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While Joe Kennedy was grooming his sons for political careers, his daughter Eunice, fifth of the nine Kennedy children, was dreaming up a civil rights movement on behalf of persons with cognitive/developmental disabilities.

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They might seem young and inexperienced, but kids sometimes are wiser than we give them credit for. A boy named Joe in “Hooked,” by Tommy Greenwald, is such a lad.

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The sweet, slow building romance in “Emergency Contact,” by Mary H. K. Choy, is both heartwarming and humorous, twisting your heart in sync with the characters as their love grows. This isn’t just a romance though, it has humorous notes that you can’t help but laugh about.

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The experience of finishing a story in Dino Buzzati’s weird, witty and gloomy collection “Catastrophe and Other Stories” is like waking from an unsettling dream.

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Today we welcome a new reviewer to MO Books, Joan Kletzker. She’s an avid reader of history, current events, commentary, and well written literary fiction. Joan also enjoys mysteries, with a great spy novel thrown in. She’s a retired early childhood teacher and lives with her husband in Wash…

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“American Eden” is a captivating homage to botanist and physician David Hosack (1769-1835). In this previously untold story of Alexander Hamilton’s and Aaron Burr’s physician, Johnson revives a forgotten scientist and major benefactor of New York City and the early republic.

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It's been 150 years since the town of Eminence was founded on the banks of the Jacks Fork River in Shannon County. The river town is celebrating its Sesquicentennial with events throughout the year.

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“Restore Me,” by Tahereh Mafi, is the fourth installment in the “Shatter Me” series. Juliette, the main character, is now the Supreme Commander with Warner and Kenji by her side. It's been two weeks since she took over Sector 45 and there is peace, or so she thinks, but Juliette and Warner a…

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Caroline Fraser won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Biography with her book, “Prairie Fires: the American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder.” It describes Laura’s life from before her birth to years after her death.

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As the U.S. approaches a possible diplomatic engagement with North Korea, author D. B. John has released a timely tour-de-force set in that opaque and mysterious country.

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Books suck you in like whirlpools, spinning round as they weave you tightly into the story. “Lies You Never Told Me,” by Jennifer Donaldson, is definitely a whirlpool. Complete with mysterious characters, romance, and murder, this young adult story will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

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Two sisters have adventures and grow close on a family getaway in “Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea.” It’s a quiet, atmospheric read by Lynne Rae Perkins that places our feet squarely in the sand, our sights on mesmerizing waves as we relax under colorful beach umbrellas.

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Historian and journalist Jon Meacham has compiled a series of turning points in United States history to define and characterize the soul of America. To ascertain this essence, he uses the words and acts of Presidents and other past leaders who were major players in effecting the politics an…

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This legal mystery thriller has twists, some predictable, others a bit weird. Like all Lisa Scottoline books it was an engaging, quick read.

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“Moral Combat,” by St. Louisan Marie Griffith will be the subject of a book discussion at Neighborhood Reads this Thursday, May 24, at 3 p.m. MO Books reviewer Bill Schwab will present on the book in the shop’s continuing American Culture Topics series. Following is Bill’s review of “Moral Combat.”

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Seventeen-year-old Daisy Wilcox, known as Willie, is practically the mom of the house in the novel “Devils Unto Dust.” With her mother dead from the disease running rampant, and her father not helping or caring about the family, Willie will have to protect her siblings by herself.

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This book is the story of a tragedy and how the trauma and the secrets surrounding it will test a family’s bonds and bring a small town to its demise.

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Kids have a fascination with creatures — a clever new series for 6- to 9-year olds features a honey, a huge, furry guy with a big heart. Meet Hugo the Sasquatch, the star of “Big Foot and Little Foot,” by Ellen Potter.

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“Plant blindness” is the botanists’ term for the tendency of people to take plants for granted. Plant blindness is an epidemic, which leads to clear cutting forests and plowing over meadows everywhere. Many people are unaware that these ill-fated practices directly lead to our own destructio…

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“We’ll Fly Away,” by Bryan Bliss, is the story of two boys growing up in abusive families, with no love, no respect, and, at times, no happiness. This novel really tugs your heartstrings, and though I realized what happened in the end, it still shocked me to the core to actually read it. Thi…

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Today we welcome reviewer Jennifer Wirthwein to MO Books Blog. She is a middle school language arts teacher and a freelance writer. Her hobbies include cooking, playing piano, and reading. Her favorite genres include true crime, horror, mystery, and realistic fiction. She enjoys spending tim…

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It took six strong White House employees to lift William Howard Taft out of the bathtub. That humiliating, apocryphal story is the only recollection many people have about the 27th President and 10th Chief Justice of the United States. But Jeffrey Rosen suggests the often derided Taft deserv…

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An island mansion. Priceless stolen artwork. Biological weapons. Umbrella making. A humanistic dog. Interdimensional travel. A gala swimming with art thieves and double agents. No story is quite so intricate or unique as Kristin Cashore’s “Jane, Unlimited.”

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“Dread Nation” by Justina Ireland, is a historical fiction/zombie novel about a young black woman stuck in a world where the dead walk.

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Wow. Tom Sweterlisch’s second novel, “The Gone World,” is an engrossing literary mashup of crime fiction and mind-blowing science fiction. This is a complicated brew that demands and rewards your attention as it twists and turns through multiple timelines, multiple destinies, and the violent…

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“The Hush,” by John Hart, is a suspenseful mystery overlaid with mysticism. It’s full of twists, suspense, murders and supernatural forces, a sequel to Hart’s novel “The Last Child.” But even though it is a sequel it reads well as a stand-alone.

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“Four Weeks, Five People,” by Jennifer Yu, is a realistic young adult book about five teenagers at a therapy camp. Stella has severe depression. Andrew has anorexia. Clarissa has OCD and anxiety. Mason has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Ben has a Depersonalization Disorder.

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A throwback to yesteryear, Silvia Long’s “Big Book for Small Children” presents well-known children’s poetry, stories, and items and animals kids can identify while lap-sitting with gran and gramps. There also are several recipes for cooking together.

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No one did more to shape the judicial system of the United States than John Marshall (1755-1835). Marshall was the eldest of 15 children born to an impoverished farm family on the Virginia frontier. Although he attended only a single year of formal education, he rose from these limited begin…

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It’s safe to say the star of “Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail” has grit. Never one to resist a challenge, she hiked the entire Appalachian Trail in 1955 when she was 67-years-old. What a feat for Emma Gatewood, who raised 11 children in her Ohio home.

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Sylvain Neuvel wraps up his “Themis Files” trilogy with a triumphant conclusion in another compulsively-readable book, “Only Human.” With each book in the trilogy, Neuvel expands upon his original concept and increases the scope of his creation. It’s not easy to write a strong, surprising co…

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No other time in history has offered such diverse and approachable methods to propel personal dreams into a booming business. Now, more than ever, the way we live is influenced by our use of technology and social media platforms.

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Fifteen-year-old Sarah is blonde, blue-eyed and Jewish. “Orphan Monster Spy,” by Matt Killeen, begins after her mother is shot by the Nazis at a checkpoint. Sarah finds herself on the run from a government that wants all Jewish people dead.

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Tadzio Koelb’s debut novel is a brutal, vivid exploration of the life of a woman who strives to achieve the American Dream by living as a man. “Trenton Makes” is set in the New Jersey manufacturing city whose slogan is “Trenton Makes, the World Takes.” The story examines the nature of identi…

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In 2007 the Census Bureau reported that the average American moved 11.7 times in his or her lifetime. Although this statistic has slowed a bit in recent years, the United States continues to be one of the most mobile societies on earth. Many Americans will engage the services of a profession…

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I was left with strongly mixed feelings about “Barbed Wire Heart” when I finished it – and I almost didn't finish this novel by Tess Sharpe.

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This quick read is a complex love story that deals with issues of injustice, betrayal, love and loyalty. It’s told in a first person narrative that alternates between three characters.

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In “The Tangled Lands,” authors Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias Buckell combine forces to create a fascinating world where the decisions of each individual person puts constant pressure on the planet.

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“Behemoth” is a comprehensive study of the history and importance of the large factory. Joshua Freeman reports on its growth from the early 1700s in Europe to the early 2000’s in Asia--with stops in Frances Lowell’s New England mill town, Henry Ford’s Detroit and Stalin’s Russia.

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Follow a girl breaking free from her parents’ restrictive grasp on a journey to self-love and acceptance in “The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo.

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Located in a small Colorado town that hasn’t the cache or popularity of Vail or Aspen because of its isolation in the mountains, the town of Cedar Valley provides the setting for detective Gemma Monroe to solve crimes both big and small in “A Season to Lie," by Emily Littlejohn.

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At one time, the American chestnut tree was found far and wide in North America’s Eastern forests. These towering 100-foot-tall giants provided food and shelter for both people and animals. But then a disastrous blight struck and the American chestnut nearly became extinct.

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A tisket, a tasket, a handmade white-oak basket … Okay, we’ve changed the words of the poem a bit, but there’s a reason. Handmade white-oak (and other wood) baskets are what Joe and Alice Dudenhoeffer of Linn are all about.

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“Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary” defines “border” as “the outer edge of anything.” In his book “The Line Becomes a River” Francisco Cantú expands that definition to include physical, political, legal and emotional boundaries.

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Known throughout the world for her commitment to education and human rights, Malala’s miraculous tale of survival is told in the enthralling “Free as a Bird, The Story of Malala,” by Lina Maslo.

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Christmas 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of the record breaking Apollo 8 mission. President Kennedy had promised, in 1961, that U.S. astronauts (star sailors) would land on the moon before the close of the decade.

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This is a small gem of a book, the best novel I’ve read in many moons. The setting is a familiar one, the mountains and lowlands of North Carolina. It is 1951, the Korean War is raging, and Rory Docherty returns to his home high on Wolf Mountain missing his lower leg. He lives with Granny Ma…

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