By Jan Pease
Our weather is exceedingly dry, but it’s raining new books in the children’s department. Watch for colorful new nonfiction books about animals, military might, interesting countries, and famous people who are no longer living. There are books about bullying and other social issues, well-known children’s book authors, fast cars and martial arts. I have been weeding the nonfiction area because of the age of our books, and now we have beautiful new books to fill the shelves.
One of the books that stands out among these great books is “Nic Bishop Snakes.” There is a full color picture of an African horned bush viper on the cover, shown three times its actual size. If you like to learn about snakes, this is the book for you. If you suffer from Ophidiophobia, fear of snakes, don’t bring this one home.
Another book that stands out is “Bomb: the Race to Build and Steal the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon,” by Steve Sheinkin. Nominated this week as a finalist for the National Book Award, this exciting book tells the story of the Americans who were trying to build the dreaded atom bomb, the Soviets who were trying to steal it, and the Allies who tried to sabotage the German efforts to produce their own version. Mr. Sheinkin is a former textbook writer who “has dedicated his life to making up for his previous crimes by crafting gripping narratives of American history.”
Interesting fiction books with a tinge of history have also arrived this week. Terry Pratchett is famous for his Discworld books. His new book, "Dodger," is attracting notice for being completely different from the 36 books in the Discworld series. Dodger is an urchin in London during the days of Dickens and Disraeli. From the book description on amazon.com: “A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage in a vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her be caught again?”
“Sophia’s War” is the new book by Avi. In his author’s note, he states, “History provides endlessly amazing stories. Historical fiction, I believe, can illuminate those stories with the ordinary people who make extraordinary history. Or let me put it this way: Truth may be stranger than fiction, but fiction makes truth a friend, not a stranger.” The American Revolution is the setting for Sophia’s war, and the characters in the book are historically accurate, except for Sophia and her family. Another great read without vampires or post-apocalyptic disaster.
A flood of great books is waiting for you at the Litchfield library. See you there!