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by Cooper, Michelle

Book list Cooper's follow-up to A Brief History of Montmaray (2009) has the surviving members (all five of them) of the fictional kingdom of Montmaray taking refuge in England following the Nazi bombing of their tiny island home. In journal entries that span the tumultuous years from 1937 to 1939, Princess Sophie recounts her aunt's attempts to get her and her cousin, the firebrand Veronica, introduced to society and married off to the richest royalty she can find. But the girls are far more preoccupied by the growing threat of fascism and finding a way to present their minute nation's case to the moribund League of Nations than tea parties and debutante balls. Readers looking for frippery and fluff won't find much in Cooper's thorny, rewarding novel, which cleverly injects the Montmaravian kingdom into a rich historical, political, and ideological context. Though it lacks some of the dramatic tension of the first book, this is still top-shelf historical fiction that offers a glimpse of the conflicts that defined the middle part of the twentieth century from within the prism of high society.--Chipman, Ia. Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-At the end of A Brief History of Montmaray (Knopf, 2009), the FitzOsbornes flee their fictional island kingdom after an attack by the Nazis. The young royals are homeless and are taken in by their widowed Aunt Charlotte at her English estate. Although they are relieved to have a roof over their heads and food to fill their stomachs, being "kept" comes with a price. Aunt Charlotte begins training the girls to be proper ladies and find wealthy husbands, while the boys are expected to receive a respectable education and find suitable wives. Aunt Charlotte has her hands full. While Veronica and Sophie comply with being thrust into London Society's Season, they do so reluctantly; Veronica has her eye on getting the word out about the injustices of Nazism, and Sophie's goal is to not look foolish. All of the characters challenge the notions of "proper" behavior while trying to stay under their aunt's scornful radar. They are not always successful, and young Henry's antics are some of the funniest moments in the book. Political activism is a major theme in this story. The author explains, "While Montmaray does not exist, most of the world events described in the novel actually occurred," and she includes a lengthy list of real people who are mentioned in the book. Readers who enjoys good character development and/or historical novels will be drawn in easily.-Wendy Scalfaro, G. Ray Bodley High School, Fulton, 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.

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by Norton Juster
BookList: PreS-Gr. 2. Two well-known names come together in a book that speaks to the real lives of children and their experiences. The young narrator visits her grandparents, Nanna and Poppy, in their big house. They explore Nanna's garden, and Poppy plays his harmonica. The narrator rides her bike and takes a nap, “and nothing happens till I get up.” Looking out the picture window, the “hello, goodbye window,” she sees the pizza guy, and, more fancifully, a dinosaur. She also spots her parents coming to pick her up. The curly-haired girl is happy to see them, but sad because it means the end of the visit. The window imagery is less important than the title would make it seem. More intrinsic is Juster's honest portrayal of a child's perceptions (a striped cat in the yard is a tiger) and emotions (being happy and sad at the same time “just happens that way sometimes”). Raschka's swirling lines, swaths, and dabs of fruity colors seem especially vibrant, particularly in the double-page spreads, which have ample room to capture both the tender moments between members of the interracial family and the exuberance of spending time in the pulsating outdoors, all flowers, grass, and sky.
IleneCooper. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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by Beverly Cleary

Publishers Weekly This amusing, often touching series of letters from Leigh Botts to a children's book author he admires again demonstrates Cleary's right-on perception of a kid's world. Ages 8-12. (Aug.)

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

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by Anne Rice

Book list After exploring the plights of angels, werewolves, and even Jesus Christ himself in a string of novels, Rice (The Wolves of Midwinter, 2013) returns to the Vampire Chronicles, the series that made her famous almost four decades ago. In this new entry, the vampires are imperiled by an entity they know only as the Voice, who telepathically encourages older vampires to slay their younger counterparts. Though many vampires resist the Voice's commands, several powerful elders give in, including ancient Rhoshmandes. Infamous Lestat, who has been avoiding both his own kind and humans, is forced to come out of his self-imposed exile to unite the vampires to deal with this new threat. He's shocked to learn that a vampire scientist has used his DNA to create a human offspring named Viktor, but before Lestat can meet the young man, Viktor is abducted by Rhoshmandes at the behest of the Voice, who is determined to bend the vampires to his will. Featuring beloved characters from previous installments and spanning continents and centuries, Rice's exciting return to the Vampire Chronicles is bound to please her legions of fans. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Rice's return to her vampire series is big book news, and an author tour and initial 300,000 print run are set to meet reader enthusiasm.--Huntley, Kristine Copyright 2014 Booklist

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

Publishers Weekly Compared to the poorly received Blood Canticle (2003), Rice's newest Vampire Chronicles installment is triumphant. The Voice, a mysterious power, is compelling older vampires worldwide to annihilate the more newly made. Not since the massacre committed by Akasha, the original Queen of the Damned, have so many vampires been killed in one of Rice's novels. The narrative is often nonlinear; in many chapters the elders reveal their backstories before heeding a young vampire's frantic pleas for them to convene in Manhattan to uncover the Voice's agenda and stop it. All wait for Lestat to lead them, but he remains reluctant until the last minute. Rice fills the dense story with plenty of deliciously gory mythology, but many of the info-dumps are bone-dry. Lestat's journey from brat to prince fits his personality, but his attitude irritates even during the book's fascinating climax. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Starred Review. After the release of the last "Vampire Chronicles" novel (2003's Blood Canticle), Rice returns to her popular series, with Lestat back with all of his cohorts and a major change coming in the hierarchy of those in the blood. Vampires all over the world are waging war against one another at the bidding of a mysterious voice. Those in the blood are looking for leadership in the oldest of the blood drinkers, and in the most famous vampire, Lestat. He barely protests. Hitting the sweet spot for fans of Rice's vampire fiction, this outing gives due attention to her series characters, bringing their stories up to the present day, with satisfying results. A list of terms, a prolog, and appendix of characters seamlessly usher in new readers, and help remind those who have been away for awhile. VERDICT Series fans should not miss this latest foray into Rice's magical world built around the undead, but anyone with an interest in the supernatural and aficionados of richly detailed and lush backdrops will enjoy this epic tale. [See Prepub Alert, 5/1/14.] Amanda Scott, Cambridge Springs P.L., PA (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.

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