Monday, December 4, 2017

An Antic Disposition

An Antic Disposition is by Alan Gordon. This is the fifth in the Fool's Guild Mystery series. I admit I love this series. This particular installment is a retelling of Shakespeare's Hamlet from the view of the Fool's Guild. Gordon manages to beautifully weave the play into the mythos of his Fool's Guild characters. This historical fiction mystery made me want to read Hamlet again. Fans of this series, of which I am one, will enjoy this installment.

Ratings: 11th grade - 9 out of 10 - AC (mature thematic content) - V (violence).

A Midsummer Night's Dream: Graphic Novel

A Midsummer Night's Dream: Graphic Novel is by Nel Yomtov. A wonderful introduction to Shakespeare's classic play. This graphic novel is beautifully drawn and well written; it is easy to read and faithful to the original. This would be a great way to introduce young readers to Shakespeare.

Ratings: 7th grade - 8 out of 10.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me is by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This powerful multi-cultural memoir takes the form of a treatise on American culture written by Coates to his teenage son. A powerful take on race in America from a modern African American perspective. While you may not agree with everything Coates has to say or the conclusions he draws, this is still a book worth reading.

Ratings: 9th grade - 7 out of 10 - AC (mature thematic content).

Beloved

Beloved is by Toni Morrison. The classic work of multi-cultural historical fiction that is a must read for everyone. It is the story of Sethe, who was born a slave, then escaped to Ohio to live with her mother-in-law whose freedom had been purchased by her son Halle. Sethe's three children had previously been sent to live with their grandmother. Sethe has been brutalize before her escape and when her old master shows up in Ohio trying to recapture Sethe and her children, she commits a drastic act that changes all their lives forever. This is a wonderful, but sometimes hard to read, novel of pain, love, revenge, and redemption. It shows how painful finding yourself can be. A Reader's Corner Highly Recommended Read.

Ratings: Adult - 9 out of 10 - P (profanity) - V (violence) - AC (mature thematic content).  

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Possessing the Secret of Joy

Possessing the Secret of Joy is by Alice Walker. A wonderful, but painful, work of historical fiction. This story contains characters we met in The Color Purple. Tashi and Adam are married and have returned to the United States. Tashi, however, is suffering severe mental and emotional problems related to the female genital mutilation she underwent while in Africa. This story is told from multiple points of view and flashes back and forth in time. It is a powerful story of the horrors of FGM and the terrible effects this practice has on the, sometimes very young girls, and women who have experienced it. This is a must read book, but it is hard to read at times due to the horror of the events described.

Ratings: Adult - 9 out of 10 - P (Profanity) - V (Violence) - AC (mature thematic content).

Monday, October 16, 2017

Welcome to Night Vale

Welcome to Night Vale is by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. The first book in the Welcome to Night Vale series. This book is based on the popular "Welcome to Night Vale" podcast series. Jackie runs the local pawnshop and has a very set routine, until one day she is given a slip of paper that says "King City." The problem: she can't get rid of the paper and can't remember anything about the man who gave it to her. Diane Crayton's fifteen-year-old shape-shifter son wants to meet his dad, who Diane keeps seeing all over town, even though he left town shortly after Josh was born. She has also seen a mysterious man she can't remember who speaks to her of King City. Diane and Jackie attempt to solve their own mysteries and discover King City and the mysterious man may be the key for both of them. A completely quirky and strange science fiction novel. Never having listened to any of the podcasts, I am now tempted to do so - Night Vale sounds like my kind of town.

Ratings: 10th grade -  8 out of 10 - P (profanity).

Scraps of Paper

Scraps of Paper is by Kathryn Meyer Griffith. The first book in the Spookie Town Mystery series. Thirty years ago a mother and her two young children went missing from the town of Spookie never to be heard from again. When Abigail moves to Spookie after the murder of her husband, she only wants some peace and quiet in which to paint and heal. As she refurbishes her new home she finds scraps of paper written by the missing children and decides to try and find out what happened to them. Abigail finds some help from a former Chicago cop named Frank; as she and Frank attempt to solve the mystery, old secrets emerge that someone in Spookie will kill to keep secret. A nice little supernatural mystery and quick read.

Ratings: 10th grade - 7 out of 10 - P (profanity) - V (violence) - AC (mature thematic content).