• Reviewed by Nelson Appell
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Secret agent Kangaroo returns for another zippy and suspenseful adventure set in the future in Curtis Chen’s entertaining sci-fi thriller “Kangaroo Too.”

  • Charles Garton Coy
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It is with great sadness and sense of loss that we, the American people, announce to the world the loss of our dear friend, Integrity. After suffering through a prolonged illness, Integrity succumbed to the cancers of corporate greed and political expediency on January 20, 2017.

  • Reviewed by Bruce Crane
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This short, first novel by Weike Wang is a delight, although I very nearly didn’t pick it up because I was put off by the cover. How can chemistry be a subject for an interesting story? It turns out that it is, in a somewhat peripheral way.

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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This book disrupted my schedule; I could not put it down. Chris Whipple has written a candid and exhilarating history about the development of the office of Chief of Staff. It all began with Nixon and H. R. Haldeman. This “club” of former chiefs includes well recognized occupants like Dick C…

  • Reviewed by Kylie Sullentrup, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School
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For some, falling in love is one of the greatest things in the world. For Natalie, the main protagonist in “16 Ways to Break a Heart,” by Lauren Strasnick, it's the opposite.

  • Charles Garton Coy
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has seen her country overcome deep skepticism to become unified and integrated into Europe. The next step, as she sees it, is for Germany to become a more unifying force globally.

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  • Reviewed by Nelson Appell, staff, Washington Public Library
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Wealth corrupts, thoroughly and violently, in David Grann’s remarkable book, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” If you’ve seen the movie, “There Will Be Blood” starring Daniel-Day Lewis, that will give you an idea of the amoral blood lust inspired by the enormous oil reserves uncovered below Osag…

  • Reviewed by William Winkler
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Several currently airing television commercials feature a driver (or accident prevention system) urgently applying the brakes to avoid hitting a pedestrian who, oblivious to his surroundings, has stepped into oncoming traffic while gazing intently down at the screen of his smartphone.

  • Reviewed by Susan Ferguson
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“A Piece of the World,” historical fiction by Christina Baker Kline, is the story of real-life Christina Olsen, who was the inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth’s famous yet haunting 1948 painting “Christina’s World.” A photo of the painting is included in the back of the novel. It is a p…

  • Reviewed by Patricia Sainz
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Today we welcome a new reviewer, Patricia Sainz, a retired public school librarian who enjoys historical fiction and biographies. Pat writes for MO Books to “give back,” in appreciation of review copies that are passed along to her. She said she is looking forward to the learning and joy obt…

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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Statesman Winston Churchill (1874-1965) and essayist George Orwell (1903-1950) never met or even corresponded, yet American military historian Thomas E. Ricks links these two Brits in the captivating dual biography, ‘Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom.”

  • Reviewed by Issy Volmert, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School
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Megan Whalen Turner returns to the world of the “Queen’s Thief” in her new stand-alone novel, “Thick as Thieves.”

  • Reviewed by Jan Eade
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“The Sunshine Sisters” is a compelling story of love, loss and the power of forgiveness. The book is a longer one than I usually read, but I found myself eagerly page-turning to discover what would be revealed next.

  • Reviewed by Nelson Appell, Staff, Washington Public Library
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It’s the end of civilization in David Williams’ smart, subtle, and powerful novel “When the English Fall.” His story follows an Amish community, seen through the recovered journal kept by one of its members, as it comes to grips with the apparent fall of the English. (The Amish refer to peop…

  • Reviewed by Janet Polumbo
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Author Mary Kubica has a winner in her new novel “Every Last Lie.” It’s the story of Clara, her husband Nick, daughter Maisie and newborn son Felix. The family seems to have a perfect life until an auto accident changes everything.

  • Reviewed by William Winkler
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For many readers the name F. Scott Fitzgerald evokes the novel “The Great Gatsby,” a book they read as a high school or college assignment. For many this novel may have been their only exposure to Fitzgerald’s work. “Gatsby,” published in 1925, was Fitzgerald’s third novel. But it did not en…

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  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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David McCullough’s latest book is a timely collection of 15 speeches he delivered between 1989 and 2016 at graduations, to Congress, and at the White House. The consummate storyteller uses this chronologically-arranged compilation to reminisce and reflect on the “stuff,” of which Americans a…

  • Reviewed by Monica Holtmeyer
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I am very honored to review Carlie Sorosiak's debut novel, “If Birds Fly Back.” This was a novel I honestly couldn't put down, but when I read it I wanted to read it slowly to prolong the end, and avoid the feeling of withdrawal you get when you finish an amazing book.

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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In “Apollo 8,” Jeffrey Kluger summons up the drama of the historic 6-day flight to the moon begun on December 21, 1968. Launched by a Saturn V Rocket, it was the first human spaceflight from the Kennedy Space Center. As the 50th anniversary of this extraordinary event nears, Kruger deftly re…

  • Reviewed by Nelson Appell, staff, Washington Public Library
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What happens to the neglected and forgotten daughters of literature’s greatest mad scientists? That simple question powers Theodora Goss’ wonderful, atmospheric reimagining of classic Victorian pulp fiction, “The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter.”

  • Reviewed by Bruce Crane
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Most everyone of a certain age is familiar with the Irish story: potato famine, escaping to New York City or Boston or where-ever, if luck would have it, perhaps killed in riots sparked by bigotry: “No Irish Need Apply.”

  • Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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If the kids in your life like adventure and a hero with insurmountable courage they’ll relish “The Quest for Z, the True Story of Explorer Percy Fawcett and a Lost City in the Amazon.” This text-rich picture book by Greg Pizzoli is as thrilling as it is inspiring.

  • Reviewed by Issy Volmert, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School, and Katie Farrell, recent graduate Washington High School
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Inspired by the hip-hop, smash hit musical “Hamilton,” the young adult novel "Alex and Eliza" is the masterfully crafted love story of young Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler.

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  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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Truevine is a town about 30 miles outside Roanoke, Virginia in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The town name comes from the Gospel of John where it is recorded Jesus that said, “I am the true vine.”

  • Reviewed by Susan Ferguson
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This enchanting book is the story of Li-yan, a Chinese girl, more specifically an Akha (an ethnic minority). Li-Yan grows up in a remote Yunnan Village in the mountains of China. The Akha are a very backward people who follow archaic traditions and rituals. It is a male dominant village wher…

  • Reviewed by Brynn Jankowski, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School
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"The Boy Most Likely To," by Huntley Fitzpatrick, is a love story. It is a love story between family as well as a romance between two people, and the struggles that come with that love. "The Boy Most Likely To" is a heart-warming book that is sure to leave you with a smile on your face.

  • Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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Connect daddies with their little ones by gifting the guys with a picture book to share at bedtime. Grins and hugs are sure to ensue with “I Don’t Want to Be Big,” by Dev Petty. Illustrations in bold colors by Mike Boldt pop, and the title is sure to win kids over.

  • Reviewed by Nelson Appell, librarian, Washington Public Library
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“Astrophysics for People in a Hurry,” by astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, is exactly what it says it is – a short tour of our understanding of the cosmos that is charming, conversational, witty and perfect to read in short bursts. It’s a great introduction to astrophysics. If you lack tim…

  • Reviewed by Kylie Sullentrup, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School
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“Midnight at the Electric,” by Jodi Lynn Anderson, is an astounding novel that will keep you at the edge of your seat, and always turning the pages. This novel was nearly impossible to put down.

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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German-born Bernhard Schlink writes fiction that reflects his legal background and references to his “vaterland’s” 20th century history. Like “The Reader,” his first and most famous work, “The Woman on the Stairs” continues this successful combination of topics. Schlink’s novels are not inte…

  • Reviewed by Issy Volmert
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Gem likes routine. She likes organization. She likes counting objects because the best things in her life often disappear. But the one thing Gem truly loves is her sister, Dixie. When they were younger, Gem protected Dixie in mutual love and adoration.

  • Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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At our house, PaPa is pancake king. When our grandkids spend the night, you’ll find him fixing flapjacks. Now kids can get in the act even when the griddles not in use, thanks to “Pancakes, An Interactive Recipe Book,” a board book that would charm the apron right off Aunt Jemima.

  • Reviewed by Kylie Sullentrup, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School
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Today we welcome a new reviewer to the MO Books Blog, Kylie Sullentrup, a sophomore at St. Francis Borgia Regional High School.

  • Charles Garton Coy
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We live in an age where political discourse is defined by internet memes; therefore, it is a iconography and symbols that compress complex ideas into short bursts for the age of social media.

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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Richard Beard has written a provocative, artful new novel, “The Apostle Killer.” This work of fiction opens right after the crucifixion of Jesus in Roman-occupied Judea. However, this is not ancient Judea, but the modern Judea, equipped with surveillance cameras, laptops and cell phones. Bea…

  • Reviewed by Maria Brady-Smith
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Eleanor Phipps “belonged to that class of New Yorkers whose bloodlines were traced in the manner of racehorses.” She was raised to strictly observe the code of such a class. Her one act of rebellion was to marry Rupert Falkes, an Englishman who had been an orphan, raised by a priest who foun…

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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Elliott Ackerman’s timely novel is an arresting account of life at the border of Turkey and Syria. Iraqi Haris Abadi immigrates to Dearborn, Michigan to improve his sister’s life after the loss of their parents during the first Iraq war.

  • Charles Garton Coy
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You may call this surprising, but I don't, that a reporter was assaulted by a political candidate. Truth is, it is not surprising at all in today's world.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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Mo Willems, the kiddie-lit author/illustrator who has left his magic mark on young readers, introducing them to personality-packed characters like Trixie, Elephant and Piggy, Pigeon and more, wowed a huge crowd at St. Louis County Library Headquarters on Tuesday evening with his antics and humor.

  • Reviewed by Jan Eade
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The crusty curmudgeon in "A Man Called Ove" was so intriguing that I found myself delighted to be introduced “Britt-Marie Was Here,” another novel by Fredrick Backman.

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  • Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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Perfect for Father’s Day, it’s hard to ignore the allure of “I Don’t Want to Be Big,” by Dev Petty. Illustrations in bold colors by Mike Boldt captivate, and the title is sure to win kids over, making a statement that’s the opposite of what children usually say they want.

  • Reviewed by Susan Ferguson
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“Free Bird,” by Jon Raymond, is a timely novel that delves into contemporary issues, the war in Afghanistan, the current political division between the right and left in the United States and state environmental issues. These political issues are brought to light through the story of a dysfu…

  • Reviewed by Bruce Crane
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In “Testimony” the author leaves his usual venue, Kindle County Minnesota, taking Bill ten Boom ultimately to the Hague and Bosnia. There, he becomes involved in prosecuting war criminal, Laza Kajevic, the murderous former chief of the Bosnian Serbs.

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  • Reviewed by Antoinette West
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I am a woman of a certain age who, in spite of strong reservations, has had to fly too often in commercial aircraft, the only means to my destination. I was the passenger white knuckling the arm rests and clutching her Saint Christopher medal during take offs and landings as I visualized new…

  • Reviewed by John B. Crane
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Meet John. B. Crane, our newest MO Books reviewer. He is a semi-retired psychiatrist, practicing part-time in Union. He loves reading novels, but not so much non-fiction. Crane says he gets enough of that from psychiatry journals.

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  • Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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Since time began, youngsters have played Rock, Paper Scissors. Finally we have a clue to its origin with “The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors,” a crowd-pleaser by Drew Dayalt. (Though his name is Drew, he didn’t draw the illustrations – those spring from the wacky imagination of Adam Rex.)

  • Charles Garton Coy
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Looking at news sometimes it is difficult to know what is real and what is fabricated, and to know the difference actually matters.

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  • Reviewed by Stephanie Monzyk
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“The Girl Before” is a psychological thriller by J.P. Delaney that truly leaves the reader guessing “whodunit” until the shocking conclusion.

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