This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

Reviewed by Jayne S (Library Staff)

I love this author and his latest novel keeps me as one of his biggest fans!

This is a stand-alone book, not part of his Cork O’Connor series. It is set in 1932 northern Minnesota where two white orphan brothers, by chance, live at a horrific Indian training school.

Twelve-year-old Odie narrates with his goal to have a real home weaved throughout the book.

After a deadly crime is committed, the brothers, along with a mute Sioux boy and a little white girl, set out by canoe to escape the authorities and find Aunt Julia in St Louis.

Along the way they encounter the one-eyed pig scarer, a faith healer, a displaced family in a shanty town and other lost souls that are just trying to survive during the Great Depression.

This was a page turner for me. I needed to know how their journey concluded, but then was saddened when I finished, I want a sequel!

*****+ Five plus stars for this one, if you like historical fiction you will be enthralled.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC KRUEGER)

#TBT: 1964 & 1965

Popular Books Published in 1964 & 1965

1964:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory / Roald Dahl

Each of five children lucky enough to discover an entry ticket into Mr. Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory takes advantage of the situation in his own way. (J FIC / J PBK DAHL)

 

Harriet the Spy / Louise Fitzhugh

Eleven-year-old Harriet, who wants to be a writer, writes down everything she sees, but alienates her friends in the process. (J PBK FITZHUGH)

 

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden / Joanne Greenberg (Hannah Green, pen name)

Chronicles the three-year battle of a mentally ill, but perceptive, teenage girl against a world of her own creation, emphasizing her relationship with the doctor who gave her the ammunition of self-understanding with which to destroy that world of fantasy. (FIC GREEN, HANNAH)

 

Sometimes a Great Notion / Ken Kesey

The aggressive scion of an Oregon lumber empire struggles against the conformity of townspeople. (FIC KESEY)

 

The Giving Tree / Shel Silverstein

A young boy grows to manhood and old age experiencing the love and generosity of a tree which gives to him without thought of return. (J 811 SIL)

 

1965:

The Mouse and the Motorcycle / Beverly Cleary

A reckless young mouse named Ralph makes friends with a boy in room 215 of the Mountain View Inn and discovers the joys of motorcycling. (J FIC / J PBK CLEARY)

 

Over Sea, Under Stone / Susan Cooper

Three children on a holiday in Cornwall find an ancient manuscript which sends them on a dangerous quest for a grail that would reveal the true story of King Arthur. (J PBK COOPER)

 

The Man with the Golden Gun / Ian Fleming

Pitted against the sophisticated and deadly villain Scaramanga and his arch rival Hi Fat, Bond is assigned to recover a small piece of equipment which can be utilized to harness the sun’s energy. (FIC FLEMING)

 

Dune / Frank Herbert

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, this is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family, and bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream. (FIC HERBERT)

 

The Autobiography of Malcolm X / Malcolm X

The Black leader discusses his political philosophy and reveals details of his life, shedding light on the ideas that enabled him to gain the allegiance of a still growing percentage of the Black population. (921 MALCOLM X)

 

Did you know? The game show Jeopardy! debuted on NBC in 1964. 

The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman

Reviewed by Holly (Library Patron)

If you like Hallmark movies then this might be a read for you! It takes place in Germany during WWII. The author provides a very descriptive text. At first I thought the descriptions were too much but as the plot emerged, the descriptions took a back seat. This story revolved around a romance between a Jewish boy and a German girl. They were both very young when they fell in love. Then history stepped in. Hitler rose in Germany and the characters lives were forever changed. The author weaves a story of endurance and persistence that is described from the varying perspectives of the young man and woman as they navigate thru the perils of this awful period. There are several times when things happen that you will find yourself saying, “what are the odds?” Keep reading…..the book is generally a good read, perhaps not that memorable.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Films in Focus: Dysfunctional Families

Dysfunctional Families: All of these movies feature dysfunctional families, just in time for Thanksgiving and dealing with your own family. Maybe you should watch these movies to feel better about the craziness in your own family!

August: Osage County (2013)

A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them. (DVD AUGUST)

 

Boyhood (2014)

The life of Mason, from early childhood to his arrival at college. (DVD BOYHOOD)

 

 

Captain Fantastic (2016)

In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent. (DVD CAPTAIN)

 

Death at a Funeral (2007)

Chaos ensues when a man tries to expose a dark secret regarding a recently deceased patriarch of a dysfunctional British family. (DVD DEATH)

 

Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus. (DVD LITTLE MISS)

 

Nebraska (2013)

An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize. (DVD NEBRASKA)

 

Parenthood (1989)

The Buckmans are a midwestern family all dealing with their lives: estranged relatives, raising children, pressures of the job, and learning to be a good parent and spouse. (DVD PARENTHOOD)

 

Rachel Getting Married (2008)

A young woman who has been in and out of rehab for the past ten years, returns home for the weekend for her sister’s wedding. (DVD RACHEL GETTING)

 

The Squid and the Whale (2005)

Follows two young boys dealing with their parents’ divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s. (DVD SQUID)

 

Terms of Endearment (1983)

Follows hard-to-please Aurora looking for love, and her daughter’s family problems. (DVD TERMS)

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

Reviewed by Jayne S (Library Staff)

This book was on all the good summer reading lists, so I was pulled in. It definitely was summer fluff, but set in an interesting time frame.

The book is told through Jessie, the thirteen year-old youngest child of a prominent Nantucket family. The family is coping with a son in Vietnam, a son-in-law who is deeply involved with the Man on the Moon mission and therefore ignoring his pregnant wife, and a middle daughter trying to find her way in a changing world. Adding to that is Jessie’s matriarch grandma, who dislikes Jessie’s Jewish father and Jessie’s mom who is drinking excessively to dull the fear for her son’s life.

It was an okay read, but I am not rushing to read more Hilderbrand titles. Just a two star review from me.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC HILDEBRAND)

Aladdin (2019)

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

I was apprehensive for the new live-action version of Aladdin, because I grew up with the classic animated film (I even had a stuffed Rajah!) But I love all things Disney, so I was willing to give the new movie version a chance. And while it was not as good as the original, it was an entertaining movie that captured the spirit of Aladdin.

My favorite part about this new version was the costumes; they were gorgeous! The bright colors and fabulous jewels created an amazing visual. The scenery was stunning as well, from the palace gardens to the busy street market, I was transported. The music and songs were good, but not as great as the original movie. However, I was glad that Jasmine got her own song to sing.

So while this movie is a step down from the original, I would still recommend watching it because the costumes and scenery are amazing, and it is enjoyable for nostalgic purposes.

Located in DVDs (DVD ALADDIN)

#TBT: 1937 & 1938

Popular Books Published in 1937 & 1938

1937:

Out of Africa / Isak Dinesen

In describing her experiences managing a coffee plantation in Kenya, the author provides insight into the nature of African life. (967.6 DIN)

 

To Have and Have Not / Ernest Hemingway

In an attempt to keep his family above water, Harry Morgan runs contraband rum shipments between Cuba and Key West during the 1930s, in a humorous tale that also follows an unlikely love affair. (FIC HEMINGWAY)

 

Their Eyes Were Watching God / Zora Neale Hurston

When Janie Starks returns home, she seeks identity and independence as the small southern black community buzzes with gossip about the outcome of her affair with a younger man. (FIC HURSTON)

 

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street / Dr. Seuss

A boy imagines a series of incredible sights on his way home from school so that he will have an interesting report to give his father. (E SEUSS)

 

Of Mice and Men / John Steinbeck

The tragic story of two itinerant ranch hands on the run–one is the lifelong companion to the other, a developmentally disabled man. (FIC STEINBECK)

 

The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again / J.R.R. Tolkien

Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well-to-do hobbit, lives comfortably in his hobbit-hole until the day the wandering wizard Gandalf chooses him to take part in an adventure from which he may never return. (FIC / TEEN FIC/ J FIC TOLKIEN)

 

On the Banks of Plum Creek / Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura and her family move to Minnesota where they live in a dugout until a new house is built and face misfortunes caused by flood, blizzard, and grasshoppers. (J FIC / J PBK WILDER)

 

1938:

Mr. Popper’s Penguins / Richard and Florence Atwater

The unexpected delivery of a large crate containing an Antarctic penguin changes the life and fortunes of Mr. Popper, a house painter obsessed by dreams of the Polar regions. (J FIC / J PBK ATWATER)

 

Rebecca / Daphne Du Maurier

A classic novel of romantic suspense finds the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter entering the home of her mysterious and enigmatic new husband and learning the story of the house’s first mistress, to whom the sinister housekeeper is unnaturally devoted. (FIC DU MAURIER)

 

Our Town / Thornton Wilder

Our Town is a 1938 metatheatrical three-act play by American playwright Thornton Wilder. It tells the story of the fictional American small town of Grover’s Corners between 1901 and 1913 through the everyday lives of its citizens. (812.52 WIL)

 

Did you know? The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco opened in 1937. 

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Reviewed by Jayne S (Library Staff)

“This was a time consuming read – a lot of dates, people and events to learn about, but at the end I was happy that I persevered.

Michelle gave insight on what growing up in south side Chicago was like and how her close-knit family contributed to her success.

As a single woman, she quit her high-paying law firm position and took government jobs that helped women and minorities in her hometown.

After marrying Barack and being thrust unwillingly into politics, she continued her quest to do what she could to make things better. She learned some hard lessons campaigning for her husband on how her every word and body language could be interpreted incorrectly with devastating results.

But what I got most from this book is her love and devotion to her family. She did everything she could to raise her daughters to be strong, caring young ladies, while living in the White House fishbowl.

No matter what you thought of the Obama Presidency, Michelle Obama is a remarkable woman. I recommend this book.

Located in Nonfiction (921 OBAMA)

Films in Focus: Shopping Scenes

Shopping Scenes: With Black Friday right around the corner, here are some movies that have classic shopping scenes in them. Watch them to get prepared for the shopping frenzy!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building, but her past threatens to get in the way. (DVD BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S)

 

Clueless (1995)

A rich high school student tries to boost a new pupil’s popularity, but reckons without affairs of the heart getting in the way. (DVD CLUELESS)

 

Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)

A middle-aged husband’s life changes dramatically when his wife asks him for a divorce. He seeks to rediscover his manhood with the help of a newfound friend, Jacob, learning to pick up girls at bars. (DVD CRAZY STUPID)

 

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

A smart but sensible new graduate lands a job as an assistant to Miranda Priestly, the demanding editor-in-chief of a high fashion magazine. (DVD DEVIL)

 

Drive Me Crazy (1999)

Nicole and Chase used to be BFFs, then junior high happened. The high school centennial dance is coming but Nicole gets dumped. So does Chase. They stage a relationship to get at their exes. They visit each other’s worlds. Love in the air? (DVD DRIVE ME CRAZY)

 

Enchanted (2007)

A young maiden in a land called Andalasia, who is prepared to be wed, is sent away to New York City by an evil queen, where she falls in love with a lawyer. (DVD ENCHANTED)

 

Mean Girls (2004)

Cady Heron is a hit with The Plastics, the A-list girl clique at her new school, until she makes the mistake of falling for Aaron Samuels, the ex-boyfriend of alpha Plastic Regina George. (DVD MEAN)

 

Pretty Woman (1990)

A man in a legal but hurtful business needs an escort for some social events, and hires a beautiful prostitute he meets… only to fall in love. (DVD PRETTY WOMAN)

 

27 Dresses (2008)

After serving as a bridesmaid 27 times, a young woman wrestles with the idea of standing by her sister’s side as her sibling marries the man she’s secretly in love with. (DVD TWENTY-SEVEN)

 

What Women Want (2000)

After an accident, a chauvinistic executive gains the ability to hear what women are really thinking. (DVD WHAT)

 

A Moment Comes by Jennifer Bradbury

Reviewed by Kelsey (Library Staff)

What begins as the story of forbidden crushes quickly becomes one full of tension and religious conflict. Told from three distinct points of view; Tariq, a Muslim boy with dreams of leaving India to attend Oxford; Anupreet, a Sikh girl, whose recent facial scar is an everyday reminder of the violence that permeates her life; and Margaret, an English girl, temporarily living in India with her parents while her father determines the line that will divide India in two. The upcoming partition of India has tensions between Muslims and Sikhs at an explosive level. Forced to decide whether to follow the expectations of their families and society, or do what they think is right, each character has tough decisions to make. When an old acquaintance draws Tariq unknowingly into the violence between the Sikhs and Muslims, the three teens must decide if their differences are too great to overcome, or if they will help each other in the end.

This fictional portrayal of an important time in India’s history gives readers a look at the adversity faced by those living in India during this volatile period. Though the love triangle comes into play throughout the story, the real draw of this book is Bradbury’s descriptive writing that takes us into the mind of each character and gives us a brief glimpse of what it was like to be a teenager living on the edge of danger. A great read that I recommend for teens ages 14 and up.

Available through the Bridges Library System