Cindy A.

The Sign of the Beaver

Friday, June 17, 2011
Elizabeth George Speare

The Sign of the Beaver is a Newberry Honor book every boy should read. Matt is left alone for months to protect the log house he and his father have built in the Maine wilderness in 1769 while the father goes to fetch the rest of the family. It is beautiful story of the strength of a young boy as he confronts the challenges of survival with limited resources. Matt is befriended by a local Indian boy, Attean, who teaches him the ways of his people in trade for teaching him English. Matt uses his copy of Robinson Crusoe to teach Attean English, in doing so he is challenged to think about his perceptions of the relationship between the settlers and the native Indians. The story is full of adventure to make it an easy read and full of depth for great discussions. It would also be a great read aloud book for a family as the imagery is wonderful.

Cindy A., Circulation

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Capitol Betrayal

Thursday, August 19, 2010
William Bernhardt
Capitol Betrayal by William Bernhardt is a fun read. The story is told alternately by two completely different characters. Ben Kincaid, lawyer and advisor to the President has to defend the President against removal from office. CIA agent Seamus McKay is working domestically to chase down terrorists. Don't read it if you have other things to do, you won't want to put it down.

Cindy A., Circulation

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The Memory of Water

Thursday, August 19, 2010
Karen White.

The Memory of Water by Karen White takes place on the banks of South Carolina. It is a haunting story of two sisters who were traumatized as children during a storm at sea with their mentally ill mother. Now they come together years later as adults to heal after one of the sisters takes her son out to sail in another storm. The water is not just the setting, it is one of the characters. You will taste the salt on your lips from the spray and smell the aroma of the pluff mud. You will hear the story from both sisters in color,as they are both artists.

Cindy A., Circulation

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The Tale of Despereaux

Thursday, August 12, 2010
Kate DiCamillo

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo is a treasure. You will be drawn into the story as if it is being told only to you, dear reader. As if you have stumbled upon an old book fullof tales of honorable and brave knights  the feel of the rough edged pages lend themselves to the story being told.  It is the story of a brave, nonconforming mouse and a young empathetic princess.  You probably saw the movie.  I invite you to read the tale as it was written.  It is a true pleasure, like sipping at spoonfuls of soup.

 

Cindy A., Circulation

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The Botticelli Secret

Thursday, August 12, 2010
Marina Fiorato

This story is scrumptious.  The reader is taken on a journey through Florence, Pisa, Naples, Rome, and Venice during the 15th century by a beautiful, bawdy, prostitute.  It is historical fiction, political intrigue, romance, treachery, murder and Italia at it's finest.  It all revolves around the painting, La Primavera, The Spring, by Botticelli.  The artist has created a painting full of clues to be discovered and understood to unravel the truth of a conspiracy.  

 

Cindy A., Circulation

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At First Sight

Thursday, August 12, 2010
Nicholas Sparks

It turns out that Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, and The Notebook, which I love to watch, were adapted from books by Nicholas Sparks.  He has written quite a number of romantic tales.  I put myself on the hold list, as his whole collection was checked out, and waited impatiently to get my hands on one of his novels.

 

My husband and I have a rule, if we aren't vested in the characters within the first 20 minutes of a DVD we turn it off.  Life is too short.  I was over 80 pages into At First Sight and was about ready to say done when the main characters got into a fight and I got interested.  The first half is slow going, but it is the set up for the real story so hang in there.  It's worth it

 

Cindy A., Circulation

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Just Listen

Friday, August 6, 2010
Mark Goulston

This book is good for just about anyone.  Have a teenager?  Have a difficult boss, employee, client, family member, spouse, neighbor?   The author helps reshift a pattern of dealing with situations.  Instead of getting more emotional and trying to persuade, encourage, argue, and push the author encourages the reader to listen, breathe, ask, echo what you've heard.  One of the first chapters was very informative regarding how our brain reacts to situations.  It talks about our fight or flight response and how our rational brain basically gets hijacked.

It also describes many situations where we think we are listening and encourages us to listen differently so we can really hear what is going on with the other person.  Sometimes we get stuck on the words we hear and not what is behind the words.

This is a great tool.  It is an easy read, but you are going to want to read slowly to soak it in.  Again, one of those books you'll read a few times to master some of the skills.

Cindy A., Circulation

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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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The Teeth May Smile But The Heart Does Not Forget

Friday, August 6, 2010
Andrew Rice

This is an elegantly written story.  The book shares the detailed history and pain in Uganda from years of brutal dictatorships and civil wars.  The topic is overwhelming emotionally and intellectually.  Journalist, Andrew Rice, makes it accessable by writing about one man's story. The book reads like a murder mystery.  Duncan Laki, almost 30 years after the disappearance of his father seeks justice.  Throughout the book we see how the Ugandan people  must deal with their history of civil war and the brutality that came with it.  "Public sentiment was complex-people were fatigued, people wanted the wars to end, people were wary of courtroom confrontations-but the decisive factor, according to Ugandans themselves, was a simple desire to forgive.  Reconcilation is an integral concept in African culture."  
 
Ar the end, you will have a detailed knowledge of Ugandan history.  But, what you will be left with is the haunting in your heart of what it means to forgive, to forget.
 
Cindy A., 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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