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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog The Field Guide to the North American Teenager
by Ben Philippe

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

Caldecott Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Kittens First Full Moon
by Kevin Henkes

School Library Journal : PreS-K-An irresistible offering from the multifaceted Henkes. The spare and suspense-filled story concerns a kitten that mistakes the moon for a bowl of milk. When she opens her mouth to lick the treat, she ends up with a bug on her tongue. Next, she launches herself into the air, paws reaching out for the object of her desire, only to tumble down the stairs, "bumping her nose and banging her ear and pinching her tail. Poor Kitten." Again and again, the feline's persistent attempts to reach her goal lead to pain, frustration, and exhaustion. Repetitive phrases introduce each sequence of desire, action, and consequence, until the animal's instincts lead her home to a satisfying resolution. Done in a charcoal and cream-colored palette, the understated illustrations feature thick black outlines, pleasing curves, and swiftly changing expressions that are full of nuance. The rhythmic text and delightful artwork ensure storytime success. Kids will surely applaud this cat's irrepressible spirit. Pair this tale with Frank Asch's classic Moongame (S & S, 1987) and Nancy Elizabeth Wallace's The Sun, the Moon and the Stars (Houghton, 2003) for nocturnal celebrations.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Ghosts Of Honolulu
by Mark Harmon and Leon Carroll Jr

Kirkus It’s no secret that Japanese spies worked in Hawaii in the years before Pearl Harbor, but there was also a Japanese American agent working to foil them. Screen actor Harmon and NCIS technical adviser Carroll try their hand at history, and it’s mostly a success—at least for readers who can acclimate to present-tense narration and occasionally overheated prose. As relations with Japan deteriorated during the 1930s, intelligence services worried about the loyalty of Hawaii’s largest minority, Japanese Americans, although local officials found little disturbing evidence. The reality was that local Japanese officials were gathering information on island defenses, and in 1940, Japan sent an agent, Takeo Yoshikawa, to work at it full-time in the consulate. Counterespionage in Hawaii was the responsibility of local police and several government agencies, but the authors focus on the Office of Naval Intelligence and its first Japanese American agent, Douglas Wada, hired in 1937. Wada spent most of his time translating and interpreting, but he also kept an eye out for suspicious activities. In the first half of the book, Yoshikawa spies while Wada goes about his business. After the attack, Japanese diplomats, including Yoshikawa, were arrested and later exchanged. Hawaiian intelligence services were on the alert, although little of consequence turned up. In what is now agreed to be a disgraceful episode of national racism, all Japanese Americans were regarded as disloyal, and 120,000 people of Japanese descent were arrested and sent to internment camps. A few hundred people on Hawaii were detained, but there were no mass arrests. Some scholars credit American intelligence for assuring the White House that Hawaii’s Japanese Americans were loyal, but practical reasons predominated: Locking up more than one-third of the island’s population would wreck its economy. Neither Yoshikawa nor Wada was a significant historical figure, but they lived long enough to be interviewed and written about, providing material for this revealing account. Though sometimes unnecessarily breathless, this is decent military history that will appeal to World War II buffs. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Publishers Weekly NCIS star Harmon and Carroll, the show’s technical adviser, spotlight in their fast-paced debut how the historical precursor of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service dueled with Japanese spies in Hawaii during WWII. In 1939, FDR ordered the Office of Naval Intelligence to “investigate domestic threats of espionage and sabotage.” In Hawaii, Douglas Wada was recruited as the agency’s only Japanese American counterintelligence agent at a time when Japanese Americans accounted for more than a third of the population. Wada’s job was to “monitor the local population,” but he and his fellow counterintelligence officers correctly regarded Japan’s consular agents and their staff as the real spies in Hawaii, rather than members of the overwhelmingly loyal Japanese American community. After the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, U.S. counterintelligence chiefs in Hawaii, aware the attack had been guided by information that had “come from a spy working in the consulate in Honolulu,” advocated against the kind of mass internment of Japanese Americans that occurred in the western U.S. Wada continued his career through the Cold War decades, as the Office of Naval Intelligence evolved into the NCIS, and died in 2007. The authors strikingly paint WWII-era Hawaii as a spy-vs.-spy battleground, detailing Wada’s covert cat-and-mouse games with the Japanese consulate. Espionage buffs will savor this vibrant account of a dogged WWII investigator. (Nov.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman

Publishers Weekly : Starred Review. A lavish middle-grade novel, Gaiman's first since Coraline, this gothic fantasy almost lives up to its extravagant advance billing. The opening is enthralling: There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife. Evading the murderer who kills the rest of his family, a child roughly 18 months old climbs out of his crib, bumps his bottom down a steep stairway, walks out the open door and crosses the street into the cemetery opposite, where ghosts take him in. What mystery/horror/suspense reader could stop here, especially with Gaiman's talent for storytelling? The author riffs on the Jungle Book, folklore, nursery rhymes and history; he tosses in werewolves and hints at vampires—and he makes these figures seem like metaphors for transitions in childhood and youth. As the boy, called Nobody or Bod, grows up, the killer still stalking him, there are slack moments and some repetition—not enough to spoil a reader's pleasure, but noticeable all the same. When the chilling moments do come, they are as genuinely frightening as only Gaiman can make them, and redeem any shortcomings. Ages 10–up. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

School Library Journal : Gr 5–8—Somewhere in contemporary Britain, "the man Jack" uses his razor-sharp knife to murder a family, but the youngest, a toddler, slips away. The boy ends up in a graveyard, where the ghostly inhabitants adopt him to keep him safe. Nobody Owens, so named because he "looks like nobody but himself," grows up among a multigenerational cast of characters from different historical periods that includes matronly Mistress Owens; ancient Roman Caius Pompeius; an opinionated young witch; a melodramatic hack poet; and Bod's beloved mentor and guardian, Silas, who is neither living nor dead and has secrets of his own. As he grows up, Bod has a series of adventures, both in and out of the graveyard, and the threat of the man Jack who continues to hunt for him is ever present. Bod's love for his graveyard family and vice versa provide the emotional center, amid suspense, spot-on humor, and delightful scene-setting. The child Bod's behavior is occasionally too precocious to be believed, and a series of puns on the name Jack render the villain a bit less frightening than he should be, though only momentarily. Aside from these small flaws, however, Gaiman has created a rich, surprising, and sometimes disturbing tale of dreams, ghouls, murderers, trickery, and family.—Megan Honig, New York Public Library

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog Icy Sparks
by Gwyn Hyman Rubio

Library Journal: Kentucky writer Rubio's big-hearted first novel features Icy Sparks, a brave and lovable child with Tourette Syndrome. Her involuntary twitches, eye poppings, and repetitions isolate her from the life of her Appalachian community. She is hospitalized for several months and finally receives the correct diagnosis, and under the care of a kindly doctor she learns techniques to reduce the severity of her symptoms. Her loving grandparents and the friendship of the hugely fat Miss Emily, also isolated by her difference, sustain her for five years. During those years Miss Emily teaches her what she will need to know for college. By the end of those years Icy has learned to manage her disability and has used her pain and loneliness to grow into a wonderful young woman. In refusing defeat, she wins the love and respect of the reader. For all collections where there are tender hearts.

Judith Kicinski, Sarah Lawrence Coll. Lib., Bronxville, NY Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publishers Weekly: The diagnosis of Tourette's Syndrome isn't mentioned until the last pages of Rubio's sensitive portrayal of a young girl with the disease. Instead, Rubio lets Icy Sparks tell her own story of growing up during the 1950s in a small Kentucky town where her uncontrollable outbursts make her an object of fright and scorn. "The Saturday after my [10th] birthday, the eye blinking and poppings began.... I could feel little invisible rubber bands fastened to my eyelids, pulled tight through my brain and attached to the back of my head," says Icy, who thinks of herself as the "frog child from Icy Creek." Orphaned and cared for by her loving grandparents, Icy weathers the taunts of a mean schoolteacher and, later, a crush on a boy that ends in disappointment. But she also finds real friendship with the enormously fat Miss Emily, who offers kindness and camaraderie. Rubio captures Icy's feelings of isolation and brings poignancy and drama to Icy's childhood experiences, to her temporary confinement in a mental institution and to her reluctant introduction--thanks to Miss Emily and Icy's grandmother--to the Pentecostal church through which she discovers her singing talent. If Rubio sometimes loses track of Icy's voice, indulges in unconvincing magical realism and takes unearned poetic license with the speech of her Appalachian grandparents ("`Your skin was as cold as fresh springwater, slippery and strangely soothing to touch'"), her first novel is remarkable for its often funny portrayal of a child's fears, loves and struggles with an affliction she doesn't know isn't her fault. Agent, Susan Golomb; editor, Jane von Mehren.

Copyright 1998 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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