Fiction

The Lightning Thief

Friday, August 6, 2010
Rick Riordan

My boys saw the  cover of The Lightening Thief, by Rick Riordan and said, "-that didn't happen in the movie".  The book and the movie have similarities, but the movie was not true to the book.  Percy Jackson is twelve years old in the book and the story is truly told for that age group-the middle schooler.  It has wonderful themes of friendship and being our own hero-solving our problems with strength , humor, and intelligence.

The adventure is set in modern times, but harks back to the Olympian gods.  It does not delve deeply into the mythology, but enough to tell a fun adventure story and pique the interest to go read another book on the great Greek heroes and gods.  It is a fun read and my boys are waiting impatiently for book two in the series, The Sea of Monsters.

Cindy A., Circulation

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Snow Falling on Cedars

Friday, August 6, 2010
David Guterson

Snow Falling on Cedars has an unfortunate title, but the book itself is astounding. Like most books my grandmother recommends, this novel is very suspenseful and very eloquently written.

The book takes places in two periods. In the present day part of the book, a Japanese man is convicted of murder. Although the evidence is questionable, many prejudice people believe that only a skilled, Japanese killer could carry out the task. In the flashbacks, the convicted Japanese man and his future wife, Hatsu are growing up during World War II. As a young girl, Hatsu falls in love with another boy, but knows she can never be with him because of racial restrictions. Hatsu is taken to a Japanese internment camp with her family, and her lover is sent off to fight. Their secret past becomes important during the unfair trial of Hatsu’s Japanese husband decades later. 

This book is a perfect balance of history, mystery, and pure entertainment.  Although I found it a bit too lengthy, I enjoyed reading every page.

Gabrielle M., Circulation

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The Cider House Rules

Thursday, July 29, 2010
John Irving

I have a "love/hate" relationship with John Irving.  I've read several of his books.  I love some (The World According to Garp, A Prayer for Owen Meany) and I hate some (The Hotel New Hampshire, A Widow for a Year).  Cider House Rules falls into the "love" category.

This is the story of an OB doctor who runs an orphanage and performs abortions on the side ("I deliver babies and I deliver mothers") and the orphan he loves more than all the others, Homer Wells.

If you've never seen the movie version of The Cider House Rules, it's worth checking out.  Michael Caine won the academy award for best supporting actor for his portrayal of William Larch, saint, ether addict and abortionist, as well as an an academy award for John Irving's screenplay.   Toby McQuire does an admirable job of portraying one of my favorite fictional characters, the somewhat sad, but always useful, Homer Wells.

Kathleen M., Administration

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Twenties Girl (Book of CD)

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Sophie Kinsella
Lara Linton never knew her great-aunt Sadie until she started demanding her necklace at her funeral, and Lara was the only one hearing the 105-year-old, now a ghost. Despite coming off sounding like a lunatic, Lara stops the funeral and tells Sadie she'll look for the necklace. But finding the necklace is just one of many things for Lara to deal with, one being, keeping Sadie happy. This is another laugh out loud book by the author of the Shopaholic books.
 
Doris, Reference
 

I am the Messenger

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Markus Zusak

Sometimes, books are so wonderful they deserve to be read twice. I am the Messenger is one of those special books. Without a doubt, it is one of my all time favorites and I will never tire of rereading it. Ed Kennedy is not special in any way. He has no talents. He has no girlfriend. The only thing he has is a smelly, coffee drinking dog named The Doorman. When Ed spontaneously stops a bank robbery, his life abruptly changes. Suddenly, he is receiving playing cards in the mail with clues that Ed needs to riddle out all alone. The clues lead him to different missions around his neighborhood that redefine how Ed views himself.

 

The different messages Ed delivers are thrilling and often beautiful. At the end of the novel, it becomes clear that Ed isn’t just the messenger…he is also the message.



Gabrielle M., Circulation

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Thank You, Mr. Falker

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Patricia Polacco

If you haven't been introduced to Patricia Polacco this is an excellent beginning.  Her picture books are a bit longer so they are found in the juvenile section.  They are wonderful for the older child who wants a bit more depth but still enjoys wonderful illustrations.  As a mom, it is bittersweet to have children reading chapter books on their own.  Patricia Polacco's books are a great transition for me, as well as my boys. 
 
In Thank you, Mr. Falker, Tricia, who grew up loving books  is excited to begin school and learn to read for herself.  As the story continues school becomes harder and harder, reading becomes a form of torture.   Not only that, but because of her inability to read her self esteem suffers and she is teased by classmates.   Not until she is in 5th grade does Tricia encounter a teacher who recognizes Tricia has been cleverly faking her reading ability.  Over the course of a few months Tricia's reading ability blossomed  and she was able to read a precious book her grandfather had given her years before.
 
This is a beautiful story with wonderful illustrations for any family story time.

Cindy A., Circulation

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Falling Hard

Thursday, July 29, 2010
B.A . Charnitsky

When Francine Spenser’s  plane crash lands in the mountains, the young business woman must find a way to not only survive, but also  save the pilot too.  She becomes very resourceful over the course of their ordeal.  This story was written by a local author from Pinckney.  It is a predictable love story, well written and a quick easy read.



Jan H., Technical Services

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Every Last One

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Anna Quindlen

This is a moving story of a family and a shocking act of violence.  Mary Beth, the mother, is the main character and you get to know her and feel her emotions as she mothers a depressed son and two other teenagers plus their friends.  her love carries her through her days and her grief makes her stronger.  I felt very strongly for this character.



Sue N., Youth Services

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A Good Fall

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Ha Jin

A book of short stories seems especially suited to summer reading.  Ha Jin's stories in A Good Fall have a common theme - the experience of Chinese immigrants adapting to life in America.

 
The stories are set in Flushing, New York, which is a flourishing  community of newly arrived Chinese people.  We see the resourcefulness and determination of the new arrivals as we read about their triumphs in overcoming the barriers of language and customs.
 

The author, Ha Jin, won the Nation Book Award for a previous book of fiction, Waiting.



Catherine T., Reference

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Pinkalicious

Thursday, July 22, 2010
Victoria Kann

As stated by the Library Journal, Pinkalicious eats so many pink cupcakes that she wakes up the next morning with pink skin and hair. The color just won't wash off, and the doctor diagnoses her with Pinkititis and tells her to eat green food to get better. Still, when her parents aren't looking, she sneaks just one more treat–and turns red. Startled, she starts to choke down her veggies and finally returns to normal. When everything seems okay, Daddy asks what happened to the other cupcakes, and Pinkalicious's little brother bounds into the room with one in hand, happily showing off his new pink skin!



This book is hilarious and was such a joy to share with my now three year old girl.  She quickly picked up the story and was able to read it to me and her stuffed animal friends.  I will have a wonderful memory to last a lifetime whenever I hear this title.  Listening through the door to my little girl reading to her toys after I have tucked her in for the night. “Now pay attention!” she says “You have Pinkititis, What you need is a steady diet of green food!”



Emily D., Circulation

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