New Books

The Innocent Man by John Grisham

From  John Grisham’s first work of nonfiction, an exploration of small town justice gone terribly awry, is his most extraordinary legal thriller yet. In the major league draft of 1971, the first player chosen from the State of Oklahoma was Ron Williamson. When he signed with the Oakland A’s, he said goodbye to his hometown of Ada and left to pursue his dreams of big league glory. Six years later he was back, his dreams broken by a bad arm and bad habits-drinking, drugs, and women. He began to show signs of mental illness. Unable to keep a job, he moved in with his mother and slept twenty hours a day on her sofa. In 1982, a 21-year-old cocktail waitress in Ada named Debra Sue Carter was raped and murdered, and for five years the police could not solve the crime. For reasons that were never clear, they suspected Ron Williamson and his friend Dennis Fritz. The two were finally arrested in 1987 and charged with capital murder.

I See a kookaburra! by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4–This colorful introduction to six different biomes mixes clearly presented information with seek-and-find fun. The book opens with a glorious two-page collage made of cut and torn paper that depicts a desert in the American Southwest. Eight indigenous animals are included in the picture, but readers will have to search hard to find them as they are mostly camouflaged by cacti and rocks. On the next spread, the creatures are shown against a white backdrop; each one remains in the same position on the page, allowing youngsters to refer back and find the ones they missed. Each animal is introduced by name and given a brief yet tantalizing descriptive line. The same pattern is repeated for a tide pool on the English coast, a rain forest in the Amazon River basin, the grasslands of central Africa, an Australian forest, and a pond in the American Midwest. As an added challenge, and to make the point that ants live all over the world, one of these insects is hidden in each scene. Additional, well-chosen facts about these habitats and the depicted creatures are appended, along with an outline map of the locales. Filled with vibrant colors and palpable textures, the illustrations are breathtaking and give a real sense of the vitality, diversity, and beauty of nature. A first-rate foray into ecology that will encourage readers to explore the world around them.–Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal

Sneakers, the Seaside Cat by Margaret Wise Brown


Margaret Wise Brown, best known for her classic “Goodnight Moon” book, was a prolific author. Her books have been reprinted often of late, usually with a new illustrator more suited to modern tastes and the better printing techniques. In this case cat artist extraordinaire, Anne Mortimer, has been selected and the results are simply stunning.
The story itself is fairly simple: Sneakers, a plump and handsome black and white cat, accompanies his human family to the seaside for the first time. He explores the seashore flora and fauna; the repeating line is “My, I am glad I saw that.”

The Henhouse by Carol Shorey Dean

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2–Based on an incident in the author’s own life, this picture book recalls a simpler time on a family chicken farm in Maine. Finally allowed to help with the chores, young Carol enters the henhouse and is bombarded by sights, sounds, and smells she’d not imagined. She quickly becomes distracted, loses track of her father, and panics when the aggressive roosters come after her. Within minutes, Dad comes to her rescue. Told in the style of a reminiscence, this story will be easily understood even by young listeners. The sketchy, average-quality watercolor illustrations suit the mood of the text. The country family of the past is represented well with Mom in dress and apron. The “mean” roosters are realistically portrayed, with just enough animation to convince readers of Carol’s fear of them. This tale will appeal most to families looking for a book to share and discuss, and can be the stimulus for telling and hearing their own stories.–Carolyn Janssen, Children’s Learning Center of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH

Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel


I’m not sure who loved this book more – me or the kids! Set around one very special tree, “Our Tree Named Steve” traces the life of family and the changes that they go through. But through all of the changes, one thing remains constant – Steve’s presence in their lives. The family quite literally grows up around Steve, the tree that greeted them in the yard as they moved in. This story, told with earnest simplicity, teaches children about the “roots” of family and how to cope with loss. This book is filled with humor, warmth and heart. Children of all ages will love “Steve” – and parents will love reading it to them.

“Sweet and funny and charming” – Billy Crystal

Historic Photos of Maine by Frances Pollitt


Maine captures two worlds within its borders: the world of work and the world of leisure. Mainers live and work through the long, cold winters, short springs, easy summers, and brilliant falls. Vacationers delight in the rocky coastline, summer camps, mountain hikes, pristine wilderness, and wildlife views. The rigors of living in Maine throughout the year have created a spirit of endurance in its citizens. Historic Photos of Maine captures this spirit of inventiveness, work, recreation, and integrity that are hallmarks of the state through still photography selected from the finest archives. From the era of the early days of steam travel to its role as a beloved vacation destination, Historic Photos of Maine follows life, government, education, and events throughout the state’s history. This volume captures unique and rare scenes through the lens of hundreds of historic photographs. Published in striking black-and-white, these images communicate the historic events and everyday life of two centuries of people building a unique community.

Adorable Felted Animals: Gakken Handmade Series


Nothing feels better than a cute, fuzzy animal you can hold in the palm of your hand. Adorable Felted Animals shows you how you can create more than 30 endearing dogs, cats, birds and other animals using a little wool roving, a felting needle, and a few simple techniques. Starting with basic shapes you roll in your hands, you can sculpt the most lifelike miniature animals, using your felting needle to join the individual parts and give them their firm and final shape. With little bits of contrasting wool you can give your felted friends expressions that are irresistible. It’s easy, creative, and very relaxing.

These cute felted animals range from the wonderfully realistic to enchantingly cute. Included in this book are:

  • Beloved dogs such as Golden and Labrador retrievers, a Pug, a Poodle, and Dachshund and more
  • Exotic cats, like the Siamese and Abyssinian
  • Feathered friends such as the parakeet, cockatiel, lovebird and finch
  • Other household companions like the ferret and hamster
  • Outdoor dwellers like the chipmunk and rabbit

The animals range from about 2-4 inches high, and instructions are included for turning a few of your felt creations into fun dangly accessories. A full lesson takes you though one of the projects from beginning to end, covering all the basics to ensure that you have all the skills you need to make any critter you want.

Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom by Syne Mitchell


Rigid-heddle weaving is simple to learn, is easy to master, and offers a lifetime of possibilities to discover! Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom covers everything rigid-heddle weavers need to know about the craft, from the basics — how to select a loom, set it up, and get started — to a wide variety of fun techniques that yield beautiful results. Begin by exploring a variety of weave structures, including finger-manipulated laces, tapestry, and color play with stripes, plaids, and multicolor yarns. Then move on to more complex designs and irresistible projects, from pillows and curtains to bags, shawls, and even jewelry. Explore warp-face patterning, weft-pile weaving, weaving with fine threads, woven shibori, shadow weave, and the textural effects you can create with different yarns and with wire and conductive thread. Everything you need to know is here, with fully illustrated step-by-step instructions to ensure success.

The Ultimate Guide to Bowhunting ed. by Jack Cassell


With hunting advice from a wide variety of experts, including Steve Bartylla, Peter Fiduccia, Leo Somma, and John Trout, The Ultimate Book of Bowhunting focuses on the most traditional of hunting weapons: the bow and arrow. In this compendium of bowhunting knowledge, you will learn how to do such things as:

• Tracking a wounded deer
• Using scents to entice as well as camouflage
• Setting up, drawing silently, calling, and field judging
• Build your own tree stands, archery workbenches, and more
• Field dress a deer
• And more!

This comprehensive guide will tell you all that you need to know about this ancient art of hunting, and many things that you didn’t. It is a must have for any serious hunter’s bookshelf.

The Ultimate Guide to Traditional Archery by Rick Sapp

Traditional archery is spoken in every language, in every culture. Whether you compete in Olympic venues or bowhunt for big game, you participate in a shared history, a tradition of joy and of trial. Archery embodies the philosophy that newer is not always better, that faster does not always win the race, that easier is not always in one’s best interest. With the help of The Ultimate Guide to Traditional Archery, learn to rise to an ancient challenge, and with bow in hand, reconnect with the world around you.  From