Tuesday, October 17, 2017

New Fiction for Middle Grades

Follow ups to awards winners, a pair of new adventure series, and a funny tale for Charlotte's Web fans.

 War I Finally Won
THE WAR I FINALLY WON by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. This sequel to the award-winning The War That Saved My Life continues the poignant story of two London children who are evacuated to the seaside village of Kent during the WWII Blitz.  The war continues to impact their lives intensely.   Ada and Jamie are still living with Susan, their reluctant yet reliable caregiver.  Ruth, a young German Jewish refugee, becomes another member of the household and provokes a conflicted reaction from villagers.  Ada and the others struggle to find courage and meaning in a time of terrible personal loss.  An engrossing, ultimately heart-lifting journey.

 Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City
THE UNLIKELY STORY OF A PIG IN THE CITY by Jodi Kendall.  When Hamlet shows up on Thanksgiving not as the entrĂ©e, but as a rescued runt, Josie immediately finds a soft spot in her heart for the piglet.  Josie feels a bond with Hamlet, both of them just struggling to survive amidst a family with a ton of kids.  Josie’s Dad, who declares a piglet is just future bacon, not a pet, relents and gives Josie one month to keep Hamlet while a she finds him a new safe home.  What follows are hilarious, eye-opening schemes, ideas, plans gone awry and new friendships.  Josie learns responsibility and the strength of her family.

                            Two new fantasy adventures featuring boys:

 Adventurers Guild
THE ADVENTURER’S GUILD by Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos.  Conscripted into the dangerous Adventurers Guild, best friends Zed and Brock must defend what is left of humanity against terrible monsters in this epic fantasy for Harry Potter fans.  Young people are apprenticed to a guild during the annual Culling ceremony in this fantasy with a medieval feel.  Neither Zed nor Brock were prepared to be chosen for the Adventurer’s Guild, hoping instead for the more prestigious Mages or Merchants.  The Adventurers Guild acts as the last line of defense against the Dangers-hungry, unnatural beasts from otherworldly planes.

 MAX TILT: FIRE THE DEPTHS by Peter Lerangis.  A new adventure series for boys by the author of Seven Wonders series.  Max Tilt’s orderly world collapses when his parents leave suddenly on a life threatening medical emergency and an unfamiliar cousin comes to take care of him.  Financial problems escalate rapidly and the two are ready to sell anything to keep the bank from foreclosing.  When Max and Alex explore the attic, they unearth a manuscript by a famous ancestor: Jules Verne. What the manuscript says is potentially more valuable than its intrinsic value:  there really was a Captain Nemo and there are untold riches awaiting he who can decipher and follow the manuscript’s clues. Max and Alex embark on a serio-comic fly by the seat of your pants adventure, complete with a sinister evil foe. 

 Greetings from Witness Protection
  GREETINGS FROM WITNESS PROTECTION by Jake Burt.  Thirteen-year-old Nicki Demere is an orphan and a kleptomaniac, making her the perfect girl to join a family in witness protection.   The addition of a daughter should disguise the profile of the Trevors as they hide from the criminals out to get them, but Nicki soon learns that the biggest threat to her new family's security comes from her own past.

                          And for mystery fans:

 Ghosts of Greenglass House
  GHOSTS OF GREENGLASS HOUSE by Kate Milford.   Return to Greenglass House, the rambling old inn with secretive guests, a mysterious map and riddle solving student detectives.  Another winter has come, and Milo is hoping for this winter break to be as exciting as last year’s, when he and his friend Meddie unraveled long held secrets.  He is not to be disappointed.  The first Greenglass House won an Edgar award; this book is a worthy sequel.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale Month

It's October, which means it's Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale month! This year's title, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki is an insightful, inventive, and thought provoking novel. Events are being held at the Library, Gorton Center, and Dickinson Hall leading up to a visit from the author on October 26th and 27th. To see a full list of events, visit lakeforestreadsragdale.org/events. We've assembled some FAQ's about Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale below.

What is Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale?
Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale is an annual program created by Lake Forest Library in partnership with Ragdale, Lake Forest College, and the Friends of Lake Forest Library. The program encourages our community to read and share one book by a writer affiliated with Ragdale, with the purpose of fostering a culture of reading and a sense of community.

How do you choose the book every year?
Since we always choose a book written by a Ragdale author, Ragdale provides the committee with a list of titles and authors that have done residencies there. From that list, we do some investigating, reading reviews, checking availability of titles in different formats (large type, audio, ebook), and interest. We then narrow down the list to 3-4 titles. Everyone on the committee then reads those titles and we meet to discuss them. We try to find books with a lot of substance that would make for great discussions, and cause people to think deeply about the issues in the book. We also look for titles that have a high literary standard, but are still accessible to the general public. This year's choice of A Tale for the Time Being was voted to be this year's title almost unanimously.

What is this book about?
In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying, but before she ends it all, Nao plans to document the life of her great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in a ways she can scarcely imagine.

Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future. 

Full of Ozeki’s signature humour and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.

How do I get to see Ruth Ozeki speak?

Attend one of the three events featuring her on October 26th and 27th! A Conversation with the Author will take place Thursday, October 26th at 7:00 pm with Professor Davis Schneiderman. Then on Friday, October 27th at 10:00 am she will be the featured guest at Ragdale's Tea and Talk. Finally, Friday evening Ruth will lead a Guided Meditation followed by a book signing at the Lake Forest Book Store. You can register for all of these events at lakeforestreadsragdale.org/events.

How do I get a copy of the book?

Call us at 847.810.4610 or visit our catalog at lakeforestlibrary.org to put a hold on it or head to the Lake Forest Book Store, where you can purchase a discounted copy.