Nominated by: Sherry Early
In this thorough and engaging family biography, Catherine Reef recreates the lives
and works of the famous Brontë sisters. Raised by a busy Reverend and a somber aunt, the Brontë children turned to each other for entertainment – rambling about
the English moors, writing stories, and constructing elaborate fantasy worlds together. This shared passion for imaginative play and storytelling would lead the sisters toward literary greatness, but first they endured severe boarding schools,
family tragedy, and unrewarding teaching careers. The Brontës’ swift but hard-earned transformation from playful girls to serious writers is fascinating and inspiring, but what makes Reef’s biography shine is her attention to the everyday struggles of 19th century living, especially for young women.
Charlotte, Emily, and Anne become strong female protagonists in their own life stories; readers will root for the three girls as they overcome challenges of class and gender in order to pursue their art. Well-read teens will enjoy tracing paths from the Brontë’s childhood experiences into the worlds of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, and Reef’s crisp, readable narrative will easily breed new fans.
Jessica Tackett MacDonald at http://herlifewithbooks.com
Nominated by: Amanda Snow
“There was a father with a little boy, a little girl, and a joy of each in the other. In the moment, it was no more, and so she took a ring from her finger and placed in his hands.
There was a husband who asked much and gave much, and out of the giving and asking wove with a woman what could not be broken in life, and it a moment it was no more. And so she took a ring from her finger and place in his hands “ (page 180).
Ask anyone who was a teenage or older about November 22, 1963, chances are they can tell you where they were when they learned President John F. Kennedy had been shot. A moment that defined a generation, it has forever changed our country. Swanson takes readers through the a brief account of JFK’s presidency, the last several days leading up to the pivotal moment, Jacqueline Kennedy’s bravery and strength as a nation watched her every move, through the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald.
With a subject that has been well covered by both media and conspiracy theorist alike, Swanson presents the information in an engaging tone and select photographs. One of the most intriguing aspects of this book is the ending, which includes the diagrams, photos and illustrations from the assassination. Also included is Places to Visit, Source Notes and a thorough index—all adding to the usability of this title.