New Books

Candy Bomber by Michael O. Tunnell

Booklist

*Starred Review* Curious about the city into which he ferried goods during the Berlin Airlift in 1948, pilot Gail Halvorsen stayed over to visit, met some children, and offered to drop candy and gum when he next flew over. This simple idea grew into a massive project with reverberations today. Tunnell tells this appealing story of a cold war soldier who made a difference clearly and chronologically, weaving in just enough background for twenty-first-century readers and illustrating almost every page with black-and-white photographs, many from Halvorsen’s own collection. Opening the book with a shot of a nine-year-old boy looking for the plane that will wiggle its wings, the author captures young readers with the very idea of the chocolate pilot and keeps them with a steady focus on the German young people, including their letters and drawings. He concludes with a chapter describing Halvorsen’s successful military career, his meetings with children who caught the candy, an anniversary drop, and more—highly satisfactory results from his spontaneous good deed. Halvorsen contributes a prologue; biographical, historical, and research notes add information; and selected references, including further-reading suggestions (though no source notes), close out this accessible and positive portrayal of a serviceman who wasn’t on the battlefield. Irresistible. Grades 4-7. –Kathleen Isaacs

In November by Cynthia Rylant

“Curl up with your loved ones and enjoy the sights, the sounds, the scents–and the traditions–of this very special time of year with Newbery medal-winner Cynthia Rylant and artist Jill Kastner”  Book jacket

The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson

Booklist

*Starred Review* A young girl is given a golden key to a house. “In the house / burns a light. / In that light / rests a bed. On that bed / waits a book.” And so continues this simple text, which describes sometimes fantastical pleasures as a bird from the book spirits the child through the starry sky to a wise-faced moon. The cumulative tale is a familiar picture-book conceit; the difference in success comes from the artwork. Here, the art is spectacular. Executed in scratchboard decorated in droplets of gold, Krommes’ illustrations expand on Swanson’s reassuring story (inspired by a nursery rhyme that begins, “This is the key of the kingdom”) to create a world as cozy inside the house as it is majestic outside. The two-page spread depicting rolling meadows beyond the home, dotted with trees, houses, barns, and road meeting the inky sky, is mesmerizing. The use of gold is especially effective, coloring the stars and a knowing moon, all surrounded with black-and-white halos. A beautiful piece of bookmaking that will delight both parents and children. Preschool-Kindergarten. –Ilene Cooper

Trouble on the Tracks by Kathy Mallat

Discover hidden surprises, look for clues…because things are not always what they seem with a mischievous cat named Trouble around.

The Very Smart Pea and the Princess-To-Be by Mini Grey

Modern version of the fairy tale as told by the Very Smart Pea.  Fun!

The Mangle Street Murders by M.R. C. Kasasian

Amazon reader review:  ”How do I love this book? Let me count the ways. I love its sharp, witty voice. Its brisk pace. Its mordant humor. Its vision of 1880s London, a place of huge energy and just as huge contrast. Its echoes of the penny dreadfuls of the Victorian period, and its marriage of them with a sensibility that is entirely satisfying to a modern reader. Its perfectly matched pair of sleuths, who spar constantly yet share a genuine affection. Its wonderful secondary characters, notably Harriet Fitzgerald and Inspector Pond. Its sardonic homage to Doyle (who makes a cameo appearance) and Holmes (who is modeled, the book posts, on its own detective, Sidney Grice). Its unexpected plot twists and its evolving backstory.”

James Patterson’s The Murder House by David Ellis

Amazon reader review: ” This book was so suspenseful that I actually tore off a couple of fingernails. One of the best stand alone books so far! I did not guess the ending. I also didn’t get much housework done because I could not put the book down. Excellent writing style, good character development and fast paced just the way I like my books to be.”

Tom Clancy Commander in Chief: A Jack Ryan Novel by Mark Greaney

Amazon reader review:  Though it remains difficult not to compare Greaney’s novels to original Clancy works, he has done a surprisingly good job of reinvigorating the franchise. They hit on many of the Clancy trademarks: thrilling writing, plot twists, espionage, and some good old fashioned butt kicking. Commander in Chief (also known as the 11th Jack Ryan novel) hits just as well.

The Crossing by Michael Connelly

“A classic whodunit…an extra treat for the reader is being able to follow the case from the dual perspectives of the prosecution and the defense… Brothers Bosch and Haller may be, but at times they seem a lot like an ego and its id.”
Marilyn StasioNew York Times Book Review

Make Me by Lee Child

Amazon.com review – “The reigning champ ups the ante. . . . Yes, there’s breakneck action, but what gives this one its zing is the multilayered plot. . . . The beguiling Chang offers a new treat for series fans as well, and a surprise at the end will keep readers short of breath until the next installment begins.”Booklist (starred review)