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Featured Book Lists
Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Books, Crooks and Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure
by Leslie Budewitz

Library Journal Budewitz, an attorney-at-law who has been published in mystery magazines, wrote this book to help crime writers wade through the time-consuming and often confusing process of legal research. She provides an insider's perspective on often overlooked legal concepts and pinpoints common errors writers make when incorporating criminal and civil law into their fiction. The book covers 160 topics, including proper legal terminology, realistic courtroom behavior and dialog, proper procedure (both at the state and at the federal level), and the legal system as a whole. The frequently asked questions featured in each chapter are also arranged by topic within the table of contents, enabling readers to pick and choose the legal aspects most relevant to their writing. The final chapter offers guidance on conducting legal research, and the "Book Links" section references useful URLs listed throughout. VERDICT Budewitz's material is straightforward and user-friendly. Her content will help shave off hours of research time and enable writers to focus more energy on craft, plot, and character development. Highly recommended for aspiring writers of crime fiction. [Quill Driver also published Carolyn Kaufman's The Writer's Guide to Psychology.-Ed.]-Karen McCoy, Northern Arizona Univ. Lib., Flagstaff (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 Lawyer and crime-fiction writer Budewitz has put together an essential guide to getting it right when writing about the law. Starting with the basics (the difference between criminal and civil action; the difference between a judge and a justice) and proceeding in a logical fashion to more complicated stuff (how prosecutors decide whether to proceed with a case; the difference between direct and circumstantial evidence; the facts about diplomatic immunity), the author explains how crime writers can make sure to use the correct terminology and proper procedures, thus ensuring that they will not, well, embarrass themselves. Budewitz also makes intelligible to the layperson some of those baffling legal terms Res ipsa loquitor, that sort of thing and she dips into such potentially murky waters as legal ethics and the death penalty (from a writerly standpoint rather than a philosophical one). Written in clear, simple prose and drawing on examples from crime fiction and the author's own career as a lawyer, this book belongs on the shelf of every crime writer.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Sean Griswold's Head
by Leavitt, Lindsey

Publishers Weekly A chronic worrier, high school freshman Payton Gritas has just had a massive wrench thrown into her hyperorganized life: for six months her family has kept her father's multiple sclerosis diagnosis a secret from her. The school guidance counselor asks Payton to keep a journal about a "Focus Object" of her choosing, and she picks Sean Griswold's head, since he has sat in front of her in class for years. The drama begins when her boy-crazy best friend, Jac, decides that they should research Sean-and then starts playing matchmaker. Payton soon falls for sensitive Sean and begins to share his passion for cycling, but between her father's illness, her declining grades, and her faltering friendship with Jac, she isn't sure that she can let someone new into her life. Leavitt (the Princess for Hire series) delicately handles topics of illness, evolving relationships, and what it means to grow up. Payton's alternately sarcastic, snappy, and reflective narration ("The truth, I know, is that it's not my dad I'm really mad at. I'm mad at his disease") carries this insightful story. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list A teenager charts her rocky course toward, as she puts it, getting over myself in the wake of the revelation that her father has contracted multiple sclerosis. Enraged to learn that everyone else in her family has been shielding her from the knowledge for six months, 15-year-old Payton stops speaking at home, lets her schoolwork slide, and manages to alienate both her stubbornly loyal best friend and budding romantic interest Sean a classmate who, thanks to alphabetization, has occupied the desk in front of her since third grade. Setting up the central conflict as an inner one between Payton's anger-fueled grief and her deep-seated good nature and common sense, Leavitt tucks in lines like I don't do spandex. The devil wears spandex. And I doubt the devil's butt is as big as mine while bringing her protagonist around to acceptance and repaired relationships with help from patient family members and peers, an unexpectedly wise guidance counselor, a little prayer, a newfound love for long-distance biking, and plenty of self-analysis. It's formulaic, but the formula is tried-and-true.--Peters, John Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

School Library Journal Gr 6-9-When 15-year-old Payton Gritas gives her family the silent treatment for withholding her father's MS diagnosis for six months, her parents request the aid of their daughter's guidance counselor, who assigns a focus object exercise. Payton chooses Sean Griswold's head because she and Sean have been linked by last name proximity since the third grade. Soon, with the help of her boy-crazy friend Jac, Payton gets to know Sean Griswold the person and the head. Interpersonal conflicts abound as the teen chooses to focus on avoidance rather than confronting the fear she is experiencing. In a balanced proportion of comedy and gravity, she comes to terms with her father's illness, deals with conflicts she has created with Jac, and eventually opens up her heart to a little romance. While the path that Leavitt paves for her protagonist is somewhat predictable, the likable characters will have girls gravitating toward the novel. Though the book takes a light look at a teenager coming to grips with a parent's serious illness, it is refreshing and realistic without being overwrought with angst.-Adrienne L. Strock, Maricopa County Library District, AZ (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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ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog The cats of Tanglewood Forest
by written by Charles de Lint ; illustrated by Charles Vess.

Book list In this expanded version of A Circle of Cats (2003), 12-year-old orphan Lillian is bitten by a snake, but she is spared death when the cats of Tanglewood Forest turn her into a kitten. Old Mother Possum takes her back in time to return her to human shape, but this time Lillian's aunt succumbs to the snake. Realizing that her choices bring unintended consequences, Lillian begins a quest to revisit her decisions, with the goal of saving her aunt, and her kindness toward others (as well as her cleverness) eventually does just that. Set in a magical forest populated by Bear People, an Apple Tree Man, and the Father of Cats, the story's lyrical, folkloric style is well suited to a tale of magic and mystery. Vess' line-and-watercolor illustrations (not seen in final form) appear throughout; they help to break up the text for younger readers and give form to de Lint's unusual characters. Give this to fans of Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black's Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World around You (2005).--Weisman, Kay Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

Publishers Weekly In this enchanting expansion of De Lint and Vess's 2003 picture book, A Circle of Cats, the duo tells the story of Lillian Kindred, a spirited orphan living on a farm at the edge of a forest with her beloved aunt. While exploring, Lillian is bitten by a snake but saved from death by the magic of the feral cats she has befriended, who turn her into a kitten. Seeking a return to human form, Lillian makes a deal with Old Mother Possum, only to discover that her aunt has died of snakebite. A complex series of adventures, transformations, and tradeoffs occurs, involving a number of De Lint's typically syncretistic magical characters, including Aunt Nancy the spider woman and T.H. Reynolds the fox, who unapologetically informs Lillian that he's eaten Mother Possum's husband, saying, "I'm a fox. It's what we do." De Lint zestfully combines the traditional and the original, the light and the dark, while Vess's luminous full-color illustrations, simultaneously fluid and precise, capture Lillian's effervescent blend of determination and curiosity. Ages 8-12. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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British Crime Writers' Assoc.
Click to search this book in our catalog Forty Words for Sorrow
by Giles Blunt

Publishers Weekly This brooding tale of a search for a serial killer in rural Ontario takes its title from the often-quoted fact that Eskimos have 40 words for snow. "What people really need is forty words for sorrow," thinks Det. John Cardinal, whose glum outlook aptly mirrors the mood of Blunt's atmospheric thriller. The story begins when the frozen body of 13-year-old Chippewa Katie Pine is discovered on one of the Manitou Islands near Algonquin Bay, Ontario. Cardinal, whose obsessive search for the missing girl when she first disappeared six months earlier got him kicked off the case, ends up back in the good graces of his superiors. Or so he thinks. But his new partner, Lisa Delorme, fresh from the Office of Special Investigations (think Internal Affairs), has been paired with Cardinal so she can covertly investigate him at the same time. Dogging Cardinal's record is his connection with drug dealer Kyle Corbett. Each time the police tried to bust Corbett, he was warned by someone on the inside; Cardinal, who is burdened with a guilty secret and a wife who's in and out of mental institutions, is the prime suspect. Focusing initially on Cardinal, Blunt (author of the praised Cold Eye) opens up the plot by chronicling what happens to the next potential victim of what the newspapers are calling the Windigo Killer. While the plot is formulaic (combining both a least-likely-suspect twist and a you-may-think-it's-over-but-it's-not finale), the plangent atmosphere gradually and effectively permeates the reader's consciousness. The characters achieve dimension slowly, like figures in a developing Polaroid, and then become vivid. Sorrow is palpable, and readers making their way through the book will feel like they're walking hunched over against a steady, chilling wind but the final destination, like Cardinal's final redemption, is well earned and well worth the trip. Agent, Helen Heller. (June 25) Forecast: Glowing advance praise from the likes of Jonathan Kellerman, Tony Hillerman and Lee Child augurs well for this deserving, intelligent thriller. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Canada has an extremely low homicide rate, so when the tiny town of Algonquin Bay in northern Ontario is visited by a serial killer whose prey is pre-adolescent children, shock waves are amplified. Blunt's handling of procedure (involving both local and regional police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) is masterful, and his treatment of character is especially intriguing, as he shows us believable protagonists, caught up in the confusion of their own lives yet called to respond to an overarching menace. Detective John Cardinal, lonely, depressed, and isolated from his colleagues because of their suspicion that he's on the take, must work with a female cop, Lise Delerme, who has her own problems, not the least of which is her uncertainty over whether Cardinal knows that she's investigating him. Their challenge is to come out of the miasma of personal and professional problems to outwit a serial killer. A completely absorbing series debut and another fine example of the Canadian mystery (see Farrow's Ice Lake, reviewed on p.1626). --Connie Fletcher

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

Library Journal In recent years, our literary neighbors to the north have produced a wide array of fine fiction. Now comes Canadian Blunt's intelligent second novel (after Cold Eye). Set in the dead of winter in the small northern Ontario town of Algonquin Bay, it opens with the discovery in an abandoned mineshaft of the badly decomposed body of Katie Pine, a 13-year-old Chippewa girl who had disappeared several months before. Detective John Cardinal, demoted for insisting that Katie had not run away, is reinstated to work on the reopened case. In studying reports of other missing children, he begins to find a pattern that hints at a serial killer or killers. At the same time, Cardinal's new partner, French Canadian Lise Delorme, is secretly investigating him for possibly taking bribes from a drug runner. While an exciting crime story, the book is also a novel of place (the chilly isolation of a rural community is vividly portrayed) and a meditation on sorrow for the murdered children, for the emotionally damaged killers, and for Carpenter's mentally ill wife. "Eskimos, it is said, have forty different words for snow. Never mind about snow, Cardinal mused, what people really need is forty words for sorrow. Grief. Heartbreak. Desolation. There were not enough." The only false note is a scene involving a librarian (no surprise there). Still, this is strongly recommended for patrons who want some substance in their mysteries. Wilda Williams, "Library Journal" (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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Caldecott Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Mirette on the High Wire
by Emily McCully

Publishers Weekly : In this picture book set in 19th-century Paris, a child helps a daredevil who has lost his edge to regain his confidence. Many traveling performers stay at Madame Gateaux's boarding house, but Mme.'s daughter Mirette is particularly taken with one guest--the quiet gentleman who can walk along the clothesline without falling off. Mirette implores the boarder to teach her his craft, not knowing that her instructor is the ``Great Bellini'' of high wire fame. After much practice the girl joins Bellini on the wire as he conquers his fear and demonstrates to all of Paris that he is still the best. McCully's story has an exciting premise and starting point, but unfortunately ends up as a missed opportunity. Bellini's anxiety may be a bit sophisticated for the intended audience and, surprisingly, the scenes featuring Mirette and Bellini on the high wire lack drama and intensity. McCully's rich palette and skillful renderings of shadow and light sources make this an inviting postcard from the Old World. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

School Library Journal : K-Gr 4-- Mirette's mother keeps a boardinghouse that attracts traveling performers . The girl is intrigued by one silent visitor, Bellini, who has come for a rest. She finds him next morning walking a high wire strung across the backyard. Immediately, she is drawn to it, practicing on it herself until she finds her balance and can walk its distance. But she finds the man unusually secretive about his identity; he was a famous high-wire artist, but has lost his courage. He is lured by an agent to make a comeback, but freezes on the wire. Seeing Mirette at the end of it restores his nerve; after the performance the two set off on a new career together. As improbable as the story is, its theatrical setting at some historical distance, replete with European architecture and exotic settings and people, helps lend credibility to this circus tale. Mirette, through determination and perhaps talent, trains herself, overcoming countless falls on cobblestone, vaunting pride that goes before a fall, and lack of encouragement from Bellini. The impressionistic paintings, full of mottled, rough edges and bright colors, capture both the detail and the general milieu of Paris in the last century. The colors are reminiscent of Toulouse-Lautrec, the daubing technique of Seurat. A satisfying, high-spirited adventure. --Ruth K. MacDonald, Purdue Univ . Calumet, Hammond, IN

Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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Edgar Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog California Girl
by T. Jefferson Parker

Library Journal: Starred Review. Besides telling a killer story, Parker's latest thriller hauntingly evokes a time (the 1960s) and a place (Southern California). The Becker boys (Andy the homicide reporter, Nick the cop, and David the minister; Clay was killed in Vietnam) grew up near the Vonns, a troubled, abusive family burdened with more than its share of tragedy. When 19-year-old beauty queen Janell Vonn, the essence of a California girl, is found beheaded in the abandoned SunBlesst packing house, the Becker brothers begin their separate quests to find her killer, finally bringing him to justice while realizing redemption for themselves. But 40 years after a conviction, it becomes apparent that the Beckers were wrong, very wrong. Drenched in lust, love, betrayal, and unfulfilled promise, California Girl features masterly plotting, smart prose, and memorable characters. Another excellent work from the author of Cold Pursuit; highly recommended. —Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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National Book Critics Circle
Click to search this book in our catalog Versed
by Rae Armantrout

Publishers Weekly In recent years, Armantrout's reputation has soared-she began in the '70s as an obscure, early practitioner of language poetry, and now her poems regularly appear in the New Yorker. Her new book comprises two sequences-"Versed" and "Dark Matter"-of loosely interlinked poems dealing with the prolific poet's usual subjects (the body, contemporary society, violence) as well as more personal explorations of illness and mortality, all relayed in Armantrout's concentrated, crystalline voice, with a predilection for skipping some steps along the way to sense. The first sequence, peppered with pop culture references and quoted speech, features silly yet surprisingly serious poems on topics like "'[b]reaking/ Anna Nicole news// as she buries/ her son.'Å" In the playful "Scumble," the poet speculates as to "What if I were turned on by seemingly innocent words/ such as... 'extrapolate?'Å" The second section, "Dark Matter," is evasively intimate and occasionally, albeit characteristically, bleak, as Armantrout (Next Life) contemplates her own struggle with cancer "with a shocked smile,/ while an undiscovered tumor/squats on her kidney." In what may be moments of intense, sardonic honesty-"Chuck and I are pleased/ to have found a spot/where my ashes can be scattered"-the poet poses metaphysical questions with open endings: jarring moments in which the stakes are suddenly, impossibly high. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal What you see is what you get in Armantrout's ninth book of free-verse poetry. A professor at the University of California, San Diego, Armantrout (Next Life) was part of the West Coast poetry community of the 1970s, which gave rise to language poetry. At best, her latest work contains brief, impressionistic poems-a few words surrounded by white space-held together by a subtle tension in the connections between words and phrases. Armantrout's poems possess a fleeting light as opposed to an epiphany and a half-heard sound as opposed to rhyme and rhythm. Take, for example, the repetition in the second and final stanza of "Someone": "I'm looking for a/ heart to heart,/ a rhyme/ between the blankness of my/ "my/ and the blue emptiness." It's difficult to know whether Armantrout's sound is, say, a mouse inside the wall or a tree branch brushing the roof of the house. When these poems achieve beauty, it lies not so much in the craft as in the eyes-and ears-of the beholder. Recommended for academic libraries.-Diane Scharper, Towson Univ., MD (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.

Library Journal It's been too long coming, but Armantrout finally shone as she should this year, receiving a nomination for the National Book Award and winning the National Book Critics Circle Award for this volume. Only apparently spare, her poems are in fact deeply distilled, glancing off reality in startling ways. With this work, she's achieved perfection. (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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New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Motive
by Jonathan Kellerman

Publishers Weekly The crafty plot of Edgar-winner Kellerman's 30th novel featuring L.A. psychologist Alex Delaware (after 2014's Killer) will even keep genre veterans guessing. Delaware has been trying, without success, to help his homicide lieutenant friend, Milo Sturgis, with an unusual case. Straightlaced bookkeeper Katherine Hennepin was stabbed 36 times in her apartment by someone who left dinner on her kitchen table set for two. The evidence points to her violent ex-boyfriend, Darius Kleffer, a chef likely to be adept with the type of butcher knife used for the murder. But Kleffer's alibi leaves Sturgis with an open case, even as he picks up another baffler: the parking lot murder of businesswoman Ursula Corey, shot to death soon after a meeting with the attorney handling her divorce. Her former husband, the obvious suspect, turns out also to have an alibi. When the police get to Ursula's home, they find yet another untouched meal for two. The twists are both shocking and logical, and the byplay between the leads entertaining. (Feb.) © 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 A Year Down Yonder
by Richard Peck

Publishers Weekly In this hilarious and poignant sequel to A Long Way to Chicago, Peck once again shows that country life is anything but boring. Chicago-bred Mary Alice (who has previously weathered annual week-long visits with Grandma Dowdel) has been sentenced to a year-long stay in rural Illinois with her irrepressible, rough and gruff grandmother, while Joey heads west with the Civilian Conservation Corps, and her parents struggle to get back on their feet during the 1937 recession. Each season brings new adventures to 15-year-old Mary Alice as she becomes Grandma's partner in crime, helping to carry out madcap schemes to benefit friends and avenge enemies. Around Halloween, for example, the woman, armed with wire, a railroad spike and a bucket of glue, outsmarts a gang of pranksters bent on upturning her privy. Later on, she proves just as apt at squeezing change out of the pockets of skinflints, putting prim and proper DAR ladies in their place and arranging an unlikely match between a schoolmarm and a WPA artist of nude models. Between antic capers, Peck reveals a marshmallow heart inside Grandma's rock-hard exterior and adroitly exposes the mutual, unspoken affection she shares with her granddaughter. Like Mary Alice, audience members will breathe a sigh of regret when the eventful year "down yonder" draws to a close. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Gr. 6^-10. With the same combination of wit, gentleness, and outrageous farce as Peck's Newbery Honor book, Long Way from Chicago (1998), this sequel tells the story of Joey's younger sister, Mary Alice, 15, who spends the year of 1937 back with Grandma Dowdel in a small town in Illinois. It's still the Depression; Dad has lost his job, and Mary Alice has been sent from Chicago to live with Grandma and enroll in the "hick-town's" 25-student high school. As in the first book, much of the fun comes from the larger-than-life characters, whether it's the snobbish DAR ladies or the visiting WPA artist, who paints a nude picture of the postmistress (nude, not naked; he studied in Paris). The wry one-liners and tall tales are usually Grandma's ("When I was a girl, we had to walk in our sleep to keep from freezing to death"), or Mary Alice's commentary as she looks back ("Everybody in this town knew everything about you. They knew things that hadn't even happened yet" ). That adult perspective is occasionally intrusive and Mary Alice sometimes seems younger than 15, though her awkward romance with a classmate is timeless. The heart of the book is Grandma--huge and overbearing, totally outside polite society. Just as powerful is what's hidden: Mary Alice discovers kindness and grace as well as snakes in the attic. Most moving is Mary Alice's own growth. During a tornado she leaves her shelter to make sure that Grandma is safe at home. In fact, as Mary Alice looks back, it's clear that Grandma has remained her role model, never more generous than when she helped her granddaughter leave. --Hazel Rochman

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

School Library Journal Gr 5-8-Peck charms readers once again with this entertaining sequel to A Long Way from Chicago (Dial, 1998). This time, 15-year-old Mary Alice visits Grandma Dowdel alone for a one-year stay, while her parents struggle through the recession of 1937 looking for jobs and better housing. With her older brother, Joey, working out west in a government program, Mary Alice takes a turn at recounting memorable and pivotal moments of her year with Grandma. Beneath the woman's fierce independence and nonconformity, Mary Alice discovers compassion, humor, and intuition. She watches her grandmother exact the perfect revenge on a classmate who bullies her on the first day of school, and she witnesses her "shameless" tactics to solicit donations from Veteran's Day "burgoo" eaters whose contributions are given to Mrs. Abernathy's blind, paralyzed, war-veteran son. From her energetic, eccentric, but devoted Grandma, she learns not only how to cook but also how to deal honestly and fairly with people. At story's end, Mary Alice returns several years later to wed the soldier, Royce McNabb, who was her classmate during the year spent with Grandma. Again, Peck has created a delightful, insightful tale that resounds with a storyteller's wit, humor, and vivid description. Mary Alice's memories capture the atmosphere, attitudes, and lifestyle of the times while shedding light on human strengths and weak- nesses.-Gerry Larson, Durham School of the Arts, NC (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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Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog Icy Sparks
by Gwyn Hyman Rubio

Library Journal: Kentucky writer Rubio's big-hearted first novel features Icy Sparks, a brave and lovable child with Tourette Syndrome. Her involuntary twitches, eye poppings, and repetitions isolate her from the life of her Appalachian community. She is hospitalized for several months and finally receives the correct diagnosis, and under the care of a kindly doctor she learns techniques to reduce the severity of her symptoms. Her loving grandparents and the friendship of the hugely fat Miss Emily, also isolated by her difference, sustain her for five years. During those years Miss Emily teaches her what she will need to know for college. By the end of those years Icy has learned to manage her disability and has used her pain and loneliness to grow into a wonderful young woman. In refusing defeat, she wins the love and respect of the reader. For all collections where there are tender hearts.

Judith Kicinski, Sarah Lawrence Coll. Lib., Bronxville, NY Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publishers Weekly: The diagnosis of Tourette's Syndrome isn't mentioned until the last pages of Rubio's sensitive portrayal of a young girl with the disease. Instead, Rubio lets Icy Sparks tell her own story of growing up during the 1950s in a small Kentucky town where her uncontrollable outbursts make her an object of fright and scorn. "The Saturday after my [10th] birthday, the eye blinking and poppings began.... I could feel little invisible rubber bands fastened to my eyelids, pulled tight through my brain and attached to the back of my head," says Icy, who thinks of herself as the "frog child from Icy Creek." Orphaned and cared for by her loving grandparents, Icy weathers the taunts of a mean schoolteacher and, later, a crush on a boy that ends in disappointment. But she also finds real friendship with the enormously fat Miss Emily, who offers kindness and camaraderie. Rubio captures Icy's feelings of isolation and brings poignancy and drama to Icy's childhood experiences, to her temporary confinement in a mental institution and to her reluctant introduction--thanks to Miss Emily and Icy's grandmother--to the Pentecostal church through which she discovers her singing talent. If Rubio sometimes loses track of Icy's voice, indulges in unconvincing magical realism and takes unearned poetic license with the speech of her Appalachian grandparents ("`Your skin was as cold as fresh springwater, slippery and strangely soothing to touch'"), her first novel is remarkable for its often funny portrayal of a child's fears, loves and struggles with an affliction she doesn't know isn't her fault. Agent, Susan Golomb; editor, Jane von Mehren.

Copyright 1998 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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Pulitzer Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog Middlesex
by Jeffrey Eugenides

School Library Journal 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 Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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

Library Journal 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. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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

Book list 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

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

Library Journal 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" Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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Rebecca Caudill Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Smile
by Raina Telgemeier

School Library Journal Gr 5 Up-A powerful graphic memoir with a light touch, this is the story of how sixth-grader Raina falls and loses her two front teeth. It follows her orthodontic odyssey through high school as she negotiates friendships, meanness, and boys. Full-color comic illustrations portray her journey with an emotionally honest rawness. (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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World Fantasy Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog The Rainy Season
by James Blaylock

Library Journal The coming of the rains to California's mission country releases a torrent of unusual activities surrounding a century-old mystery. Photographer Phil Ainsworth finds his life altered by the adoption of his late sister's child and the legacy she brings with her. As ghosts and strangers from the past seek redress for old grievances, a young girl's life hinges on the possession of a strange crystal and a magical well. The author of Winter Tides continues to display an uncanny talent for low-key, off-kilter drama, infusing the modern world with a supernatural tint. Blaylock's evocative prose and studied pacing make him one of the most distinctive contributors to American magical realism. Recommended for most libraries. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly The central conceit of this elegant, accomplished contemporary ghost story is that fuentesÄsprings in which children have been ritually drownedÄare portals of inexact time travel. A byproduct of the ritual, and of time-traveling, is that memory is cast off in the form of a crystal stone, which allows its holder to experience the cast-off memory, which "might be transferred to living flesh." Hale Appleton, leader of the Societas Fraternia, a spiritualist cult, creates one such crystal in 1884. The stone is then stolen, and pursued to the present day. Timelines and characters overlap here. Scenes from previous centuries take place on the periphery of the present story line, wherein Phil Ainsworth, an insular photographer who lives in Southern California, where Appleton made his sacrifice, gains custody of his niece. People from the past and present converge on Ainsworth in an attempt to get the crystal, or to block the portalÄa well on his propertyÄfrom being neutralized. Ambitious plotting and characterization augment Blaylock's (Winter Tide) lush language (ripples in a well "cast a hundred shifting shadows... crisscrossing in geometric confusion"). This is one ghostly tale that stands on very solid ground. (Aug.) FYI: Blaylock has received two World Fantasy Awards, one for best short fiction ("Paper Dragons," 1986) and one for best short story ("Thirteen Phantasms," 1997). Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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Book list Blaylock continues to extend his range, this time with a novel of quiet--but not entirely psychological--horror. In southern California, underground aquifers may lie hidden for years, and in a rainy season, vanished pools and springs may suddenly reappear or even flood. One such pool turns out to hold more than water. Those who wade into it may thereafter wade out of their own proper time and not always be lucky enough to ever wade back. Inevitably, once what is happening by accident is understood, the foolhardy and the corrupt try to use the pool deliberately, with lethal results for themselves and others. Blaylock constructs what might be described as a leisurely page-turner: one wants to find out what comes next but doesn't feel compelled to rush onward to do so. Fans of horror in general--especially those who don't demand a high body count--as well as dedicated Blaylock fans will be well pleased. --Roland Green

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

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