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Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko is this week’s staff pick, chosen by one of our superb Children’s Librarians!

In this appealing novel set in 1935, 12-year-old Moose Flanagan and his family move from Santa Monica to Alcatraz Island where his father gets a job as an electrician at the prison and his mother hopes to send his autistic older sister to a special school in San Francisco. When Natalie is rejected by the school, Moose is unable to play baseball because he must take care of her, and her unorthodox behavior sometimes lands him in hot water. He also comes to grief when he reluctantly goes along with a moneymaking scheme dreamed up by the warden’s pretty but troublesome daughter. Family dilemmas are at the center of the story, but history and setting–including plenty of references to the prison’s most infamous inmate, mob boss Al Capone–play an important part, too. The Flanagan family is believable in the way each member deals with Natalie and her difficulties, and Moose makes a sympathetic main character. The story, told with humor and skill, will fascinate readers with an interest in what it was like for the children of prison guards and other workers to actually grow up on Alcatraz Island.–Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library”– School Library Journal.

This book is aimed at middle school students, and is a great, interesting read for boys and girls.  It’s also the beginning of a series, so if you or your kids love it, the story continues!

We have multiple copies in print and an audiobook edition.

 

Don’t forget the Library is CLOSED Sunday and Monday (5/25 & 5/26) for Memorial Day.  Get these and other updates on our Facebook, Twitter, and/or blog.

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“Billie Breslin has traveled far from her California home to take a job at Delicious, the most iconic food magazine in New York and, thus, the world. When the publication is summarily shut down, the colorful staff, who have become an extended family for Billie, must pick up their lives and move on. Not Billie, though. She is offered a new job: staying behind in the magazine’s deserted downtown mansion offices to uphold the “Delicious Guarantee”-a public relations hotline for complaints and recipe inquiries-until further notice. What she doesn’t know is that this boring, lonely job will be the portal to a life-changing discovery.

Delicious! carries the reader to the colorful world of downtown New York restaurateurs and artisanal purveyors, and from the lively food shop in Little Italy where Billie works on weekends to a hidden room in the magazine’s library where she discovers the letters of Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, who wrote to the legendary chef James Beard during World War II. Lulu’s letters lead Billie to a deeper understanding of history (and the history of food), but most important, Lulu’s courage in the face of loss inspires Billie to come to terms with her own issues-the panic attacks that occur every time she even thinks about cooking, the truths about the big sister she adored, and her ability to open her heart to love.”–Goodreads.com

Our staff member was lucky enough to get their hands on an advanced reading copy, and they devoured this in less than a day.  Now, they can’t stop talking about it.  A great vacation read, or one for that stage before the end of the year where you need a distraction but not one that requires a lot of brain power like Neal Stephenson.

Check it out today!

Delicious!: A Novel

Ruth Reichl

Published: May 06, 2014 by Random House
Find in the Library


 

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In The Sparrow, it’s 2019, and “humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listening post in Puerto Rico picks up exquisite singing from a planet which will come to be known as Rakhat. While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission, the Society of Jesus quietly organizes an eight-person scientific expedition of its own. What the Jesuits find is a world so beyond comprehension that it will lead them to question the meaning of being “human.” Words like “provocative” and “compelling” will come to mind as you read this shocking novel about first contact with a race that creates music akin to both poetry and prayer” — Goodreads.

We have it in book and audiobook format.

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In My Father’s Dragon, “Elmer Elevator (narrator’s father as a boy) runs away with an old alley cat to rescue a flying baby dragon being exploited on a faraway island. With the help of two dozen pink lollipops, rubber bands, chewing gum, and a fine-toothed comb, Elmer disarms the fiercest of beasts on Wild Island”– Goodreads.com

This is the first in a series, so start it today! It’s a timeless classic and you’ll love this romp.  Find the books in our Catalog today!

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It’s the end of National Poetry Month.  What did you read?  Did you keep up with the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day website?  Or did you check out Poetry 180 run by Billy Collins while he was the Poet Laureate? Or maybe you found a new poet or read some of your favorites.  Did you try a novel in verse?

Or if you are in grades 3-12 did you share your poems with other poets at Poet-to-Poet?  You can still email your poems to poet2poet@poets.org with your name and which poem/poet inspired you  today!  Some will be posted on the website in May!

Let us know what you did!

If someone checked out the novel in verse we recommended before, try again, they’re all well worth the read!

-The Marlowe Papers by Ros Barber (secret identities, faked murder, and enough drama for at least three Shakespeare plays)

-Lies, Knives and Girls in Red Dresses by Ron Koertge (modern true stories behind fairy tales)

-Only Revolutions by Mark Z. Danielewski (a topsy-turvy modern Romeo and Juliet tale)

-After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy (two high school seniors getting through their last semester)

-The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus by Sonya Sones (a novel of middle age, motherhood, marriage and mayhem)

… the list goes on.  Try something new this month and tell us if you like it.

 

Find Novels in Verse and Poetry books in the Catalog.

 

Don’t forget, we have a great selection of poetry year round.  Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and our blog via WordPress.

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