Monday, October 17, 2016

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

This book is about what it was like to be a girl growing up in 1970’s Brooklyn.  It’s told from August’s perspective as an adult.  She and her brother moved to Brooklyn with their father when they were eight and four.  Their mother was left behind, and August said she would join them “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.”  They sat at the window watching the street below while their father was at work.  Eventually, they were allowed to leave the apartment and join the kids in the street below.  August became friends with Sylvie, Gigi and Angela.  They were inseparable.  The book is written in short memories.  It skips a little bit, as if August was remembering one thing, which led to another memory…  It’s quick to read and has a dream-like quality.  

Reviewed by Fiona Swift
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Monday, October 3, 2016

Hamilton: the Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

Although a hip-hop infused musical adaptation of Ron Chernow’s 800-page biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton probably seemed like an unlikely prospect at one time, Hamilton is now a Tony Award winner and the biggest show to hit Broadway in decades. With the box office sold out and tickets going for hundreds of dollars, this book by the show’s creative genius may be the closest any of us get to the magic for a while.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s lyrics are printed here in their entirety, (including some tidbits that didn’t even make it onto the two-disc Broadway cast recording), alongside full-color photographs from the production. Miranda also treats us with insights into his writing process and makes sure we catch his shout-outs to everyone from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Biggie Smalls. McCarter includes more behind-the-scenes information and photos, showing us how the writer, producers, musicians, set designers, choreographers, and actors collaborated to create something special. It’s a treat for fans of the show, but also a great introduction to Hamilton for those who are just curious to see what all of the excitement is about.

Reviewed by Lynn Heitkamp
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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

All is not as it seems in the upscale town of Fairview, Connecticut. After being violently attacked at a party, Jenny Kramer, is given a drug cocktail to erase her memory. The hope is that this will allow Jenny, her father, Tom, and her mother, Charlotte, to go on about their lives. But Jenny is left reeling as she struggles with her inability to remember the facts surrounding the attack that left her physically and mentally injured. Jenny isn’t the only one suffering. Her father, Tom, has devoted his life to finding her attacker, but keeps coming up empty-handed. Her mother, Charlotte, is trying to pretend everything is perfect. When Jenny tries to commit suicide psychiatrist Dr. Alan Forrester, who treats Jenny and her family, enters the picture. But will Dr. Forrester help or hurt the situation? This psychological thriller seems to gain strength from the fracturing of Jenny’s family and community leading to a surprising conclusion.

Reviewed by Jennifer Harden
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