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MADL Staff Suggests

peter and the starcatchers
reviewed by Heidi

Peter and the Starcatchers
by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Book

The first book in a series set in the world of Peter Pan. Set before the events of the classic tale, in Peter and the Starcatchers readers learn how Neverland came to be. Peter is an orphan who is sent on a ship, the Never Land, across the sea to become the slave of an evil King. During the voyage, the ship is attacked by pirates, caught in a fierce storm and Peter and his fellow passengers are stranded on a strange island. On the island Peter must face a native tribe, a huge crocodile and pirates (again!). All of the adventure is centered around a trunk that is said to hold the world’s greatest treasure. Will Peter be able to protect the treasure? And what exactly does it do? Find out in this fast-paced adventure series.

Available on  Hoopla.


sarah plain and tall
reviewed by Heidi

Sarah, Plain and Tall
by Patricia MacLachlan
Book and Audiobook

This five book series starts in the late 1800’s in the American prairie and follows the lives of the Witting family. Tragedy struck early for this frontier family when the mother died after giving birth to her second child. But several years later, Sarah Wheaton arrives from Maine and helps to re-build the family. These classic stories center around the importance of family and love. Other titles in the series include Skylark, Caleb’s Story, More Perfect than the Moon and Grandfather’s Dance. The audiobooks are read by actress Glenn Close.

Available on  Libby.


time castaways
reviewed by Heidi

Time Castaways: The Mona Lisa Key
by Liesel Shurtiliff
Book

This new series is sure to delight young readers who like adventure, time travel and fun. Siblings Mateo, Ruby and Corey Hudson board a subway in present day New York and find themselves in Paris in 1911. The children must work together to figure out what happened and how to get back to their parents and their own time. Along the way they need a host of interesting character – some who are not what they seem.

Available on  Libby.


peter pan
reviewed by Heidi

Peter Pan
by J.M. Barrie
Audiobook

I’ve read Peter Pan before – several times, in fact. But after reading Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, I decided that it was time to read it again. To my great pleasure, I discovered an audiobook version read by Jim Dale, of Harry Potter fame. If you have never listened to a book read by Jim Dale, I highly recommend that you do. Mr. Dale brings the characters to life in his readings. You can hear the hatred in the voice of Captain Hook as he talks about the boy who never grows up. You can hear the free-spirited banter between Peter and the Darling children. And you can hear the fear in the voices of Smee and the other pirates. Peter Pan itself is a grand adventure story, but add to it the spectacular performance by Jim Dale and you are in for a real treat.

Available on  Libby.


the healer
reviewed by Amy

The Healer
Movie

The film follows a 30 year old deadbeat playboy who turns out to have an unwanted gift for healing.  He is sent from his home in England to Nova Scotia Canada at the behest of his uncle to a family home were he must decide if he wants to accept the gift by his 30th birthday.  He meets a woman veterinarian who helps him along the way.  In the end he meets a teenager with cancer who ultimately helps him make the right decision.

Available on  Hoopla.


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.


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