Don't forget to check out our staff picks for kids!
July 29, 2013
Once Upon a Flock: Life with My Soulful Chickens
by Scheuer, Lauren
Deep in my soul, I believe I’m a farmer, but I know I’d much rather read about someone else’s adventures in agriculture than actually do the work myself. Lately I’ve had a fascination with chickens, and judging by the popularity of backyard flocks, I’m not alone. Lauren’s Scheuer’s new book tells in words, drawings, and photographs, the tale of her small chicken flock from her first notion of a flock through family skepticism, four cute baby chicks, adolescent hens, and the joy and delight she finds in her small flock. Jenny, one of her first baby chicks, undeniably turns out to be a rooster, and gets amusingly relocated during a daughter’s farm field trip. Tragedy is averted when Marky the dog learns to live successfully with the flock. Lauren is also the author of a chicken blog, Scratch and Peck, for those who want to continue following the antics of Lucy, Lil’ White, and the others.
— Recommended by Ruth Hans, Warren Library
July 22, 2013
by Sharp, Zoë
If you are looking for a crime thriller series with an abundance of action, adventure, and suspense to begin then Killer Instinct is for you. Author Zoë Sharp introduces readers to Charlotte “Charlie” Fox in this first title of the series. Main character Charlie Fox teaches self-defense to women in a Northern English City. She learned her skills during her short stunt in the Army Special Forces. Since leaving the army she has taken up working security at New Adelphi Night Club in Lancaster where a serial killer is on the loose. The author takes you on a wild ride while Charlie searches for the killer. This is an excellent introduction to Charlie Fox and Zoë Sharp leaves you wanting more. She is now up to book six. After reading this one you will definitely want to try the others in the series, which the library owns in various formats.(Killer Instinct is also available in large print.)
— Recommended by Denyce Malone, Flanner House Library
July 15, 2013
The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds
by Zickefoose, Julie
Bird lovers will be enamored with this journal-style memoir written by Bird Watchers Digest author Julie Zickefoose. Her love of birds shows through the stories told of birds she and her husband have rescued and rehabilitated over many years. Julie has also added her sketches and watercolors to nearly every page giving the book added personality.
The first story is told of a bluebird that her husband rescues from the clutches of a Sharp-shinned Hawk. Julie examines the bird to make sure he doesn’t need any medical attention. Eventually she names the bluebird Mr. Troyer. His wing is a little damaged but not enough to cause a flying issue. Much to Julie’s delight he returns every year to mate and live in the bluebird boxes in their yard. Julie tells that over the years she has learned that although a species of bird may have common traits and habits each bird has an individual personality.
This book was a joy to read especially since I am a bird enthusiast myself. This is one I will purchase and read over and over again.
— Recommended by Kris Gould, Nora Library
July 8, 2013
by Black, Daniel
First, imagine that you could have anything you wanted in the entire world. Now, think about exactly what you would do to get it. Would you do anything, and I do mean anything to get? Suppose what you really wanted most in the world was a baby. But not just any baby. You want a very special female child who hangs the moon. One that you can dress in ribbons and tutus – and one who plays with dolls and dreams that she is a pretty princess…
Well, you can have that pretty little girl if you want her bad enough. You can have that living doll if you wish for it hard enough. That’s exactly what Emma Jean Peace did in the novel Perfect Peace, by Daniel Black.
Emma Jean wanted a baby girl so bad, that after birthing 6 sons in as many years, she finally birthed a seventh child, whom she named Perfect. The twist to this novel is that Perfect , although made to be the perfect girl, isn’t a girl at all. In fact, Perfect was actually born a boy. Throughout the novel, Black spins a story of how Emma Jean is able to convince her husband, her children, her town, and even Perfect Peace herself that Perfect is a girl. The novel also tells Perfect’s story. It tells of her warm and loving early life, her discovery of her adolescent self and the turbulent truth it brings; finally ending with Perfect’s decision to choose her own identity.
— Recommended by Rhonda Oliver, Brightwood Library
July 1, 2013
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
by Boo, Katherine
Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a non-fiction book beautifully written like a novel by Pulitzer-winning newspaper journalist Katherine Boo. She spent three years interviewing and consulting with the poor inhabitants of an under-city slum, “Annawadi”, at the edge of Mumbai’s new, modern, and opulent airport.
Many of the inhabitants make a living picking up the airport’s garbage and garbage floating in a large polluted lake left by the affluent tourists. They are the poorest of the poor of India.
The book details the abject poverty, the absolute political corruption, along with the tireless efforts of the people of Annawadi. Abdul, a Muslim teenager, along with other boys, scavenges for saleable garbage. Some boys die or are murdered. A teenage girl, Meena, eats rat poison rather than become married to a poor villager.
Abdul is falsely charged with causing a one-legged prostitute, Fatima, to set herself on fire. The corruption and brutality of the police, the judicial system, and the politicians is rampant. His sister and father are also charged and finally exonerated at the end of the book. His fate remains undetermined.
Other inhabitants are Asha who uses the corrupt political system to improve her status and that of her daughter who wishes to be Annawadi’s first college graduate.
The title of the book comes from a brightly-colored ad for floor tiles across a wall dividing Annawadi from the view of travelers leaving the airport. Behind the Beautiful Forevers gives us a sad, poignant look at what is a way of life for millions of poor. I am both sad and grateful for having read this book and recommend it to anyone who doesn’t appreciate what we have in these United States.
— Recommended by Pamela Gullion, Fountain Square Library, where this book will be discussed on Thursday, July 11th at 1:30 p.m.