November 2013

What’s New · Featured Book of the Month Program: November

We’re pleased to announce the following are our November selections for the Featured Book of the Month program!

Adult Title

The Middlesteins

The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg
“Edie Middlestein is digging her grave with her teeth, as the saying goes. Previously a successful Chicago attorney, Edie has sought comfort in food all her life; she craves fattening treats the way an alcoholic craves booze. Now that she is over 60 and over 300 pounds, her partners have pretty much forced early retirement on her. Edie is also facing a second surgery on her legs. Her husband, Richard, has had enough. He leaves his wife after nearly 40 years of marriage, to the shock of their easygoing son, Benny, and the anger of their difficult daughter, Robin. Despite this sad scenario, Attenberg finds ample comic moments in this wry tale about an unraveling marriage. She has a great ear for dialog, and the novel is perfectly paced. Her characters are all believable, if not always sympathetic...Attenberg seamlessly weaves comedy and tragedy in this warm and engaging family saga of love and loss.”
Library Journal


Teen Title

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
“Melinda is a high school freshman with a devastating secret-a popular upper class jock raped her at a party over the summer. Wise enough to call 911, she was too stunned to speak when the police arrived, so the entire school thinks she did it just to break up the party. Shunned by her old friends and even by people she does not know, she spends her first year of high school alienated and unable to concentrate. She communicates with her absentee parents through notes on the fridge. Melinda’s only refuge is art class, where her nonconformist teacher encourages self-expression through artwork. Finally, she finds the courage to speak out and face her demons. Anderson portrays a large suburban high school with a fresh and authentic eye; all the cliques are there. By using a conversational, first-person narrative, the author takes the reader into Melinda’s world. This powerful story has an important lesson: never be afraid to speak up for yourself.”
VOYA Reviews

Children’s Title


Crow by Barbara Wright
“Growing up in Wilmington, N.C., in 1898, a naive black boy and his family are devastated by a racist uprising in this fictionalized account of a little-known historical event. On his last day of fifth grade, a buzzard portentously casts a shadow over Moses Thomas, prompting his grandma, Boo Nanny, to warn: ‘You happiness done dead.’ Moses lives with Boo Nanny, a former slave who takes in white people’s laundry, his Mama, a housemaid for wealthy whites, and his Daddy, a reporter and business manager of the Daily Record. Daddy ardently believes in the power of education, and Moses tries to follow in his footsteps by reading library books, learning vocabulary words and maintaining perfect attendance at school. In contrast, Boo Nanny thinks her protected grandson ‘needs to learn by living.’ When a mob of white supremacists burns the newspaper office and arrests his father, Moses becomes dangerously involved and discovers what it means to be his father’s son.”
Kirkus Reviews

Look for displays of all our Featured Book of the Month titles at your local branch and the Main Library!