Ever wanted to meet the author or illustrator of your favorite book? Now you can! Come to the library to meet David Catrow, children’s book author and this year’s illustrator of our Summer Reading Club t-shirts!
Catrow has illustrated dozens of funny children’s books, such as:
He’s also written many hilarious books of his own, including:
Andrew Smith is my new favorite author, and has been since last November, when I first picked up a copy of The Marbury Lens. It was a pretty awesome experience, because I got a copy of both The Marbury Lens and Passenger for free, from a table where Andrew Smith was sitting, and then he signed them. Exciting. The Marbury Lens changed my entire outlook on YA books and writing. Plus Jack is the absolute hands-down best name ever for a boy protagonist. Anyway.
I just finished reading Winger, his most recent book. I laughed out loud so many times during that story. That’s kind of a big deal for me. And then I broke down and my eyes got all teary and I actually gasped-sobbed at the very end. It hurt.
Andrew Smith does that. He creates these perfectly intense stories that get inside your head, then your heart, then they stab you right there in your feelings. And it is so real. Because you’ve felt that before in real life, in your own life, and he gives you those feelings right back in his stories, so you can share the feelings of all those lost and incredible boy protagonists he makes so, so very real to the readers.
Somehow I still haven’t read his first book, Ghost Medicine. But I will soon. In fact, I’m going to go grab it off my library’s YA Fiction shelves right now, even though I have several other books I am currently reading. Because it is going to be so, so good.
Don’t get me wrong: these books aren’t for everyone. If you don’t want the brutal, honest, vulgar, blunt truth of real life shoved down your throat and into your lungs so you can’t escape it then maybe you shouldn’t pick up The Marbury Lens or In the Path of Falling Objects. I still think you should read Stick or Winger. I think some of Andrew Smith’s books could be used for high school English and Lit classes quite successfully, and I know they appeal to both teens and adults. I highly recommend all of them.
One summer (many moons ago), I went to a temp agency seeking a short term job. The agency in turn sent me to a candy factory. For two months I put biscotti into plastic trays, wrapped Santa Claus shaped chocolates in foils, and put ribbons on holiday candy boxes. People kept telling me that by being around candy so much, I would no longer want to eat it. Didn’t happen! Chocolate peanut butter cups still top the list of favorite foods- and I wouldn’t sneeze at some fine dark chocolate or a box of truffles either. I’m still waiting for an incredible craving for carrots to kick in. Maybe next year.
A man completely unabashed about his love for candy is Steve Almond, who authored Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America. Within the first pages, he tells you he eats a piece of candy “every single day of his entire life,” “thinks about candy at least once an hour” and “has between three and seven pounds of candy in his house at all times.” Denied access to the likes of Hershey, Mars and Nestle, Almond visits the independent candy makers: Pittsburgh (Clark Bars), Sioux City (Twin Bing), Nashville (Goo Goo Cluster), Boise (Idaho Spud). Warning: the imagery of “the enrober” pouring chocolate may make you break out in a sweat if you don’t have something sweet nearby!
Another candy lover is Hilary Liftin, who chronicles her sweet obsessed life in Candy and Me: A Girl’s Tale of Life, Love, and Sugar. Or if you’re interested in the more corporate world of chocolate, you might try The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars by Joel Glenn Brenner. For more history and trivia check out Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light by Mort Rosenblum.
May all your candy wishes come true!
The Kenton County Public Library Summer Reading Club for teens, adults and children is in full swing! A whole world of adventure awaits you in books and programs at the Erlanger, Durr and Covington branch libraries. The best part is: you can win prizes just for reading!
Children ages 2-10 can visit any Kenton County Public Library location to pick up a reading log.
Summary from GoodReads:
“Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.
Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?”
Grave Mercy is an alternate history historical fiction, supernatural, romantic epic of a Young Adult novel. I picked it up because it was new and popular, but I honestly did not expect to enjoy it.
I very much loved it. The characters are witty and addictive contradictions. The historical setting is not overbearing or boring, and the author takes her own liberties with history in order to make the plot and setting even more interesting. I couldn’t put it down and read it in a day or two. I would recommend it to readers of historical fiction and/or romance, as well as those who like strong female protagonists, like those in The Hunger Games and Divergent. This is very much a grown-up book that has appeal for teens and adults.
“And just as love has two sides, so too does Death. While Ismae will serve as His mercy, I will not, for that is not how He fashioned me. Every death I have witnessed, every horror I have endured, has forged me to be who I am — Death’s justice.”
― R.L. LaFevers, Dark Triumph
Summary from GoodReads:
“Sybella’s duty as Death’s assassin in 15th-century France forces her return home to the personal hell that she had finally escaped. Love and romance, history and magic, vengeance and salvation converge in this thrilling sequel to Grave Mercy.”
Dark Triumph is an incredible sequel to Grave Mercy. It follows another of Mortain’s Daughters, Sybella, and I am so very glad for that. Sybella is as different from Ismae as night is from day! I really loved following the rest of the story from her point of view, getting to see inside her heart and her mind. Once again the historical setting is a great backdrop for romance, intrigue, and supernatural assassin nuns, but the history doesn’t overpower the story.
I would most definitely recommend this to those who have already read the first installment of the His Fair Assassin series, Grave Mercy, but it could also honestly stand alone. If you don’t mind being a bit confused by the history and political situation for several chapters then people who pick up Dark Triumph without reading Grave Mercy could still very much enjoy it.