March 2010 Archives

Noah's Compass

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Click for availability and more information Noah's Compass, by Anne Tyler
 
Anne Tyler may be the Belle of Baltimore, but she is also a national treasure. Noah's Compass is Tyler's eighteenth novel. In her trademark style she creates a character who is searching for meaning and wholeness in life. Liam Pennywell, age 61, is forced into early retirement from his teaching job at a private school in Baltimore. He moves from his roomy apartment near the school into a nondescript apartment complex near the beltway. On the first night in his new apartment he is robbed and knocked unconscious. He awakes in the hospital with no memory of the night he was attacked. Although the rest of his memory is intact, he obsesses about the night he can't remember. Surrounded by his bossy and unsympathetic daughters, an exasperated ex-wife and indifferent sister, Liam wants to remember what he has forgotten. He meets Eunice, who works as a "rememberer" for an aging businessman who needs prompting in social situations. Liam is entranced by the romantic idea of having Bernice help him to remember the missing night of his attack. But what Liam needs to remember is the context of his own life before the further diminishments of age wash him further away. As Tyler writes, Liam "has a glancing relationship with his own life." I'm glad I got a glimpse of Liam, and all of Anne Tyler's characters.
-Kathy C.

Imogene's Last Stand

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Click for availability and more information Imogene's Last Stand, by Candace Fleming
 
In the tiny town of Liddleville, NH lives history-loving Imogene Tripp. Her first words were "four score and seven years ago", for show and tell in kindergarten she gave a series of lectures on women's history, and she often quotes historical figures. Now, after cleaning up the town's historical society, she discovers it is going to be torn down and replaced with a shoelace factory that will put Liddleville on the map. But Imogene tells the town "[i]n the immortal words of John Paul Jones, 'I have not yet begun to fight!'" And fight she does, in this wonderfully funny picture book by Candice Fleming, with fantastic pen and ink illustrations by Nancy Carpenter. Grades K and up.
-Deirdre

11 Birthdays

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Click for availability and more information 11 Birthdays, by Wendy Mass
 
Amanda is dreading her 11th birthday. She and her best friend Leo were born on the same day and shared their parties since they were one year old. But the best friends had a falling out at her 10th birthday and haven't spoken since. So Amanda is dreading the separate parties, the gymnastic tryouts and everything happening on her birthday because she knows it will be awful....and it is. When she wakes up the day after her birthday, she discovers she is starting the same day over again...and again...and again...and so is Leo. They are the only two trapped in repeating this same day until they figure out what can be done to begin a new day.
-Deirdre

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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