Kern County Library Staff Suggests...: February 2011
Look What's New for Kids!
Atlas de Dinosaurios: Animales Prehistóricos y Otros
by María Lorente
- Con ilustraciones realistas y de colores vivos, esta referencia introduce a los jóvenes lectores a un mundo prehistórico. Desde Pangea y las diferentes especies de dinosaurios vivas durante la época Mesozoica hasta una discusión del registro fósil y el mundo durante la edad de hielo, los temas se exploran de una manera detallada pero accesible que absorberá tanto a los niños como a los padres.
With colorful and realistic illustrations, this reference introduces young readers to the prehistoric world. From Pangaea and the various species of dinosaurs living during the Mesozoic Era to a discussion of the fossil record and the world during the Ice Age, topics are explored in an accessible yet detailed way that will engross children and parents alike.
Look What's New for Teens!
The Coming of the Dragon
by Rebecca Barnhouse
- Rune, an orphaned young man raised among strangers, tries to save the kingdom from a dragon that is burning the countryside and, along the way, learns that he is a kinsman of Beowulf.
February Recommendations for Kids
FictionMy Fake Boyfriend Is Better Than Yours
by Kristina Springer
- Tori and Sienna are entering seventh grade and Sienna has been away on vacation for 6 weeks and returns with stories about her dreamy new boyfriend. Tori is convinced she made up a boyfriend, and so she invents a fake boyfriend. Life comes to a head when both girls are scheduled to bring their boyfriends to the school dance. Can they ever be friends again? Who has a real boyfriend?NonfictionHot Diggity Dog: The History of the Hot Dog
by Adrienne Sylver
- Hot dogs are one of America’s favorite foods and in July we consume more than two billion hot dogs!! Unique hot dogs are salmon dogs topped with avocadoes and carrots are popular in Miami, and in West Virginia hillbilly Hot dogs serve hot dogs topped with ketchup, cheese, and scrambled eggs!!Little Monsters Cookbook
by Zac Williams
- Recipes for you and your little monster to concoct. Featuring Wolfsbane elixir, frankenfeet, vampire bites, mummy pups, werewolf skins, dusty old bones, monster-in-the moat fondue, and Zuppa di zombie. There is surely a recipe to please even the most frightfully picky eaters!How Football Works
by Keltie Thomas
- Just in time for the Superbowl! Did you know the average NFL team uses about 2,500 pairs of shoes, 7,000 sticks of chewing gum, and 300 miles of tape? Find out when passing was first introduced, and what a quarterback sneak entails. This book covers the basics of the game, the history, legends, regulations, equipment and even whether it is legal to spray one's jersey with nonstick spray!Mysteries of the Komodo Dragon
by Martha L. Crump
- Ten feet long, with jagged teeth, and deadly drool, Komodo dragons can consume 5 pounds of food per minute. Komodo dragons are a type of monitor lizard found on the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia, and generally have a life span of thirty years. Komodo dragons can kill their prey with just one bite and are able to slay a 1,300 pound water buffalo! Young dragons live in the trees the first two years of their life to avoid cannibalistic adults, and can range 6 miles per day and even swim in the ocean!DeSean Jackson
by Seth Pulditor
- Jackson is a native Californian and played for the Cal Bears under coach Tedford. He is small for a wide receiver, but his amazing speed has contributed to him being named to the 2010 and 2011 Pro Bowls.Mardi Gras
by Dianne MacMillan
- Traditionally, Carnival season begins on Twelfth Night, or January 6th. The French and Spanish called the days before lent 'carnival' derived from the Latin words 'carne' and 'vale' which means 'farewell meat' , since many Christians did not eat meat during Lent (the six weeks before Easter). The days leading up to Mardi Gras become increasingly filled with fun until the advent of Mardi Gras itself, which boasts parades and balls. This year Mardi Gras is March 8th, read this book to help plan some fun festivities!
February Recommendations for Teens
FictionThe Summer I Got a Life
by Mark Fink
- The last day of school and 15 year old Andy is ready for his Hawaiian vacation! Unfortunately, plans change and he and his older brother are shipped to the middle of nowhere in Wisconsin where they are surrounded by livestock and do not have Internet access or cable TV! His older brother brad runs away, only to be picked up and tricked by his uncle and 800 chickens. A summer romance with a wheelchair bound amazing girl and punctuated with laugh out loud animal antics (such as the pig getting loose in the local mall and his uncle and the pig being shot with a tranquilizer gun), round out this fun read.The Forest of Hands and Teeth
by Carrie Ryan
- Mind the fence that surrounds the village and protects all from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. The Sisterhood knows best. The Guardians serve and protect from the unrelenting Unconsecrated. These are rules Mary and her village have lived by for years. Mary lives with her mother, who is half crazy from the loss of Mary’s father, and her brother is married, but lives close by. How do people survive after an apocalypse, how does civilization cope for generations and what stories are passed down? Will Mary follow her heart and find meaning in life beyond mere existence?The Scorch Trials
by James Dashner
- Thomas has survived the horrors of the Maze and is now subjected to another trials, that of the Scorch. He toils across the hot desert with the remainder of the Gladers. The earth is a wasteland, baked earth burnt by sun flares and peopled by Cranks, insanely infectiously ill humans with festering wounds. With ominous tattoos applied while they sleep, and in company with another group of females, they struggle to reach a safe haven in the allotted two weeks. Why has WICKED subjected them to this? If you enjoyed The Hunger Games, try this!Trapped
by Michael Northrop
- How long do you think seven teens can last trapped in their high school during the worst blizzard ever?NonfictionThe Lo-down
by Lo Bosworth
- Dating advice, dating mistakes, fun date ideas, relationship pitfalls, believing in yourself, and even recipes! Lo Bosworth from Laguna Beach
and The Hill
, gives her views from her dating experiences and tips on how to land the perfect date.
February Recommendations for Adults
by Bernice L. McFadden - "McFadden, in her powerful seventh novel, tells the story of Easter Bartlett as she journeys from the violent Jim Crow South to the promise of the Harlem Renaissance and the civil rights movement. Along the way, Easter forms relationships with both products of McFadden's imagination and actual historical figures: Rain, the sensuous and passionate dancer in Slocum's Traveling Brigade, a troupe that traveled the backwoods entertaining negroes; Colin, Easter's husband, who is provoked by a duplicitous friend into assassinating the Universal Negro Improvement Association leader, Marcus Garvey; Meredith, Easter's untrustworthy benefactor; and many more, including poet Langston Hughes, pianist Fats Waller, and shipping heiress Nancy Cunard. McFadden (Sugar) weaves rich historical detail with Easter's struggle to find peace in a racially polarized country, and she brings Harlem to astounding life: The air up there, up south, up in Harlem, was sticky sweet and peppered with perfume, sweat, sex, curry, salt meat, sautéed chicken livers, and fresh baked breads. Easter's hope for love to overthrow hate—and her intense exposure to both—cogently stands for America's potential, and McFadden's novel is a triumphant portrayal of the ongoing quest." (May 2010, Publisher’s Weekly.)
Some Sing, Some Cry by Ntozake Shange and Ifa Bayeza
- "Novelist Shange teams up with her award-winning playwright sister Bayeza in this 200 year historical saga of African American life. In its riveting dramatization of the promise of emancipation, the brutality of Reconstruction, the baroque cruelty of the Jim Crow era, all the way to the possibilities of the digital age, this bittersweet tale of seven generations in a family of mixed blood and musical genius weaves together essential historical facts and profound emotional truths. The postbellum exodus of Betty, a woman of spiritual powers, from a decimated South Carolina plantation––where she endured a tragic entanglement with the owner and gave life to children of unusual beauty, talent, and determination—launches this engrossing novel. Each character is magnetizing––from Betty to her ambitious daughter Eudora to her renegade daughter Lizzie to brave Osceola to Cinnamon, Tokyo, and Liberty. Each setting, from Charleston to Harlem, is brilliantly realized, and each social convulsion, most strikingly the violence against black veterans of WWI, is intimately illuminated, while anguished conflicts erupt between men and women in shattering microcosms of larger societal crimes. With music as a sustaining force, Shange and Bayeza's epic of courage, improvisation, and transcendence is glorious in its scope, lyricism, and spectrum of yearnings, convictions, and triumphs." –review by Donna Seaman, Booklist
.Sweetsmoke: A Novel of the Civil War
by David Fuller
- The year is 1862, and the Civil War rages through the South. On a Virginia tobacco planation, another kind of battle soon begins. There, Cassius Howard, a skilled carpenter and slave, risks everything to learn the truth concerning the murder of Emoline, a freed black woman, a woman who secretly taught him to read and once saved his life. Cassius seeks answers and braves horrific dangers to escape the plantation and avenge her death. With subtlety and beauty, Fuller captures the daily indignities and harrowing losses suffered by slaves, the turmoil of a country waging countless wars within its own borders, and the lives of those people fighting for identity, for salvation, and for freedom.Wench
by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
- Based on a little known footnote of history, this wholly original debut novel follows the lives of four slave women whose masters who bring them to Tawawa House for summer vacation. In many respects, Tawawa House is like any other American resort before the Civil War. Offering natural mineral springs and situated in Ohio, this idyllic retreat is particularly nice in the summer when the Southern humidity is too much to bear. The main building, with its luxurious finishes, is loftier than the white cottages that flank it, but then again, the smaller structures are better positioned to catch any breeze that may come off the pond. And they provide more privacy, which best suits the needs of the Southern white men who vacation there every summer with their black, enslaved mistresses. It's their open secret.
Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet are regulars at Tawawa House. They have become friends over the years as they reunite and share developments in their own lives and on their respective plantations. They don't bother too much with questions of freedom, though the resort is situated in free territory–but when truth-telling Mawu comes to the resort and starts talking of running away, things change. To run is to leave behind everything these women value most–friends and families still down South–and for some it also means escaping from the emotional and psychological bonds that bind them to their masters. When a fire on the resort sets off a string of tragedies, the women of Tawawa House soon learn that triumph and dehumanization are inseparable and that love exists even in the most inhuman, brutal of circumstances–all while they are bearing witness to the end of an era.NonfictionChildren of Fire: A History of African Americans
by Thomas C. Holt
- The title is taken from a sermon by a 17th century Brazilian priest in which he likens the "mark of slavery" with God’s fire; a fire that brands the body as the condition it confers illuminates the soul. Starting with the moment the first twenty African slaves were sold at Jamestown in the summer of 1619, each chapter focuses on a generation of individuals who shaped the course of American history. Many familiar faces grace these pages but so do some overlooked ones. All struggled for a better life against and within a legal and social system designed to prevent that from happening. Written with compassion for the human suffering that has driven one of the great social movements of American history, Holt has created a history that embraces the historical experience of black intellectuals and ordinary folk.The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires
by Tim Wu
- In this age of an open Internet, it is easy to forget that every American information industry, beginning with the telephone, has eventually been taken captive by some ruthless monopoly or cartel. With all our media now traveling a single network, an unprecedented potential is building for centralized control over what Americans see and hear. Could history repeat itself with the next industrial consolidation? Could the Internet—the entire flow of American information—come to be ruled by one corporate leviathan in possession of "the master switch"? That is the big question of Tim Wu’s pathbreaking book.
As Wu’s sweeping history shows, each of the new media of the twentieth century—radio, telephone, television, and film—was born free and open. Each invited unrestricted use and enterprising experiment until some would-be mogul battled his way to total domination. Here are stories of an uncommon will to power, the power over information: Adolph Zukor, who took a technology once used as commonly as YouTube is today and made it the exclusive prerogative of a kingdom called Hollywood . . . NBC’s founder, David Sarnoff, who, to save his broadcast empire from disruptive visionaries, bullied one inventor (of electronic television) into alcoholic despair and another (this one of FM radio, and his boyhood friend) into suicide . . . And foremost, Theodore Vail, founder of the Bell System, the greatest information empire of all time, and a capitalist whose faith in Soviet-style central planning set the course of every information industry thereafter.
Explaining how invention begets industry and industry begets empire—a progress often blessed by government, typically with stifling consequences for free expression and technical innovation alike—Wu identifies a time-honored pattern in the maneuvers of today’s great information powers: Apple, Google, and an eerily resurgent AT&T. A battle royal looms for the Internet’s future, and with almost every aspect of our lives now dependent on that network, this is one war we dare not tune out.
Part industrial exposé, part meditation on what freedom requires in the information age, The Master Switch
is a stirring illumination of a drama that has played out over decades in the shadows of our national life and now culminates with terrifying implications for our future.Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures
by Robert K. Wittman with John Shiffman
- Robert K. Wittman, the founder of the FBI’s Art Crime Team, pulls back the curtain on his remarkable career for the first time, offering a real-life international thriller to rival The Thomas Crown Affair
. In this page-turning memoir, Wittman fascinates with the stories behind his recoveries of priceless art and antiquities: the Rodin sculpture that inspired the Impressionist movement; the headdress Geronimo wore at his final Pow-Wow; and the rare Civil War battle flag carried into battle by one of the nation’s first African-American regiments. Wittman devised the strategy for recovering an original copy of the Bill of Rights and cracked the scam that rocked the PBS series Antiques Roadshow
. In his final case, Wittman called on every bit of knowledge and experience in his arsenal to take on his greatest challenge. Working undercover to track the vicious criminals behind what might be the most audacious art theft of all: the heist of paintings worth over $300 million dollars from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.Say It Loud: Great Speeches on Civil Rights and African American Identity edited by Catherine Ellis and Stephen Drury Smith - "Following Say It Plain (2005), the highly acclaimed anthology of African American political speech of the past century, this collection offers speeches reflecting changes in black identity from 1960 to the present and the continued struggle for equal rights. Each of the 23 speeches is preceded by a biographical sketch of the speaker and the historical context for the speech. The collection begins with Malcolm X in 1964 addressing a Detroit Baptist church, warning of the thinning patience of black Americans longing for racial justice. It includes Martin Luther King Jr. in 1967 at a Southern Christian Leadership Conference convention steering the leadership toward economics and Henry Louis Gates Jr. in 2004 speaking on the eve of the release of his PBS project America Beyond the Color Line. The collection ends with candidate Barack Obama in 2008 addressing, for the first time in his campaign, the thorny issue of race. An accompanying CD offers a chance to hear excerpts from most of the speeches, which collectively provide a sweeping perspective on evolving issues of black identity in the struggle for equality." --Vanessa Bush, Booklist.
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