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Romantic Outlaws: the Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon

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Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley never knew each other.  Mary W. died giving birth to her daughter Mary Shelley.  Yet both women similarly defied convention, both became famous writers; both fell in love with brilliant but impossible authors; both were single mothers and had children out of wedlock; both broke out of the rigid conventions of their era and lived in exile; and both played important roles in the Romantic era during which they lived.

Gordon’s book examines each in alternating chapters of the two women's lives.  This might sound confusing to the reader but it is not.  She presents the facts of each woman's life in a fascinating way that feels as if this biography is a novelization.  Highly readable, highly recommended.

Inspector of the Dead by David Morrell

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In London, England 1855 social and political upheaval abound.  Local pubs and churches, once thought of as safe havens, are threatened with murder and mayhem. High-ranking officials in the British Government aren't even safe; a handful have been killed in their own homes. There have even been several failed assassination attempts on Queen Victoria.  An anarchist gang or individual is creatively and brutally killing people causing chaos throughout London.  These vivid depictions of Victorian England are in David Morrell’s captivating latest mystery, “Inspector of the Dead.” The opium-eater, Thomas De Quincey, his daughter, and a couple of newly assigned detectives return to solve the mystery in Morrell’s second book in this series. They attempt to protect Queen Victoria from any future assassination attempts and find who is causing chaos throughout London before England’s government completely collapses. As the evidence mounts, try to solve the mystery before the detectives piece together the clues!

Family Picture Book Selection: You Were the First

You Were the First by Patricia MacLachlan, celebrates all of the stages of the firstborn baby in a family.  There may be other children in the family later, but there is always a first one to teach the parents how to be parents.  This will make parents and children of all family sizes smile and remember all of the good first times they each experienced. A beautiful mixture of words and illustrations for all ages. 

Picture Book Selection: Catch That Cookie!

Marshall's class has been reading about runaway gingerbread cookies for days, but he does not believe that they can really escape.  The class bakes and decorates their own gingerbread people and then when they disappear, everyone follows the clues left by the escaped cookies.  What happened to those gingerbread people?  A fun romp for ages 4 and up.

Teen Fantasy Fiction: Beastkeeper

Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast–unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever.

Mystery Novels for Teens: The Uninvited

Mimi Shapiro needs an escape and her father's remote cabin in Canada could be the ticket. But when she arrives, she is shocked to find someone already living there — Jay, a young musician, who is equally surprised to see Mimi. Strange things have been afoot at the cabin, and Jay immediately accuses her of wrongdoing. But Mimi has just arrived, so who is responsible? And more alarmingly, what does the intruder want?

Juvenile Book Selection: All Rise For the Honorable Perry T. Cook

Eleven-year-old Perry's home life is like that of most kids his age: morning ritual, school, dinner with his mom, and games with his extended family. Unlike most kids, Perry lives in a minimum security correctional facility, where he's stayed since birth with his mother, Jessica. Jessica is up for parole, and she and Perry are eager to start a new life on the outside. The county's ambitious district attorney is outraged that a child was raised in a prison and demands that Perry live with a foster family while the case is sorted out. Perry knows he has traded a prison that feels like home for a home that feels like a prison, and resolves to reunite with his mother. 

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