Tag Archives: reader’s advisory

Member review: Peaches for Father Francis

Remember Chocolat’s free spirit chocolatier Vianne Rocher?  Well, Peaches for Father Francis is the third book Ms. Harris has written with Vianne as the main character (The Girl with no Shadow is #2).  Not surprisingly, the wind is changing again for Vianne Rocher.

That wind and a cryptic letter from a dead woman lure Vianne back to the little village of Lansquenet, to jump right back into the middle of everyone’s lives.  But her reception is often puzzling to her.  The people needing her help are not always who she expects to help, and the story becomes as much about Vianne understanding what the concept of Home means for herself as what Home and community mean to those who rooted themselves in the village.

Vianne is surprised to find a large and active Muslim community has replaced the “riverrats” as the Village’s outsider culture which reflect the changes actually occurring in France today with a growing Muslim population creating communities within communities.  (In France, Islam is the second largest religious group after Catholicism.) Cultural and religious clashes abound but at the heart of the conflict is a universal clash that all of us can understand and unite against.  There’s also a bit of a mystery running through the story, actually several small mysteries, that add to the suspense.  How will it all turn out?  Will Vianne figure out what she should do?  Will she and Father Francis be on the same side this time or continue their sparring?  Is Vianne herself still considered an outsider or has she become aligned with the villagers?

I found Peaches for Father Francis was one of those sly stories that seems simple but once the last page was turned, I realized I had been artfully brought along a complicated trail of twists and turns.  It’s that kind of writing that brings me back to Joanne Harris every time.

***

This post was written by a member of Chatham Community Library. If you’d like to write a review, check out our guidelines.

Resource of the Month: NoveList Plus

NoveListHave you read everything by your favorite author and want to discover similar writers?  Can’t remember the title of that amazing book you read a decade ago but want to recommend to someone else?  Want to be the star of your next bookgroup meeting?

NoveList Plus is an online resource free to library patrons and can give you answers to all of these questions and more.  It’s an easy-to-use database which offers:

  • Read-alikes for books and authors
  • Series information (description, book order)
  • Plot summaries
  • Fiction and non-fiction recommendations
  • Award-winning books
  • Theme-based booklists
  • Book discussion guides
  • Author information
  • Curriculum connections
  • Book reviews
  • Lexile levels for student recommendations
  • First chapter excerpts

This treasure trove for bibliophiles of all ages, teachers, and parents of reluctant readers is accessible through the library’s website, or through www.nclive.org.  (You will be prompted to log in with your library card number.)  NoveList Plus can guide you to your next book quickly, but be warned that you might find yourself falling down the rabbit’s hole, just like Alice in Wonderland! Contact the library by phone or chat if you need assistance, and be sure to let us know what you find in your NoveList adventures!

Authors We Love: Avi

Hopefully Avi is an author familiar to some of you. Christie went through a phase in fourth grade in which she had to read every single Avi book in the library and then made her mom take her to the bookstore to buy more.
It was also during this year that she read The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle three times. This 1991 Newbery Award Honoree was recently praised by a young patron as “one of the best books ever. Everyone should read this book.”

Avi isthe author of more than 70 books for children and young adults. He received the Newbery Medal in 2003 for Crispin: The Cross of Lead .

Other young patrons recommend the Poppy books beginning with book 1: Ragweed which chronicles the adventures of a country mouse that leaves home to see the world.

If You Like Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Read all of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books? Looking for something new to read?

Try one of these suggestions.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger (J FIC ANG)

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell (J FIC COW)

Dear Dumb Diary Series by Jim Benton (J FIC BEN)

Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow (J FIC IGN)

Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce (J FIC PEI)

Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson (J FIC PAT)

Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell (J FIC RUS)

Wayside School books by Jerry Spinelli (J FIC SPI)

Vordak the Incomprehensible by Vordak T. Incomprehensible (J FIC SEE)

Justin Case by Rachel Vail (J FIC VAI)

Hank Zipzer by Henry Winkler (J FIC WIN)

Great Summer Reads: Three Times Lucky

Can you believe it is almost the end of July? Neither can we. July brings good news though – we have new books! One of the books we have been waiting impatiently for is Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage. Here is what Christie has to say about the book:

Mo Lobeau is one funny and sassy gal. Just when she thinks her summer is going to be easy as pie, a fancy pants detective from Winston Salem rides into town just as poor Mr. Jesse ends up dead. How could I not fall in love with this hilarious group of characters (including Mo’s best friend Dale Earnhardt Johnson III and his dog Queen Elizabeth II)? This mystery/ adventure is the perfect middle grade read especially for Carolinians.

Just a few more weeks of Summer Reading, so come by and check out some brand new books!