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Book Of A Thousand Days
Author: Shannon Hale
Format: Paperback
, 2009
  • Set in a medieval Asian land, a classic Brothers Grimm tale is reimagined by a Newbery Honor author. In this completely unique retelling, filled with adventure and romance, drama and disguise, a young maid sacrifices her freedom to accompany her mistress into exile. Illustrations.


Dancing at the Odinochka
Format: Paperback
, 2005
  • Nearly 150 years ago, when Alaska belonged to Russia and was called Russian America, Erinia Pavaloff lived at the Nulato odinochka on the banks of the Yukon River. Owned by the Russian American Company, an odinochka was a trading post where native people traded their furs for precious Russian supplies.

    Erinia is always busy -- learning to make fur clothing, emptying buckets of snow into water barrels, helping Mamma, gathering spruce boughs to make fish traps, and grinding paint for a new canoe. It seems that Erinia works all the time. So she can hardly wait for visitors -- the company men who bring stock for trading, or the Indians who come to fish or sell furs. When visitors come, Erinia and the others are delighted to listen to old stories and music, and everyone dances at the odinochka.

    Life has a good sameness that Erinia counts on...until the day when American Western Union Telegraph men arrive. Sent up north to build a telegraph line, the men bring news of the outside world, new inventions, and customs unfamiliar to Erinia''s people. Everyone at the odinochka listens to the Americans'' stories, learns their funny songs, and dances the waltz that the telegraph men teach them.

    But as suddenly as they''ve come, the telegraph men leave -- their telegraph line abandoned -- and Erinia is bereft. Word comes that the United States has purchased Russian America from Russia; Erinia and her people have become American Alaskans. Their lives will never be the same, as they struggle to find their place in this American world that doesn''t care about the old ways. Will there ever again be dancing at their odinochka?

    Inspired by a five-page memoir written in 1936 by the real Erinia Pavaloff, a relative of the author''s stepfather, Dancing at the Odinochka is a stunning story of family, culture, and hope that will leave no reader untouched.


Flight of the Wild Geese
Author: T.D. Thompson
Format: Paperback
, 2009
  • T.D. Thompson has created poignantly realistic characters by skilfully refraining from inserting authorial judgments on their motives and psychology. Instead, he leaves it to the gaps in Dave's perception to reveal the complexities of the characters. For instance, Thompson makes it possible for the reader to befriend Jamie and realize there is more to him than what he tells Dave. Dave only acknowledges the possibility that he may have misjudged Jamie after the trip. During the journey, Dave keeps dismissing Jamie's clownish ways as irritating immaturity while the reader is left to wonder if Jamie is hiding his feelings behind an act of disrespect and nonchalance.

    Although it is only 122 pages in length, Flight of the Wild Geese is a compact and emotionally charged novel. Thompson portrays the maturing of an adolescent boy with sensitivity and refuses to offer easy answers. While some of Dave's circumstances and experiences are unique, the basic themes of heartbreak, loss and the struggle for self identity make Flight of the Wild Geese a story to which many adolescent readers would relate.


Oracles: A Novel
Format: Hardcover
, 2004
  • In this futuristic novel, the natural wilderness is disappearing due to human incursion and urbanization. Small pockets of nature remain and are used for tourist visits and historical interpretations. Television broadcasts pictures, sounds, and smells, and space travel is commonplace.

    The Yantuck Indians must find a way to preserve the natural environment that survives on their eastern United States reservation and yet participate in a global economy. This dilemma creates factions within the tribe: the Yantucks who believe in a more traditional way of life and those who seek to enhance tribal finances by marketing and selling "Indian-ness," first through a casino and then a new age movement.

    Ashneon Quay, a young medicine woman-in-training, is herself caught between two worlds. Growing up with elderly family members, both medicine people, she attends a local college where she studies anthropology. Quay struggles to find a balance between the traditional and the new and identify a path that's right for her.

    Vividly rendered with strong characters and a dose of magical realism, this innovative glimpse of one Indian family trying to maintain tribal culture in the midst of rapid transformation resonates with issues Native peoples currently face.


Soccer Skills: For Young Players
Format: Paperback
, 2007
  • Making the most of preparation and practice time with this comprehensive skills-guide.

    This handbook has everything the young soccer player needs to improve his or her game. Fully illustrated with step-by-step sequences for optimum performance, it covers all aspects of the sport: historical background, soccer jargon, and basic defensive and offensive strategies. The book is suitable for players just starting out and for the more experienced player looking to fix a persistent problem or improve a specific skill.

    With dozens of color photographs, Soccer Skills features:

    - Ball control
    - Passing skills
    - Running with the ball
    - Free kicks, corner kicks, "bending the ball"
    - Hitting the back of the net
    - Controlling the ball on the head
    - Shadowing and tackling
    - Goal-keeping
    - Warming-up and cooling-down exercises
    - Pre-match preparation and off-season conditioning
    - Pre- and post-game nutrition tips.
    - Training drills used by soccer's top professionals are combined with sequential photographs and detailed explanations. At-a-glance tips help players solve problems and polish their techniques.

    From the necessary skills to strategic tips for winning, Soccer Skills is essential for players and coaches of the world's most popular sport.


The Bean Trees: A Novel
Format: Paperback
, 2009
  • Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on. By the time Taylor arrives in Tucson, Arizona, she has acquired a completely unexpected child, a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms with both motherhood and the necessity for putting down roots. Hers is a story about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discovery of surprising resources in apparently empty places.


The Middle Ground (Rapid Reads)
Author: Zoe Whittall
Format: Paperback
, 2010
  • When everything goes wrong at once, Missy Turner begins to make some unusual choices.
    Missy Turner thinks of herself as the most ordinary woman in the world. She has a lot to be thankful for—a great kid, a loving husband, a job she enjoys and the security of living in the small town where she was born. Then one day everything gets turned upside down—she loses her job, catches her husband making out with the neighbor and is briefly taken hostage by a young man who robs the local café. With her world rapidly falling apart, Missy finds herself questioning the certainties she's lived with her whole life.

    CM Magazine - April 30, 2010
    "Whittall's prose demonstrates vitality and humour as she includes the minutiae of daily life among the bizarre events in Missy's adventure…An entertaining read. Recommended."


The Whale People
Format: Paperback
, 2003
  • In The Whale People, young Atlin must one day succeed his father Nit-gass, a great whaling chief of the Hotsath people. The boy trains for his role with the mixture of yearning and apprehension experienced by every youth racing toward adulthood - except that in Atlin's case, his whole community is depending on his success.

    With lean, sure-footed prose, Haig-Brown captures the tangled emotions of adolescence, and in the process conveys a vivid portrait of pre-Columbian life on the West Coast. Never preachy or condescending, The Whale People is richly furnished with the material and spiritual mainstays of its characters: canoes, harpoons, animals and "tumanos," the personal magic a great whaler and leader must possess.

    "Timeless" is a term too freely bandied about, but seldom has a story so deftly married the moment with the millennia. Written 40 years ago - it was named Book of the Year for Children by the Canadian Library Association in 1964 - it could be set 400 years ago, yet there is not one quaint or dated sentence in it.


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