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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog The Female of the Species.
by McGinnis, Mindy

Book list Gr. 5-8. Igus' prose poems and Wood's evocative paintings combine to give a succinct overview of African American music. A useful time line sets the social context, and brief paragraphs describe the various types of music, from African origins and slave songs through ragtime; the blues; big band, bebop, and cool jazz; gospel; rhythm and blues; and the contemporary sounds of rock, hip-hop, and rap. Igus effectively uses snippets from song lyrics to communicate both a feel for the music itself and a sense of how the various styles played to the emotions of the musicians and their fans ("From the basements to the rooftops, / I see the cool tones of modern jazz / escape the city heat"). Wood's paintings are equally suggestive. Mixing modernist and primitive styles and using color nicely to communicate musical style and tone, her art not only complements the text but vivifies it. Audience may be a problem: the supportive text is too sophisticated for younger readers to grasp themselves, and the format may alienate some older readers. Perhaps best used in a junior-high classroom with audio accompaniment, this striking book, in the hands of a creative teacher or librarian, could give kids a feeling for the majesty, creativity, and continuity of African American music. (Reviewed February 15, 1998)0892391510Bill Ott

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

Kirkus The collaborators on Going Back Home (1997) return with a stunning history of African-American music. They begin 500 years ago, on the African continent, chronicle the slave trade, and document the work songs and spirituals of American slaves. The blues, ragtime, jazz, gospel, R&B, rock, funk, rap, and hip hop all come under scrutiny in free-verse poems that incorporate lyrics about and the rhythms of every style. In addition, Igus has added a brief description of each musical movement and a terrific timeline noting highlights of African-American history--both musical and more general information--which roots the whole book in a broader context. Wood's vibrant paintings are based in historical detail, and resonate with emotion. The color choices, postures of the figures, as well as the expressions on their faces, reflect various aspects of African-American music; the pictures broadcast joy, innovation, and exuberance in the face of systematic oppression. A child hidden in each scene adds a nice piece of personality for readers to interpret. Stylish and lively design pulls it all together into an absorbing, attractive package. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog Stormy: A Story about Finding a Forever Home.
by Guojing

Kirkus This wordless story details the developing friendship between a homeless dog and a kind, patient young woman.The scruffy dog has floppy ears and long, reddish hair, and the light-skinned woman has long hair of the same auburn shade. The story is set in a modern city and a nearby park with a huge tree and a wooden bench that serves as the only shelter for the dog at night. When the woman comes to read on the bench, she spots the shy dog, gradually befriending the appealing canine over several visits by playing with a tennis ball. One night the dog follows the woman to her apartment building, waiting outside in the rain for her to reappear even as the woman goes back to the park in the pelting rain to search for the dog. In an emotionally satisfying reunion they find each other outside the apartment, and the woman takes the dog into her home. The heartwarming conclusion shows the dog sleeping on the end of the woman's bed as morning sunlight streams in the windows. Skillfully composed illustrations in a muted palette alternate between small panels in rows and full-page spreads with dramatic effects in mood and lighting. The narrative is conveyed so capably through the compelling illustrations that not a word is needed.A touching tale about the strong emotional connection between dog and human. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list A small, curly-haired dog huddles alone under a park bench. When a young woman sits down, she is drawn to the stray, who runs away. The next day, she returns with a ball. As the two interact from a distance, the cautious dog slowly warms up, never coming too close. After the third day, as the woman walks back to her apartment, she doesn't see the dog follow her home. A terrible thunderstorm strikes that night, and while the dog shivers in a box near her doorway, the woman hurries off to the park on a rescue mission. When she returns home dejected, she finally notices the frightened, dripping stray and takes her new friend inside. Guojing (The Only Child, 2015) presents this wordless story in clean-cut panels interspersed with full-bleed spreads. Evocative pencil-and-watercolor images use a soft color palette sepia tones in daylight, grays and blues at night to emphasize the warmth developing between the woman and dog. The dramatic, elegantly designed illustrations bring an astounding power to an otherwise simple story, capturing nuanced emotion through movement, posture, and color. Brimming with golden-hued love, this is a book that successfully appeals to our most basic human sentiment, perfect for anyone who appreciates Guojing's accomplished visual style as well as for dog-lovers of all ages.--Lucinda Whitehurst Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

School Library Journal Gr 1–4—Guojing's wordless picture book follow-up to The Only Child is a story of patience and building trust in new relationships. A small, stray dog lives under a park bench and is visited by a young woman who repeatedly tries to connect with the pup, eventually using the element of play and the lure of playing ball. After one day of ball, without the woman knowing, the dog follows her home and that night a storm eventually brings the two permanently together. On the surface this is a simple story, but Guojing's artistic techniques draw readers in to each quiet, tender, fearful moment and allows them to understand the trauma that comes from living in insecurity. Using pencil and watercolor, her emotive use of light shows the sense of loneliness and isolation that happens in the shadows. Pages move from panels to full spreads that offer pacing and pauses to match the ebbs and flows of the building relationship. Just like the young woman gives the dog the space it needs, Guojing gives readers moments to stop and feel the emotion. VERDICT This beautifully illustrated book will appeal to a wide range of ages, can spark conversations around houselessness and insecurity, or just be enjoyed as a tale of a dog finding a "forever home."—Danielle Jones, Multnomah County Library, OR

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

Publishers Weekly Accomplished panel artwork by Guojing (The Only Child) tells a wordless story about a young woman who spots a shaggy stray in a park. The dog stays behind when she leaves, and it’s there when she returns; she’s determined to lure it closer, but it won’t approach. Guojing’s panels convey the young woman’s patience as she uses a ball to build a bond with the stray. As the day ends, the light shifts from silvery cloudiness to golden rays of sunset. Readers see the dog trail the woman home, carrying its ball, then, in one of the story’s heart-tugging moments, sit in front of her apartment gazing up at her window. That night, a storm drives the hound into a discarded box as the woman dashes back to the park. A series of tense crosscut panels depict her frantic search amid sheets of rain, her downcast return, and the moment she spies the pup. From then on, warmth and love enter the dog’s life—and the woman’s. Guojing paces the story to rock emotionally between the dog’s lonely existence and the woman’s offer of love, building all the way to a joyful conclusion. Ages 3–7. Agent: Isabel Atherton, Creative Authors. (Sept.)

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New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Clive Cussler's The Devil's Sea
by Dirk Cussler

Publishers Weekly A search for a lost artifact drives the exciting 26th Dirk Pitt novel (after 2019’s Celtic Empire), the first solo contribution of Cussler, the son of Clive Cussler (1931–2020), to his late father’s bestselling signature series. In the prologue, set in 1959, Tibetan monks succeed in getting the Nechung Idol, a large statue carved from a meteorite, onto a plane while under attack from invading Chinese Communist forces. The statue is of paramount importance to the Dalai Lama, who has just fled Tibet. In 2022, no one knows the idol’s whereabouts, until Dirk Pitt Sr. and his children, twins Dirk Pitt Jr. and Summer, all of whom work for the National Underwater and Marine Agency, discover clues in a plane crash from decades earlier into the Philippine Sea. Meanwhile, the Chinese, including the mentally unstable Lt. Zheng Yijong, a member of the Chinese Army Rocket Forces Special Operations Command, are seeking the Nechung Idol because they can use its metal in their new line of supersonic missiles. All three Pitts escape death scores of times as the action races to a showdown between them and the villainous Zheng. Cussler has done his father proud. Agent: Peter Lampack, Peter Lampack Agency. (Nov.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus In the 26th of the lively Dirk Pitt Adventures, the family finds trouble on the high seas and in the high mountains. Trouble comes looking for Dirk Pitt and his children, Dirk and Summer, in the strangest and most entertaining ways. (Mom is in Congress and misses all the fun.) Fans know that the elder Pitt is Director of NUMA, the National Underwater and Marine Agency, and that he’s not one to “sail a desk.” So they’re in the seas near the Philippines on a research project when they come across a sunken ship and the remnants of a Chinese rocket. The Chinese are upset that their secret Mach-25 rocket has failed once again. Then the area begins to get hit with unexplained tsunamis while Dirk Senior and his colleague Al Giordino explore the depths in Stingray, their submersible. The plot splits off when Dad asks son and daughter to fly to Taiwan to return a large stone antiquity they find in an aircraft that had disappeared in 1963. A Taiwanese museum official recognized it as the Nechung Idol from Tibet, so the siblings head to northern India. Dad rescues a woman from drowning and gets embroiled in a nasty conflict involving her father, a hijacked ship, and guys with guns and nefarious intentions. Meanwhile, young Dirk and Summer wind up in the Himalayas as they try to take the precious stone to the Dalai Lama. There, they try not to get themselves killed by bullets or hypothermia as they stay a step ahead of more villains who want the idol. The Pitts are all great characters—clever, gutsy, and lucky. When he and Giordino find themselves in a heck of a pickle in an area called The Devil’s Sea, Dad Pitt declares a great American truism: “Nothing’s impossible with a little duct tape.” And everything sticks together in the end—the tsunamis, the rocket, the idol. As with all the Dirk Pitt yarns, the action is fast and over-the-top, and the violence is only what’s needed to advance the story. Dirk Cussler carries on what his father started in a series that never gets old. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Library Journal Adventures featuring NUMA Director Dirk Pitt and his buddy Al Giordano remain the top sellers in the Cussler universe, and they surface only once every two years, so NUMA fans need to grab this title now. Clive Cussler passed away in February 2020; son Dirk has coauthored eight previous Dirk Pitt titles.

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

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