Books. We are crazy about them!
Any genre, author, subject, or writing style. We love them all.
Everyone has their favorites though, and sometimes you want to know a little bit more about a book before you decide to read it. To make it a little easier, we have compiled a list of book review sites. Just click on a link and go explore!
Book Review Resources
A Stab in the Back, a Stab in the Flag
By Grace Patino (ETHS 2012)
Friendly Fire, by C. D. B. Bryan, is a moving novel about the hardships of war and death. I would suggest this novel for young adults and adults. Though the beginning starts out slow, patience leads the reader to more exciting and riveting pages. The Mullens face tragedy in 1970 that changes their lives forever, bringing a current of chaos and madness into their once peaceful lives. Bryan describes what it was like for the Mullen family to deal with the death of Mike Mullen, age 25, and reveals the rage of the Mullen family felt towards the military and government, due to the inconsistent stories of their son’s death. Bryan’s captivating style, colorful descriptions, and heart wrenching plot leave the reader captivated with the ongoing mystery; how did Mike Mullen die?
Michael Mullen was drafted from graduate school and sent to fight in Vietnam, while his family was left on their Iowa farm to only wonder of their son’s condition. Bryan hooks in the reader by varying the pace of the book. The beginning chapters start out as ordinary as can be, like the steady flow of a river. The last few sentences of the chapters, however, dramatically change, and it is as if the constant river water stills, leaving the audience with goose bumps. Chapter one uses the most mundane detail to depict just how incredibly average the Mullen family is. “Gene stood up, tucked in his shirt, and walked over to the kitchen window. He bumped into Peg turning around and apologized” (3). These sentences seem to be of no great importance to the story, but analyzing closely one would recognize every word of Bryan is deliberate. The chapter ends with the death of Michael Eugene Mullen, March first. He was brought home in a steal casket, while his mother was put under investigation of the FBI one year later. Bryan’s style of dramatic leaps in the pace of the book are extremely enticing to the reader and draws them in.
An array of adjectives and action verbs are used throughout Bryan’s story that add color and breathe life into the pages of his story. Bryan describes the very flashback of an ex-soldier from the war and suddenly the Mullen’s kitchen becomes the battle field all over again. “The Mullen’s could only visualize what the young man so clearly saw: helicopter swooping down for a combat assault, shark-faced cobra gunships circling beyond their kitchen window…”(243). The detail that went into Bryan’s writing shines through as the vivid language takes the reader to the scene of the crime. This technique of description wraps the audience up in the compelling tale of the Mullen’s.
The plot in Bryan’s book revolves around the death of Mike Mullen and his family’s desperate attempts to find closure. This brings out the questioning of morality as the Mullen’s wonder; was Vietnam the enemy, or the United States? With this confusion comes rage from the Mullen’s, irate to think that they had worked the land of their son’s murderer for five generations. The topic of friendly fire is sensitive enough on its own, but Bryan adds the nitty-gritty feelings of Mike’s family after his death. The sheer anguish felt by Ms. Mullen is enough to pluck at the heart strings of even the stoniest beings, and the defeat held within Mike’s father’s chest is simply heartbreaking.
The book Friendly Fire, by C. D. B. Bryan, has found a teary place of sentiment in my heart. This story reveals the hardships of death and war, and Bryan could not have done a better job. Bryan’s ebb and flow style, as well as his fantastic descriptions and tear jerking plot leave the reader wanting more. I now understand that friendly fire is a very possible consequence of war and can leave families torn apart in an attempt to decide where the blame of the death should be placed. Prior to this book I had no inkling as to the devastation friendly fire can cause for one’s feelings of patriotism. With the wars in the Middle East and the American death toll increasing, one can only wonder how many Mike Mullen’s we’re killed by the accidental hands of their comrades.
Curious about a book?
There are several websites dedicated to Young Adult Literature, or as we like to call it -- Teen Reads! Click on the links below to begin exploring:
Interested in writing a review?
Simply pick a book, write your thoughts down, and email it to us. We will be happy to post it on this page.
Please, keep the content clean and family friendly!
Sci-Fi, Gadgets, and Skunks
by Bennett Silversteen
The Rendering, by Joel Naftali, is a book in the form of blog posts about a teen named Doug. His aunt is a scientist that works for a lab that is not on the map. Something goes wrong and his aunt dies in an explosion and he falls into a place where he gets a technology destroying super power. Then, He goes on the run from an evil scientist named Dr. Roach that plans on taking over the world with robots. Somehow he is joined by talking skunks and an AI refrigerator. I recommend this book for people that like sci-fi, crazy gadgets and skunks.
Most of you know Nori Morgenstein -- she is the bouncy, fun volunteer with long, dark, curly hair...
What you may not know is that Nori really IS a Teen (YA) Librarian (yep, she has all the degrees to prove it!)
She is addicted to Young Adult Literature!
This is a very good thing because she also loves to write about what she has read.
What does this mean for you?
It means you can check out what someone YOUNG really thought of that book you heard about...
Click on Nori's Picks.
Check it out!
Recommendations from the staff...
Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.
At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.
Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.
Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple’s hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.
Great news, Sherlock Holmes fans! For the first time ever, the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has authorized a new Holmes story. In fact, the estate approached Horowitz, author of the top New York Times best-selling Alex Rider series. A Holmes expert, Horowitz says he's steeped in 19th-century literature and will aim for authenticity in plot, language, and character. At the same time, he knows he's writing for a contemporary audience, and so he "took care to make the plot completely gripping and fast-paced." No word on the content yet—the publisher will reveal clues with tantalizing slowness, as in a good (ahem) mystery. Okay, so other authors have used Holmes as a character; this situation is different, and it's exciting however it turns out. All mystery fans will want.
The partners at Finley & Figg—all two of them—often refer to themselves as “a boutique law firm.” Boutique, as in chic, selective, and prosperous. They are, of course, none of these things. What they are is a two-bit operation always in search of their big break, ambulance chasers who’ve been in the trenches much too long making way too little. Their specialties, so to speak, are quickie divorces and DUIs, with the occasional jackpot of an actual car wreck thrown in. After twenty plus years together, Oscar Finley and Wally Figg bicker like an old married couple but somehow continue to scratch out a half-decent living from their seedy bungalow offices in southwest Chicago.
And then change comes their way. More accurately, it stumbles in. David Zinc, a young but already burned-out attorney, walks away from his fast-track career at a fancy downtown firm, goes on a serious bender, and finds himself literally at the doorstep of our boutique firm. Once David sobers up and comes to grips with the fact that he’s suddenly unemployed, any job—even one with Finley & Figg—looks okay to him.
With their new associate on board, F&F is ready to tackle a really big case, a case that could make the partners rich without requiring them to actually practice much law. An extremely popular drug, Krayoxx, the number one cholesterol reducer for the dangerously overweight, produced by Varrick Labs, a giant pharmaceutical company with annual sales of $25 billion, has recently come under fire after several patients taking it have suffered heart attacks. Wally smells money.
A little online research confirms Wally’s suspicions—a huge plaintiffs’ firm in Florida is putting together a class action suit against Varrick. All Finley & Figg has to do is find a handful of people who have had heart attacks while taking Krayoxx, convince them to become clients, join the class action, and ride along to fame and fortune. With any luck, they won’t even have to enter a courtroom!
It almost seems too good to be true.
And it is.
Thanks to Barnes & Noble for providing the copy for our first week of Book Reviews...
900 Chicago Avenue Evanston, IL 60201 www.epl.org and www.eplfriends.org
DOME OF DOOM!
** Teens Only **
MTweens are going to have so much fun they won't be able to stand it!!
Click on the poster to see more, and in the meantime, start reading your copy of "Order of Odd Fish" by James Kennedy
Block off April 20th and April 27th, from 4:30 to 7:30.
You are going to have too much fun. Think you can stand it...?!
Team Building Workshop for Parents and Caregivers
One of the most important relationships a child develops is with their parent(s). Caregivers also play a crucial role in supporting that child, and what better person to have on your team?
Spend an evening exploring ideas and learning skills to increase communication between parent and caregiver, creating a solid 'team' with common goals and practices.
Thursday, April 12
6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
900 Chicago Avenue
Evanston, IL 60202
TUE: 10 am - 5 pm
WED: 10 am - 5 pm
THUR: 10 am - 8 pm
FRI: 10 am - 5 pm
SAT: 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday, December 16, 2012 through Tuesday, January 1, 2013
WE WILL REOPEN ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 12
HOURS and LOCATION