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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Huntress
by Lo, Malinda

Publishers Weekly Two teenage girls-Taisin, a sage who has visions, and Kaede, a brave fighter from a powerful family-must travel to see the Fairy Queen to try and save their land. A persistent winter has settled over their kingdom for two years, halting not only trade and harvests but the natural course of life itself, and threatening the survival of Taisin and Kaede's fellow citizens. The journey to the city of Taninli, home of the Fairy Queen, is treacherous, and along the way Taisin, Kaede, and their travel companions face many dangers and tests of their abilities, not least of which are Taisin and Kaede's growing feelings for each other. Lo's storytelling and prose are masterful, and her protagonists will fascinate, particularly Taisin and her relationship to death and its accompanying rituals, her visions, and the way she can occupy another's mind. As with Ash, Lo's characters are emotionally reserved, which makes the unfolding of romance between Kaede and Taisin all the more satisfying. Fans of Garth Nix's Abhorsen trilogy will love this. Ages 15-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Set in the same universe as but in an era long preceding that of Lo's earlier fantasy, Ash (2009), Huntress follows the physical, intellectual, and romantic adventures of two teen girls: apprenticing guard and huntress Kaede and future sage Taisin. Elowen, the daughter of the Fairy Queen, threatens to destabilize and destroy both the land of fey and the land of humans; Kaede and Taisin must employ their different strengths to face and overcome her and to rescue the Fairy Queen. Along the way, the two girls recognize and act upon their attraction to each other, knowing that they have no future together because of Taisin's vocation. Lo's alternately languid and heated descriptions of the politics and obstacles in Kaede's life from her father's presumption to marry her off to her fight with Elowen build a compelling world to pull in readers and hold them fast to the final page. A gripping fantasy with high appeal for fans of Ursula K. Le Guin as well as for readers in search of a smart, female-dominated adventure tale.--Goldsmith, Francisca Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

School Library Journal Gr 10 Up-Set in the same world as Ash (Little, Brown, 2009) but centuries earlier, this stand-alone novel tells the story of Kaede, a 17-year-old studying at the Academy of Sages. When climate changes cause terrible storms resulting in the loss of crops and livestock, she, along with Taisin, another sage-in-training and seer; Con, the king's son; and some trusted guards are sent to renew an ancient treaty with the Fairy Queen, hoping that together they might restore order to the land. After many arduous weeks of travel, they arrive only to discover that the fairy realm is in straits nearly as dire as those they left behind in the human lands. Together, the three young people embark on a desperate mission to destroy the being responsible for draining the fay of their magic and wreaking havoc on the land. In spite of the prohibition against sages forming intimate relations, feelings develop between Kaede and Taisin, and the two girls must decide whether to follow their hearts or their destinies. Lo has created a wonderfully detailed world, and this dynamic and moving story of love that must find a way against nearly insurmountable odds will be as well received as Ash. Select where historical fantasy and GLBT fiction are popular.-Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK (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 The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman
by Meg Wolitzer

School Library Journal Gr 4-7-Three kids meet at a youth Scrabble tournament and help one another work through various issues. Nate has an overly competitive father, while April wants to get noticed by her sports-obsessed family. Duncan's situation is more complicated: he has the power to see things with his fingers, a potential secret weapon in Scrabble games. This fantastic element fits awkwardly into an otherwise realistic novel, and the fact that Duncan barely uses his talent for anything but Scrabble seems odd. The boy's eventual principled actions are offset by a dishonest ruse he uses, behind his mother's back, to get into the tournament. The narrative switches smoothly to capture the points of view and experiences of the three protagonists, although personalities and feelings are frequently spelled out rather than shown through action or dialogue. An anticlimactic attempt by a former player to sabotage the tournament fails to add much drama. Though Duncan is the only character with much depth, the other kids are likable and appealing, and the Scrabble background is neatly rendered in a way that even nonplaying kids can enjoy. The inclusion of tricky game strategies and insider terms like "vowel dumps" and "coffeehousing" bring the tournament scene to life, and the players all have different, believable reasons for their connection to the game. Consider for fans of "puzzle novels" Eric Berlin's "Winston Breen" books (Putnam) and Jody Feldman's The Gollywhopper Games (Greenwillow, 2008).-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.

Book list Duncan Dorfman is adjusting to life in a new Michigan town with his struggling single mom, who lands a job at a local big-box store run by a rarely-seen millionaire. After moving, Duncan finds that he can discern letters with the fingertips of his left hand, which helps him choose needed tiles after he joins the school Scrabble club. Eventually, Duncan's skills bring him to the national Scrabble tournament in Florida, where he meets two other young Scrabble players: a boy from New York City, who has a fraught relationship with his father, and a girl who tries to prove her worth in a family of athletes. As the kids get to know each other, they take a side trip to a crumbling, sinister amusement park, which launches them into an unexpected adventure. At the novel's end, the focus returns back to Duncan, who discovers a surprise about a family secret. The overpacked plot drags a bit, but readers who stick with it will be rewarded with portraits of winning, well-drawn kids struggling to succeed in a complicated world.--Morning, Todd Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

Publishers Weekly The lives, families, and story lines of three 12-year-olds intersect at the annual Youth Scrabble Tournament in adult author Wolitzer's (The Uncoupling) entertaining middle-grade debut. Possessing a supernatural power that gives him an unfair advantage in Scrabble, the title character wrestles with his conscience and a desire for increased social status offered by his conniving partner. Meanwhile, Nate's obsessed father homeschools him in Scrabble only, hoping his son will win the tournament he lost in his youth, and April's sports-fixated family cannot comprehend word games. Themes of competition, passion bordering on mania, and teamwork weave through the narrative, as the protagonists face the consequences of parental choices and flaws-which provide plentiful humorous moments-and contend with ethical struggles of their own. The tournament proves a great equalizer as families wealthy and poor, blended and nuclear, enthusiastic and indifferent support their children's ambitions, and quirky players meet kindred souls from many different corners of the country. Readers don't have to be Scrabble enthusiasts to enjoy this novel, though a passion for it may well develop by the end. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog The Way Forward
by Paul Ryan

Library Journal Whatever your political stripe, if you want insight into the impact of conservatism today, you'll want to investigate this book from Ryan, U.S. representative for Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District and chair of the House Budget Committee. A big focus on economics. (c) Copyright 2014. 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.

Rebecca Caudill Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog The Giver
by Lois Lowry

School Library Journal Gr 6-9-- In a complete departure from her other novels, Lowry has written an intriguing story set in a society that is uniformly run by a Committee of Elders. Twelve-year-old Jonas's confidence in his comfortable ``normal'' existence as a member of this well-ordered community is shaken when he is assigned his life's work as the Receiver. The Giver, who passes on to Jonas the burden of being the holder for the community of all memory ``back and back and back,'' teaches him the cost of living in an environment that is ``without color, pain, or past.'' The tension leading up to the Ceremony, in which children are promoted not to another grade but to another stage in their life, and the drama and responsibility of the sessions with The Giver are gripping. The final flight for survival is as riveting as it is inevitable. The author makes real abstract concepts, such as the meaning of a life in which there are virtually no choices to be made and no experiences with deep feelings. This tightly plotted story and its believable characters will stay with readers for a long time. --Amy Kellman, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

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

Book list Gr. 7^-9. Lowry's simple, powerful prose creates an anti-utopian world where the lack of hardship, war, and poverty only covers the citizens' deeper lack of freedom. A Booklist Editors' Choice and Newbery Medal Winner.

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

Publishers Weekly In the ``ideal'' world into which Jonas was born, everybody has sensibly agreed that well-matched married couples will raise exactly two offspring, one boy and one girl. These children's adolescent sexual impulses will be stifled with specially prescribed drugs; at age 12 they will receive an appropriate career assignment, sensibly chosen by the community's Elders. This is a world in which the old live in group homes and are ``released''--to great celebration--at the proper time; the few infants who do not develop according to schedule are also ``released,'' but with no fanfare. Lowry's development of this civilization is so deft that her readers, like the community's citizens, will be easily seduced by the chimera of this ordered, pain-free society. Until the time that Jonah begins training for his job assignment--the rigorous and prestigious position of Receiver of Memory--he, too, is a complacent model citizen. But as his near-mystical training progresses, and he is weighed down and enriched with society's collective memories of a world as stimulating as it was flawed, Jonas grows increasingly aware of the hypocrisy that rules his world. With a storyline that hints at Christian allegory and an eerie futuristic setting, this intriguing novel calls to mind John Christopher's Tripods trilogy and Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Match Girl. Lowry is once again in top form--raising many questions while answering few, and unwinding a tale fit for the most adventurous readers. Ages 12-14. (Apr.)

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

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