FDL Reads: Monstress Volume 2

Cover image for Monstress vol. 2: The Blood by Marjorie M. Liu, Illustrated by Sana Takeda

Reviewed by: Susie Rivera, Reference Specialist

Genre: Graphic Novel – Fantasy

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: The story of Maika Halfwolf continues in this second installment of Monstress.   Joined by a talking cat and a child with a fox tail, 17-year-old Maika journeys to Thyria to uncover the mysteries surrounding her mother and the monster within her. The Monstrum, an ancient being with the power to destroy worlds, has a seemingly insatiable appetite for blood.  Maika tries to resist its urge to murder and eat people, while hoping to find a cure at the same time.  On her journey for answers, she meets new characters, including her goddessfather, Seizi, and the powerful Shaman Empress. We also learn more about the political turbulence between the Arcanic and Cumean societies while Maika’s own troubled childhood is revealed slowly through a few flashbacks.

My Review: Majorie Liu expands the universe she introduced in Volume 1, adding to the already impressive world-building of this steampunk fantasy.  The illustrations of the various settings and anthropomorphized characters are gorgeous as well as immersive. The reader is presented with a few answers, but there are still mysteries left unsolved such as the identity of Maika’s father and more about her past that will hopefully be explored in later volumes. I didn’t enjoy this volume as much as the first, but that is probably because the story is not over yet and I was left wanting more.   I’m sure the next installment will be worth the wait.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Mythical, Imaginative, Macabre

Give This a Try if You Like… Fantasy with extensive world-building, steampunk

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

Tax Form Update

Fondulac District Library received Notice 1437 (February 2018) from the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, “Information About Your Tax Forms.” 

The IRS is reviewing The Bipartisan Budget Act enacted on February 9, 2018, that retroactively extended and modified numerous tax provisions covering 2017. As most tax forms were printed for distribution prior to the signing of new legislation, we recognize this may impact some tax forms ordered. To ensure you have the latest version of the tax product, we strongly encourage you to visit IRS.gov for updates on the implementation of this law. Updated versions of tax forms will only be available on IRS.gov.

Please consider this information if you have IRS-printed federal tax forms as distributed at the library. The IRS will not be re-printing forms or redistributing them to the library. Contact 1-800-829-3676 for more information.

We’re hiring!

The library is now accepting applications for a part-time Library Page position. Please visit https://www.fondulaclibrary.org/about-us/jobs for more information.

FDL Reads: One for Sorrow

Cover image for One for Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn

Reviewed by: Elizabeth Anderson, Communications Assistant

Genre: Horror

Suggested Age: Tweens, Teens

What is the book about?: When Annie starts attending a new school, one of her classmates, an outcast named Elsie, claims her as her very best friend. Elsie is unusual, dishonest, and unpleasant. Annie is quick to extract herself from the relationship in order to fit in with the other girls in the class. When Elsie dies of the flu, her vengeful spirit possesses Annie, forces her to do her bidding, and does her best to claim Annie as her friend for always.

My Review: This story contains elements of Hahn’s flare for historical fiction as well as ghost stories. Set at the end of World War I, the book contains well integrated facts and details about the time period and the influenza epidemic. Hahn’s novels typically craft characters that are imperfect, but lovable. This novel was no exception when it came to the flawed aspects of the characters, but it struck me as one of her more extreme works in terms of the mean spiritedness and sometimes downright hateful and disrespectful behavior of the core group of characters. While I typically wince at a character’s mistake and continue to root for them, I found myself a bit detached from the characters in this book because none of them had many endearing qualities, nor did the events of the story seem to cultivate positive traits in a genuine way. This novel exchanges characterization for a fairly solid and eventful plot, however, so if a reader is more interested in the story itself than the characters, this book will not disappoint. While it is not a “scary” ghost story, it is a troubling narrative in terms of the cruelty and malice of the characters, as well as the frustrating and upsetting ramifications of Annie’s possession by Elsie’s ghost.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Hatefulness, insanity, illness

Give This a Try if You Like… The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall and Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn, and The Ghost of Ernie P. by Betty Ren Wright

Rating: 4/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

#FDL: Youth Media Awards 2018

ALA Youth Media Awards 2018

Last week was a big week. We had Galentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Fat Tuesday, and Ash Wednesday. The ALA (American Library Association) also announced their Youth Media Awards recipients, a pretty big deal in library land, and also a big deal for you who are interested in children’s and YA books. This is also a big deal for authors as new editions of their books are now released with one of the sweet medals showing they won on the cover. So, here are 2018’s Youth Media Awards, with links to library holdings. I have listed the major award winners only for the sake of brevity – to see all of the winners and honor books as well, click here.

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:
Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly – Four kids’ lives intertwine after a prank involving a guinea pig and a well. Will friendship triumph in this middle grade story of the perils of middle school life?

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:
Wolf in the Snow, illustrated and written by Matthew Cordell – A little girl and a wolf cub are both lost in the snaow. Can they help each other find their way home in this picture book?

Coretta Scott King Book Awards recognizing African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults:
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson, is the King Author Award winner – Jade needs to get out of her neighborhood if she’s going to succeed. She takes every opportunity she can, but some of those opportunities try to pigeonhole her into roles that don’t fit her at all.
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, is the King Illustrator Award winner – This is an anthology of poems celebrating great poets.

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour, is the 2018 Printz Award winner – Marin ran away from her old life. But now, 3000 miles away, she’s alone in her dorm during winter break and her best friend is coming to visit.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children:
The 2018 winner is Jacqueline Woodson, whose award-winning works include Brown Girl Dreaming, After Tupac & D Foster, Locomotion and Show Way.

Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults:
The 2018 winner is Angela Johnson. Her books include Heaven, Looking for Red, The First Part Last and Sweet, Hereafter.

Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States:
The Hate U Give, (link to audiobook) is the 2018 Odyssey Award winner. The book is written by Angie Thomas and narrated by Bahni Turpin – Star Carter is the only witness to her friend Khalil’s murder at the hands of a police officer. She now has to navigate life with pressure on all sides, trying to maintain peace in her community and her own safety and well being.

Stonewall Book Award–Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience:
Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert – Suzette comes home from boarding school and doesn’t think she ever wants to go back. Her friends and family are here, including her brother,who has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. But to complicate things, Suzette ends up falling for this amazing girl… the girl her brother loves.
The 57 Bus, written by Dashka Slater – Two teenagers from vastly different backgrounds spend 8 minutes together on the same bus. Their lives will never be the same.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished book for beginning readers is:
Charlie & Mouse, written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Emily Hughes – Two brothers spend the day together, doing awesome brother things.

William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens:
The Hate U Give by by Angie Thomas (link to printed book) (see description above)

Post by Carey Gibbons, Reference Specialist

About #FDL

Welcome to #FDL! #FDL is a twice weekly update on all things Fondulac District Library and East Peoria. Twice a week, library staff will make posts that highlight some aspect of library life and relate it to you – our readers. Have you ever wanted to know which Dewey number represented a certain topic? Are you looking for book recommendations based on your favorite television show or television recommendations based on your favorite book? Have you ever wondered about the secret details of librarian life? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then #FDL is for you. We look forward to writing posts that are informative and entertaining and hope that you enjoy getting better acquainted with Fondulac District Library.

#FDL: Visiting Author

Dr. Devin Murphy will visit the library on Thursday, February 22 at 6:30 p.m.  Dr. Murphy is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Bradley University.  He will read a few passages and discuss The Boat Runner, his debut novel, during this special program.

Murphy’s book is a work of historical fiction and follows the story of Jacob, a Dutch boy, during World War II.  Dr. Murphy was kind enough to answer a few questions about himself and his novel.

 

1. What inspired you to become a writer?

When I was 12 I loved soccer and my dad bought me a book of poems about sports, edited by George Plimpton. In that book I read a poem about Pele, the Brazilian soccer legend. There was a line about him being so good at this game that if you passed him the sun, he would cage it in the back of the net. That image stunned me. It was an awakening to metaphor, the possibility of language, and that it was important to look for beauty in the world. After that, language and reading became my new love.

2. What are your favorite books/authors?

I tend to love the last book I read the most. I guess it is because I’m still excited by language and stories that they all feel fresh and new to me. Recently I’ve been reading everything by Michael Ondaatje, Willy Vlautin, Simon Van Booy, Rebecca Makkai, and Zadie Smith.

3. What inspired you to write this novel?

My mother’s father was an engineer in the Netherlands who had to go into hiding during WWII. I never met him, but his story was so interesting it wound up finding its way into my writing and got me started on this book.

4. What research was required to write this novel?

I had to go out and learn everything about WWII I could find before even starting. I spent almost a year listening to WWII history courses on tape in my car so I would not waste commute time. I visited every library near me and pulled books from the shelves for years. I actively hunted for those opportunities to make my story more authentic, always looking for moments Jacob could come alive in. It was a lot of fun to expose myself to so much.

5. How do you balance your position as a professor with also being a writer?

Those two roles blend seamlessly together. I struggle with my writing. Then I tell my students where and how I succeeded and failed. Their excitement for learning is contagious and I take that energy back to my writing feeling rejuvenated.

6. What are you working on now? What’s next for you?

My next book is called, Tiny Americans, and it will be published by Harper Collins in early 2019. I’ve been at work on another historical novel as well as planning future novels. So I’m keeping busy as I love what I do.

Visit Devin Murphy’s website here.

Post by Susie Rivera, Reference Specialist

About #FDL

Welcome to #FDL! #FDL is a twice weekly update on all things Fondulac District Library and East Peoria. Twice a week, library staff will make posts that highlight some aspect of library life and relate it to you – our readers. Have you ever wanted to know which Dewey number represented a certain topic? Are you looking for book recommendations based on your favorite television show or television recommendations based on your favorite book? Have you ever wondered about the secret details of librarian life? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then #FDL is for you. We look forward to writing posts that are informative and entertaining and hope that you enjoy getting better acquainted with Fondulac District Library.

FDL Reads: Oathbringer

Cover image for Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

Reviewed by: Jessica Reeves, Reference Specialist

Genre: Fantasy

Suggested Age: Adults, Teens

What is the book about?: This is the third book in Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series. In each book, Sanderson focuses on one character’s past through flashbacks while also furthering the plot in the present. This book focuses on Dalinar Kholin’s past, one of the current political leaders. Throughout the first two books we see Dalinar as a man of honor who follows The Codes set forth in the titular book The Way of Kings (also the name of the first book in this series). Throughout this book’s flashbacks, we see a very different man: harsh, rash, unconcerned with decorum and the lives of others. We see his absolute lowest points and the devastating catalyst for the change into the better man he strives to be in the present.

As far as the current plot (without giving spoilers for the first two books), it focuses on the ongoing war between the Alethi, the human inhabitants of Roshar, and the Parshendi, humanoid inhabitants of Roshar with marbled skin and thick shell growing out of their bodies. There’s a bit of everything in this book: murder mystery, politics, love triangles, battling inner demons, and the multiple layers of war.

My Review: I read almost exclusively through audiobooks these days. As soon as I finished it, I wanted to start over and listen again. At 55 hours long, however, I decided to maybe give myself a breather. Michael Kramer and Kate Reading are amazing narrators, and the few inconsistent pronunciations/accents from the first couple of books were corrected in this book. I’m sure it’s hard to keep it all straight between two narrators in an epic level fantasy series dealing with made up cultures and names. The pacing in this book was good, though I did find myself drifting in a few places waiting for people to make decisions. After the epic climax of the last book, we needed some down time to recuperate before the next epic climax of this book, and it did not disappoint.

I will say I was disappointed by some reactions from characters that I felt were, well, out of character and unrealistic. I can’t really go into that without spoilers, but it involved the fact that Sanderson changed the ending of the second book post-production, and that was not updated in the audio version. Even with the change, though, I felt certain reactions were still unrealistic on some characters’ parts. You’ll have to tell me if you agree or not!

Three Words That Describe This Book: Epic, Exhilarating, Fantastical

Give This a Try if You Like… Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, Skyrim, Lord of the Rings.

Rating: 4/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

Interlibrary Loan Service

Fondulac District Library offers an Interlibrary Loan service to its cardholders. This service allows patrons to request items from beyond central Illinois and outside of the RSACat catalog. Interlibrary Loan requests may be placed in person at the library, by phone at (309) 699-3917, or online by using the Interlibrary Loan Request Form.

To learn more about Interlibrary Loans, please contact the library at (309) 699-3917.

FDL Reads: Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye

574955Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie

Reviewed by: Sarah Baker, Circulation Assistant

Genre: Mystery

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: Abby Cooper is a psychic intuitive in the suburbs of Detroit. Her intuitions are usually spot on, but they didn’t warn her about the impending death of a client. Now Abby wants to help solve the case, but her career as a detective might not make it past case one!

My Review: Abby starts out great! She’s believable, not just as a woman, but as a psychic. The processes that Abby uses are described throughout the book along with why she uses them. It lends the story more gravitas than I thought it would. Her interactions with her friends, clients and family are relateable. But when it came to her interactions with handsome Detective Dutch Rivers…wow does she blow it. Abby cuts him off before he gets chances to explain or apologize; she takes it out on him when he steps back for professional reasons (not sure what weird ethics/conflict of interest regulations they broke but I’m sure that figured in to his decisions); despite his help, she doesn’t thank him. And while I know attraction makes people irrational, this was a bit too far. The story and setting were well done. I felt like the clues were revealed in appropriate ways, and at a pace that kept you interested. They were easily spotted but hard to put together, just like real life. Unlike some cozy mystery detectives, Abby doesn’t come across as overly nosy or butting in where she shouldn’t. Her rationales are believable and sympathetic. This was book one – I’ll definitely be on the lookout for the rest!

Three Words That Describe This Book: Fun, Flirty, Fast

Give This a Try if You Like… Supernatural reads, cozy mysteries, sassy female leads

Rating: 4/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

Great Reads for Fans of Rick Riordan

You love Rick Riordan’s books and have read them all.  Now what do you read?  Here are three series you can try:

Seven Wonders Series by Peter Lerangis

Jack McKinley and his three friends have one goal.  They must retrieve the lost magical orbs from the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  One hitch, they’re not the only ones looking for them.

Check out the website:  http://www.sevenwondersbooks.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark of the Thief Series by Jennifer Nielson

Travel with Nic to Ancient Rome where he finds himself in the middle of a conspiracy to overthrow the emperor.  Along the way he finds an amulet filled with magic that belonged to the great Caesar.  Magic some Romans would kill for.

Check out the website:  http://markofthethief.scholastic.com/books

 

 

 

Blackwell Pages Series by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr

In the town of Blackwell, South Dakota, all of the citizens are direct descendants of the Norse gods, Thor and Loki.  Matt Thorsen and his friends Fen and Laurie Brekke have been chosen to stand in for Thor and Loki when it is revealed that Ragnarok is coming.  Will they be able to save the world?

Check out the website: http://www.blackwellpages.com/books.php

imagine, inform, inspire