Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Audacity of Hope

Book Menu for The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

ISBN of edition I read: 0307237699 (hardcover)

Food mentioned in The Audacity of Hope :
Salad, 3
Beer, 17
Eggs Benedict, 45
Carrots, 50
Potato salad, 51
Fried chicken, 51
Pie, 50
Jello and grape halves, 51
Mai Tai, 106
Chicken, catfish, hoppin' Johns, collard greens, meatloaf, cornbread, 249
Coca-Cola, 274
Ice cream, 297
Borscht, 312
Potato stew, 312
Baskin Robbins, 331
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, 331
Pizza, 349-350
Juice Boxes, 350

Books/Authors mentioned in The Audacity of Hope :
A Deficit of Decency / Zell Miller, 21
Harriet Tubman, 97
Profiles in Courage / John F. Kennedy, 129
Thomas Friedman, 145
The Other America / Michael Harrington, 252

Magazines/Newspapers mentioned in The Audacity of Hope :
New York Times, 24
Jet, 240
Ebony, 240

Music mentioned in The Audacity of Hope :
Joan Baez, 30
Mahalia Jackson, 30
ZZ Top, 143
Salsa, 262
Merengue, 262
Stevie Wonder, 330

Television shows mentioned in The Audacity of Hope :
Father Knows Best, 31
Dick Van Dyke Show, 31
Leave it to Beaver, 330

Libraries mentioned in The Audacity of Hope :
page 15: Michelle and I took [the girls'] hands, and together the four of us walked to the Library of Congress, where we met a few hundred well-wishers who had traveled in for the day, and spent the next several hours in a steady stream of handshakes, hugs, photographs, and autographs.

page 55: But our democracy might work a bit better if we recognized that all of us possess values that are worthy of respect: if liberals at least acknowledged that the recreational hunter feels the same way about his gun as they feel about their library books, and if conservatives recognized that most women feel as protective of their right to reproductive freedom as evangelicals do of their right to worship.

page 101: My staff will call up the local high school, library, or community college to see if they're willing to host the event.

page 196: We turned into the library parking lot and saw seven or eight protesters gathered along a fence...

page 230: There would be a commemorative stamp bearing her likeness, and countless streets, schools, and libraries across America would no doubt bear her name.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Girl in a Cage

Book Menu for Girl in a Cage by Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris

ISBN of edition I read: 0399236279 (hardcover)

This is a beautifully written historical fiction for young adults. This adult reader loved it too!

Food mentioned in Girl in a Cage:
Turnips, 3
Walnuts, 53
Chestnuts, 53, 129
Cheese, 53, 143
Cakes, 53
Pears, 129
Bread, 143
Grapes, 153
Blackberries, 153
Honey, 153
Gooseberry tarts, 229

Music mentioned in Girl in a Cage:
Bagpipes, 106

Literary elements in Girl in a Cage:
      "He had a pleasant enough face--for an Englishman--with ruddy cheeks and a nose bulbed like a  leek." (page 7)
      "'The English are fanning out from Perth like spilled ink spreading across a sheet of parchment'"
           (page 91)
      "The morning hours seemed to crawl along, like a legless beggar in a town square." (page 131)
      "Above us on the rocky heights, the sodden trees dripped in sympathy with my own sunken spirits." (page 105)
      "It was one of the few places where sunlight had found a purchase..." (page 121)
      "His signet ring winked at me in the sun." (page 146)

Great vocabulary in Girl in a Cage:
prattling, 8
rebuke, 8
reivers, 13
pismires, 57
temerity, 99
lea, 101, 218
roan, 108
neeps, 111
tatties, 111
puir, 193
blearily, 216
gaoler, 228

Discussion questions for Girl in a Cage :
What is Princess Marjorie's relationship with the cage?

Friday, July 15, 2011


Book Menu for Monster by Walter Dean Myers

ISBN of edition I read: 0064407314 (trade paperback)

Food mentioned in Monster :
Eggs, 11
Eggs, sausages, potatoes, 14
Chinese food, 28
Cheeseburger, 71
Mints, 140
Scrambled eggs, potatoes, corned beef hash, 153
Fried chicken and wedgies, 180
Sodas, 180, 202
Frankfurters, 202

Great vocabulary in Monster :
dispensary, 2
admissible, 18
redress, 26
cacophony, 117
traversed, 135
concentric, 199
surly, 215
contention, 255
causative, 262

Activities for Monster :
Write an extra scene to the end of this story. What happens?

Discussion questions for Monster :
What impact do the flashback scenes have?
Who do you think shot and killed Mr. Nesbitt?
How would you film this story? (casting, set, black/white or color, etc.)
Who do you feel about Steve by the end of the story?
Describe Steve in one word.
What did you think of the format of this story? (screenplay, journal entries, pictures)
What do you think is Steve's view of himself?
Is the book's title appropriate and accurate?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Fires of Merlin

Book Menu for The Fires of Merlin by T.A. Barron

ISBN or edition I read: 0441009573 (paperback)

This is the third book in the Lost Years of Merlin series.

Food mentioned in The Fires of Merlin :
Berries, 14, 51
Apples, 47, 64
   Baked apples, 128
   Dried apples, 193
Milk pudding, 128
Chestnut Pie, 128
Blueberry pie, 135

Great vocabulary mentioned in The Fires of Merlin :
iridescent, 4
psaltery, 14
incantation, 18
verdant, 26
careened, 35
smote, 66
frond, 145
viscerally, 210

Games mentioned in The Fires of Merlin :
Chess, 126

Discussion questions for The Fires of Merlin :
What are your favorite places on Fincayra?
What would you ask the Wheel of Wye?  For what is the Wheel a metaphor?
Do you think the author has a message?  What is it?
What are the fires of Merlin?
What are Hallia's and Eremon's opinions of Man? (pages 95 and 104)

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Lost Years of Merlin

Book Menu for The Lost Years by T.A. Barron

ISBN of edition I read: 044100668X

This is the first volume of a series about Arthurian legend and Merlin as a teenager.  It is beautifully written yet full of action and imagination. Librarians who will be in the Burlington, Vermont are this fall: T.A. Barron will be a guest at the joint New England Library Association/Vermont Library Association conference (Oct. 2-4, 2011).  I have heard him speak and he is very charismatic and inspiring to listen to.

Food mentioned in The Lost Years :
Bread-in-milk, 53
Blackberry jam on bread crusts, 53
Raspberries, 63
Round of cheese, 63, 174
Apples, 89
Honey, 106, 127

Books/Authors mentioned in The Lost Years of Merlin :
Oedipus Rex / Sophocles, 177

Games mentioned in The Lost Years of Merlin :
Chess , 214, 222

Discussion questions for The Lost Years of Merlin :
What do Rhia and Emrys have in common?
What ironies or coincidences did you find in this story?
What kind of moral struggles does Emrys enounter? 
What does Emrys have in common with his parents?
How would you use "The Caller of Dreams"?