31 Dec
2011

Harold and the Purple Crayon
by Crockett Johnson

*Jill's Pick*

Whenever people talk about children's lit I feel a little left out. I remember reading constantly, but the famous ones that everyone seems to have in common weren't the ones I loved. Except for one. Harold and the Purple Crayon. I read Harold and the Purple Crayon over and over and over again. And then I would force my second grade teacher to let me go back to my first grade class and read it to them because I felt like it needed to be done. This book would help them like it helped me! The idea of being able to create whatever I wanted like Harold, was a concept that got my goat. I lived in my head as a kid so that purple crayon would have come in handy. I identified with Harold. He was most logical person I knew other, than myself. Of course to guard your apples you would need to draw a dragon! Sand also reminded me of picnics which also made me hungry and why have one pie when you can have nine? One of my favorite parts though, was that he was going for a walk in the moonlight. Wherever he went, the moon followed him, just like it followed me. That's how I knew Harold was the truth. Later on in life I ended up writing about Harold to get me into college. I still connect with Harold and having that need to create and watch what other people can create out of nothing. Aside from being a terrific story the illustrations are simple and beautiful and I highly recommend it to everyone in the world.

 "But he didn't seem to be getting anywhere on the long straight path. So he left the path for a short cut across a field. And the moon went with him".  
By    No Comments
31 Dec
2011

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

*Carly's Pick*

Have you ever loved a toy so much that you were sure that it must have a soul? Did you think that just maybe it had its own adventures when you weren't looking? This book is for anyone who has ever believed that imagining something with all your heart can make it come true. It's the tale of a charming, sensitive toy rabbit who wants more than anything to become real. It touches on the sometimes uncomfortable process of growing up, the magic of childhood, the transformative power of love, and what it truly means to be real--and it still manages to be a beautiful story, elegantly written and wonderfully illustrated. I return to this book again and again, just as I have since I was very little, and it makes my heart swell every time.

By    No Comments
30 Dec
2011

Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins

*Henry's Pick*

There is nothing more thrilling to me than a great young adult series and this one has me riveted.These books are so much fun that I was shouting and pumping my fist in the air as I read them alone in my house. Suzanne Collins has mixed 1984, Battle Royale, Twilight, and Project Runway into a thrilling series that reminds you of all of those elements, and none of them at the same time. She matches a gripping, well-crafted story with a contemporary eye for political allegory that most of today’s authors have neglected. These are the exciting kind of books where you cant put down the one you are reading, and can't wait to pick up the next one.

30 Dec
2011

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut

*Ryan’s Pick*

Standing outside the courthouse with a roll of toilet paper and a marker Eliot tears off a square and hands it to each person that happens by. On each square are these words: “I love you.” And he means it. Eliot Rosewater is either the greatest philanthropist or the craziest man-child to ever live in Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s fantastic mirror of Earth.  With a multi-million dollar bank account and an open heart, Eliot Rosewater (reprising a small role from Vonnegut’s acclaimed Breakfast of Champions) manages the hardships of the people of Rosewater County, Indiana with the gusto and comic timing that only Vonnegut can produce. Despite a severe drinking problem and what appears to be an unstable mind, Elliot wins over the hearts of complete strangers  while losing the respect and friendship of his father, wife, and friends.
Other than his first novel (Slaughterhouse V) Vonnegut professed God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater to be his favorite of all the books he wrote. If you want science fiction don’t buy this book. If you want to meet the most intriguing and complex characters ever created then there is no better way to spend the weekend than by curling up with this novel of human compassion, misunderstanding, and unreserved love – done only the way Vonnegut can.

30 Dec
2011

Beauty by Robin McKinley

*Kristen's Pick*

I read Beauty when I was in eighth grade, and have read it at least once a year since then.  This book taught me about romance.  The romance of language, and that love can come in very unexpected forms.  It also introduced me, (in a very non-threatening way) to authors such as Rudyard Kipling, Sir Walter Scott and Edmond Spenser.  Beautifully and elegantly written, this is a book for people who have poetry in their souls.

30 Dec
2011

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

*Marlie’s Pick*

Shel Silverstein’s classic is a simple yet incredibly touching tale. This has been my favorite story since childhood and continues to be so today.  It constantly amazes me that Silverstein can use so few words and simple black line drawings to provoke so many emotions - I cry every single time I read this book!  This classic is all about the ‘gift of giving‘ - how truly content it makes the tree to see the boy happy.  Reading The Giving Tree is like the joy it brings to watch someone open the perfect Christmas gift! (and the beauty is you don’t have to wait until December!)

30 Dec
2011

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

*Customer Pick: Lauren*

The Time Traveler's Wife is the best love story I have ever read.  It is also the only book  I have ever reread in it's entirety immediately upon finishing it. While I reread books all the time, of course, this is the only one I have ever needed to devour again as quickly as possible. The love story is neither hokey nor sappy at all and the characters got so deeply under my skin that I couldn't shake them for months. I wanted to know them, or I guess, to be them. I will not reveal much about the plot here because it'll sound impossibly gimmicky, I will assure you instead, that the author handles her premise with so much astonishing intelligence that you will go back and forth many times to try to string it all together. In fact, you may want to buy 2 copies: 1 to read and 1 to cut and paste in linear chronological order. Or, for now, just buy one. I envy anyone who has not read this book and still has it to look forward to.

30 Dec
2011

Scruples by Judith Krantz

*Kristen's Pick*

This was the first adult (and then some) book I read.  Adult themes, adult language ,and very adult situations.  Larger then life (well my life, anyway) fascinating characters, and a riveting dual storyline that will suck you in from page 1, Scruples is the consummate trashy beach read.  (Even if your beach is at Sandcastle).