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"My Mother was Nuts" by Penny Marshall

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Comedian/director Marshall writes very openly on her life experiences growing up in the Bronx, getting pregnant and married young in New Mexico, her marriage to Rob Reiner, friendship with Carrie Fisher, and relationship with Art Garfunkel.   Marshall revisits tough subjects like abortion, drugs, lack of mothering skills, and her now fading health. Great stories abound of her time spent on TV shows, movies, and her career as a movie director.  Marshall's humor is how she gets through the difficult stuff and lives with a simple motto: “try hard, help your friends, don't get too crazy, and have fun.”

All Souls: A Family Story From Southie by Michael Patrick McDonald

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In this devastatingly honest memoir Michael MacDonald, one in a family of ten, recounts his experience growing up in Southie which is one of South Boston’s public housing projects.  Described by all the residents as “the best place in the world”, McDonald has the courage to pull back this veil and tell the emotional and powerful true story.  MacDonald explores the busing riots of the 1970s, Southie’s “no snitch” culture, the loss of four of his own siblings, and the exploits of Whitey Bulgar (the town’s top gangster and father figure).  Through all of this pain and loss McDonald is still able to point out areas of hope and the strong sense of community that is still alive in Southie today.  

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician's First Year

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What if the mistakes you made at work were life and death? What if forgetting a step didn't mean a customer might get his mocha without espresso but that his brain might begin filling with blood? What if a clumsy moment could mean injecting yourself with a deadly virus?

These are exactly the kinds of scenarios that Dr. Matt McCarthy faces during his first year as a medical intern. In his humorous and transparent memoir of the experience, Dr. McCarthy keeps his readers on the edge of their seats, alternately prompting them to laugh, to cry, and to ponder the deep questions of life.

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s really like to become a doctor, or if you just love a fast-paced, thought-provoking story, this is a book you should read. 

Juvenile Fiction Selection: The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and A Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson

It is the year 1854 and a deadly cholera outbreak has come to Broad Street in London.  A young Orphan named Eel and his best friend Florrie team up to help Dr. John Snow prove that cholera is spread through water and not by poisonous air, as is the belief at the time.  This is a great story about the history of public health and about one young orphan finding a purpose through science.  Based on true events,this book combines historical fiction, a medical mystery, and a survival story all into one exciting tale.  (Grades 5-8 School Library Journal)  

 

 

 

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