Brand New at the Library!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Children's Fiction
Reviewed by Alicia

When my mom suggested reading the Harry Potter books, I didn't want to. I thought they'd be boring. My mom wanted to read just a few chapters together to see what I'd think, though. I decided that I could put up with it.

Mom read the first chapter and asked if she should return the book to the library the next day. "NO!" I shouted. I was hooked. We couldn't read through the book fast enough. Even my little sister was interested. We're about 100 pages into the 2nd book and I can't wait to find out what happens!

Monday, September 29, 2014

I Hunt Killers

I hunt killersI Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Teen Fiction

Meet Jasper "Jazz" Dent. His claim to fame in his hometown of Lobo's Nod is being the son of serial killer Billy Dent. Billy is safely in prison, but a string of recent murders is casting doubt on Jazz. Could the son be following in the father's footsteps? Join Jazz as he starts his own investigation, hoping to clear his name and answer some of the questions in his own mind.

And then read Game and Blood of my Blood to see the series through to its surprising conclusion!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sister

Sister : a novelSister by Rosamund Lupton
Fiction

The book discussion group read Sister in September. Overall, the group enjoyed the book. Beatrice gets a call from her mother that her younger sister Tess has gone missing. When Tess's body is found, the London police declare it a suicide, but Beatrice is not convinced. The story is told as a letter that Beatrice is writing to Tess, telling the story of Beatrice's investigation into what she is sure is a murder. The book takes an unexpected turn at the end, which lead to a great deal of discussion as to how the book really ended.

If you have read Sister, let us know what you thought!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Giant Rat of Sumatra

The giant rat of Sumatra : or, Pirates galoreThe Giant Rat of Sumatra by Sid Fleischman
Children's Fiction

Reviewed by Max

My book report is on Sid Fleischman's historical adventure, "The Giant Rat of Sumatra, or Pirates Galore." Well, it's actually the story of my adventure with Mexican Pirates.

My names is Edmund Amos Peters, and I am a 12-year-old boy from New England. The pirates nickname my "Shipwreck" because they find me after my stepfather's ship sinks. I am the only survivor.

The other main character, Captain Gallows, decides to save my life and puts me to work on his ship. As cabin boy, I polish boots and get pirates things they need.

Captain Gallows' ship is called "The Giant Rat of Sumatra" because it has a rat as its figurehead. Usually, ships have ladies or mermaids as their figureheads, but ours has a rat with emerald eyes and huge fangs.

When I meet him, Captain Gallows wants to give up being a pirate, so he sails his ship to San Diego, California, to find his long-lost love, a lady bandit called "Senorita Wildcat." The year is 1846, so San Diego is still part of Mexico.

I learned some Spanish words from this book. "Senorita" is the Spanish word for Miss and "Don" is not just a name, it is also a Spanish title, which means "Mr." The Captain is now calling himself Don Alejandro, and has new clothes and a new business - buying leather.

I am still with him and he has given me his treasure to hold - the emerald eyes of the Giant Rat, which are worth a fortune. They are sewed into my coat.

Then an American warship comes into San Diego harbor because the United States is at war with Mexico. The Captain tries to use his old pirate ship to stop the Americans, but he can't, and the Americans claim the city.

Although Senorita Wildcat robs the Captain, she doesn't get the emeralds from me until he marries her.

I go back to New England to live with my mother when other American ships come into the harbor. Then I resume my life as a typical American boy.

I like this story of my adventures because it is about ships and pirates. It also taught me some American history I didn't know.

My favorite part is when the American warship battles the Giant Rat of Sumatra. The only thing I didn't like is the romance between Captain Gallows and Senorita Wildcat. I wish he'd stayed a pirate.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Hidden Lives of Wolves

The hidden life of wolvesThe Hidden Lives of Wolves
By Jim and Jamie Dutcher

Reviewed by Karen

The Story of the Sawtooth Pack

This is a book about a husband and wife who took on the life of living within a compound of their own making for 6 years and raising wolf pups from the time they opened their eyes. They bottlefed the pups and gained the confidence of the wolves by living with them. For 6 years they watched and filmed these magnificent animals, learning how the pack lives and takes care of the young, old, and injured of the pack. This book is a rare look into the family structure of the pack. How the Alpha Male and Female look out for the pack and the Omega is the lowers of the hierarchy and is the one that gets picked on all the time. The Omega is also the clown who instigates a game of "Catch Me if You Can." the pack is also good for the ecosystem.

Movie Review: The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain

The Englishman who went up a hill but came down a mountain The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain
Review by Gerti

In sharp contrast to the movie "A Month by the Lake" which I recently reviewed is "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain." It is everything the former movie wanted to be but wasn't. Both movies have breathtaking scenery, a nostalgic setting, and big name actors in the lead role. But "Mountain" (shall we call it) has a wit and charm that "Lake" is sadly lacking.

Heartthrob actor Hugh Grant starts as the eponymous Englishman, sent on a geological survey of Wales' largest (and allegedly first) mountain. He is only the assistant to the master measurer, played perfectly by British character actor Ian McNeice, but as that gentleman is often drunk and invariably surly, it is Grant with whom the locals interact. The cartographers arrive on Sunday when the town residents are at prayer, save for randy local innkeeper, nicknamed "Morgan the Goat" more for his sexual habits than for his looks. He is played by Colm Meaney, known to sci-fi fans as Chief O'Brien in several "Star Trek" series. Meaney is currently starring in the cable series "Hell on Wheels," but I have found him unwatchable in that how. Yet her, his ribald charm oozes off the screen. He obviously enjoyed himself playing a Welsh lothario!

His inn is the social center of the small town, Ffynnon Garw, and the men come by to place bets on the height of their mountain. Welsh geography is inextricably linked with its national mythology, and the locals are very proud of this mountain, (actually Garth's Hill!) But trouble starts when the initial survey determines it to be about 20 feet below 1000, too short to accurately be called a "mountain" by the map makers. This information galvanizes the town, including "the Goat" and Reverend Jones, the local pastor, who determines that enough has already been taken from the during WWI, and their hill must be a mountain, no matter what. A local lad sent back home shell-shocked, reveals how they used to dig trenches, and her reasons that building up the mountain is also possible - just that process in reverse. It is heart-warming to see the whole town, from elderly villagers to young children taken out of school, pitch in with buckets and wheelbarrows of dirt, all in an attempt to save their mountain and their pride.

To incent the Brits to stay a few days longer, "the Goat" has one of his lovely girlfriends from the big city of Cardiff visit the inn to charm the surveyors. While the older Brit is her intended target, Miss Elizabeth, or "Betty" as she's called, can't help by be charmed by the much younger and better-looking Hugh Grant. "The Goat" must resort to the dirty trick of disabling their car to keep the Brits in town long enough for the locals to build a mound atop their hill. There is more trouble, a monsoon quality rainstorm, and tragedy, the pastor dies on the hill, but ingenuity and heart win out. The hill becomes a mountain again, and Hugh Grant gets the girl. What a charming romantic romp! Great writing and great to look at.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Conquistadora

Conquistadora a novel Conquistadora by Esmeralda Santiago
Adult Fiction

Review by Mary Ellen


A novel about the Spanish Conquistadors conquering Puerto Rico. A Spanish author, Esmeralda read Ana Larrago's diaries from 1844. Diaries from a Spanish lady who traveled with two conquistadors.

They traveled across the ocean with the explorer Ponce de Leon. Ana married one of the conquistadors at eighteen years old. She and her husband lived on a sugar plantation in Puerto Rico during Spanish Rule. There was a revolt. Ana did not want to give up her plantation. Life was not peaceful for Ana when she fell in love with another man.