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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Six of Crows
by Leigh Bardugo

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 How to Read a Book
by Kwame Alexander

Book list Come, let your fingers wonder as they wander through this engaging and mesmerizing ode to reading. Beginning with the captivating front endpapers that contain a poem and letters of the alphabet, this title is a treat to ears and eyes with its lyrical language and visual metaphors. Newbery medalist Alexander instructs the reader on how to best go about devouring a book, likening it to peeling a piece of fruit and savoring its goodness. First, pick a comfortable place to sit, open a book, and open your mind to all that volume has to offer. Caldecott Honor Book illustrator Sweet's intricate collage art uses an array of materials, including text and images from Bambi, old book covers, watercolors, and gouache paintings. Popping pink, orange, yellow, and purple leap from the artwork, creating an energy and optimism that will keep readers glued to the pages. Books take on the shape of a bookmobile, a guitar, a record player, and a toaster that spews forth letters spelling Once upon a Time. One gatefold and a die-cut page continue to enthrall and expand enthusiasm. The author admonishes readers: Don't rush though: Your eyes need time to taste. Your soul needs room to bloom. Endnotes by the author and illustrator describe how they came to create this delightful and appealing instruction manual.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Newbery medalist Alexander is popular across genres, and Caldecott Honoree Sweet's illustratrions enhance any project; together, they make an irresistible (and multi-award-winning) team--Maryann Owen Copyright 2019 Booklist

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

School Library Journal PreS-Gr 2—Award-winning poet Alexander compares reading a book to peeling the gentle skin of a clementine, digging in to its juiciness, enjoying it "piece by piece, part by part," until you can "watch a novel world unfurl right before your eyes." And who better to illustrate this delicious poem than Caldecott Honoree Sweet. The artwork is done in watercolor, gouache, mixed media, handmade and vintage papers, found objects including old book covers, and a paint can lid. Not a splash of color, a piece of paper, or a line is out of place. Starting with the initial collage that incorporates the building blocks of reading (the letters A to Z) and the lines from a poem by Nikki Giovanni that careful readers will have to pay attention to see, the tone is set. "So get/real cozy/between/the covers/And let your/fingers wonder/as they wander…" for there is much to relish in this poem and its exuberant images. "Squeeze/every morsel/of each plump line/until the last/drop of magic/drips from the infinite sky." The book includes a note from both the poet and the artist. VERDICT A beautiful book not to be rushed through, but to be enjoyed morsel by tasty morsel.—Lucia Acosta, Children's Literature Specialist, Princeton, NJ

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

Kirkus A linguistic and visual feast awaits in Alexander and Sweet's debut collaboration.If the mechanics of deciphering words on a page is a well-covered topic, the orchestration of finding magic between pages is an art emphasized but unexplaineduntil now. First things are first: "find a treea black tupelo or dawn redwood will doand plant yourself." Once settled, take the book in hand and "dig your thumb at the bottom of each juicy section and pop the words out[then] // Squeeze every morsel of each plump line until the last drop of magic / drips from the infinite sky." Reading, captured here in both content and form, is hailed as the unassailably individual, creative act it is. The prosody and rhythm and multimodal sensuousness of Alexander's poetic text is made playfully material in Sweet's mixed-media collage-and-watercolor illustrations. Not only does the book explain how to read, but it also demonstrates the elegant and emotive chaos awaiting readers in an intricate partnership of text and image. Despite the engaging physicality of gatefolds and almost three-dimensional spreads, readers with lower contrast sensitivity or readers less experienced at differentiating shapes and letters may initially find some of the more complex collage spreads difficult to parse. Children depicted are typically kraft-paper brown.New readers will be eager to follow such unconventional instructions, and experienced readers will recognize every single step. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Newbery Medalist Alexander's love poem to literacy conjures up startling, luscious images: to begin reading a book, he tells readers, "peel its gentle skin,/ like you would/ a clementine..../ Dig your thumb/ at the bottom/ of each juicy section." Caldecott Honor artist Sweet (Some Writer!) riffs on his verse, line by line, imbuing spreads with the feel of a continually evolving, handmade Valentine (as the copyright page pointedly notes, "no computer was used in making this art"). By turns dreamy and ecstatic, the images include portraits of blissed-out readers in a variety of settings, all constructed from swaths of saturated neon color and literary-themed ephemera (pages from Bambi are used throughout). One gatefold transforms a book into an electric orange triple-decker party bus, with 18 windows revealing allusive scenes made from cut paper and collage. The text, set in hand-lettered capitals, sprawls and stacks energetically as it proclaims its bibliophilia-sometimes whispering and cooing, sometimes shouting from the rooftops that it's got it bad for books. And why not? As Alexander writes, "Now, sleep./ dream./ hope./ (you never reach)/ the end." Ages 4-8. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Caldecott Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog They All Saw a Cat
by Brendan Wenzel

School Library Journal PreS-Gr 3-Readers see the world through a different set of eyes thanks to Wenzel's whimsical and eye-catching artwork as a child, a fox, a worm, and others look on as a tabby saunters through a variety of environments. Each distinctive and imaginative spread features a shape-shifting perspective-such as a bee's pointillistic view of the feline-set to a stripped-down, rhythmic text. © 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.

Book list *Starred Review* What does saw mean anyway? If you're Wenzel, the word is an invitation to explore, to think, and to see in new ways. Here, a repeating refrain with more than a hint of nursery rhyme pads through the book, right along with the central character: a cat. The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws. Yes, they all saw a cat. Each page turn reveals how a series of creatures sees the cat. To the child, it is big-eyed and adorably fluffy; to the fish in the bowl, it's two huge, blurry eyes; and to the bee, it is a series of faceted dots. To create these varied visions, Wenzel uses the spacious width of double-page spreads and a wide range of materials, including oil, pastels, watercolor, and pencils. He plays with perspective in other ways, too. A yellow bird looks down at the cat below, and a flea peers through a forest of fur. The result is fascinating, thought-provoking, and completely absorbing. Rich in discussion possibilities and curriculum applications, this is a treasure for classrooms, story hours, and just plain enjoyment.--Rutan, Lynn Copyright 2016 Booklist

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

Publishers Weekly "The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws," writes Wenzel (Beastly Babies) at the opening of this perspective-broadening picture book. What those features add up to depends on the eyes of the beholder, not to mention scale relationships, instincts, and history. To a child, the cat looks like a pet: affectionate, big eyed, and adorable. But a flea sees a vast forest of dense hair to conquer. A mouse cowers before the dragonlike creature of horror that bounds out of a blood-red background with blazing yellow eyes. And a bee sees a collection of multicolored dots-a pointillist pussycat. The simple text ("the skunk saw a cat, and the worm saw a cat, and the bat saw a cat. Yes, they all saw the cat") creates a powerful, rhythmic juxtaposition between word and image, and inventively varied renderings showcase a versatile, original talent at work, in media ranging from collage to pencil and watercolor. This is Wenzel's first book as both illustrator and writer, and it's marvelous-no matter how you look at it. Ages 3-5. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog The Hotel Nantucket
by Elin Hilderbrand

Kirkus Bring on the fresh-baked gougères and the hydrangea-blue cashmere throws: A classic fictional setting—the grand hotel—gets the Hilderbrand treatment. The beloved beach novelist’s 28th book is another tour de force, deploying all her usual tricks and tropes and clever points of view, again among them a character from the afterlife and the collective “we” of gossipy island residents. Our ghost is Grace Hadley, a teenage chambermaid who died under suspicious circumstances in a hotel fire in 1922. Grace’s lonely days are over when the historic property is purchased and reopened by a London billionaire. As Xavier Darling tells his general manager, Lizbet Keaton, their goal will be to get five out of five keys from Shelly Carpenter, an undercover hotel blogger who has not awarded top honors to any spot visited so far. A gorgeous remodel, a sterling staff, free treats in the minibar, and—of course, since this is Hilderbrand—an incredible restaurant where a disco ball drops from the ceiling every night at 9 p.m. and the chef is hotter than any dish on the menu are all in play as the first guests come streaming in. Which one is the hard-to-please Ms. Carpenter? Other addictive storylines include a rich kid cleaning rooms to expiate some mysterious, terrible thing he did this past spring, an evil beauty breaking up island marriages (instead of a gun in the drawer, there's a half-used Chanel eye shadow in Pourpre Brun), and the desperate attempts of Lizbet’s ex, who sexted with their wine rep, to win her back. One of the special services Lizbet creates for the guests of the Hotel Nantucket is a “Blue Book” containing all her recommended island itineraries. A real-life version is included as an appendix, giving the complete scoop on where to eat, drink, sunbathe, shop, and stay on the island, plus notes on which Hilderbrand novels happened where. If you’re ready to check out Chicken Box or to try the sandwiches on herb bread that lured the author to become a permanent island resident in 1993, the Elin Hilderbrand Bucket List Weekend really is a thing. Honestly, who needs Nantucket. It could hardly be more fun than this book. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list When Lizbet Keaton finds her longtime boyfriend has been sexting another woman, she needs a fresh start, and she finds it at the Hotel Nantucket. Long viewed as a money pit on the island—and plagued by rumors that it is haunted—the hotel was meticulously renovated by London-based billionaire Xavier Darling, whose goal is to get a five-star review from the elusive Hotel Confidential on Instagram. As Lizbet takes on the role of hotel manager, she hires the staff who become the featured players in this ensemble of characters who are all hiding something, from the front desk manager to the head of housekeeping to Chad who is hired as a cleaner. As the summer bustles on, the staff tries to keep up with demanding guests, Xavier's whims, and, yes, a ghost. Hilderbrand once again captures life on Nantucket, from the beaches to the food to the chorus of locals who comment on the goings-on at the hotel, complete with a travel guide at the end of the book. Readers will be transported by this breezy, engrossing beach read. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Fans eagerly await Hilderbrand's Nantucket summer novels, and this one will not disappoint.

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

Library Journal The latest from the prolific and popular Hilderbrand (following Golden Girl) takes a satisfying look behind the scenes of a luxury Nantucket hotel. London-based billionaire Xavier Darling buys and lavishly renovates the long-derelict Hotel Nantucket, hoping to win the coveted "Five Keys" rating from an Instagram travel influencer. When he needs a local general manager, he hires Lizbet Keaton, who doesn't have hotel experience but previously ran a successful restaurant for 15 years, until she was betrayed by her business partner boyfriend. Staff shortages at the Hotel Nantucket (perhaps an oblique reference to COVID-era labor shortages) drive Lizbet to hire a raft of similarly inexperienced workers—disparate characters with slowly revealed backstories and secrets. The hotel turns out to be haunted by the ghost of a young chambermaid who was murdered there a hundred years earlier; to end the haunting, the hotel staff will have to help the ghost get closure. Beyond the intrigue, readers will learn something of the way a luxury hotel runs, including the long hours and dedication of the staff. VERDICT References to pop culture (music, celebrities, social media, fashion) will please a modern crowd, and readers will cheer for Lizbet, the crew of the Hotel Nantucket, and the ghost.—Jan Marry

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

Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Criss Cross
by Lynne Rae Perkins

Book list Gr. 5-8. Igus' prose poems and Wood's evocative paintings combine to give a succinct overview of African American music. A useful time line sets the social context, and brief paragraphs describe the various types of music, from African origins and slave songs through ragtime; the blues; big band, bebop, and cool jazz; gospel; rhythm and blues; and the contemporary sounds of rock, hip-hop, and rap. Igus effectively uses snippets from song lyrics to communicate both a feel for the music itself and a sense of how the various styles played to the emotions of the musicians and their fans ("From the basements to the rooftops, / I see the cool tones of modern jazz / escape the city heat"). Wood's paintings are equally suggestive. Mixing modernist and primitive styles and using color nicely to communicate musical style and tone, her art not only complements the text but vivifies it. Audience may be a problem: the supportive text is too sophisticated for younger readers to grasp themselves, and the format may alienate some older readers. Perhaps best used in a junior-high classroom with audio accompaniment, this striking book, in the hands of a creative teacher or librarian, could give kids a feeling for the majesty, creativity, and continuity of African American music. (Reviewed February 15, 1998)0892391510Bill Ott

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

Kirkus The collaborators on Going Back Home (1997) return with a stunning history of African-American music. They begin 500 years ago, on the African continent, chronicle the slave trade, and document the work songs and spirituals of American slaves. The blues, ragtime, jazz, gospel, R&B, rock, funk, rap, and hip hop all come under scrutiny in free-verse poems that incorporate lyrics about and the rhythms of every style. In addition, Igus has added a brief description of each musical movement and a terrific timeline noting highlights of African-American history--both musical and more general information--which roots the whole book in a broader context. Wood's vibrant paintings are based in historical detail, and resonate with emotion. The color choices, postures of the figures, as well as the expressions on their faces, reflect various aspects of African-American music; the pictures broadcast joy, innovation, and exuberance in the face of systematic oppression. A child hidden in each scene adds a nice piece of personality for readers to interpret. Stylish and lively design pulls it all together into an absorbing, attractive package. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography
by Sidney Poitier

Library Journal Winner of this year's Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album, this production is a delight in every way, with the narration by Poitier appropriately dramatic and mellifluous. The story of his meteoric and fated rise to fame as a successful actor respected by his peers almost belies his hardscrabble beginnings on Cat Island off the coast of the Bahamas. And the "lucky star" Poitier falls under is actually the common denominator among all successful people: a willingness to work harder, and an innate resourcefulness, including the ability to listen to one's own instincts and to move when the time is right. If this sounds philosophical, it is; the book is much more than another celebrity memoir. It is not only Poitier's reflection on a long life in the world of arts and entertainment but also a statement of his personal views on what it means to be a good man, honed in discussions with friends and fellow travelers on life's journey who were themselves of a philosophical frame of mind. Highly recommended. Mark Pumphrey, Polk Cty. P.L., Columbus, NC (c) Copyright 2010. 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 Poitier's second memoir retains the soul-searching candor that marked his first (This Life, 1980), but lacks its narrative drive. After painting an idyllic portrait of his youth on Cat Island in the Bahamas ("a place of purity"), Poitier traces his path to Hollywood stardom with frustratingly broad strokes. (For the details of Poitier's journey, and his involvement in the civil rights movement, readers are left to consult his earlier work.) Poitier demonstrates the strength of his character with moving stories about his struggles with racism, and he includes anecdotes about his roles in such memorable productions as A Raisin in the Sun, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, In the Heat of the Night and A Patch of Blue. But in the end, this book reads like the random thoughts of a sincere and honorable celebrity channeled through the pen of an experienced and jaded ghostwriter. As an autobiography, it is "spiritual" only in the loosest sense of the term. Poitier's relationship with God, whom he conceives in Hollywood terms as a vague cosmic consciousness, is not mentioned until one of the last chapters of the book. Throughout, he offers moralizing reflections on rage, forgiveness ("a sacred process"), marriage, parenting, prostate cancer and the burning question of whether Sidney Poitier has a dark side. "I had come to believe a little bit in my own press clippings," he notes, reflecting on his reputation as a man of unusual integrity and virtue; for better and for worse, this book contains little to complicate that belief. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Publishers Weekly Given the personal nature of this narrative, it's impossible to imagine hearing anyone other than Poitier, with his distinctive, resonant voice and perfect enunciation, tell the story. In his second memoir Poitier talks about his childhood in the Caribbean, where he was terribly poor by American standards, but quite happy, swimming and climbing all he could. One of eight kids, Poitier was sent to live with an older brother in Miami when he started to get into difficulties as a teen. But frustrated by his inability to earn a living and by the disparaging way whites treated him, Poitier left Miami for New York. There he worked as a dishwasher, started a drama class and launched a celebrated acting career that led to starring roles in such classics as To Sir, with Love and Raisin in the Sun. Poitier's rendition of these events is so moving that listeners will wish this audio adaptation were twice as long. Simultaneous release with the Harper San Francisco hardcover (Forecasts, May 1). (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Publishers Weekly Poitier's second memoir retains the soul-searching candor that marked his first (This Life, 1980), but lacks its narrative drive. After painting an idyllic portrait of his youth on Cat Island in the Bahamas ("a place of purity"), Poitier traces his path to Hollywood stardom with frustratingly broad strokes. (For the details of Poitier's journey, and his involvement in the civil rights movement, readers are left to consult his earlier work.) Poitier demonstrates the strength of his character with moving stories about his struggles with racism, and he includes anecdotes about his roles in such memorable productions as A Raisin in the Sun, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, In the Heat of the Night and A Patch of Blue. But in the end, this book reads like the random thoughts of a sincere and honorable celebrity channeled through the pen of an experienced and jaded ghostwriter. As an autobiography, it is "spiritual" only in the loosest sense of the term. Poitier's relationship with God, whom he conceives in Hollywood terms as a vague cosmic consciousness, is not mentioned until one of the last chapters of the book. Throughout, he offers moralizing reflections on rage, forgiveness ("a sacred process"), marriage, parenting, prostate cancer and the burning question of whether Sidney Poitier has a dark side. "I had come to believe a little bit in my own press clippings," he notes, reflecting on his reputation as a man of unusual integrity and virtue; for better and for worse, this book contains little to complicate that belief. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal There should be a rule that celebrities can't write memoirs until they are at least 70 to avoid the inevitable rehashing of one's life in a second or even third memoir. Poitier wrote his first autobiography (This Life) in 1980 and is following it up now with a second. However, in addition to rehashing some of the stories from the first book, he also wants to share his wisdom and ponder the meaning of life. He wistfully remembers the simplicity of growing up on Cat Island in the Bahamas and pities privileged children who have never experienced such an unspoiled life. He regrets his early divorce and the effects it had on his children. There is almost a sense of apology as Poitier examines his actions, but at the same time there is quite a bit of self-importance. By the end, he seems to have forgiven himself and figured it all out: "We're all imperfect, and life is simply a perpetual unending struggle against those imperfections." When he talks about acting technique, the book sizzles, but otherwise it is not a necessary purchase unless book promotion efforts generate requests. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/00.]--Rosellen Brewer, Monterey Cty. Free Libs., Salinas, CA (c) Copyright 2010. 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.

Book list By any measure, Sidney Poitier has led a remarkably successful life. One of the legendary American actors, he has starred in more than 40 films and acted in many successful Broadway plays. His career is even more remarkable considering his background. Born dirt poor in the Bahamas, Poitier came to the U.S. penniless at age 15 in 1943. After working odd jobs and scraping by in Florida and New York City, Poitier landed, by chance, a small acting role. His performance was noticed by talent scouts, and with a combination of luck, grit, and sheer willpower, he went on to become Hollywood's first leading black actor and one of its greatest stars. In Measure, Poitier attempts to unravel for himself his own remarkable life story, looking at early life experiences, his family, and various themes that he believes have contributed to his success. Measure is not a chronological autobiography; the book emphasizes themes that have shaped his life. The author examines rural poverty, racism in "Jim Crow" Florida, morality, self-esteem, and the nature of being an "outsider" . Poitier is an excellent storyteller, and the book is anecdotally rich. Calling this autobiography--the author's second--"spiritual" may be somewhat misleading. Religion is a minor part of the story. Instead, Poitier's tale is an affirmation of the value of morality and personal integrity in leading a successful, fulfilling life. --Ted Leventhal

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

Library Journal Following his autobiography (This Life); something with a spiritual dimension. (c) Copyright 2010. 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.

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