Fabulous Fiction Firsts #542 - "Fiction and poetry are doses, medicines. What they heal is the rupture reality makes on the imagination." ~ Jeanette Winterson

What a joy it is to meander the waterways through the heart of France with The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, the first English translation for a bestselling German author.

Fifty year-old Monsieur Perdu watches over the other inhabitants of 27 Rue Montagnard. By day, he runs a literary apothecary on a floating barge docked along the Seine, prescribing appropriate books to (mostly willing) customers for the myriad of ailments and hardships of life. His intuition and profound knowledge of books serves him well, mending broken heart and souls, except for his own.

For twenty years he refuses to open the letter left for him by Manon, the love of his life, until the chance encounter with a new tenant stirs up emotions long buried within. Once he reads the letter, the devastating contents compel him to haul anchor, take the bookstore barge on a trip upriver to Avignon, in search of closure and forgiveness - but not before taking on an uninvited guest. His neighbor Max Jordan, a young American author with severe writer's block, is looking for fresh ideas and the perfect story, and is in need of a sanctuary from over-zealous paparazzi and adoring fans.

"The two navigate the canals of France trading books for food (The Enchanted April to a baker's daughter, and the latest John Irving to a lockkeeper's wife), engaging in adventures small and large, all against the backdrop of quaint villages and bittersweet memories."

"A charming novel that believes in the healing properties of fiction, romance, and a summer in the south of France." All aboard.

For those who enjoyed The Storied life of A. J. Fikry by Gabirelle Zevin, and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.

2015 Eisner Award Winners!!!!!

This past weekend the 27th Eisner Awards were handed out, and it was quite a year with lots of artists and works getting multiple wins!

Lumberjanes (which if you've been following the blogs got a mention on here a few weeks ago) took home 2 awards; Best New Series and Best Publication for Teens (13-17)

Saga took home 2 awards as well; Best Continuing Series and Best Penciler/Inker for Fiona Staples

Little Nemo took home 4 awards. 1 for the Complete Little Nemo; Best Archival Collection/ Project. 1 for Little Nemo Return to Slumberland; Best Limited Series. 2 for the collection Little Nemo Dream Another Dream.

The Zoo Box won Best Publication for Early Readers up to 7 years.

Hip Hop Family Tree vol 2 won Best Reality-Based work.

This One Summer won Best Graphic Album- New.

Through the Woods won Best Graphic Album- Reprint

Blacksad: Amarillo won Best US Edition of International Material

Showa: A History of Japan 1939-1944 and Showa: A History of Japan 1944-1953 won Best US Edition of International Material- Asian

Gene Luen Yang won Best Writer

PreK Bits - "I" is for ice cream

Ms. Rachel brought ice cream and cake stories to Storytime .... because she likes ice cream and cake so much !!
“15 Flavors” is a story by Rob Reid. AADL staff created the felt pieces.
“Five Plum Buns” is a nursery rhyme.
WEMBERLY’S ICE CREAM STAR is a board book story by Kevin Henkes.

If you want more stories on this theme try the following favorites:
SHOULD I SHARE MY ICE CREAM? ... another ice cream dilemma.
ICE CREAM CONES FOR SALE and who invented the cone.
BECAUSE YOUR DADDY LOVES YOU. Yup! There's ice cream in this one too.
MAX’S DRAGON SHIRT a story of where ice cream sometimes ends up.
BACKWARDS BIRTHDAY PARTY which definitely has ice cream in it!
ICE CREAM a story of how ice cream is made.
The SUNDAE SCOOP, a book of ice cream math.
And Laurie Berkner sings "Ice Cream Cone" on her BUZZ BUZZ recording. She also sings, "I'm A Mess" for whenever it may be appropriate.
This should be enough inspiration for singing all the way to the ice cream shop... and back again.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #541 - “On my way out I was even going to shake his hand, but I remembered just in time that I'd killed a man." ~ Albert Camus, The Stranger

Algerian journalist Kamel Daoud's The Meursault Investigation * * is “(a) tour-de-force reimagining of Albert Camus's 1942 classic The Stranger, from the point of view of the mute Arab victims.” It won the Prix François Mauriac and the Prix des Cinq-Continents de la francophonie, and is a finalist for the Prix Goncourt. A feature film based on the novel is slated for release in 2017.

The narrator, Harun was the younger brother of “the Arab” killed by the infamous Meursault, the antihero of Camus’s classic novel. Seventy years after that event, Harun, who has lived since childhood in the shadow of his sibling’s memory, refuses to let him remain anonymous: he gives his brother a story and a name—Musa—and describes the events that led to Musa’s casual murder on a dazzlingly sunny beach.

Night after night, "(a)s Harun meditates on guilt, alienation, and his failed affair with Meriem, a university student, his quarrel is revealed to be not just with his mother and Meursault, but with post-Independence Algeria and God himself. Ultimately, Harun identifies more with his brother's killer than with his own zealous countrymen. "

"The novel…not only breathes new life into The Stranger; it also offers a bracing critique of post-colonial Algeria…" (The New York Times Magazine)

"Fiction with a strong moral edge."

”For its incandescence, its precision of phrase and description, and its cross-cultural significance, The Meursault Investigation is an instant classic.“ (The Guardian)

* * = 2 starred reviews

New Poetic Picture Books!

Look at these new books
All with poetry inside
Check them out for fun!

AADL recently added several fantastic poetry books to its youth collection! Check out these delightful titles:

Sweep Up the Sun by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder presents poetic text accompanied by exquisite photographs of North American birds. Count the feathers of a cardinal in flight and trace the white specks of a European starling. The back of the book shares even more information about each bird, including what they eat and where they live. Try pairing this one with AADL's Audubon BirdCam or Birdsong Scanning Wand!

Orangutanka, written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Renée Kurilla, follows the Japanese tanka poetry style. A family of orangutans happily interacts with its jungle surroundings and humans. Vibrant colors and flowing illustrations give the story movement and energy. The back of the book also offers facts about orangutans and resources for further exploration.

When the Wind Blows written by Stacy Clark and illustrated by Brad Sneed integrates science, nature, and art! Every page introduces high vocabulary that is also incorporated into the textured illustrations. This book is great for readers who frequently entertain the question of "Why?" and is sure to generate curiosity about magnetism, physics, and power sources!

Looking for even more poetry for young readers? Check out this list of Poetic Picture Books!

Teen Books on Film in July!

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is in theaters now, and is based on the book of the same title by Jesse Andrews. It tells the story of 17 year old Greg, who mainly spends his time being antisocial except for making films with his “friend” Earl until his mother forces him to befriend the girl down the street who was recently diagnosed with cancer. It sounds morbid, but it’s delightfully funny and Greg’s one-liners and views on the world are priceless. And Earl is just one of the funniest characters in teen lit. But then there is the whole girl-with-cancer thing that tugs on your sleeves. It’s not as sad as The Fault In Our Stars, but it’s definitely in the same “sick lit” vein.

Speaking of John Green, the film version of his novel Paper Towns hits theaters July 24 and there is so much buzz about it! In the story Margo arrives at Quentin’s window in disguise a month before graduation and drags him out on a night that ends up being a revenge mission against all those who did her wrong during high school. Soon afterwards Margo goes missing and Q follows clues to try to find out what happened to her. I’m really curious to see how this turns out on the big screen!

Both were good reads and recommended if you like realistic teen fiction.

EDIT: Paper Towns movie is now in the catalog!

Comics are Magic!

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (often abbreviated FiM) has taken the world by storm since it started on TV in 2010. If you're a fan of FiM, then you'll want to check up on all your pony friends in the My Little Pony comics! Keep up with Rarity, Applejack, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Twilight Sparkle as they have even more adventures in the magical land of Equestria.

Check out our newest issues, volume 6 and volume 7. In volume 6, Applejack, Fluttershy, and Rarity are headed to Manehatten to watch The Great and Powerful Trixie's magic show. But when Trixie is accused of stealing a diamond, it's up to the Ponyville Ponies, with the help of Babs Seed, to figure out if Trixie is being framed. Meanwhile, Angel, Winona, Tank, Owlicious, Opal, and Gummy are trying save Ponyville while Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, and the rest of the town's ponies have fallen under the hypnotic song of a kelpie! And finally, Discord decides to take Fluttershy and the Cutie Mark Crusaders on a trip through time (which is, of course, full of Doctor Who references) and show them some exotic animals, including the mysterious butterdragon.

In volume 7, the Mane Six are headed to Canter Creek to investigate the disappearance of Applejack's great granduncle Chili Pepper. Turns out a group of bull outlaws, the Cattle Rustlers, have been terrorizing the town and are trying to get Chili Pepper's ranch! The ponies have to come up with a plan to get rid of the bulls, all while Twilight refuses to use her magic against them. Then, leave the west behind and head back to Ponyville, where the Everfree Forest is taking over! Looks like there are more bull problems as Twilight and her friends clash with another bull who is trying to clear out the forest and build a theme park. Unfortunately, King Aspen, leader of the deer in the Everfree Forest, doesn't think the ponies can help and has decided to expand the forest right into Ponyville and Canterlot! Princess Twilight will have to stop the bull, protect Ponyville, and help the deer and ponies become friends again, before the forest takes over everything!

Whichever pony you prefer, be sure to read the rest of the library's My Little Pony comics.

Crossover Graphic Novels: Great for multiple ages!

There is something to be said for a good graphic novel that appeals to more than just its target age range. It takes a combination of great artwork and great story to make a graphic novel rise out of the ranks of its fellow titles and stand the test, if not of time then at least of readability. The following are titles that are great, not just if you happen to be the "right" age but also if you don't fit into that particular age range.

Bone by Jeff Smith is a great (and somewhat epic) tale about 3 characters who have been cast out of their home of Boneville. The story starts with Phoney Bone, Fone Bone and Smiley Bone stuck in a desert, unsure of where to go next. This is where the adventure gets kicked off. They find themselves lost in a world that they didn't know existed and thrust into an adventure that they probably didn't want. The catalog says it's youth but this series can be enjoyed by anyone of any age!
For ease of finding them I'm listing the books in order here (with links to the catalog of course)

Vol 1 Out From Boneville
Vol 2 The Great Cow Race
Vol 3 Eyes of the Storm
Vol 4 The Dragonslayer
Vol 5 Rock Jaw Master of the Eastern Border
Vol 6 Old Man's Cave
Vol 7 Ghost Circles
Vol 8 Treasure Hunter's
Vol 9 Crown of Horns

The next graphic novel series that is great for young and old alike is based on a hit cartoon network show Adventure Time The stand alone graphic novels and the volumes can (for the most part) be read in any order so jump right in.
For those of you who are not familiar with the show Adventure Time follows Finn and Jake, the last human on Ooo (what earth is renamed after a catastrophic explosion) and his shape-shifting dog Jake. The stories themselves are easy to read and enjoy but that doesn't mean that the overarching story of the series is not interesting. The creators manage to weave a very complex story into the seemingly simple stories. This series is great for young and old alike!

Also as a special non-graphic novel bonus you should check out the super secret (OK not that secret) travel guide to Ooo for under 20 Snails a day Adventure Time Destination Ooo

The YA Book Prize Award (UK) goes to...

Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neil won the YA Book Prize given in the UK for British and Irish writers of teen/YA fiction.

Only Ever Yours is O'Neil's first foray into teen fiction but don't let that make you think it's not excellent. The book follows 2 girls Freida and Isabel as they enter their final year "School" but of course this school is not the kind of school that we might go to, it is where all girls go to be trained to be perfect "companions" for powerful men. Frieda and Isabel have to stay in the top 10 most beautiful girls in their class to make sure that they are chosen by a powerful man and that they don't end up teaching more girls how to be "perfect" by being teachers in the school they grew up in.

This book really hits the subject of feminine beauty hard. It takes it apart, looks at it and puts it on display for all to see. It is a great book for anyone interested in dystopian stories that will keep you guessing where it's going. It has received much praise, and some criticism, for the subject of the book and it definitely deserves the praise it's been getting.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #540 - “Sensual pleasure passes and vanishes, but the friendship between us, the mutual confidence, the delight of the heart, the enchantment of the soul, these things do not perish and can never be destroyed.” ~ Voltaire

The Enchanted April (1922), a women's fiction classic by Elizabeth Von Arnim is transported a century forward and across oceans by children's author/publisher Brenda Bowen into Enchanted August, her debut novel for adults, and an invitation to get away from it all, if only for little while.

Hopewell Cottage
Little Lost Island, Maine.
Old, pretty cottage to rent on a small island.
Springwater, blueberries, sea glass.

When Lottie Wilkes and Rose Arbuthnot spotted this notice at their children's preschool bulletin board on a dreary spring morning, it seemed like a godsend, and a much needed break from relentless child-rearing demands and husband-troubles. To cover the steep rent, they invited two strangers - Caroline Dester, an indie actress in need of anonymity to nurse a very public humiliation; and elderly Beverly Fisher, who is not at all what they were expecting. If its not a perfect quartet, they were determined to make it work. That is, until the late-August blue moon, when real life and its complications made their way to this idyllic island.

"Bowen has conjured up a delightful and inviting island summer complete with all the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of Maine to create a feast for the senses." "A thoroughly pleasant summer read as breezy as the island itself."

Also suggested are: The Girls of August by Anne Rivers Siddons; Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan; Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews; and the latest from Jane Green - Summer Secrets.

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