• Reviewed by Nelson Appell, Staff, Washington Public Library
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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.

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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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.

  • Reviewed by Katrina Weiss
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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.

  • Reviewed by Pat Sainz
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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.

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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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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  • By Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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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.

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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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.

  • Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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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.

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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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.

  • Reviewed by Bruce Crane
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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…

  • Charles Garton Coy
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No doubt critics, who suspect President Donald Trump's motives for tracking the number of citizens and non-citizens living in the United States in the 2020 census, have plenty of cause for concern.

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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Could the Vietnam War have ended differently? Even before the last troops were withdrawn from the country, military strategists were asking this question.

  • Reviewed by Katrina Weiss, Washington High School
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Delve into the life of a girl living with a recovering alcoholic in "Twelve Steps to Normal" by Farrah Penn.

  • Reviewed by Bill Winkler
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How would you react if you were told the date of your death? And how would your reaction be shaped by the knowledge that similar predictions from the same source had proven to be chillingly accurate?

  • Reviewed by Samantha Hymer, Washington High School.
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Today we welcome a new blogger, Samantha Hymer, a junior at Washington High School who loves to read. Her favorite genres are mysteries, fantasy and sci-fi. Samantha said she’s excited to have the opportunity to read fantastic books offered to her through MO Books, and hopes to become an “im…

  • Reviewed by Pat Sainz
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In “The Night Child,” by Anna Quinn, the sedate but troubled Nora Brown dismisses her high school English class for a short Thanksgiving holiday. Suddenly she sees the haunting, distinct face of a child that appears to her from the classroom window. The beautiful face of a silent, golden-hai…

  • Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider, Missourian Book Editor
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Dorothy and Toto knew how important home is — and so does the bitty kitty in “Vincent Comes Home” by Jessixa and Aaron Bagley. It’s the story of an orange, cargo cat that is discontent because his “paws have never touched land.”

  • Reviewed by Katrina Weiss, Washington High School
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“People Like Us,” by Dana Mele, is a psychological thriller that will leave you guessing as you turn the pages. After a pair of tragedies in her life, Kay Donovan is seemingly followed by death itself.

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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This searing work is an elegiac memoir that shifts between a woman’s grief over the loss of her younger cousin, Cuz, and her angry critique, as an ethics professor, of America’s prison system. It also is her testament to the failure of the War on Drugs.

  • Reviewed by William Winkler
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Analysis of more than 75,000 calls to a British technical support hotline revealed that 64 % of men and 24 % of women had not read the manual that accompanied their new personal electronic device before calling for assistance. Most of the calls were regarding issues clearly addressed in the …

  • Reviewed by Nelson Appell, Staff, Washington Public Library
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In her smart and enjoyable novella, “Brother’s Ruin,” Emma Newman takes a familiar concept—the schooling of people with magical powers—and finds a fresh angle on it.

  • Reviewed by Susan Ferguson
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“The Vanishing Season” is a fast-paced suspenseful mystery thriller. It’s author Joanna Shaffhausen effectively scatters clues throughout the story and ends the book with a twist.

  • Reviewed by Kylie Sullentrup, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School
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The protagonist in “Thornhill, by Pam Smy, is an orphan living in the Thornhill Institute. Mary must deal with both inner and outer conflicts. She has no friends, nor hope of getting adopted, and is too afraid to sleep at night because she is bullied on a daily basis.

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  • Reviewed by Nelson Appell, Staff, Washington Public Library
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Matt Young’s “Eat the Apple” is a raw, visceral, uncomfortable read about his life as a Marine and his three deployments. Young tells his story of war from the perspective of the common soldier. There are no important generals worrying over war strategy or delivering soliloquies about herois…

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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There is a “warm war” heating up in the western Pacific Ocean where China and the U.S. are competing for maritime dominance. The chilling face-off is due to China’s claim of territorial sea rights far beyond those set by international agreements. For centuries naval powers have agreed the so…

  • Reviewed by Susan Ferguson
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“The Family Next Door,” by Sally Hepworth, is the story of four women who live in the suburb of Pleasant Court in Melbourne, Australia. Although they are neighbors they don’t really know each other. The narrative develops as each of the women reveals their struggles and secrets.

  • Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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“Baby Monkey, Private Eye,” offers more than meets the eye. This creative read by David Serlin is short on words but long on entertainment. The story is told with just a few words on each page, in large fonts, but detailed drawings by Brian Selznick hold hidden meaning.

  • Reviewed by Susan Ferguson
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The psychological thriller “The Woman in the Window” is an unputdownable read with its many twists and shocking conclusion. I could not stop reading this book and was blindsided by its conclusion.

  • Charles Garton Coy
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Set aside what you think of guns or immigration as a matter of public policy or even morality.

  • Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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Taylor is frustrated. The curly top was building an awesome block tower but a flock of birds knocked it down. Now the child’s bummed out.

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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Author Jonathan Rabb has written a novel about the emotional fractures between Jews holding different ideologies and white/black prejudice in the post- World War II South. “Among the Living” is a tightly packed, fast-paced, dramatic narrative jammed with social commentary.

  • Reviewed by Katarina Weiss, Washington High School
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“The Traitors Game,” by Jennifer A. Nielsen, is an action-packed story that leaves you yearning for more. The new book is an amazing addition to Nielsen’s repertoire, especially with the bar being set so high after her series “The False Prince.” Fit with a feisty heroine and some tough kidna…

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  • By Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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A griot, in some African countries, is a highly respected member of the community who collects, preserves and shares the stories, objects and cultural traditions of the community. What an appropriate name, therefore, for The Griot Museum of Black History, because that is just what the museum…

  • 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 …

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