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JUNIOR EDITION

 

 

 

 

 

Firstborn

By Tor Seidler (Atheneum Boos for Young Readers)

Ages 9-14

 

This beguiling nature novel is also a tribute. Tor Seidler, a celebrated writer of juvenile fiction, had a friend and mentor in Newbery Medalist Jean Craigshead George, an exemplar of naturalist story writing from the generation before.

 

And it was she who intrepidly guided him through Yellowstone Park, which reaches into Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, and the diverse human settlements staked around there, to captivate him with some of the wildest and most intimidating creatures it holds: the giant wolves reintroduced to the park in 1995. As the novel lets on, such people as  “red hats” (hunters), farmers, ranchers and park visitors fool-heartedly picnicking where they don’t belong resent this new element, and had a lot to do with its earlier disappearance. Blam! On the other side is a mix of distrust and disdain.

 

Seidler crafts appearances so he doesn’t seem to be recounting the tale, but neither do the wolves—predominantly the fearless pack at the top of the hierarchy led by the Alpha male Blue Boy. It’s Maggie, the first firstborn of the book, a chatty, curious, adventure-craving magpie who also has a worm to pick with her parents, largely over her boring name indicative of their general worldview. 

 

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BIBLIOTHERAPY

 

A Novel Approach

 

More Magazine writes, "In quaint headquarters, tucked among the blank towers of midtown Manhattan, the Center for Fiction feels like somewhere you'd be more likely to run ito Bartleby the Scrivener than your therapist—unless she's a "bibliotherapist" like Noreen Tomassi, the center's executive director, who manages a service called A Novel Approach. For $125, Tomassi will handpick 12 books, basing her choices on a 45-minute phone call, an e-mail exchange or, preferably, a face-to-face session with you..." For more on bibliotherapy or to schedule a session, please click here. 

INTERVIEW

Tiphanie Yanique
Talks to Noreen Tomassi

 

The winner of the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize talks about her social responsibility as a writer from the Virgin Islands, our current dystopia, her greatest influences, and more: 

 "Although I say it took me 11 years to write the novel, maybe it took longer. I've been hearing these stories my whole life, you know, the stories of my great grandfather who went down with his ship, and the story of my grandmother, whose siblings were left to figure out what it might mean to be a part of this family on their own. My grandmother was raised by her eldest sister, just like Annette was raised by Eeona.

Hearing those stories again and again, and hearing them in different ways and from different angles over time allowed me to experience them not just as history, but also as storytelling and as fiction...." READ MORE

IN MEMORY

Remembering Robert Stone

by Roxana Robinson

 

When I first read Robert Stone’s work I was struck by the beauty of the sentences. That’s the way a writer reads, listening to cadence and rhythm and beauty, and that’s what first draws your respect and attention. Also the perfect economy of his prose: “Father Egan left off writing, rose from his chair and made his way – a little unsteadily – to the bottle of Flor de Cana which he had placed across the room from his desk.”

 

The very first word here reveals the dark and monumental presence of the Catholic Church. With the next phrase we see that Egan cannot complete his task, struggles with alcoholism and makes a pathetic attempt to combat it. We know everything we need to know in the first sentence about the core of this man... READ MORE

STAFF PICKS

Staff Picks: Evie Wyld's All The Birds, Singing

By Sara Batkie, CFF Awards and Programs Manager

 

I am a very light sleeper, which is an unfortunate thing when living in the city, with its constant cacophony of ambulance sirens, honking cars, and noise from close-quartered neighbors. But in many ways it was even worse when I was growing up in Iowa. There’s an eeriness to the sounds that reach you in the middle of nowhere. You can never be quite sure where they’re coming from or what they might be. It’s this late night foreboding that Evie Wyld captures exceedingly well in her second novel All the Birds, Singing, which recently won the Miles Franklin Award, Australia’s highest literary honor....READ MORE 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Pretax Reading

It's that time of year again. 2014 has come and gone, and the inevitable tax filing awaits. Whether you're struggling with debt or basking in the luxuries of financial success, we are sure these books will resonate with you (and offer an excuse to put off doing your taxes). READ MORE

THE PROUST SOCIETY

psychoproust

Founded in 1997 by then Center director Harold Augenbraum, the Proust Society's mission is to encourage the reading, study and enjoyment of the work of Marcel Proust. The Society presents lectures for the public and members take part in groups that read and discuss Proust's masterpiece, À la recherche du temps perdu.

 

For more information, Click Here

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