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Baseball-Sized Hail, Ferocious Winds Hit South

A 1,000-mile stretch of the South was battered by a ferocious mix of wind, lightning, and baseball-sized hail in some areas.






Sheriff Vows to Solve 1980 Murder in Mayberry

North Carolina cops have formed a task force to find the mystery driver who murdered 14-year-old Ronda Blaylock.






Arkansas Governor to Sign Religious Freedom Bill

The governor of Arkansas says he'll sign the law despite protests.






Man Killed by Mother-in-Law's Toppling Tombstone

Police said the "tragic accident" occurred at about 10 a.m. Monday at Saint Joseph's cemetery in Throop, Pennsylvania.

Arkansas Lawmakers Pass Controversial Act

Despite strong opposition, the Arkansas House passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Shannon Miller of KARK reports.






$500 Lottery Win Triggered Murder-Suicide: Report

A man who won $500 on a scratch-off lottery ticket fatally shot his live-in girlfriend and then himself, according to police in Texas.






Girl Gets New Hand Thanks To 3-D Printing Technology

Faith Lennox had part of her arm amputated at an early age, but is able to surf, swim, and bike a lot easier thanks to some incredible technology.






Oil Heir Andrew Getty Dead at California Home

Andrew Getty, grandson of the oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, was found at his Hollywood Hills home, his family said Tuesday night.






UConn's Kevin Ollie to Boycott Final Four Over Indiana Law

Kevin Ollie is boycotting the Final Four in light of Conn. Gov. Malloy's order to hold off nonessential travel over Indiana's controversial law.






NTSB Investigates Mississippi Chopper Crash

A National Forestry Services Helicopter during a prescribed burn in a wooded area in Mississippi. WXXV's Shelby Myers reports.






Featured Book Lists
Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Lowcountry boil : a Liz Talbot mystery
by Susan M. Boyer.

Library Journal When PI Liz Talbot learns that her grandmother has been murdered at her South Carolina island home, she returns to Stella Maris, where she will stay until she can help solve the shocking homicide. Two other factors sway this decision: the ghost of her late best friend from high school is talking to her, and she inherited Gram's house. Her big brother, Blake, who is also chief of police, doesn't want her meddling-as if his hardheaded sister is giving him a choice. Plenty of secrets, long--simmering feuds, and greedy ventures make for a captivating read. VERDICT Boyer's chick lit PI debut charmingly showcases South Carolina island culture. Her light paranormal garnered nominations for the 2012 RITA Golden Heart Award and the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. A nice pairing with Sue Ann Jaffarian's "Ghost of Granny Apples" series. (c) Copyright 2012. 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 Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Guantanamo Boy
by Perera, Anna

Book list *Starred Review* Is torture ever justified? Can a confession given under torture be considered the truth? What if the suspect is only 15? There are adult books about abuse at Guantanamo Bay. But what about the many kids held without trial? Set six months after 9/11, this unforgettable novel raises crucial headline issues through the story of teenage Khalid, born near Manchester, England, into a secular Muslim family. Close with his mates on the soccer field and excited about a girl in his class, Khalid grabs every spare minute at home to play war games online with his Pakistani cousin, Tariq, whom Khalid has never met. Then, on his first family trip to Pakistan, Khalid is suddenly arrested in the street, named an enemy combatant, beaten, and questioned, first in Pakistan, then Afghanistan, and then Guantanamo Bay, where he is deprived of sleep, shackled, and water-boarded until he confesses to everything in order to stop the pain and get back home. Tariq is also a prisoner. Did he confess and betray Khalid? Were they victims of bounty hunters? Finally, after almost two years and with the help of his family's lawyer, Khalid does return home to a heartfelt welcome, but many young suspects remain in prison. The extensive back matter by the author and human-rights activists includes detailed discussion questions and more facts. Teens, and adults, too, will want to talk about the terrifying stories like Khalid's, which are happening now to young people.--Rochman, Haze. Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

Publishers Weekly Originally published in the U.K., this harrowing first novel, in which a 15-year-old British boy is apprehended as an enemy combatant while visiting family in Pakistan, focuses on the darker practices of the war on terror. "Six months after 9/11 and the world is getting madder by the day," observes Khalid's father, which foreshadows the insanity to come. Perera quickly establishes Khalid as a typical teenager who quarrels with his parents and likes to play soccer and roughhouse with friends, heightening the tragedy of what follows. After Khalid's father disappears in Karachi, Khalid's chance appearance at a protest and innocent computer gaming leads to his imprisonment for two years, first in Pakistan, then at a CIA camp in Afghanistan, and finally in Guantanamo Bay. Perera unflinchingly portrays the beating, sleep deprivation, isolation, and waterboarding that Khalid undergoes; in one section, she skillfully employs white space to demonstrate the confusion and madness caused by sleep deprivation. Readers will feel every ounce of Khalid's terror, frustration, and helplessness in this disturbing look at a sad, ongoing chapter in contemporary history. Ages 13-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog Journey
by Aaron Becker.

Publishers Weekly Becker develops concepts for film studios, and his wordless picture book debut reads like a cinematic tribute to Harold and the Purple Crayon. Drab sepia drawings introduce a lonely girl whose afternoon is jolted into life (and full color) when she uses a piece of red chalk to draw a door on her wall, walking through it into a lantern-lit forest with a winding river. Drawing a red boat, she drifts toward a breathtaking castle city whose gleaming turrets and domes promise adventure and intrigue. Yet she does not linger-she draws a hot-air balloon, takes to the air, and encounters a squadron of magnificent, steampunk-style airships manned by soldiers who have trapped a phoenix-like bird. Her release of the bird earns the ire of the airmen, the bird in turn rescues her, and a clever resolution leads the girl to a friend with his own magic chalk. Wonder mixes with longing as the myriad possibilities offered by Becker's stunning settings dwarf what actually happens in the story. Readers will be both dazzled and spurred on imagined travels of their own. Ages 4-8. Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. (Aug.) (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 The Mermaids Singing
by Val McDermid

Library Journal First published in Great Britain in 1995, this title marks a clean break from McDermid's Kate Brannigan/Lindsay Gordon series. Here, criminologist Dr. Tony Hill and Detective Inspector Carol Jordan search for an arrogant serial killer who tortures his victims and leaves no clues. A safe bet. (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.

Publishers Weekly McDermid (A Clean Break) enters new ground with a dark tale that is more complex, more carefully crafted and far more disturbing than her Kate Brannigan mysteries. By the time the police admit that Bradfield, a fictional city in northern England, has a serial killer, four men are already dead, each tortured in a different way and then abandoned outdoors in town. Baffled by a lack of physical evidence left by the meticulous sociopath, police bring in Tony Hill, a Home Office forensic psychologist who profiles criminals. Tony, who begins each day by ``selecting a persona,'' devours crime data with a fascination approaching admiration for the killer. The interest distracts him from obsessing over his own sexual impotence and over the ``exquisite torture'' of salacious phone calls he's been getting from a strange woman. DI Carol Jordan, a mercifully normal person who is Tony's liaison with the force, quickly grasps the profiling approach while keeping her policing instincts. Carol and Tony forge an uneasy relationship; but, as they pursue ``the Queer Killer,'' a cloddish policeman undermines them, a local reporter blows the case to get a byline and the murderer closes in on a new quarry. A warning: woven into this powerful story are journal entries in which the murder discusses torture in loving detail, an aspect that makes this graphic, psychologically terrifying tale almost as off-putting as it is impossible to put down. (Dec.) FYI: This novel won Britain's Gold Dagger Award for best crime novel of 1995. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list McDermid's exciting, rapid-fire whodunit is set in the fictional Midlands city of Bradfield, where a serial killer is at large whose signature is the sexual torture of male victims. Stymied, the constables bring in Tony Hill, constructor of psychological profiles, a move resented by a crusty investigator who, jealous of Hill as an overeducated outsider, barges ahead with his own gumshoe method, posting undercover police in Bradfield's gay bars. This indeed produces a suspect, but Hill, in alliance and in dalliance with investigator Carol Jordan, is unpersuaded: his profile of a computer-literate stalker doesn't match the suspect. Meanwhile, at the interstices of the conflict between Hill/Jordan and the curmudgeonly policeman, the author inserts the killer's sadistic chronicle of the crimes, which forces readers to reevaluate possible candidates. This involving method cranks up a high-velocity, high-tension ending involving the stalker's next intended victim--Tony Hill--whose proclivity for phone sex has landed him in deep trouble. A satisfying descent into the territory of a twisted mind. --Gilbert Taylor

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

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Caldecott Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Golem
by David Wisniewski

Book list Rogasky: Gr. 4^-6, younger for reading aloud; Wisniewski: Gr. 3^-6. Drawing on Jewish legends, two very different versions tell the story of the giant monster of sixteenth-century Prague, created by the holy Rabbi Loew from the clay of the river to help protect his people in the ghetto against racist persecution. Rogasky tells it in 13 expansive chapters, with a colloquial warmth and a Yiddish idiom ("Why? Who knows why?" ) that makes you read it aloud. There's terror when the Poles come after the Jews, especially when they accuse the Jews of killing children to drink the blood, a lie used for centuries to fuel anti-Semitism. In a foreshadowing of the Holocaust, the evil priest Thaddeus, being led away to prison, curses the Jews ("I will return and you will not recognize me . . . I will tell the same lies . . . You will burn, burn as if in the ovens of hell" ); a picture of the gates of Auschwitz ends the chapter. Some of the plotting and counterplotting gets convoluted. But the terror is framed by the rabbi's wise control and by uproarious episodes of domestic farce when the golem takes his household orders literally. Hyman's illustrations in shades of brown and blue, some tall and full-page, some small and unframed, reveal the ordinary and the mysterious in the ghetto community. From the rabbi in his library among his piles of books to the golem rampaging through the streets of Prague, there is a depth of perspective, an expressive sense of character, and an exquisite detail of line. Both author and illustrator provide endnotes about sources in Jewish mysticism and history. Wisniewski's large picture-book version is stark and terrifying. His extraordinary cut-paper collages show and tell the shape-shifting and changing perspectives that are the essence of the story. Chanting spells from the holy books of the Cabala, the rabbi creates the giant, whose task is to protect the Jews and catch those planting false evidence of the Blood Lie. When the mob storms the gates of the ghetto, the golem is a huge Frankenstein monster who smashes the people and their weapons. But Wisniewski adds an element of melancholy to the creature (just as Mary Shelley did). This golem can talk, and when his work is done, he begs to be allowed to go on living. The pictures of the desperate giant trying to prevent his hands and face from dissolving are scenes of horror and sorrow. Wisniewski ends with a long, detailed background note about the religious roots and folklore and about the history of Jewish persecution through the ages. --Hazel Rochman

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

School Library Journal Gr 3 Up?Wisniewski's retelling of the golem legend varies only slightly from the traditional version recounted by Beverly McDermott in The Golem (HarperCollins, 1975; o.p.). It is the tale of a clay giant formed in the image of man to protect the Jewish people of medieval Prague from destruction by their enemies. His master, the chief rabbi of Prague in the late 16th century, was a highly regarded Cabbalist (a mystic). In this telling, the golem speaks with the simplicity of a child (In many versions he is mute), and he is destroyed when the emperor guarantees the safety of the Jewish people. (Traditionally, the golem goes berserk and must be returned to the earth.) A lengthy note explains the idea of the Golem and details Jewish persecution throughout history. Wisniewski has used layers of cut paper to give depth to his illustrations, many of which have a three-dimensional appearance. A wispy layer, which begins as the vapor of creation, becomes smoke from torches carried by an angry mob of armed silhouette people and horses. The colors are browns and grays of the earth, sunrise mauve, and the pumpkin and burnt orange of fire and sunset. Skillful use of perspective enhances the Golem's immense size. While the plot is stronger than in Mark Podwal's retelling (Greenwillow, 1995), Wisniewski's text lacks the power and child appeal of McDermott's spare, well-crafted tale. Still, collections wanting another edition of the story might consider this one.?Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH (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.

Publishers Weekly Elaborately composed cut-paper spreads give a 3D, puppet-show-like quality to a retelling of a Jewish legend. Rabbi Loew has a prophetic vision in 1580 when the Jews of Prague are accused of mixing the blood of Christian children into matzoh: he must create a Golem, "a giant of living clay, animated by Cabala, mystical teachings of unknown power." Brought to life with apocalyptic explosions of steam and rain, the Golem seeks out the perpetrators of the Blood Lie and turns them over to the authorities. Thwarted, the enraged enemies of the Jews storm the gates of the ghetto, but the Golem grows to enormous height and violently defeats them with their own battering ram. Once his work is done, he pitifully (and futilely) begs the Rabbi: "Please let me live! I did all that you asked of me! Life is so... precious... to me!" Wisniewski (The Wave of the Sea Wolf) emphasizes the Golem's humanity and the problems with his existence; instead of reducing the legend to a tale of a magical rescuer, the author allows for its historical and emotional complexity. The fiery, crisply layered paper illustrations, portraying with equal drama and precision the ornamental architecture of Prague and the unearthly career of the Golem, match the specificity and splendor of the storytelling. An endnote about the history and influence of the legend is particularly comprehensive. Ages 6-10. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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Edgar Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Blue heaven
by C.J. Box.

Library Journal Having witnessed a murder, 12-year-old Annie and her brother run for their lives to escape killers and dirty cops in the town of Blue Heaven. A break-out effort by the author of the Joe Pickett series; Box lives in Cheyenne, WY. 15-city author tour. (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.

Publishers Weekly At the start of this overly complicated thriller from bestseller Box, his first stand-alone, siblings Annie and William Taylor, ages 12 and 10, witness a gruesome murder in the woods outside the small Idaho town of Kootenai Bay, nicknamed "Blue Heaven" for its abundance of retired LAPD officers. Annie and William make a run for it after they're spotted by the killers, a group of crooked LAPD cops who retired to Idaho eight years earlier after pulling a complicated heist in California that left a man dead. Rancher Jess Rawlins becomes the children's only hope of survival after they take refuge in his barn. Jess must stay one step ahead of the killers, who have volunteered to "help" the local authorities investigate the children's disappearance. Annie and William's mother is frantic, as the scheming officers try to persuade her the children are gone for good. A subplot involving a retired California detective pursuing the original robbery case adds too many extra characters and undercuts the suspense. Readers expecting the same brisk story lines as the author's Joe Pickett crime novels (Free Fire, etc.) will be disappointed. 100,000 first printing; author tour. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list *Starred Review* Taking a break from his terrific Joe Pickett series (Free Fire, 2007), Box offers a stand-alone thriller set in north Idaho, a region called Blue Heaven by the many California cops who have retired there. When two kids witness a campground execution, they have no way of knowing the killers are ex-cops they just know they have to get away. But when the first man who offers them help turns out to be another bad guy, the kids decide they can't trust anyone. Their disappearance triggers a manhunt, and when the killers volunteer their services to the beleaguered local sheriff, he puts them in charge. Box deftly juggles a compressed time line and a large cast of characters that includes a good ex-cop who has followed the killers from California, the kids' single mom, a banker with a bad conscience, and a grizzled rancher who becomes the kids' protector. In some ways, this isn't that different from a Pickett novel: set against a New West issue (rampant development), it features likably flawed good guys (the good cop grapples with fear) and springs the noble western archetypes at just the right moment to have us cheering (you just knew the rancher would saddle up his horse). So does this stand-alone stand on its own two feet? Hell, yes. If it's a bit less introspective than a Pickett, it's a bit more of a page-turner. And Box builds suspense so brilliantly that Blue Heaven could serve as a textbook of how to do it.--Graff, Keir Copyright 2007 Booklist

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

Library Journal Two young kids witness a backwoods execution-style murder in their rural Idaho hamlet. Worse yet, the killers--four retired cops from Los Angeles--see the children and begin a dogged pursuit. Struggling rancher Jess Rawlins is surprised to find Annie and William hiding in his barn, but he's wise enough to believe their lurid tale. He also astutely recognizes the goodness of a stranger in town: Eduardo Villatoro, a retired detective, is determined to put one last unsolved case--a big one--to rest. Villatoro's case is the final nail in the coffin for these bad cops, and it's up to Jess and him to save the children. Readers will be anticipating the final shootout long before the bad guys catch on. Popular series author Box's (Free Fire) first venture into stand-alone territory is a quick, satisfying, and straightforward--if fairly transparent--read. It should appeal to readers looking for a contemporary Western with an infusion of thriller; Michael McGarrity's books come to mind. Recommended for larger popular collections. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 9/1/07.]--Teresa L. Jacobsen, Solano Cty. Lib., Fairfield, 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.

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National Book Critics Circle
Click to search this book in our catalog Sleeping It Off in Rapid City (Farrar, Strauss)
by August Kleinzahler

Publishers Weekly The witty, gritty poet and memoirist Kleinzahler (The Strange Hours Travellers Keep) has produced chiseled, sometimes curt and finely observed free verse for decades. Kleinzahler has lived in Montreal, San Francisco, Vancouver, Portugal and Berlin; his sketches of characters and places from at least four continents include affectionately cynical portraits of hoodlums, odes to the autumn failures of baseball teams and swiftly cinematic depictions of Tartar hordes in medieval Europe, "ripping the ears off hussars." Hackensack, N.J.; the foggy Bay Area with its foggier ex-hippies; and northern European lakes and mountains all receive their due in a poetry that aspires to the feel of bebop and the delight of travel writing, that never bores and rarely repeats itself. New poems add to, rather than swerve away from, Kleinzahler's strengths in close observation and all-over-the-map diction, from slang to technical terms. Overheard speech in "Above Gower Street," a poem about the loneliness of international travel, ranges from an answering machine's anodyne messages to an explicit sexual come-on; in "Vancouver," "the neon mermaid over the fish place/ looks best that way, in the rain." This ninth book of poems and first trade press new-and-selected should bring this master of free verse lines even more admirers. (Apr.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Kleinzahler's tone might be world-weary, his characters slightly frayed, but each poem in this retrospective collection is perfectly, breathtakingly balanced to deliver its own precise world-as it plunges, deceptively, into the deep heart of things. After decades, Kleinzahler got some deserved recognition with his NBCC win. (LJ 5/15/08) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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

Library Journal Set firmly from the beginning in the Objectivist tradition, Kleinzahler's writing has assumed a density over time that approaches the philosophical meditations of Robert Duncan. But whereas Duncan wrote from the persona of Self, Kleinzahler focuses on a (sometimes imaginary) Other: "He wasn't English, of course/ The great man/ But that need not concern us, not here/ Rather, how that famous open plan of his/ Would abhor these little, closed-off rooms." After 70 pages of these unexpected and often abstract ruminations, it can be a relief to turn to some of the older poems. Astonishingly, Kleinzahler is capable of a concrete view influenced by what is not present: "There is a bureau and there is a wall/ and no one is beside you./ Beyond the curtains only silence/ broken now and again by a car or truck./ And if you are very still/ an occasional drip from the faucet/ Such are the room's acoustics./ It is difficult to place exactly where from." Featuring both old and newer work, this is a masterly, breakthrough collection and an important purchase for all libraries. [This is the final poetry review LJ will publish from Ratner, a contributor for over 30 years who died this past March. We'll miss her.--Ed.]--Rochelle Ratner, formerly with Soho Weekly News, New York Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

(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 Bettyville
by George Hodgman

Library Journal This is a superior memoir, written in a witty and episodic style, though at times it's heartbreak-ing. It's also, though just under 300 pages, an especially dense one, filled with a lifetime's worth of reflection and story after fascinating story. Starting out rather conventionally as the tale of a son's return home to rural Paris, MO, to take care of his ailing mother (the "Betty" of the title), the narrative slowly begins to delve into Hodgman's difficulties accepting himself for who he is, particularly as a gay man. Though his relationship with his mother is close it quickly becomes clear that his sexual orientation is just the most significant of many things that he and his family do not discuss. Hodgman is also very good at detailing how much rural America has changed, almost never for the better, in the last 30 years.VERDICT Readers from many backgrounds will be able to identify with the author because his book is really a plea for us to accept everybody for who they are, no matter what their story may be, or what kinds of lives they may lead. [See Prepub Alert, 9/21/14.] (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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

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Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Out of the Dust
by Karen Hesse

School Library Journal Gr 5 Up?In the midst of the Dust Bowl, 13-year-old Billie Jo loses her mother and unborn brother in an accident that she is partly responsible for and burns her own hands so badly that she may never again find solace in her only pleasure?playing the piano. Growing ever more distant from her brooding father, she hops on a train going west, and discovers that there is no escaping the dust of her Oklahoma home?she is part of it and it is part of her. Hesse uses free-verse poems to advance the plot, allowing the narrator to speak for herself much more eloquently than would be possible in standard prose. The author's astute and careful descriptions of life during the dust storms of the 1930s are grounded in harsh reality, yet are decidedly poetic; they will fascinate as well as horrify today's readers. Hesse deals with questions of loss, forgiveness, home, and even ecology by exposing and exploring Billie Jo's feelings of pain, longing, and occasional joy. Readers may at first balk at a work of fiction written as poetry, but the language, imagery, and rhythms are so immediate that after only a few pages it will seem natural to have the story related in verse. This book is a wonderful choice for classrooms involved in journal-writing assignments, since the poems often read like diary entries. It could also be performed effectively as readers' theater. Hesse's ever-growing skill as a writer willing to take chances with her form shines through superbly in her ability to take historical facts and weave them into the fictional story of a character young people will readily embrace.?Carrie Schadle, New York Public Library (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.

Publishers Weekly This intimate novel, written in stanza form, poetically conveys the heat, dust and wind of Oklahoma along with the discontent of narrator Billy Jo, a talented pianist growing up during the Depression. Unlike her father, who refuses to abandon his failing farm ("He and the land have a hold on each other"), Billy Jo is eager to "walk my way West/ and make myself to home in that distant place/ of green vines and promise." She wants to become a professional musician and travel across the country. But those dreams end with a tragic fire that takes her mother's life and reduces her own hands to useless, "swollen lumps." Hesse's (The Music of Dolphins) spare prose adroitly traces Billy Jo's journey in and out of darkness. Hesse organizes the book like entries in a diary, chronologically by season. With each meticulously arranged entry she paints a vivid picture of Billy Jo's emotions, ranging from desolation ("I look at Joe and know our future is drying up/ and blowing away with the dust") to longing ("I have a hunger,/ for more than food./ I have a hunger/ bigger than Joyce City") to hope (the farmers, surveying their fields,/ nod their heads as/ the frail stalks revive,/ everyone, everything, grateful for this moment,/ free of the/ weight of dust"). Readers may find their own feelings swaying in beat with the heroine's shifting moods as she approaches her coming-of-age and a state of self-acceptance. Ages 11-13. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Gr. 6^-9. "Daddy came in, / he sat across from Ma and blew his nose. / Mud streamed out. / He coughed and spit out / mud. / If he had cried, / his tears would have been mud too, / but he didn't cry. / And neither did Ma." This is life in the Oklahoma dust bowl in the mid-1930s. Billie Jo and her parents barely eke out a living from the land, as her father refuses to plant anything but wheat, and the winds and dust destroy the crop time after time. Playing the piano provides some solace, but there is no comfort to be had once Billie Jo's pregnant mother mistakes a bucket of kerosene for a bucket of water and dies, leaving a husband who withdraws even further and an adolescent daughter with terribly burned hands. The story is bleak, but Hesse's writing transcends the gloom and transforms it into a powerfully compelling tale of a girl with enormous strength, courage, and love. The entire novel is written in very readable blank verse, a superb choice for bringing out the exquisite agony and delight to be found in such a difficult period lived by such a vibrant character. It also spares the reader the trouble of wading through pages of distressing text, distilling all the experiences into brief, acutely observed phrases. This is an excellent book for discussion, and many of the poems stand alone sufficiently to be used as powerful supplements to a history lesson. --Susan Dove Lempke

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

School Library Journal Gr 5 Up?After facing loss after loss during the Oklahoma Dust Bowl, Billie Jo begins to reconstruct her life. A triumphant story, eloquently told through prose-poetry. (Sept.) (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 Tara Road
by Maeve Binchy

Library Journal: Abandoned by her husband, a Dublin woman named Ria meets American Marilyn via the phone, and they end up swapping houses--with surprise results.

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 The Haunted Land
by Tina Rosenberg

Choice Freelance journalist and scholar Rosenberg, presently a fellow at the World Policy Institute, has turned her superior talents to a profound question facing Eastern Europe since the collapse of communism. How does society-- its people and its leaders--restore the truth and the historical past after communism? The need to come to terms with history after any war or revolution is problematic and is not always a matter of restoring truth. The legacy of living in communist societies makes this task perilous and necessary. Eastern Europeans have had to adjust their sense of the historical past to a reconstituted present on several occasions in this century, as new orthodoxies replaced old. With depth, and a style appealing to general readers as well as scholars, Rosenberg weaves a tapestry of stories, personal and public, gathered since 1991. She concentrates on the four previously communist nations of Poland, Germany, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, where the ghosts of the haunted lands raise profound ethical dilemmas. Rosenberg suggests that these countries are not truly dealing with the past, because of the way it lives within them. One great challenge is for democratic societies to purge themselves of a communist past, and punish old villains (yesterday's heroes?) without violating democratic ideals. A powerful text. All levels. A. R. Brunello; Eckerd College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Book list Rosenberg, the first freelance journalist to receive a MacArthur "genius" grant, has written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and The New Yorker; her first book--Children of Cain: Violence and the Violent in Latin America (1991)--was widely praised. In this study, Rosenberg investigates another kind of violence: the repression and coercion that were, until recently, an inescapable part of daily life for most citizens of Eastern Europe. Focusing on Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia), Germany, and Poland, Rosenberg humanizes her description of the aftermath of Communism's collapse with tales of three individuals: Rudolf Zukal, a longtime Czech dissident, denounced in 1991 as a collaborator; Wojciech Jaruzelski, the general who headed Poland after the first Solidarity uprising; and Michael Schmidt, an East German border guard who was tried, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, for killing the last person who attempted to escape to the West. Rosenberg compares totalitarianism in Latin America and Eastern Europe, suggesting that trials and punishment are vital for Latin America's "regimes of criminals" but are clumsy tools at best in coming to terms with Eastern Europe's "criminal regimes," which drew most citizens into their operations. A provocative study of a critical component in building the world's newest democracies. --Mary Carroll

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

Publishers Weekly Freelance journalist Rosenberg's frequent trips since 1991 to eastern Europe and the former Soviet empire led to this trenchant report on the moral, political and legal dilemmas confronting Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia as they face their Communist pasts. She focuses on Czech dissident/human rights activist Rudolf Zukal, whose parliamentary career was shattered in 1989 by the revelation that he had been an informer for the secret police in the early 1960s. She also interviewed Polish Communist leader General Wojciech Jaruzelski, who, at his 1992 impeachment trial, argued that his imposition of martial law in 1981 was a necessary evil to save Poland from a Soviet invasion. Documents and testimony presented here contradict that rationale, showing that Jaruzelski was anxious to undercut Solidarity's growing power. Rosenberg also profiles Berlin Wall border guards and East German secret police informers now condemned for their unquestioning obedience to the old regime. Rosenberg wrote Children of Cain: Violence and the Violent in Latin America. (May)

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Rebecca Caudill Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Wait Till Helen Comes Home
by Mary Downing Hahn

Book list Gr. 5-6. A ghost story extraordinaire is one way to bring on the chills and tingles of Halloween. Another choice, more closely tied to the holiday, is Ray Bradbury's Halloween Tree, where some children travel through time to learn the origins of the festivities.

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

Book list Gr. 5-7. Molly and Michael dislike their new stepsister but realize they must try to save her when a ghost beckons the child to certain doom.

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

Book list Gr. 5-7. A ghost story par excellence in which a difficult seven-year-old is drawn into a frightening relationship with the ghost of a dead child. (S 1 86)

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

School Library Journal Gr 4-7 Ghost story fans have a spooky treat in store with Hahn's eerie new novel. Molly, the 12-year-old narrator, and her brother Michael dislike their bratty 5-year-old stepsister Heather and resent the family move to an isolated converted church in the country. The adjourning graveyard frightens Molly, but Heather seems drawn to it. Molly discovers that the ghost of a child (Helen) who died in a fire a century ago wants to lure Heather to her doom. Molly determines to save her stepsister. In so doing, she learns that Heather's strange behavior stems from her feelings of guilt at having accidentally caused her mother's death by playing near a stove and starting a fire. Eventually, Molly wrests Heather from Helen's arms as the ghost attempts to drown them. The girls discover the skeletons of Helen's parents, and their burial finally puts to rest Helen's spirit. This is a powerful, convincing, and frightening tale. The details of everyday life quickly give way to terror. The pace never slackens. Characterization is strong, and descriptive passages set a mood of suspense. There should be a heavy demand from readers who are not ``faint at heart.'' Judy Greenfield, Rye Free Reading Room, N.Y.

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

Book list Gr. 5-7. Hahn gives readers a ghost story par excellence. Molly and Michael's newly blended family isn't working very well. Their seven-year-old stepsister, Heather, hates sharing her father, but he, as well as Molly and Michael's mother, keeps reminding them to be nice to the odd child. Heather's mother died in a mysterious fire when the girl was three, and she has never really gotten over it. Things take a turn for the worse when the family moves to a renovated church far out in the country. Heather's lying, unpleasantness, and attempts at dissension reach new heights. Then, she finds a tomb in the church graveyard with her initials H.E.H. on it. Before long Heather is drawn into a frightening relationship with Helen, the ghost of a dead child whose mother also died in a fire. Hahn builds her plot in the best horror story tradition. Her vivid descriptions add to the creepiness, and more than once readers may find themselves putting down the book and looking over their shoulders; the malevolence is that palpable. Intertwined with the ghost story is the question of Molly's moral imperative to save a child she truly dislikes. Though the emotional turnaround may be a bit quick for some, this still scores as a first-rate thriller. IC. Ghosts Fiction / Stepchildren Fiction [CIP] 86-2648

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

Book list Gr. 5-6. A ghost story extraordinaire is one way to bring on the chills and tingles of Halloween. Another choice, more closely tied to the holiday, is Ray Bradbury's Halloween Tree, where some children travel through time to learn the origins of the festivities.

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

Book list Gr. 5-7. Molly and Michael dislike their new stepsister but realize they must try to save her when a ghost beckons the child to certain doom.

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

Book list Gr. 5-7. A ghost story par excellence in which a difficult seven-year-old is drawn into a frightening relationship with the ghost of a dead child. (S 1 86)

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

School Library Journal Gr 4-7 Ghost story fans have a spooky treat in store with Hahn's eerie new novel. Molly, the 12-year-old narrator, and her brother Michael dislike their bratty 5-year-old stepsister Heather and resent the family move to an isolated converted church in the country. The adjourning graveyard frightens Molly, but Heather seems drawn to it. Molly discovers that the ghost of a child (Helen) who died in a fire a century ago wants to lure Heather to her doom. Molly determines to save her stepsister. In so doing, she learns that Heather's strange behavior stems from her feelings of guilt at having accidentally caused her mother's death by playing near a stove and starting a fire. Eventually, Molly wrests Heather from Helen's arms as the ghost attempts to drown them. The girls discover the skeletons of Helen's parents, and their burial finally puts to rest Helen's spirit. This is a powerful, convincing, and frightening tale. The details of everyday life quickly give way to terror. The pace never slackens. Characterization is strong, and descriptive passages set a mood of suspense. There should be a heavy demand from readers who are not ``faint at heart.'' Judy Greenfield, Rye Free Reading Room, N.Y.

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

Book list Gr. 5-7. Hahn gives readers a ghost story par excellence. Molly and Michael's newly blended family isn't working very well. Their seven-year-old stepsister, Heather, hates sharing her father, but he, as well as Molly and Michael's mother, keeps reminding them to be nice to the odd child. Heather's mother died in a mysterious fire when the girl was three, and she has never really gotten over it. Things take a turn for the worse when the family moves to a renovated church far out in the country. Heather's lying, unpleasantness, and attempts at dissension reach new heights. Then, she finds a tomb in the church graveyard with her initials H.E.H. on it. Before long Heather is drawn into a frightening relationship with Helen, the ghost of a dead child whose mother also died in a fire. Hahn builds her plot in the best horror story tradition. Her vivid descriptions add to the creepiness, and more than once readers may find themselves putting down the book and looking over their shoulders; the malevolence is that palpable. Intertwined with the ghost story is the question of Molly's moral imperative to save a child she truly dislikes. Though the emotional turnaround may be a bit quick for some, this still scores as a first-rate thriller. IC. Ghosts Fiction / Stepchildren Fiction [CIP] 86-2648

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

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World Fantasy Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Soldier of Sidon
by Gene Wolfe

Publishers Weekly Latro, the amnesiac visionary hero of Soldier of the Mist and Soldier of Arete, reaches the Egypt known to Herodotus in Wolfe's splendid historical fantasy. Wounded in battle, Latro has only one day's worth of memory and must write down his experiences so he will know who he is every morning. In compensation, he's able to see gods and supernatural beings and does not distinguish them from the mortals around him. Gaps in the record and Wolfe's Haggardesque device of the manuscript found in a jar make Latro the most postmodern of unreliable narrators, aware that he's writing a text, uncertain of its meaning and unable to keep its entirety in his head. For all Wolfe assures us that ancient Egypt is not mysterious, Latro's journey makes up a leisurely, dreamlike, haunted house of a novel, which brilliantly immerses the reader in the belief systems of the time, drifting in and out of the everyday and spirit worlds until the two become indistinguishable. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list The third novel about Spartan soldier Latro, cursed to forget each day's events, which necessitates faithful diary keeping (hence, the form the Latro novels assume), takes him to Egypt. Wolfe again makes his uneducated protagonist credibly eloquent about what happens and whom he encounters, which is particularly important here because Egypt is the classical world's California, where anything can happen and usually does. The long wait for the latest Latro has been well rewarded. --Roland Green Copyright 2006 Booklist

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

Library Journal Cursed with the inability to remember his words or actions from day to day, the soldier named Latro (or Lucius or Lewqys) finds himself in Egypt, the guest of a Phoenician sea captain who has agreed to take him on a voyage into his past. Visited regularly by visions of gods and holding on to a sense of continuity by keeping a diary he reads every morning, Latro searches for a way to lift his curse and remember his past so that he can live a normal life. Continuing the story begun in Soldier of the Mist and Soldier of Arete, Wolfe brings his stylistic excellence and imaginative genius to this tale of a man who daily sees the world made new and who witnesses magic and miracles at every turn. A welcome addition from one of the genre's most literate and thoughtful authors; highly recommended. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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

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