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Click to search this book in our catalog The Fate of a Flapper
by Susanna Calkins

Library Journal Gina Ricci isn't just a cigarette girl at the Chicago speakeasy the Third Door, she's a caretaker to her father, an amateur photographer, and a sometime sleuth, accompanying her police officer cousin Nancy on cases. It's 1929, and Prohibition is in full swing, but at the Third Door, the cocktails are flowing. Gina watches as two young women, Fruma and Adelaide, stumble into the street with two new gentlemen friends. The next time she sees Fruma is when Nancy asks her to photograph a dead body. Gina has more questions than answers. Is the Third Door a front for organized crime? Meanwhile, bombs are being set off randomly throughout Chicago, and when she and love interest Roark, a former cop, get caught in the middle of a bombing she's convinced the murder of Fruma is at the center of it all. VERDICT Written with wit and an understanding of the tensions during one of the most volatile times in history, Calkins's second "Speakeasy" story (after Murder Knocks Twice) will give readers insight into the world of Prohibition and what the human spirit is capable of in desperate times.—Jane Blue, Northumberland P.L., Heathsville, VA

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Kirkus The Roaring ’20s approach a dark and dangerous end as criminal activity, bombings, and plunging stocks rock Chicago. Gina Ricci works as a cigarette girl and drink server at the Third Door, a speak-easy run by the iron-fisted Signora Castallazzo, who also has several legitimate businesses and a good relationship with the cops. Gina works to support her father, who has palsy. She’s recently resumed a tenuous relationship with her wealthy great-aunt and great-uncle after the murder of their son, her cousin Marty, a photographer who left her the little he owned. Gina becomes involved in yet another murder when Marty’s sister, Nancy, an ambitious cop who wants to become the first woman detective, asks her to take photos at a crime scene. The dead woman had been drinking heavily with a friend and two stockbrokers at the Third Door the night before, and there’s a chance Fruma may have been poisoned by bad hooch. Naturally curious and hoping to save the speak-easy from ruin, Gina takes advantage of her insider position to snoop even though she’s blindsided when the war veteran she’s attracted to suddenly has a wife turn up out of the blue. The death of one of the stockbrokers Fruma was partying with makes the case more complicated and places Gina in a perilous position. You have to love a gal who takes chances while staying true to herself. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Calkins’s winning sequel to 2019’s Murder Knocks Twice, likewise set in 1929 Chicago, finds cigarette girl Gina Ricci serving a rowdy crowd one night at the Third Door speakeasy. She takes particular notice of two young women, Fruma Landry and Adelaide , who receive the attentions of various men, not all of them welcome. The next morning, Gina gets a call from her police officer cousin, Nancy Doyle, who needs Gina, an amateur photographer, to take pictures of a dead body. The victim turns out to be Fruma, found by a neighbor in the apartment Fruma shared with Adelaide. Fruma’s purple, distorted face points to poisoning. Did she die from drinking tainted hooch at the Third Door? Or is it a case of murder? Gina, who’s suspicious of the stories Adelaide tells about the men in her late roommate’s life, winds up investigating. Period slang lends authenticity. Calkins draws a memorable portrait of Prohibition-era Chicago. Agent: David Hale Smith, Inkwell Management. (July)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list This historical mystery is kind of rerun of the musical Chicago, with lots of 1920s atmosphere, but with the main characters, two women, solving rather than committing murder. Gina Ricci, a cigarette girl in a Chicago speakeasy in 1929, observes two young women tossing back drinks with two wealthy bankers. The next day, Gina’s cousin, a female cop, calls Gina to a crime scene to photograph a dead body, who happens to be one of the women Gina saw the night before. Historical note: there were no women cops until after Title I in the 1970s, only police matrons to deal with women victims or perpetrators. Calkins, who has a doctorate in history, sacrifices credibility for plot, but—anachronisms aside—the story delivers a fun romp for readers more into mystery than history.

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Better Nate than ever
by Tim Federle

Book list *Starred Review* Publishers say that historical fiction is a hard sell, and books with religion at their core are few and far between. Kudos, then, to Berry (All the Truth That's in Me, 2013) for creating a sweeping saga that not only deeply entwines both but also dissects its characters' humanity as it looks at the often troubling beliefs that underlay their actions. The story-within-a-story begins in 1290. A friar is gathering papers and testimonies that will show how the inquisitions here on the border of France and Spain were God's holy work. But one tale troubles him, so much so that he begins to stitch the strands together, and that is where the main story begins. Botille is a sassy teenager who makes money in her seaside village of Bajas by matchmaking. A disruptive childhood and a drunken father has bound Botille and her sisters closely together, but their lives are good: Plazensa runs the tavern, Botille makes her matches, and Sazia tells fortunes with uncanny accuracy. To the north, in Tolosos, there is another girl, Dolssa. Aristocratic by birth and a mystic by the grace of God, she spends her days with her beloved, Jesus, who wraps her in his murmurs and consumes her with his love. That much love cannot be contained, and Dolssa begins telling others how much her beloved cherishes all people. The simplicity of her message is seen by the inquisitors as a threat to the church, a devil's deception, and there is only one place it can end: in a public burning. Miraculously, Dolssa escapes the pyre. She wanders until she meets Botille, who saves and shelters her. This beautifully crafted plot would be enough on its own, but Berry does so much more. First, she establishes a convincing setting, in part by peppering the dialogue with Old Provençal language. Using many voices, some of which, including Botille and Dolssa, relate their own stories, she picks beneath words and actions to expose the motives of the heart, revealing how lofty ideas can turn into terrorizing actions, and how fear and self-preservation can make friends and neighbors turn on one another. Yet despite the book's gravity, Berry also manages to infuse her story with laughter and light welcome surprises. The final surprise awaiting readers at the book's conclusion adds yet another layer to the storytelling. Also at the book's end, Berry has included a wealth of back matter, a glossary, a list of characters (possibly of more help if placed at the book's beginning), and an author's note explaining the roots of the religious discord, inquisitions, and wars, and touching on such female mystics as Hildegard of Bingen, who is referenced in the novel. The beauty of historical fiction is that it brings to life long-ago times and places even as it shows how hopes, fears, and dreams remain constant across the ages. The strength of religious-centric novels is their revelation of the myriad ways people grapple with their faith and spirituality. The Passion of Dolssa's rich brew will leave readers thinking about all of these things, even as it profoundly influences their own struggles and questions.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Horn Book A (fictional) Catholic mystic, Dolssa de Stigata, escapes being burned as a heretic in 1241 France; mostly, this is the story of Botille, an enterprising young matchmaker from a tiny fishing village who rescues Dolssa. Botille's spirited character, the heart-rending suspense of events, and the terrifying context of the Inquisition in medieval Europe all render the novel irresistibly compelling. Historical note appended. Bib., glos. (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Gr 7 Up-This magnificent tale is set in post-Crusades 13th-century France. A pious young noblewoman blessed with the gift of healing, Dolssa de Stigata is judged a heretic by the Roman Catholic Church and sentenced to burn at the stake. Forced to watch her beloved mother burn first, Dolssa is surprised when someone cuts the ropes binding her hands and feet and implores her to run. Driven into hiding from the churchmen dispatched to track her down, Dolssa is found nearly dead from starvation and exhaustion by a young tavern keeper and matchmaker, Botille, who vows to protect the young heretic despite the danger posed to herself and her family. Unlikely allies, the girls unwittingly put an entire village at risk in their effort to stand up for their beliefs. The account is told in alternating voices by Dolssa, Botille, and Arnaut d'Avinhonet, a Dominican friar. This lush and compelling book is enhanced by brilliant narration by Jayne Entwistle, Allen Corduner, and Fiona Hardingham. Lucky listeners will be haunted by their voices long after the book concludes. VERDICT Highly recommended for all junior high and high school audio collections. ["An expertly crafted piece of historical fiction, Berry's latest is a must for middle and high school libraries": SLJ 3/16 starred review of the Viking book.]-Lisa E. Hubler, Charles F. Brush High School, Lyndhurst, OH © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Gr 7 Up-Botille is a matchmaker in the small seaside town of Bajas in medieval France. She struggles to run the family's tavern and keep her sisters and herself afloat. Dolssa is a young woman with a secret that she can't help but share-her lover is God, and she speaks to him regularly. When the two young women cross paths, both deep friendship and mortal peril await them. A beautifully rendered portrait of a little-known portion of history, this work is a meticulously researched piece of fiction. Yet it is not just in the accurate details that the novel shines. The strength and humanity of the almost entirely female set of characters are inspiring and well drawn. The panic and suspicion of post-Inquisition France is omnipresent, giving the story of a supposed heretic a constant edge of danger. As the novel slips in and out of magical realism, readers will be transported into Dolssa and Botille's world. VERDICT An expertly crafted piece of historical fiction, Berry's latest is a must for middle and high school libraries.-Erinn Black Salge, Saint Peter's Prep, Jersey City, NJ © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus A girl matchmaker in 13th-century southern France meets a mystic on the run from the Inquisition. A generation after the horrors of the Albigensian Crusade, the elders are still broken by memories of entire towns put to the sword, but the younger folk, such as Botille and her sisters, focus on the present. After a childhood on the run, the sisters seek stability in poverty-stricken Bajas: brewing ale, telling fortunes, and helping their neighbors. Bajas is depicted through a scattering of third- and first-person viewpoints (but primarily Botille's) as a town where all look out for one other as a matter of course, where goodness is found in prostitutes, fishermen, hustlers, and drunks. Bajas' generosity is challenged when Botille discovers Dolssa, an injured, spirit-shattered girl on the run. Dolssa's a convicted heretic for speaking publicly of her intimate relationship with "her beloved...Senhor Jhesus." She trails miracles like bread crumbs, from a never-emptying ale jug to repeated uncanny cures. The villagers venerate her, but the arrival of the Inquisitionin a world where branding and burnings are mild punishments compared to recent historyputs their goodness to the test. The slow build reveals Botille as a compelling, admirable young woman in a gorgeously built world that accepts miracles without question. The medieval Languedoc countryside is so believably drawn there's no need for the too-frequent italicized interjections in Old Provenal that pepper the narrative. Immersive and mesmerizing. (character list, historical note, glossary, bibliography) (Historical fantasy. 14-17) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 7 Up-Two young women-Botille, a tavern wench, and Dolssa, a noblewoman possibly in communion with God-form a deep bond in a world that seeks to destroy them. Berry has reimagined 13th-century France with vigor, from the small intricacies of daily village life to the brutal ruthlessness of the Inquisition. Readers looking for a work steeped in female friendship, mysticism, and blood, with extensive back matter to boot, will be well rewarded. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly When Botille Flasucra finds Dolssa de Stigata lying on a riverside close to death, she takes the stranger to her family's tavern. Botille, a young matchmaker, and her sisters nurse Dolssa back to health in secret-a Dominican friar obsessively hunts Dolssa, whom he condemned as a heretic to be burned at the stake. The year is 1241 in Provensa (now Provence), where the aftereffects of the Albigensian Crusade have led to an inquisition meant to rid the Christian world of heretics. Dolssa, however, feels called to heal the sick in the name of her beloved Jhesus, and her miracles eventually bring danger to the small town of Bajas. Berry (All the Truth That's in Me) again delivers an utterly original and instantly engrossing story. Drawing from meticulous historical research (highlighted in extensive back matter), she weaves a tense, moving portrait of these two teenage girls and their struggle to survive against insurmountable odds. Love, faith, violence, and power intertwine in Berry's lyrical writing, but Botille's and Dolssa's indomitable spirits are the heart of her story. Ages 12-up. Agent: Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Trident Media Group. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog Flubby Is Not a Good Pet
by J. E. Morris.

Kirkus Meet Flubby, a quintessential cat. Flubby, a rotund gray-and white cat with stubby legs, seems unimpressed by his owner's expectations of pet behavior. He won't sing like Kim's bird, catch like Sam's dog, or jump like Jill's frog. Flubby doesn't even run when it rains. But when thunder pounds"KA-BOOM"cat and kid need each other. Morris limits her palette to muted shades of brown, blue, gray, and green with an occasional spot of orange. Short, declarative sentences follow a predictable pattern and complement the spare illustrations. Cartoon panels opposite full-page pictures move the simple story along. In one memorable double-page spread, the actionof the child throwing a ball while Flubby watches and then rolls over to sleepmoves readers' eyes left to right across the spread in three stacked, horizontal panels. A full range of emotions, including happiness, frustration, boredom, concern, disappointment, fear, is conveyed with subtle changes in posture and eyes. The human characters are a multiracial mix. Kim presents Asian; Sam appears black; Jill seems white. Flubby's owner is not gendered and has longish brown hair and brown skin. Series companion Flubby Will NOT Play with That! publishes simultaneously.Nonjudgmental encouragement for new readerseven if they flub up. (Early reader. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list A young child’s cat, Flubby, isn’t like other pets. Kim’s bird sings, Sam’s dog catches, but, despite best efforts to teach Flubby tricks, he not only seems disinterested, but he also doesn’t comply or try. Sometimes he even does the opposite! For example, Jill’s frog can jump, but Flubby? Even after the kid, whose gender is unspecified, models jumping, Flubby, who’s been napping on his back, paws in the air, leisurely gets up, stretches, and yawns. But when a noisy thunderstorm comes (“KA-BOOM”), the pair get an opportunity to learn the mutual rewards of pet ownership, mostly in the form of sharing comfort and hugs. Short, simple text, accessibly written for new readers, is enlivened with interspersed speech-bubbles and humorous asides. Appealing, animated, colorful comics-style illustrations both depict and expand the story, such as in a montage in which Flubby's owner attempts to get the cute, stripy-tailed, bulky cat to catch, to no avail—Flubby merely watches the ball go by, then has a snooze. A droll and sweet read that cat fans especially will enjoy.

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Horn Book Flubby the cat won't do any tricks, no matter how much his owner Kami tries. Increasingly frustrated, Kami declares: ‘Flubby is NOT a good pet!’ But when a thunderstorm begins, Flubby and Kami realize they need each other. The short, repetitive sentences are clearly designed for new readers. Minimalist illustrations humorously feature other animals doing tricks for their humans, while Flubby only says meow and falls asleep. (c) Copyright 2021. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Caldecott Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog The Hello, Goodbye Window
by Norton Juster

BookList: PreS-Gr. 2. Two well-known names come together in a book that speaks to the real lives of children and their experiences. The young narrator visits her grandparents, Nanna and Poppy, in their big house. They explore Nanna's garden, and Poppy plays his harmonica. The narrator rides her bike and takes a nap, “and nothing happens till I get up.” Looking out the picture window, the “hello, goodbye window,” she sees the pizza guy, and, more fancifully, a dinosaur. She also spots her parents coming to pick her up. The curly-haired girl is happy to see them, but sad because it means the end of the visit. The window imagery is less important than the title would make it seem. More intrinsic is Juster's honest portrayal of a child's perceptions (a striped cat in the yard is a tiger) and emotions (being happy and sad at the same time “just happens that way sometimes”). Raschka's swirling lines, swaths, and dabs of fruity colors seem especially vibrant, particularly in the double-page spreads, which have ample room to capture both the tender moments between members of the interracial family and the exuberance of spending time in the pulsating outdoors, all flowers, grass, and sky.
IleneCooper. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms