A review of The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Nothing like a good novel set in Hawaii to take me out of my mid-December-there's-no-sun-to-be found misery. I just let the descriptions of the sunsets on the beach and the tropical mountains wash over me and sweep me out of this mess. The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings is just what I needed to pick me up. The narrator, Matt King, is the descendant of Hawaiian royalty and more

Reviewed by Lisa - Central on
December 6, 2011 | 1 comment
A review of Ravel by Jean Echenoz

The first time I read Ravel, I was traveling west across southern Minnesota shortly after a heavy winter snow. The entire landscape was one rolling expanse of white, the sky was a shade darker gray. It seemed the perfect complement to Jean Echenoz’s obsessively detailed character study of the great French composer, a book in which not a lot happens but revealing portrait emerges at its more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
December 5, 2011 | 1 comment
A review of Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig

The farm animals are unable to go to sleep ‘cause they got that beat! This story provides a fun way to introduce rhythm. This lyrical book allows interaction and would not only be a great read-aloud, but also as a call-and-response story. You will be peeping, purring and howling like never before. Beware though, you may get carried away, and the short, simple phrases will get stuck in your head. Marc Brown, the creator of Arthur, star of picture books and the PBS show, creates more

Reviewed by Jody on
December 2, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

As the end of 2011 approaches, year-end best and worst lists are popping up all over the internet. I haven't put any together myself, but if I do, I'll have to list The Marriage Plot, a book I've been looking forward to reading for ages, as the most disappointing. It's not a bad book; it's interesting, well-written, and witty, but as a follow-up to Jeffrey Eugenides' other fabulous novels, more

Reviewed by Kylee on
December 1, 2011 | 2 comments
A review of I am Maru=Maru Desu by Mugumogu My niece has requested a gift subscription to Cat Fancy magazine the last several years and I have been more than happy to oblige. Have you ever seen this magazine? It is a photographic delight with excellent information and is perfect for tween girls that love cats (and for cat lovers of all ages, really). I would have died for this magazine when I was ten. My siblings and I shared a subscription to the well-respected more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
November 30, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

As far as I'm concerned Sarah Dessen doesn't have a bad book in her. Sure I like some better then others, but there isn't one I'd call a dud. So it's no surprise that I enjoyed her newest. In What Happened to Goodbye McLean Sweet's family fell apart and she's still trying to recover her footing. Her parent's divorce left her angry with her mother and protective of her dad. She wants to escape more

Reviewed by Jane J on
November 29, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Habibi by Craig Thompson

Fall is the season for big books, and one of the most anticipated titles of 2011 is Craig Thompson’s graphic novel Habibi. Best known for 2003’s Blankets, a semi-autobiographical novel of the abuse he suffered growing up in a fundamentalist family in rural Wisconsin, Habibi picks up some of the same themes, but expands them into a fantastic swirl of more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
November 28, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Blackout by John Rocco

“It started out as a normal summer night” begins John Rocco’s latest picture book. The city is loud and hot, and a family is predictably busy – dad cooks dinner, the sister talks on the phone, mom taps away at the computer, and the lonely brother plays video games – until the lights go out. Without power, nothing is normal, and the family reconnects, eventually discovering parties on the roof and in the streets as neighbors escape their hot apartments. When the lights do come back on, the more

Reviewed by Madeleine on
November 23, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Debris by Jo Anderton

Library Journal named Debris as one of their top ten SF/F books of the year and while I think it had some strong elements, it was a somewhat frustrating read. The world-building is top-notch and the premise of the plot is intriguing. It's just that, while it is a solid read, the book doesn't really fulfill the promise that those two elements suggest more

Reviewed by Jane J on
November 21, 2011 | 0 comments
Winners Announced Looking for some award winning books to read? The 2011 National Book Award winners have been announced. In fact, for the book geeks amongst you, you can even watch the announcements on their web site. If you just want the facts, read on. The starred titles are the category winners. Fiction* Jesmyn Ward Salvage the Bones Andrew Krivak more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
November 18, 2011 | 0 comments
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