Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon

Title: The Speed of Dark
Author: Elizabeth Moon
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Teen or Adult Fiction (depending on the library)
Rating: Amazing
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: "Thoughtful, poignant, and unforgettable, "The Speed of Dark is a gripping exploration into the world of Lou Arrendale, an autistic man who is offered a chance to try a brand-new experimental "cure" for his condition. Now Lou must decide if he should submit to a surgery that might completely change the way he views the world . . . and the very essence of who he is.." (King County Library System)
Opinions: First, let me say that this was not a book that I would have normally picked up to read. I read it for the book club that I am in and I am so glad that I did. This book is set in a future where computers are so advanced that everything is in a data cube making real books rare to see, and there is a cure for so many things that affect us in our day (including violent tendencies in criminals, as well as a possible new cure to extend life).

This story takes place in a time where there is a way to identify autism in the womb and to cure it before the child is born. In such a day, though, what happens to the autistic individuals who were born before the cure was discovered. This is an interesting look into the life of an adult man with autism - how he views life, how he views others and himself, and how his views change as he learns that he could "volunteer" to be a test subject for adults who missed being "cured" when young.

This book asks many profound and life-altering questions. It made me personally begin to look at life and everything around me in a new light. I am impressed by the author's ability to draw you into Lou's thinking process and who he is and to enlighten the reader on some of the intollerances that many people have for anyone they view as "different". I highly recommend this as a read to anyone and everyone and am thoroughly looking forward to discussing it in our book club.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

We are the Ship by Kadir Nelson

Title: We are the Ship
Author: Kadir Nelson
Reviewer: Stephanie
Genre: Historical Non-fiction
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: "Using an "Everyman" player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through the decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. Illustrations from oil paintings by artist Kadir Nelson." (King County Library System)
Opinions: This was a fascinating and beautifully illustrated book on Negro League Baseball. The paintings were gorgeous and I loved the way the information was given. It was interesting and compelling. If you love baseball, you would love this interesting look on how modern day baseball was shaped by the Negro Leagues.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

39 Clues: The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan

Title: 39 Clues: The Maze of Bones
Author: Rick Riordan
Reviewer: Stephanie
Rating: Love
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: - "Minutes before she died Grace Cahill changed her will, leaving her decendants an impossible decision: ‪"‬You have a choice - one million dollars or a clue.‪"‬ Grace is the last matriarch of the Cahills, the world's most powerful family. Everyone from Napoleon to Houdini is related to the Cahills, yet the source of the family power is lost. 39 clues hidden around the world will reveal the family's secret, but no one has been able to assemble them. Now a very dangerous race for clues is on, and young Amy and Dan must decide what's important: hunting clues or uncovering what REALLY happened to their parents." (King County Library).
Opinions: I thought this was a great book and has the potential to be an amazing series. Rick Riordan wrote this book and 9 other authors will each write one book in this series. They will be published over the course of the next 2 years. I thought that the idea of the book was fun and the writing was smart. I like that it is a mystery that you can solve too. There is a website ( where you can get clues and try to solve the mystery with Amy and Dan. Not only that but there are prizes to be won too! I am excited about this new series and love the twists and turns that it takes you through as well as the eccentric side characters. Plus it's fun to try to solve the mystery and figure out who you can trust.