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Friday, August 7, 2015

MLC Reads: August 7, 2015

It's book review day here at the Mississippi Library Commission. Here are our highlights:

Copperhead: Volume 1
written by Jay Faerber
illustrated by Scott Godlewski and Ron Riley
five stars

Copperhead follows single mom Clara Bronson as she begins her new job as sheriff on the planet Copperhead. Clara may be in over her head when she takes on hillbilly aliens (!) and a mysterious murder, but she finds an unlikely ally in her deputy Boo, who helps her along the way. Copperhead is a great sci-fi western that will spark readers' imaginations. The illustrations are vibrant and action packed. We can't wait for volume 2!

Half Bad: Book 1
written by Sally Green
five stars

Nathan lives in a world where white witches are good and black witches are bad, but he is both. Nathan is imprisoned because his father Marcus is the world's most terrifying black witch. Nathan has never met Marcus, though, and he's having doubts as to how terrible he really is. Either way, Nathan need Marcus' help; Marcus needs to give Nathan three gifts that will awaken his magical powers. Half Bad is a magical novel that questions the line drawn between good and evil. It's a quick read that hooks its readers from the first page. We can't wait to read book two in the series, Half Wild.

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell
written by Nadia Hashimi
five stars

What a beautiful, heartbreaking, affecting book! Not only were the cultural practices fascinating for us: the arranged marriages, bacha pash, etc..., but the subtle cultural nuances were also equally tantalizing: the proper forms of greeting, the interactions between the two sexes, the attitudes toward women, and so on. Add to these a gripping plot and unforgettable characters and you get a book that you just can't put down. If you like reading books about women in other cultures, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell is sure to steal your heart.

Marlene, Marlene, Queen of Mean
written by Jane Lynch, Lara Embry, and A. E. Mikesell
illustrated by Tricia Tusa
five stars

Oh, Marlene. Why are you such a huge bully?

Marlene has managed to build quite the reputation for herself. She picks on people constantly; there is no safe place to hide. Until one day, one kid questions the queen of the playground, and her world of tyranny comes tumbling down. Marlene is such a well-developed picture book character; we really enjoyed getting to know her. As she struggles to make a change for the better and slowly improves, the bullies and the bullied of the world will understand and identify with her trouble behaving. A fun rhyming scheme and large, attractive illustrations make this 2016 Magnolia Award nominee a sure bet for the picture book set.

Devil in the Grove:
Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America
written by Gilbert King
five stars

Gilbert King's painstaking research provides an excellent portrait of the Groveland case. Thurgood Marshall is brought to life in the pages of this book, as well as the atrocities that occurred in Florida. Sobering and painful to read, but well worth the harrowing trip, we recommend this to anyone who wants to learn more about civil rights history.

These books are making their appearances on our bedside tables this week:
  • Freakboy
    written by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
  • Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
    written by Tom Franklin
  • Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch
    written by Anne Isaacs
    illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
  • The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
    written by Michael Pollan
  • Generation Why: Ms. Marvel, Volume 2
    written by G. Willow Wilson
    illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jacob Wyatt
Check in with us next Friday to read our reviews. As always, happy reading!

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