Home
Calendar
Directory
News & Weather
Hot Titles
About Us

SCC Elementary School Library

Featured Book Lists
ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Freakboy
by Kristin Elizabeth Clark

Publishers Weekly Debut novelist Clark uses free verse to write a gripping story about a complex topic: the challenges of growing up transgender or genderqueer. Brendan struggles with his occasional desires to be a girl; in her own series of poems, Brendan's devoted girlfriend, Vanessa, worries about why he is suddenly avoiding her. Meanwhile, transgendered Angel-whom Brendan meets near the teen center where Angel works-reveals her own painful journey; her intense story includes physical abuse and a hospital stay after being beaten up while working as a prostitute. Clark doesn't stray far from central theme (the back matter includes resources and further reading) as she empathically explores what it can be like to be a transgendered teen (for example, not every transitioning character considers sex-reassignment surgery to be important). The author emphasizes that there are no simple answers for her characters, especially Brendan, who wonders if the transgendered label even fits. At the same time, through Angel, she gives her story a current of hope: "Everyone feels like a freak/ until they make up their mind/ they're not." Ages 12-up. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list *Starred Review* When Brendan Chase types Want to be a girl into his Mac's search engine, one word pops up: transsexual. In Clark's raw, honest debut novel, told in verse, three voices capture a few experiences of teens on the transgender spectrum. Brendan is not one of those people / who's always wanted to wear a dress. / Who's always known / he should have been born female. Sex with girlfriend Vanessa, although confusing, feels good, and Brendan questions throughout whether or not he's trans. Fortunately, there's an angel in his life literally. Angel, trans without sex-reassignment surgery ( My junk doesn't dictate who I am ), fights against demons of her own and struggles to reconnect with her younger brother. She's a volunteer at Willows, a center for queer teens, and eventually introduces Brendan to terms like gender identity, gender attraction, genderqueer, and gender fluid. Meanwhile, the third voice belongs to Vanessa, a girl on the boy's wrestling team, who can't understand why her boyfriend, Brendan, is suddenly so distant. Unlike many novels that deal with one transgender character, this movingly explores so many gender identities, from the three main characters (each appears as a different font) to Angel's roommates. A must-have for library shelves, this will be popular with fans of Ellen Hopkins. Resources and further reading conclude.--Kelley, Ann Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-Brandon, a high school wrestler, must face the fact that despite his best efforts he isn't as hyper-masculine as he feels he needs to be. Acceptance of his gender fluidity will prove to be his greatest challenge. Brandon's stepfather, a symphony conductor, appears to need regular validation of his manliness, and his mother undergoes breast enhancement surgery to appear, presumably, more womanly. Vanessa, Brandon's girlfriend, is also a wrestler; she feels she can only have a true win on the mat once her opponent lets go of the thought that she's a girl. When he's not aggressive enough in the ring, Brandon's coach calls him Brenda. Eventually, he meets Angel, an attractive young woman whose birth certificate reads "male." Angel-empowered, self-loving, and equipped to help others-can support Brandon to be at home in his body and in his craving for feminine expression. This book is a strong addition to LBGT and general collections as a compelling story for reluctant readers and an educational piece on a topic that needs discussion. The use of typography for emphasis is occasionally awkward and self-conscious, but overall this novel-in-verse presents a clear, realistic narrative in various voices. It succeeds in conveying the message that "you are not alone" to transgender youth while helping everyone else get a handle on these often-tortured teens. The author succeeds in her mission to foster "greater understanding and acceptance of gender's vast and lovely variation." -Teresa Pfeifer, The Springfield Renaissance School, Springfield, MA (c) Copyright 2013. 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.

ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog B Is for Baby
by Atinuke

Book list This clever story puts the focus on the letter B. In fact, it's the key element that moves the text. In an unspecified African village, we meet a baby whose mother is putting beads in her hair. B is also for basket; this woven one is to be brought to Baba by Brother, filled with bananas for this grandfather's breakfast. But what readers see, and Brother does not, thanks to his headphones blocking out any sounds as he rides to Baba's, is that Baby has crawled into the basket secured on the rear of his bike. Along the way, Baby spies birds and butterflies and gets a biscuit when finally discovered by a surprised grandfather. A miniature panorama on the final page shows the trip home. The children's mom doesn't seem pleased by the adventure. Each page displays one terse sentence, such as "B is for beautiful." The colorful mixed-media art, however, is expansive, whether showing a single image of a curious baby playing with her toe, or detailing the lush surroundings. This one's a charmer.--Ilene Cooper Copyright 2019 Booklist

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

School Library Journal Toddler-PreS-"B is for Baby" is the first and last line of this entertaining story of a baby girl, her brother, a bicycle, some bananas, and a big surprise. Highlighting words that begin with the letter "B," and with only four words per page-except for one spread-a simple story emerges that will engage small children and be accessible, with a little help, to early readers. In an unspecified African village, a mother gets her very young daughter dressed and ready for the day. She sends her son off with a basket filled with bananas to share with his grandfather. Unbeknownst to the boy, his little sister has fallen into the basket and is along for the ride to Baba's bungalow. The tale takes readers forward and then reverses the steps as the boy returns to his mother with his sister in tow. Illustrations in mixed media are large and bright with a white background. Animals, trees, flowers, and the inhabitants' dress reveal a bit of village life. VERDICT This tale offers eye-catching colors and a clever and fun way to introduce the "B" sound while telling a story.-Maryann H. Owen, Oak Creek Public Library WI © Copyright 2019. 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.

Horn Book From Atinuke and Brooksbank (Baby Goes to Market), another tenderly funny story set in an unspecified African village and starring a winsome baby girl. B is not only for baby but also for an intriguing basket with a lid; when the little girl peeks inside, a sequence of pictures shows her overbalancing into the basket and then settling in happily. Brooksbank's mixed-media illustrations use warm colors on spacious off-white pages. (c) Copyright 2019. 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.

Publishers Weekly As they did in Baby Goes to Market, Atinuke and Brooksbank include readers in the book's antics while leaving out the characters who surround Baby. Pictures tell the story alongside minimal text that introduces B words (baby, beads, basket). After Baby tumbles into a basket of bananas bound for Baba's bungalow, Brother, plugged into his headphones, replaces the basket's cover and loads it onto his bicycle, oblivious to its additional cargo. Subtle visual foreshadowing gives kids a peek at upcoming words as the boy pedals along: one of the birds seen perched in a baobab tree appears at close range on the following spread ("B is for Beautiful"), which also displays a baboon-filled tree in the background ("B is for Baboon"). A page later, one of the monkeys snags the top off the basket, exposing its stowaway passenger and paving the way for the big reveal to a shocked Brother and thrilled Baba. Featuring loose lines and an earth-toned backdrop, Brooksbank's energetic mixed-media art showcases the brilliant colors of African vegetation and clothing, and infuses Atinuke's sweet phrases with warmth and humor. Ages 3-7. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus A circular tale of family love with visual rewards for sharp-eyed listeners. In this story that looks like an alphabet book but focuses exclusively on the letter B, a smiling woman, probably mama, stands in a yard, holding Baby cheek-to-cheek, as another woman chats with four children under the awning of a small tin-roofed house in the background. Many visual details hint at this book's African (probably Nigerian) setting. After Mama Beads Baby's hair, Brother loads a Basket of Bananas onto his Bicycle while bopping to the beat of what's playing through his headphones, oblivious to everything elseespecially the fact that Baby climbed into the Basket to have a Banana for Breakfast. On the road, he passes a Baobab tree, Birds, a Butterfly, Baboons, a Bus brimming over with brown-skinned riders crossing a Bridge, and more sightsfew of which Brother notices. Nothing, however, escapes the keen eyes of Baby. Only when Brother lifts the Bananas from the Bicycle rack does anyone discover the stowaway. A surprised Baba happily welcomes both grandchildren, who join him for Biscuits and bottles of something bubbly. Brooksbank effectively avoids stereotypes while adding humor and cultural specificity to the story with her detailed and lively, colorful, mixed-media images. Safety-conscious caregivers may suck their teeth, but there's no denying the joy in this book.Atinuke has bottled the delightful energy of the Anna Hibiscus books and poured it into this treat for younger readers. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Caldecott Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog The Invention of Hugo Cabret
by Brian Selznick

School Library Journal : Gr 3–6—Brian Selznick's atmospheric story (Scholastic, 2007) is set in Paris in 1931. Hugo Cabret is an orphan; his father, a clockmaker, has recently died in a fire and the boy lives with his alcoholic Uncle Claude, working as his apprentice clock keeper in a bustling train station. When Hugo's uncle fails to return after a three-day absence, the boy decides it's his chance to escape the man's harsh treatment. But Hugo has nowhere to go and, after wandering the city, returns to his uncle's rooms determined to fix a mechanical figure—an automaton—that his father was restoring when he died. Hugo is convinced it will "save his life"—the figure holds a pen, and the boy believes that if he can get it working again, it will deliver a message from his father. This is just the bare outline of this multilayered story, inspired by and with references to early (French) cinema and filmmaker George Méliès, magic and magicians, and mechanical objects. Jeff Woodman's reading of the descriptive passages effectively sets the story's suspenseful tone. The book's many pages of pictorial narrative translate in the audio version into sound sequences that successfully employ the techniques of old radio plays (train whistles, footsteps reverberating through station passages, etc.). The accompanying DVD, hosted by Selznick and packed with information and images from the book, will enrich the listening experience.—Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal

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 The Summer Place
by Jennifer Weiner

Kirkus When a family convenes at their Cape Cod summer home for a wedding, old secrets threaten to ruin everything.Sarah Danhauser is shocked when her beloved stepdaughter announces her engagement to her boyfriend, Gabe. After all, Rubys only 22, and Sarah suspects that their relationship was fast-tracked because of the time they spent together in quarantine during the early days of the pandemic. Sarahs mother, Veronica, is thrilled, mostly because she longs to have the entire family together for one last celebration before she puts their Cape Cod summer house on the market. But getting to Ruby and Gabes wedding might prove more difficult than anyone thought. Sarah cant figure out why her husband, Eli, has been so distant and distracted ever since Ruby moved home to Park Slope (bringing Gabe with her), and she's afraid he may be having an affair. Veronica is afraid that a long-ago dalliance might come back to bite her. Ruby isnt sure how to process the conflicting feelings shes having about her upcoming nuptials. And Sam, Sarahs twin brother, is a recent widower whos dealing with some pretty big romantic confusion. As the entire extended family, along with Gabes relatives, converges on the summer house, secrets become impossible to keep, and it quickly becomes clear that this might not be the perfect gathering Veronica was envisioning. If they make it to the wedding, will their family survive the aftermath? Weiner creates a story with all the misunderstandings and miscommunications of a screwball comedy or a Shakespeare play (think A Midsummer Nights Dream). But the surprising, over-the-top actions of the characters are grounded by a realistic and moving look at grief and ambition (particularly for Sarah and Veronica, both of whom give up demanding creative careers early on). At times the flashbacks can slow down the story, but even when the characters are lying, cheating, and hiding from each other, they still seem like a real and loving family.An alternately farcical and poignant look at family bonds. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list Sarah Danhauser is not so sure when her 22-year-old stepdaughter, Ruby, announces she is getting married—in three months—at Sarah's mother's house on Cape Cod. Ever since Ruby brought Gabe home, Sarah's husband, Eli, has been acting distant, or as distant as he can while working from home. In fact, their four-story brownstone feels cramped with their two young sons just going back to in-person school, so Sarah rents a studio where she can play her piano and think. Meanwhile, Sarah's mother, Ronnie, is thinking about selling the house after the wedding; it's too big for just her, and Sarah and her twin brother, Sam, don't spend the summers there anymore. By alternating points of view between all the major players in the story, Weiner (That Summer, 2021) gives a full panoramic view of a family and their secrets leading up to the wedding. Cape Cod is vividly rendered, with the house getting a sweet metaphysical moment at the end of the book. Though the plot is somewhat soapier than usual for Weiner, she capably takes readers along for the wild ride in this funny, tender read. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A new novel from Weiner heralds the start of beach reading season, so prepare your collections accordingly.

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

Library Journal Examining colonialism, art history, and greed, Jonasson's Sweet, Sweet Revenge LTD brings together Maasai warrior Ole Mbatian Jr.; Kevin, the young man he calls his son: and trod-upon Agneta, who joins forces with Kevin against an underhanded gallery owner with the help of a Stockholm company specializing in revenge services (originally scheduled for July 2021; 60,000-copy first printing). Successful realtors serving tourists at The Shore, Brian and Margot Dunne face a different kind of summer in Runde's debut; even as daughters Liz and Evy seek self-redefining experiences, the entire family struggles with the tragedy of Brian's brain tumor (125,000-copy first printing). In Straub's This Time Tomorrow, Alice is reasonably contented but wishes she were closer to her father, and she gets the chance at a remake when she wakes up one morning in 1996 as a 16-year-old. In Weiner's latest, when Veronica Levy bought The Summer Place on the Outer Cape, she imagined it staying in the family for generations. But with the family now dispersed, she gathers everyone together for one last blow-out summer until she sells it (350,000-copy first printing).

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

Publishers Weekly A family’s secrets and entanglements flare up during a Cape Cod wedding in this first-rate page-turner from Weiner (Off Season). Ruby Danhauser, 22, plans to marry her boyfriend, Gabe, at her step-grandmother Veronica’s beach house, and the choice of venue sets off a cascade of consequences. Veronica, who’s thrilled to be hosting a large family gathering before putting the house on the market, frets about a plan for everyone to take DNA tests and talk about their origins, because there’s a good chance her children were conceived in an extramarital affair. Her daughter, Sarah, thinks Ruby is too young to get married, and can’t understand why her husband, Eli is acting distant and haunted. Turns out he once had an affair with Gabe’s mother. Meanwhile, Sarah’s widowed twin brother, Sam, is raising his stepson Connor after his wife, Julie, died. The characters’ various secrets are thrust into the light when they gather on the Cape for the wedding, with well-wrought twists and turns. Weiner is a master of emotionally complicated narratives, and her smart and witty writing is on full display here. This engrossing novel will please her legions of fans. Agent: Celeste Fine, Park & Fine. (May)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus When a family convenes at their Cape Cod summer home for a wedding, old secrets threaten to ruin everything. Sarah Danhauser is shocked when her beloved stepdaughter announces her engagement to her boyfriend, Gabe. After all, Ruby’s only 22, and Sarah suspects that their relationship was fast-tracked because of the time they spent together in quarantine during the early days of the pandemic. Sarah’s mother, Veronica, is thrilled, mostly because she longs to have the entire family together for one last celebration before she puts their Cape Cod summer house on the market. But getting to Ruby and Gabe’s wedding might prove more difficult than anyone thought. Sarah can’t figure out why her husband, Eli, has been so distant and distracted ever since Ruby moved home to Park Slope (bringing Gabe with her), and she's afraid he may be having an affair. Veronica is afraid that a long-ago dalliance might come back to bite her. Ruby isn’t sure how to process the conflicting feelings she’s having about her upcoming nuptials. And Sam, Sarah’s twin brother, is a recent widower who’s dealing with some pretty big romantic confusion. As the entire extended family, along with Gabe’s relatives, converges on the summer house, secrets become impossible to keep, and it quickly becomes clear that this might not be the perfect gathering Veronica was envisioning. If they make it to the wedding, will their family survive the aftermath? Weiner creates a story with all the misunderstandings and miscommunications of a screwball comedy or a Shakespeare play (think A Midsummer Night’s Dream). But the surprising, over-the-top actions of the characters are grounded by a realistic and moving look at grief and ambition (particularly for Sarah and Veronica, both of whom give up demanding creative careers early on). At times the flashbacks can slow down the story, but even when the characters are lying, cheating, and hiding from each other, they still seem like a real and loving family. An alternately farcical and poignant look at family bonds. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Hello, Universe
by Erin Entrada Kelly

Book list *Starred Review* Four middle-schoolers' fates intertwine one summer in Kelly's (The Land of Forgotten Girls, 2016) touching tale of friendship. Scrawny, taciturn Virgil Salinas can generally be found caring for his guinea pig and avoiding neighborhood bully Chet Bullens. The only people he feels comfortable around are his lola (his Filipino grandmother) and his Japanese American friend Kaori, who fancies herself a psychic. Kaori's quirky self-confidence is a foil to Virgil's insecurities, and when he comes to her for help befriending a girl in his class, Valencia Somerset, she can't wait to consult her star chart. For her own part, Valencia struggles with nightmares after being rejected by her best friend, and the fact that she's deaf hasn't made finding new friends easy. When she spots Kaori's business card on a notice board, she makes an appointment to discuss her troubling dreams. That very day, Virgil goes missing, and Valencia joins Kaori's search for the boy. Chapters alternate between the four kids' perspectives, infusing the story with their unique interests, backgrounds, beliefs, and doubts. Lola's hilariously grim Filipino folk stories weave in and out of Virgil's mind, ultimately giving him the courage to stand up for himself; and rather than holding her back, Valencia's deafness heightens her perceptiveness. Readers will be instantly engrossed in this relatable neighborhood adventure and its eclectic cast of misfits.--Smith, Julia Copyright 2016 Booklist

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

School Library Journal Gr 3-7-The universe comes together unexpectedly when a unique set of circumstances cause four tweens to cross paths. Central to the story is Virgil, an 11-year-old Filipino American whose grandmother, Lola, helps him to come out of his shell and face the world. When Virgil and his pet guinea pig, Gulliver, end up trapped in a well in the woods at the hands of a bully, Chet, it is up to the stars to align before it's too late. Coming together like spokes on a wheel, everyone converges in the woods-Valencia, a Deaf girl on whom Virgil has a crush; Kaori, an adolescent fortune-teller and free spirit; Kaori's sister, Gen, her jump-roping apprentice; a feral dog Valencia has befriended; and a snake, which is the only thing Chet fears. Unlikely friendships are formed and heroism abounds as the group of young people try to find their way in the world. Plucky protagonists and a deftly woven story will appeal to anyone who has ever felt a bit lost in the universe. VERDICT Readers across the board will flock to this book that has something for nearly everyone-humor, bullying, self-acceptance, cross-generational relationships, and a smartly fateful ending.-Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA © Copyright 2017. 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.

Horn Book Virgil is bullied by classmate Chet, who calls him "retardo." Valencia feels like an outsider because she's deaf. Kaori is a self-proclaimed psychic. When Chet drops Virgil's backpack into an abandoned well, Virgil gets stuck trying to retrieve it; Kaori and Valencia investigate Virgil's whereabouts. Told in alternating perspectives of the three kid-heroes and one villain, the children's inner lives are distinctive. (c) Copyright 2017. 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.

Publishers Weekly Kelly (The Land of Forgotten Girls) offers up a charming novel about a serendipitous friendship that forms among a trio of sixth graders after a bully's heartless act brings them together. Virgil Salinas, an immensely shy 11-year-old, lives in the shadow of his boisterous family, struggles in school, and wants little more than to hang out with his guinea pig, Gulliver, and friend, Kaori Tanaka, a self-proclaimed psychic. Virgil's classmate Valencia, who is ostracized at school because of her near deafness, longs for a friend for the summer and hopes that Kaori's psychic powers might help her vanquish her recurring nightmares. Instead, Kaori enlists Valencia's help to rescue Virgil after he fails to show up for a scheduled meeting. Kelly rotates among the viewpoints of Kaori, Virgil, Valencia, and neighborhood bully Chet, who contribute their own distinct stories, voices, and challenges. Infused with humor and hope, this book deftly conveys messages of resilience and self-acceptance through simple acts of everyday courage. Readers will be left inspired to tackle life's fears head-on. Ages 8-12. Agent: Sara Crowe, Pippin Properties. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Virgil is bullied by classmate Chet, who calls him "retardo." Valencia feels like an outsider because she's deaf. Kaori is a self-proclaimed psychic. When Chet drops Virgil's backpack into an abandoned well, Virgil gets stuck trying to retrieve it; Kaori and Valencia investigate Virgil's whereabouts. Told in alternating perspectives of the three kid-heroes and one villain, the children's inner lives are distinctive. (c) Copyright 2017. 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.

Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
by David Wroblewski

Publishers Weekly This sprawling epic tale clocks in at 22 hours, but is well worth the time spent. Wroblewski captivates with a story of a young boy and his dogs cast into the wilderness after his father is murdered in rural Wisconsin. Richard Poe reads with a firm voice, both gripping and personal, fitting for this particular tale. Poe brings the story to life with such ease that listeners will forget they aren't actually reading the book. Steady pacing, realistic and imaginative characters and Poe's skilled performance make this a recording that (even at its length) listeners will want to hear again. This is an instant classic that will resonate for years to come. An Ecco hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 18). (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Publishers Weekly A literary thriller with commercial legs, this stunning debut is bound to be a bestseller. In the backwoods of Wisconsin, the Sawtelle family-Gar, Trudy and their young son, Edgar-carry on the family business of breeding and training dogs. Edgar, born mute, has developed a special relationship and a unique means of communicating with Almondine, one of the Sawtelle dogs, a fictional breed distinguished by personality, temperament and the dogs' ability to intuit commands and to make decisions. Raising them is an arduous life, but a satisfying one for the family until Gar's brother, Claude, a mystifying mixture of charm and menace, arrives. When Gar unexpectedly dies, mute Edgar cannot summon help via the telephone. His guilt and grief give way to the realization that his father was murdered; here, the resemblance to Hamlet resonates. After another gut-wrenching tragedy, Edgar goes on the run, accompanied by three loyal dogs. His quest for safety and succor provides a classic coming-of-age story with an ironic twist. Sustained by a momentum that has the crushing inevitability of fate, the propulsive narrative will have readers sucked in all the way through the breathtaking final scenes. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus A stately, wonderfully written debut novel that incorporates a few of the great archetypes: a disabled but resourceful young man, a potential Clytemnestra of a mom and a faithful dog. Writing to such formulas, with concomitant omniscience and world-weariness, has long been the stuff of writing workshops. Wroblewski is the product of one such place, but he seems to have forgotten much of what he learned there: He takes an intense interest in his characters; takes pains to invest emotion and rough understanding in them; and sets them in motion with graceful language (and, in eponymous young Edgar's case, sign language). At the heart of the book is a pup from an extremely rare breed, thanks to a family interest in Mendelian genetics; so rare is Almondine, indeed, that she finds ways to communicate with Edgar that no other dog and human, at least in literature, have yet worked out. Edgar may be voiceless, but he is capable of expressing sorrow and rage when his father suddenly dies, and Edgar decides that his father's brother, who has been spending a great deal of time with Edgar's mother, is responsible for the crime. That's an appropriately tragic setup, and Edgar finds himself exiled to the bleak wintry woods—though not alone, for he is now the alpha of his own very special pack. The story takes Jungle Book-ish turns: "He blinked at the excess moonlight in the clearing and clapped for the dogs. High in the crown of a charred tree, an owl covered its dished face, and one branch down, three small replicas followed. Baboo came at once. Tinder had begun pushing into the tall grass and he turned and trotted back." It resolves, however, in ways that will satisfy grown-up readers. The novel succeeds admirably in telling its story from a dog's-eye view that finds the human world very strange indeed. An auspicious debut: a boon for dog lovers, and for fans of storytelling that eschews flash. Highly recommended. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Library Journal Wroblewski's lyrical debut novel, about a young boy who runs away from home and into the Wisconsin backwoods with the loyal dogs he helped raise, is now available as an audio production, and Recorded Books couldn't have done a better job with it. Narrating is actor Richard Poe (The Sportswriter), whose readings are consistently strong, and whose deep, rumbling, assonant voice perfectly suits this psychologically complex and ultimately heartwarming material. An essential and rewarding purchase for all libraries. [With tracks every three minutes for bookmarking; audio clip available through www.audible.com; the Ecco hc received a starred review, LJ 3/15/08; was both an Oprah's Book Club and a Barnes & Noble Discover selection; and was ranked #1 on the New York Times bestsellers list.-Ed.]-Raya Kuzyk, Library Journal (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 Born without the ability to speak, Edgar Sawtelle grows up on a Wisconsin farm turned dog breeding and training kennel with his parents, using sign and gesture to aid the pursuit of perfecting canine companionship. Then, in an injection of Hamlet that one can almost map out point for point, the Sawtelle dream is poisoned. There is the murderous uncle who woos the widowed mother, a ghostly apparition of Edgar's father warning the boy of something rotten, and, most cleverly, a canine reenaction of the deadly deed before Edgar sets out into the wilderness with a trio of young pups. Wroblewski's debut novel is most revelatory in navigating the wordless avenues of communication running between man and animal, and in the thrilling, heartbreaking interiors of the Sawtelle dogs as they experience the world through differently tuned senses. Though the pacing is set somewhere between languorous and ponderous, more than just dog lovers will find themselves deeply immersed in Wroblewski's assured prose and broad swatches of carefully rendered imagery. High literary art from a talent that bears watching.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2008 Booklist

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

Library Journal Set in Wisconsin, this deeply nuanced epic tells the story of a boy, his dog, and much more. Father, son, and even dog take turns narrating before the story is told primarily by the inexplicably mute Edgar Sawtelle. Part mystery, part Hamlet, the story opens with a sinister and seemingly unrelated scene that begins to make sense as the narrative progresses. The rich depiction of Edgar's family, who are breeders of unique dogs, creates a warm glow that contrasts sharply with the cold evil that their family contains. This tension, along with a little salting of the paranormal, makes this an excruciatingly captivating read. Readers examine the concept of choice, the choice of the dogs in their relationship with people, and the choice of people in their acquiescence to or rejection of their perceived destiny. Ultimately liberating, though tragic and heart-wrenching, this book is unforgettable; overwhelmingly recommended for all libraries.-Henry Bankhead, Los Gatos P.L., 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.

Powered by: YouSeeMore © The Library Corporation (TLC)