Templar

Templar

by Jordan Mechner, LeUyen Pham, and Alex Puvilland

Review by Travis Johnson

Dungeons, swordfighting, unjust imprisonment, evil viziers, love interests in towers, spectacular jumping ability: these are the things that Templar and Jordan Mechner’s groundbreaking 1989 computer game Prince of Persia have in common. However, if you were unaware of Mechner’s subsequent work in various mediums, you might be forgiven for finding it hard to believe that this is the work of someone who achieved their initial fame as a game programmer. Continue reading

Justin Morgan Had a Horse

Justin Morgan Had a HorseJustin Morgan Had a Horse

by Marguerite Henry

Review by Rachel Shuman

This is a wonderful book for a child interested in early American history. In telling the story of Joel Goss, the author shows what life was like for a boy growing up just after the Revolutionary War. The reader follows Joel as he spends the last summer of his childhood journeying with music teacher Justin Morgan. Upon their return home to Vermont, Joel is apprenticed out to a local miller. As he learns his trade and becomes a young man, his path often crosses that of Li’l Bub, a colt belonging to the music teacher, and the eventual founding stallion of America’s oldest horse breed. Their reunion, and the empathy Joel feels in regard to the aged horse, is deeply moving. Continue reading

Public Library & Other Stories

Public Library and Other StoriesPublic Library and Other Stories

by Ali Smith

Review by Krystal Mainhart

This book contains a variety of short stories which all, in one way or another, relate around the theme of books and libraries, and how both of these impact the individual as well as communities.  This book became part of, “a fierce fight, a growing national movement …to defend our public libraries [in the United Kingdom].”  In the North American edition, the stories are interspersed with brief sections of transcribed interviews- the author asked friends and strangers about their views of libraries, their histories, and recent library closures.  Continue reading

The Jealous Kind

 The Jealous Kind

by James Lee Burke

Review by Susan Williams

If you have never read James Lee Burke’s books, you are missing some truly great writing. Burke’s writing is lyrical and his descriptions are pure magic. Burke has won two Edgar awards and numerous other recognitions for his prose. Stephen King said he reads Burke because he is a “gorgeous prose stylist”. Continue reading

Swedish Authors

Swedish Author Invasion

Reviews by Lois Plale

I enjoy reading international authors and a few years ago, I discovered two Swedish authors, both of whom are becoming popular in this country.  They are Jonas Jonasson and Frederik Backman.  Both authors use humor and a lot of heart.  I have reviewed two books for each author. Continue reading

Mission

the-missionThe Mission: Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture

Composer: Ennio Morricone

Review by: Michele Bolay

Awards: Academy Award nominee (Best Music, Original Score); Golden Globe winner (Best Original Score – Motion Picture); BAFTA winner (Best Score); AFI’s 100 Years of Film Scores (#23); ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards (Lifetime Achievement). Continue reading

Silent Land

the-silent-landThe Silent Land

by Graham Joyce

Review by Gretchen Chamberlin

At just under 300 pages, The Silent Land is the book to pick up if you want something you can finish in an evening, on a plane ride or on a day at the beach. It is definitely for you if you were addicted to the TV show, Lost.

The story takes you to the high peaks of the French Pyrenees on a breathtakingly beautiful early morning. Jake and Zoe have the pristine snowy slopes to themselves as they push off on their skis. In the blink of an eye, light hearted sport turns into a terrifying race against the crushing waves of a tumultuous avalanche.  Continue reading

Word Exchange

word-exchangeThe Word Exchange

By Alena Graedon

Review by Zoey Mills

In the not-so-distant future, the death of print has become a reality. Memes, or handheld “smart” devices, are seemingly taking over the world. Not only does the handheld device keep us in communication but it can also hail a cab, order take-out, or even look up definitions of words with one simple thought. Anana Johnson, and her father Doug, are editing the final printed edition of the North American Dictionary of the English Language. But, when Doug mysteriously disappears two nights prior to the publication, Anana goes into a panic in search of him, only to uncover a much more dangerous plot, than she ever imagined. Join Anana and Bart as they race against time, The Word Flu, aphasia, and so much more as they not only try to find her father, but also save the printed word.

Continue reading

Wolf by the Ears

Wolf by the EarsWolf by the Ears by Ann Rinaldi

Review by Laurie Doan

 Do you love the music from Hamilton? Want to learn more about that time?
Time is running out for Harriet Hemmings, rumored to be the daughter of Thomas Jefferson, who must choose between a life at Monticello and a life of freedom. This historical novel is told in the form of a diary.

Harriet will be turning twenty-one soon and will be forced to choose between the only home she’s ever known and true freedom. The kind of freedom which can only be bought through secrets and disguise.

Well dressed, well schooled, well fed, and well loved. Harriet Hemmings has it all. Or does she? Raised at Monticello, the daughter of Sally Hemmings, she is also rumored to be the daughter of Thomas Jefferson. Thus she is held in high esteem by the man himself and feels in her heart that he will protect her. But he is getting old and losing his money. If something happens to him, what will happen to her?

Would she be sold with the place? Or will the slaves in Virginia be set free? When the Governor of Virginia pleads with her to take her freedom she is hesitant and says, “But you’re going to free Virginia’s slaves.”

He replies, “The pro-slavery people in this state are too strong. Look at my father-in-law. He can’t make his mind up about slavery. Hates it, yes. Says it’s a wolf America has by the ears. And that we can no longer hold onto it. But neither can we let it go.”

If Harriet doesn’t take her chance when her time comes, can she count on continuing to be treated well? Or will she too be caught like a wolf by the ears?

Check availability on Wolf by the Ears by Ann Rinaldi
About the reviewer: Originally written for the LibraryKeeper’s Review of Books, Laurie reviewed this book back in 2009. She serves Tredyffrin Township as the young adult librarian at TPL.