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MADL Staff Suggests

reconstructing amelia
reviewed by Karen

Reconstructing Amelia
by Kimberly McCreight
Book

This book was a gripping story about a mother going through one of the worst experiences a parent could possibly encounter.  It is also the coming of age story of a teenage girl.  The story of both mother and daughter centers around secrets.  We are introduced to Kate, Amelia's mother and Amelia, Kate's daughter.  The story begins with Kate receiving a phone call in the middle of one of the biggest meetings in her career from Amelia's school.  Kate learns that Amelia has been suspended for submitting an English paper that she supposedly plagiarized.  Kate's stress of leaving work quickly turns to panic when she arrives at the school to find police officers, fire trucks and an ambulance. She learns that her daughter is dead and supposedly, it is suicide.  Kate does not believe Amelia would take her own life.  We are presented with two stories:   Kate's quest to find out what really happened to Amelia and Amelia's story of new friendships, first love and peer pressure.  Everyone has a secret in this book which makes the story extremely intriguing for the reader.  The story vacillates between both stories coming together beautifully at the end.  I found myself identifying quite strongly with Amelia and all of situations she went through with her friends and acquaintances.  It appears that teenage girls can still be mean and cliques are still prevalent in the teenage world.  The biggest lesson we learn is that secrets always have a way of coming out.   I found the story to be very engaging.   If you are looking for a book that is gripping and surprising, this book is for you.

Available on  Libby.


night
reviewed by Karen

Night
by Elie Wiesel
Book

I have always been very interested in reading accounts of the Holocaust and how those that lived through it survived.  This is the true story of Elie Wiesel.   He was born in the town of Sighet, Transylvania.  When he was just a teenager, he and his family were taken from their home in 1944 to Auschwitz concentration camp and then Buchenwald.  This book is the terrifying record of Elie Wiesel's memories of the death of his family, the death of his innocence and his despair as a deeply observant Jew confronting the absolute evil of man.  I have never experienced this kind of evil or racism in my lifetime. I kept asking myself how any man could treat another man the way he and his father were treated.  I also cannot understand how those citizens outside the camps could allow this to happen.    I found it amazing that he lived  to tell us about his  experience considering he was not given the proper clothing to work outside in frigid winter conditions or the proper nourishment to grow and maintain a healthy body and mind.  I could understand his despair and why he questioned how a loving God could allow this evil to happen to him, his family and all his fellow prisoners.  I feel that this book should be read by everyone.  We must never forget this horrible event in history.  We can not ever allow to happen again. 

Available on  cloudLibrary.


art of racing in the rain
reviewed by Karen

The Art of Racing in the Rain
by Garth Stein
Book

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs. He is a philosopher with a nearly human soul. He has educated himself by watching television. He learns by listening very closely to the words of his human, Denny Swift, an aspiring race car driver. Enzo believes that in his next life, he will be reincarnated as a human. This story is told by Enzo with his canine perspective on all aspects. We meet him at the end of his life as a dog and learn about that life as his soul is preparing to leave the earth. He shares his life story with us. We learn that Denny, his owner teaches him all about racing formula one cars and also about life. We meet Eve, the woman who Denny falls in love with and marries and who Enzo only tolerates at first. He does learn to love and appreciate her as the story unfolds. We meet Zoe, Denny and Eve's daughter. We are allowed to see the special bond that Enzo has with Zoe and how he sees himself as her protector for life. We learn about unconditional love. Enzo has a unique view of humans and the world. He sees his current life as a dog as a training ground for his next life as a human. He shares a special bond with all of his human family. He is there to help Denny and his family through good times as well as difficult times.
I am a dog owner and dog lover. I talk to my dog just as Denny talks to Enzo. I often wonder how much he understands. As a dog lover, I found this story to be especially heart warming. I laughed and cried as I read this book. I feel one of the greatest blessings of my life is being able to experience the unconditional love of my dog. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves dogs and wants to learn about unconditional love.

Available on  cloudLibrary and Libby.


rise and shine
reviewed by Karen

Rise and Shine
by Anna Quindlen
Book and Audiobook

This is the story of two sisters, the true meaning of success and the qualities in life that matter most.  Meghan Fitzmaurice appears to have it all in the eyes of her sister, Bridget.  She is a successful television celebrity with her own talk show which has the highest viewership in the nation.  She is married to the perfect man and has a wonderful son.  Then on an ordinary Monday morning, Meghan's life falls apart.  Meghan is the host of the highest rated morning talk show, Rise and Shine.  On this particular Monday morning, Meghan cuts to a commercial break thinking her mike is off.  The mike is not off and all of America hears her say two forbidden words on national television.  Meghan has not ever had to deal with adversity.  Bridget, a social worker in the Bronx, has always lived in her sister's shadow.  Meghan's truth-telling greatly affects both of their lives as well as Meghan's husband, son, friends and fans.  Bridget's perception of her sister is altered as well.  This is the story of how the Fitzmaurice sisters adapt and survive.  I enjoy books with strong women characters and this one did not disappoint.  Bridget is our narrator.  We are allowed into her world which revolves around her sister.  We see her evolve and grow into her person who finally comes into her own and is not afraid to questions her sister's decisions and actions.  She comes to the realization that her sister is human and can make mistakes.  We also are allowed to see Meghan evolve into a kinder, more caring and less self absorbed person.  She finally finds her passion and becomes a better sister and all around person.  This book made me laugh and cry.  I recommend it to those who enjoy stories about self discovery and growth.  

Available on cloudLibrary.


into the drowning deep
reviewed by Sam

Into the Drowning Deep
by Mira Grant
Audiobook

In this sequel to Rolling in the Deep the Imagine Network sends another crew out 7 years later so see what really happened to the doomed Atargatis. They quickly find out that it wasn't a hoax. Blood thirsty mermaids know that boats are filled with food and they are on their way up to get it. This story takes a deeper look into the mermaids as the terrors of the deep sea that they really are.

Available on  Hoopla.


homegoing
reviewed by Sam

Homegoing
by Yaa Gyasi
Audiobook

An Asante woman from the Gold Coast of Africa has two daughters that do not know of one another. She gives them each a precious stone. The book follows seven generations of the sisters, separated by continents, and enslaved by either physical circumstance - slavery, racism, drugs - or by their own mind/choices. An astonishingly good read, with incredible depth (especially considering the mere 300 pages!), Yaa Gyasi places every word like a jewel.  Storytelling at its finest and most vital. 

Available on  Libby.


dread nation
reviewed by Sam

Dread Nation
by Justina Ireland
Audiobook

The Civil War came to a quick end when the dead started to rise on the battlefield. Years later zombies roam the land and people of color are used as zombie defense agents. Told through the eyes of a black girl who was taken from her home and forced to train, it shows a lot of the racial tensions that didn't go away just because blacks were considered free. Jane McKeene was trained at one of the best schools, but when she is sent out West she lands in a town that seems too good to be true. There is something lurking under the surface in Summerland and it is up to Jane to figure it out and save the day. 

Available on  Hoopla.


finding dorothy
reviewed by Cathleen

Finding Dorothy
by Elizabeth Letts
Book and Audiobook

This biographical and historical fiction takes you back to the Land of Oz. If you grew up on the Wizard of Oz, this will be a delightful read for you. This novel tells the story behind the Wizard of Oz, through the eyes of the author’s wife: Maud Baum. When she hears that M-G-M has set out to make a movie of her husband’s book, she sets out to make her presence known on the movie set. She wants to make sure they get the spirit of the book correct and she is the only one who knows what her husband would have wanted.

Listening to Judy Garland sing “Over the Rainbow” reminds her of events of the past. With Judy “under pressure from the studio as well as her ambitious stage mother, Maud resolves to protect her - the way she tried so hard to protect the real Dorothy.” Provided by publisher.

Available on  Libby and cloudlibrary.


i am malala
reviewed by Cathleen

I am Malala
by Malala Yousafzai
Book and Audiobook

This true story takes you on a journey of Malala’s life. From her earliest years up to the day her world changed forever, you see how the history of her people and the events of the world shaped this young lady into the crusader she is today for education.

We take for granted the right for all children: boys and girls to an education. This was not the case for Malala and the people of that part of the world. She saw how the lack of education was crippling the people. They were illiterate and could not fight back. Not with a sword, but with a pen. Malala was a tireless crusader for this cause. But, it almost cost her life.

She miraculously survived the attack on her and went on an “extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.”

Available on  Libby and cloudlibrary.


princess bride
reviewed by Cathleen

The Princess Bride
by William Goldman
Book

This classic fairy tale is a story within a story. While the main story of Buttercup and Wesley is being told, you have the underlying story of William Goldberg and S. Morgenstern taking place. This is a classic love story as true love triumphs over evil. There are interesting characters in this story from Inigo Montoya, the Spaniard in search of his father’s killer to Fezzik, the giant who doesn’t like to be alone. There is also the bad guy: Prince Humperdinck. He wants Buttercup, although his intent is evil.

Yes, you probably already know the outcome of this book. But, it is an interesting read. It is laced with humor throughout the book.

Available on  Hoopla and Libby.


girl wash your face
reviewed by Rachel

Girl, Wash Your Face
by Rachel Hollis
Book and Audiobook

The author shares the lies that she believes keep us from having a happy life. She discusses ways to deal with our real problems, about how we can live with them. I thought this book would be only for millennial young women, but I found some of the information insightful for all ages. It may help for you to become more aware, and help find joy and laughter in the life you could and should be living.  

Available on  Hoopla.


a wolf called wander
reviewed by Rachel

A Wolf Called Wander
by Rosanne Parry
Book

Follow his trail from Oregon to California, and the start of his own family. Learn about the people who have been a part of his life. For readers of Old Yeller and Call of the Wild. Why do we love wolves and fear them at the same time? 

Available on  Libby.


library of lost and found
reviewed by Rachel

The Library of Lost and Found
by Phaedra Patrick
Audiobook

Every family member has secrets. Their own and others. In this story a seemly simple family is caught in a whirlwind as secrets are suspected and revealed. Great sorrow and joy is found with the revelations. A very good book club choice. Reading lovers may recognize some of their neighbors in the characters. 

Available on  Libby.


the great alone
reviewed by Rachel

The Great Alone
by Kristen Hannah
Audiobook

Alaska – 1974. A Vietnam Vet and his wife and daughter make the move to living off of the grid. Living on the edge of small community with little knowledge and planning requires them to need help, physically and mentally. During their dark lonely days, the daughter and mother must make terrible, life changing decisions. Any time people are isolated, by their choice or others, the dread is whether the worst fears are inside or out.  

Available on  Hoopla.


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