Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Books! Books! Books!

Two days ago, the Newbery Award Winner was revealed.  So I promptly downloaded the audio version of Dead End in Norvelt, by Jack Gantos.  I finished listening to it today and I believe it is well deserving of the Newbery Award.  The story is based partly on the author's own childhood growing up in Norvelt, Pennsylvania in the 1960's.  Grounded for the summer, Jack spends his time reading books about history and helping an elderly neighbor write obituaries for the local newspaper, all the while battling his "nose problem".  But things are changing in the little town of Norvelt.  The Hell's Angels have come to town and the little old ladies of the town are dying off.  Could these two events be related?  Jack Gantos tells his semi-autobiographical tale with great humor and reverence for history.  Several times I laughed out loud while listening to the audio book, which, by the way, is read by the author.  Incidentally, the books that Jack reads in the book are from the Landmark series which were published in the 1960's.  When I first started working at Marshall Lane, the library had many Landmark titles from the 1960's on the shelves.  Our library has been updated quite a bit since then.
 The next book I want to tell you about is The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester, by Barbara O'Connor.  Barbara O'Connor is the author The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis which I wrote about here.  This adventure is slightly larger than that of Popeye and Elvis.  One night, while lying in bed trying to fall asleep, Owen Jester hears the distinct sound of a large object fall off a train.  The adventure begins when Owen and his friends search the nearby railroad tracks for the mysterious object.  What they find brings even more adventure.  This was really a delightful story.  I highly recommend it.
This next book is not yet in the library, but I hope to get a copy soon.  I had to buy this one for myself.  Extra Yarn was written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen, who you may remember as the author and illustrator of one of my new favorite books I Want My Hat Back which also earned a Geisel Honor.  Anyway, I follow both Mac Barnett and Joh Klassen on Twitter and was alerted that they had this book coming out so I pre-ordered it immediately, sight unseen, because it's called Extra Yarn.  The story is about a little girl  who finds a box of extra yarn and puts it to good use, but the box never seems to run out of yarn!   I have a box of extra yarn and it never seems to run out either!  It's a sweet story and our old friend Bear makes a cameo in the illustrations.

Well, that's all I've got for now.  There's a pile of new books waiting for me to finish processing them tomorrow.  Yay new books!

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