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New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Shattered
by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes

Publishers Weekly
Click to search this book in our catalog The Story of the Lost Child: Neapolitan Novels, Book Four
by Elena Ferrante and Ann Goldstein

Library Journal This conclusion to Ferrante's epic four-volume "Neapolitan" series continues the portrayal of Lila and Elena over several decades, from the 1960s to 2002. Both women give birth to daughters, and Tina and Imma's shared upbringing exemplify the love as well as the troublesome aspects of their mothers' day-to-existence. With fierce honesty and emotion, sometimes showing anxiety and estrangement, Ferrante etches the tumultuous lives and loves of Lila and Elena, their children, members of their extended family, and their friends. The worth and quality of work, the cost to family life of a successful career, the complications of men and their needs, the value of formal education and writing-all are scrutinized in this study of the role of women today. Verdict Readers should tackle all the books in order (My Brilliant Friend; The Story of a New Name; Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay) to savor the fabulous writing and translation, get to know the memorable characters, and experience a masterpiece of storytelling with a true, living pulse. Very highly recommended, this series is destined to become a classic of Italian literature.-Lisa Rohrbaugh, Leetonia Community P.L., OH © Copyright 2015. 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.

Book list *Starred Review* The fourth and final volume of Ferrante's Neapolitan series originally conceived as a trilogy picks up shortly after the closing of Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (2014). Pursuing love and her writing career in a passionate fury in the late 1970s, Elena eventually lands on Lila's ceiling, occupying the small, neighborhood apartment in Naples above her friend's. Elena's return to hers and Lila's violent birthplace begins a period of calm, warmth, and stability uncommon in their friendship, yet, nonetheless, peripheral threads begin to fray. Beyond day-to-day dealings with their combined families, the women must contend with the continuous threats posed by life in their corrupt birthplace, a challenge they meet in quite different fashions. Although the eponymous child is of profound importance here, it's the disappearance revealed at the series' onset and to which Ferrante returns, after navigating the 40-plus-year span covered in the story, that will compel readers forward, puzzling over it and anticipating resolution. As Elena ages, struggling to understand her relationship to her books' success, she writes and we read, a level removed a story about story and its authorship. A friendship so reflective and yet so repellent, so truthfully plumbed, is a rare thing written. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Word of mouth launched this series, glowing reviews helped, and, eventually, a publishing phenomenon was born. The series' conclusion is a genuine literary event.--Bostrom, Annie Copyright 2015 Booklist

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

ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Golden boy
by Tara Sullivan

School Library Journal Gr 8 Up-Habo, 13, knows that his albinism makes him a zeruzeru, less than a person. His skin burns easily, and his poor eyesight makes school almost impossible. People shun or mock him. Unable to accept his son's white skin and yellow hair, his father abandoned the family, and they cannot manage their drought-ravaged farm in a small Tanzanian village. Habo and his mother, sister, and brother travel across the Serengeti to seek refuge with his aunt's family in Mwanza. Along the way, they hitch a ride with an ivory poacher, Alasiri, who kills elephants without remorse for the money the tusks bring. In Mwanza, the family learns that one commodity can fetch even higher prices: a zeruzeru. Rich people will pay handsomely for albino body parts, and Alasiri plans to make his fortune. Habo must flee to Dar es Salaam before he is killed. After a harrowing escape, he reaches the city and miraculously encounters a person to whom his appearance makes no difference: a blind woodcarver named Kweli. Slowly Habo develops a sense of self-worth as well as carving skills. When Alasiri brings ivory for Kweli to carve, the boy and old man work with the police to send the hunter to prison. Habo's gripping account propels readers along. His narrative reveals his despair, anger, and bewilderment, but there are humorous moments, too. Although fortuitous encounters and repeated escapes may seem unlikely, the truth underlying the novel is even more unbelievable. In Tanzania, people with albinism have been maimed and killed for their body parts, thought to bring good luck. Readers will be haunted by Habo's voice as he seeks a place of dignity and respect in society. An important and affecting story.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato (c) Copyright 2013. 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.

Book list Born albino in a Tanzanian village, Habo suffers virulent prejudice for his pale skin, blue eyes, and yellow hair, even from his own family. At 13, he runs away to the city of Dar-es-Salaam, where he thinks he will find more acceptance: there are even two albino members of the government there. He finds a home as an apprentice to a blind sculptor who knows Habo is a smart boy with a good heart, and he teaches Habo to carve wood. But Habo is being pursued by a poacher who wants to kill him and sell his body parts on the black market to superstitious buyers in search of luck. Readers will be caught by the contemporary story of prejudice, both unspoken and violent, as tension builds to the climax. Just as moving is the bond the boy forges with his mentor, and the gripping daily events: Habo gets glasses for his weak eyes, discovers the library, and goes to school at last. The appended matter includes a Swahili glossary and suggestions for documentary videos.--Rochman, Hazel 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 Mr Squirrel and the Moon
by Sebastian Meschenmoser

Publishers Weekly Meschenmoser's story opens as a wheel of yellow cheese rolls off its wagon, hurtles off a cliff, and lands on a branch outside a squirrel's home. In the same sort of misidentification that drove Meschenmoser's Waiting for Winter, Mr. Squirrel concludes that the yellow cheese is the moon, and worries that he'll be fingered as its thief: "He'd be arrested and thrown in prison." A silent spread pictures the squirrel's fears with mordant humor as he appears in a small prison uniform, reflecting remorsefully as his human cellmate works on a piece of embroidery. (Further inspection reveals a miniature squirrel-sized latrine along the back wall.) The action heats up as a hedgehog, billy goat, and crew of mice join the fray (further crowding the imaginary prison cell of the conscience-stricken squirrel) until they can work out how to put the cheese back where it belongs. Meschenmoser's soft pencil portraits of the squirrel's inner fears teeter right at the sweet spot between anguish and humor. The story's deepest pleasure comes from the contrast between its ever-more-ridiculous scenarios and the artist's solemn, classically proportioned drafting style. Ages 4-8. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Echo
by Pam Munoz Ryan

Publishers Weekly The fairy tale that opens this elegant trio of interconnected stories from Ryan (The Dreamer) sets the tone for the rest of the book, in which a mystical harmonica brings together three children growing up before and during WWII. Friedrich, an aspiring conductor whose birthmark makes him an undesirable in Nazi Germany, must try to rescue his father after his Jewish sympathies land him in a prison camp. In Pennsylvania, piano prodigy Mike and his brother, Frankie, get a chance to escape the orphanage for good, but only if they can connect with the eccentric woman who has adopted them. In California, Ivy Maria struggles with her school's segregation as well as the accusations leveled against Japanese landowners who might finally offer her family a home of their own. Each individual story is engaging, but together they harmonize to create a thrilling whole. The book's thematic underpinnings poignantly reveal what Friedrich, Mike, and Ivy truly have in common: not just a love of music, but resourcefulness in the face of change, and a refusal to accept injustice. Ages 10-14. Agent: Kendra Marcus, BookStop Literary Agency. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Gr 5-8-"Long before enchantment was eclipsed by doubt," a young boy named Otto lost in the woods is rescued by three sisters imprisoned there by a witch's curse. In return, he promises to help break the curse by carrying their spirits out of the forest in a mouth harp and passing the instrument along when the time is right. The narrative shifts to the 20th century, when the same mouth harp (aka harmonica) becomes the tangible thread that connects the stories of three children: Friedrich, a disfigured outcast; Mike, an impoverished orphan; and Ivy, an itinerant farmer's child. Their personal struggles are set against some of the darkest eras in human history: Friedrich, the rise of Nazi Germany; Mike, the Great Depression; Ivy, World War II. The children are linked by musical talent and the hand of fate that brings Otto's harmonica into their lives. Each recognizes something unusual about the instrument, not only its sound but its power to fill them with courage and hope. Friedrich, Mike, and Ivy are brought together by music and destiny in an emotionally triumphant conclusion at New York's Carnegie Hall. Meticulous historical detail and masterful storytelling frame the larger history, while the story of Otto and the cursed sisters honor timeless and traditional folktales. Ryan has created three contemporary characters who, through faith and perseverance, write their own happy endings, inspiring readers to believe they can do the same.-Marybeth Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY (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.

Book list When Otto meets three ethereal sisters, he has no idea that the harmonica they enchant will one day save a life. Decades later, the very same harmonica makes its way to America, and in three sections, Ryan tells the stories of kids whose lives are changed by its music: Friedrich Schmidt, in 1933 Germany, whose father is a Jewish sympathizer; Mike Finnegan, an orphan in Philadelphia in 1935; and Ivy Lopez, living with her parents in California in 1942 while they take care of the farm of a Japanese family who has been sent to an internment camp. The magical harmonica not only helps each of the three discover their inborn musical talents but also gives them the courage to face down adversity and injustice. Though the fairy tale-like prologue and conclusion seem a bit tacked on, Ryan nonetheless builds a heartening constellation of stories around the harmonica, and the ultimate message that small things can have a powerful destiny is resoundingly hopeful. Harmonica tabs are included for readers who want to try their hands at the instrument.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2015 Booklist

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

Belmond Book Club Favorites
Click to search this book in our catalog The Invention of Hugo Cabret
by Brian Selznick

Publishers Weekly: Starred Review. Here is a true masterpiece—an artful blending of narrative, illustration and cinematic technique, for a story as tantalizing as it is touching.Twelve-year-old orphan Hugo lives in the walls of a Paris train station at the turn of the 20th century, where he tends to the clocks and filches what he needs to survive. Hugo's recently deceased father, a clockmaker, worked in a museum where he discovered an automaton: a human-like figure seated at a desk, pen in hand, as if ready to deliver a message. After his father showed Hugo the robot, the boy became just as obsessed with getting the automaton to function as his father had been, and the man gave his son one of the notebooks he used to record the automaton's inner workings. The plot grows as intricate as the robot's gears and mechanisms: Hugo's father dies in a fire at the museum; Hugo winds up living in the train station, which brings him together with a mysterious toymaker who runs a booth there, and the boy reclaims the automaton, to which the toymaker also has a connection. To Selznick's credit, the coincidences all feel carefully orchestrated; epiphany after epiphany occurs before the book comes to its sumptuous, glorious end. Selznick hints at the toymaker's hidden identity (inspired by an actual historical figure in the film industry, Georges Méliès) through impressive use of meticulous charcoal drawings that grow or shrink against black backdrops, in pages-long sequences. They display the same item in increasingly tight focus or pan across scenes the way a camera might. The plot ultimately has much to do with the history of the movies, and Selznick's genius lies in his expert use of such a visual style to spotlight the role of this highly visual media. A standout achievement. Ages 9-12. (Mar.)

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 4–9—With characteristic intelligence, exquisite images, and a breathtaking design, Selznick shatters conventions related to the art of bookmaking in this magical mystery set in 1930s Paris. He employs wordless sequential pictures and distinct pages of text to let the cinematic story unfold, and the artwork, rendered in pencil and bordered in black, contains elements of a flip book, a graphic novel, and film. It opens with a small square depicting a full moon centered on a black spread. As readers flip the pages, the image grows and the moon recedes. A boy on the run slips through a grate to take refuge inside the walls of a train station—home for this orphaned, apprentice clock keeper. As Hugo seeks to accomplish his mission, his life intersects with a cantankerous toyshop owner and a feisty girl who won't be ignored. Each character possesses secrets and something of great value to the other. With deft foreshadowing, sensitively wrought characters, and heart-pounding suspense, the author engineers the elements of his complex plot: speeding trains, clocks, footsteps, dreams, and movies—especially those by Georges Méliès, the French pioneer of science-fiction cinema. Movie stills are cleverly interspersed. Selznick's art ranges from evocative, shadowy spreads of Parisian streets to penetrating character close-ups. Leaving much to ponder about loss, time, family, and the creative impulse, the book closes with a waning moon, a diminishing square, and informative credits. This is a masterful narrative that readers can literally manipulate.—Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library

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

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