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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Prized
by O'Brien, Caragh

School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-O'Brien's follow-up to Birthmarked (Roaring Brook, 2010) begins with Gaia Stone at a lonely oasis in the wasteland, far from the Enclave she escaped. She and her infant sister, Maya, are rescued by Peter, a young man from a settlement called Sylum, which, in its own way, is as strange and harsh a place as the Enclave. Women are only one tenth of the population but they rule over the men, many of whom are sterile. Any physical contact between an unmarried man and a woman is considered attempted rape, and the man can be confined to the stocks, imprisoned, or exiled. The last means death, because everyone who leaves Sylum for more than a few days becomes fatally ill. Gaia is immediately considered to be guilty of placing her sister in harm's way and Maya is taken from her. As a woman and the community's only midwife, though, she is also highly valued. To complicate matters further, Leon has followed her from the Enclave. Gaia must sort through her feelings for him as well as those for Peter and his sensitive brother, Will. Cryptic messages left by her grandmother give both a warning and a glimmer of hope. In all, O'Brien has done a marvelous job of building a society with intricate human and environmental elements. Gaia is a very human heroine, often uncertain of her course but always determined to do right as best she can. Although this is undeniably a dystopia, it is filled with romance and beauty, but familiarity with the first book is crucial to understanding this one.-Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI (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.

Book list Picking up quickly on the heels of Birthmarked (2010), this second book in the trilogy feels almost like an entirely new story. Gaia and her baby sister stumble upon the Sylum, a strange village where women are in short supply (only one in 10 babies is female) and yet hold all the power. Gaia enters into a battle of wits with the Matrarc, Sylum's feared leader, and with two potential loves she begins to investigate the science of what is behind the town's weird biology. Fans of Kristin Cashore's Graceling books should know about O'Brien's writing: these are smart, tough romances.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog The Lily Pond
by Annika Thor

Choice Pons was an important operatic presence in the US and Europe during the 1930s and '40s, and at last readers have a portrait that is much better than the average volume about an opera singer. Pons would today be called a "phenom": a petite, glamorous, charming French diva, she came to the US from an undistinguished career in France and captivated opera lovers, especially those who knew her primarily through the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, with her small but wondrously agile voice. She was also lucky, arriving on the scene just as Amelita Galli-Curci was ending her career and before Maria Callas emerged to dominate the world of opera. The editors of the present volume were determined to present as complete a picture as the evidence could reveal. They base their presentation on documents preserved by loving collectors, weaving together information and quoting from reviews and memories of Pons's colleagues. The book follows Pons's career as she went from sparkling young singer, to busy performer, to patriot who sang throughout the world during the war years, and finally to aging diva whose flaws became ever more apparent. Put together with integrity and good taste, the book includes numerous pictures from throughout Pons's career and a comprehensive discography. All opera collections. M. S. Roy; Pennsylvania State University, University Park Campus

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

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

Rebecca Caudill Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Frindle
by Andrew Clements

Publisher's Weekly : Always one step ahead of his teachers, Nick not only can "feel a homework assignment coming the way a farmer can feel a rainstorm" but can dream up a distraction to prevent the assignment from being given. In fifth grade, however, he meets his match in tough language-arts teacher Mrs. Granger. Just to get under her skin--and despite her loud protests--he invents the word "frindle" and convinces the whole school to use it instead of the word "pen." The word spreads to the city, nation and world, and Clements (Big Al) fast-forwards the story by 10 years to show that "frindle" has made it into the dictionary. With this coup Nick gets a big surprise: the proof that Mrs. Granger was rooting for "frindle" all along. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, his well-worn word has become real. Dictionary lovers will cotton to this mild classroom fantasy, while readers who have a hard time believing that one person could invent a word out of thin air will be surprised to learn that the word "quiz" was invented the same way. Ages 8-12.

Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

School Library Journal : Gr 4-6--Nicholas Allen, a sharp, creative, independent thinker starts fifth grade looking for a way to sabotage his Language Arts class. The teacher, Mrs. Granger, is a legend, and he believes her when she states that it is the people who decide what words go into the dictionary. Picking up a dropped pen triggers a brilliant idea. He coins a new word for pen-frindle. It's all for fun, but frindle catches on and Nick finds himself on the "Late Show" and "Good Morning America" explaining his new word. Readers will chuckle from beginning to end as they recognize themselves and their classrooms in the cast of characters. A remarkable teacher's belief in the power of words shines through the entire story, as does a young man's tenacity in proving his point. Outstanding and witty.

Pamela K. Bomboy, Chesterfield County Public Schools, VA Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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