Monday, July 15, 2013

Love and Not Destroy by Sandra Carey Cody

NEWLY ADDED! This local author will be visiting our school!

 c2012; Fiction; 286p.

Publisher's description: A baby is found in a basket on the grounds of a small-town museum during their annual Folk Festival. Twenty-two years later, a homeless man is murdered in the exactly the same spot. Connection? Or coincidence? Peace Morrow, the foundling, now an adult working at the museum, is haunted by this question and thus begins a quest that explores the nature of family, of loyalty and responsibility. As she tries to reconstruct the victim's history, his story becomes entangled with her own search for family roots. Her journey leads her through the dusty boxes in the museum’s storage area, to an antique market in a tiny hamlet in northern Pennsylvania, and, ultimately, to the innermost reaches of her own heart.

Fading Echoes: A True Story of Rivalry and Brotherhood from the Football Field to the Fields of Honor by Mike Sielski

NEWLY ADDED!  This local author will be visiting our school!

c2009 Non-fiction; Grades 9+; 352p.

Publisher's Weekly Starred Review. With the biggest high school football rivalry in Pennsylvania as his backdrop, Sielski tells the tale of two opposing Doylestown, Penn. players who each abandoned gridiron dreams to fight in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Central Bucks West senior captain Bryan Buckley and Central Bucks East senior Colby Umbrell, two standout players, graduated in 1999 to pursue collegiate (and possibly professional) ball careers. After Sept. 11, 2001, they were both inspired to abandon sports and serve their country, Buckley with the Marines and Umbrell with the Army Rangers. Both deployed to the Middle East in 2006, but only one survived, a tragedy that shook the idyllic Philadelphia suburb to its core. Local sportswriter Sielski (How to Be Like Jackie Robinson) recreates prep football games, military training and war-time battles in rich detail, based on dozens of interviews, letters and e-mail correspondence. Leagues deeper than most sports stories, this Friday-night-lights tale unfolds into a moving study of war's transforming effect on individuals, families and communities.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Boy 21 by Matt Quick

c2012 Fiction; Grades 9+; 250p.
 Finley, an unnaturally quiet boy who is the only white player on his high school's varsity basketball team, lives in a dismal Pennsylvania town that is ruled by the Irish mob, and when his coach asks him to mentor a troubled African American student who has transferred there from an elite private school in California, he finds that they have a lot in common in spite of their apparent differences.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

c1958 Fiction; Grades 7+, 219 p.

Depicts the experiences of a group of young German soldiers fighting and suffering during the last days of World War I.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

c2008 Fiction; Grades 8+; 321 p.

Booklist: Enzo the dog feels sure that his next life will be spent in a man’s body. In preparation, he closely studies human behavior, and it’s from Enzo’s observant point of view that Stein writes his moving third novel. Enzo is deeply jealous when his owner, Denny, falls in love with Eve, but after baby Zoe is born, Enzo assumes his role as the family’s unconditional protector, particularly after Eve is diagnosed with brain cancer. After Eve’s death, her parents drag Denny into a bitter custody battle for Zoe, and Enzo, despite his canine limitations, passionately defends Denny and even alters the course of events. Denny is a race-car driver, and Enzo, who has watched countless televised races, folds thrilling track scenes and driving lessons into the terse family drama. The metaphors may feel purposeful, but readers will nonetheless delight in Enzo’s wild, original voice; his aching insights into the limitations and joys of the canine and human worlds; and his infinite capacity for love. A natural choice for book clubs, this should inspire steady demand.

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

c2006 Fiction; Grades 9+; 339 p. 2007 Alex Award Winner Library Journal: After the death of his mother, 12-year-old David mourns her loss alone in his attic bedroom, with only his books to keep him company. As his anger at her death grows with each day, the books begin to speak to him, telling their wild tales of dragons, princes, and knights. Soon reality and fantasy collide, and David finds himself in a land unlike his own, a world where monsters, evil sorceresses, and half-human wolves dwell. With the help of friends he meets in this strange land, David goes on a search for the King, who is said to have The Book of Lost Things; this book will help David find his way home. Along the way, David encounters many challenges that transform the boy into a man. In an intriguing change of pace from his crime novels (Bad Men; Every Dead Thing), Connolly's book takes readers back into the imaginations they once held as children, reminding them of the time when they created fantasy worlds before adulthood changed them forever.

Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant by Daniel Tammet

c2006 Non-fiction; Grades 9+, 266p.

ALA 2008 Best Books for Young Adults Booklist: Although Tammet is only 27, his autobiography is as fascinating as Benjamin Franklin's and John Stuart Mill's, both of which are, like his, about the growth of a mind. Not that Tammet is a scientist-statesman or philosopher. He is an autistic savant who can perform hefty arithmetical calculations at lightning speed and acquire speaking competency in a previously unknown language in mere days (the latter capability he used to create the Web-based language-learning systems with which he supports himself). More socially competent and independent than the autistic savant famously played by Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, Tammet shares his peers' strong preferences for routine, peace and quiet, private space, and literalness, as well as aversion to chance occurrences, aural and informational noise, and figurative language (despite his arithmetical gift, he can't do algebra; he reads a lot but never fiction). He learned fellowship very gradually and says he couldn't really acknowledge his eight siblings until he grew up. He also writes some of the clearest prose this side of Hemingway; he tells his story with such concentration, precision, and simplicity that his familial poverty, schooling as a mainstreamed student, self-realization as gay, and embracing of Christianity prove as enthralling as they are, ultimately, normal