Much has been said about this award winning, genre crossing, soon to b e a major motion picture, blockbuster. Beyond the beauty of the illustrations, narrative, and unique format of the book, I was struck by the tribute to George Melies. You see, I've been a fan of Melies and his work since I was a kid. As a somewhat precocious 12 year old I became enamored with the history of early cinema, and began spending my allowance money acquiring copies of Melies films (as well as early Edison, Keystone Cops, and other obscurities) through a mail order outfit named Blackhawk Films out of Davenport Iowa. I would project these films on a small 8mm projector into a screen mounted in my bedroom closet which I dubbed 'The George Melies Memorial Theatre'. In 7th grade I wrote a 12 page research paper for my English class entitled 'George Melies - Fantastic Filmer'. I received an A+ for content C- for spelling/grammar (my standard grade). At this time in pre-internet history there was very little information available on Melies @ my public library...and certainly none written for a 12 year old. I had to muddle through musty tomes on the topic of cinema history to garner small pieces of the puzzle that was Melies. 'How did Melies create his magic?', 'Why did he quit the business'? "Did he really burn all of his films"?. The magic and tragedy in the story of Melies are addressed in Hugo Cabret. I would have absolutely loved this book as a 12 year old. It' s an absolute pleasure to read today, and enjoy with my own tween children, and the middle school students at my library.
Neal Shustermans' almost allegorical tale of a teenage boy who 'disappears' works on many levels. Themes of teen disenfranchisement and adolescent awkwardness are enriched through a seemingly realistic yet surreal shaggy dog story. It is certainly one of the most entertaining and perceptive novels that I've read as a YA librarian in a middle school. I love this book!
Rich Cohens' unlikely history of the worlds most popular sugar substitute unfolds like a greek tragedy. What makes it particularly fascinating is the authors personal family connection to this poignant story. It will leave a bad aftertaste in your mouth...but in a good way...if that is possible.
Much has been written on the subject of 60's/70's Rock and Roll. This book takes a fresh and interesting angle by focusing on a 'neighborhood' and it's influence/involvement in the history of the LA based music scene of this era. Well researched and fun read.
Amazin' history of the most exciting team in Baseball history, the 1986 Mets. Includes many of the sordid details, recollections, and vintage primary sources that help make the retelling of this story a pleasure for all Mets and baseball fans. It's Metsmerizing!