A review of Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton

“As Ambitious as ever any of my Sex was, is, or can be; which makes, that though I cannot be Henry the Fifth, or Charles the Second, yet I endeavor to be Margaret the First.”  So wrote Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, in the preface of her Observations Upon Experimental Philosophy and The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World. In Danielle Dutton’s brief and sympathetic novel Margaret the First, the comparison to kings is more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
May 11, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Guns Above by Robyn Bennis

I think the first description I saw about this book was that the main character was Horatio Hornblower crossed with Honor Harrington set in a steampunk world. Ahhhh. My sweet-spot - and really until I heard that description, one I didn't even know I had. The Guns Above is set in an alternate version of Europe and features wars fought with aircraft (as well as soldiers on the ground). But the aircraft aren't fighter planes, they're fighter blimps (of a sort). And the protagonist Josette more

Reviewed by Jane J on
May 10, 2017 | 0 comments
Memoirs Do you like reading about other people's memories? Then here are some suggestions for you from the upcoming list Memoirs, Recommended in 2016. If you want more, then subscribe to the Madison Public Library Insider Newsletter-- Thanks For the Memories: Biographies and Memoirs, which comes out every other month. more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
May 9, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Be Frank with Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson

Alice Whitley, the narrator of this fun book, is sent from New York to Los Angeles by her publisher boss, Mr. Vargas, to work as an assistant to the writer M.M. (Mimi) Banning. Mimi needs to write her second novel as fast as possible. She has gotten herself in a pickle; an unwise decision to trust a financial advisor with her money has left her penniless and in need of instant income to prevent losing her house and the rights to her first book. Mimi rocketed to fame when she was 19 after more

Reviewed by Lisa - Central on
May 8, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Who are you? : the kid's guide to gender identity by Brook Pessin-Whedbee

In recent years there have been several good books for children discussing gender identity, gender diversity, and gender stereotypes. These books are important for all children and adults too!  Who are you? is one of the newest entries in this category - and it is a good one.  It has bright illustrations featuring diverse children being active in many different ways.   Most of the text is simple and  gives a straightfroward introduction of how we experience gender: our more

Reviewed by Jennifer on
May 5, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was by Sjón It’s Reykjavík, Iceland, 1918. Reykjavík is a more isolated village than it is an international city, erupting volcano Katla covers all with smoke and ash, Spanish flu has arrived, and WWI is barely at bay. Life goes on, nevertheless; and orphaned gay teen and film buff Máni Steinn (“Moonstone”) finds his place among Reykjavik’s dark alleys, prostituting himself for movie theater money, while idolizing local bad girl Sóla G. A 2013 novella written by poet, novelist, and Björk collaborator (“ more

Reviewed by Tyler on
May 4, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic journey of the Donner Party by Skila Brown

You know what is really horrifying? THE DONNER PARTY. Good heavens. History has distilled this story down to one grotesque detail (spoiler alert: cannibalism) (VERY RELUCTANT cannibalism, but still), but what you may have forgotten is the long journey across country on foot that led up to it. Or the harsh conditions on that final stretch. Or the weeks of slow starvation. Or how close to their desination they were when they got so hopelessly snowbound and lost.  To Stay Alive is a more

Reviewed by Beth M on
May 3, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of The Hemingway Thief by Shaun Harris

There are few literary mysteries as elusive as the loss of a valise containing all of Ernest Hemingway’s early manuscripts, stolen from a Paris train in 1922 and never seen again. The fate of the manuscripts, coupled with Hemingway’s larger than life persona, has proven irresistible to writers since. Wisconsin-based author Shaun Harris takes on the tale in his assured debut novel The Hemingway Thief, a caper with enough odd characters and close shaves to rival any tale that more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
May 2, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Kung Pow Chicken: Let's Get Cracking! by Cyndi Marko

I’ll be perfectly honest: I needed a break from Captain Underpants and all of the hilarious scatological references that are so appealing to the school-aged boy at my house. Someone recommended Kung Pow Chicken as an adequate substitute, so I jumped on it and eagerly checked out all four books from the library. They. Were. A. Hit.    Kung Pow Chicken is a second grader named Gordon Blue who more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
May 1, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Moo by Sharon Creech

Think you know everything about cows? Think again. Take a journey into twelve-year-old Reena’s life and learn about her adventures with a particularly stubborn cow named Zora in Sharon Creech’s book, Moo.Reena and her little brother, Luke, are so used to the city life, until they help their parents make the decision to move to Maine. In Maine, they meet an unexpected elderly lady Mrs. Falala, who sets them to work on her small farm. Follow Reena and Luke’s story as they try and survive the farm more

Reviewed by Teen Reviewer on
April 28, 2017 | 0 comments
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