This week’s book trailer of the week is for Dodger by Terry Pratchett. From popular author Terry Pratchett, comes a Dickensian novel where Charles Dickens is a prominent character. When a young thief named Dodger comes to the aid of a woman in distress, his life will change forever as he comes of age and enters a world of affluence and the mystery of who wanted this woman dead unravels. Click here to find Dodger in the Library!
This week’s book trailer of the week is for Interrupted by Rachel Coker. Interrupted is a historical romance set during World War II. After Allie’s mother passes away she has to move from Tennessee to Maine when she is adopted by Miss Beatrice. Allie is depressed, not only because she lost her mother, but because Miss Beatrice is a prim and proper woman who Allie cannot accept as her new family. When Sam, a boy Allie knew growing up in Tennessee, reenters her life she does not know how to feel or even how she can ever try to love again. Click here to find Interrupted in the Library!
by Robin LaFevers
Ismae Rienne is born with a horrible scar running down her body, that marks her as the daughter of Death. She is feared and ridiculed by the local villagers and abused by her father. When her cruel father sells her to an even crueler husband, Ismae must escape or be killed. She finds refuge at the convent of St. Mortain, where she is trained to be an assassin. The sisters of St. Mortain have long trained to assist the god of death in his pursuits. During her convent training, Ismae finds that she has many special gifts that help her excel as a handmaiden of death. The abbess assigns Ismae to the court of the Duchess of Brittany to protect the young Duchess and discover the traitors within the court. Of course, this means killing anyone with the the mark of Mortain. Trapped within the social confines of court life, Ismae must determine who she can trust and who she cannot. The smallest mistake, will lead to death. To make matters worse, Ismae has fallen for Duval, a man who may be marked by Mortain.
Grave Mercy is set in 15th Century France where danger, mystery, and death lurk around every corner. There is plenty of court intrigue, along with several memorable characters. The relationship between Ismae and Duval is intense and filled with many difficult choices for both characters. This is a great read for anyone who likes either historical fiction, fantasy, or mystery mixed with a good romance.
Watch and enjoy the book trailer.
by Jack Gantos
Dead End in Norvelt is a semi-autobiographical novel by the author Jack Gantos. So, it is not a true autobiography, rather it is a work of fiction based on real events and things from Jack Gantos’ life. At the beginning of the book, we meet Jack who is twelve-years-old in the summer of 1962. He lives with his parents in the small town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania. Jack’s summer is not off to a good start, though. He accidentally shot off his father’s Japanese rifle in the backyard and has been grounded for the entire summer. Jack is not allowed to leave his house at all for the whole summer, but there is a stipulation. He can leave to help out his elderly, arthritic neighbor Miss Volker. Due to Miss Volker’s arthritis, she has a hard time using her hands so she needs Jack to help her out around the house and also with her duties as town coroner. As the coroner, Miss Volker needs Jack to drive her to wherever there is a dead body in town and he also helps her by typing up the town’s obituaries. Jack expects that his summer is going to be a boring one. Let’s face it, how many people are going to wind up dead in one summer? But Jack’s summer is anything but boring! First, the old ladies of Norvelt are dropping dead one after another and this leads to a murder mystery investigation. Jack’s father also decides to restore an old plane, Jack has a run in with the Hell’s Angels, and there are house fires and nosebleeds galore! And that’s not even half the story!
Dead End in Norvelt is a great read for summer. It’s an easy read that is laugh out loud hilarious. If you love to laugh and enjoy weird stories, then click here to find Dead End in Norvelt at the Library!
Also, check out this interview with Jack Gantos where he describes more about writing Dead End in Norvelt and how it is based on some real things from Jack’s life and why he wanted to write this story.
by Andrew Lane
I admit my only exposure to Sherlock Holmes has been the action-packed Robert Downey Jr. movies and the super awesome BBC adaptation. No, I have not read the original novels. However, I do enjoy the character of Sherlock and his abundance of knowledge that always seems to come in handy at just the right moment. The mysteries and the way Sherlock uses his superb sleuthing skills are always interesting and surprising. So, I was excited to find out that Andrew Lane is writing a series that introduces us to the fourteen-year-old Sherlock Holmes. As an added bonus, this series is the first teen series endorsed by the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate.
In the first book of the series, Death Cloud, it is 1868 and Sherlock has just been sent to live with his aunt and uncle in their large estate in Hampshire. This arrangement is only supposed to be for Sherlock’s holidays from boarding school, but with his father stationed in India and his mother unwell, Sherlock is not sure what his future holds. His brother, Mycroft, has arranged for Sherlock to be kept busy with an American tutor named Amyus Crowe. Crowe is a Texan from America with a mysterious past, but a great knowledge of many different things. Sherlock is still bored, though, living in the country. Luckily, he makes friends with a local boy named Matty. Of course, through their boredom, the two boys stumble upon a mysterious black cloud that leaves its victims dead with plague-like symptoms. Together, Matty and Sherlock risk their own lives to solve the mystery of the cloud of death.
Death Cloud is filled with tons of action and adventure. And, of course, there is a great mystery that kept me guessing throughout the entire novel. One of the best parts about this book are the things I learned while reading the book. Each aspect of the mystery and how Sherlock comes to his conclusions are explained in depth in the novel, and most of the explanations are logical scientific ones! This is definitely a great read for all teens of all ages who enjoy a good mystery with lots of action and adventure.
Once you’re finished with Death Cloud, be sure to check out the next book in the series, Rebel Fire. In this next book of the series, Sherlock and his friends intercept a plot to resurrect the Southern Cause in America with the supposedly dead John Wilkes Booth!
by Allan Wolf
This weekend marks 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. If you are just learning about that disastrous night or if you have been a long time Titanic buff, you should pick up Allan Wolf’s The Watch That Ends the Night. It’s a novel in verse that gives voice to many of the real life passengers aboard the Titanic from the time before it set sail to days after the sinking. Some of the voices include the ship rat, and yes, it is an actual rat’s point of view of life aboard the Titanic. The more famous passengers like John Jacob Aster, the millionaire, and E.J. Smith, the Titanic’s captain, also tell their side of the story. There are lesser known passengers like Jamila Nicola-Yareed, a young teen immigrant who really was aboard the ship, and Wolf has given her a fictional story to tell about what might have happened to her aboard the ship. There are a few other unexpected “characters” who have a voice in this novel, too, like the iceberg and the first class promenade.
The Watch That Ends the Night is a very compelling read and unlike many books about Titanic. Since the author gives each character a personal story to tell, the events that unfold the night that the Titanic sinks are even more dramatic because you really care about each character. Also, a great thing about this book is at the end: the author provides many facts that you should know about the Titanic and the people and things that he gave a voice to in the book. I definitely feel that after having read the book, that I now know much more about the Titanic story. I would highly recommend The Watch That Ends the Night to any aged reader who wants a fantastic book that relates the dramatic story of the Titanic.
by Craig Silvey
Charlie had never really spoken to Jasper Jones, the town “troublemaker”, before the night he came to Charlie’s window. He had been looking forward to a lazy summer with his best friend, Jeffrey, but now he is in the middle of a murder mystery. Someone hung the daughter of the shire’s president, and Jasper is sure he will be blamed unless he and Charlie can figure out who did it first. The boys deal with murder, prejudice, incest and first loves. They also get to know each other and themselves much better over the course of this summer. This book takes place in a small Australian town in the 1960s, and while a lot of very serious things happen in the story, it’s also a very funny story. This book had me laughing out loud, quoting it to my friends, on the edge of my seat, and thinking long after I put it down.
Reviewed by Claire, Youth Outreach Coordinator