This is the story of Harry Crewe, the Homelander orphan girl who became Harimad- sol, King's Rider, and heir to the Blue Sword, Gonturan, that no woman had wielded since the Lady Aerin herself bore it into battle. When Harry comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the Homelanders and the secretive, magical Hillfolk, her life is quiet and ordinary...until the night she is kidnapped by Corlath, the Hillfolk King, who takes her deep into the desert. She does not know the Hillfolk language; she does not know why she has been chosen. But Corlath does. Harry is to be trained in the arts of war until she is a match for any of his men. Does she have the courage to accept her true fate? A breath of fresh air, this lushly written fantasy adventure novel is very deserving of its Newbery Honor. McKinley's talent for world-building and strong, likable characters shines in The Blue Sword. For enthusiasts of young adult literature and/or the fantasy genre, this novel is a must read!
- Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce,
- Graceling by Kristin Cashore,
- Sabriel by Garth Nix,
- The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman,
- Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
“From now on I’m Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I’ll be a knight.”
And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Disguised as a girl, Thom heads for the convent; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page. But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies. Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s first adventure begins—one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and make her a legend in the land.
This must-read for teens and adults alike is propelled by one of the most powerful female leads in young adult literature. Once you pick up this incredible fantasy adventure, you won't be able to put it down, and it'll leave you craving for the next installment of this amazing quartet...
- The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley,
- Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith,
- Graceling by Kristin Cashore,
- Eon by Alison Goodman,
- Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey
Jane is a middle-class, suburban, church-going wife, mother and teacher. She goes to the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store to purchase a rosary for her daughter and ends up agreeing to become a volunteer. Jane's experiences with the poor at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store are an entertaining and enlightening glimpse into her years volunteering. Jane starts out looking at the poor as problems to be solved and ends up seeing them as saints that teach her and lead her closer to Christ. The stories are heart warming and often humorous as she learns more of what it means to be Catholic and experience her faith in a practical way. A good read for anyone who enjoys inspirational stories.
Clover is a wife and mother in her early fifties. She realizes she no longer turns heads the way she used to and is only really missed by her family when dinner isn't on the table on time. Then one day she wakes up to discover that she is invisible, literally invisible. She panics but her husband and children don't even notice although her best friend does. This relives Clover, at least she isn't losing her mind. Clover discovers there are other women like her. Women of a certain age who have disappeared. These women band together to help each other and get the recognition and appreciation that they deserve. This is an inspiring and humorous book which will appeal to anyone who has ever felt invisible.
Evie O'Neill gets herself into trouble in her little Ohio town, and is sent to live with her uncle in New York City in 1922. The thoroughly modern flapper has a secret-she can see other people's secrets. She isn't the only one with a skill, though. Memphis Campbell was a healer. Sam Lloyd can move without people seeing him. All of these skills and more are needed when ritual murders start happening around the city. It will take the work of the Diviners to stop the bizarre evil at work.
Libba Bray's adventure is steeped in Jazz Age history that makes you feel like they are really in 1920's New York City. The characters will make you want to stay. Don't miss this one.
What if the story of Cinderella was set in the future, contained cyborgs, androids, hovercrafts, political intrigue and a plague. Cinder has all of these plus a love story. Cinder is sixteen, lives with her stepmother and two stepsisters. She is considered a technological mistake by most of society and spends her days making a living as a mechanic to support her family. Her reputation as a mechanic brings Prince Kai who needs to have his personal android repaired before the annual ball. He jokingly says it is "a matter of national security". Before Cinder can repair the android her sister and only human friend becomes ill with the plague that has devasted the Earth for over a decade. Her stepmother blames Cinder for her daughter's illness and "volunteers" her for plague research. No volunteer has ever survived. The scientist who is conducting the research discovers some unusual things about Cinder. Information that others would kill for. Exciting from start to finish, this book is the first in The Lunar Chronicles series.
Nobody Owens does not have what you would call a normal life. Though he is a living child, is home has always been a graveyard, and his company is made up of the hundred-year-old ghosts and spirits who reside there. As he gets older, he wonders about his origins and life outside of the graveyard. But could the mysteries of his past turn out to be dangerous in the future?
Neil Gaiman's macabre yet whimsical tale will pull on your heartstrings and keep you on the edge of your seat. While it is a Newberry Award winner, adults shouldn't pass this one up.
- Coraline-Neil Gaiman,
- Stardust-Neil Gaiman,
- M is for Magic-Neil Gaiman
When Amy Dunne vanishes from her Missouri home, her husband Nick is the prime suspect. After all, he lied to the police during questioning and his alibi is not very strong. Still, he maintains his innocence. It doesn't take long for readers to realize that Amy has secrets... lots of secrets... and Nick does too! Poor Nick had better think fast, or life as he knows it will be over.
I could not put this book down! It is a fast paced psychological thriller that managed to keep me guessing until the very end.
How can you possibly paint the sky if you don't have any blue paint? This is Marisol's dilemma as she helps her class paint a mural for their library. She shows us all that with a little observation and a lot of imagination, the sky can be everything but blue.
A fantastic picture book for all of your dreamers, young or just young at heart.
- The Dot-Peter H. Reynolds,
- Ish-Peter H. Reynolds
What can your peas do? Are they astronauts? Bakers? Construction workers? If they just sit on your plate, then they are not as talented as these peas. These peas even know their alphabet!
A Young Hoosier Book Award nominee for 2012-2013, LMNO Peas is not one you will want to miss!
- 123 Peas-Keith Baker,
- Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC-June Sobel
Humans and dragons have maintained a peace for 40 years, but as the anniversary of the treaty approaches, tensions are rising. Seraphina is a uniquely talented musician and is quite unique herself. She has to hide the fact that she is half-human, half-dragon. If anyone found out, the consequences would be dire, but Seraphina may be the only person that can prevent war between the two worlds. Is she the only one of her kind?
Hartman has created a captivating story against one of the richest and most detailed worlds in fiction. Seraphina is a must-read for fans of fantasy, intrigue, and adventure.
Ever wonder what Neverland was like before Wendy and her brothers arrived? Jodi Lynn Anderson presents this dark imagining of Neverland with Princess Tiger Lily as the main character. Tink, who like all fairies, can't speak, tells the story of how Tiger Lily meets Peter Pan. Being the shaman's daughter, running around in the forest with the fierce and feared Lost Boys is frowned upon. What will happen when her worlds collide?
If you enjoy dark and gritty reimaginings of classic tales, Tiger Lily is for you.
Joleen Zarkades is busy raising two children and trying to salvage her failing marriage when she is unexpectedly called to deploy to Iraq. The war has just begun, and Joleen's training as a pilot puts her in high demand. Her husband, who has been married to his job for many years, suddenly finds himself responsible for both a preschooler and a teenager, as well as the day to day chores required to keep their household running. Hannah does a wonderful job of exposing the realities of military life, including the impact of deployment on every single member of a military family.
- You know when the men are gone / Siobhan Fallon.
Imagine a love that crosses time and distance. Kate is a Wall Street analyst and Julian is a British hedge fund billionaire. She is surprised when he makes a point of meeting her and seems to know her. Next we find Kate and Julian in France during World War I. How did they get there and what has happened bring them there? Kate and Julian fall in love but there is always a shadow of danger over them. Their story travels back and forth through time. Julian loves Kate and is protective of her but seems to always keep a part of himself from her. Kate and Julian's happiness is clouded by corporate espionage, secrets from the past and questions about how and why they have traveled through time . Overseas is a romantic and exciting read from beginning to end.
- Time Traveler's Wife,
Working dogs are a valuable asset to our Armed Forces. They are hardworking, loyal and more disciplined than a lot of people! They have saved countless lives and their dedication to their assignments is nothing short of remarkable.
This book is a must read for animal lovers as well as US history buffs.
After two women from very different backgrounds and situations meet, their lives become entwined in life-changing ways. Diedre Clark-Morris is a faithful christian professional woman with a loving husband and family but no children. Kenisha Smalls has no faith, lives in poverty and has suffered abuse. She has three small children by three different fathers. When the two meet Kenisha has just been diagnosed with cervical cancer and Diedre is facing the fact that she may never have a child. Kenisha's desperate desire to find a family for her children and Diedre's decision to help with the search bind the two women together as they experience forgiveness and unexpected blessings.
John Constantine (Reeves), a long time self-proclaimed exorcist, can see into the world of angels and demons by witnessing what he calls half-breeds. He is cast into a demonic plot when he crosses paths with a detective (Rachel Weisz) whose sister, haunted by demons herself, just committed suicide. Constantine's own life is at risk by his own hand due to his excessive smoking habit. As the clock ticks, he must help the detective solve her sister's death before John's soul is collected by the Devil himself.
The visual effects are stunning, offering a unique look into the world that Constantine's sees. And for those interested, there is enough deep symbolism to delve into for hours. But I recommend Constantine for both the initiated and the profane.
Two little girls go missing; one, Callie, has been mute since she was a toddler, the other, Petra, the best friend, acts as her voice. Why won’t Callie speak? Who took them? Where did they go? The answers are found at the end of old family secrets. The story is unfolded little by little, each from a different point of view: Callie, Petra, Callie’s mom, the sheriff, and others.
- Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens,
- Unexpected Blessings by Barbara Taylor Bradford,
- Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard
When March Went Mad is the story of “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird and the dramatic season leading up to that magical March 26, 1979 game where they met for the only time in college. That game is what made March as we now know it – complete madness, and a multibillion dollar business that sports lovers look forward to every year. It also spurred the resurgence of the NBA.
- The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons,
- When the Game was Ours by Larry Bird and Magic Johnson
A dictionary of the dead that tells about the eccentricities of historical figures of the world famous (Freud, William Blake) to the forgotten (Mary Seacole, Titus Oates). It covers embarrassing and downright weird facts often left out of traditional biographies such as who kept monkeys for pets, died a virgin, cross-dressed or had extremely bad taste. A behind the scenes look at personalities who made their
mark on the world for trivia buffs and the curious alike.
It's 1968, Martha a lonely elderly widow opens her door to Homan, a deaf black man, Lynnie a young white woman with a developmental disability, and Lynnie's newborn baby, Julia. The couple are runaways from a School for the Incurable and Feebleminded who are deeply in love and desperate to save the baby. The couple seek help from Martha, a childless, retired schoolteacher. Lynnie is soon captured and returned to the School. Homan escapes but ends up far away and unable to find his way back. The baby Julia is hidden and raised by Martha. Over the course of 40 years as they try to reunite their story is told.
Aaron and Dorothy are two independent souls who meet, fall in love and marry. Aaron is crippled in his right arm and leg and resists his sister and others who want to take care of him. Dorothy is outspoken, brusque and non-maternal, just what he is looking for. They have a relatively happy marriage. This ends when a tree crashes onto their house and Dorothy is killed. Aaron is devastated and unable to deal with the loss of his wife until she begins to appear to him guiding him toward a future he hasn't been able to see. This book deals with the subject of loss honestly and with humor.
After a devastating hurricane turns her life upside down, Laurel Daneau is forced to start over. On the surface, Laurel seems to be doing well in her new school. She is a cheerleader and she has a popular boyfriend nicknamed T-Boom. Privately, though, she is struggling with the loss of her mother and her grandmother and she is hurting. When T-Boom introduces Laurel to meth, she believes that she has finally found a way to numb her pain. But a meth addiction proves to be more than she bargained for.
- Ellen Hopkins
This title is part of a new nonfiction series called "Life's Challenges" and offers a basic overview of what children can expect when their parents divorce. The book is suitable for reading aloud, and would serve as a good starting point for discussion of separation and visitation arrangements.
- The Night Dad went to Jail,
- Good-bye, Jeepers
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by connectivity? Have gadgets taken over your household? Do you ever wish for just five minutes of unplugged time? Then you have to read this book! Goodnight, iPad is a parody of Goodnight Moon, and it is quite entertaining for children and adults alike. The family elder decides that she is fed up with the electronic gadgetry that is keeping her children and grandchildren occupied. So, she starts eliminating devices, beginning with the iPad. Of course, her actions are met with protests, and readers can't help but smile as they try to imagine life without cell phones, computers, and handheld games. Rapper Eminem gets a brief mention, making this a thoroughly modern parody.
There are some strange people in this world, and sixteen year old Jacob is one of them. So is his grandfather. The two men have always been close. When a tragedy strikes the family, Jacob decides it is his responsibility to seek answers to some long buried family mysteries and restore honor to the family name. He wants to learn more about his grandfather, and who he was as a child. Unfortunately, his visit to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children leaves him with more questions than answers. What kind of a man was Jacob's grandfather, and how did he become involved with children whose behaviors seem extremely odd?
This book features several vintage photographs that add an extra dimension to the story and leave readers scrambling to turn the pages!
I read the picture book, "The Biggest Thing in the World", when I was looking for books to read for story time with young children. I would definitely recommend this book as a read aloud for children, ages 3-5. This book could be read from a parent to child to talk about how much parents love their children, or it could be read in the classroom to talk about topics such as hibernation, size, or nature. Another reason to read, "The Biggest Thing in the world is becasue of it's illustrations. The pages in the book are filled with big, colorful, warm, and inviting pictures.
Part WWII love story, part coming-of-age fiction, this book will appeal to several different audiences. Jacob, 17, visits Amsterdam to honor his grandfather who died during WWII. During his trip, he meets individuals who cared for his grandfather and learns valuable lessons about love and loss. The author does an excellent job of retelling the events from two perspectives. Contemporary fans will find themselves rooting for Jacob as he explores the world around him. Historical fiction fans will appreciate the character Geertrui and her insights into the WWII era. This is not a light read, instead it is a thought-provoking novel that makes the reader examine complex issues.
Ellen Hopkins debut title for adult readers does not disappoint! Hopkins tells the stories of Andrea, Holly and Marissa,30-somethings whose lives are full of drama.The women are dealing with the struggles associated with day to day living including a terminally ill child, a pregnant teenager, and a husband who is married to his job. Already close friends,these women have no idea how completely their lives will eventually intertwine.Written in free verse, this is a quick read and an interesting addition to Hopkins offerings.
Do you want to laugh out loud? This audiobook featuring Stephanie Plum, read by Lorelei King, is definitely not for the prudish, so stick to something safer if you're easily offended. Bounty hunter Stephanie has skipped through 16 other books before this one. The plot is familiar - dead bodies, explosions, and her confusion over the very sexy Ranger versus Italian high school sweetheart turned detective Joseph Morelli. The antics of hooker turned bounty hunter Lula and Stephanie's outrageous gun-toting grandmother Mazur keep the story lively. There are murders to solve, and this time the murderer is dedicating his victims to Stephanie. Has mom finally found the perfect man for Stephanie - he cooks! Listen or read (regular or large print).
This audiobook set (7 discs) is read by Alan Sklar, who has an excellent reading voice. Your impressions of many presidents will change after hearing of life from the Secret Service Agent's viewpoint. The Bush families, with the exception of adventurous twin teenage daughters Jenna and Barbara, treated them well, but other presidents' interactions with those who are to take a bullet for them will surprise you. The book serves also as a history of the Secret Service. You will learn that agents work long hours, and were treated poorly by both the agency and some of the presidents. It's a fascinating story to read or listen to, and next time you see them on TV, you'll have a new respect for the men and women of the Secret Service.
The Young and the Digital follows the migration to social networks while pointing out the pros and cons of living in a tech savvy environment. Teens and Young Adults spoke candidly with the author about their online presence and the digital footprints they are creating. Readers may be interested in learning how members of the first generation to be considered "digital natives" view the internet, e-mail, instant messaging, and social networking sites.
Developmental Psychologist and Author Susan Engel has created a guide to identify the most accurate predictors of a child's future success.This is a good resource for parents as well as individuals who work with children and families in professional capacities. Engel draws heavily from traditional research in the field of child development and then presents her message in a straightforward manner, giving readers easy to understand, practical examples of effective behavioral analyses. Engels overall message, that adults should support children to be the best of who they are rather than who they may want them to be, will definitely resonate with readers who care about children.
Christine wakes in a strange bedroom. How did she get there and who is that man asleep. Carefully dressing she glances in the mirror and stares at that woman looking back. She has wrinkles. Christine is bewildered by what she sees. The man wakes and explains that she suffers with amnesia. Each night of sleep erases Christine's memory. Her husband, Ben, patiently explains again who he is and how she arrived in that house. An accident in her late twenties has erased her memory until she starts to work with a new doctor and to write daily in her journal. The writing triggers memories that recall pieces of her life. Is Ben being truthful and why hasn't he told her more. Why did she write, "Don;t trust Ben?";
- Shutter Island by Dennis LeHane,
- The Escape Artist by Diane Chamberlain,
- Red Leaves by Thomas Cook
This book is especially meaningful if you are a fan of the show Pawn Stars on the History Channel. Rick Harrison, his father "Old Man", Rick's son Corey "Big Hoss" and family friend Russell Austin "Chumlee" are the colorful characters who run the 24-hour Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in a quasi-seedy part of Las Vegas. Saints they are not, and some have had drug problems and brushes with the law. Several of them have come back from rock bottom and with the popularity of the show, become TV celebrities. There are many surprises in the book, especially about Rick. Anything and everything comes in the door for pawn or sale. Customers range from nuns to hookers, billionaries to the flat broke. There is profanity, but it';s still a page turner.
This book introduces readers to the "Princess in Pink" culture and offers a thought provoking look at the commercialization of our society. Parents who are curious about the impact of marketing campaigns on their children will find Orensteins research eye opening, if not anger inducing, as she describes efforts by internationally recognized corporations to capture not only the tween/teen market but the preschool market as well. The book also discusses the impact of social media on todays teens.
Emily Maxwell, a widow, takes on a new independence after her sister-in-law faints. Relying on Arlene to do the driving she realizes that she is the better driver and buys a new Subaru after her car is damaged in a snow storm on the slick streets. Emily longs to hear from her grandchildren, and wishes for more interest from her children. She adds up the number of friends she has lost and the few remaining that still meet after church or get together at funerals. It is a poignant novel, that takes into account the desires and dreams of our parents or grandparents. Emily Alone is Emily self-reliant and spunky.
- Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg,
- Before You Know Kindness by Christopher Bohjalian,
- Night Road by Kristin Hannah
Michael Fazio has dedicated his entire life to providing excellence in customer service. Fazio works as a concierge for a luxury hotel in New York. He recounts experiences with his most memorable clients and details their lavish demands. Fazio is often forced to get creative in order to meet his clients expectations, and readers will enjoy his recollection of both successful ventures and unsuccessful fiascos as he tries to please some of the worlds wealthiest travelers.
"It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still." Liesel Meminger is a young girl who is coming of age during the rise of Hitler's regime. Her family experiences many hardships, and her life story is the main plot of this novel. Her story is told through the voice of Death, who makes an effective if unusual narrator.
Louis Zamperini is an olympic athlete,determined to set new world records when World War II interrupts his plans. Zamperini then embarks on a new journey as a bombardier for the Army Air Force until he is shot down over the Pacific in May 1943. Zamperini spends 47 days at sea before he is captured by the Japanese and detained as a POW. Zamperini's story is one filled with heartache and sorrow, but is also a story of courage,sacrifice,and honor. This book will appeal to military history buffs, WWII researchers, and sports historians... as well as anyone who enjoys a good story about overcoming obstacles.
When readers first meet Liz, she is a young girl who is living with drug addicted parents. She is often neglected and forced to use her own resources to survive. As a teen, she makes a series of poor choices, and she finds herself living on the streets. Only when she begins attending an alternative high school does Liz realize that she can leave her past behind her and attain goals that readers would not have imagined. This is an inspriational book for young adults who are facing difficult times in their own lives as well as for adults who enjoy stories of success.
Dr. Herriot fans will love this book! Dr. Wells tells of the rigors of veterinary school, and then recounts his first job as a vet in South Dakota. He describes interesting cases from his early years of practice there, and eventually moves to Colorado. Each chapter is a quick read. We hear about dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, cows etc. Some of the more memorable tales deal with encounters with porcupines and emergency care, not in the barn but in the open conditions of cold, snow, mud, and darkness. You will have a new respect for vets who practice in rural areas with animals that can injure or kill with one kick. A Chihuahua with attitude and a Basset who hates nail trims will make you smile. Also available in large print.
- All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
This book tells the story of an unlikely friendship between Col.Sean MacFarland and Sheik Abdul Sattar. The two were able to overcome political and cultural differences and form an alliance that would drive al-Qaeda from Ramadi. Their joint efforts would benefit the Sheik's tribe as well as the American military forces. This book is recommended for readers with an interest in Military History or Military Strategy.
Expert criminal meets expert criminalist, Lincoln Rhyme, in this mystery thriller that takes the mind racing through many curious twists while giving the reader an inside view of a modern data mining company. Creepy enough that they gather every possible fact for as many of the population as possible, but then they sell the information to others who hope to use this invaluable tool to bring about the utmost efficiency in their line of work. What could happen if a psycho criminal gets a hold of this intimate knowledge? Who is he, and how did he get this information? Anyone who threatens his devious life work must be ready to face the wrath of his sinister genius.
- Cold Kill by David Lawrence,
- Body Double by Tess Gerritsen
I rarely read books this long but this one was hard to put down. I found the suspense pulling me along on a quest with the protagonist in her pursuit of truth about her family and the strange engraving found in a mysterious book. Interesting characters fill the pages while the ever looming anticipation of meeting Dracula never subsides. Rich descriptions of the geography and the use of known historical facts make the tale even more believable. When we finally meet Dracula he appears as a sophisticated 15th century warlord obsessed with evil who might even be a victim himself. This unusual vampire story is thrilling to the last page. If you like travel, history, romance, mystery and horror…you may want to pick this one up.
The Observations is an historical novel about the friendship between a maid and her missus. Bessy is a young Irish girl escaping a difficult past by arriving in an equally disturbing future. Why the strange requests from her new employer? Bessy’s curious nature leads to interesting discoveries and even more questions. What happened to her predecessor that the missus loved so dearly? Jealousy provokes a childish prank that leads to frightening reactions. Written from Bessy’s point of view, this book is hard to put down.
This is a must read for dog lovers and military supporters alike. Pen Farthing is a British Royal Marine who is deployed for a combat mission in Afghanistan. During a patrol, Farthing comes across a dog fight, and vows to find a safe home for the dog involved in the scuffle. Little does Farthing know that there are hundreds of dogs throughout the country looking for someone to love them.
Devon is a young lady who finds herself in the middle of a terrible crime. A newborn baby has been discovered in a trash can near her apartment, and the police are asking questions. Could Devon have been involved? Could she know who is responsible? This book is a must read for parents of teenagers, and for anyone who is interested in the juvenile justice system.
When Piper Kerman is arrested on drug trafficking charges, she is certainly surprised. Ten years have passed since Piper has engaged in criminal behavior, and she has moved on to a more traditional middle class lifestyle. Suddenly, she finds herself doing time in a Federal facility for women, and she struggles to accept her new reality. Kerman offers readers a unique perspective on the criminal justice system in our country.
Scottoline mixes up lots of humor along with her woman’s perspective in sharing everyday life events to give you laugh-out-loud reading fun. She shares stories of her off-beat family members (her mother comes to breakfast in a doctor’s coat), multiple divorces (Thing One, and Thing Two), her theory on how divorce has led to multiple pets, why middle-aged feet don’t require shoes, the reason ladies should never consider going braless, and her use of the Guilt-O-Meter. Women over forty will totally enjoy these stories. The book is a collection of her published columns that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is also a well known fiction writer (detective & mystery stories). Ladies, this is a speedy read and not to be missed.