MADreads

A review of 2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino

This fiction debut sings. Literally. Much of the action takes place in a Philadelphia jazz club called The Cat's Pajamas and one of the main characters is a nine-year-old girl named Madeleine Altimari whose dream is to sing on stage. Madeleine has the kind of mouth on her that sings like an angel and swears like a sailor and this makes for a very entertaining novel.  There are several revolving and related storylines that involve Madeleine, her teacher, the school principal and the owner ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
March 24, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates

The next Big Library Read from Wisconsin's Digital Library, OverDrive, will run from March 17–31, 2015. The Big Library Read offers simultaneous use of Shakespeare Saved My Life by Laura Bates for community-wide access.  What is Big Library Read? Big Library Read is the worldwide digital version of a local book ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
March 13, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of In Real Life by Cory Doctorow

This is a sensitive graphic novel about the implications of online economics specifically related to gaming. Many of the massively-multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) like World of Warcraft and Minecraft incorporate resource mining. This can be for anything from gems to tools to people. The main character of this book, Anda, plays a game called Coarsegold Online and discovers that one of her gamer friends is illegally mining gold. This changes the way Anda plays and her overall ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
March 9, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

The reader is transported to Bascom, North Carolina, nine years after we left the Waverley sisters and their magical gifts in Sarah Addison Allen's Garden Spells.  Claire Waverley has left her successful catering business behind to start Waverley's Candies and has married Tyler, the artist from next door. They are parents to nine-year-old Mariah and it's yet to be determined if Mariah has a "Waverley gift." Wild ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
February 26, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Rainey Royal by Dylan Landis

This is a novel composed of 14 narratives about Rainey Royal, artist, ingénue and society girl of sorts circa 1970s Manhattan. I was nauseated, unnerved and unsettled while reading Rainey's stories. I'm still a bit shaken. But wow, job well done, Dylan Landis. Your words have profoundly affected me. Rainey is the daughter of a jazz musician with a flock of young acolytes swarming around him. Teenage Rainey is expected to give up her room, her privacy, her sanctity, her father-daughter ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
February 18, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of An Age of License by Lucy Knisley

This graphic novel travelogue follows Lucy Knisley's adventures in Europe after being invited to present at a comics convention in Norway.  She adds several legs onto her journey in order to spend more time with a new love interest, and visit friends and family.  She documents all of these wanderings in sunny illustrations that depict the highs and lows of her journey.  Traveling can be thrilling, intoxicating, lonely and confusing.  She's able to capture all of this in ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
February 12, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

The American Library Association (ALA) announced the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults yesterday. Today's MADreads features the Randolph Caldecott Medal for most distinguished American picture book for children. The 2015 Caldecott Medal Winner is The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend illustrated and ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
February 3, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

The American Library Association (ALA) announced the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults today and I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson was named the 2015 Printz Award Winner. This book is Clark Gable. That is to say, it's super cool. Beyond charismatic. And somewhat tortured. ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
February 2, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton

This is a stunning variation on a cook's memoir and excellent companion to Blood, Bones, and Butter written by the same author. The reader is offered 567 pages of recipes and notes from author, chef and owner of the restaurant Prune to her staff. The photographs are exquisite and the book layout mimics a staff notebook (Note to Gabrielle Hamilton: Is this the Prune staff ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
January 28, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince

Liz Prince was a tomboy when she was a kid and it was not easy for her. Boys and girls alternately picked on her or ostracized her. Adults didn't know what to make of her and there were a lot of rules that made things tough for her, like a school requirement that boys wear shirts and ties and girls wear dresses on certain school days.  This autobiographical graphic novel shares her story. It's a really important one. But it got me thinking about tomboys. I am wondering if today's world is ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
January 12, 2015 | 0 comments