her family, especially her twin brother, but adjusts to life at Loon Lake, a complex of buildings almost as vividly depicted as the staff and patients it houses. Stony Nurse Marshall, dubbed Old Eagle Eye by Dena, assigns privileges when the girls cough up less bloody sputum and show signs of improving health. Yet death is always close at hand, and Pearl, who had the privilege of leaving the sanatorium for a day, returns happily with gifts of decorated paper fans for her friends, only to die in the hallway from "throwing a ruby," a hemorrhage. Many archaic medical treatments are used on the patients, including thoracoplasty, the removal of a rib to allow a lung to collapse and heal. Sarah, a new patient, becomes Evvy's friend and shares the secret that she is Jewish. With awareness of World War II being fought in Europe, a staff member insults Evvy because of her German surname. She is a resilient and perceptive character who will not be defined by her illness. This powerful novel, illustrated with contemporary objects and documents, portrays an illness that is unfortunately making a comeback. A moving and well-wrought story.-Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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2014
Lady Macbeth's daughter
Click to search this book in our catalog   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.
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2014
The impossible knife of memory
Click to search this book in our catalog   Laurie Halse Anderson
2014
For the good of mankind?: the shameful history of human medical experimentation
Click to search this book in our catalog   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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2014
Pure grit: how American World War II nurses survived battle and prison camp in the Pacific
Click to search this book in our catalog   Mary Cronk Farrell
 
2013
Courage has no color: the true story of Triple Nickles
Click to search this book in our catalog   Tanya Lee Stone

Book list *Starred Review* Starting with a riveting opening that puts readers into the shoes of a paratrooper on a training flight, this large-format book offers an informative introduction to the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion. Known as the Triple Nickles, they were America's first black paratrooper unit. Though WWII brought increased racial integration to the military, the pace was painfully slow. This book traces the paratroopers' story through their training and their long wait for orders to join the fighting overseas-orders that never came. Instead, the Triple Nickles were sent to fight fires in remote areas of western states. Decades passed before the men were officially honored for service to their country. Written with great immediacy, clarity, and authority, Stone's vivid narrative draws readers into the Triple Nickles' wartime experiences. Many well-chosen quotes enhance the text, while excellent black-and-white illustrations, mainly photos, document both the men of the 555th and the racial prejudice on the home front. Adding another personal perspective, artist and writer Ashley Bryan, an African American veteran of WWII, contributes the book's foreword, a drawing, and a painting from the period. This handsome volume documents the sometimes harrowing, often frustrating, and ultimately rewarding experiences of the Triple Nickles.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

School Library Journal Gr 5 Up-A moving, thoughtful history of the the United States military's first black paratrooper unit. During World War II, African American soldiers were mostly relegated to service and security jobs, generally denied the same training and active-combat positions that were available to their white counterparts. Expertly woven together are two narratives: the large, overarching history of rampant racism in the U.S. military and the smaller, tightly focused account of a group of black soldiers determined to serve their country and demonstrate their value as soldiers. Readers are taken along on the emotional journey with the soldiers as they leapt forward from guard duty at The Parachute School into official paratrooper training, the first of its kind for blacks. They faced multiple setbacks as they encountered discrimination, some justified as "policy" and some that was more personal and insidious. Throughout the book, the courage and strength of these men is evidenced in their tireless quest to be the best at what they do, throwing themselves headlong into sometimes dangerous and terrifying training requirements. The photographs and the design of the book as a whole are a gift to readers. Rich with detail, the pictures not only complement the narrative, but also tell a stirring story of their own, chronicling the triumphs and frustrations of the soldiers as they pursued their dreams. Complete accessibility to a wide range of readers, coupled with expert research and meticulous care, makes this a must-have for any library.-Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Stone (Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream) opens with an enticing question, "What is it like to jump out of an airplane?" The answer, which lets readers imagine doing just that as a paratrooper, will immediately draw them into this thorough story of the U.S. military's first black paratroopers. More than just an account of their endeavors during WWII, the narrative takes on a broader perspective as it contextualizes the story of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion. Set against the entrenched racism of the 1940s, the nine chapters include asides about media stereotypes regarding African-Americans and how photographs of black soldiers were often left out of the military record. Myriad quotations from personal interviews and more than 100 b&w photos reveal the heroism and perseverance of these groundbreaking men. While they didn't see combat (they were instead sent out West to become smoke jumpers), Stone's final chapters reveal how the Triple Nickles' service helped integrate both the military and society at large. A captivating look at a small but significant piece of military and civil rights history. Ages 10-up. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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2009
I heard God talking to me: William Edmondson and his stone carvings
Click to search this book in our catalog   Elizabeth Spires
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780374335281 Of interest to adults as well as children, this handsomely produced black-and-white book intriguingly combines photography, sculpture and poetry. The illiterate child of freed slaves, William Edmondson (1874-1951) experienced religious visions from the age of 13 or 14. At 57, hearing a voice "telling me/ to pick up my tools/ and start to work on a tombstone," he began carving limestone; he became, in 1937, the first African-American to have a solo show at New York's Museum of Modern Art. Four of Spires's (The Mouse of Amherst) poems are taken verbatim from interviews with the artist, but elsewhere the poet mimics Edmondson's homespun language to remarkable effect, and creates narrative voices for Edmondson's sculpted characters, photos of which are shown facing the poems. The subjects include an "Angel with a Pocketbook," Eleanor Roosevelt and a rabbit who explains how Edmondson "thunked me with his hammer./...He reached in with his fingers,/ ... and drew me right out/ of that chunk of limestone!" The immediacy in Spires's poems will speak to young readers, although the appeal of Edmondson's weighty, primitive figures may be more apparent to adults. Portraits of Edmondson by luminaries Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Edward Weston make a lingering impression. All ages. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780374335281 Moved by a religious vision at age 57, Nashville janitor William Edmondson began carving tombstones and whimsical figures out of stone in 1931 and went on to attract the attention of international collectors, eventually becoming the first African American artist to have a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This handsome picture-book-sized poetry collection pairs full-page, black-and-white photos of Edmondson and his works with poems inspired by the images. A few poems incorporate Edmondson's own words, and many of the most memorable selections imagine the sculptures' thoughts, as in the lines accompanying the piece Girl Thinking : Make me a girl, I wished. / A girl with a space of quiet around her; / a girl with time to dream her dreams. / And he did. He did! Supported by an appended prose biography, these playful, thought-provoking poems introduce a fascinating artist, and like Jan Greenberg's collections Heart to Heart (2001) and Side by Side (2008), they will encourage both youth and adult readers to explore the rich interplay between poetry and art.--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. 9780374335281 Gr 7 Up-In 23 poems, Spires pays homage to a little-known folk sculptor, William Edmondson. Born on a former plantation outside Nashville in 1874, he was well into his 50s and had spent nearly a lifetime in a variety of jobs ranging from racehorse swipe to janitor when he heard God speaking to him. In the vision, God told him to pick up his tools and carve leftover bits of stone into a tombstone. This divine directive would lead Edmondson to create not only tombstones, but also sculptures and become the first black artist to have a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Each of Spires's poems is accompanied by a full-page, black-and-white photograph, either of Edmondson or of one of his works. Poems paired with photographs of the sculptor weave in some of the artist's own words to flesh out his biography. In poems paired with images of his works, the verse gives voice to the piece itself. The "Three Crows," for example, proclaim "'cause Will made us /cooler than cool, three crows/looking over your shoulder.'" Though this personification feels forced or simplistic in a poem or two, in others the simplicity matches the unassuming nature of the subject itself. All in all, Spires has presented readers with a delightful glimpse into the life and work of a relative unknown. This is a special book.-Jill Heritage Maza, Greenwich High School, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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