Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
Grandpa Portman led an exciting life. He told his grandson Jacob stories about his adventures as a young man; of escaping from Poland before World War II; of exploring the world hunting monsters. But the best stories were of the years his grandfather spent living in a Welsh children's home. The children there were what Grandpa Portman described as "peculiar", and many of them had magical powers. He even showed Jacob photos as proof of the fantastic things the children could do. As Jacob grows older, he becomes more skeptical of his grandfather's stories and of the authenticity of his photos. Then a sudden, tragic event changes Jake's life forever and sends him in search of the secrets of his grandfather's childhood.
August 2011 Archives
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
The Silver Bowl, by Diane Stanley
Stanley's wonderful new story is fantasy with the feel of historical fiction. At a young age, Molly realizes she sees visions. She inherited this gift from her mother, who is locked away for her "madness". Molly is hired out to work as a maid in the castle of the King and hears whispers that the royal family's bad luck may actually be a curse. Molly has trusted knowledge of her secret gift to her best friend Tobias, and together they attempt to save the prince and break the royal curse. Grades 5-8. Stanley is the author of many novels including The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy and and the young adult novel Bella at Midnight.
The Investment Answer, by Daniel C. Goldie and Gordon S. Murray
While The Investment Answer might be a short (77 pages) book, it can give the reader wide-spread and in-depth knowledge about the often confusing world of investing. As the authors write in the first pages, "our goal is to express [investment] concepts in a way any investor can understand". And, this book does this extremely well. Goldie and Murray begin with a suggested approach on how to think about one's money and then move on to selecting financial advisers, where to house one's money, explaining financial risk, and other investment-related subjects. The often misunderstood world of hedge funds is described quite clearly. Throughout this book, Goldie and Murray write in a concise and extremely understandable style. With The Investment Answer, the authors have given readers of all ages a terrific resource for educating themselves in finance and investing.
A History of the Greenwich Waterfront, by Karen Jewell
If you're interested in looking at Greenwich's history from a nautical viewpoint, you should read Karen Jewell's A History of the Greenwich Waterfront. The book starts by describing how the early settlers negotiated with the Native-Americans to buy the various harbor lands and inlets of the Greenwich shore. Both groups depended on the Sound for shellfish and fish. Oystering became an important industry. As residents found markets in New York and along the Long Island and Connecticut coasts for its agricultural goods (potatoes, apples, etc.), boat traffic grew to deliver these products. Greenwich became a flourishing seaport. The Upper and Lower Landings on the Mianus, Cos Cob Harbor and Rocky Neck Point became important shipping centers during the 1800s. It was bustling with boat traffic.
As more and more people started moving into Greenwich because of its natural beauty and its proximity to New York, recreational boating started to interest residents. Eventually boat or yacht clubs formed. Some of the better known clubs were The Riverside Yacht Club, Indian Harbor Yacht Club and Belle Haven Yacht Club. As the members became more skilled, they began participating in elite boat races. Some were very successful, bringing championship trophies back to Greenwich. Karen describes some of the better known sailors such as E.C. Benedict and Victor Borge.
An entire chapter is devoted to the 1938 Hurricane, which affected much of Long Island, the southern coast of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Other man-made and natural disasters are chronicled.
This book is important in terms of recapturing Greenwich during the time when people depended on the Sound for food, commerce and sport. Today, recreational boating far outdistances commerce. Shell fishing is no where as important as it used to be. The farms that produced staples for market have been replaced by magnificent mansions. There are barges plying the waters from time to time; but the age of nautical commerce, as residents knew it, has gone forever.
Karen Jewell will be at Greenwich Library on Monday, October 24th, to discuss her book.
Dial-a-Ghost , by Eva Ibbotson
Ghosts outnumber the living in this funny tale of orphan Oliver smith, who inherits Helton Hall only to find he has cousins who want to get their greedy hands on the estate. Using the Dial-a-Ghost Agency, they plot to scare Oliver out of his inheritance with a family of shrieker ghosts. Only that's not exactly what happens.
Deep and Dark and Dangerous: A Ghost Story, by Mary Downing Hahn
Ali is excited to spend the summer with her aunt and young cousin at the lake. Ali's own mother has never taken her there and mysteriously won't talk about her own summers there as a child. Life is great at the lake cottage until her cousin meets a young girl who stirs up trouble. Will Ali's summer warm up or will the cold and icy lake claim another victim?
The Glass Maker's Daughter, by V. (Vance) Briceland
This charming fantasy takes place in the medieval city of Cassaforte where 7 noble families are each involved in their own special craft. All children of the seven noble families are tested every six years to determine which school they will attend to learn the enchantments that are needed to help their families with their crafts. Risa Devetri, who is 16 and the youngest daughter of one of the noble families, thinks that the gods have abandoned her when she is the only one not chosen to attend a school for the nobility.
When the king disappears and the prince stages a coup and imprisons the heads of the noble families and their heirs, Risa remains at the family caza (home) under guard of young Milo and his sister, who become her close allies and friends. When Risa is able to perform the nightly loyalty rite to the king, she realizes that the gods must have another plan for her. She is now the head of the family with special responsibilities and powers. With Milo's help they rescue a beggar, deal with a treacherous uncle, and are involved with other dangerous attempts to save Risa's family. The plot is full of suspense, has an intriguing cast of characters and an ending that won't disappoint.