By Kirstin Cashore
Katsa lives in a world where certain people are born with an extreme skill, or Grace.
Her Grace of killing, which she loathes, announced itself unexpectedly when she was 8 years old and it makes her the most feared individual in her uncle Randa’s kingdom. Katsa is not happy being her uncle’s thug, but he expects her to punish and torture anyone who angers him and up until she meets Prince Po from a neighboring kingdom, who is also Graced with exceptional fighting skills, she cannot see a way around carrying out her uncle’s dirty work.
Debut novelist Kristen Cashore has written a brilliant, unforgettable story. Katsa and Po are extraordinary characters and they will stick with the reader long after the story has ended.
“The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks”
By E. Lockhart
Frankie Landau-Banks is a sophomore at Alabaster, a private boarding school. As a freshman she was pretty much invisible, but during the summer between her freshman and sophomore year, she blossomed into a full-figured knockout. Upon returning to Alabaster she catches the eye of senior heartthrob, Matthew Livingston, and he quickly becomes her boyfriend.
Frankie is not simple a piece of eye candy. She has a brain and when Matthew refuses to tell her about the secret all-male society on campus, she takes matters into her own hands and secretly infiltrates the society.
Lockhart has written a clever novel for sharp teens who enjoy humor, wit and a strong female character who refuses to take “No” for an answer. Frankie’s personality may catch readers off guard but they will soon be cheering her on and waiting with anticipation to see what antics she will dream up next.
“The Boy Who Dared”
By Susan Campbell Bartoletti
(Grades 4 through 8)
Death row in Nazi Germany is not where one would want to be in 1942, but that is exactly where 17-year-old Helmuth has been imprisoned for 264 days.
However, readers must wait to find out what Helmuth has done to be awaiting his execution, with the full story being flushed out through flashbacks to Helmuth’s childhood.
Helmuth was once a happy, naive German citizen, enamored with his country; and when Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, he, along with many others, thought that Hitler would solve Germany’s problems. At first, things improve, but after awhile things take a negative turn and Helmuth must make a difficult decision. Find a way to voice his concerns and face imprisonment or worse yet, death; or remain silent and watch innocent people suffer.
This book is based on a true story that came to Susan Campbell Bartoletti’s attention while researching her Newbery Honor book, “Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow.” Bartoletti’s portrayal of Helmuth’s story is though-provoking and provides a rare look at what it is like to be an average German citizen caught up in a World War that is careening out of control.
Jeana Gockley is the children’s librarian at Joplin Public Library.
- Globe Life
Bearing down: Carl Junction woman has passion for bear hunting
Born and raised in Joplin, Mitchell graduated from Joplin High School in 1963. For 35 years, she has been self-employed as a real estate developer. Seventeen years ago, her husband, Steve, a bowhunter, introduced her to hunting.
Ryan Richardson: Appliances complicit in dog-hair problem
Despite missing having her here, her absence has given me an opportunity to clean up the small messes that have been accumulating since she has been gone. I've also given myself the opportunity to evaluate what has and has not worked in such a small living space.
Phyllis Seesengood: 'Six Years' fast-paced, suspenseful
Harlan Coben is a superb suspense writer who has written an intense thriller/love story, although I personally think he should stick with the thrillers and leave the romances to romance writers.
Frankie Meyer: Website offers digitized newspapers
Newspapers are a great source of info for genealogists. Obituaries are especially helpful, as are articles about major events that occurred in the areas where ancestors lived.
Frankie Meyer: Rubbings of graves can work better than photos
When compiling family history, researchers invariably become intrigued with gravestones, which are one of the best sources of family information.
Jacque Gage: Book celebrates past photos, warns about future
The book is strangely compelling, titled "Talking Pictures: Images and Messages Rescued from the Past." It is by Ransom Riggs, author of the New York Times bestseller, "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children".
Ryan Richardson: Readers share their own summer advice
Only here can we have a long winter segue straight into a balmy summer. Between the torrential rains and the highs already flirting with the upper 80s, I’m convinced that this summer is going to be a mix of everything.
Founder of Souls Harbor returns to her ministry after 20-year absence
After helping husband Art Jones found Souls Harbor more than 31 years ago, Georgia Jones has come full circle and returned to lead the mission that serves the homeless and needy in the Joplin area.
Ryan Richardson: Time apart tough for pets and owners
Since I became a Joplin resident over nine months ago, I have had my dog, Cami, with me the whole time. We've explored trails, survived thunderstorms, slept on the couch and had some epic belly rubs.
Frankie Meyer: Research collections can disappear after death
When researching family history, genealogists collect many reference books, pamphlets, documents and photos. What will happen to your cherished items after your death? Unless you make your wishes known, those items could be tossed or sold at a flea market by unknowing relatives or friends.
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