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Click to search this book in our catalog The 6:20 Man
by David Baldacci

Library Journal There's no word on plot, but this summer thriller is a stand-alone—Baldacci's first in over a decade—and boasts a million-copy first printing.

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

Book list Travis Devine, a former U.S. Army Ranger who now works on Wall Street, is blackmailed into working for a new organization within the Department of Homeland Security. They want him to dig up dirt on the firm for which he works (apparently there’s been some shady business going on). He takes the job—he doesn’t really have a choice—but he has an ulterior motive. A woman, who works at his firm and whom he recently dated, has died, apparently by suicide. Travis wants to know whether she really did kill herself, and if she didn’t, who did. The investigation leads him into some dark corners. Baldacci (the Atlee Pine novels, the Amos Decker series, and many others) keeps readers guessing with an intriguing story and a few good plot twists. This is ostensibly a stand-alone, although there is plenty of room for a sequel, and the way the book ends, it seems like Baldacci might be planning more Travis Devine stories. Let's hope so.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Baldacci, the author of more than 40 novels, regularly tops bestseller lists, and his latest promises more of the same.

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

Kirkus A complex, high-powered thriller that will keep the reader guessing. Former U.S. Army Ranger Travis Devine regularly takes the 6:20 commuter train to a job he hates at Cowl and Comely, the New York firm where he is an investment analyst. He's one of many “Burners,” or interns, who slave 80 hours a week and more for low pay in hopes of not being fired at the end of the year. Devine works there to appease his father, who had despised his son’s choice to serve his country instead of immediately going out and getting rich like his two older siblings. The morning train passes by the home of Cowl, whom the Burners are making richer and richer. Passengers get daily unfettered views of a gorgeous bikinied woman at Cowl’s swimming pool. She seems oblivious to the yearning gazes of the male commuters. Then, one morning at work, Devine receives an anonymous, untraceable text saying, “She is dead.” None of his fellow Burners received it. “She” is Sara Ewes, a colleague with whom he had once had sex. How could anyone know? It was a secret because dating within the company was a fireable offense. Apparently, she had hanged herself in the building. At home, Devine has interesting roommates, including a pizza-loving, Russia-born male computer hacker; a woman who's building a dating website with phenomenal potential; and another woman who has recently graduated from law school. The Russian tries and fails to track the source of the text for Devine. More people die at the company, naturally freaking everyone out. Devine is a suspect, but a retired Army general protects him—for a price. Devine must help them unravel a secret at the company, and if he refuses, they will “send my ass right to USDB” (United States Disciplinary Barracks) for an act he had committed while in the Army. Readers will suspect nearly everyone in this fast-moving whodunit. Clues abound, like the color of a bathing suit and mysterious references to Waiting for Godot. A great line states that diversity in the high finance world looks like “a jar of Miracle Whip all the way to the bottom.” What fun! This is a winner from a pro. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Kirkus A complex, high-powered thriller that will keep the reader guessing.Former U.S. Army Ranger Travis Devine regularly takes the 6:20 commuter train to a job he hates at Cowl and Comely, the New York firm where he is an investment analyst. He's one of many Burners, or interns, who slave 80 hours a week and more for low pay in hopes of not being fired at the end of the year. Devine works there to appease his father, who had despised his sons choice to serve his country instead of immediately going out and getting rich like his two older siblings. The morning train passes by the home of Cowl, whom the Burners are making richer and richer. Passengers get daily unfettered views of a gorgeous bikinied woman at Cowls swimming pool. She seems oblivious to the yearning gazes of the male commuters. Then, one morning at work, Devine receives an anonymous, untraceable text saying, She is dead. None of his fellow Burners received it. She is Sara Ewes, a colleague with whom he had once had sex. How could anyone know? It was a secret because dating within the company was a fireable offense. Apparently, she had hanged herself in the building. At home, Devine has interesting roommates, including a pizza-loving, Russia-born male computer hacker; a woman who's building a dating website with phenomenal potential; and another woman who has recently graduated from law school. The Russian tries and fails to track the source of the text for Devine. More people die at the company, naturally freaking everyone out. Devine is a suspect, but a retired Army general protects himfor a price. Devine must help them unravel a secret at the company, and if he refuses, they will send my ass right to USDB (United States Disciplinary Barracks) for an act he had committed while in the Army. Readers will suspect nearly everyone in this fast-moving whodunit. Clues abound, like the color of a bathing suit and mysterious references to Waiting for Godot. A great line states that diversity in the high finance world looks like a jar of Miracle Whip all the way to the bottom. What fun! This is a winner from a pro. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list Travis Devine, a former U.S. Army Ranger who now works on Wall Street, is blackmailed into working for a new organization within the Department of Homeland Security. They want him to dig up dirt on the firm for which he works (apparently there’s been some shady business going on). He takes the job—he doesn’t really have a choice—but he has an ulterior motive. A woman, who works at his firm and whom he recently dated, has died, apparently by suicide. Travis wants to know whether she really did kill herself, and if she didn’t, who did. The investigation leads him into some dark corners. Baldacci (the Atlee Pine novels, the Amos Decker series, and many others) keeps readers guessing with an intriguing story and a few good plot twists. This is ostensibly a stand-alone, although there is plenty of room for a sequel, and the way the book ends, it seems like Baldacci might be planning more Travis Devine stories. Let's hope so.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Baldacci, the author of more than 40 novels, regularly tops bestseller lists, and his latest promises more of the same.

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

Publishers Weekly Army veteran Travis Devine, the protagonist of this disappointing thriller from bestseller Baldacci (One Good Deed), had a distinguished career serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, but he quit under mysterious circumstances to join Cowl and Comely, a high-pressure Wall Street investment firm. Every weekday, he takes the 6:20 a.m. commuter train from the suburbs into Manhattan, where he toils until evening. His life’s upended when he gets a text from an unknown person informing him that a colleague, Sara Ewes, whom he had a romantic interest in, was found hanging in a storage room in his office building. That death, which may not be the suicide it appears to be, triggers a cascade of dramatic developments. Devine becomes a murder suspect, others are killed, and he’s tapped to conduct a covert investigation into Cowl and Comely by a Homeland Security official. Despite lip service paid to recent real-life revelations from leaked documents about U.S. companies’ role in international money laundering, the implausible plot, in which the DHS official gives Devine no real guidance, makes it difficult for the reader to suspend disbelief. Baldacci has done better. Agent: Aaron Priest, Aaron M. Priest Literary. (July)

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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog More Happy Than Not
by Adam Silvera

Publishers Weekly Aaron Soto, 16, lives in the projects in a Bronx similar to the real one except for the existence of the Leteo Institute, a neighborhood facility where patients can have painful memories erased (the most fantastical element of this procedure perhaps being that it is covered by Aaron's insurance). If anyone deserves to have his past wiped clean, it's Aaron, who has experienced poverty, his father's suicide, and the violent death of friends in his short life. But what Aaron wants most to forget is that he's gay, especially because the boy he loves is no longer able to be with him, and because his own inability to fly under the radar has made him a target. Silvera's debut is vividly written and intricately plotted: a well-executed twist will cause readers to reassess what they thought they knew about Aaron's life. It's also beyond gritty-parts of it are actually hard to read. Silvera pulls no punches in this portrait of a boy struggling with who he is in the face of immense cultural and societal pressure to be somebody else. Ages 14-up. Agent: Brooks Sherman, Bent Agency. (June) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-Debut author Silvera pulls readers into the gritty, (near-future) Bronx world of 16-year-old Puerto Rican, Aaron Soto, with a milieu of tight-knit, sometimes dysfunctional relationships. Aaron struggles to find happiness despite the presence of his mother, older brother, and girlfriend, as well as a set of childhood buddies and a new, intriguing friend, Thomas. He is haunted by painful physical and emotional scars: the memory of his father's suicide in their home, his own similar failed attempt with its resulting smiley face scar, not to mention his family's poverty and his personal angst at an increasingly strong attraction for Thomas. This first-person narrative raises ethical, societal, and personal questions about happiness, the ability to choose to eradicate difficult memories (through a scientific procedure), and gender identity. The protagonist is as honest with readers as he is able to be, and it is only after Aaron is brutally beaten by friends attempting to set him "straight," that he remembers the entirety of his life story through shocking, snapshotlike revelations. More surprising is the knowledge that his family and girlfriend have known his backstory all along. VERDICT A gripping read-Silvera skillfully weaves together many divergent young adult themes within an engrossing, intense narrative.-Ruth Quiroa, National Louis University, IL 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* A smiling scar marks the inside of 16-year-old Aaron Soto's wrist, both a souvenir of the time he tried to follow in his father's footsteps by checking out of life early and a reminder not to be such a dumbass again. Though his mom has become overprotective and the suicide attempt shambles beside him like an elephant into every room, Aaron is making a comeback, in no small part due to his group of friends and awesome girlfriend, Genevieve. When Gen takes a three-week summer trip, however, Aaron meets Thomas, from the neighboring housing project, and things start to unravel. Sensitive, attractive, and looking for direction, Thomas is unlike any of Aaron's tough-as-nails friends, and the two connect on a deep level. Aaron grapples with burgeoning feelings of homosexuality, which, heartbreakingly, are not reciprocated by the straight Thomas and are bone-shatteringly rejected by his friends, who try to beat being gay out of him. Emotionally and physically broken, Aaron turns to the nearby Leteo Institute, which offers a procedure to erase painful memories. If he can just forget he's gay, everything will be OK, right? First-novelist Silvera puts a fresh spin on what begins as a fairly standard, if well executed, story of a teen experiencing firsts first love, first sex, first loss and struggling with his identity and sexuality. Aaron's first-person narration is charmingly candid as he navigates these milestones and insecurities, making him both relatable and endearing. The book is flush with personal details, and the reader inhabits Aaron's world with ease. A fantasy and comic-book geek to the core, he often filters his own life through a comic lens threatening to Hulk out if someone spoils the end of a movie and wondering what Batman would do in certain situations. Game of Thrones references mingle with veiled Harry Potter allusions (Scorpius Hawthorne and the Convict of Abbadon, anyone?), which many teens will relish. Though some scenes verge on twee and dialogue occasionally strays into precociously-witty-teen territory, it never stays there long, nor does it become self-indulgent. These tender and philosophical moments stand in counterpoint to life in the tough Bronx neighborhood Aaron calls home. There is a borderline gang mentality at work here, where fierce neighborhood loyalty mingles with groupthink to create friends who are as likely to defend as pummel each other, if the code of conduct is challenged. And being a dude-liker is an offense punishable by extreme violence. This prejudice is illustrated with gut-wrenching brutality, and its effects are scarring, but Silvera tempers it with the genuine love and acceptance Aaron receives from a few important friends and family members. Dividing his book into parts by degree of happiness (Happiness, A Different Happiness, Unhappiness, Less Happy Than Before, More Happy Than Not), Silvera examines this state of being from multiple angles to reveal its complexity and dependency on outside forces and internal motive. Is being happy for the wrong reasons real happiness? Can forgetting problems or trauma actually fix your life? The ingenious use of the Leteo procedure allows Silvera to write two versions of Aaron (gay and straight), which proves a fascinating means of drawing attention to the flaw in taking shortcuts past life's major roadblocks. The process of reinvention hinges on memory, on surviving and understanding the sometimes unbearable why of being and that's what Aaron initially misses. Timing is everything in this story, and Silvera structures his novel beautifully, utilizing careful revelations from Aaron's past and consciousness to create plot tension and twists that turn the narrative on its ear. It is not a story of happy endings, but this complexity allows it to move in new, brave directions that are immeasurably more satisfying. Resting somewhere between Ned Vizzini's A Kind of Funny Story (2006) and John Corey Whaley's Noggin (2014), More Happy Than Not will resonate with teens tackling life's big questions. Thought-provoking and imaginative, Silvera's voice is a welcome addition to the YA scene.--Smith, Julia 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 Carter Reads the Newspaper
by Deborah Hopkinson

School Library Journal Gr 1-3-A picture book biography about how Carter G. Woodson became known as the "father of Black History" that also highlights the importance of literacy and being an informed citizen. Woodson, a child of formerly enslaved parents, grew up listening to family and friend's stories and reading the newspaper to his father. As a coal miner, he met Oliver Jones, a veteran of the Civil War, who opened his house to other miners and would prompt Woodson to read the newspaper out loud. Hopkinson presents this as a pivotal moment of solidarity, alternative schooling, and a stirring within Woodson to pursue more knowledge about the histories and lives of black people. Tate's mixed media artwork complements these scenes perfectly, communicating camaraderie and inspiration in scenes overlaid backgrounds of newspaper print. After receiving his PhD from Harvard, Woodson created Negro History Week by sending out pamphlets of information to communities around the United States. Hopkinson frames this as a response to one of Carter's professors at Harvard who said that black people had no history. The narrative ends with an image of an older Woodson reading the paper and the reminder that Woodson changed history "and we can too." Thorough back matter, including an author and illustrator's note, and end pages featuring sketches of past and contemporary figures-Hannibal Barca, Edmonia Lewis, Colin Kaepernick-concludes this volume. VERDICT A charmingly illustrated picture book biography for elementary schoolers.-Lisa Nabel, Kitsap Regional Library, WA Copyright 2018. 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.

Horn Book Hopkinson's inspiring story explains how young Carter G. Woodson (1875€“1950) read the newspaper to his father and fellow coal miners. Their desire to be informed citizens, plus a challenge from his Harvard professor, led Woodson to later establish Negro History Week, predecessor to Black History Month. Tate's engaging mixed-media illustrations and endpaper drawings include portraits of Black leaders throughout history. Timeline, websites. Bib. (c) Copyright 2021. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly In her conversational biography of Carter G. Woodson, whose work led to the establishment of Black History Month, Hopkinson (Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen) acknowledges that he is a hero "we sometimes forget." It focuses on his Virginia upbringing and the admirable individuals who inspired him, including his father, James Henry Woodson, who escaped slavery to join the Union Army and "gave Carter the courage to look anyone in the eye and declare, 'I am your equal.''" Reading newspapers to his illiterate father gave the boy his "first glimpse of the wider world," a vision enhanced by a friend and fighter for equality, Oliver Jones, who taught Woodson to learn "through others." Woodson became the second African-American (after W.E.B. Du Bois) to earn a PhD in history from Harvard. Told by a professor that "Black people had no history," Woodson set out to prove otherwise, and established Negro History Week in 1926, which endures today as Black History Month. Delicately textured mixed-media illustrations by Tate (The Cart That Carried Martin) offer spare, stylized images of this lesser-known crusader, as well as portraits of other African-American leaders. A bibliography, list of black leaders, and timeline conclude the volume. Ages 6-10. (Feb.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus This biography of the "father of Black History," Dr. Carter G. Woodson, highlights experiences that shaped his passion.Carter was born after the Civil War, but his parents had been slaves, and he grew up hearing the stories of their lives. With six siblings, Carter experienced lean times as a boy. Carter's father, who couldn't read or write, had Carter read the newspaper aloud. As a teenager, Carter had to work to help his family. In the coal mines, he met Oliver Jones, a Civil War veteran who opened his small home to the other men as a reading room. There, Carter once again took on the role of reader, informing Oliver and his friends of what was in the paperand then researching to tell them more. After three years in the mines, he moved home to continue his education, eventually earning a Ph.D. from Harvard, where a professor challenged him to prove that his people had a history. In 1926 he established Negro History Week, which later became Black History Month. Hopkinson skillfully shapes Carter's childhood, family history, and formative experiences into a cohesive story. The soft curves and natural palette of Tate's illustrations render potentially scary episodes manageable for young readers, and portraits of historical figures offer an opening to further discovery. The incorporation of newsprint into many page backgrounds artfully echoes the title, and the inclusion of notable figures from black history reinforces the theme (a key is in the backmatter).An important and inspiring tale well told. (author's note, illustrator's note, resources, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 6-10) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list It's easy to take an established practice for granted and forget that someone, sometime, had the original inspiration for it. This picture-book biography tells of Carter G. Woodson, an educator and civil rights leader, who introduced Negro History Week the precursor of Black History Month back in 1926. Young readers will be caught up in his story. The youngest of seven children and a child of formerly enslaved people, he became largely self-educated by reading the newspaper out loud to his illiterate father (Woodson eventually went on to receive a PhD from Harvard). Quotes are seamlessly woven into the narrative, and a time line, list of sources, and bibliography add research appeal. Of special note are the illustrations, which include more than 40 portraits of black leaders, either blended into the narrative or appearing on end pages. Notables range from Hannibal Barca, circa 200 BCE, to Michelle and Barack Obama. Their images and one-line biographies will pique further interest, making this a valuable resource for school and public libraries.--Kathleen McBroom Copyright 2018 Booklist

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

Caldecott Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog My Friend Rabbit
by Eric Rohmann

Publishers Weekly My friend Rabbit means well, begins the mouse narrator. But whatever he does, wherever he goes, trouble follows. Once Rabbit pitches Mouse's airplane into a tree, Rohmann tells most of the story through bold, expressive relief prints, a dramatic departure for the illustrator of The Cinder-Eyed Cats and other more painterly works. Rabbit might be a little too impulsive, but he has big ideas and plenty of energy. Rohmann pictures the pint-size, long-eared fellow recruiting an elephant, a rhinoceros and other large animals, and coaching them to stand one on top of another, like living building blocks, in order to retrieve Mouse's plane. Readers must tilt the book vertically to view the climactic spread: a tall, narrow portrait of a stack of very annoyed animals sitting on each other's backs as Rabbit holds Squirrel up toward the stuck airplane. The next spread anticipates trouble, as four duckling onlookers scurry frantically; the following scene shows the living ladder upended, with lots of flying feathers and scrabbling limbs. Somehow, in the tumult, the airplane comes free, and Mouse, aloft again, forgives his friend... even as the closing spread implies more trouble to follow. This gentle lesson in patience and loyalty, balanced on the back of a hilarious set of illustrations, will leave young readers clamoring for repeat readings. Ages 4-8. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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