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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Past Perfect
by Sales, Leila

School Library Journal Gr 7 Up-Chelsea Glaser, 16, is finally old enough to get a job at the mall where normal people spend their summers instead of at the Colonial Essex Village where she's been working with her parents since she was six. However, her friend Fiona convinces her to spend one more summer as a historical interpreter, and Chelsea's previous life comes back to haunt her when her ex-boyfriend, Ezra, shows up for orientation. It's not unusual for a main character to ponder reconnecting with an old flame or pursue a forbidden love interest, but what sets Past Perfect apart is that it takes place in a colonial reenactment village complete with costumes, romance, and an ongoing rivalry with the Civil War reenactors across the street. Chelsea is an appealing narrator with a sharp sense of humor, and readers will tear through this novel to find out whether she reunites with Ezra or gets together with Dan from the rival museum. Although there is no surprise ending here, this is a satisfying and fun read.-Rachael Myers-Ricker, Horace Mann School, Bronx, NY (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.

ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog A Ball for Daisy
by Chris Raschka

School Library Journal PreS-Gr 2-Ever the minimalist, Raschka continues to experiment with what is essential to express the daily joys and tribulations of humans and animals. This wordless story features Daisy, a dog. The motion lines framing her tail on the first page indicate that a big red ball is her chief source of delight. Ever-changing, curvy gray brushstrokes, assisted by washes of watercolor, define her body and mood. Blue and yellow surround her ecstatic prance to the park with toy and owner. The story's climax involves another dog joining the game, but chomping too hard, deflating the beloved ball. A purple cloud moves in, and eight squares fill a spread, each surrounding the protagonist with an atmosphere progressing from yellow to lavender to brown as the canine processes what has occurred; a Rothko retrospective could not be more moving. Until that point, the action has occurred within varying page designs, many showing Daisy's shifting sentiments in four vertical or horizontal panels. Her attentive human's legs are glimpsed frequently, a sunny child whose warmth is transferred in comforting full view at bedtime. When another day dawns, the frisky dog's person proffers a blue surprise; the exuberance at having a ball and a friend is barely containable across two pages. Raschka's genius lies in capturing the essence of situations that are deeply felt by children. They know how easy it is to cause an accident and will feel great relief at absorbing a way to repair damage.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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

School Library Journal PreS-Gr 2-A gray-and-white pup and her red ball are constant companions until a poodle inadvertently deflates the toy, taking the air out of Daisy as well. Raschka's nuanced illustrations brilliantly depict joy, shock, disbelief, sadness-and, with the gift of a blue ball-renewed contentment. (Aug.) (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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

Book list This story about loss (and joy) is accomplished without a single word, which is perfect it puts you directly in the head space of its canine protagonist. The title tells us her name is Daisy, but she is a pretty anonymous little thing, drawn by Raschka as just a few indistinct yet somehow expressive squiggly lines. What's clear is that she loves playing with her ball, both indoors and out, until the fateful moment that another dog bites too hard on the ball and deflates it. In a heartaching series of nearly identical paintings, Daisy slumps into a sofa as depression overtakes her. Dogs, of course, don't know that there are more balls in the world, which makes her glee at the end of the book all the sweeter. Raschka uses fairly sophisticated comic-book arrangements long, narrow, horizontal panels, and so forth but masks them with soft watercolor edges instead of sharp corners. The result feels like something of pure emotion. Pretty close approximation of what it's like to be a dog, probably.--Kraus, Danie. Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Thrive
by Arianna Huffington

Publishers Weekly Media mogul Huffington lays out steps to creating a lifestyle where success is measured not by money and power, but something more meaningful. She criticizes "America's workplace culture... fueled by stress, sleep-deprivation, and burnout," and compliments efforts by companies like General Mills for its "mindfulness program" and LinkedIn for "managing compassionately." Huffington Post, she reports, exemplifies the "third metric" tenets-"well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving"-with nap rooms, meditation classes, and an app called "GPS for the Soul." Huffington cites studies on the health benefits, both physical and psychological, of meditation, adequate sleep, and exercise. One study finds people who had participated in volunteering reported feeling healthier, happier, and less stressed. Huffington also recalls incidents in her own life that have led to wisdom, including her hospitalization for exhaustion, a stillborn baby, and her daughter's struggle with addiction. Discussing death, she advises opening up a dialogue with the dying, powerfully evoking the dignified passing of her own mother. Huffington draws from both Eastern and Western philosophy, and though it's a bit rich when she criticizes the media for chasing viral stories, this is otherwise an excellent guide for individuals aspiring beyond the rat race or businesses seeking to elevate employee morale and well-being. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal After Huffington, the high-profile creator of the Huffington Post, collapsed from exhaustion and lack of sleep, she realized that she had measured her life in two metrics of success-power and money. In the author's new book, she proposes an alternative yardstick measuring well-being, wisdom, and the willingness to give of ourselves. -Huffington details the ways in which readers can achieve these states, such as practicing meditation, getting ample rest, and appreciating the small wonders in life, and stresses the value of "go-givers" over -go-getters. -VERDICT Despite the title being somewhat of a turn-off, the author's message of slowing down is a good one, and makes a particularly solid read for the harried careerist. (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.

Rebecca Caudill Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog The lightning thief
by Rick Riordan.

Publishers Weekly: A clever concept drives Riordan's highly charged children's book debut (the first in a series): the Greek Gods still rule, though now from a Mt. Olympus on the 600th floor of the Empire State Building, and their offspring, demigods, live among human beings. Narrator Percy Jackson thinks he's just another troubled 12-year-old, until he vaporizes his math teacher, learns his best friend, Grover, is a satyr and narrowly escapes a minotaur to arrive at Camp Half-Blood. After a humorous stint at camp, Percy learns he's the son of Poseidon and embarks on a quest to the Underworld with Grover and Annabeth (a daughter of Athena) to resolve a battle between Zeus and Poseidon over Zeus's stolen "master" lightning bolt. Without sacrificing plot or pacing, Riordan integrates a great deal of mythology into the tale and believably places mythical characters into modern times, often with hilarious results (such as Hades ranting about the problem of "sprawl," or population explosion). However, on emotional notes the novel proves less strong (for example, Percy's grief for his mother rings hollow; readers will likely spot the "friend" who betrays the hero, as foretold by the Oracle of Delphi, before Percy does) and their ultimate confrontation proves a bit anticlimactic. Still, this swift and humorous adventure will leave many readers eager for the next installment. Ages 10-up. (July)

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

School Library Journal: Starred Review. Gr 5-9–An adventure-quest with a hip edge. At first glance, Perseus Jackson seems like a loser (readers meet him at a boarding school for troubled youth), but he's really the son of Poseidon and a mortal woman. As he discovers his heritage, he also loses that mother and falls into mortal danger. The gods (still very active in the 21st-century world) are about to go to war over a lost thunderbolt, so Percy and sidekicks Grover (a young satyr) and Annabeth (daughter of Athena) set out to retrieve it. Many close calls and monster-attacks later, they enter Hades's realm (via L.A.). A virtuoso description of the Underworld is matched by a later account of Olympus (hovering 600 floors above Manhattan). There's lots of zippy review of Greek myth and legend, and characters like Medusa, Procrustes, Charon, and the Eumenides get updates. Some of the Labors of Heracles or Odysseus's adventures are recycled, but nothing seems stale, and the breakneck pace keeps the action from being too predictable. Percy is an ADHD, wise-cracking, first-person narrator. Naturally, his real quest is for his own identity. Along the way, such topics as family, trust, war, the environment, dreams, and perceptions are raised. There is subtle social critique for sophisticated readers who can see it. Although the novel ends with a satisfying conclusion (and at least one surprise), it is clear that the story isn't over. The 12-year-old has matured and is ready for another quest, and the villain is at large. Readers will be eager to follow the young protagonist's next move.–Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI

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

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