RAYE OF LIGHT: JIMMY RAYE, DUFFY DAUGHERTY, THE INTEGRATION OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL, AND THE 1965-66 MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS by Tom Shanahan

lightIn 1964, Jimmy Raye came from a segregated high school in North Carolina to play quarterback for Michigan State. Just a few years later, he was playing to a national TV audience in the Rose Bowl and later led the Spartans to a share in a national championship before moving on to a career playing and coaching in the NFL. In his foreword, former NFL coach Tony Dungy credits Raye for opening doors for him and other African American players and coaches.

 

Shanahan uses Raye and the 1965-66 Michigan State football program as a jumping off point to explore racism and sport in this book. It is a story bigger than just one player or team, but he chose to focus on the Spartans because head coach Duffy Daugherty actively recruited Southern black players at a time when the major college football programs in the South were still all-white. In the mid-1960’s, when civil rights couldn’t be taken for granted, Michigan State fielded fully integrated teams that won big and helped change the face of college sports forever.

 

Reviewed by Lynn Heitkamp

GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins

Some are comparing it to Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window; others are comparing it to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl; I think it deserves to stand on its own. Rachel Watson travels the same train line every day. As she nears a particular strip of homes, she cannot make herself turn away from the daily rituals and relationships she watches unfold from a distance. We soon learn that part of Rachel’s draw to these homes has to do with her former life and her ex-husband. Wafting in and out of reality, Rachel fights many of her own demons daily, but soon finds herself fighting for the truth. What exactly did Rachel see and what does it mean? This book follows the lives of three women (Rachel, Megan, and Anna), weaving a web that binds them together in life . . . and in death. This chiller will keep you turning pages until the wee hours of the morning.

 

Reviewed by Jennifertrain Harden

FOOTSTEPS IN THE SNOW by Charles Lachman

Sycamore, Illinois in December 1957 was the quintessential Midwest small town. It was safe, secure, happy, and full of “Father Knows Best” families. In Sycamore no one locked the doors, and it was commonplace for children to go outside to play with friends. Commonplace, that is, until 7-year old Maria Ridulph simply vanished from her own street while her friend, Kathy, had gone inside to get her mittens. The town was galvanized into action. The men formed search teams and combed the area with guns and dogs, wives and mothers made coffee and sandwiches for them, and children were swept up and into the safety of families who would never see life quite the same way again. And after all the searching, the only clues seemed to be Kathy’s account of meeting a friendly man named Johnny, Maria’s doll, found in a neighboring yard, and some mysterious footsteps in the snow.

5 months later, in Galena, Illinois (some 120 miles from Sycamore), mushroom hunters came across the decomposed body of a small child who was determined to be Maria. Despite the efforts of the Illinois State Police, the case remained unsolved, and went cold for the next 55 years. The break in the case finally came via a startling deathbed statement which resulted in an eventual arrest and conviction.

Lachman has done a masterful job of bringing this true story alive. Sycamore is vivid, and so are the inhabitants of the town and all involved in the search for Maria’s killer. Footsteps in the Snow is riveting and highly recommended for true crime fans.

Reviewed by Kate Tesdellsteps

AND THE WINNER IS…

The Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:

 

Winner

 

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend illustrated and written by Dan Santat

 

Honor Books

 

Nana in the City illustrated and written by Lauren Castillo

 

The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds on Kandinsky’s Abstract Art illustrated by Mary GrandPre and written by Barb Rosenstock

 

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole illustrated by Jon Klassen and written by Mac Barnett

 

Viva Frieda illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales

 

The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus illustrated by Melissa Sweet and written by Jen Bryant

 

This One Summer illustrated by Jillian Tamaki and written by Mariko Tamaki

 

 

The John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:

 

Winner

 

The Crossover written by Kwame Alexander

 

Honor Books

 

El Deafo written and illustrated by Cece Bell

 

Brown Girl Dreaming written by Jacqueline Woodson

AND THE WINNER IS … (PT. II)

The Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author of outstanding books for children and young adults:

 

Author Winner

 

Brown Girl Dreaming written by Jacqueline Woodson

 

Honor Books

 

The Crossover written by Kwame Alexander

 

How I Discovered Poetry written by Marilyn Nelson

 

How It Went Down written by Kekla Magoon (for teen readers)

 

 

The Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award recognizing an African American illustrator of outstanding books for children:

 

Illustrator Winner

 

Firebird illustrated by Christopher Myers and written Misty Copeland

 

Honor Books

 

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker illustrated by Christian Robinson and written by Patricia Hruby Powell

 

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone illustrated by Frank Morrison and written by Katheryn Russell-Brown

 

 

The Pura Belpre (Author) Award honoring Latino authors whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience:

 

Winner

 

I Lived on Butterfly Hill written by Marjorie Agostin

 

Honor Book

 

Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes written by Juan Felipe Herrera

 

 

The Pura Belpre (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:

 

Winner

 

Viva Frida illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales

 

Honor Books

 

Little Roja Riding Hood illustrated by Susan Guevara and written by Susan Middleton Elya

 

Green Is a Chile Pepper illustrated by John Parra and written by Roseanne Greenfield Thong

 

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh

AND THE WINNER IS … (PT III)

The Theodore Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book:

 

Winner

 

You Are (Not) Small written by Anna Kang and illustrated by Christopher Weyant

 

Honor Books

 

Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Arthur Howard

 

Waiting Is Not Easy written and illustrated by Mo Willems

 

 

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children:

 

Winner

 

The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus written by Jen Bryant

 

Honor Books

 

Brown Girl Dreaming written by Jacqueline Woodson

 

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, & the Fall of Imperial Russia written by Candace Fleming

 

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker written by Patricia Hruby Powell and illustrated by Christian Robinson

 

Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands written and illustrated by Katherine Roy

 

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

GOLDEN SON: BOOK 2 OF THE RED RISING TRILOGY by Pierce Brown

goldenIn a future where mankind has spread to inhabit the moons and planets of our solar system, humans are divided into castes designated by color: from Reds, who mine beneath the surface of Mars, up to Golds, the super-humans who lead the entire society. In Pierce Brown’s Red Rising we met Darrow, a smart and tough Red who, after his young wife is murdered by Mars’ leader, agrees to be transformed into a Gold in order to bring down the caste system from within. Darrow successfully navigates the challenges of the Golds’ brutal Institute then, in Golden Son, launches into his adult life. Quickly thrown into politics and intrigue at the highest level, Darrow begins to emerge as the leader the lower castes desperately need. Golden Son is a high action page turner that is nearly impossible to put down, with a doozy of a cliffhanger ending and non-stop twists and turns throughout. Darrow is a complex and intelligent character, and he is surrounded by a colorful cadre of friends and enemies. With all the ingredients of a first rate sci-fi classic, Golden Son manages to be the rare book that improves upon its predecessor.
Reviewed by Beth Hale

BEAUTIFUL RUINS by Jess Walter

This is a novel overflowing with movement through place and time. From Italy to Scotland to Hollywood via 1962 to present day, Walter’s novel crosses decades, continents and genres to bring the reader a delightful tale of love, frustration, greed and patience. Captivating characters like the love-stricken Italian innkeeper, Pasquale Tursi; scorned young actress, Dee Moray; and impassioned film assistant, Claire Silver capture the heart and exotic locales fill the senses with the salty breezes of the Ligurian Sea and the chilling grittiness of urban Edinburgh. The joy and heartbreak of acting, writing, and producing works of art are humorously yet tenderly conveyed in this enchanting tale. Even Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor are players in this plot. Beautiful Ruins is an excellent read for a cold winter day or a day lazing at the beach.
Neica Deyruin

2014 BOSTON GLOBE-HORN BOOK AWARDS

Nonfiction Winner

 

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin

(for grades 7 and up)

 

 

Nonfiction Honor Books

 

The Animal Book: A Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest – and Most Surprising – Animals on Earth by Steve Jenkins

 

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell

 

 

Picture Book Winner

 

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

 

 

Picture Book Honor Books

 

Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty

 

Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST BOOKS OF 2014

Picture Books

 

Aylesworth, Jim          My Grandfather’s Clock

 

Barton, Byron             My Bus

 

Beebe, Katy                Brother Hugo and the Bear

 

Blackall, Sophie          The Baby Tree

 

Browne, Anthony       What If…?

 

Cole, Henry                 Big Bug

 

Cox, Lynne                 Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas

 

Dolan, Elys                 Weasels

 

Frazee, Marla              The Farmer and the Clown

 

Gay, Marie-Louise      Any Questions?

 

Jeffers, Oliver             Once Upon an Alphabet

 

MacLachlan, Patricia  The Iridescence of Birds

 

Morales, Yuyi             Viva Frida

 

Soman, David             Three Bears in a Boat

 

Tan, Shaun                  Rules of Summer

 

 

Fiction

 

Alexander, Kwame     The Crossover

 

Auxier, Jonathan         The Night Gardener

 

Bell, Cece                    El Deafo

 

Ehrlich, Esther            Nest

 

Foxlee, Karen              Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

 

Lagercrantz, Rose       My Heart is Laughing

 

Martin, Ann M.           Rain Reign

 

Oppel, Kenneth           The Boundless

 

Pinkney, Andrea D.    The Red Pencil

 

Preus, Margi                West of the Moon

 

Rundell, Katherine      Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms

 

Telgemeier, Raina       Sisters

 

Wiles, Deborah           Revolution

 

 

Nonfiction

 

Bryant, Jen                  The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus

 

Ehlert, Lois                 The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life

 

Fleischman, Paul         Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines

 

Janeczko, Paul B.        Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems

 

Jarrow, Gail                 Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat

 

Jenkins, Steve             Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World

 

Johnson, Angela          All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom

 

Neri, G.                       Hello, I’m Johnny Cash

 

Powell, Patricia H.      Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker

 

Roy, Katherine            Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s

Farallon Islands

 

Russell-Brown, Katheryn       Little Melba and Her Big Trombone

 

Sheinkin, Steve           The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights

(for grade 7 and up)

 

Sidman, Joyce             Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold

 

Sis, Peter                     The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

Sisson, Stephanie R.   Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos

 

Tonatiuh, Duncan       Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for

Desegregation

 

Woodson, Jacqueline  Brown Girl Dreaming

BOOKLIST 2014 EDITORS’ CHOICE

Nonfiction for Middle Readers

 

At Home in Her Tomb: Lady Dai and the Ancient Chinese Treasures of Mawangdui by Christine Liu-Perkins

 

Beetle Busters by Loree Griffin Burns

 

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

 

Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi by Susan Goldman Rubin

 

The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupery by Peter Sis

 

 

Nonfiction for Young Readers

 

Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm

 

Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems by Paul B. Janeczko

 

The Iridescence of Birds: A Book about Henri Matisse by Patricia MacLachlan

 

The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant

 

Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes by Nicola Davies

 

 

Fiction for Middle Readers

 

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel

 

The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett

 

Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle by George Hagen

 

Half a World Away by Cynthia Kadohata

 

The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos

 

The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis

 

The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis

 

The Promise by Nicola Davies

 

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

 

West of the Moon by Margi Preus

 

The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud

 

 

Fiction for Young Readers

 

Bad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood

 

Blizzard by John Rocco

 

Blue on Blue by Dianne White

 

Hermelin the Mouse Detective by Mini Grey

 

The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc

 

One Big Pair of Underwear by Laura Gehl

 

Picnic by John Burningham

 

This is a Moose by Richard T. Morris

 

When Aunt Mattie Got Her Wings by Petra Mathers

BEAUTIFUL RUINS by Jess Walter

This is a novel overflowing with movement through place and time. From Italy to Scotland to Hollywood via 1962 to present day, Walter’s novel crosses decades, continents and genres to bring the reader a delightful tale of love, frustration, greed and patience. Captivating characters like the love-stricken Italian innkeeper, Pasquale Tursi; scorned young actress, Dee Moray; and impassioned film assistant, Claire Silver capture the heart and exotic locales fill the senses with the salty breezes of the Ligurian Sea and the chilling grittiness of urban Edinburgh. The joy and heartbreak of acting, writing, and producing works of art are humorously yet tenderly conveyed in this enchanting tale. Even Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor are players in this plot. Beautiful Ruins is an excellent read for a cold winter day or a day lazing at the beach.

Reviewed by Neica Deyruin

THE FORGIVEN by Marta Perry

This is the first book in a new Amish series by Marta Perry.  The story begins with three women, cousins, sorting through their grandmother’s attic to prepare her for a move.  One cousin, Rebecca,  happens upon a diary written by Anna, one of her ancestors.  Rebecca becomes entranced with this diary as she works through tragedy and struggle in her own life.  Anna waits for word from her beloved who has gone off to serve in the war while Rebecca morns the death of her husband and faces challenges of keeping his dream alive.  The story goes back and forth between Rebecca’s life and the life of Anna seamlessly.  Both women need to draw on their own strength, faith and courage to get through this time in their life.   Will love prevail?  I am looking forward to the next book of this series.

 

Reviewed by Brenda Rodammerperry

SAVING GRACE by Jane Green

graceGrace and Ted are a literary power-couple. Ted is a bestseller and Grace is a style icon and perfect wife-hosting parties and serving on the boards of charitable institutions. Life is perfect- at least from the outside looking in. Ted’s assistant has recently resigned and left Grace with more work than she can handle with her heavy volunteer schedule. Along comes Beth out of nowhere- the perfect person at the perfect time to help. She seems to be just what Grace needed…but something about her just isn’t setting well. Soon, Grace’s life begins to unravel and she needs to get to the bottom of what Beth’s true reason for being there is.

Reviewed by Kim White

A SUDDEN LIGHT by Garth Stein

A Sudden Light tells the story of a lumber baron’s family and the mansion they built in the late 1800’s. The house is almost a character with its many rooms, secret passages, and a ballroom on the third floor. The author, Garth Stein, even has a website with a drawing of the house and grounds. There is information on the themes of the book – including a real ghost story the author experienced while on a book tour. (See the site at: www.asuddenlight.com )
Trevor Riddell is fourteen the summer his parents decide on a trial separation. His father, Jones, has lost his job and house in rural Connecticut. He and Trevor travel to the Seattle area to return to the Riddell family mansion. Jones has not been there since his mother’s death when he was a teenager. Trevor has never met his Grandpa Samuel and Aunt Serena. He has never been told the family history. He discovers much through dreams, old diaries and journals, and even newspaper articles on microfilm at the library.
Reviewed by Fiona Swiftlight

THE FORGOTTEN SEAMSTRESS by Liz Trenow

The Forgotten Seamstress stitches past and present into a delightful tale about love in its various forms. When orphans Maria and Nora are selected to become seamstresses at Buckingham Palace, the best friends’ lives drastically change for the better. The royal household’s sewing room on the eve of King George V and Queen Mary’s coronation offers a purpose and importance previously only dreamed about, especially for Maria. However, an encounter with the captivating Prince of Wales leads Maria’s path to change yet again.
Generations later, Caroline Meadow’s intrigued by a verse embroidered the back of a quilt passed down to her from her grandmother. As her own life becomes increasingly complicated, Caroline surrenders to the lure of discovering the quilt’s secret past and what happened to Maria.
Told alternating between Maria and Caroline, Trenow reminds readers that there are many ways to preserve and pass on history.

Reviewed by Jennie Tuttlejennie

AMERICAN CRUCIFIXION: THE MURDER OF JOSEPH SMITH AND THE FATE OF THE MORMON CHURCH by Alex Beam

As influential as the founder of the Mormon faith was, journalist Alex Beam makes the case that Joseph Smith’s most significant role in history was that of a martyr. No one was ever convicted of his murder – which happened at the hands of a mob in broad daylight – but the repercussions of it were felt well into the 20th Century, if not right up to the present.

Beam places Smith’s life squarely in the context of the Second Great Awakening, a time of intense religious fervor throughout the country. The charismatic leader published the Book of Mormon in 1830 and made many converts to his new church in the following years, but the Mormons were driven out of Ohio and Missouri because of their unconventional beliefs. Eventually, they settled the town of Nauvoo, Illinois – which, for a time, had a Mormon population that rivaled the size of the new city of Chicago. Famous names like Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas figure into the narrative as Beam explores the rising influence of Smith’s followers on Illinois politics.

The death of the Mormon prophet in the spring of 1844 led many of Smith’s followers to set out for a land that was then outside the control of the United States. Their religion prospered in Utah without interference but Beam argues that, without the focus given by the events surrounding Smith’s death, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints might have followed many other 19th Century religious societies into extinction.

Reviewed by Lynn HeitkampLynn

LIAR TEMPTRESS SOLDIER SPY: FOUR WOMEN UNDERCOVER IN THE CIVIL WAR by Karen Abbott

Through an examination of the lives of four women spies who actively but secretly participated in fighting the Civil War, Abbott brings an entirely new dimension of understanding to this momentous era. Whether they relied on pillow talk to obtain the strategic secrets of the enemy, masqueraded as male and actually fought, or used whatever means at their disposal to pass along encrypted intelligence, these women made a huge impact on the war efforts of both the Union and the Confederacy.
At a time when women had no official political voice, and when the traditional female role was largely relegated to taking care of household affairs and having children, these women chose to take charge of their own lives and to fight for their beliefs by means far outside the societal norm.
Abbott brings each page alive in this rigorously researched and beautifully written book.
Reviewed by Kate Tesdellliar

EUPHORIA by Lily King

Loosely based on the life of Margaret Mead, Euphoria tells the story of Nell Stone, her husband Fen, and Andrew Bankson, anthropologists studying the native peoples along the Sepik River in New Guinea in the 1930’s who encounter each other at key points in their careers. Nell and Fen are recovering from a brutal encounter with the fierce Mumbanyo tribe, and Andrew, our narrator, is recovering from a period of depression that led to a failed suicide attempt. Meeting the dynamic couple breathes new life into Andrew, and when he introduces them to the peaceful, matriarchal Tam tribe he sets them all on a course of discovery, passion, exploration, obsession, and yes, brief moments of euphoria.

Beautifully written, powerful and earthy, with characters that stick with you long after you’ve finished reading, Euphoria is the best kind of historical novel: one that transports you in space and time, and makes you want to learn more about the real people who lived there.

Reviewed by Beth HaleHale

LISETTE’S LIST: A NOVEL by Susan Vreeland

For lovers of art, historical fiction, and France, Vreeland’s passionately written novel will satisfy on many levels. Covering a time frame from pre-World War II through the Nazi occupation of France and ultimately the collapse of the Axis, the story focuses on a young Parisian, Lissette Roux, her life in Paris and predominately in the rustic village of Roussillon in Provence.

Lisette and husband Andre are an endearing couple who must leave Paris for southern France to care for Andre’s ailing grandfather, Pascal. The heroine, who is passionate about art, fears that in the quiet French countryside she will never have the life of her dreams, to work in a Paris gallery. Little does Lisette know that in the pastoral Roussillon she will encounter magnificent works of art by Camille Pissarro, Paul Cezanne and Pablo Picasso owned by Pascal; and she will come to know the renowned Marc Chargal and wife Bella when they are hidden near her village by the French Resistance.

Lisette’s journey into womanhood is one of exquisite love, heartbreaking loss, danger, and risk-taking. Readers will find it one worth following.

Reviewed by Neica Dey

lissettes

Noteworthy & New

Celebrate African-American History Month

The Public Libraries of Saginaw is proud to be offering a number of free programs and book selections for the enjoyment of the entire Saginaw Community in celebration of African-American History Month. Click here for a printable copy of our programs and booklists.

Your Book, Your Community

This year, the Public Libraries of Saginaw wants you to tell us what your favorite book is. We’re calling this event Your Book, Your Community and we want to hear your voice. Throughout the winter and early spring, the Public Libraries of Saginaw will be offering all community members the chance to share what book changed their life and why. Children, tweens, teens, and adults . . . individuals and families . . . all members of our community . . . we invite you to take a moment to share your story on camera to be included in a video montage of community readers which will be shown at our April 18th event.

To share your story, we Invite you to drop in at the following locations:

Zauel Library on Monday, February 23rd anytime between Noon and 3 pm

Wickes Library on Monday, March 30th anytime between 2-5 pm

If you’re camera-shy, but want to leave written testimony for us to share, email Kim at Hoyt Library at kwhite@saginawlibrary.org or use #saginawlibrary on your social media post about your book.

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