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South Branch Staff Picks

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Wonder

Wonder

Like most 10-year-olds, August Pullman is nervous about starting middle school, especially since he’s been homeschooled for his whole life.  But being the new kid in school isn’t his biggest worry, not by a long-shot.  August was born with a severe facial deformity and says, “I won’t describe what I look like.  Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.” Auggie’s parents give him the option of going back to being homeschooled if public school doesn’t work out, but he is determined to join the world and be an ordinary kid, even if it means enduring the stares, teasing and pity of his classmates. He’s a bright, funny, charming kid with a lot to offer, but will his peers be able to see past his shocking appearance? 

This is an excellent story of courage, kindness and friendship that will leave you thinking about how you might treat someone who looks different than you.

By bcorrigan

By MPPL on May 27, 2013 Categories: Books, Youth

El caballero de la armadura oxidada por Robert Fisher (Spanish JF)

 

El caballero de la armadura oxidada

El caballero de la armadura oxidada

El caballero de la armadura oxidada

¿Cuáles son las cualidades de un caballero verdadero? Cuando un día un caballero distinguido se encuentra atrapado en su armadura de batalla, empieza una misión para librarse de esta. La solución no es nada fácil y el camino se le presenta con muchos obstáculos.  No es su capacidad de rescatar damiselas, ni su carrera de matador de dragones que le salvará, sino el conocimiento de su “yo” verdadero.

Presentada como una historia de la edad medieval este cuento de autoayuda ofrece observaciones y consejos para el caballero(a) en cado uno de nosotros.  Con 98 páginas, no es una lectura muy larga pero está llena de reflexiones profundas sobre el ser humano y es recomendable para cualquier edad.

 

Por Allison S.

By MPPL on May 13, 2013 Categories: Adult, Books, Fiction, Youth

Biblia umarłych Toma Konxa

Biblia umarłych

Biblia umarłych

Powieść Toma Konxa “Biblia umarłych to książka dla cierpliwych. Mówiąc inaczej – dla pasjonatów gatunku dobrze już zadomowionego w literaturze, łączącego elementy kryminału, powieści sensacyjnej i thrillera. Jakby tego było mało, mamy tu udaną symbiozę i wątków współczesnych, i historycznych.

Tylko że lokalizacja miejsca zdarzeń -  i w sensie odległości czasowej i geograficznej – bardzo oryginalna: jaskinie francuskie, Laos, Abchazja, Daleki Wschód…

W ten splot okoliczności, miejsc i – znalezisk niejako wchodzą ze swoimi pasjami i dociekliwością (wpisaną w pewnym sensie w ich profesje): Julia – archeolog, Jake -fotoreporter i Chemdy – prawniczka.

Thriller opowiada nie tylko o znanych z nie tak odległej przeszłości zdarzeniach w Kambodży i rządach Czerwonych Khmerów (masowe egzekucje, ludobójstwo, niewolnictwo XX wieku), ale o odpowiedzialności człowieka współczesnego i człowieka w ogóle za oblicze naszej ziemskiej cywilizacji.

Jaką postawę przyjmą bohaterowie wobec poznanych ludzi, faktów i zdarzeń?

Czy zawarta w tytule metafora “biblia umarłych” pozostanie tylko przenośnią?

Warto sięgnąć po tę wyjątkową lekturę. Zachęcam.

By mariag on April 29, 2013 Categories: Adult, Books, Fiction, Polish

I Survived “Hurricane Katrina 2005

I Survived “Hurricane Katrina 2005” by Lauren Tarshis

This is a historical children’s fiction book based on the story of Barry, an 11 years old boy and his family living in New Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina.

The first chapter of this book starts with Barry clinging to a tree trying to save his life. This introduces us on how intense is this book.  Read along to discover if Barry is going to be able to meet again with his family?

This book is part of a popular series “I survived” The sinking of the Titanic, 1912 , The shark attacks of 1916, The bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941, The San Francisco earthquake, 1906, I survived the attacks of September 11, 2001, and I survived the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863.

 

By hmarroquin on April 22, 2013 Categories: Books, Fiction, Youth

Paper Heart

Paper Heart

Paper Heart

Paper Heart is about Charlyne Yi who is an artist and comedian makes a comical documentary about what is fairytale love. Yi travels throughout the U.S. looking for anyone who will talk to her about their life lessons about love. During her journey, she meets some amazing people, including older folks, children, and even celebrities. Yi’s skepticism about love is shaken when she meets actor Michael Cera. Shy but curious about one another, Cera and Yi have an unscripted hook up or so we think.  It’s hard to know exactly where the line is between documentary and fiction in this film, but in a way it doesn’t matter just enjoy Yi’s creative cardboard-cutout puppetry.If you like Paper Heart you may also like Sunshine Cleaning, Juno and Larry Crowne.

 

By T. Tovar

By MPPL on April 15, 2013 Categories: Adult, Film

100 People Who Made History by Ben Gilliland

“Meet the people who shaped modern world” says the cover of this book, and inside we will discover why!

Enjoy a full array of peculiar topics such as Daring Discoverers, Leading Leaders or Clued-up Creatives, as we learn about inventors, explorers, philosophers, etc. 100 People Who Made History is a book that has a fantastic presentation with pictures as well information.

If you like 100 People Who Made History you may also like Over 100 Fantastic Facts

By hmarroquin on March 29, 2013 Categories: Books, Nonfiction, Youth

Devil’s Wake

Devil's Wake

Devil’s Wake

If you’ve seen all the movies about zombies, but still feel an uncontrollable urge for MORE…look no further than Devil’s Wake.  Authors Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due draw upon the popular zombie traditions, set by the likes of George Romero, but expand expertly into their own rationale for the “birth” of their zombies, and revealing unique and terrifying symptoms along the way.  It’s easy to identify and cheer for the young protagonists—a handful of teenagers from vastly diverse backgrounds who band together in a blue van, trekking across the Northwest coast to find a way to begin life again.  Sure they battle zombies, but also other humans (“pirates”) and the elements as winter approaches.  Underlying the thrill and suspense of their journey glows a story about friendship and trust under extreme circumstances, and how to keep your humanity when the world you knew has lost it.

 

By Allison S.

By MPPL on March 16, 2013 Categories: Adult, Fiction

Jim Gill sings Do Re Mi on his toe leg knee

Jim Gill sings Do Re Mi on his toe leg knee

Jim Gill sings Do Re Mi on his toe leg knee

Do your kids enjoy coming to storytime for the books and the music?  With Jim Gill’s Do Re Mi, you can take some of your child favorite songs home.  Jim Gill sings Do Re Mi on his toe leg knee is a fun and high energy auido cd  were your child can spend hours and hours listening to.

 

You may also like: Monkey Town by Recess Monkey; other CD’s by Jim Gill

By jperez on March 1, 2013 Categories: Music, Youth

English Verbs & Essentials of Grammar for ESL Learners

English Verbs & Essentials of Grammar for ESL Learners

English Verbs & Essentials of Grammar for ESL Learners

Need extra help learning the odds and ends of the English language?  Check out English Verbs & Essentials of Grammar for ESL Learners. Author Edward Swick covers a variety of subjects including Passive Voice and Punctuation. Find what you need with real-life examples that will help you understand grammar quickly.

Looking for more books like this? Check these out: English Verbs by Loretta Gray or 2,000+ Essential English Verbs by Louise Stracke

By jperez on February 24, 2013 Categories: Adult, Books, Nonfiction

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

The Casual Vacancy

J.K. Rowlings is a master at world-building.  But if you’ve even considered picking this book up ever since it came out, you already knew that.  Instead of illuminating a magical world that exists intersected with ours, in The Casual Vacancy she throws open the doors of the mind into a deceptively quiet village in Britain.

When family-man and friendly neighbor Barry Fairbrother dies suddenly of an aneurism, it leave an incredible number of holes in the hearts and minds of his fellow citizens of the village of Pagford.  As the village bustles to fill the “casual vacancy” left by his death on the local Parish Council, J.K. Rowlings explores the unforeseen repercussions of his death, revealing the complex relationships and inner workings of this intimate community.  Barry Fairbrother’s death is a catalyst for the building pressure between neighbors and within families, and the cracks are finally beginning to show.

As you become familiar with the characters, it reads like a sitcom of the tiny English town, one by one baring all of the residents’ petty grudges, and dark secrets.  Rowlings’ observations of human nature are bitingly sharp, often satirical, but ultimately compassionate. And despite its length, readers will be hanging on every word, waiting for the inevitable eruption.

 

By asmith

By MPPL on February 15, 2013 Categories: Adult, Books