Patrons always seem interested in what good books staff have read lately – so here are some of the latest.
Wingshooters by Nina Revoyr is a poignant coming-of-age story dealing with racial injustice, in many ways reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird. Told through the eyes of 9-year-old Michelle, a racially mixed child with a Japanese mother and white American father, the story is set in small town Wisconsin in the 1970′s. Michelle comes to stay with her bigoted grandparents, who treat her with unconditional love while her schoolmates reject and bully her. But things really heat up when a well-educated Black couple move to town and events move toward a tragic ending.
If you like family sagas with an edge, try Until the Next Time by Kevin Fox. The story may seem confusing at first, as it moves in time between 1972 and the turn of this century. After receiving the journal of his late uncle, a cop accused of murder who flees to Ireland in the 1970s, 21-year -old Sean travels to Ireland to learn more for himself. Among other things, he learns how his uncle became involved in the political turmoil of Northern Ireland, which resulted in his uncle’s death. Great for fans of Irish history, culture, and Celtic mysticism.
Readers who enjoy a good mystery that also introduces lots of factual material on a subject (in this case trout and fly-fishing) will enjoy The Royal Wulff Murders by Keith McCafferty. A host of interesting characters come together in small town Montana after a body is snagged while fishing.
Nonfiction fans might enjoy Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan. Egan’s great research puts you at the scene as Curtis follows his dream of photographing Native Americans before their cultures and old ways of life disappear. In 1900, at the age of 32, Curtis leaves his circle of prestigious friends and spends the next three decades photographing various tribes. As a result, much of what we know today about Native Americans is due to Curtis.
Searching for Hope: Life at a Failing School in the Heart of America by Matthew Tully is a very insightful look at an inner city school. The author doesn’t try to preach or supply answers; he lets the students, teachers, parents, and administrators share their stories. This is a very good addition to the conversation of how to improve education in this country.