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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Never fall down : a novel
by Patricia McCormick

Book list *Starred Review* McCormick, the acclaimed author of Sold (2006) and Purple Heart (2009), has now written a novel based on the life of Cambodian peace advocate Arn Chorn-Pond. The story begins with an 11-year-old Arn in 1975 in Battambang, Cambodia. The war between the government forces and the Khmer Rouge is remote until the day the Khmer Rouge arrive in his town and, taking all the children captive, march them into the countryside, where they become, essentially, slave laborers. Arn survives the killing fields through a combination of luck and musical ability. But his life changes again when Vietnamese forces invade Cambodia and, overnight, the boy is forced to become a Khmer Rouge soldier. He will eventually escape to Thailand and then to the U.S., but the four years of genocide in between are an unspeakable experience of suffering, torture, and death. This is not an easy book to read, as it unveils the truth about one of the most hideous examples of inhumanity in the twentieth or any other century. McCormick has done a remarkable job of creating an authentic first-person voice for Arn and using it to lay bare his almost unimaginable experiences of horror. The resulting book is powerfully, hauntingly unforgettable. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Significant media outreach will ensure that this book gets crossover attention from both teens and adults, who will be eager to see what's next from this National Book Award finalist.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

Publishers Weekly McCormick (Purple Heart) again tackles a horrifying subject with grace while unsentimentally portraying the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge and Cambodia's killing fields. Not unlike Linda Sue Park's A Long Walk to Water, this novel is based on a real person, Arn Chorn Pond, who was 11 years old at the time of the country's Communist revolution. Arn's narration balances a palpable and constant sense of fear, starvation, and humiliation with his will to survive. Doing so involves great moral compromises, bravery, and a capacity for love and friendship despite the nightmarish circumstances. McCormick divides the narrative into five periods: life before the revolution; in the camps, where Arn learns to play the music (which is used to disguise the noise of regular executions); his induction into the Khmer Rouge; his time in a refugee camp; and, finally, his transition to America. On how to survive, Arn observes, "You show you care, you die. You show fear, you die. You show nothing, maybe you live." While never shying from the ugliness and brutality of this genocide, McCormick crafts a powerful tribute to the human spirit. Ages 14-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog Hope is a Ferris wheel
by a novel by Robin Herrera


New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog The Sleep Revolution
by Arianna Huffington


Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog The Body in the Transept
by Jeanne M. Dams

Publishers Weekly Drawing on American sensibilities and English tradition, Dams's debut introduces widowed American sleuth Dorothy Martin, who will delight lovers of cozies set on both sides of the Atlantic. Dorothy has moved to the fictional university/ cathedral town of Sherebury, where she and her academic husband had planned to retire before his unexpected demise. After the Christmas Eve service in the Cathedral, Dorothy stumbles over the body of Canon Billings. Once she recovers her equilibrium, she finds herself feeling involved in the case and curious about the unpleasant but learned Canon, who had made more enemies than friends. He had recently argued vehemently with his young, hot-headed assistant in the library, had tried to get the choirmaster fired and was gathering evidence against the verger who was stealing from the collection plate. Dorothy charmingly insinuates herself into village life in the best Miss Marple tradition, talking to neighbors and befriending others (including widower Chief Constable Alan Nesbitt) and determinedly pursuing the killer even as she puts herself in danger. With her penchant for colorful hats, Dorothy establishes herself as a fresh, commanding?and always genteel?presence among female elder-sleuths of the '90s. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal This offering from newcomer Dams gleams with all the polish of a quaint English-village mystery. American widow Dorothy Martin, sixtyish and plump, inhabits a picturesque Jacobean house in Sherebury. Feeling low, she attends Christmas Eve services at a nearby cathedral and afterwards trips over the bloody body of a clergyman. Unable to put the matter out of her mind, and in need of something to do, she begins sleuthing. Nicely described small-town antics, a cleverly concocted plot, and a charmingly competent heroine. Recommended. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog Here on Earth
by Alice Hoffman


Pulitzer Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog Master of the Senate
by Robert A. Caro

Choice This third volume of a projected four-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson examines his two Senate terms. Whereas the first two volumes (The Path to Power, CH, Apr'83, and Means of Ascent, CH, Oct'90) portrayed an ambitious, ruthless, unremitting quest for power, this massive work examines Johnson in power. The result is more flattering, if only by degree. Caro shows Johnson's humanity, but also explores how earlier patterns blossomed in the Senate: Johnson nurtured relationships with older powerful men (Georgia Senator Richard Russell, acknowledged leader of the Southern Democrats); enlarged the authority of his office (majority leader); and humiliated adversaries (liberals Leland Olds of the Federal Power Commission and Senator Paul Douglas). Long digressions (traditional Senate power relationships, and Richard Russell's background) frame the Senate of the 1950s, where Johnson's superb legislative talents balanced northern liberal aspirations against Southern Democratic seniority and solidarity, and finally came to bear on civil rights. Convinced that Senate approval of a civil rights bill would legitimate his presidential candidacy, Johnson engineered approval of the 1957 Civil Rights Act, but allowed the bill to be eviscerated to gain Southern Democratic acceptance. Caro's achievement is extraordinary, although his focus on civil rights affords only cursory treatment of the period after 1957. All collections. A. J. Dunar University of Alabama in Huntsville

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Publishers Weekly As a genre, Senate biography tends not to excite. The Senate is a genteel establishment engaged in a legislative process that often appears arcane to outsiders. Nevertheless, there is something uniquely mesmerizing about the wily, combative Lyndon Johnson as portrayed by Caro. In this, the third installment of his projected four-volume life of Johnson (following The Path to Power and Means of Ascent), Caro traces the Texan's career from his days as a newly elected junior senator in 1949 up to his fight for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1960. In 1953, Johnson became the youngest minority leader in Senate history, and the following year, when the Democrats won control, the youngest majority leader. Throughout the book, Caro portrays an uncompromisingly ambitious man at the height of his political and rhetorical powers: a furtive, relentless operator who routinely played both sides of the street to his advantage in a range of disputes. "He would tell us [segregationists]," recalled Herman Talmadge, "I'm one of you, but I can help you more if I don't meet with you." At the same time, Johnson worked behind the scenes to cultivate NAACP leaders. Though it emerges here that he was perhaps not instinctively on the side of the angels in this or other controversies, the pragmatic Senator Johnson nevertheless understood the drift of history well, and invariably chose to swim with the tide, rather than against. The same would not be said later of the Johnson who dwelled so glumly in the White House, expanding a war that even he, eventually, came to loathe. But that is another volume: one that we shall await eagerly. Photos. (Apr.) Forecast: Both volumes one and two had long stays on PW's bestseller list, and those readers will flock to volume three, especially with the aid of a first serial in the New Yorker, a feature in the New York Times magazine, a 16-city author tour and undoubtedly ubiquitous review coverage. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list The obvious question about the third volume in Caro's dynamic, definitive biography of LBJ, following its award-winning predecessors, The Path to Power (1982) and Means of Ascent (1990), is: Does it live up to the profound success of the earlier volumes? The answer is a resounding yes. Caro now covers Johnson's career in the U.S. Senate (1949-61), where, remarkably quickly, he rose to majority leader. We primarily remember LBJ as the president confounded by the Vietnam War. But what Caro so authoritatively yet so rousingly shows us is Johnson's unprecedented and unsurpassed talent for leading the Senate exactly where he wanted it to go. And where he wanted it to go was, most significantly, in the direction of civil rights legislation; he laid the groundwork, with the Civil Rights Act of 1957, for the even greater civil rights legislation he secured from Congress during his presidency. What Caro also achieves so fully and compellingly is not only an understanding of Johnson's power and the psychological compulsions behind the accumulation and exercise of it but also an awareness of the U.S. Senate's moribund state, which it had slipped into decades before Johnson walked into the chamber. He succeeded in turning the upper house into a force to be reckoned with within the structure of the federal government. With first serial rights sold to the New Yorker, this is the biography of the season, and librarians should expect to order more than one copy. --Brad Hooper

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

Library Journal Lyndon Johnson's 12 years in the Senate (1949-61) were his happiest years, according to his wife, Lady Bird Johnson. They are the subject of this long-awaited third volume of Caro's biography, following The Path to Power (1982) and Means of Ascent (1990). Johnson was indeed the master of the Senate, becoming the youngest elected majority leader after only one term. His ruthless fight for power, which Caro focused on in his previous books, is present here. However, his goals, Caro notes, were not only selfish: he led the fight to break the reactionary Southern bloc, which allowed for the passage of the 1957 Civil Rights Act. This watered-down voting rights bill was significant as the first civil rights bill passed in 80 years, setting the precedent for the major civil rights legislation passed during Johnson's presidency. Caro praises Johnson as a great champion of all people of color and devotes much of the book to his evolution from an active participant in the racist Southern Caucus to a true believer in civil rights. While Robert Dallek's two-volume Flawed Giant and Lone Star Rising remain the best scholarly appraisal of Johnson, no other author narrates as gracefully Johnson's complexities, contradictions, and the people and events that contributed to them. Highly recommended for all libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/01.] Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Scientific America Young Readers Book Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Calculus Made Easy
by Silvanus P. Thompson

Book list Thompson has rescued three generations of math students from the vexations of calculus. Now Gardner has applied his acclaimed gifts as a science writer in revising Thompson's classic work, writing new chapters on functions and limits, updating symbols, and adding a delightful appendix of recreational problems. The revisions naturally ease the way for frustrated students looking for help with problems. But the title still does not do justice to this improved work, which provides more than how-to assistance. In addition to helping students reach the right answers, this book opens new mental vistas for readers previously afraid of or hostile to higher mathematics. So while many readers will be thankfully digging out useful tricks of calculation, others will be marveling at the discoveries that first made possible a mathematics of change. So long as students struggle with advanced math, looking for quick answers or deeper insights, public libraries will see demand for this volume--especially around exam time. --Bryce Christensen

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

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National Book Critics Circle
Click to search this book in our catalog Americanah
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Number the Stars
by Lois Lowry

School Library Journal Gr 3-7?The gripping story of a ten-year-old Danish girl and her family's courageous efforts to smuggle Jews out of their Nazi-occupied homeland to safety in Sweden. Readers are taken to the very heart of Annemarie's experience, and, through her eyes, come to understand the true meaning of bravery. (Mar. 1989) (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.