Monday, July 14, 2014

Book Review: A Dark and Twisted Tide

A Dark and Twisted Tide

PR6102 .O49 D37 2014

Sharon Bolton, a British mystery writer, has released the fourth book in her series featuring Lacey Flint, a London policewoman, who has just joined the Marine Policing Unit on the River Thames. Two months ago, Lacey bought an antique boat in the houseboat community moored in Deptford Creek, a Thames tributary. Forbidden by law, Lacey had taken up wild-swimming in the Thames at high tide, when conditions were right. Her swim this day located a body, wrapped in a linen shroud and tied to a wharf at the river’s edge.

The police find more bodies, youngish, light-skinned, dark haired, pale eyed Asian women wrapped in linen shrouds and left in the river. As the bodies are found, Lacey finds small plastic sailboats on her galley floor, tiny crabs and sees a swimmer around her boat. The plot unfolds to reveal illegal immigrants, a fertility clinic with surrogates and a female villain.

Critics consider Sharon Bolton to be a captivating author, who develops characters in depth and creates plots with many red herrings. A book review site, Goodreads has comments that talk about the authentic police procedurals in this work, her strong character Lacey Flint along with vivid descriptions of the River Thames.

The NHTI Library owns more titles by S.J.Bolton:
  • Awakening  PR6102 .O49 A93 2009
  • Dead Scared  PR6102 .O49 D43 2013
  • Now You See Me  PR6102 .O49 N68 2012

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Priority List

His first symptom was a buzzing in his head.  When the buzzing became a body tremor, David Menache, a high school teacher, saw a doctor and learned his cancerous brain tumor was terminal. What a blow at the age of 34!

David decided to throw himself into his career, teaching English at Miami’s Coral Reef Senior High School, a highly-competitive magnet school that drew students from all parts of the country.  In his book, The Priority List, he tells the story of his teaching career and the progression of his cancer and treatments. Stopping medication, he visits former students after first posting on his Facebook page, “I’m taking to the road. I plan to hitch, take buses… to the Pacific Ocean. So let me know where you are and if you’ve got a couch for the night.” In two days, students in 50 cities offered him a place to stay.

In one of Menache’s assignments for his students, he gives them terms, also known as the Priority List, as a way to integrate literature and life’s lessons.  His students write essays about themselves and, as he visits these young men and women, they talk about the Priority List and how it directed them into adulthood. Students reflect through conversations, posts and letters, how his caring, questioning and teaching style influenced their lives. Menache includes their writings in his book so there is the dual story of his illness and his travels to visit former students on his way to the west coast.

LC1775 .M52 2014

Menasche, David.  The Priority List: A Teacher’s Final Quest to Discover Life’s Greatest Lessons. New York: Touchstone, 2013. Print    

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New Picture Books

The NHTI Library owns a collection of children’s literature to support the Early Childhood Education curriculum. Because picture books appeal to pre-readers, the illustrations tell the story with colorful and artistic drawings, that allow a child to tell a story on their own.

Bear Has a Story to Tell by Phillip Stead, Erin Stead, illustrator. JUV PZ7 .S808566 B43 2012
Bear was getting sleepy because it was nearly winter and he wanted to tell a story to his friends but Duck was about to fly south, Mouse was gathering seeds and Toad needed a warm place to sleep.  See what happens after Bear wakes up in the spring.

Erin Stead’s pencil and water color illustrations tell the story of friendship and patience. This title is a Kirkus Review’s Best Children’s Book of the year and named Amazon Best Picture Book of 2012.

Black Dog by Levi Pinfold JUV PZ7 .P63245 B53 2012
On a cold day the Hope family finds a large black dog, as big as a tiger, outside their house. One by one, they see the dog and it grows bigger and bigger until it is the size of a dinosaur. Frightened, they close the curtains and turn off the lights but the huge dog is still there. Then Small, the youngest and bravest Hope, ventures outside in the wintery snow to face the hound.

One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo, David Small, illustrator JUV PZ7 .B9832 O64 2012
Here’s a funny book to enjoy, written by author/librarian Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by Caldecott Medalist David Small.

Elliot, a very serious young boy, wears a suit every day and in a Saturday excursion with his dad to the aquarium, he sprints past the kids at the Amazing Jellies Display until he finds the penguins. Attracted to these birds, Elliot runs to his father, who hands him a twenty-dollar bill to buy a penguin. The boy picks up the smallest penguin and adds him to his backpack. Follow Elliot’s and the penguin’s adventures until the very last page.

This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers JUV PZ7 .J3643 T45 2012
A moose wandered into Wilfred’s yard and he knew it was time to teach the animal, that he named Marcel, how to be a good pet. At times, Marcel was a wonderful four-legged friend because he followed Rule 11, providing Wilfred shelter from the RAIN. Occasionally, the Moose ignored Rule 7, going whatever way Wilfred wants to go, and the animal did poorly on Rule 7 (subsection b), maintaining  a certain proximity to home. Wilfred learned to take a string with him during walks because, without the Moose, he lost his way.