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In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides

Scott's picture

Ice, the final frontier.  Long before the space race came the race to discover the polar regions.  Many men led expeditions to the Arctic hoping to be the first to claim it for their country. Theories abounded as to what the explorers would find. “In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette ” by Hampton Sides briefly tells of some of these journeys  but it focuses on one of them.  The USS Jeannette, led by Commanding Officer DeLong, and her crew headed north out of San Francisco in the late 1800s well-equipped to face the Arctic weather. Or so they thought. The crew experienced many life threatening conditions including having the ship frozen in ice for months, blizzards, snow-blindness, hunger, and 58 degrees below zero temperatures.  I highly recommend this book but it may be best to grab a blanket when reading about the freezing adventures of the USS Jeannette and her crew.  

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)  

 

 

 

Teen Adventure Pick: Mosquitoland

After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim is dragged from her home in Ohio to the “wastelands” of Mississippi.  When she learns that her mother is sick in Ohio, Mim confronts her demons on a thousand-mile odyssey from “mosquitoland” to her Ohio mother that redefines her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.

Sci-Fi for Teens: The Cipher

You think your emails are private? Is your credit card number secure?  That government secrets and nuclear codes are safe from hacking?  Th1ink aga1n.  Robert 'Smiles' Smylie and his friend Ben become embroiled in a high-stakes negotiation with a pair of suspicious Feds when Ben cracks a code with the power to unlock all the Internet's secrets.

Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons

Vita's picture

Mr. Rosenblum is a Jewish refugee who fled to England from Germany before the outbreak of WWII.  He longs to be accepted as a true Englishman.  As a profitable businessman, he buys the correct Savile Row suit, a Jaguar, and shops at Fortnum & Mason.  But his Jewish background prevents his membership into a golf club, for him the ultimate sign of an English gentleman.  In desperation he decides to build his own golf course which proves to be a greater endeavor than anticipated.  The character is exasperating at times, but heartwarming overall, especially when you learn the author is writing about her grandfather.

How to Cook Without a Book

Kalyn's picture

How to Cook Without a Book is literally changing my life.

Recipes are wonderful, but for years I have been awed by people who can meal-plan and cook from memory without spending hours poring over cookbooks. Most of the time, I don’t trust myself to properly make a pancake, much less prepare a roast, without slavishly finding and following a recipe. I have longed to gain the mysterious knowledge of ingredients and cooking techniques that seem to come so naturally to others.

In How to Cook Without a Book, Pam Anderson provides the answers I’ve been looking for. She equips her readers to cook everything from soups to sautés from heart. She teaches them how to keep a well-stocked fridge and pantry, and even provides memory rhymes that capture the central steps of each cooking technique.

I highly recommend this book to anyone longing for the freedom to cook from the heart instead of from a book. 

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