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Featured Book Lists
Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog The Devil in Music
by Kate Ross

Library Journal Ross's historical mysteries featuring English dandy Julian Kestrel (e.g., Whom the Gods Love, LJ 4/1/95) have earned a loyal following. This fourth entry in the series moves Kestrel from his usual London haunts to Milan and moves Ross from trade paperback to hardcover status. While traveling the Continent with his friend, Dr. MacGregor, Kestrel reads of the recent uncovering of a four-year-old murder involving the aristocratic Malvezzi family and decides to try out his investigating skills once again. The victim was Lodovico Malvezzi, a Milanese marquis and famed music lover. Given his imperious manner, suspects are all to easy to find, especially among his family. Added to the mystery of his death are the disappearances of a talented musical protégé of the marquis and a surly servant, various intrigues related to Italian politics, and rebellions. Kestrel is undaunted by these challenges but finds Malvezzi's beautiful young widow a dangerous distraction. While the plotting is not as tight as in previous novels, the final chapters are replete with enough revelations and twists to please Ross's fans and leave them looking forward to the next novel.?Jan Blodgett, Davidson Coll., Davidson, N.C.

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

Publishers Weekly In her fourth novel featuring the sharp-witted English dandy Julian Kestrel, Ross (Whom the Gods Love) adeptly fashions a mystery from lethal family secrets, political strife, passion for great music and an opulent early 19th-century setting. While in Geneva on a continental holiday, Kestrel learns that the death of Marchese Lodovico Malvezzi in Italy some four years earlier was actually a homicide. The chief suspect is Orfeo, a talented young English singer whom Lodovico had been secretly grooming for a brilliant opera career and who disappeared the night of the murder. Kestrel, accompanied by his valet, Dipper (an ex-pickpocket), and his irascible friend Dr. Duncan MacGregor, travels to Milan, in the heart of Austrian-controlled northern Italy. He offers his services to Marchesa Beatrice Malvezzi, the beautiful and quite possibly dangerous young widow, who introduces him to Milanese society. Especially adroit are Ross's scenes at La Scala, where the operas performed on stage are mere backdrops to the social intrigues occurring in the private boxes of the aristocracy. Suspects abound, and Kestrel's principal adversaries are worthy foes. Gaston de la Marque, his rival for the Marchesa's attentions, is a clever and piquant Frenchman whose verbal duels with Kestrel are knife-edged. Commissario Grimani of the Milanese police is also a formidable obstacle, more concerned with a quick solution to impress his Austrian superiors than with finding the real murderer. The large cast, intricate plot and historical setting are all of operatic proportions, yet Ross never loses control of her story. The result is an elegant and finely tuned performance. Author tour. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Cryer's Cross
by McMann, Lisa

Book list Kendall is a senior in a one-room high school where last spring Tiffany, a freshman, disappeared. Now it is the start of a new year, and Kendall's boyfriend, Nico the only one who truly understood Kendall's OCD has gone missing, too. While compelled to straighten the desks before class one morning, Kendall discovers that Nico's desk was also Tiffany's desk. This seems like more than a coincidence, but Kendall is afraid that people will think she is crazy. The town's dark past is a well-kept secret, and though she doesn't want to admit it, Kendall will need the help of brooding newcomer Jacian if she is going to find Nico. Kendall is a unique character, and the details of her OCD compulsions are well drawn. Haunting passages from another world, which provide just enough detail to intrigue and disturb readers, are intertwined with Kendall's story. Part mystery, part ghost story, and part romance, this book has enough to satisfy a variety of readers and will find popularity with McMann's established fan base and new readers alike.--Yusko, Shauna Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

Publishers Weekly In this ghost story, McCann (the Wake trilogy) delivers an atmospheric but unsatisfying tale of smalltown horror. Kendall Fletcher, a soccer player with obsessive-compulsive disorder who dreams of performing on Broadway, is determined to escape her tiny hometown of Cryer's Cross, Mont., by getting into Juilliard. When her best friend, Nico, is the second student to vanish mysteriously in recent months, it throws Kendall's ordered life into disarray. Soon, enigmatic daydreams and clues lead her to believe that Nico is the latest victim of a supernatural mystery, and she may be the next target. A handsome but surly newcomer, Jacian, may be the key to surviving whatever is preying on the teens of Cryer's Cross. While the remote, rural setting is laden with potential (the one-room high school has only 24 students) and the constant whirring of Kendall's OCD-afflicted mind adds an interesting dimension, the elements never completely gel. McMann handles the buildup of the story's tension well, but her resolution feels quick and easy, and even bloody final revelations can't mitigate a premise that's far more silly than spooky. Ages 14-up. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Gr 7-10-This horror/suspense offering never really gets a full shiver going, even though McMann infuses her story with a 50-year-old wooden school desk and a menacing collective of tortured souls possessing it. Even when the desk-spirits seem to explain the bizarre disappearances of two of several high school students in the tiny Montana town of Cryer's Cross, the intended creep factor intended falls short. What doesn't fall short is the solid characterization of Kendall, a senior who tries to keep control of her OCD even after Nico, her best boy-friend since infancy, goes missing. Weird carved messages show up on the desk he was using before his disappearance, and Kendall thinks she hears his voice when she sits at it. Luckily, she has the distractions of soccer, a new boy from Arizona who slowly warms up to her, and her family's potato harvest to keep her from obsessing about Nico's loss and the eerie desk-until they just become too compelling. Then she, too, faces danger from the trapped entities that inhabit the desk. The mystery of why and how the desk is possessed and urging teenagers to harm themselves is given a quick and illogical gloss over when explained. Discerning readers are unlikely to suspend disbelief, but they may find character and setting help redeem the book.-Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA (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 Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and Air
by Stuart Ross

Book list This handsome book presents 14 journeys of exploration, from Pytheas the Greek in 240 BC to the Apollo moon landing in 1969. Sailors dominate the first half of the book: Leif Eriksson, Marco Polo, Zheng He, Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, and Captain Cook. The second half follows explorers David Livingstone and Mary Kingsley through Africa, Umberto Nobile to the Arctic, Auguste Piccard up into the stratosphere, Jacques Piccard down into the ocean's depths, and Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay to the summit of Mount Everest. A glossary and a source bibliography are appended. Clearly written chapters trace the expeditions and underscore the challenges that the explorers faced. Precise, beautifully shaded colored-pencil artwor. appears throughout the book and, notably, on a large, foldout sheet tipped into a page of each chapter. From the maps to the drawings of vessels and artifacts to the detailed cutaway views that make each bit of technology more understandable, Biesty's well-labeled illustrations make this one of the most visually fascinating books available on explorers.--Phelan, Caroly. Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

School Library Journal Gr 4-8-The major accomplishments of 14 explorers are presented with strong support from illustrations. Chapters move chronologically from Pytheas in 340 BC to the 1969 Moon landing, combining famous names such as Marco Polo and Magellan with lesser-known but equally interesting figures including Mary Kingsley (Africa), Umberto Nobile (North Pole), and Auguste Piccard (stratospheric flight and deep-sea submersion). Each chapter provides basic background on the topic, then focuses largely on the nuts and bolts of the journeys, including travel conditions, navigation techniques, and vehicle construction. Lively writing captures the excitement of exploration while providing just enough geographic and historical detail. Biesty's pencil and colored pencil artwork ably builds upon the text, with each chapter featuring several insets plus one dramatic gatefold per chapter. In each fairly sturdy foldout, an initial illustration expands in two consecutive unfoldings to reveal further details. For Piccard's undersea exploration, for example, a map identifies the location of the Mariana Trench. This unfolds to show the depth levels of the descent, with helpful visual comparisons to a stack of Empire State Buildings (for depth) and Airbuses (for air pressure). The sequence climaxes with a final foldout depicting Piccard's deep-sea craft in detail, with labeled cross-sections in Biesty's appealing style. Other appropriate touches round out the well-conceived package, including pages with textured paper effects to match the era, from early parchment to a Moon map for the Apollo 11 voyage. Useful for report writers, attractive to browsers, and just right for readers who are curious about the adventure of exploration.-Steven Engelfried, Wilsonville Public Library, OR (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.

School Library Journal Gr 4-8-From Pytheas the Greek to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldren, Ross recounts the stories of daring expeditions undertaken by men and women through the ages. An accessible text and superb visuals-foldout diagrams and spectacular physical maps and cross-sections-guarantee hours of enjoyment. (May) (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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British Crime Writers' Assoc.
Click to search this book in our catalog The Broken Shore
by Peter Temple

Library Journal Detective Joe Cashin had hoped for a little peace when he accepted a posting in his quiet South Australia hometown. But no such luck; he's in the midst of a murder investigation, with three aboriginal boys as the main suspects. Reading group guide. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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

Book list Thanks largely to Hollywood, Americans tend to picture Australians as genial, sunburned rednecks who enjoy beer, barbecue, and bare-knuckle brawling. Without countering all of those stereotypes--the only touching Temple's men do is with their fists-- The Broken Shore offers a cold-weather vision of the continent that, despite its rural setting, is more Ian Rankin than Crocodile Dundee. Melbourne homicide detective Joe Cashin has been temporarily assigned to his hometown, dinky Port Monro. Rehabilitating (with aspirin and whiskey, mostly) from injuries only slowly explained, he broods over family history and mistakes made. But when a local eminence is assaulted--and an attempt to detain the suspect goes fatally wrong--Cashin finds that small-town crimes offer complications worthy of the big city. Though the dense slang will be unfamiliar to U.S. readers (a glossary is provided), what's striking is how easily South Australia anagrams to the American West. Substitute Indians for Aborigines, and land-use issues for land-use issues (Australia has lots of coastline, but waterfront property is waterfront property), and you have a familiarly troubling tale of race and class conflict--with an even darker crime at the heart of it all. Temple's novel racked up the awards in Australia, and it's easy to see why: this deeply intelligent thriller starts slowly, builds inexorably, and ends unforgettably. --Keir Graff Copyright 2007 Booklist

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

Publishers Weekly In Temple's beautifully written eighth crime novel, Joe Cashin, a city homicide cop recovering from an injury, returns to the quiet coastal area of South Australia where he grew up. There he investigates the beating death of elderly millionaire Charles Bourgoyne. After three aboriginal teens try to sell Bourgoyne's missing watch, the cops ambush the boys, killing two. When the department closes the case, Joe, a melancholy, combative cynic sympathetic to underdogs, decides to find the truth on his own. His unauthorized inquiry, which takes him both back in time and sideways into a netherworld of child pornography and sexual abuse, leads to a shocking conclusion. Temple (An Iron Rose), who has won five Ned Kelly Awards, examines Australian political and social divisions underlying the deceptively simple murder case. Many characters, especially the police, exhibit the vicious racism that still pervades the country's white society. Byzantine plot twists and incisively drawn characters combine with stunning descriptions of the wild, lush, menacing Australian landscape to make this an unforgettable read. (June) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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

Library Journal Despite our common Anglo-Saxon heritage, Australian mysteries have never done well in this country. Perhaps they aren't exotic enough for readers who prefer their murders set in the chilly climes of Scandinavia or the sultry heat of Italy. But if this superb novel by one of Oz's finest crime writers breaks out here, pop open a can of Fosters beer and get ready for an Aussie crime wave. Melbourne homicide detective Joe Cashin, reassigned temporarily to his hometown on the south Australian coast after an incident that left him severely injured and a partner dead, is called to investigate the brutal attack on Charles Burgoyne, a prominent and wealthy local citizen. Suspicion soon falls on three Aboriginal teenagers; two are killed in a botched stakeout, and the third drowns himself in the Kettle, a jagged piece of coastline also known as the Broken Shore. Case closed, but Joe, who has Aboriginal cousins, probes further and uncovers far darker crimes. Temple's (Identity Theory) eighth novel deservedly won the Ned Kelly Award, Australia's highest crime fiction prize; in prose that is poetic in its lean spareness, though not without laconic humor (a character has the "clotting power of a lobster"), it offers a haunting portrait of racial and class conflicts, police corruption, and strained yet unbreakable family ties. A helpful glossary defines such colorful Down Under terms as "stickybeak." Highly recommended. [See Pre-pub Alert, LJ 2/15/07.]-Wilda Williams, Library Journal Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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 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 The Last Child
by John Hart

Publishers Weekly A year after 12-year-old Alyssa Merrimon disappeared on her way home from the library in an unnamed rural North Carolina town, her twin brother, Johnny, continues to search the town, street by street, even visiting the homes of known sex offenders, in this chilling novel from Edgar-winner Hart (Down River). Det. Clyde Hunt, the lead cop on Alyssa's case, keeps a watchful eye on Johnny and his mother, who has deteriorated since Alyssa's abduction and her husband's departure soon afterward. When a second girl is snatched, Johnny is even more determined to find his sister, convinced that the perpetrator is the same person who took Alyssa. But what he unearths is more sinister than anyone imagined, sending shock waves through the community and putting Johnny's own life in danger. Despite a tendency to dip into melodrama, Hart spins an impressively layered tale of broken families and secrets that can kill. 175,000 first printing; author tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Adult/High School-Thirteen-year-old Johnny searches for his twin sister who disappeared a year earlier while also mourning the loss of his guilt-ridden father and trying to cope with his mother's abusive boyfriend. Parallel to the rapidly unfolding events is an intriguing and adrenaline-rich mystery that unfolds through Clyde Hunt, lead police detective in Johnny's North Carolina town. Hart develops both characters fully and credibly and brings to life a cast of supporting actors that includes Johnny's depressed and drugged mother and his best friend. The climate and history of the place offer both clues and a well-delineated setting for the plot, giving readers a "you are there" sensibility and an appreciation for how the past creates the present in both evil and good ways. Hart's writing is rich and flowing. Teens looking for adventure, and a story in which a kid shows himself to be smarter than most of the adults around him, will find this novel wholly satisfying.-Francisca Goldsmith, Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia (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 When 12-year-old Alyssa Merrimon disappeared a year ago, her family fell apart. Her twin brother, Johnny, became obsessed with trying to find her, their father took off, not to be heard from again, and their mother sank into a world of drugs and booze, helped along by an abusive, wealthy boyfriend. Det. Clive Hunt is also obsessed, both with finding Alyssa and with her mother, and his preoccupation costs him his marriage and jeopardizes his job. But this is Johnny's story and his quest to find the sister he lost. Taking his mother's car while she's passed out and occasionally taking along his best friend, Jack, Johnny spies and keeps meticulous records on the townsfolk of small Raven County, NC. The world is a dark place when seen through his eyes, and Johnny is an unforgettable character in this finely drawn yet disturbing thriller. With his best novel yet, the Edgar Award-winning Hart (Down River) firmly cements his place alongside the greats of the genre. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [175,000-copy first printing; library marketing.]-Stacy Alesi, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., Boca Raton, FL (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 *Starred Review* Not that we needed any further proof, after the superb King of Lies (2008) and Down River (2007), but Hart once again demonstrates that he is a remarkable storyteller. Somebody has abducted Johnny Merrimon's twin sister, Alyssa. Thirteen-year-old Johnny hasn't been able to let her go, and even now, a year later, he is still scouring his North Carolina town, looking in every dark place, in the belief that his sister may still be alive and close by. Keeping an eye on Johnny, while fighting his own personal demons, is Clyde Hunt, the police detective who's spent the last year working the case, even as his marriage and career have crumbled around him. When they discover the truth, they find that it's something darker and more frightening than either of them could have imagined. Hart once again produces a novel that is elegant, haunting, and memorable. His characters are given an emotional depth that genre characters seldom have, and the graceful, evocative prose lifts his stories right out of their genre and into the realm of capital-L literature. A must-read for every variety of fiction reader.--Pitt, David Copyright 2009 Booklist

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

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National Book Critics Circle
Click to search this book in our catalog The Inheritance of Loss
by Kiran Desai

Publishers Weekly This stunning second novel from Desai (Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard) is set in mid-1980s India, on the cusp of the Nepalese movement for an independent state. Jemubhai Popatlal, a retired Cambridge-educated judge, lives in Kalimpong, at the foot of the Himalayas, with his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, and his cook. The makeshift family's neighbors include a coterie of Anglophiles who might be savvy readers of V.S. Naipaul but who are, perhaps, less aware of how fragile their own social standing is-at least until a surge of unrest disturbs the region. Jemubhai, with his hunting rifles and English biscuits, becomes an obvious target. Besides threatening their very lives, the revolution also stymies the fledgling romance between 16-year-old Sai and her Nepalese tutor, Gyan. The cook's son, Biju, meanwhile, lives miserably as an illegal alien in New York. All of these characters struggle with their cultural identity and the forces of modernization while trying to maintain their emotional connection to one another. In this alternately comical and contemplative novel, Desai deftly shuttles between first and third worlds, illuminating the pain of exile, the ambiguities of post-colonialism and the blinding desire for a "better life," when one person's wealth means another's poverty. Agent, Michael Carlisle. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Having triumphed with Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, Desai returns with the tale of a crusty old judge whose retirement to a desolate house near Mount Kanchenjunga is disrupted by an orphaned granddaughter and, eventually, Nepalese insurgency. With a 12-city tour. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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

Library Journal A shell of his once imposing self, retired magistrate Patel retreats from society to live on what was previously a magnificent estate in India's Himalayas. Cho Oyu is as far away from the real world as the embittered Patel can get. Owing to neglect and apathy, its once beautiful wooden floors are rotted, mice run about freely, and extreme cold permeates everything. The old man isn't blind to the decay that surrounds him and in fact embraces it. But the outside world intrudes with the arrival of his young granddaughter-a girl he never even knew existed. Predictably, the relationship between the two builds throughout the narrative. A parallel story about love and loss is told through the voice of Patel's cook. After the success of her debut, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, Desai-the daughter of one of India's most gifted writers, Anita Desai-falls short in her second attempt at fiction. She fails to get readers to connect and identify with the characters, much less care for them. The story lines don't run together smoothly, and the switching between character narratives is very abrupt. Not recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/05.]-Marika Zemke, West Bloomfield Twp. P.L., MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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

Book list Desai's Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard (1998) introduced an astute observer of human nature and a delectably sensuous satirist. In her second novel, Desai is even more perceptive and bewitching. Set in India in a small Himalayan community along the border with Nepal, its center is the once grand, now decaying home of a melancholy retired judge, his valiant cook, and beloved dog. Sai, the judge's teenage granddaughter, has just moved in, and she finds herself enmeshed in a shadowy fairy tale-like life in a majestic landscape where nature is so rambunctious it threatens to overwhelm every human quest for order. Add violent political unrest fomented by poor young men enraged by the persistence of colonial-rooted prejudice, and this is a paradise under siege. Just as things grow desperate, the cook's son, who has been suffering the cruelties accorded illegal aliens in the States, returns home. Desai is superbly insightful in her rendering of compelling characters and in her wisdom regarding the perverse dynamics of society. Like Salman Rushdie in Shalimar the Clown (2005), Desai imaginatively dramatizes the wonders and tragedies of Himalayan life and, by extension, the fragility of peace and elusiveness of justice, albeit with her own powerful blend of tenderness and wit. --Donna Seaman Copyright 2005 Booklist

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

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New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog The Silkworm
by Robert Galbraith

Library Journal As we all know, Galbraith's first Cormoran Strike novel won great reviews but not great sales until it was revealed that Galbraith was actually J.K. Rowling. Wouldn't you know a famous novelist is at the heart of this second Strike outing. When Owen Quine disappears, his wife assumes that he's on one of his little escapades and asks Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike discovers, Quine has just finished a novel full of nasty portraits of people he knows, and one of them may have wanted to finish him off. Just announced but out in June. (c) Copyright 2014. 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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Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Out of the Dust
by Karen Hesse

Publishers Weekly In a starred review of the 1998 Newbery Medal winner, set during the Depression, PW said, "This intimate novel, written in stanza form, poetically conveys the heat, dust and wind of Oklahoma. With each meticulously arranged entry Hesse paints a vivid picture of her heroine's emotions." Ages 11-13. (Jan.) (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 House of Sand and Fog
by Andre Dubus

Library Journal: In his second novel (after Bluesman, LJ 5/15/93), the son of noted writer Andre Dubus manages to get deep inside the heads of two very different characters who clash over a modest house in the San Francisco suburbs. Kathy is a recovering alcoholic and cokehead who loses her inherited bungalow for alleged nonpayment of taxes. Behmini, an Iranian who was an officer in the Shah's air force before fleeing the revolution, is now struggling to succeed in the United States. He buys the house at auction, planning to make a profit on the resale. Kathy skulks around the neighborhood and eventually confronts the family. When she becomes sexually involved with the policeman she met at her eviction, a married man with bad judgment and a drinking problem of his own, he takes up her cause with explosive results. Dubus's attention to detail and realistic prose style give the narrative a hard-edged, cinematic quality, but unlike many movies, its outcome is unexpected. Recommended for all fiction collections.

Reba Leiding, James Madison Univ., Harrisonburg, VA Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publishers Weekly: This powerfully written but bleak narrative is a mesmerizing tale of the American Dream gone terribly awry. Massoud Amir Behrani, a former colonel in the Iranian Air Force under the Shah, now lives in exile with his wife and teenage son near San Francisco. Working on a road crew as a "garbage soldier" by day and as a deli clerk by night, Behrani is obsessed with restoring his family to the position of glittering wealth and prestige it once enjoyed. At a county auction, he sinks his savings into a bungalow seized for non-payment of taxes, and quickly moves his family into it, planning to resell the house at a sizable profit. But when the house's previous occupant, recovering coke addict Kathy Lazaro, resurfaces with valid claims for repossession, Behrani's plan begins to unravel, and with it his tightly controlled facade of composure. Tensions between Lazaro and Behrani quickly escalate into violence, as Lazaro's lover, a married police officer with a weak spot for lost causes, decides to take matters into his own hands. The book's horrifying denouement offers readers a searing study in the wages of pride. Dubus (Bluesman) writes with an authority regarding the American lower middle class that is reminiscent of Russell Banks and Richard Ford, and his limber imagination is capable of drawing the inner lives of three very different main characters with such compassion that readers will find their sympathies hopelessly divided. If the tragedy that he so skillfully orchestrates cries out to be leavened with a little less desperation and some quiet glimpse of hope, the keenly perceptive and moving narrative is proof that the son and namesake of one of our most talented writers has embarked on a dazzling career in his own right.

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 Independence Day
by Richard Ford

Publishers Weekly In this sequel to The Sportswriter, Ford follows his middle-aged American everyman, Frank Bascombe, through the transformative events of a Fourth of July weekend. (July)

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

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Rebecca Caudill Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Flight #116 is Down
by Caroline Cooney

School Library Journal Gr 7-10-- Patrick, 17, finds it ironic that he needs to request hall passes to go to the library, while as an emergency medical technician he can deliver babies and save lives without such childish restrictions. Wealthy Heidi longs to feel competent at something and close to someone. Daniel, 15, must escort his younger brother to a wedding he desperately hopes won't take place. Spoiled Darienne can only focus on the small, insignificant negatives of life. All of these disparate personalities and more are thrown together by the cataclysmic crash of a 747 on Heidi's rural estate. Don't expect the unity or finely brushed characterization of Cooney's Don't Blame the Music (Putnam, 1986). This time, her third-person narration and rapidly shifting viewpoints have awkward results, much like a shooting sequence for an action-packed TV movie. However, it is these very qualities that may engage the attention of unsophisticated or reluctant readers. The author has done her research on emergency rescue; the crash scene and its evolving confusion are vividly detailed, and a great deal of information is conveyed. Human frailty and strengths are counterpoised. For every overdone character flaw (even the dogs don't like Darienne), there are rewarding bits and the importance of being loved and contributing to the welfare of others is reaffirmed. Sure to be popular.-- Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY (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 Gr. 7-10. Be prepared for swarms of teens requesting this page-turner. Bill Dodge's exciting dust-jacket illustration will capture their attention, and Cooney's engrossing plot about rescue operations for a downed 747 will ensure that they'll keep reading. Although the action spans only eight hours, readers will experience a roller coaster of emotions as rescuers battle flames and harsh conditions to free 400 trapped passengers. They'll feel the sights and sounds of the crash, the terror and pain of the passengers, and the exhilaration, fatigue, and frustrations of the rescuers. The story focuses primarily on 16-year-old Heidi Landseth, who reports the crash, and on 17-year-old Patrick Farquhar, the first trained emergency medical technician to respond to the emergency. Cooney dedicated the book to her daughter Louisa, a trained EMT at age 16, and the detail and clarity of her descriptions of the rescue operations reflect her interest, knowledge, and respect for emergency medical and rescue teams. A great choice for a booktalk or for use with reluctant readers. ~--Chris Sherman

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

Publishers Weekly Using her trademark lightning pace, Cooney depicts the drama and human interest inherent in disaster. A full 747 jetliner crashes late one Saturday night in the tiny upstate New York town of Nearing Falls. The rescue crew, including teen ambulance drivers and paramedics, must battle prejudice, resentment and fear to discover their own brand of bravery. Cooney ( Don't Blame the Music ) captures the lives of both rescuers and passengers with a facile but not unpleasant touch. Her cast includes several conventionally troubled youths, including two brothers en route to their father's second wedding, a spoiled and glamorous rich kid and a runaway on her way home. The author's fluid command of action and suspense, however, redeems these stylistic shortcomings. Like The Poseidon Adventure and Airport , this story will keep even the least bookish readers glued to their seats. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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World Fantasy Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Declare
by Tim Powers

Publishers Weekly Powers (The Anubis Gates, etc.), known hitherto as an expert fantasy writer, has created a mind-bending mix of genres here, placing his gifts for extreme speculative fiction in service of a fantastical spy story involving rivalries between no fewer than four intelligence services: British, French, Russian and American. In 1963, Andrew Hale is summoned to reenter the secret service. He has a past embracing anti-Nazi activities in Occupied ParisÄwhere he fell in love with Elena, a Spanish-born Communist operativeÄand a spectacularly unsuccessful mission on Mount Ararat in 1948, the purpose of which only gradually becomes clear. Powers posits that the mountain, as the speculative last home of Noah's Ark, is also the dwelling place of many djinns, supernatural beings that often take the form of rocks in the Arabian deserts. The father of British spy Kim Philby, a noted Arabist, had been a keen observer of these phenomena and taught his son about them. Now it seems that a supernatural power, manifesting itself as an old woman, is safeguarding the Soviet Union, and if fragments of a destroyed djinn can be introduced into Moscow, they could destroy her protection and make the Soviet Union susceptible to normal human laws. This is Hale's mission. In 1948 it failed, and most of his commando force was destroyed. On his return 15 years later, with Philby, Hale succeeds in shooting fragments of djinn into Philby, who then returns to Moscow. Upon Philby's death many years later, the Soviet Union duly collapses. The styles of spy fiction, with dense counterplotting and extremes of caution, and the spectacular supernatural scenes simply do not blend. It's all offbeat and daringly imaginative, but ultimately rather foolish entertainment. (Jan. 9) Forecast: This original novel, despite its strengths, is unlikely to satisfy fully fans of either spycraft or fantasyÄand such is the pitfall of genre-bending. A 6-city author tour plus vigorous promotion online and off could give the book some turbo power, though. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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Library Journal As a young man, Alan Hale, working for British Intelligence, failed to stop a mysterious Soviet mission on Mt. Ararat and re-entered civilian life. Twenty years later, he must return to Turkey to accomplish the mission that has haunted him since the end of World War II. Powers (Earthquake Weather), known for his complex fantasy tales, here turns in a classic spy novel with a supernatural twist that ties Lawrence of Arabia to the fall of the Iron Curtain. Fans of John le Carr will appreciate the authentic period detail, meticulous descriptions of the business of espionage, and portraits of actual spies, such as Kim Philby; others will enjoy the suspense and chilling atmosphere of Cold War antics, as well as Powers's intricate chronology and plotting. [The publisher is marketing this as Powers's mainstream breakout novel.DEd.]DDevon Thomas, Hass Assoc., Ann Arbor, MI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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

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