Saturday, June 26, 2010

Book Recommends

Libraries in small towns are a big draw for my husband and I when traveling. One library that stood out reminded us of a TV show from the 70's Mayberry RFD. The library was located on a charming, quaint southern type street. The library card catalog system was still going strong. The computer and Internet looked challenging to many who were seated in front of the screen. Of course all of my library remarks should be prefaced by the fact we are always on the run looking for Internet connections whenever we travel. So it was no surprise when we found out that one of the ports we were stopping at on our Alaskan cruise a few years back was Haines. I had read that their library in 2005 was awarded the title: Best Small Town Library of 2005. Haines is about 70 miles NE of Juneau. The remote community at least in 2005 had some 2,600 residents. We loved the library with its wonderful selection of periodicals, DVDs, magazines and books. It was interesting to note that library material could be checked out as long as six months for those who lived long distances from the library and faced with challenging winter conditions and unable to make it back to the library before spring. And yes they did have a great Internet connection!!! I posted a picture of this library in Haines just in case some time you might be in town visiting.
One of my summer reading goals has been to explore new books for children. One book which I have been wanting to read for some time is The Secret of Zoom by Lynne Jonell. She is a local author who also teaches classes at the Loft in MPLS. You may have read awhile back when President Obama was in Iowa he went to a local bookstore and asked for a recommended read for one of his daughters and The Secret of Zoom was suggested. How exciting for this author to have the president purchase her book.
As a former middle school teacher you can be assured kids will love this book. It is science fiction genre and somewhat in the vein of Margaret Peterson Haddix's shadow children series. It is about Christina, ten who lives a sheltered life in a mansion. Her overprotective father has given her strict instructions not to leave the grounds. She longs for company and adventures. Her wishes are granted when a boy named Taft speaks to her through a fence and tells her to look for a secret tunnel he knows exists in the house. Christina soon discovers the terrible truth about so-called Happy orphans and sets off to rescue them. The plot is so imaginative, unusual and very intriguing. The author has written three novels and seven picture books. You may have heard of this author whose novel Emmy and The Incredible Shrinking Rat is quite popular with kids.
An adult novel I'd like to recommend is La's Orchestra Saves The World. It is written by Alexander McCall Smith. If this author's name sounds familiar McCall Smith has written #1 Ladies Detective Agency series. La Orchestra Saves The World is crafted with the author's usual wit, wisdom and grace. La is short for Lavender. It is a story is set in England at the onset of World War II. The tale is a metaphor for the tranformative power of music. La is a determined character who sets out in a small English village to create an orchestra to help build up the morale of the townspeople and the military stationed at a nearby base. Throughout the story the author sets up opportunities for personal reflection. It is a very enjoyable read.
I would be happy to post any of your recommended reads whether children or adult if you send them to me.

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