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by Marchetta, Melina

Book list Australian author Marchetta follows her Printz Award-winning Jellicoe Road (2008) and the high-fantasy Finnikin of the Rock (2010) with this realistic, stand-alone companion to Saving Francesca (2004), set five years later in the same urban neighborhood. After the death of his beloved uncle Joe in an overseas bomb blast, Tom dropped out of the university, and his family spun apart. After a rock-bottom moment leaves Tom homeless with a head full of stitches, he moves in with his aunt Georgie, who is pregnant at 42 and navigating a fraught relationship with a sometimes-estranged partner. Marchetta draws in familiar faces from Saving Francesca, including the title character, as Tom begins to reclaim his life and reach out to the girl he can't forget. Readers may find that the narrative loses focus in frequent switches to Georgie's point of view, but the multidimensional adult characters add to the story's deep flashes of authenticity. A memorable portrait of first love, surviving grief, and the messy contradictions and fierce bonds that hold friends and family together.--Engberg, Gillian Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

Publishers Weekly This tender sequel to Saving Francesca focuses on Francesca's friend, Thomas Finch Mackee, whose family is being torn apart by tragedy. Two years ago when Tom's young uncle was killed by a suicide bomber, Tom's father ("He was a drinker, Dom was. Always had been") lost control, causing his mother to leave town with his younger sister. Tom dropped out of his university-and abandoned his tight-knit circle of friends-while his aunt Georgie has yet to acknowledge that she is pregnant by her ex-partner. There is a lot of backstory, and readers may initially have trouble sorting out the pieces. But the story that unfolds through Tom and Georgie's alternating points of view is powerful and tragic, revealing a wonderful and realistically flawed family working hard to fix its deep damage. Marchetta masterfully demonstrates the depth of emotion-and love-the characters feel, sometimes in small but moving moments. The ending may wrap up somewhat neatly, but readers who make this intense journey with Tom and Georgie will feel they deserve the sweet resolutions. Ages 14-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-Fans of Marchetta's Saving Francesca (Knopf, 2004) will enjoy revisiting the book's characters, now five years older. This time the focus is on Thomas Mackee, whose entire family is torn apart by grief when his uncle Joe is killed, the result of a terrorist bombing in a London subway. Tom's parents separate, he drops out of university, and hits rock bottom with booze, drugs, and one-night stands. His flatmates bail on him and he finds himself living with his unmarried, pregnant aunt, Georgie. Eventually they're joined by Tom's alcoholic, grieving dad. There's a plethora of family angst, including Grandpa's remains now returned from the Vietnam War and Georgie's boyfriend getting another woman pregnant. At times, the story plods and Tom is quite unlikable, but Marchetta uses smart dialogue, email messages, and a bit of humor to slowly draw readers into the complicated social dynamics. It's a joy to watch Tom reconnect with his friends, his music, his family, and Tara, the girl whose heart he broke.-Patricia N. McClune, Conestoga Valley High School, Lancaster, PA (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 Ed Young
Publishers Weekly : This version of the Red Riding Hood story from Young ( The Emperor and the Kite ; Cats Are Cats ; Yeh-Shen ) features three daughters left at home when their mother goes to visit their grandmother. Lon Po Po, the Granny Wolf, pretends to be the girls' grandmother, until clever Shang, the eldest daughter, suspects the greedy wolf's real identity. Tempting him with ginkgo nuts, the girls pull him in a basket to the top of the tree in which they are hiding, then let go of the rope--killing him. One of Young's most arresting illustrations accompanies his dedication: ``To all the wolves of the world for lending their good name as a tangible symbol for our darkness.'' Like ancient Oriental paintings, the illustrations are frequently grouped in panels. When the girls meet the wolf, e.g., the left panel focuses on their wary faces peering out from the darkness, the middle enlarges the evil wolf's eye and teeth, and the third is a vivid swirl of the blue clothes in which the wolf is disguised. The juxtaposition of abstract and realistic representations, the complicated play of color and shadow, and the depth of the artist's vision all help transform this simple fairy tale into an extraordinary and powerful book. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 1989 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

School Library Journal : Gr 1-5-With forceful impressionistic paintings, Young artfully entices readers across the fairy-tale threshold into a story of three girls' fearless battle of wits with a famished wolf.

Copyright 1998 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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by Karen Hesse

School Library Journal Gr 5 Up?In the midst of the Dust Bowl, 13-year-old Billie Jo loses her mother and unborn brother in an accident that she is partly responsible for and burns her own hands so badly that she may never again find solace in her only pleasure?playing the piano. Growing ever more distant from her brooding father, she hops on a train going west, and discovers that there is no escaping the dust of her Oklahoma home?she is part of it and it is part of her. Hesse uses free-verse poems to advance the plot, allowing the narrator to speak for herself much more eloquently than would be possible in standard prose. The author's astute and careful descriptions of life during the dust storms of the 1930s are grounded in harsh reality, yet are decidedly poetic; they will fascinate as well as horrify today's readers. Hesse deals with questions of loss, forgiveness, home, and even ecology by exposing and exploring Billie Jo's feelings of pain, longing, and occasional joy. Readers may at first balk at a work of fiction written as poetry, but the language, imagery, and rhythms are so immediate that after only a few pages it will seem natural to have the story related in verse. This book is a wonderful choice for classrooms involved in journal-writing assignments, since the poems often read like diary entries. It could also be performed effectively as readers' theater. Hesse's ever-growing skill as a writer willing to take chances with her form shines through superbly in her ability to take historical facts and weave them into the fictional story of a character young people will readily embrace.?Carrie Schadle, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. 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.

Publishers Weekly This intimate novel, written in stanza form, poetically conveys the heat, dust and wind of Oklahoma along with the discontent of narrator Billy Jo, a talented pianist growing up during the Depression. Unlike her father, who refuses to abandon his failing farm ("He and the land have a hold on each other"), Billy Jo is eager to "walk my way West/ and make myself to home in that distant place/ of green vines and promise." She wants to become a professional musician and travel across the country. But those dreams end with a tragic fire that takes her mother's life and reduces her own hands to useless, "swollen lumps." Hesse's (The Music of Dolphins) spare prose adroitly traces Billy Jo's journey in and out of darkness. Hesse organizes the book like entries in a diary, chronologically by season. With each meticulously arranged entry she paints a vivid picture of Billy Jo's emotions, ranging from desolation ("I look at Joe and know our future is drying up/ and blowing away with the dust") to longing ("I have a hunger,/ for more than food./ I have a hunger/ bigger than Joyce City") to hope (the farmers, surveying their fields,/ nod their heads as/ the frail stalks revive,/ everyone, everything, grateful for this moment,/ free of the/ weight of dust"). Readers may find their own feelings swaying in beat with the heroine's shifting moods as she approaches her coming-of-age and a state of self-acceptance. Ages 11-13. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Gr. 6^-9. "Daddy came in, / he sat across from Ma and blew his nose. / Mud streamed out. / He coughed and spit out / mud. / If he had cried, / his tears would have been mud too, / but he didn't cry. / And neither did Ma." This is life in the Oklahoma dust bowl in the mid-1930s. Billie Jo and her parents barely eke out a living from the land, as her father refuses to plant anything but wheat, and the winds and dust destroy the crop time after time. Playing the piano provides some solace, but there is no comfort to be had once Billie Jo's pregnant mother mistakes a bucket of kerosene for a bucket of water and dies, leaving a husband who withdraws even further and an adolescent daughter with terribly burned hands. The story is bleak, but Hesse's writing transcends the gloom and transforms it into a powerfully compelling tale of a girl with enormous strength, courage, and love. The entire novel is written in very readable blank verse, a superb choice for bringing out the exquisite agony and delight to be found in such a difficult period lived by such a vibrant character. It also spares the reader the trouble of wading through pages of distressing text, distilling all the experiences into brief, acutely observed phrases. This is an excellent book for discussion, and many of the poems stand alone sufficiently to be used as powerful supplements to a history lesson. --Susan Dove Lempke

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

School Library Journal Gr 5 Up?After facing loss after loss during the Oklahoma Dust Bowl, Billie Jo begins to reconstruct her life. A triumphant story, eloquently told through prose-poetry. (Sept.) (c) Copyright 2010. 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 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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