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Treat Yourself: Steal the White House's Halloween Cookie Recipe

The White House is welcoming more than 4,500 people for Halloween this year, including students who will be trick-or-treating at the president's home.






3 Girls Killed in Hit-and-Run While Trick-or-Treating

Three teenage girls trick-or-treating in Halloween costumes were killed by a hit-and-run driver at a Southern California intersection Friday night.






Third Marysville High School Shooting Victim Dies

Shaylee Chuckulnaskit's death raises to four the number of fatalities from the moment when a student opened fire in a cafeteria then shot himself.






Legend of Cannibal Alferd Packer Lives On

140 years later, infamous Colorado cannibal Alferd Packer's legend lives on. KUSA's TaRhonda Thomas reports.






Plane That Hit Kansas Building Showed No Issues: NTSB

At least four people were killed and five were injured when a Beechcraft King Air twin-engine plane hit the top of a two-story Wichita building.






Judge Orders U.S. Marine's Release From Mexican Jail

A Mexican judge has ordered the immediate release of a jailed U.S. Marine veteran who spent eight months behind bars on gun charges.






Halloween Trick: Bone-Chilling Weather Brings Shivers

An arctic blast swept into the eastern U.S. Friday, bringing a deep chill to Halloween festivities from the Midwest to the East Coast.






Gas Prices on Verge of Dipping Below $3

Gas prices are already below $3 a gallon in 23 of the lower 48 states, and analysts say prices will continue to drop.






Giant Drill Plows Through New York City Subway Tunnel

A drill narrowly missed a train packed with hundreds of passengers when it pierced the ceiling of the subway tunnel.






Halloween Forecast: A Frightfully Cold Weekend

Parts of Wisconsin and Michigan have already seen up to 8 inches of snow, and hundreds of flights have already been grounded.






Featured Book Lists
Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Butchers Hill
by Laura Lippman

Publishers Weekly Tess Monaghan, newspaperwoman turned sleuth, makes it official with a new business as a PI in a run-down section of Baltimore, Butchers Hill. Her first clientsÄan elderly man known as the Butcher of Butchers Hill and a highly successful female professional fund-raiserÄpresent the first dilemma. Tess needs a cover, reluctantly supplied by Client 2, in order to get access to information on the ghetto for Client 1. The process of finding diverse missing persons starts Monaghan and her two black clients on sometimes prickly discourse involving race. As in Baltimore Blues and Charm City, dialogue is on the mark, accompanied by lively observations about female entrepreneurship, adoption, foster home rackets, and quirky Baltimore natives and neighborhoods. A bittersweet, perfectly plausible ending winds things up. (July)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Tess Monaghan leaves her job as a newspaper reporter and becomes a PI in Laura Lippman's Butchers Hill (Avon. 1998. ISBN 978-0-380-79846-9. pap. $6.99). Her first client is Luther Beale, imprisoned for killing a young man he caught vandalizing his car. Beale has recently been released and is looking to make amends. So why are the witnesses to the crime starting to die? This novel was inspired by a real-life Baltimore homicide in which a man shot and killed a 13-year-old boy for throwing rocks at his vehicle. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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

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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Hush
by Chayil, Eishes

School Library Journal Gr 8 Up-After six long years, Gittel is still haunted by her friend's suicide. Now 17, she knows what happened to Devory and why, but their ultra-Orthodox Jewish community has refused to accept the truth. The incest that led to Devory's death is not acknowledged, because "that doesn't happen in our community." This thoughtful, disturbing, and insightful novel provides an insider's view of an insular society that denies the reality of rape and oppression within its ranks. Gittel is poised to be married to a good man, the best fate she can obtain. The present action of the story is the unfolding of Gittel's arranged marriage, from negotiations between the families and her only meeting with her intended groom, to the wedding ceremony, young married life and the birth of her first child. But the plot revolves around her internal struggles to reconcile her faith and culture with the awful secrets that she knows and has witnessed. Her own purity-and therefore desirability-is linked to her silence. Speaking out carries too high a cost in a society in which the appearance of holiness and probity is everything. Family and social life within today's Chassidic community are portrayed with affection for the warmth and the enduring values but with a clear eye for the vulnerability of the young and the hurt. When Gittel finally does try to tell her friend's story, she comes up against the powerful men of the community. It is fitting that it is through the written word that both Gittel and the author are able to speak for the Devorys of the world.-Carolyn Lehman, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA (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 In this stunning debut, Chayil (a pseudonym) takes readers into a cloistered society and exposes its secrets. Moving back and forth between 2003 and the present, Gittel, living in a Brooklyn Hasidic community, remembers her best friend, Devory. Her family seemed like any other, lots of children, ultrareligious, but one night when Gittel sleeps over, she watches as Devory's brother forces Devory to do something under the covers. Gittel doesn't understand. This is a community where teenagers in arranged marriages don't learn about sex until days before the wedding. But when Devory hangs herself and the community covers up the reasons, Gittel is haunted by the girl she couldn't help. Taken from an incident in her own life, Chayil's cri de coeur might as easily have been published as an adult book. She does, however, have a wonderful way of getting inside a child's head. Readers may have trouble with the story's frequent Yiddish phrases and be shocked by its casual fear and hatred of goyland. But this is powerful stuff and a glimpse into places not often seen.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

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ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog Diego Rivera: His World and Ours
by Duncan Tonatiuh

Publishers Weekly Suggestive of stained glass windows, Tonatiuh's mixed-media collages combine ancient Mexican art motifs with blocky, stylized figures, to pay tribute to this versatile artist. Rivera paired classical and modern techniques with traditional Mexican aesthetics to create socially and politically relevant murals. Tonatiuh invites readers to speculate about what Rivera might paint if he were alive today-"would he paint students at their desks... just as he painted factory workers in the production line?"-while creating vignettes whose symmetries draw further connections between past and present. Tonatiuh's biography celebrates Rivera, but focuses on the inspiration driving artistic expression in his time and in our own. Ages 5-9. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal K-Gr 3-Tonatiuh relates key moments in the famous muralist's life and ponders what would capture his interest if he were alive today. The stylized brown figures are shown in profile with open mouths, exaggerated features, and heads that seem hinged to the bodies. With only one page mentioning the subject's childhood (in which the young artist is wearing a hat and suit as he draws near his toys), the text concentrates instead on how Rivera internalized traditional and modern styles while studying art in Europe, absorbed the aesthetics of ancient Mexican civilizations after returning home, and then applied his training to local politics and culture. In scenes both thoughtful and humorous, Tonatiuh contrasts interpretations of Rivera's work with renderings of imagined work today. A contemporary mall scene faces the flower vendor with calla lilies. Dynamic, brightly lit luchadores (professional wrestlers) are paired with a scene of Aztec warriors and conquistadores. Back matter includes a glossary of words/concepts in sequence, an author's note, selected sites for viewing the murals, and a list of specific works that inspired the cartoonlike art. Students looking closely will note that some of Rivera's historical paintings include brown figures, in profile, mouths open. The original murals can be found along with biographical details in Mike Venezia's Diego Rivera (Children's Press, 1995) and in Guadalupe Rivera Marin's highly personal My Papa Diego and Me/Mi papa Diego y yo (Children's Book Press, 2009). An inspired approach that combines child appeal, cultural anthropology, and art history.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library (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 In this illustrated biography, Tonatiuh introduces Diego Rivera and shows how the Mexican artist drew on the history of his people for his murals, which combined ancient Mexican art with modern styles. Then Tonatiuh asks a crucial question: What would Rivera paint if he were alive today? Would he paint the bustle of city life. Would he paint the way we play. Working in his own blend of styles, working motifs borrowed from ancient Mexican art into contemporary images, the pictures show kids on busy city streets with laptops and cell phones, scooters and rollerblades, shopping at the mall. A long author's note fills in more about Tonatiuh's inspiration and his technique, drawing first by hand and then creating digital collages. With only one reproduction of Rivera's work, this title won't give young people much sense of Rivera's style, but kids will want to talk about the great painter, and young artists will find inspiration for their own creations.--Rochman, Haze. Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

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British Crime Writers' Assoc.
Click to search this book in our catalog Popcorn
by Ben Elton

Book list In this slick comedy-cum-thriller, film-school grad Bruce Delamitri has hit the big time with his latest superviolent crime movie--he's won the Oscar for Best Director. The sick maniacs he features in his movies wear ultrastylish clothing and perform their mayhem set against witty soundtracks. But whenever pressed on the question of whether he's feeding the violent impulses of modern society, Delamitri refuses to take any responsibility, claiming that he's making art. Then two sick maniacs show up on his doorstep. Wayne and Scout aren't anything like the criminals portrayed in Bruce's movies. These tawdry trailer-park denizens can spout Bruce's movie dialogue word for word, but their sadistic executions don't evoke ironic distance, they induce a nauseating hysteria. With a lightning-quick pace, Elton sends up film directors like Quentin Tarantino and Oliver Stone while making cogent points about taking responsibility for our society's fascination with violence. Done with a very light, deft touch, this first novel is both entertaining and thought provoking. --Joanne Wilkinson

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

Library Journal This satire, in which a stylish Hollywood action/thriller director has an unfortunate encounter with the type of twisted men portrayed in his movies, was a best seller in England. Look for a movie version from Warner Bros.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Bruce Delamitri is hot. He makes hip, ultra-violent, post-postmodern movies that everybody wants to be in. Kids think he's cool, and critics think he's a genius. He's got a mansion in Hollywood. He's up for an Oscar. Essentially, he's a thinly veiled version of Quentin Tarantino. But all is not entirely well in La-La Land, as English novelist-playwright Elton goes on to show in this entertaining, action-packed satire. A pair of homicidal maniacs known as the Mall Murderers?aka muscle-bound Wayne and his gun moll, Scout?are ravaging the nation. They're claiming that Bruce's movies drove them to it, and they're on their way to California to confront him. Elton has written a fast and unusually funny Hollywood thriller with all the right elements: a Playboy centerfold-turned-actress, a wisecracking New York agent, a spoiled Beverly Hills princess and any number of empty-headed anchormen and -women. Elton's ear for American mediaspeak is good, if not perfect, and he gets off his share of nifty one-liners. Less successful are the extended parodies of Tarantino's screenplays and Elton's heavy-handed attempts to make a serious point about media culture, namely, that Americans are too quick to blame the media for social ills for which they should be taking responsibility. Elton is at his waspish, Waugh-ish best when he sticks to what he does best: popcorn. Film rights optioned by Joel Schumacher. (Nov.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal YAÄA unique novel that combines a thrilling story line with the thought-provoking question of society's responsibilities toward its various members. Oscar-winning director Bruce Delamitri makes popular movies containing senseless violence and murder. He feels nothing but disdain for the critics and "bleeding hearts" who condemn his work, for he believes that he is just giving the public what they want to see. On Oscar night, two psychopathic killers who have all of Bruce's movies memorized, and are emulating different scenes, invade the man's home, taking him captive, along with his soon-to-be-ex-wife, his daughter, and several other members of Hollywood society. As the police and media surround the house, the question that everyone is asking is, "Are Bruce Delamitri's movies to blame for the situation in which he now finds himself?" This novel often uses fairly sophisticated or graphic language that suits the theme and violent situations, but the plot is easy to follow. Fast-moving recreational reading or a springboard for discussions on the interrelationships of human beings and society.ÄAnita Short, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Caldecott Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Tuesday
by David Wiesner

Publishers Weekly In this nearly wordless picture book, Wiesner ( Hurricane ; Free Fall ) again takes readers on an imaginative voyage, using everyday reality merely as a touchstone. Here, a squadron of frogs soars through the night air one Tuesday, squatting upon lilypads that they use as flying carpets. Apparently intending no harm, these mysterious visitors to a suburban development leave a minimum of disruption as evidence of their eerie flight: a few startled eyewitnesses, some scattered lilypads and a spooked dog. Wiesner's visuals are stunning: slightly surrealistic, imbued with mood and mystery, and executed with a seemingly flawless command of palette and perspective. But, perhaps because this fantasy never coalesces around a human figure, it is less accessible and less resonant than his tales that center on a child protagonist. Ages 5-up. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Book list Ages 4-7. While technically not a wordless picture book, this has no text other than occasional markers of time, "Tuesday evening around eight" or "11:21 p.m.," to guide viewers through one remarkable night and suggest what happens one week later. On the first night, frogs rise from their ponds on lily pads that magically float like flying carpets. Leaving their country home, the frogs fly into town, where they peek through windows, enter a house to watch television, and terrorize a dog. At dawn the magic ends, and the frogs hop back home, leaving wet lily pads in the streets to puzzle the townsfolk and the police. The following Tuesday at dusk, pigs rise into the air, like helium balloons. Then the book ends, leaving viewers to imagine the magic and mayhem to follow. As in Free Fall [BKL Je 1 88], Wiesner offers a fantasy watercolor journey accomplished with soft-edged realism. Studded with bits of humor, the narrative artwork tells a simple, pleasant story with a consistency and authenticity that make the fantasy convincing. While this trip may not take children far, its open-ended conclusion invites them to carry on the fantasy, allowing for unexpected magic in everyday, modern settings. ~--Carolyn Phelan

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

School Library Journal K-Gr 4-- As the full moon rises over a peaceful marsh, so do frogs on their lily pads--levitating straight up into the air and sailing off, with surpris with some laundry, hovering briefly before a TV left on. A dog chases one lone low-coasting frog, but is summarily routed by a concerted amphibious armada. Suddenly the rays of the rising sun dispel the magic; the frogs fall to ed but gratified expressions. Fish stick their heads out of the water to watch; a turtle gapes goggle-eyed. The phalanx of froggies glides over houses in a sleeping village, interrupting the one witness's midnight snack, tanglingthe ground and hop back to their marsh, leaving police puzzling over the lily pads on Main Street. In the final pages, the sun sets on the following Tuesday--and the air fills with ascending pigs! Dominated by rich blues and greens, and fully exploiting its varied perspectives, this book treats its readers to the pleasures of airborne adventure. It may not be immortal, but kids will love its lighthearted, meticulously imagined, fun-without-a-moral fantasy. Tuesday is bound to take off. --Patricia Dooley, University of Washington, Seattle

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Edgar Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog The Bottoms
by Joe R. Lansdale

School Library Journal Adult/High School-This thought-provoking book portrays an accurate, disheartening picture of old-time Southern bigotry. Harry Crane, now an elderly resident of a nursing home, recalls a watershed event from his childhood in East Texas in the 1930s. The narration begins when he, nearly 12, and his 9-year-old sister discover the mutilated body of a black woman tied with barbed wire to a tree in the Bottoms, the swampy forest wilderness supposedly stalked by the "goat man" in search of children to eat. Harry's father, a small farmer, barber, and constable, begins an investigation into what turns into a series of mutilation murders of black women. Hostilities become palpable when the fear that a "white woman may be next" begins stirring in the town residents. Jacob Crane, a reasonable man trying to cope with an investigation beyond his skills and the unreasonable bigotry of his neighbors, faces a crisis that nearly destroys his family. The story is compelling, in a manner similar to Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. In fact, there are many parallels to that story, in the lessons learned by Harry as to what makes a monster, what really constitutes monstrous acts, and what being a hero really means. Harry also learns of the deep reserves of strength in himself and in his family. This is a wonderful book that will capture and educate young adults about a shameful time in this country's history and the strength of an individual to make a difference.-Carol DeAngelo, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA (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 East Texas in the early thirties was in the throes of the Depression, but for young Harry Collins and little sister Tom--for Thomasina--it is a time of adventure. The woods are filled with all the excitement and mystery two curious youngsters need, but when Harry and Tom find the mutilated, decomposing body of a young black woman on a creek bank in the area called the Bottoms, profound changes come to the Collins family. As the town constable, Harry and Tom's father, Jacob, tries to do his duty, but he runs flush up against the virulent racism of the times. The local white doctor refuses to do an autopsy, the sheriff from the next town warns Jacob off the case for fear of giving the local blacks a sense of protection under the law, and the Klan burns a cross at the Collins place. Jacob, under the watchful eye of his son, tries to do the right thing but eventually makes an error that leads to a lynching. His struggle to rectify his error forms the lasting impression he leaves with Harry, who narrates the story from his bed at the nursing home, almost 70 years later. Lansdale, who has forged a name for himself in genre fiction (Two-Bear Mambo, 1995) and as the author of cult short stories--" Godzilla's 12-Step Program" is a classic--makes the move to more mainstream fiction with an emotionally charged tale very reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird. Effectively combining mystery and family history, it offers a vivid, multifaceted glimpse back to a simpler, but not necessarily better, time. If any author ever deserved a breakthrough book, it's Lansdale. This should be it. --Wes Lukowsky

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

Publishers Weekly In his latest suspense thriller, prolific yarn-spinner Lansdale, best known for his offbeat series featuring the mismatched East Texas Sherlocks Hap Collins and Leonard Pine (Bad Chili), presents a different voice in a coming-of-age story set in the early years of the Great Depression. Lansdale's 80-something protagonist, Harry Crane, looks back to the day in 1933 when he was 13 and, with his nine-year-old sister, Tom (Thomasina), he found the mutilated corpse of a black prostitute bound to a tree with barbed wire near their home along the hardscrabble bottomlands of the Sabine River. The discovery presents their father, Jacob CraneÄa farmer and barber eking out a living as the town constableÄwith a nightmarish investigation. News travels slowly in the days before television, but Jacob learns from the black doctor who performs the makeshift autopsy that two other mutilated bodies have been found over the last 18 months. Because the victims are black and "harlots," no one in the county much cares. But when the body of a white prostitute is discovered, a rabid mob lynches MosesÄa black man who has been something of a surrogate father to JacobÄdespite Jacob and Harry's heroic efforts to save him. Predictably, another body is soon discovered. Lansdale is best when recreating the East Texas dialogue and setting. Readers will not have to work hard to unearth comparisons to characters in To Kill a Mockingbird, but gruesome details of the murders keep the novel from being labeled a period piece. Folksy and bittersweet, though rather rough-hewn and uneven, Lansdale's novel treats themes still sadly pertinent today. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal A trip into the woods proves a learning experience for 13-year-old Harry in this latest coming-of-age mystery yarn from Lansdale (Freezer Burn). When Harry and his sister Thomasina (Tom) strike out into the woods, they confront not only the myth of the Goat Man, who is said to inhabit those woods, but also some myths about the nature of justice and race in their 1930s East Texas community. Finding the dead and mutilated body of a black prostitute is only the first discovery along the road to growing up, though. As the body count mounts, the only solution open to the challenged community is to make an old black man into the scapegoat, though he is obviously incapable of the grisly killings. This leads to a satisfactory but untidy resolution from which Harry emerges as sadder but wiser. The book, a combination of William Faulkner's Intruder in the Dust and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (with a sizable portion of pure Lansdale thrown in), just might at long last bring premier storyteller Lansdale to the attention of an even broader audience. For all public libraries.DBob Lunn, Kansas City P.L., MO (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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National Book Critics Circle
Click to search this book in our catalog Shot in the Heart
by Mikal Gilmore

Publishers Weekly Executed by firing squad in Utah in 1977 after murdering two young Mormon men, Gary Gilmore, who insisted he be put to death, gained notoriety through Norman Mailer's book The Executioner's Song and a TV film. In a haunting portrait of a dysfunctional family that molded a murderer, rock music journalist Mikal Gilmore, Gary's brother, fills in multiple gaps in Mailer's account by unearthing family secrets, traumas and horrors. Gary, frequently whipped and abandoned by his con man father, Frank Sr. (who later became a respectable publisher in Oregon), had an extensive history of robberies, arrests, suicide attempts and drug and alcohol abuse before his rage exploded in murder. We learn that Frank Sr. mistakenly suspected Gary was not his own son but the offspring of his embittered wife, Bessie, and Robert Ingram, Frank Sr.'s estranged son by a previous marriage. We also learn that Frank Jr.--long believed to be Mikal's full brother--was the issue of that long-suspected union. Mikal, who covered the case for Rolling Stone, writes with sensitivity and probing intelligence, exorcising family secrets and the stigma of being a murderer's brother. Photos. Author tour. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Gary Gilmore murdered two men and was himself executed for his crime. One of Gilmore's brothers was murdered under unexplained circumstances. Here, a third brother considers 300 years of family history to try to explain the violence that has haunted them.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal The last months of lifetime criminal Gary Gilmore, who murdered two Mormon store clerks and then demanded that the state of Utah execute him, were painstakingly chronicled in Norman Mailer's classic The Executioner's Song (LJ 11/1/79). Shot in the Heart, by Gilmore's youngest brother, is even more harrowing. Not a ``tell-all'' work about growing up with a killer, it offers a broader account of a family gone haywire-a family of hauntings, beatings, hate, and, almost shockingly, love. Gilmore's book reminds us that the sins of the fathers, mothers, and brothers-our sins-can be passed on with the same devastating effect of a rogue gene that carries a dread disease. This book is not pretty, but it is highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/94.]-Jim Burns, Ottumwa, Ia.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Rocks
by Joe Perry with David Ritz

Publishers Weekly In this rock and roll memoir, Aerosmith's lead guitarist tells the old story of the rise and fall of a guitar hero, although in Perry's case, the star rises again. Born in a Massachusetts suburb in the 1950s, Perry struggled with a learning disability. Chuck Berry gave him a role model; the guitar, an outlet. To the dismay of his professional parents, he dropped out of high school and knocked around in various bands until he formed Aerosmith. The band became a major 1970s hard-rock group before drug abuse, bickering, and bad management tore it apart. Yet after the breakup, a clean and sober Aerosmith rose again, leaving its mark on the MTV generation. Perry provides evocative portraits of his very American youth wandering through the woods with a BB rifle and water-skiing on Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire, and his stint as a factory worker for Draper Industries. The years of rock and roll notoriety are standard issue-drugs, partying, bad decisions-although the story shines on those rare occasions when Perry details the nuts and bolts of song making. Later chapters covering the manipulations of a Svengali-like producer have their own allure, as do the discussions of the complexity and expense of producing hits. Legal issues and diplomacy might moderate the narrative, but Perry's book will strike gold with every Aerosmith fan. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Criss Cross
by Lynne Rae Perkins

Publishers Weekly Through narrative that has the flavor of stream-of-consciousness writing but is more controlled and poetic, Perkins (All Alone in the Universe) captures the wistful romantic yearnings of three friends on the brink of adolescence. There's Debbie, who makes a wish that "something different would happen. Something good. To me." There's Hector, who hears a guitarist and quite suddenly feels inspired to learn how to play the instrument. Then there's mechanical-minded Lenny who feels himself drawn to Debbie. The characters spend spring and summer wandering about their neighborhood, "criss crossing" paths, expanding their perspectives on the world while sensing that life will lead them to some exciting new experiences. (During a walk, Hector feels "as if the world was opening, like the roof of the Civic Arena when the sky was clear. Life was rearranging itself; bulging in places, fraying in spots.") Debbie forms a crush on a boy from California visiting his grandmother. Hector falls for a girl in his guitar class. Lenny hints at his feelings for Debbie by asking her on a date. All three loves remain unrequited, but by the end of the novel, Debbie, Hector and Lenny have grown a little wiser and still remain hopeful that good things lie ahead if they remain patient. Part love story, part coming-of-age tale, this book artfully expresses universal emotions of adolescence. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Publishers Weekly Through narrative that has the flavor of stream-of-consciousness writing but is more controlled and poetic, Perkins (All Alone in the Universe) captures the wistful romantic yearnings of three friends on the brink of adolescence. There's Debbie, who makes a wish that "something different would happen. Something good. To me." There's Hector, who hears a guitarist and quite suddenly feels inspired to learn how to play the instrument. Then there's mechanical-minded Lenny who feels himself drawn to Debbie. The characters spend spring and summer wandering about their neighborhood, "criss crossing" paths, expanding their perspectives on the world while sensing that life will lead them to some exciting new experiences. (During a walk, Hector feels "as if the world was opening, like the roof of the Civic Arena when the sky was clear. Life was rearranging itself; bulging in places, fraying in spots.") Debbie forms a crush on a boy from California visiting his grandmother. Hector falls for a girl in his guitar class. Lenny hints at his feelings for Debbie by asking her on a date. All three loves remain unrequited, but by the end of the novel, Debbie, Hector and Lenny have grown a little wiser and still remain hopeful that good things lie ahead if they remain patient. Part love story, part coming-of-age tale, this book artfully expresses universal emotions of adolescence. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog Open House
by Elizabeth Berg

Book list Two new novels, one from a seasoned veteran, one from a newcomer, take on the subject of a woman finding herself. At the center of Berg's eighth novel is Samantha Morrow, a woman who knows her marriage is far from perfect and feels helpless as she watches it fall apart in front of her. When her husband, David, walks out on her, it seems as though the rest of her world is falling apart as well. Her eleven-year-old son, Travis, is sullen and withdrawn; her mother keeps trying to set her up on dates; and she has to find a way to keep her house. Soon she is advertising for roommates and, at the advice of a new friend, King, taking on temporary jobs. As Sam begins to take charge of her own life, she gains a new confidence in herself. There's love in Sam's future but not until she finds out who she is on her own. Sam is an engaging character, and so are the rest of the supporting cast, making this an enjoyable, uplifting read. Brown's first novel revolves around Mandy Boyle, a girl who is finally about to escape the small town she's lived in all her life. She's headed for a new, exciting world of possibilities: college. At first, it's everything Mandy imagined it would be: new friends, stimulating classes, and a chance to reinvent herself. But when her father dies suddenly, her new happiness begins to fall apart. Her sickly, clingy mother wants her to come home, but Mandy resists, instead returning to college only to find herself spiraling downward into depression, missing classes, and alienating her friends. When she goes to spend the weekend with her older boyfriend, Booner, she simply doesn't go back to school. She falls into a routine and is able to hide away for a while, until events call for her to make the decisions about her future that she's been avoiding. Mandy's coming of age, or "quickening," comes slowly, but surely. --Kristine Huntley

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

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Pulitzer Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II
by John W. Dower

Library Journal Dower's magisterial narrative eloquently tells the story of the postwar occupation of Japan by departing from the usual practice of making the story part of General MacArthur's biography and instead focusing on the citizens. With historical sweep and cultural nuance, and using numerous personal stories of survival, loss, and rededication, he follows the astonishing social transformation of a people. (LJ 4/1/99) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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

Publishers Weekly The writing of history doesn't get much better than this. MIT professor Dower (author of the NBCC Award-winning War Without Mercy) offers a dazzling political and social history of how postwar Japan evolved with stunning speed into a unique hybrid of Western innovation and Japanese tradition. The American occupation of Japan (1945-1952) saw the once fiercely militarist island nation transformed into a democracy constitutionally prohibited from deploying military forces abroad. The occupation was fraught with irony as Americans, motivated by what they saw as their Christian duty to uplift a barbarian race, attempted to impose democracy through autocratic military rule. Dower manages to convey the full extent of both American self-righteousness and visionary idealism. The first years of occupation saw the extension of rights to women, organized labor and other previously excluded groups. Later, the exigencies of the emergent Cold War led to American-backed "anti-Red" purges, pro-business policies and the partial reconstruction of the Japanese military. Dower demonstrates an impressive mastery of voluminous sources, both American and Japanese, and he deftly situates the political story within a rich cultural context. His digressions into Japanese cultureÄhigh and low, elite and popularÄare revealing and extremely well written. The book is most remarkable, however, for the way Dower judiciously explores the complex moral and political issues raised by America's effort to rebuild and refashion a defeated adversaryÄand Japan's ambivalent response to that embrace. Illustrations. (Mar.)

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Library Journal Conventional histories treat the U.S. occupation of Japan (1945-52) as an exercise in which benevolent Americans conferred the blessings of democracy on the defeated feudal fascist foe. The persona of Gen. Douglas MacArthur looms large in such accounts, and the focus is usually on American policies. Dower's approach is very different. He transports us inside Japan to experience this brief but vital period of modern Japanese history in all its richness and complexity. Poignant scenes of trauma, degradation, bewilderment, and poverty alternate with those of hope, initiative, energy, and creativity as Japanese from many walks of life seized the opportunity to regenerate their own society along more egalitarian and democratic lines. In re-creating the American occupation as a Japanese experience, Dower (War Without Mercy, LJ 4/1/86) has produced nothing less than a masterpiece of modern history. Erudition, empathy, accessibility, dry humor, and narrative power combine to make this book an important and beautifully written work that belongs in all libraries.ÄSteven I. Levine, Boulder Run Research, Hillsborough, NC

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Book list The tension between change and continuity is most sharply drawn in a revolutionary situation. Japan faced one following surrender, knowing that the Americans would up-end Japanese society and government as promised by the Potsdam Declaration. The details were left to the American proconsul, Douglas MacArthur. Would he pin war responsibility on Hirohito? No, a famous photo of the two emphatically symbolized. The details of the decision to protect Hirohito would have been scandalous, Dower notes, had they been publicized at the time. His study of the occupation era capably explains the Americans' imposition of a constitution that was the last, and generally overlooked, great project of liberal New Dealers. Japan's conservative political elite hated the changes, though elsewhere Dower contrasts the populace's more differentiated reaction to the top-down revolution. Dower's theme of acceptance versus resistance to change emerges clearly from his surveys of the postwar cultural and political scene (including an acidic appraisal of the war crimes trials), and his book will enhance most World War II collections. --Gilbert Taylor

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

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Rebecca Caudill Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Matilda
by Roald Dahl

Publishers Weekly Matilda is an extraordinarily gifted four-year-old whose parentsa crass, dishonest used-car dealer and a self-centered, blowsy bingo addictregard her as ``nothing more than a scab.'' Life with her beastly parents is bearable only because Matilda teaches herself to read, finds the public library, and discovers literature. Also, Matilda loves using her lively intelligence to perpetrate daring acts of revenge on her father. This pastime she further develops when she enrolls in Crunchem Hall Primary School, whose headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, is ``a fierce tyrannical monster . . . .'' Adults may cringe at Dahl's excesses in describing the cruel Miss Trunchbull, as well as his reliance on overextended characterization at the expense of plot development. Children, however, with their keenly developed sense of justice, will relish the absolutes of stupidity, greed, evil and might versus intelligence, courage and goodness. They also will sail happily through the contrived, implausible ending. Dahl's phenomenal popularity among children speaks for his breathless storytelling charms; his fans won't be disappointed by Matilda. Blake's droll pen-and-ink sketches extend the exaggerated humor. Ages 9-11. (Oct.)

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School Library Journal Gr 4-6 Dahl's latest piece of madcap mayhem is a story filled with the elements that his fans cravesardonic humor, the evilest of villians, the most virtuous of heroines, and children who eventually defeat those big bad grown-ups. In this book, Matilda isn't just smart, she is ``extra-ordinary. . .sensitive and brilliant,'' reading Great Expectations as a four year old. Unfortunately, her TV-addict parents neither recognize nor appreciate their daughter's genius. Neglected Matilda finds mentors in librarian Mrs. Phelps and teacher Miss Honey, a woman as sweet as her name implies. Miss Honey, Matilda, and other students are tormented by the child-hating headmistress Trunchbull. Trunchbull has also cheated orphaned niece Miss Honey out of her rightful inheritance, leaving the teacher in extreme poverty. Having practiced revenge techniques on her father, Matilda now applies her untapped mental powers to rid the school of Trunchbull and restore Miss Honey's financial security. If the conclusion is a bit too rapid, the transitions between Matilda's home and school life a bit choppy, and the writing style not as even as in some of Dahl's earlier titles, young readers won't mind. Dahl has written another fun and funny book with a child's perspective on an adult world. As usual, Blake's comical sketches are the perfect complement to the satirical humor. This may not be a teacher's or principal's first choice as a classroom read-aloud, but children will be waiting in line to read it. Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Lib . , Wis.

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World Fantasy Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Towing Jehovah
by James Morrow

Book list A past winner of the World Fantasy Award, Morrow could easily claim another prize, for the year's most outlandish fictional premise, if there were prizes for such things. When God Himself drops dead, leaving His two-mile-long corpse floating face up in the Atlantic, former sea captain Anthony Van Horne is recruited by a grieving archangel to haul the Corpus Dei to an icy tomb at the North Pole. Eager to redeem himself for indi~rectly causing the century's worst oil spill, Van Horne resumes command of his newly repaired supertanker, the Carpco Valparaiso, and speeds north with God in tow. Already faced with protecting the corpse against marauding predators from the air and the sea, Van Horne confronts a series of setbacks as absurd as the notion of his divine cargo--setbacks such as a plot by a rescued feminist castaway to bomb and sink the patriarchal corpse for the good of womankind. Writing a brand of masterfully understated comic prose all his own, Morrow is a genius, and this book is one of the most deliciously irreverent satirical sprees in years. ~--Carl Hays

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

Library Journal Anthony Van Horne, the disgraced captain of an oil tanker that spilled its cargo, is approached by the angel Raphael at the Cloisters in New York to command his former ship on an important mission. It seems God has died, and his two-mile-long corpse has fallen into the ocean at 0 latitude, 0 longitude. The Vatican would like the captain to tow God to a remote Arctic cave for a quiet burial. Naturally, things don't work out this simply, and the complications form the events of this splendid comic epic. As more and more folks with varying perspectives become aware of the covert mission, more hell, if you will, breaks loose. The author, an sf crossover, puts the weighty subject and its possible ramifications to clever use on many levels. He packs the story with sailing matters, cultural criticism, theology, physics, and more but still manages to keep the encounter bubbly and inviting. Recommended for general collections.-- Brian Geary, West Seneca, N.Y.

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Publishers Weekly God is dead, and Anthony Van Horne doesn't feel very well himself. Van Horne--whose captaincy of a mammoth oil tanker during an Exxon Valdez -type spill has left him unemployed, estranged from his family and suffering nightmares--is hired by the Vatican to pilot his former vessel as it tows the Supreme Being (found dead of unknown causes) to a tomb in the Arctic that His angels have built for Him. Van Horne's task would be difficult enough without the well-intentioned efforts of devout atheist Cassie Fowler and her compatriots from the Central Park West Enlightenment League, whose reactions to God's corporeality belie their organization's quaint name. Morrow (winner of a World Fantasy Award for his novel Only Begotten Daughter ) describes a captivating voyage. As complication builds upon complication--including a shipwreck, an island that appears to be the abode of pagan gods, a mutiny, acrimonious dealings with Van Horne's father and contretemps from both the reappraising Vatican and the WW II Reenactment Society--Van Horne's journal reads like that of a modern-day Odysseus. There's an unnecessary death that deprives the narrative of the perspective of one of its potentially most interesting characters, but this clever novel still stands as a wry, boisterous celebration. (May)

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