From Erik Schmid
author: D’Agnese, Joseph
Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci
The life of the mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci is simplified with fictionalized narrative in this picture biography for the young reader. From his childhood in 1178 Pisa, where he solved the math problems his teachers gave him in seconds, to introducing Hindu-Arabic Numerals to Europe, to discovering the Fibonacci sequence, the book expands upon what is factually known about the life of this great scholar.
Taking what could be perceived as a dry topic and making it very interesting is the true triumph of this children’s biography.
From Erik Schmid
author: Spradlin, Michael P.
titl: Off Like the Wind!: The First Ride of the Pony Express
This handsomely illustrated picture book for older readers tells the story of the first ride of the Pony Express in 1860. Using a daily journal style approach, the book uses the route that the riders traversed to inform the reader about the local geography, history and conditions of the stops along the way from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California. The factual accounts of the riders, along with action of the everyday events themselves, make this a history book that will appeal to the non-history reader.
From Elaine Conner
author: Ali, nujood
I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced
This story is told in the voice of the heroine, Nujood, simply and clearly. Nujood is a young girl from Yemen who is married off at the age of ten to a man three times her age,even though it is illegal to marry off a child before the age of 15. Despite the promise to abstain until she reached puberty, the husband continually raped and abused her before she reached puberty. She does the unheard of in her society.She defies family, husband and culture to find her way to the court house to demand to see a judge in order to seek a divorce from the cruel rape and beatings she was subjected to. She is fortunate to find compassionate judge and dedicated lawyer who champion her case andthe future for other young girls in Yemen and other places in the world where her story has made her an international hero.
From Ellen Druda
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
A brilliant collection of short documentaries, this latest anthology
covers an eclectic mix of subjects. “Afloat” visits a senior
village in Florida, where 90-year-olds reflect on the good times while
they swim in the center’s pool. “The Angelmakers” tells the tale
of a group of isolated and ignored women in a tiny village in Hungary who
got the ultimate revenge many years ago-they poisoned their husbands-and how the current generation of women now reap the benefits of more freedom.
“High Plains Winter” is a smeary painting on film that evokes
the chill and stark beauty of Western America’s lonesome plains in winter.
It features the unusual sport of ski-joring, people on skis being pulled
by horses. “Send Me Somewhere Special” follows the spontaneous
trip of the filmmaker to a randomly chosen English village, where he gets
involved in the lives of the locals. Funny, sad, quirky, and daring, the
film shows how surface politeness peels away for deeper meaning. ”
Stand Still Like Living” speaks of the courage and coping of
two people in Botswana who discover they have AIDS. The pervasiveness of the disease into their everyday lives makes the tragic commonplace and
puts a human face on the epidemic. In “The Intimacy of
Strangers,” real snippets of overheard cell phone conversations are
brilliantly edited together to tell a story of love and loss. The new
intrusion of private lives in public spaces is dissected and woven into a
film we all star in at some point.
From Monica Salo
author: Williams-Garcia, Rita
One Crazy Summer
It is the summer of 1968; eleven year old Delphine and her two younger sisters are being sent across the country to Oakland, California to visit their mother. Their mother deserted them after her younger sister was born and though she has had no contact with them over time, the girls’ father felt they should get to know her. Upon arriving, they realize that their mother still has no interest in them and would not be taking them to the typical tourist sites. She kicks them out each morning, sending them to a community center run by the Black Panthers, so that she can write her poetry in peace. It is a time when Black Panther founder Huey Newton had been jailed and member Bobby Hutton was gunned down. This heartwarming, poignant and at times funny story is told by Delphine who comes to understand her mother and as readers we come to understand the events occurring at that time and how it affects the three sisters.
From Catherine, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Fitzpatrick, Becca
The book Hush, Hush is about a high school student named Nora Grey. She leads a normal life until Patch, her new biology partner, steps in. Everywhere she goes, Patch seems to be right behind her. And Patch knows things about Nora that she would never tell anyone; not even her best friend, Vee. Strangest of all, Nora is attracted to Patch in both a scary and comfortable way. When she meets Elliot, the transfer student from Kinghorn Prep, she stars to wonder what made him transfer from
a private school to a public school. After doing some background research, Nora finds out things that scare her even more than Patch does. Now she has to choose between two guys, both of them frightening and probably dangerous. On top of that, Nora thinks that somebody is following her and trying to hurt her. When Nora uncovers more truth about the people she goes to school with, the stakes get higher, and in the end, Nora’s own life might be at risk.