• Reviewed by Pat Sainz
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The title of the book “Fever,” by South African writer Deon Meyer, refers to a flu pandemic that wipes out most of the world’s population. Set in current times in South Africa, the story tells of the efforts of a few citizens somehow left alive to rebuild a society when all modern day conven…

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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You learn something new everyday—though I’ve reviewed books for “The Missourian” for 15 plus years, I recently discovered a fun fact about picture books.

  • Reviewed by Jan Palumbo
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"Girl Unknown," by Irish writer Karen Perry, is a captivating book. In the novel, readers are introduced to David, a married father of two and professor at a local college, and his wife Caroline who has recently returned to work after a long period staying home and raising children. Life is …

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  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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In his latest book American Revolutionary War cryptology specialist John A. Nagy hones in on the little-known but extraordinary skills of George Washington as spymaster. Drawing on the General’s diary and correspondence, the author chronicles Washington’s espionage activities from his forays…

  • Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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Some picture books are so beautifully illustrated they make you sigh and are a joy to share with a young reader – even if that child is a granddaughter in sixth grade—far beyond the age of lap-seating for a story.

  • Reviewed by Susan Ferguson
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“The Ice House,” by Laura Lee Smith, is a work of contemporary fiction about family relationships, forgiveness and salvation. Johnny MacKinnons is a 53-year-old Scotsman married to Pauline, a second-generation owner of an ice factory in Jacksonville, Florida.

  • Reviewed by Emma Thomas, Union Middle School
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When considering whether or not I should review a book, I read the first couple of chapters to see if it is something I am willing to devote time to reading and writing about. When I sat down and started “The Cruel Prince,” I had a difficult time putting it down.

  • Reviewed by Jan Palumbo
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"Blood Sisters," by bestselling author Jane Corry, is a must read for 2018. It’s the story of a relationship between two half sisters and the tragic accident that changes their lives forever.

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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Charity Tillemann-Dick has all the essentials for a successful operatic career: amazing talent, connections with important people in the world of opera and just plain luck. But her future as a great singer is threatened when, at the age of 21, she is diagnosed with the rare disease, pulmonar…

  • Reviewed by Pat Sainz
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In a home in Brisbane, Australia, an elderly widow is puttering in her kitchen and enjoying her “cuppa” tea when she suffers a stroke. The next day she is recovering in a nursing facility, forced to leave the home where she has lived for 70 years. So begins “A Hundred Small Lessons,” by Ashley Hay.

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  • Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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There’s glitter galore on the farm, and lots of laughs too in another rousing tale from the team of Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin. This one launches just in time for Valentine’s Day, “Click, Clak, Moo I LOVE YOU.”

  • Reviewed by Susan Ferguson
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“Domina” is the second book in a trilogy by L.S. Hilton. In the first book, “Maestra,” readers meet Judith Rashliegh, a junior art expert who works at an auction house. Judith is fired when she discovers fraud at the auction house. Several of the characters from “Maestra” return in “Domina.”

  • Reviewed by Katrina Weiss, Washington High School
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Today we welcome a new reviewer to MO Books, Katrina Weiss, a junior at Washington High School who “enjoys a nice fantasy or sci-fi book.” Some of Weiss’ favorite books are “An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, “Six of Crows,” by Leigh Bardugo, and “Legend” by Marie Lu.

  • Reviewed by Jan Eade
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Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb are the authors of “Last Christmas in Paris,” a historical novel that will keep readers engrossed until the end. Though the book has Christmas in the title, it’s a joy read anytime of year, and a romantic pick for February. I found the novel refreshing with its …

  • Reviewed by Nelson Appell, Staff, Washington Public Library
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I’m preparing for a long summer trip that will take my family out of the country. As part of our travel plans, I plan to sketch on location with my children. This means carrying a sketch journal, pencil, pen and watercolor in our backpacks. Part of my inspiration for doing this comes from th…

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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In a disturbing history of residential segregation in America, Richard Rothstein, an authority on housing policy, brilliantly explodes the commonly held view that America’s cities came to be racially divided because of individual prejudices, income differences, and the “redlining” decisions …

  • Reviewed by Issy Volmert, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School
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“Once there was, and one day there will be. This is the beginning of every story.” Author Traci Chee invites you back to the world of Kelanna with “The Speaker,” Book Two of The Sea of Ink and Gold Series.

  • Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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All books come to life in the hands of readers – “The New LiBEARian,” by Alison Donald, cleverly makes that point using a fuzzy-wuzzy bookish-bear.

  • Reviewed by John Crane
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“Red Sky at Noon,” is fiction, although its author Simon Sebag Montefiore, intersperses the novel with historical characters and events in Russia in the early years of World War II.

  • Reviewed by Susan Ferguson
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“Fierce Kingdom,” by Gin Phillips, is a page-turning thriller, the story of the bond between mother and child. Joan and her four-year-old son, Lincoln, are visiting one of their favorite places, the local zoo. They visit the zoo often and are familiar with its layout, know which exhibits are…

  • Reviewed by Emma Thomas, Union Middle School
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In the Wintersea Republic, if you are born on Eventide you are supposedly cursed and will die at midnight on your 11th birthday. Morrigan Crow, the main character in Jessica Townsend’s fantasy “Nevermoor,” just happened to be born on that day.

  • Reviewed by John Crane
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When I began this book, I was delighted to find it set in one of my very favorite parts of the country, the northern Maine coast. It’s the story of a sometimes tense and angry, sometimes close and loving family who gather for their traditional Fourth of July vacation at their summer home on …

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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In the disturbing but beautifully written book, “Nomadland,” Jessica Bruder reports on the tens of thousands of itinerant Americans who move “like blood cells through the veins of the country” seeking seasonal work.

  • Reviewed by Pat Sainz
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“Grief Cottage” by Gail Godwin, is a coming-of age story about an 11-year-old boy who has to face an entirely new way of living with an aunt he has never met after his mother dies unexpectedly.

  • Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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Start the New Year off right by introducing first- through fourth-graders to “The Carver Chronicles,” by Karen English, a series set in Carver Elementary School featuring a class of third-graders.

  • Reviewed by Nelson Appell, Librarian, Washington Public Library
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I love Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series. The central concept is simple and brilliant. Eleanor West runs a home for maladapted children who return from fantasy worlds but yearn to return to those worlds that feel more like home than the real world.

  • Reviewed by Emma Thomas, Union Middle School
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If you like fantasy and magic, “Beasts Made of Night,” by Tochi Onyebuchi, should be on your reading list. This book has plenty of plot twists to keep you wanting more.

  • Reviewed by Bill Winkler
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Humorist Will Rogers said, “The man with the best job in the country is the vice president. All he has to do is get up every morning and say, ‘How is the president’?” John Nance Garner, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s vice president from 1933-1941 famously said, “The vice presidency is not worth a b…

  • Reviewed by Pat Sainz
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“George and Lizzie” is a first book by Nancy Pearl, a librarian and book critic on NPR. I have long enjoyed her book reviews. (Pearl was the model for the librarian action figure designed by a company a few years ago...this is true). In writing this book, Pearl states she is writing the book…

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  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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Writing about the explosion of the 24-hour news cycle, the ever-growing number of podcasts and the challenge of separating true from fake news, Bob Schieffer and three contributors examine political news today. They provide an insider’s look at the changing media scene and ask, “Are today’s …

  • Reviewed by Nelson Appell, Librarian, Washington Public Library
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William Gibson’s first attempt at writing a graphic novel, “Archangel,” is brilliant. It packs Gibson’s usual punch. He puts a surprising amount of depth into a 5-chapter science fiction story that moves quickly and is over far too soon.

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  • By Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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If you're still making plans on how to kick off the New Year, here's an option: Make tracks for the all-new New Year's Celebration at Silver Dollar City, on both New Year's Eve and Day.

  • Reviewed by John Crane
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My initial attraction to this book was, in a somewhat self-centered way, the fact that the New York World's Fair was held in 1939, the year I came into the world. Since I couldn't be at the former, guess which is most important to me.

  • Reviewed by Pat Sainz
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The title of the novel “The Heirs” by Susan Rieger refers to family who find themselves heirs not only to a vast amount of money but also heirs to a mysterious legacy surrounding their father, mother and their parents’ complicated past.

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  • Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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This time of year wonder abounds and young readers will find much to enjoy in “Thunder Horse” a picture book by Eve Bunting, the fantastical story of a magical horse gifted to a little girl.

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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During a C-SPAN interview, Thomas Friedman said, “Thank You for Being Late” is about “pausing, reflecting and the need for connection. It is about practicing the Golden Rule.” To that I would add it is primarily a book about change.

  • Reviewed by Issy Volmert, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School
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In the heart of Vermont rests the Abrams Valley, home to the oldest and most notorious families in the state. The Lovegoods, a long line of proud, strong willed women have scrabbled, often violently, with their neighbors the Abrams for over 200 years resulting in multiple casualties.

  • Reviewed by Jan Eade
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“Christmas at the Little Beach Bakery” a delight to read during the holidays. Its author, Jenny Colgan, spent time in Cornwall, England as a child so the setting is wrapped around her joyful memories.

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  • Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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On Christmas Even, bells jingle waking Ollie. Cuddly toy reindeer in hand, she rushes to the window, the night landscape a brilliant white with new fallen snow.

  • Reviewed by Emma Thomas
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“Patina” by Jason Reynolds is a book about an independent, argumentative girl named Patina Jones. Everyone calls her Patty. She has a little sister, Maddy. When she was six-years-old something happened. Her dad Ronnie kissed everyone goodnight and went to sleep, never to wake again. Three ye…

  • Reviewed by Susan Ferguson
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This historical fiction novel also has an element of mystery. “The Stolen Marriage,” is a book full of secrets, betrayals, prejudice and forgiveness. This page-turner has likeable well-rounded characters and plenty of family drama. Readers are immersed in a detailed account of the daily life…

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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Violence, kidnapping and torture have regrettably become routine in Central Asia and the Middle East over the last 20 years. This is largely due to the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (Syria) whose revolutionary activities are reported daily in our mainstream media, as well as …

  • Reviewed by Nelson Appell, Staff, Washington Public Library
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“Artemis,” Andy Weir’s moon-based sophomore effort, is another entertaining novel set in a realistic depiction of life in Space. Like his first book, “The Martian,” half the fun of this novel is knowing that Weir is dedicated to making the science as accurate as possible. It’s like going to …

  • Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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With the holidays in full swing, families gather from far and near to share a meal and visit. Too often young people, and adults too, bring along an unwelcome and uninvited guest –electronic screens, video games and telephones. What’s a host to do?

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