Last week was a doozy! So I'll get straight to the books.
From LibraryThing's Early Reviewers:
A heartbreaking history of prejudice, family ties, and the loss of innocence.When twelve-year-old Titus Sullivan decides to run away to join his Uncle Amos and older brother, Lem, he finds an alien and exciting world in Oil Springs, the first Canadian oil boomtown of the 19th century.
The Enniskillen swamp is slick with oil, and it takes enterprising folk to plumb its depths. The adventurers who work there are a tough lot of individuals. In this hard world, Titus becomes friends with a young black boy, the child of slaves who came to Canada on the Underground Railroad. When tragedy strikes in the form of a race riot, Titus's loyalties are tested as he struggles to deal with the terrible fallout.
Though the characters are fictitious, the novel is based on a race riot that occurred in Oil Springs, Ontario, on March 20, 1863. Grease Town is historical fiction at its finest. (Canada) - (US)
From Random House Canada:
Whether he’s reporting on the infiltration of the murderous Aryan Brotherhood into the U.S. prison system, tracking down a chameleon con artist in Europe, or riding in a cyclone- tossed skiff with a scientist hunting the elusive giant squid, David Grann revels in telling stories that explore the nature of obsession and that piece together true and unforgettable mysteries.
Each of the dozen stories in this collection reveals a hidden and often dangerous world and, like Into Thin Air and The Orchid Thief, pivots around the gravitational pull of obsession and the captivating personalities of those caught in its grip. There is the world’s foremost expert on Sherlock Holmes who is found dead in mysterious circumstances; an arson sleuth trying to prove that a man about to be executed is innocent; and sandhogs racing to complete the brutally dangerous job of building New York City’s water tunnels before the old system collapses. Throughout, Grann’s hypnotic accounts display the power—and often the willful perversity—of the human spirit.
Compulsively readable, The Devil and Sherlock Holmes is a brilliant mosaic of ambition, madness, passion, and folly. (Canada) - (US)
The next thrilling installment in the Harry Hole series.
The night the first snow falls a young boy wakes to find his mother gone. He walks through the silent house, but finds only wet footprints on the stairs. In the garden looms a solitary figure: a snowman bathed in cold moonlight, its black eyes glaring up at the bedroom windows. Round its neck is his mother's pink scarf. Inspector Harry Hole is convinced there is a link between the disappearance and a menacing letter he received some months earlier. As Harry and his team delve into unsolved case files, they discover that an alarming number of wives and mothers have gone missing over the years. When a second woman disappears Harry's suspicions are confirmed: he is a pawn in a deadly game. For the first time in his career Harry finds himself confronted with a serial killer operating on his turf, a killer who will drive him to the brink of insanity. (Canada) - (US)
From First Second Books:
Mystery, intrigue, and pastries abound in this World War II spy tale
Evelyn typically satisfies her longing for adventure with the help of a pencil and a sheet of paper. But when she makes a new friend, Tony, she’s happy to abandon her art for a real-life search for spies. When the two accidentally uncover a genuine mystery, it looks like Evelyn might end up in the kind of adventure she writes in her comics!
Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, and Pascal Dizin present a period piece that creates an inviting world you won’t want to resist.(Canada) - (US)
From Toon Books:
Why can't he ever play nice? Benny and Penny hide every toy and tell Cousin Bo he can't play with them. Will the three mice find a way to play without something getting torn, ripped, or snatched away? Bestselling author Geoffrey Hayes thrills us with this hilarious tale of tiny cousins who discover a game that can't ever be ruined. (Canada) - (US)
Can Zig and Wikki catch a pet before they become a snack? Zig and Wikki land on a planet full of strange creatures like flies, frogs, and raccoons. They have to capture one for a school assignment, but the animals aren't ready for class - on this new planet, it seems to be lunchtime! (Canada) - (US)
From Candlewick Press:
Save the planet . . . Pluto! Stink Moody, wise-cracking champion of everything small, is on a new mission: to reinstate his favorite celestial orb.
Look! Up in the sky! Is it a falling leaf ?
A speck of dust? A speeding mosquito?
No, it’s Stink Moody, Solar System Superhero!
When Stink learns that Pluto has flunked out of the Milky Way for being too shrimpy, he feels like he might just explode with a Big Bang. Stink has no choice but to take a stand for the sake of little planets (and little people) everywhere. Will he be smart enough to defeat a panel of big-shot scientists? Will he be strong enough to beat know-it-all Riley Rottenberger and her "Team KPB"? Will he succeed in rescuing Pluto from a fate worse than being swallowed by a black hole? Start the countdown for a funny (and very informative) out-of-this-world adventure—and prepare to have your universe rocked! (Canada) - (US)
From Harper Collins Canada:
What if the world's greatest hero decided to become the world's greatest villain? The Plutonian’s deadly rampage continues. His former comrades-turned-victims are beaten, tired, and searching for hope. A "twilight of the superheroes"-style story that examines super-villains from Mark Waid, the writer of KINGDOM COME and EMPIRE!
From Simon & Schuster Canada:
Jacob Hunt is a teenage boy with Asperger's syndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject -- in his case, forensic analysis. He's always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do...and he's usually right. But then his town is rocked by a terrible murder and, for a change, the police come to Jacob with questions. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger's -- not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, flat affect -- can look a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel. Suddenly, Jacob and his family, who only want to fit in, feel the spotlight shining directly on them. For his mother, Emma, it's a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it's another indication of why nothing is normal because of Jacob. And over this small family the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?
Emotionally powerful from beginning to end, House Rules looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way -- and fails those who don't. (Canada) - (US)
And finally a book that is not for review but Bookmooched for our history studies next year:
In this Newbery Medal-winning novel, Daniel bar Jamin is fired by only one passion: to avenge his father's death by crucifixion by driving the Roman legions from his land of Israel. He joins an outlaw band and leads a dangerous life of spying, plotting, and impatiently waiting to seek revenge. Headstrong Daniel is devoid of tenderness and forgiveness, heading down a destructive path toward disaster until he hears the lessons taught by Jesus of Nazareth. With a brand new cover, young readers won't be able to pass up this timeless tale. (Canada) - (US)