February 2011 Archives

Click for availability and more information Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me, by Kristen Chandler
 
This novel is set in Montana shortly after wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995. Sixteen-year-old KJ Carson, a bit of a loner, lives with her widowed father just outside the park. She helps her dad run his fishing supply store and is his assistant guide in the park. As part of her journalism class she works on the school newspaper, and when dashing Virgil moves to town with his biologist mother, who studies wolves and their packs, KJ teams up with Virgil, a photographer, to launch a "Wolf Notes" column. The column triggers outrage among local ranching families who are sure that wolves are a menace to their sheep and cattle. Relations with town members turn ugly when Virgil is shot at in the Christmas parade, and soon after someone starts a fire at KJ's father's store. There is a lot going on here with romance, politics, father-daughter issues and conservation/ecology issues. The plot moves quickly to a suspenseful finish and should appeal to conservationists of all kinds.
-Beth

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

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Click for availability and more information Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, by Helen Simonson
 
Retired & widowed Major Pettigrew's younger brother Bertie has just died. On leaving for the funeral, he meets on his doorstep, Mrs. Ali, proprietor of a local food market and an English-born Pakistani. She is visiting him on an errand, but, seeing that he is in great distress and feeling unwell, she offers to drive him to the funeral. A friendship gradually flowers, based initially on their common love of literature, especially Kipling. It is complicated by the Major's rather unpleasant son, Mrs. Ali's nephew who works in the market and wants her to give it to him, local race prejudice, and their own sense of what is right and proper for each of them. Things reach a crisis at an Indian (Mughal) themed party at the local club, to which the Major has escorted Mrs. Ali, and Mrs. Ali leaves town to go live with family elsewhere. Eventually, the Major is encouraged to go visit Mrs. Ali on his way north to Scotland for a hunting party. What he finds there causes a crisis and forces him to make a decision about Mrs. Ali, which leads to an incident that nearly costs him his life. A charming love story and social commentary.
-Nancy

Hyperion

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Click for availability and more information Hyperion, by Dan Simmons
 
In the far-flung future when the Hegemony of Man has colonized hundreds of planets and Earth is only a distant and tragic memory, seven pilgrims set out for the outback world of Hyperion in search of the legendary Time Tombs. It is there that they hope (and dread) to find the Shrike, a mysterious creature with the power to deliver or destroy them all, and given the Shrike's predilection for bloody mayhem, their gamble seems a desperate one indeed.

Set against a backdrop of political intrigue and impending interstellar war, Hyperion is a story told from the point of view of each pilgrim and what has ultimately driven them to journey to the fateful planet. The pilgrims' tales themselves span a wide field of human experience, motivation and emotion, and their themes range just as broadly. Believable characters and an interesting scientific and political mileu make for a truly excellent read.

Hyperion is the award-winning first book of a four-part series, known collectively as The Hyperion Cantos. Hyperion, and the second book in the series, The Fall of Hyperion, are currently under development as a major motion picture.
-Will
(and thanks to Ed for the recommendation!)

Who Was George Washington

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Click for availability and more information Who Was George Washington, by Roberta Edwards
 
One in a series of "Who was" biographies, presenting famous lives in an appealing style for Grades 3 and up. Filled with illustrations, maps, and side stories that bring history to life.
-Deirdre

I Shall Wear Midnight

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Click for availability and more information I Shall Wear Midnight, by Terry Pratchett
 
This fourth and final book about young Tiffany Aching has her settling into her role as the witch of the Chalk. Tiffany spends her days looking after the elderly and the sick of her community. Margaret A. Edwards Award When hateful thoughts begin to permeate the heads of her villagers, she tracks its source to an evil spirit known as the Cunning Man. To help her focus her magical powers against this terrifying force, Tiffany seeks the advice of elder witches as well as the support of friends both old and new. Of course the ever-present band of Nac Mac Feegles provides a bit of comic relief from the intensity of this gripping story. Author Sir Terry Pratchett was recognized with the 2011 Margaret A . Edwards Award for his contribution to young adult literature, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2009.
-Catherine

Innocent: A Kindle County Novel

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Click for availability and more information Innocent: A Kindle County Novel, by Scott Turow
 
For Scott Turow fans in particular, his newest book, Innocent: A Kindle County Novel, is not only the sequel to his wildly popular Presumed Innocent, but also another terrific story from this skillful writer. Rusty Sabich, the central character in Presumed Innocent, has been elected chief judge of Kindle County and is running for re-election. But, questionable death appears yet again in Rusty's life when his wife dies suddenly in bed. Mysteriously, Rusty remains in bed with her dead body for 24 hours before notifying authorities. At first, no action is taken. However, Tommy Molto, the district attorney involved in the previous book, begins to build a murder case against Rusty. The book takes off from there and the reader becomes totally engrossed. For those who have not read the previous book, more enjoyment might be found with Innocent if Presumed Innocent, which is also in the Greenwich Library's collection, is read first. Innocent is highly recommended. This reviewer hopes that Turow might have more plans for writing about Rusty's life in future books.
-Roy

The Teacher's Funeral

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Click for availability and more information The Teacher's Funeral, by Richard Peck
 
Set in 1904 rural Indiana. 15 year-old Russell is dreading the start of school and thinks his luck has finally changed when his mean old teacher Mrs. Arbuckle "hauls off and dies". There is no one else in his small town who could teach in that one room schoolhouse and Russell hopes they will finally close down the school so he can leave town and follow his dream of joining a threshing crew. But his "dream" is shattered when his older sister takes over the teaching job. A very funny school story, with each of Russel's fellow students providing humor for the school year.
-Deirdre

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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