The Watch That Ends the Night 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.
Jasper Jones 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
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Maureen Johnson has assembled all the ingredients needed for a great thriller in her latest book, The Name of the Star. There’s Rory the likeable, amusing, relatable narrator and protagonist, who arrives to spend a semester at Wexford Boarding School in London from rural Louisana. There’s a dash of romance between Rory and one of the school’s prefects, Jerome. Then Johnson mixes in some great new friends, including Rory’s new roommate Jazza. Think of the romance and relatable friendship elements as frosting on a cake of suspenseful, nail-biting thrills.
Now to those suspenseful parts- the semester starts off pretty well for Rory except for an incident where she choked on her dinner and need the Heimlich maneuver, but then a body is found gruesomely murdered and then another: on the same days, at the same locations, and with the same methods used in the Jack the Ripper murders more than 100 years ago. The city of London is in the grips of “Rippermania” and Wexford is right in the middle of it. As the action rises, Rory finds herself as the only witness shortly before one of the murders was committed. Even though Jazza was right next to her she didn’t see the man who stopped Rory. Rory starts to think she might be losing her mind a bit, especially when her and Jazza get a new roommate, Boo, who really turns Rory’s world upside down and she suddenly finds herself right in the middle of the Ripper’s plans.
This book called Fever 1793 was about the yellow fever in Philadelphia. This is a good book because it talks alot about the history of the fever and that many people have it and they don’t have a cure for it back then. I would recommend this because it is very interesting.
review submitted by Haley