Great Reads (Check to see if we have them!)
The Mother-Daughter Book Club
by Heather Vogel Fredrick
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780689864124 Allusions to Little Women, sprinkled throughout this contemporary novel, may well pique the interest of Louisa May Alcott buffs. Frederick (the Patience Goodspeed books; the Spy Mice series) alternates the perspectives of Emma, Megan, Cassidy and Jess, members of a mother-daughter book club who are reading Little Women while adjusting to their first year of middle school. Emma, an aspiring writer, has grown apart from her former best friend, Megan, who gained entry into the popular crowd after her father's invention made the family rich. Despite her heightened status, Megan isn't altogether happy, since her mother scorns her dream of becoming a fashion designer. Meanwhile, tomboy Cassidy mourns the loss of her father, who was killed in an accident, and Jess misses her mother, who has gone to New York to pursue an acting career. All of the girls are less enthusiastic about the book club than their parents are, but as might be expected, their attitudes change as they become absorbed in Little Women and its author, who grew up in their hometown of Concord, Mass. The girls' increasing sensitivity to each other's problems is convincing, but the way in which each character finds happiness (during a whirlwind trip to New York City) is more dependent on lucky circumstance than personal achievement. Still, this club's success in uniting a group of disparate sixth-graders may well inspire readers to start one of their own. Ages 9-12. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780689864124 "Four sixth-graders sign up for a book club, in which they'll read Little Women with their moms. In alternating chapters, each of the four girls describes a meeting. There is aspiring poet Emma, whose librarian mother started the group; Jess, Emma's best friend, who lives on an organic farm; hockey-playing Cassidy, daughter of a former supermodel; and popular Megan. Despite their initial resistance to the club, the girls experience joys and sorrows and develop a closer bond, just like the characters that they grow to love. Plenty of detail and musing about Little Women will entice readers to pick up the book if they have not yet read it, but familiarity with Alcott's classic isn't required to enjoy this story. The girls' relationships and feelings are complex; unfortunately, their typecast mothers are much less so, and a fairy-tale ending caps the story. Still, readers will be easily pulled along to find out how the four girls resolve their differences. A book discussion guide is included."--"Booth, Heather" Copyright 2007 Booklist
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780689864124 Gr 4-6-Emma is teased about wearing hand-me-downs by the mean Fab Four, but the fact that she has a cool older brother evens things out a bit. At the end of the first day of sixth grade, her librarian mom announces that Emma will be joining her after dinner for the newly formed Mother-Daughter Book Club and that the first book will be Little Women. Megan is one of the Fab Four; her health-obsessed mother is also dragging her off to the book club. The other two members are Emma's friend Jess and Cassidy, a jock. Each chapter is narrated by one of the girls; unfortunately, they all sound alike and there is nothing to distinguish one voice from another. While the setting, Concord, MA, provides an appealing scenic backdrop, the story tries too hard to find parallels to Little Women. Problems and how they are overcome seem forced and unrealistically resolved. The supposed insights learned from studying Little Women don't seem to apply to those outside the club as mean girls are one-upped and boorish adults are told off. A running joke about an overweight, unpleasant adult is disturbing especially as the remarks are condoned and even instigated by the adults, something Marmee March would not have approved of. Discussion questions for this book and an author's note are appended.-Susan Moorhead, New Rochelle Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The cheapskate next door : the surprising secrets of Americans living happily below their means
by Jeff Yeager.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780767931328 Yeager (The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches) is back with another energetic, likably eccentric lesson on living happily well below your means. Interviewing a variety of self-professed cheapskates, he finds-despite a diversity of lifestyles, backgrounds, and beliefs- common practices and philosophies when it came to money; their knowledge of how to live on less has insulated them from the economic crash. He presents their tips on frugal living in grocery shopping, entertainment, and sensible parenting, but the real value is in Yeager's persuasive argument that an onset of "Spending Anxiety Disorder" is good for our wallets, our communities, and the environment. If we change the way we think about "want" vs. "need," we can focus our time and attention on the truly valuable things-family, charity, passions, the early retirement that will make enjoying them longer possible-and if we consume sparingly, thoughtfully, and fully, our possessions will not consume us. Yeager and his "Miser Advisers" are proof that living more frugally isn't about sacrifice-it's about making choices every day to live a better, happier, more thoughtful life with less. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780767931328 *Starred Review* Ah, yes, belt-tightening is the procedure of the day, from how giant businesses conduct themselves to managing one's own personal finances. It is the latter aspect of conservative spending that the author of the popular Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches (2007) and of the blog Green Cheapskate addresses in this delightful yes, delightful guide for me, you, and everyone else. Personal finance is a universal concern, particularly in these tight economic times. It is a topic that people need to know about but still shy away from. Yeager is here to draw you in and does so easily. He does not use the term cheapskate in a pejorative fashion; after all, he lists himself as one and wishes that all his readers would aspire to cheapskateness. A cheapskate to him is someone who lives below his or her means and does so happily. How to spend less than you are spending now is the program he details; the amazing fact about this book is that in addition to his instructions making perfect sense, like no other book of its kind, this one can be read simply for the humor of the author's prose.--Hooper, Brad Copyright 2010 Booklist