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LIBRARIAN CHAT-update 9/8/2020
9/8/2020 - Took a few days off and had time to read! I have been wanting to read "The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan" by Sherry Thomas since it arrived and with the new movie coming out, now was the perfect time. Following the basic story line of the classic tale, Thomas has crafted a fantastic version using the history of the sword Mulans father gave her. I finished the book in 2 days, that is how good it is.

Two swords, the Heart Sea and Sky Blade, owned by a family of martial artists were passed down from generation to generation until the master had no children. Instead he entrusted each sword into the family of his two best students. Each generation must prove their worthiness by having a "discourse in dueling". If they cannot prove their worth, they must hand over their sword to the other family. And so the families duel, generation after generation training up one promising warrior to duel for the right to hold both swords. Mulan, whos father has disguised her as her deceased twin brother, has been in training for the duel since she was very young and the date set for the duel is coming soon. But war breaks out and China conscripts one male from each family to fight. Knowing that no one from her house is able to fight, Mulan responds to the call and ends up in an elite team commanded by a royal dukes son...a son who happens to have the other sword.

Hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I did!

9/1/2020 - My latest book is a Mark Twain Nominee for the 2020-21 school year and a Newbery Honor recipient for 2019, "The Night Diary" by Veera Hiranandani. It is written as like a series of letters from July 14, 1947 to November 10, 1947.

12-year-old Nisha lives in British controlled India with her father, grandmother, twin brother and house keeper. 1947 is the year the British turned control of the country over to the people splitting it into two nations, India for the Hindus and Pakistan for the Muslims. If you lived on the wrong side of the boarder, you were required to move. Nisha lives on the wrong side of the boarder.

I enjoyed reading about Nishas life. Her family relationships and the hardships of traveling from the new country of Pakistan to India.

8/18/2020 - Just finished "Rebel Spy" by Veronica Rossi, a historical fiction with a hint of romance for 9-12th grade. Based off research on Revolutionary War spys, Rossi picked spy #355 "The Lady", a female living in New York who was rumored to have helped bring down Benedict Arnold.

Fifteen-year-old Frannie Tasker is a wrecker (someone who dives to ship wrecks and retrieves the cargo) living in Grand Bahama Island. Her mother just passed away, a storm is approaching the wreck she is diving, and her step-father, Sewel, has informed her he will be "keeping her safe" by marrying her. Her response? Run(or in her case swim)! Taking the place of a female body that has washed up on shore from the newest wreck, she assumes the identity of Miss Emmeline Coates. She is rescued by a British merchant ship where she meets Asa Lane, an American rebel, who helps her learn what she needs to know to pass as Emmeline.

Three years later, Frannie gets swept into a romance with a British lieutenant, but after seeing the terrible way the British are treating their prisoners, decides to help the rebels by passing on information she learns from the officer.

Will she get caught stealing information? Will she marry her British lieutenant or turn to the American rebel who helped her find freedom? If you are a lover of history(with a touch of romance and danger) I would definitely recommend this book!

7/5/2020 - Finished another one of next years Truman Award Nominees, "Lifeboat 12" by Susan Hood. Using her research of diaries, letters, and interviews with survivors of the bombing of the SS City of Benares, Hood has recreated what happened to 13-year-old Ken Sparks. Ken was one of 90 British children who were being sent from England to Canada to keep them safe from the German bombings of England. He and 45 other Benares employees and passengers board lifeboat 12 when the Germans bomb and sink the ship.

This book is a work of fiction, but at the end of the book, Susan Hood cites her resources. The book also includes pictures of the real Ken Sparks and the other 5 children who were in lifeboat 12. This book was a really quick read and if you enjoy historical fiction I would definitely recommend you read it.

Mrs. Amy
Whats New
Cut Off - Adrianne Finlay
Each contestant has their own reasons...and their own secrets...for joining the new virtual reality show "Cut Off" that places a group of teenagers alone in the wilderness. It is a simple premise: whoever lasts the longest without "tapping out" wins a cash prize. What is not so simple: new software creates a totally unprecedented experience, allowing viewers to touch, see, and live everything along with the contestants. But what happens when "tapping out" does not work and no one comes to save you? What happens when the whole world seemingly disappears while you are stranded in the wild? (YA F Fin)
Kind of a Big Deal - Shannon Hale
There is nothing worse than peaking in high school. Nobody knows that better than Josie Pie.

She used to be kind of a big deal...she dropped out of high school to be a theater star! But the bigger you are, the harder you fall. And Josie fell hard. Broadway dream? Dead. Best friend? Distant. Boyfriend? Busy. Mom? Not playing with a full deck. Desperate to escape, Josie gets into reading. Literally. She reads a book and suddenly she is inside it! Book after book, Josie finds new ways to shine. But the longer she stays in a story, the harder it becomes to leave. (YA F Hal)
The Rise of Kyoshi - F. C. Yee
This prequel was written with the creator of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" Michael Dante Dimartino.

After nine years of desperate searching for the next Avatar, the discovery of young, charming Avatar Yun has brought stability to the four nations...that is until Earth Kingdom-born Kyoshi, Yuns unassuming friend and servant, demonstrates remarkable bending during a mission to the South Pole. With the identity of the true Avatar at stake and the growing unrest among her allies turning into violence, Kyoshi is forced to flee the Avatar mansion with her fiery friend Rangi, taking little more than the metal war fans and headdress her parents left behind.

Learn the story behind the longest-living Avatar in the history of this beloved world. (YA F Yee)
They Wish They Were Us - Jessica Goodman
In Gold Coast, Long Island, everything from the expensive downtown shops to the manicured beaches to the pressed uniforms of Jill Newman and her friends, looks perfect. But as Jill found out three years ago, nothing is as it seems.

Freshman year Jills best friend, Shaila Arnold, was killed by her boyfriend. Graham confessed and case closed. Now it is Jills senior year and she is determined to make it her best. But when Jill starts getting texts proclaiming Grahams innocence, her dreams of the perfect senior year start to crumble. If Graham did not kill Shaila, who did? Jill vows to find out. (J F Goo)
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