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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Ill give you the sun
by by Jandy Nelson

Book list Gr. 5-8. Igus' prose poems and Wood's evocative paintings combine to give a succinct overview of African American music. A useful time line sets the social context, and brief paragraphs describe the various types of music, from African origins and slave songs through ragtime; the blues; big band, bebop, and cool jazz; gospel; rhythm and blues; and the contemporary sounds of rock, hip-hop, and rap. Igus effectively uses snippets from song lyrics to communicate both a feel for the music itself and a sense of how the various styles played to the emotions of the musicians and their fans ("From the basements to the rooftops, / I see the cool tones of modern jazz / escape the city heat"). Wood's paintings are equally suggestive. Mixing modernist and primitive styles and using color nicely to communicate musical style and tone, her art not only complements the text but vivifies it. Audience may be a problem: the supportive text is too sophisticated for younger readers to grasp themselves, and the format may alienate some older readers. Perhaps best used in a junior-high classroom with audio accompaniment, this striking book, in the hands of a creative teacher or librarian, could give kids a feeling for the majesty, creativity, and continuity of African American music. (Reviewed February 15, 1998)0892391510Bill Ott

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Kirkus The collaborators on Going Back Home (1997) return with a stunning history of African-American music. They begin 500 years ago, on the African continent, chronicle the slave trade, and document the work songs and spirituals of American slaves. The blues, ragtime, jazz, gospel, R&B, rock, funk, rap, and hip hop all come under scrutiny in free-verse poems that incorporate lyrics about and the rhythms of every style. In addition, Igus has added a brief description of each musical movement and a terrific timeline noting highlights of African-American history--both musical and more general information--which roots the whole book in a broader context. Wood's vibrant paintings are based in historical detail, and resonate with emotion. The color choices, postures of the figures, as well as the expressions on their faces, reflect various aspects of African-American music; the pictures broadcast joy, innovation, and exuberance in the face of systematic oppression. A child hidden in each scene adds a nice piece of personality for readers to interpret. Stylish and lively design pulls it all together into an absorbing, attractive package. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come.
by Sue Macy

School Library Journal Gr 1–4—Aaron Lansky could not forget what his grandmother told him as a child. At the age of 16, she immigrated to the United States from Eastern Europe. In his twenties, Lansky decided to find out more about his grandmother's stories, which set him on a journey to learn how to speak and read Yiddish and to also locate Yiddish books. The result is the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA. Lansky's story is a fascinating one, filled with book rescues and meeting older people who not only treasure books but what they represent. His disappointments and rewards in pursuing this passion are well portrayed. The narrative is both informative and engaging and includes Yiddish words, many of which have been incorporated into English. All appear in a glossary. An afterword by Lansky himself brings the Center and his work up to date. Illustrations intentionally call to mind the bold line and semi-abstraction of Russian-born artist Marc Chagall. VERDICT A potentially valuable addition to both school and public libraries as well as Jewish schools. Echoing Carole Boston Weatherford's Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library, the book's narrative shows that pursuing interests can lead to meaningful and long-lasting results.—Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at District of Columbia Public Library

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Yiddish was a dying language (it's still not robust) when a young man, Aaron Lansky, decided to save it. Macy begins the story several generations back, with Lansky's grandmother arriving in America: her suitcase was thrown in the ocean by her brother out with the old, in with the new. Flash-forward to the 1970s, and Aaron is in college, studying Jewish history, and he wants to read books in the common language of European Jews in past centuries, Yiddish. But after the Holocaust and the diaspora of European Jewry, the number of people speaking Yiddish plummeted. Yiddish books were also disappearing, so Lansky decided to make it his mission to rescue them and his ancestors' heritage. Macy's text details how Lansky's pursuit took him out in all kinds of weather, to all kinds of places, where elderly Jews gave him an education in their lives and the importance of their books. An afterword by Lansky tells readers about the Yiddish Book Center, a vibrant organization that, among many other things, fosters learning the language. The story comes alive through the bold acrylic and gouache art, which illustrator Innerst says was inspired by the ""exuberant motifs"" of Marc Chagall. He finds drama in faces, profundity in the weight and number of books. The most outstanding spread places a shtetl on Yiddish pages that resemble matzo. Yiddish appears throughout the text; a glossary explains the words.--Ilene Cooper Copyright 2019 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Kirkus One young man seeks out a unique collection of Yiddish books to preserve them and their lost world.Growing up, Aaron Lansky remembered the story of his grandmother's immigration to America. She had just one worn suitcase, filled with books in Yiddish and Sabbath candlestickswhich her brother tossed into the water upon greeting her. It was of the Old World, and she was in the New World. Lansky loved reading but realized that to pursue his interest in Jewish literature he would have to study Yiddish, his grandmother's language. His search for books in Yiddish led to one rabbi about to bury a pile, which led to years of rescuing books from dumpsters and then building a depository for them and for the thousands of subsequent donations. Lansky visited many of the donors and heard their emotional stories. Now a well-established resource in Amherst, Massachusetts, his Yiddish Book Center is digitized, with free downloads, and conducts educational programs. Macy's text beautifully and dramatically tells this story while noting the powerful influence of Yiddish writing in the lives of Jews. Innerst's acrylic and gouache artwork, with the addition of digitized fabric textures, is stunning in its homage to Marc Chagall and its evocation of an Eastern European world that has physically vanished but is alive in these pages of beautifully realized imagery.For lovers of books and libraries. (afterword by Lansky, author's note, illustrator's note, Yiddish glossary, further resources, source notes, photographs) (Picture book/biography. 7-10) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Horn Book Aaron Lansky's difficulty in finding Yiddish novels for his college studies led him to collect books first for his own purposes, then for the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts (which he founded), starting in 1980. Stories of how he obtained them--meetings ‚€˜over tea and cake and lokshn kugl‚€™ with older Jews; a late-night dash to a dumpster--lend both human interest and a sense of urgency to the mission. Painterly illustrations give readers plenty to peruse, with sprinkled Yiddish words and visual references to Jewish history and culture. Reading list. Glos. (c) Copyright 2021. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly This inspired pairing of two top picture book biographers tells the story of Aaron Lansky, an “all-American boy” (a Star Trek poster decorates his bedroom) who in college became convinced that Yiddish books represented the “portable homeland” of the Jewish people. With Yiddish dying out after the Holocaust and little mainstream support (“Yiddish was a language whose time had passed”), Lansky learned the language, then began saving Yiddish books any way he could. He pulled nearly 5,000 out of a dumpster and accepted “one book at a time” from elderly owners (“We didn’t eat much,” one book donor tearfully tells him, “but we always bought a book. It was a necessity of life”). Founded in 1980, Lansky’s Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass., is today home to 1.5 million rescued books and is a hub of Yiddish studies. Innerst (Ruth Bader Ginsburg), who notes in an afterword that his illustrations were inspired by Chagall, contributes dramatic, textural acrylic and gouache images, with sculptural figures, expressionistic settings, and the deep, rich tones of vintage book bindings. Evoking both a lost past and an urgent present, they’re a marvelous complement to the journalistic, propulsive narrative by Macy (Motor Girls). Ages 5–8. (Oct.)

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New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog The 6:20 Man
by David Baldacci

Library Journal There's no word on plot, but this summer thriller is a stand-alone—Baldacci's first in over a decade—and boasts a million-copy first printing.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Travis Devine, a former U.S. Army Ranger who now works on Wall Street, is blackmailed into working for a new organization within the Department of Homeland Security. They want him to dig up dirt on the firm for which he works (apparently there’s been some shady business going on). He takes the job—he doesn’t really have a choice—but he has an ulterior motive. A woman, who works at his firm and whom he recently dated, has died, apparently by suicide. Travis wants to know whether she really did kill herself, and if she didn’t, who did. The investigation leads him into some dark corners. Baldacci (the Atlee Pine novels, the Amos Decker series, and many others) keeps readers guessing with an intriguing story and a few good plot twists. This is ostensibly a stand-alone, although there is plenty of room for a sequel, and the way the book ends, it seems like Baldacci might be planning more Travis Devine stories. Let's hope so.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Baldacci, the author of more than 40 novels, regularly tops bestseller lists, and his latest promises more of the same.

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Kirkus A complex, high-powered thriller that will keep the reader guessing. Former U.S. Army Ranger Travis Devine regularly takes the 6:20 commuter train to a job he hates at Cowl and Comely, the New York firm where he is an investment analyst. He's one of many “Burners,” or interns, who slave 80 hours a week and more for low pay in hopes of not being fired at the end of the year. Devine works there to appease his father, who had despised his son’s choice to serve his country instead of immediately going out and getting rich like his two older siblings. The morning train passes by the home of Cowl, whom the Burners are making richer and richer. Passengers get daily unfettered views of a gorgeous bikinied woman at Cowl’s swimming pool. She seems oblivious to the yearning gazes of the male commuters. Then, one morning at work, Devine receives an anonymous, untraceable text saying, “She is dead.” None of his fellow Burners received it. “She” is Sara Ewes, a colleague with whom he had once had sex. How could anyone know? It was a secret because dating within the company was a fireable offense. Apparently, she had hanged herself in the building. At home, Devine has interesting roommates, including a pizza-loving, Russia-born male computer hacker; a woman who's building a dating website with phenomenal potential; and another woman who has recently graduated from law school. The Russian tries and fails to track the source of the text for Devine. More people die at the company, naturally freaking everyone out. Devine is a suspect, but a retired Army general protects him—for a price. Devine must help them unravel a secret at the company, and if he refuses, they will “send my ass right to USDB” (United States Disciplinary Barracks) for an act he had committed while in the Army. Readers will suspect nearly everyone in this fast-moving whodunit. Clues abound, like the color of a bathing suit and mysterious references to Waiting for Godot. A great line states that diversity in the high finance world looks like “a jar of Miracle Whip all the way to the bottom.” What fun! This is a winner from a pro. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Kirkus A complex, high-powered thriller that will keep the reader guessing.Former U.S. Army Ranger Travis Devine regularly takes the 6:20 commuter train to a job he hates at Cowl and Comely, the New York firm where he is an investment analyst. He's one of many Burners, or interns, who slave 80 hours a week and more for low pay in hopes of not being fired at the end of the year. Devine works there to appease his father, who had despised his sons choice to serve his country instead of immediately going out and getting rich like his two older siblings. The morning train passes by the home of Cowl, whom the Burners are making richer and richer. Passengers get daily unfettered views of a gorgeous bikinied woman at Cowls swimming pool. She seems oblivious to the yearning gazes of the male commuters. Then, one morning at work, Devine receives an anonymous, untraceable text saying, She is dead. None of his fellow Burners received it. She is Sara Ewes, a colleague with whom he had once had sex. How could anyone know? It was a secret because dating within the company was a fireable offense. Apparently, she had hanged herself in the building. At home, Devine has interesting roommates, including a pizza-loving, Russia-born male computer hacker; a woman who's building a dating website with phenomenal potential; and another woman who has recently graduated from law school. The Russian tries and fails to track the source of the text for Devine. More people die at the company, naturally freaking everyone out. Devine is a suspect, but a retired Army general protects himfor a price. Devine must help them unravel a secret at the company, and if he refuses, they will send my ass right to USDB (United States Disciplinary Barracks) for an act he had committed while in the Army. Readers will suspect nearly everyone in this fast-moving whodunit. Clues abound, like the color of a bathing suit and mysterious references to Waiting for Godot. A great line states that diversity in the high finance world looks like a jar of Miracle Whip all the way to the bottom. What fun! This is a winner from a pro. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list Travis Devine, a former U.S. Army Ranger who now works on Wall Street, is blackmailed into working for a new organization within the Department of Homeland Security. They want him to dig up dirt on the firm for which he works (apparently there’s been some shady business going on). He takes the job—he doesn’t really have a choice—but he has an ulterior motive. A woman, who works at his firm and whom he recently dated, has died, apparently by suicide. Travis wants to know whether she really did kill herself, and if she didn’t, who did. The investigation leads him into some dark corners. Baldacci (the Atlee Pine novels, the Amos Decker series, and many others) keeps readers guessing with an intriguing story and a few good plot twists. This is ostensibly a stand-alone, although there is plenty of room for a sequel, and the way the book ends, it seems like Baldacci might be planning more Travis Devine stories. Let's hope so.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Baldacci, the author of more than 40 novels, regularly tops bestseller lists, and his latest promises more of the same.

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Army veteran Travis Devine, the protagonist of this disappointing thriller from bestseller Baldacci (One Good Deed), had a distinguished career serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, but he quit under mysterious circumstances to join Cowl and Comely, a high-pressure Wall Street investment firm. Every weekday, he takes the 6:20 a.m. commuter train from the suburbs into Manhattan, where he toils until evening. His life’s upended when he gets a text from an unknown person informing him that a colleague, Sara Ewes, whom he had a romantic interest in, was found hanging in a storage room in his office building. That death, which may not be the suicide it appears to be, triggers a cascade of dramatic developments. Devine becomes a murder suspect, others are killed, and he’s tapped to conduct a covert investigation into Cowl and Comely by a Homeland Security official. Despite lip service paid to recent real-life revelations from leaked documents about U.S. companies’ role in international money laundering, the implausible plot, in which the DHS official gives Devine no real guidance, makes it difficult for the reader to suspend disbelief. Baldacci has done better. Agent: Aaron Priest, Aaron M. Priest Literary. (July)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Rebecca Caudill Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Number the Stars
by Lois Lowry

School Library Journal : Gr 3-7--The gripping story of a ten-year-old Danish girl and her family's courageous efforts to smuggle Jews out of their Nazi-occupied homeland to safety in Sweden. Readers are taken to the very heart of Annemarie's experience, and, through her eyes, come to understand the true meaning of bravery.

Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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