Monday, January 20, 2020

The Line Tender by Kate Allen - ADVISABLE

The Line Tender by Kate Allen 384 pages Dutton. 2019, $18.

 Language: G (0 swears 0 'f') Mature Content: PG (teen drinking, kissing) Violence: PG

BUYING ADVISORY: MS - ADVISABLE

 AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

Lucy and her dad are still grieving the death of Lucy's shark scientist mother 5 years ago. Lucy is well cared for, her father is a detective, she has a great friend and close neighbors, but when tragedy strikes again, Lucy dives into learning all she can about her mother from the people who knew her, and from her field notes about sharks. 

Lucy's best friend, Fred, is the sweetest boy ever - my goodness, no wonder she isn't sure if she likes him, or LIKES him! Mr. Patterson, the old man next store is perfectly wise and endearing, the fisherman, the school teacher, her dad - Lucy is surrounded by so many loving people. I loved that feel in the book. Although tragic, there is interesting information and illustrations about sharks, and middle school kids love sharks. Also - ah! The illustrations - the amazing shark drawings throughout were a great surprise!

Lisa Librarian

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Animals Go To War by Connie Goldsmith - ADVISABLE

Animals Go to War : From Dogs to Dolphins by Connie Goldsmith 136 pages. NON-FICTION Twenty-First Century Books (Lerner Imprints), 2019. $37.

 Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG; 

BUYING ADVISORY: MS - ADVISABLE 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

For centuries, man used dogs, horses, mules, even elephants and birds to help them defeat their enemies in battle. Animals carried cameras, triggered bombs, or delivered messages while others were used to frighten, trample, or haul. Some acted as support animals, loyal partners, mascots or were used for research. Even now, animals are "doing their part" for the war effort. 

Fascinating information about how animals have been used in war. A bit upsetting at times as sometimes they were expendable, mistreated or neglected, but the stories of the heroes are inspiring.Complete with photographs, sidebars and charts. I loved the monument dedicated to Military Working Dogs and the photo of a mule wearing a gas mask. I little text heavy, but over all the animal lovers will find this interesting. Includes glossary, bibliography, and additional sources.

Lisa Librarian

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Heroes Reborn by Philippe Ogaki and Patrick Sobral - OPTIONAL


Heroes Reborn (Mythics #1) by Philippe Ogaki and PatrickSobral, 155 pages. GRAPHIC NOVEL. Papercutz, 2020. $20.

Language: G (0 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG

BUYING ADVISORY: MS - OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Evil is on Earth, and he has chosen human vessels as hosts for his power, but, no matter where Evil rises, though, heroes are preparing to defeat him. In this volume, Yuko fights Evil in Japan, Amir fights Evil in Egypt, and Abi fights Evil in Germany. Wish these new heroes luck!

In typical good versus evil fashion, these three new heroes have a lot to learn before they can win, and their stories were fun to read though not unique. Transitions were consistently choppy, and I felt like I was being pushed from introduction to climax without enough building action. The story, as it was told, didn’t give me enough reason to invest myself into the characters, but I would have enjoyed a stronger connection with them. The mature content rating is for brief nudity, and the violence rating is for battle sequences.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen


Friday, January 17, 2020

Dictionary for a Better World by Irene Latham and Charles Waters - ADVISABLE


Dictionary for a Better World by Irene Latham and CharlesWaters, 109 pages. POETRY. Carolrhoda Books, 2020. $20.

Language: G (0 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: G; Violence: G

BUYING ADVISORY: MS - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Latham and Waters offer 50 poems, each with a quote and an anecdote, based on principles and characteristics that will improve our world when applied. Individuals have to change before the world as a whole can become better.

My favorite parts of this book are the parts that are not advertised as part of the poem collection: each poem comes with a new literary device or poem style to learn and an invitation for the reader to start applying the introduced principle. Latham and Waters teach by example through their poems and anecdotes and then give readers another example of how to start emulating the characteristics now -- today! While this isn’t the type of book one typically sits down to read cover to cover, even flipping through a few pages has the potential to change a reader’s perspective of the world.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen


Thursday, January 16, 2020

Captive by Madeline Dyer - AVISABLE


Captive by Madeline Dyer, 45 pages. POETRY. Ineja Press, 2020. $6.

Language: G (0 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG

BUYING ADVISORY: HS - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Dyer writes poems as someone who struggles with mental disorders. The battle inside oneself, against oneself, is not one that is easily or openly understood by others. Through beautifully crafted metaphors and imagery, Dyer conveys unwanted feelings and illogical thoughts in ways that readers can understand.

I have not gone through the same difficulties as Dyer, but I have gone through some mental hardships as well. Poetry depends upon readers feeling and understanding what is expressed through the words written. Some of Dyer’s poems were relatable to me and my difficult experiences, but I did not relate to all of them, nor do I think that these poems will speak to everyone. However, Dyer has written these poems in such a way that I still felt like I could understand her struggles and desire to find hope when they were different from my own experiences. If you do not read this book to know that you are not alone, read this collection of poems to better understand those who struggle with mental disorders.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

She’s With Me by Jessica Cunsolo - NO


She’s With Me by Jessica Cunsolo, 400 pages. Wattpad Books, 2020. $11.

Language: R (220 swears, 41 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG13

BUYING ADVISORY: HS - NO

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Amelia is the new girl again, and she’s determined to keep her head down this time because neither she nor her mother want to keep running from the past. But then Amelia makes one friend. Then two. Then she suddenly has a group, and they make her happy. Does Amelia have to choose between being safe and living her life?

For readers to enjoy this book, you have to go into it knowing that Amelia’s story is cheesy and a little ridiculous; expect to laugh and roll your eyes at the characters’ antics. Cheesy teen romances can be very entertaining, but I found this one to be somewhat disappointing because I did not support most of the main character’s actions or her love interest. I am not interested enough to search out the sequel. The mature content rating is for illegal activity, mentions of drugs, drunk driving, mentions of oral sex, sex euphemisms, and sexual assault. The violence rating is for assault, mentions of domestic abuse and kidnapping, and murder.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Macbeth (Manga Classics) art by Julien Choy - OPTIONAL


Macbeth (Manga Classics) art by Julien Choy, 329 pages. GRAPHIC NOVEL. Udon Entertainment, 2018. $26.

Language: PG (3 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG13

BUYING ADVISORY: HS - OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

On their way back from battle, the victorious Macbeth and Banquo run into three witches prophesying of greatness in their futures. The two heroes laugh off the impossible predictions until the first shocking fortune proves true. Is everything the witches said true? Macbeth takes matters into his own hands to ensure it is so.

Choy’s illustrations are impressive as they echo Macbeth’s gradual transformation through the story. While these visuals certainly assisted reading comprehension, I don’t think this adaptation is as effective as other Manga Classics in helping readers understand the old English used by Shakespeare. The mature content is for partial nudity and innuendo; the violence rating is for gore and murder.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen