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"Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis" by Timothy Egan

Vita's picture

This is the biography of Edward Curtis, a talented photographer.  His obsession was to photograph and document the American Indian before destruction of their ways. Egan writes is a riveting story of how Curtis spent ten years, sacrificed his marriage and family, finances and health to produce a twenty volume work The North American Indian. The photographs at the end of each chapter are a good accompaniment to the text.

Coming Clean: A Memoir by Kimberly Rae Miller

Jen's picture

Ever wonder what it would be like to grow up with hoarders as parents? Kimberly Rae Miller dishes it all in this powerful coming-of-age tale about just that. We’ve all got that spot in our house that’s the place we put things that we’re saving for later because we know we’re actually going to use them. Right? Yes? Then months later we stumble across those same prized objects and pitch or donate them because, well, who has the time to do all the things?

Imagine, if you will, that messy place being your entire house and add in never throwing away anything on top of that and you’ll sort of get the idea what it’s like to walk a day in Kim’s shoes. She wasn’t able to ever have friends over and often had to conceal her parents messes and behaviors for fear of children’s services coming and separating her from them. Even worse, one house she and her parents occupied was so messy that it caught fire and they lost absolutely everything they owned. You’d think this would mean a fresh, clean start in a new, uncluttered home but that’s not case as things quickly start to pile up again.  But don’t just take my word for it, read this engrossing title for yourself to learn all about what it’s like to be the child of hoarders. For tackling such serious stuff, it’s quite an enjoyable read but be warned as there are a few graphic moments (think bugs, messes, and even a suicide attempt) that aren’t for the faint of heart.

If you like this title, you should also check out the nonfiction book Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Randy Frost and the YA novel Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu.

Picture Book Selection: Each Kindness

In “Each Kindness”, award winning author Jacqueline Woodson and amazing illustrator E.B. Lewis have made a wonderful book about how treating people with kindness can help everyone. Maya is a new student and different from her other classmates with her hand-me-down clothes and old- fashioned toys.  Maya wants to make friends with Chloe and her gang of friends, but they reject her. Their teacher gives a lesson on simple kindness and Chloe realizes the opportunity for friendship that was missed, and how much better it would have been if she had been kind. 

Rush of Blood

Vita's picture

I like Mark Billingham's Thorne series. This stand-alone murder mystery involves three British couples on holiday in Florida. This vacation takes a criminal twist when a young girl goes missing and is later found dead in a lagoon. The six Britons are suspects and Billingham keeps the suspense going. When another young girl is missing in England, the six who have returned from Florida are even more suspect. Great ending.

 

The Distance

Vita's picture

At the intermission of a London opera performance, elegant socialite Charlotte Alton makes eye contact with a mysterious man who hands her a battered Christmas ornament before disappearing. It’s a message for Karla, an underworld fixer who can make information disappear—Charlotte Alton’s powerful and amoral alter ego. The invitation to meet is Charlotte’s first step onto a dark path that will bring together old enemies and new in a twisty puzzle-box of a thriller exploring intersections between the worlds of crime, intelligence gathering, police work, and high society. Elegantly written and tightly plotted, every detail matters in this dark and gripping debut.

Juvenile Fiction Selection: Beth's Story, 1914 by Adele Whitby

Beth's Story, 1914 is the first installment in the series Secrets of the Manor. Beth is excited for her twelfth birthday when she will receive her great-grandmother's heirloom necklace as a gift, but when the necklace goes missing Beth must learn the secrets of her manor house in order to clear the name of her maid and friend. While searching for answers Beth finds a hidden diary with clues to a much larger family mystery that dates back generations. Historical fiction and mystery collide in this fun new series. (Grades 4-7 School Library Journal)

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