Author Archive

True Crime Author Ann Rule Dies at 83

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Michigan born author Ann Rule, ann-rule-768who wrote true-crime stories, died Sunday at the age of 83.  Her most well known book “The Stranger Beside Me” profiled Ted Bundy, who she briefly worked with before he was arrested and admitted to killing multiple women.

She wrote over 30 books, all of which were well received because of her empathetic perspective and focus on the victims.  She attended numerous workshops on crime topics which, along with her focus on serial killers, made her a valuable resource for local law enforcement as well as the FBI and the Justice Department.

 

 

 

 


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Audiobooks for Road Trips

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Summer is a great time to travel with the whole family but it is also a great chance to listen to some great books together.  Here are some suggests to try!dealingwithdragons

Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede: This teen series features a full cast recording and four great stories featuring wizards, dragons, princesses and kings.  The first book in the series, “Dealing with Dragons“, features Princess Cimorene, who does not follow the traditional path. In fact, she decides to move in with a dragon rather than marry the prince!

 

walkinthewoodsFor some great humor with a book that will soon be a movie, try “A Walk In The Woods” by Bill Bryson.  Read by the author, this entertaining story is about Bryson’s own experience walking along the Appalachian Trail with his old friend Stephen Katz, along with some history and ecology too.wonder

 

For a little bit younger reader, try “Wonder” by R. J. Palacio.  This is an award winning book about Auggie who is about to enter 5th grade.  Not that entering the 5th grade isn’t challenging enough, but Auggie has never attend school before, partly because of his very visible facial deformities. A must read for all ages.

 


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Teen Hero books

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

The Summer Reading theme is all about celebrating heroes so inpowerless addition to the all the great reading choices available, here is another NEWLY released book to check out:

Powerless by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs is about a teenager named Kenna who works in a secret lab for actual superheroes.  Not only that, her father was a hero who was killed by a villain.  But unfortunately, Kenna doesn’t have any powers of her own.  Then one night when Kenna is working in the lab, a group of villains break in and change Kenna’s perspective for ever!

I really liked the humor and the twists of this story.  Luckily for me, there is the first in a series!


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Author Marcia Brown Dies at the Age of 96

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

marciabrownWell-known children’s author & illustrator Marcia Brown died last month at the age of 96.  Marcia Brown was one of the few illustrators to win three Caldecott medals.  The first one was in 1955 for Cinderella, or the Little Glass Slipper, which she translated from Charles Perrault’s version.  The second was for Once a Mouse in 1962 and finally Shadow in 1983, translated and adapted from a Blaise Cendrars poem.  She also won six Caldecott Honors and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for contributions to children’s literature.


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YALSA 2015 Top Ten Teen Books Nominees

Friday, May 1st, 2015

YALSA has announced the nominees for the Top Ten Teen Books. TeensTopTen_logo_web The list of books come from different teen book groups from around the country.  And teens get to decide on the top ten too.  So start reading now and get ready to vote!  Voting will take place between August 15th & October 18th. Below are the nominees:


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Author Ivan Doig Dies at Age 75

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

ivandoigIvan Doig, well known author of stories featuring the American West, died at his home on Thursday at the age of 75.  Doig was raised along the edge of the Rocky Mountains and set his later books on a fictionalized version of where he grew up. His first book “This House of Sky” was a memoir and was a finalist for the National Book Award.

His most recent book, “The Bartender’s Tale“, was published in 2012 and was inspired by his own experiences being raised by a single-parent father who worked as a ranch hand.  His final book, “Last Bus to Wisdom“, will be published in August.


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MI Thumbs Up Top Ten Teen Books 2015

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

ThumbsUpAlong with spring comes this exciting book announcement: the Top Ten MI Thumbs Up books!!

And don’t forget that you can help choose the next MI Thumbs Up book by voting.  The poll will remain open until May 31st for Teens between 13 and 18 years old.


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World War Nonfiction

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Ifrozenintimef you are looking for an interesting nonfiction read about World War II, give “Frozen in Time” by Mitchell Zuckoff a try.  This is a very well written book that starts with the crash of an U.S. cargo ship into the Greenland ice cap and includes the subsequent rescue attempts.  But the other portion of the book is a modern attempt to locate and recover the one of the rescue crafts, a U.S. Coast Guard Grummand Duck amphibious craft.  Both stories will have you hoping for a successful rescue despite the harsh weather deadwakeconditions.

2015 marks the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania, a luxury ocean liner.  Erik Larson’sDead Wake” is set around that sinking and brings to life some of the key figures and events leading up to that disaster which facilitated the entry of the USA into World War I.  Plus as a bonus, the book has a really great cover!

 

 

 

 


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Author Sir Terry Pratchett Dies At Age 66

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Terry-PratchettAfter a eight-year struggle with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, author Sir Terry Pratchett died Thursday at his home. Sir Terry Pratchett wrote over 70 books, including the lengthy Discworld series beloved by many readers.  He was knighted in 2009 by the Queen of England for services to literature. The author even made his own meteorite-powered sword in honor of that event.

“His death was announced on his Twitter account, on Thursday afternoon. The first tweet was composed in capital letters – which was how the author portrayed the character of Death in his novels.

“AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER,” it stated.

“Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.”

“The End.”


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The Next “Big Thing” in Teen Books

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Everyone always wants to know what the “next big thing” is in books, including me.  We are way over the paranormal books, with vampires and werewolves and now dystopian books are old hat, despite The Hunger Games and Divergent movies still to come. So what is next?

I think Realistic Fiction is gaining ground, partly thanks to John Green’s books and movies.  (Not that it ever truly went away.) I recently read two illgiveyouthesungreat teen realistic fiction books.  And yes, the covers are quite similar but that is just a coincidence!

The first book, which was the Printz Award winner, is by Jandy Nelson, “I’ll Give You The Sun.” This book is told through two voices, twins Jude and Noah. The interesting part is that Noah’s portion is told from when they were 13 years old and Jude’s voice is from when they are 16.  This gives the reader the perspective of what is to come but not how it came about. I really enjoyed the zacandmiacharacters of both twins and how the story came together in the end.

The other book is “Zac and Mia” by A.J. Betts. At first this book might seem to be an “A Fault In Our Stars” ripoff, but the story evolves beyond that. Zac and Mia have their own unique story to tell. Zac “meets” Mia because they are sharing a hospital wall while he is in isolation for his leukemia treatment. Mia is a popular girl, but is hiding her sickness from all her friends and is unable to come to terms with her illness. The friendship develops after the hospital but each are not always honest and upfront with each other. But in the end, they each need something for the other person and the ending leaves the fate of the characters up to the reader.


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