Sunday, December 27, 2009

"Lost Symbol"

Let's start with the question every Dan Brown fan wants answered: Is The Lost Symbol as good as The Da Vinci Code? Simply put, yes. Brown has mastered the art of blending nail-biting suspense with random arcana (from pop science to religion), and The Lost Symbol is an enthralling mix. And what a dazzling accomplishment that is, considering that rabid fans and skeptics alike are scrutinizing every word.

The Lost Symbol begins with an ancient ritual, a shadowy enclave, and of course, a secret. Readers know they are in Dan Brown territory when, by the end of the first chapter, a secret within a secret is revealed. To tell too much would ruin the fun of reading this delicious thriller, so you will find no spoilers here. Suffice it to say that as with many series featuring a recurring character, there is a bit of a formula at work (one that fans will love). Again, brilliant Harvard professor Robert Langdon finds himself in a predicament that requires his vast knowledge of symbology and superior problem-solving skills to save the day. The setting, unlike other Robert Langdon novels, is stateside, and in Brown's hands Washington D.C. is as fascinating as Paris or Vatican City (note to the D.C. tourism board: get your "Lost Symbol" tour in order). And, as with other Dan Brown books, the pace is relentless, the revelations many, and there is an endless parade of intriguing factoids that will make you feel like you are spending the afternoon with Robert Langdon and the guys from Mythbusters.

Nothing is as it seems in a Robert Langdon novel, and The Lost Symbol itself is no exception--a page-turner to be sure, but Brown also challenges his fans to open their minds to new information. Skeptical? Imagine how many other thrillers would spawn millions of Google searches for noetic science, superstring theory, and Apotheosis of Washington. The Lost Symbol is brain candy of the best sort--just make sure to set aside time to enjoy your meal. --Daphne Durham

Baldacci (First Family

From Publishers Weekly
This promising first in a new series from bestseller Baldacci (First Family) introduces Beth Perry, chief of the District of Columbia's Metropolitan Police, and Beth's younger sister, Mace Perry, a former police officer dubbed the Patty Hearst of the twenty-first century after she was seized by bandits, drugged and taken along on a series of armed robberies around Washington. Mace, who's just getting out of prison after serving a two-year sentence, is willing to risk everything to clear her name and reclaim her life as a cop by cracking a big case on her own. The rape-murder of a powerful lawyer as well as the killing of a prominent U.S. attorney provide Mace an opportunity to vindicate herself. While Baldacci draws his characters in bright primary colors, and some of the action reaches comic book proportions, he delivers his usual intricate plotting and sets the stage nicely for highly competent Beth and impulsive, streetwise Mace to take on more bad guys. (Oct. 27)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights

Swiss Family Robinson

Language: 0

Violence: 2

Sexual Content: 0

Adult Themes: 0

Title: The Swiss Family Robinson (Great Illustrated Classics)

Author: Johann Wyss, adapted by Eliza Gatewood Warren

Ratings Explanation

Violence: The family kills many animals, most of which they eat. Some animal kingdom violence, animals attack and kill each other.


Sailing from Switzerland, the Swiss family Robinson is headed for an island near New Guinea where they plan to establish a colony, but while underway they encounter a violent storm. Abandoned by the captain and crew, the family of father, mother and four sons must fend for themselves. They are able to reach an uninhabited island where they establish a home and survive for years against wild animals and the whims of nature. While on the island their resourcefulness and bravery are tested, but they come to love their home. When a ship sails into their bay, they must decide if they want to return to their homeland or stay on the island.

A true adventure!
There are so many great new books that sometimes we forget to go back and read the classics we grew up on. We read this aloud with our family and it was enjoyed by all. We watched the Disney movie a few years ago so the kids kept waiting for the pirates and the coconut bombs to appear in the story. They never do, so either that part was edited from this abridged version, or the pirates are an invention of Disney. But even without the pirates it is a great read. First published in 1813, this adventure has truly stood the test of time!

Categories: Adventure, All Ages

The Magician Author: Michael Scott

Language: 0 
Violence: 3 
Sexual Content: 0
Adult Themes: 0
Title: The Magician
Author: Michael Scott
Series: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
Rating Explanation
Violence: The characters are attacked by a creature made of wax. There is a fight between Scatty and 12 French police officers.  She uses swords and nunchaku but there are no deaths. A komodo dragon-like ancient monster is loosed on Paris. It attacks the house where the characters are staying. Scatty fights it, but is finally carried off unconscious. There is sword fighting and fire attacks. The komodo dragon monster is stabbed with a sword several times. The characters descend into the catacombs of Paris, which are creepy, and meet Ares, the God of War. The gargoyles on Notre Dame are brought to life with magic and fight the twins and their friends. The twins destroy the army of gargoyles using their magic.
After narrowly escaping Dr. John Dee in Ojai, Nicholas, Sophie, Josh, and Scatty leave California via a ley line and emerge in Paris, the city Nicholas calls home. Perenelle is still improsoned at Alcatraz and she and Nicholas continue to age one year for every day they cannot brew their immortality potion. They must retreive the Book of Abraham the Mage, but now the powerful Niccolo Machiavelli is on Dee’s side. Defeating them both to get the book will be nearly impossible. Nicholas still believes that Sophie and Josh are the twins of the prophecy and that together they are capable of anything, but first Sophie must learn the Magic of Fire and Josh’s powers must be awakened. There is only one in Paris who can awaken Josh, and there will be a price to be paid.
I really like this series. It is exciting and compelling with a great deal of action, yet it is not gory or inappropriate for younger readers. Both books have certainly held my interest and I am looking forward to the next book, The Sorceress, which will be released in May of 2009.
©2009 The Literate Mother

Posted in Fantasy, Grades 6-7, Grades 8-9, Series

Eclipse - Twilight Series, Book 3

Violence: 5
Sexuality: 4
Adult Themes: 2
Title: Eclipse - Twilight Series, Book 3
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Ratings Explanation
Language: Bella writes a note to Edward - “Screw the protecting me crap.”  She also demands, “What the hell is this all about?”
Violence:   A clash between the werewolves and the Cullen Coven as they try to capture Victoria who treads along the boundary between the Quileute Reservation and the Town of Forks.  Rosalie refers to Bella’s experience in Twilight, where Bella was cornered by four men that were planning to rape her, had Edward not rescued her.  Rosalie recounts her last human experience.  She was violently raped by her wealthy fiance’ and his cluster of friends.  One friend ”…looked me over like I was a horse he was buying.”  The five men raped Rosalie and left her in the street for dead.  Rosalie was rescued by Carlisle and transformed into a vampire.  Rosalie systematically killed all who had raped her.  Jacob’s hand gets sliced by a boning knife while doing dishes with Bella.  Vampires break into Bella’s home and steal belongings that have her scent on them.  The Newborn Vampire Army creates havoc in Seattle with hundreds of unexplained deaths.  Jasper recounts gruesome vampire wars in Mexico.  Bella attends a tribal council with Jacob, where the History of the Quileutes is recounted.  The history includes the vampire’s slaughter of their tribe.  The suicide sacrifice of Taha Aki’s wife, as well as the tribe’s metamorphisis into werewolf protectors.  Jacob physically forces himself upon Bella, kissing her.  Bella breaks her hand punching him in the jaw.  Victoria and Riley, evil vampires, fight Edward and Seth the Werewolf.  The werewolf rips Riley the vampire to pieces and dismembers his body.  Edward kills Victoria.  The Cullen Coven defeat the Newborn Vampire Army.   The Cullen Coven collect the pieces of the dismembered corpses of the vampires and burn them.  A Newborn Vampire girl survives the battle.  She cannot control her thirst.  The Volturi arrive and dispose of the girl. 
Sexuality:  Meyer’s describes the most innocent of kisses in a very slow, sensuous manner.  Charlie, Bella’s father asks her if they are having  sex.  Bella is mortified.  She has never been immoral.  Jacob Black and Edward are described in vivid detail.  ie.) “..six foot seven inches of Jacob’s long body, muscled up the way no normal sixteen-and-a-half-year -old ever had been.  I saw those eyes rake over his tight black t-shirt….”  Werewolves are imprinted to their mate.  They instantly know who their soul mate is when they see them.  Quil imprints when he sees a two year old girl.  (He will be her friend, until she is older and comes to the realization that they are mates.)  Edward tells Bella, “You look…sexy.” Edward lifts her onto a counter to kiss him.   Bella does not want to give up the human experience of sex.  She begins to take her clothes off the seduce Edward.  Edward tells Bella he will not have sex with her until they are married.  She gives him a hard time about protecting his virtue.  He will not back down.  He is protecting her virtue as well.  Bella freezes in a snowstorm.  Jacob has to be the one to warm her up, since werewolves are hot-blooded.  Edward is upset, but sees that he has to allow Jacob to climb in Bella’s sleeping bag to warm her up.  Jacob suggests Bella take her clothes off and she would warm up really fast.  Edward tells Jacob to control his thoughts.  (Edward can read other’s thoughts.)  Jacob and Bella share an intense first kiss. 
Adult Themes:  Bella lies to her father about where she is going so that she can spend the weekend with Edward.  Bella loves both Jacob and Edward.  She can envision her life with each of them.  She has to make a decision and live with the consequences. 
Bella and Edward are back to together again.  Bella laments the passing of time.  Each day is a day she will be older than her non-aging vampire boyfriend, Edward, who was transformed into a vampire, when he was just seventeen.  The last few months of high school rapidly pass as Bella anxiously awaits and woefully dreads graduation.  Bella’s human days are numbered.  She tries to live her final human experiences to the fullest.  Bella has decided that after graduation she will become a vampire; and she desires Edward to be the one to make her immortal.  Edward agrees, if and only if they are married first.  Bella ponders the consequences of her impending decision to become a vampire.  Most poignantly, the impact upon family and friends.  She is fearful of what she may become.
Bella discovers that she is torn between her love for Edward and surprisingly, her unrequited love for her best friend, Jacob.  She wishes she could be divided in two and live both lives.
Meanwhile, Victoria seeks revenge.   She has created an army of “Newborn Vampires”, who are ravaging the city of Seattle.  (Victoria was James, “ The Tracker’s” mate, from the first book, Twilight.  In Twilight, the Cullen Coven dismembered and burned James - the only way to kill a vampire; to save Bella’s life.)  The werewolves and the Cullen Coven unite to fend off the “Newborn Vampire” Army.  Edward and Jacob personally unite to protect Bella.  The Volturi, from book two, New Moon, also make a chilling appearance after the vicious battle is fought.
Meyer’s talent lies in capturing the intense emotions you experience in a first crush/first kiss/first love.  The soap opera quality of the Twilight Series hooks young and younger readers alike, as you consume the drivel to see ”What will happen next?”.   In book three, Bella is finally developing into a more mature character.  She thinks about the ramifications of her impending “immortal” decision.  What will be most identifiable to young readers will be Bella’s torn heart, between her “True Love”, Edward and her “Best Friend”, Jacob.  Bella will always wonder what her life would have been like had she chosen the other. 
Bella Swann, as a role-model to young women is extremely discouraging.  Bella has redeeming character traits.  Bella is a responsible teenager, who competently handles the running of a household.  She grocery shops, prepares meals, and does her laundry, in addition to being an A+ student.  Bella also expresses maturity in relationships with her peers. 
Although, Bella’s relationship with Edward is unhealthy.  Bella has low self-esteem.  (Most teenage girls will identify easily with this.)  Bella is extremely self-deprecating, and she frequently describes Edward as perfect.  She juxtaposes her woeful inadequecies next to his perfection in her thoughts and voice.  Bella constantly diminishes her self-worth and her frequent self- descriptive words are “ordinary” and “regular”. 
The underlying message is, “Bella is of exceptional value, as long as someone of the opposite sex loves her.”  Edward is perfection.  Bella reminds us of his perfection and how lucky she is to have him.  Never does she acknowledge that she deserves to have someone attractive love her.  All of Edward’s controlling behaviors are deemed acceptable, and forgiven, on the premise that he loves her.
Eclipse would definitely be a great book to open discussion regarding self-worth, as well as the importance of virtue in relationships.  Eclipse is more appropriate for high school age readers.
©2009 The Literate Mother

Island of the Blue Dolphins Author: Scott O’Dell

Language: 0
Violence: 3
Sexual Content: 0
Adult Themes: 1
Title: Island of the Blue Dolphins
Author: Scott O’Dell
Newbery Award Winner
Ratings Explanation
Violence: Islanders hunt and skin sea otter. Many men are killed in a battle between Aleuts and the islanders. Wild dogs kill a young boy. Karana shoots dogs with arrows and kills several. She also kills an octopus.
Adult Themes: Karana, a young woman, looses her entire family and must survive alone.
The Island of the Blue Dolphins is based on the true story of a young girl who lives on a remote island. After Aleuts visit the island and kill most of the men, including her father, a ship comes to take the survivors away. Shortly after boarding the ship, she realizes that her younger brother has been left behind on the island. She cannot bear to leave him, although the chief promises that they will return to rescue him later, and jumps off the ship. The rest of the book is the story of her lonely survival on the Island of the Blue Dolphins.
I read this book as a child and, if memory serves, I liked it. Unfortunately, this reading did not live up to the memory. I had completely forgotten how sad the story is. We read it aloud as a family and it was a little upsetting for our 7-year old and the 10-year old thought it was boring. (He’ll be reading it next year in school, so he’ll get another chance to enjoy it.) Her determination to survive is admirable, but her struggles and the harsh environment wore on us. Maybe it is more upsetting now because I’m reading it from the perspective of  a mother.
©2009 The Literate Mother


Language: 0
Violence: 2
 Sexual Content: 0
Adult Themes: 2
Title:  Number the Stars
Author: Lois Lowry
Newberry Medal Recipient
Ratings Explanation
Violence: The Germans burn down part of Tivoli, an amusement park in Copenhagen, to destroy the Dane’s morale.  The Nazis raided a Resistance meeting.  They shot people as they ran for safety.  Lisse, Annemarie’s older sister, was run down by a military car.  Peter is later captured and executed by the Germans in the public square at Ryvangen.  The Nazis take lists of all the Jews in the congregation, from the synagogue, and plan to relocate them to concentration camps.  The Nazis burst into the Johansen’s apartment in the middle of the night in search of the Rosen Family who live across the hall.  Ellen Rosen assumes the name of Lisse Johansen.  The German officer pulls Ellen Rosen’s dark curls and demands to know why she is not blond like the other Johansen daughters.  Annemarie’s mother falls and breaks her ankle while returning from guiding the Rosens through the woods to the harbor for their escape to Sweden.   Annemarie is stopped by four German soldiers and two dogs, in the pre-dawn hours, while running through the woods to deliver a forgotten handkerchief used to aid the escaping Jews.  (Swedish scientists prevented detection of the escaping Jews by creating a powerful powder composed of dried rabbit’s blood and cocaine.  The blood attracted the dogs, and the cocaine numbed their noses and temporarily destroyed their sense of smell.  Many lives were saved by this device.)
Adult Themes:  The German Nazis have invaded Denmark and have made life very difficult for the Danes.  The Jews of Denmark are “relocated”.
Annemarie, a ten year old girl, lives in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Her parents have been extremely somber since the death of her older sister, Lisse.  Life is very difficult during the German occupation.  Annemarie longs for cupcakes and sweets, but everything delicious to eat is redistributed for use by the German Army.  Annemarie matures as she participates in aiding the Rosen Family’s escape to Sweden.  She plays an integral part in salvaging the forgotten decoy that ultimately saves the Rosens in their escape from the Nazis.
I loved the young, strong, heroine found in Annemarie Johansen.  I strongly recommend this book for young readers.
©2009 The Literate Mother
Posted in Grades 4-5, Historical Fictio

Language: 0
Violence: 4
Sexual Content: 3
Adult Themes: 3
Title:  The Host
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Ratings Explanation
Violence:  Melanie is attacked by a man in the dark and held at knife point.  On Fire World, Fire Tasters burned Walking Flowers alive and ingested the smoke as their nourishment.  Eight humans surround Wanderer/Melanie “slavering for blood.”  Jared backhands Wanderer/Melanie with force enough to slam her into the rock floor.  Ian wraps his hands around Wanderer/Melanie’s throat in an attempt to strangle her.  Jared, Ian and Kyle take turns beating one another repeatedly throughout the book.  Doc kidnaps souls “…and mutilated, dismembered, tortured bodies, ripped into grotesque shreds.”… to learn more about them.  Jamie breaks Jared’s nose.  Melanie/Wanderer punches Jared after he kisses her.  Kyle attempts to kill Melanie/Wanderer and she ultimately saves his life.  Wes is killed by a Seeker.  At Wanderer/Melanie’s request, Jared hits Wanderer in the face with a rock and scrapes a few layers of skin off.
Sexual Content:  Sensuously described passionate kissing between Melanie, a 17 year old female and Jared, a 26 year old male.  Sensuous kissing and groping between Jared and Wanderer/Melanie and Wanderer/Melanie and Ian.  Ian implies that Wanderer ought to experience sex while she is living a human life.  Homosexual reference, one man to another, “But if you try cuddling up to me tonight…so help me, O’Shea.” 
Adult Themes:  Melanie attempts suicide by jumping down an elevator shaft.  She does not die, but is severely injured.  Wanderer/Melanie nearly dies of dehydration and starvation in the desert.  Euthenasia: Walter, a human suffering from cancer is given a morphine overdose and dies.  Wanda decides to sacrifice herself so Melanie can have her body back.
Wanderer, an invading “soul” with seven past lives, has been given Melanie Stryder’s body.  A human body - the host body.  The unseen souls (aliens) have been invading human bodies in a covert war with the human race.  A soul is a small silver centipede being that is inserted at the base of a human neck, where it connects its many legs to the human host’s brain and body, thereby controlling the host body and ultimately causing the human within to disappear.
Wanderer finds her host, Melanie, does not disappear.  Wanderer infiltrates Melanie’s memories in search of the whereabouts of the human resistance.  Melanie exposes Wanderer to her memories of human love and desire.  Wanderer finds that she also yearns to be with this man she has never known.  Melanie and Wanderer unite in a dangerous journey to find Jared and Melanie’s younger brother, Jamie as they traverse the unforgiving desert of the Southwest.  Wanderer is conflicted as she is forced to choose between the human race and her native race. 
The Literate Mother received a specific request that this book be read and reviewed.  I had to slog my way through the first 130 pages.  The author spent too much time describing the setting of the story and then finally the story began.  This book is Meyer’s first foray into writing expressly for adults.  This novel may be popular with science fiction fans.  “The Host” ultimately questions,  “What is our definition of a relationship?”  After the unhealthy relationships exhibited in The Twilight Series, this would seem to be a natural course for Meyer’s to explore.  As an Arizona Resident, I enjoyed the descriptions of the Sonoran Desert and Picacho Peak.  This book would be appropriate for a high school aged reader, if they were captivated by the story.  I was not.
Categories: Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, High School

Among the Barons

 Language: 0 
Violence: 3 
Sexual Content: 0 
Adult Themes: 1
Title:  Among the Barons
Shadow Children Series - Book Four
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Ratings Explanation
Violence: Luke Garner assumes Lee Grant’s identity.  Lee Grant’s younger brother, Smits starts a fire in his dorm room and blames his bodyguard, Oscar for attempting to kill him.  A sledgehammer weapon is found in the door room as evidence.  Lee Grant’s parents plan to stage Luke’s death.  Smits and Luke then witness Mr. and Mrs. Grant and the president’s gruesome deaths. 
Adult Themes:  Lack of food for the population of the country is an underlying theme throughout this series.  The existence of third-born children have been blamed for the people’s hunger.  Mr. and Mrs. Grant and the bodyguard, Oscar sacrifice their moral and ethical responsibilities in favor of their personal and political agendas.
Luke Garner has lived among the barons for the last four months under the assumed name of Lee Grant.  Luke, and illegal third child has spent the last twelve years in hiding.  While attending Hendricks School for Boys, his
Luke Garner, an illegal third child, spent his first twelve years in hiding.  For the past four months Luke has lived among others, using the identity of Lee Grant, at the Hendricks School for Boys.  But just as things are finally starting to go right, Lee’s little brother, Smits, arrives at the school and Luke finds himself caught in a tangle of lies that gets more complex with every passing day.
Can Luke trust Smits to keep his secret?  And can he trust Smits’s menacing bodyguard, Oscar?
Book four builds momentum in the Shadow Children Series.
©2009 The Literate Mother
Categories: Adventure, Fiction, Grades 4-5, Grades 6-7

The Book Thief

Adult Themes: 3
Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Ratings Explanation
Language: There is considerable swearing and profanity (over 100 instances combined), both in German and English. Most is translated, some is not.  “Slut” and “whore” used several times. Several derogatory names used for Jews, “swine”, “rat”, “filth”.
Violence:  A handful of school yard and street fights, involving both Liesel and Rudy, including hitting, kicking, kneeing in ribs, and cutting off a boy’s hair with a knife. Liesel’s step mother beats her with a wooden spoon until she is laying on the floor. Her school teacher also gives her a licking with a stick. While a group of Jews is paraded down the street as they march to Dachau, Hans gives an old man a piece of bread. A German soldier whips both of them. During another parade Liesel sees a Jewish friend and goes to him, they are also whipped. Many cities are bombed and thousands die. A plane crashes near a town and the people find the dying pilot in his downed plane. Gas chambers and extermination camps referenced, but not described.
Sexual Content: Rudy repeatedly asks Liesel for a kiss, but she always refuses. Rudy tells Liesel he had to strip down completely naked for a physical exam. In her mind’s eye she pictures his glowing naked body.
 Adult Themes:  Liesel’s father is a communist in Nazi Germany and disappears. Her mother is unable to feed and care for her children so she takes Liesel and her brother to a foster home, but on the train ride to Munich Liesel’s brother dies. Liesel deals with abandonment and grief for her lost family. The extreme conditions in which the average German lived during the war. During the course of the book, Liesel steals several books and she and Rudy steal apples, potatoes and a basket of food meant for the priests. They have had so many things taken from them in the course of the war (family, food, security, childhood), that stealing something back for themselves becomes a triumph.  Brief description of “Kristallnacht” when Jewish businesses are vandalized. Treatment of Jews as non-humans. Liesel’s foster parents hide a Jew in their basement, the punishment for which is death. At a certain point in the story he has to leave their home, but has nowhere to go so they are very worried about what will become of him. The aftermath of bombed cities, people searching for missing loved ones, complete destruction of neighborhoods and the people in them.
At nine years of age, Liesel Meminger has buried her little brother, bid her mother goodbye, moved in with a foster family and stolen her first book. There will be more books to steal and more loved ones to bury, but first Liesel’s story must be told. With Death as the narrator, The Book Thief follows Liesel through the war years on Himmel  Street in Molching, Germany where she learns to read, steal, love and write.
Zusak is a masterful writer, his descriptions capture the everyday in an unusual way, like passengers sliding out from a train “as if from a torn package” only to find their same old problems “waiting at the end of the trip - the relative you cringe to kiss.”
The book’s characters are unforgettable. I was in awe of Liesel and the strength she posessed.  I fell in love with Rudy and the man he could have become. Max, the Jew in hiding, who gives Liesel the great gift of words and boxes Hitler in the basement. Death even endeared himself to me with his quirky humor wondering if anyone was ever injured while standing too close to someone heil Hitlering and his ironic fear of humans. Rosa, the foul-mouthed step-mother who honestly loved the girl she berated and Hans, the sweet step-father with the silver eyes. Zusak creates a set of characters never to be forgotten.
While this is a wonderful book, there is considerable content to digest. I would recommend this book for a mature teen, late high school or older.
 ©2009 The Literate Mother

Title: Book of a Thousand Days Author: Shannon Hale

Title: Book of a Thousand Days
Author: Shannon Hale
Rating Explanation
Language: 2 swear words
Violence: A man smashes a girl’s arm against the wall. A man changes into a wolf and kills men by ripping out their throats. The wolf is killed with arrows.
Sexual Content: A very brief account of a Lord getting a commoner with child and then abandoning them. Two girls are worried that a group of men will take advantage of them. A man takes his clothes off in front of a young girl - there is nothing sexual or explicit in this scene. He shows her that he can change into a wolf. A girl takes her clothes off in front of an army. Again, nothing sexual or explicit in this scene. It is an act of submission.
Adult Themes: A father locks his daughter and her maid in a tower for 7 years because the daughter refuses to marry the man he has chosen for her.
Lady Saren refuses to marry the man her father has chosen for her so he locks her and her maid, Dashti, in a tower for seven years. During their imprisonment they struggle against cold, stifling heat, rats and hunger, but when Saren’s favored suitor visits he brings them hope and laughter. Unfortunately, he does not come to rescue them as he promised. The arrival of Saren’s other, unwanted suitor brings fear and darkness to the two girls. Their struggle to escape and then to survive results in many changes in both young women.
This is an original retelling of the classic tale from the Brothers Grimm.
I know I’ve read a really good book when, a few days after finishing it, I am still thinking about it. This is the case with Book of a Thousand Days.
©2009 The Literate Mother

The Alchemyst

Adult Themes: 1
Title: The Alchemyst
Author: Michael Scott
Series: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
Rating Explanation
Language: One instance of profanity
Violence: There is an explosion in which creatures are destroyed. Fighting between humans, both mortal and immortal, and magical creatures. Many creatures are killed as is one person, but she’s not human.  Many of the magical creatures are quite creepy, some half-human and half-animal, “men” made from mud (Golems), wereboars (like werewolves, but boars) and skeletons and mummies. In one scene, the evil magician raises all of the dead from a cemetery and controls their skeletons to fight for him. Most of these are destroyed in the ensuing battle. Nicholas’s wife is kidnapped and held prisoner.
Adult Themes: For the most part, magic is fun to read about. I would say that is true for this book as well, but the bad guy in this book is a necromancer. To me, this is a little more creepy than your regular magic.
Josh and Sophie Newman are 15-year old twins spending their summer in San Francisco. They are average teenagers who work summer jobs, text their friends and listen to their ipods. But one summer day they stumble into a centuries old feud between two competing magicians. They discover that Josh’s boss, Nick, is the famous alchemist Nicholas Flamel and that he and his wife, Perenelle, are over 600 years old. Nick’s nemesis, Dr. John Dee, kidnaps Perenelle and steals the ancient book of Abraham the Mage. Nick needs Abraham’s book to brew their immortality potion because without it, he and Perry will age one year for each day they live. Time is literally running out for them. Abraham’s book also contains a prophecy about two who can either save or destroy the world. Could this prophecy refer to Josh and Sophie? Now the twins, Nick, and an ancient warrior, who is a vegetarian vampire, are on the run to escape John Dee, reclaim and book and rescue Perry.
I had a hard time putting this book down! Well written and full of interesting mythology, Scott left me ready to read the second book, The Magician. The third book in the series, The Sorceress, will be available in May of 2009.
©2009 The Literate Mother

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Santa will be at the library Tuesday Dec 08 from 6 to 8 pm.

The Literate Mother!

Find books for all the young readers on your Christmas list at
The Literate Mother!

The following books have been recently reviewed by The Literate Mother.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (high school, adult)

Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls (Grades 8 - 12, adult)

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (Newbery Medal, Grades 6-9)

Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry (Newbery Medal, Grades 4-7)

Someone Named Eva by Joan M. Wolf (Grades 6-9)

Coming Soon:

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (High School)

 Find all of our reviews online at

Wishing you a Merry Christmas,

The Literate Mother

Friday, November 20, 2009


A calendar featuring paintings of historical

homes, barns and sites in the Newton/Cache Junction

area will be available by November 23th. Most of

the paintings are by local artists. This calendar

would make great Christmas gifts for members of

your family. To ensure you get the number of

calendars you would like, you may order by

contacting Ilda Berge——563-6822. Please leave a

message if she is not home. Cost of the calendars

is $10 or 12.50 if shipped. You may buy them at the

library or from Ilda

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Cleo Griffin, Newton’s library lady, started it all with $50 and a lot of help from her friends

November 6th, 2009 Posted in Arts and Life

By Kelly Greenwood

NEWTON–Chances are, if you’re familiar with the Newton Library you’ve probably heard of a woman named Cleo Griffin.

Griffin, an Idaho native, became the Newton library director as the result of an LDS Church calling back in 1997.

She said that she and some Relief Society women had talked about having a library for a while. Then one day in August 1997, she went to a meeting at her church house. Her bishop promptly told her she had been given a church calling as a literary specialist, Griffin said.

She said she meditated about the library idea for a while and thought of what would need to be done to make it happen. She asked her Relief Society president about the idea, who told her to “go for it,” Griffin said.

Griffin founded the library in 1998 with $50 and “ a lot of help,” she said.

Griffin served as the library director until 2008, when she retired and Sarah Rigby took over the position. “Sarah has done a wonderful job,” Griffin said.

Griffin still works at the library as a librarian once a week on

Monday nights and volunteers additional hours.

If you take a look at the library’s Special Collections section, you’ll see Griffin’s hard work almost bursting off the shelves. And though she is retired, Griffin is still hard at work researching and compiling materials for the Special Collections section.

“I won’t live long enough to get done,” she said, laughing.

She has been researching historic Newton homes one by one and supplying information for the Daughters of Utah Pioneers.

She said eventually she wants to hang framed pictures of the historic homes in Town Hall—something she said she will

discuss with the town council.

In addition to her work with the library, Griffin doesn’t seem to have a problem keeping herself busy. She has a big family, which she says keeps her busy. She has also been compiling her personal history on a blog and frequently works on her family genealogy.

“I’ve always liked genealogy,” she said. “My kids always get family history for Christmas.”

As for the Newton Library’s future, Griffin said she thinks it is in good hands. “We have a great board,” she said. “They’re good to help.”

But though the library has been successful, it has not been without a few struggles. There is “not enough manpower” for the library, she said, and any funding for the library has to be obtained with grants. But leave it to Griffin to take matters into her own hands–she recently started an endowment fund for the library.

“Hopefully after I’m dead, they’ll have enough money,” she said, with a laugh.

Griffin has also received help from her brother, Dale J. Skinner, in many ways, and added her husband has always been supportive of her efforts with the library. She emphasized that townspeople have also been very supportive.

“We’ve just had a lot of support,” she said. “It has been a community effort.”

As for Griffin personally, she has enjoyed working with the library over the years. “It’s good to have an outlet,” she said. “I’ve always liked libraries.”

Board Meeting


November 12, 2009
Newton Town Hall

1. Make changes and/or approve minutes for the meeting September.

2. Vote in new board members, or nominate new ones.

3. Report on start of Winter Reading Program, plans for the closing party
4. Sarah– board training information

5. Possible grants to work on for the next term, any grants that have been applied for.

6. Endowment– financial advisors?

7. Librarians– Misc. Library business and possible items for next meeting’s agenda.

8. Cleo- Book exchange

Easy Chair for reading

Friday, September 18, 2009

Good Christian Fiction

Library/ Literacy:

Want to enjoy the history of the Church may I recommend three

series of book we have at the library . I read and enjoyed.

A. Kingdom and the Crown three volumes 1. Fishers of Men,

2.Come Unto Me, 3 Behold the Man.( These volumes are about

the Coming of Christ)

B. The Promised Land. Volume 1.Pillar of Fire. 2.Power of

deliverance . 3. Place of Refuge ( Story of the Book of Mormon)

C. Five volumes by Darryl Harris ( \Story of the restoration of the

gospel and our pioneer heritage based on the history of the Harris


Check our web site and blog for more books and news

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Glimpse of the past: Newton library debuts Mormon Battalion exhibit

Ruby Woodward points out items in an exhibit on the Mormon Battalion at the Newton Town Library in Newton Friday.
By Emilie H. Wheeler
Sunday, July 26, 2009 3:03 AM CDT
NEWTON — Nearly 60 years ago, nine buses drove through America’s Southwest carrying descendants of Utah pioneers.

The symbolic journey carried two meanings: to commemorate the march of the Mormon Battalion in the 1840s and to help mark California’s discovering of gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848 and the state’s admittance to the Union in 1850.

Among them was J.J. Larsen, a Newton resident who would die 18 years later but leave at least one tangible piece of the commemorative journey for his granddaughter to find several decades later: his uniform.

Now, the uniform hangs in a new exhibit in the Newton Town Library honoring members of the Mormon Battalion — especially those with descendants currently living in Newton.

Over the past several months, Larsen’s granddaughter, Ruby Woodward, and assistant librarian Cleo Griffin have researched stories of those who marched in 1846 and 1847 from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Los Angeles, collected items from that time period and searched for photos of ancestors of current residents. Those photos now hang in the display and details of their history during the march are scattered through the exhibit.

Newton resident Catherine Phelps helped by securing several items, like an authentic gun and trail marker, which are on loan to the library for a couple of months.

“We tried to make it as personal as we could,” said Woodward, the Friends of the Library chairwoman who got the idea for the exhibit after reading a book about the Mormon Battalion.

Formed in July 1846, about 500 volunteers created companies of infantry meant to participate in the Mexican-American War at the request of the U.S. Army. The group marched nearly 2,000 miles to California, the longest recorded march in military history, for training before being discharged in July 1847. On the way, they encountered provisional Mexican troops at Tuscon, Ariz., but the Mexicans fled without shots being fired. The unit’s most dangerous conflict was the “Battle of the Bulls,” during which the soliders were forced to fire at a herd of stampeding cattle.

While Woodward has been creating the display, Griffin — who has her own Mormon Battalion ancestor — has been putting together a book of histories. Members of the public who view the display can sign their names in the book under names of those in the Battalion who they’re related to.

Woodward said they’re always looking for more information, as well.

“If they’ve got a history, we’d love to have it,” she said.

Because of Griffin’s penchant for historical research, the library — with its impressive collection for a smaller community library — has become a destination of sorts for people looking for information about their ancestors.

“Last month, we had four travelers from Washington who spent the day here doing research,” said library director Sarah Rigby.

The group of women hope more individuals will come to the library to view this research and add to it in any way possible.

Woodward said the experience became personal to her — and she hopes others will feel the same way.

“The most fun was reading these histories,” she said.


The Herald Journal Serving Logan and Cache Valley > News > Glimpse of the past: Newton library debuts Mormon Battalion exhibit

The Herald Journal Serving Logan and Cache Valley > News > Glimpse of the past: Newton library debuts Mormon Battalion exhibit

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Arts & Life : : Features
Newton's library beats at the town's heart
By Manette Newbold
October 11, 2005 NEWTON -- At the center of town, the library stands as a place for the community to come together. A once-upon-a-time elementary school, Newton's public library opened in May 1998 and now has year-round activities for families and children.
In December the library has Santa Claus, in May it celebrates its birthday, and in the summer it invites kids to get involved in the state summer reading program, said Librarian Cleo Griffin, 77.
At the library parents can also get their kids involved in the weekly preschool that started in 1999 and invited children to story time and activities, Griffin said. The library also has a party every year at the end of the summer reading program and continues with other programs year-round.
"I like seeing kids learn how to read," Griffin said. "That's the reason for the library.
Griffin was part of the original library board in 1998 and said she has always loved books. Her father loved to read and she said that trait was passed on to her and now that's had eight children of her own, she likes to see that children are still reading.
Griffin knows the books, the people, the kids and the history. If you enter the library on a day she is working, she can tell you all about the history of the Newton Town Library and how it came to be.
"That's the nice thing about a small town," said Griffin. "It doesn't take long to get to know [the people]."
She said the library is involved with the community and always has a float in the 24th of July parade. They also have sales when the town citizens can buy books for 25 and 50 cents.
"It's the best buy in the world," she said.
Not only do the town people come for books, but they come to use the computers too. One is specifically for children and has games they can play. Six others have the Internet for adults and their kids.
The Preschool
One of the programs the library does continually is the weekly preschool for toddlers. Randi Jorgensen said she started the program when her son was in kindergarten and now between 10 and 20 kids attend each week for stories and crafts.
She said she doesn't really remember how the program began but that it sort of evolved when Griffin suggested story time. Jorgenson wanted to help and said it's been "a really fun thing to do ever since.
"Moms stay a lot too," she said. "They have fun talking and getting out of the house and just meeting other women from the community."
For one hour the children are engaged in story time and activities including singing, coloring, cutting, painting, or sidewalk chalk, Jorgensen said. She said they also plan seasonal crafts around holidays and around Halloween the kids get to wear their costumes so everyone can see them.
Elizabeth Lyon said her two children that she brings each week really look forward to coming to preschool.
Lyon, who occasionally helps with story time, said everyone is welcome; there is no sign up or registration. She said as long as people keep coming, the preschool will continue.
The History
The Newton Town Library started with a group of interested citizens who proposed the idea to Mayor Benson in January 1998. Permission was granted in February of that year and 70 volunteers signed up to help get things going.
Eagle Scouts painted the North Hall in the Town Building and put up metal shelves that were donated. Citizen Lyle Cooley built and donated 12 wooden bookshelves that held books donated from people and several communities.
The library grew and was moved to the gymnasium of the Town Building and again Eagle Scouts offered to paint and build shelves. Carpet, tables, chairs, lumber, bookshelves and money were all donated.
The library is larger now with several sections of books and a corner for kids. There are tables to study and children can color with crayons and coloring books.
Griffin said the library is a well-known part of the town. She said she once saw an advertisement for a piece of property that said, "in walking distance for the library.
"When I saw that I thought -- we have arrived!" Griffin said. And the library will be around for a long time.
Copyright 1997-2005 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000 Best viewed 800 x 600.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Book Sale and Mormon Battalion

Newton Town Library is having a book sale during the evening of the 24th of July in conjunction with the Town Celebration. Also be sure to review the Mormon Battalion
display in the Library Saturday 25th from noon to 4:PM.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Tuesday, June 16 at 10:30 will be the Opening Party for our Summer Reading Party and the celebration of the Library's Birthday. The theme this year is Be Creative @ Your Library. Come enjoy games, crafts, have a cupcake, and let the whole family sign-up. Kids that read during the summer don't loose the reading skills they've worked all year to gain. The Summer Reading will go June 16 - Aug. 11. We will be having story time between those dates on Thurs 10:30 for the younger kids, and Thurs 3:30 for older kids.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


John Jenkins Reunion 2009
for all descendents of John Jenkins and any of his three wives
Date: Friday June 26 - Saturday June 27
Place: Church and Park at Newton, Utah
Maps to Newtonscroll down for more information
Come learn more about your pioneer heritage and get to know your extended family / see heirlooms / share genealogy
REUNION ACTIVITIESclick on each link to learn more
FRIDAYSession at Logan TempleATV Ride to Jenkins' HollowCamping at Logan CanyonIndividual Family ActivitiesSelf-Guided Tour of family historic sites
CLICK for links to more information about individual family group plans:
SATURDAYGather and RegisterGroup PhotosHeirloomsWales -- display and presentation by cousinJerolyn FisherPicnicSkit -- anecdotes from John Jenkins' lifeSelf-Guided Tour of family historic sitesThings to bringDonations
Please help us pass this information on to all descendants of John Jenkins; let all of your family know. If you send your email addresses to us, we’ll add all of you to the e-mailing list for latest updates.
Rosanna (Jenkins) Hunter (great granddaughter of John Jenkins & Mary Oviatt)email: hunterfamily1977@msn.comphone: 801-446-1416
Ken Krull(gg grandson of John Jenkins & Annie Clarke)email: Ken@Krull.netphone: Lana Archibald(great granddaughter of John Jenkins & Anne Maria Jensen)email: lana_a2000@yahoo.comphone: 435-257-7715
Friday, June 26th Individual family get-togethers You can plan your own "mini-reunions" for that day / evening. Camping is available at Newton Reservoir, Logan Canyon and other places in Cache Valley . See these links for hotels and campground reservations:
CACHE NATIONAL FOREST (camping near Logan)NEWTON RESERVOIR camping HOTELS in LOGAN, UTAH (16.2 miles to the east)HOTEL in TREMONTON, UTAH (25 miles to the southwest, near I-15 freeway)HOTELS in BRIGHAM CITY, UTAH (34 miles to the south, near I-15 freeway) BACK TO REUNION SCHEDULETemple session at the Logan LDS Temple Friday, 7:00 p.m. -- for all with recommends who are interested in attending as a groupBACK TO REUNION SCHEDULE ATV Ride to “Jenkins Hollow” (an alpine grove and spring, where John Jenkins hid out from the US Marshalls); we’ll also see the site of Anne Marie's first cabin (hills north of Newton and Clarkston). If you are interested in participating in this ride, you will need to bring your own ATV, helmets, lunch, gas and a camera! The site may also be reached by Jeep. We will be parking north of Clarkston, and riding from there by dirt road. You will get dusty!! Meet at the Newton Church at 9:00 a.m. The ride is about 15-20 miles round trip. Plan 3-4 hours. We usually ride with 2 people per ATV.If you plan to ride with us, call Lana Archibald at 435-257-7715 before June 25th
words from John Jenkins' autobiography about his place at the "Big Meadow" and on the land near Weston, IdahoATV RENTALSA site in LOGAN, UTAH for renting ATVs: I just learned that there is an ATV place here in Logan that rents 4-wheelers. It is called "Zero Gravity" It is a home-based business, but they currently have three 4-wheelers that they can rent to adults and three 3-wheelers. They also have some smaller 3-wheelers that they can rent to kids. They provide a trailer with the 4-wheeler (and 3-wheeler) and the cost is $65/day. They can also deliver the 4-wheeler or 3-wheeler to the site where the ride will begin if needed (in case there are people from out of town with no way to pull a trailer on their vehicle - which is probably a rental car. If you want to put this information out to those invited to the Jenkins Reunion (because I'm sure there are people that would prefer to rent locally rather than having to drive clear to Ogden) - the name of the owner, the address and phone number are below
Sage Price - ZERO GRAVITY151 E. 100 N.Millville, UTPh: 435-760-1091
If there is anyone interested in renting from them, they need to call ahead to reserve - since there are a limited number available. They would like to know by the first of June those who are interested in renting so that they can make sure they hold those machines.The RENTAL PLACES BELOW are all near Ogden, UtahOPEN OUTDOOR RENTALS 801-643-5567 $99 per ATV (includes helmet)
Insurance for vehicle damage is not included, nor availableTrailer rental is $25; however, if you rent 2 ATVs, the trailer rental is included.ATV RENTALS of UTAH 801-347-4115 $109 per ATV (includes helmet);
$25 for trailer rental; $20 for damage insurance (optional)
Call early if you plan to reserve an ATV through them. Mention the John Jenkins reunion and ask for a group discount. See them online at atvrentalsofutah.comBACK TO REUNION SCHEDULE.
CAMPING in LOGAN CANYON -- This invitation to camp here is now available to all Jenkins descendants.The large group site at the Guinavah-Malibu Campground, (8 miles east on highway 89) up Logan Canyon has been reserved. Tent Camping only in group site. Amenites include shade, flush toilets, drinking water and dumpster. COST = $3.00 per person. RV Camping is available at other sites in the campground for an additional fee. The campground is especially unique because of the huge Black willow trees, some reported to be well over 75 years old. These wonderful and majestic trees shade the entire campground and give it a southern delta appearance. Photo MapIf your family would like to camp at this campsite, please contact Fay Michelony at or Ph. 650-922-1107 as soon as possible. The reservation will have to be let go by June 1st if there aren't enough people interested in staying there.Activities at the campground include: dutch oven potluck, campfire program, horseshoes, fishing and hiking.
The Logan River flows through the campground and offers good fishing for cutthroat and brown trout.
The Crimson Trail begins on the east end of the campground at a small, signed trailhead. The trail climbs to a cliff band and follows the band west before descending to Spring Hollow Campground. The Riverside Trail also leads to Spring Hollow.
Between Spring Hollow and Guinavah is the Wind Cave Trailhead. This two-mile trail leads to caves carved by wind and rain.
Saturday, June 27th: Main Gathering at the Newton church -- Newton, UtahRegistration begins at 9:00 a.m. Time for introductions, visiting, and sharing stories and meeting your long-lost cousins Plus GROUP PHOTOS (be sure to arrive in time to be in your group) HEIRLOOMS: There will be display tables with heirlooms, keepsakes, photos, etc. Bring any you have to show to others, including photographs of Wales, Wyoming, Idaho or Utah homesteads. There will be computers, scanners, CD burners and amature photographers on hand to help you make lasting memories.WALES -- cousin Jerolyn Fisher has recently returned from a mission to Wales. She will be brining flags, souvenirs and photos and will give a presentation on the country and its people.BACK TO REUNION SCHEDULEPICNIC LUNCH at 12:30 -- outside under the pavilion or on the lawnPlease bring your own picnic lunch. Drinks will be provided for everyone.
If bringing your own picnic lunch is not easy, you may order a picnic lunch from Sirena Higgs. (see instructions below)Donations will be appreciated, but not required, to help cover costs for the pavilion, the drinks, and the monument.
YOU MAY ORDER A PICNIC LUNCH for $8.00 each Includes 6" sub-type sandwich (roast beef, turkey, or ham), chips, a fruit cup and a doughnutBy emailing SIRENA HIGGS: BEFORE June 13thAll money must be recieved by Sirena prior to June 13th
Sirena Higgs 1088 W. Smith Lane Kaysville, UT 84037After June 13 you will need to call Sirena at 801-544-0162 or Maridene at 801-544-9218 to see if it is still possible for them to make a lunch for you.SKIT: a short skit illustrating interesting experiences from John Jenkins' life will be represented while you enjoy your lunchTHINGS TO BRING: lawn chairs, sunguard, picnic lunch (or money to purchase pre-ordered lunch), heirlooms, cameras, USB or jump drives (memory sticks), possibly mosquito spray, your smile and a great attitude!BACK TO REUNION SCHEDULE.
SELF-GUIDED TOUR OF FAMILY HISTORIC SITES IN NEWTON – Friday or Saturday A map of family historic sites in Newton will be emailed to you before the reunion. You can use it to do a self-guided tour before or after the reunion. Maps may possibly be available at the Newton town library on Friday, and at the Newton Church on Saturday. We’ll let you know more about that later. Don't forget your camera!BACK TO REUNION SCHEDULE.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


We the People Bookshelf is in our library and was featured on the yellow bookshelf in January and Febuary as well as on our bulletin board for those months. It is a great addition to our history collection.
Listed below are the items in the collection. We are grateful for this collection.

Our Sky View High School We the People Team has won District and State competitions and on April 23, 2009 are headed for Washington DC for national competition. Several of the team are our library patrons one being Alision Fabricius. There coach is Mike Rigby. WAY TO GO TEAM!!


"Picturing America"
Resources for Directors
Past We the People Bookshelves

* Courage
* Freedom
* Becoming American
* Pursuit of Happiness
* Created Equal


National Endowment for the Humanities
ALA - American Library Association
WTP - We The People

We the People Bookshelf on "Created Equal"
Created Equal

* Created Equal Titles
* Application & Final Report Login
* Programming Resources
* Award Recipients

In April 2008, NEH awarded the We the People Bookshelf on "Created Equal" to 3,000 school and public libraries. Award recipients may use the links below to:

* Log in to view your Created Equal application or complete your library's final report (due May 30, 2009)
* Access a list of We the People Created Equal programming resources, including sample promotional materials and cataloging records
* See the Created Equal Bookshelf reading list
* View a list of We the People Created Equal award recipients

"Created Equal" Collection

The "Created Equal" Bookshelf includes the following titles, which were selected by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), in cooperation with the American Library Association (ALA) and the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA.
Ugly Duckling
Illustration by Robert Ingpen © 2005. Used by permission of Minedition, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group.
Gettysburg Address
Illustration by Michael McCurdy © 1995, published 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Many Thousand Gone
Illustration by Leo and Diane Dillon © 1993, published 1993 by Alfred A. Knopf
Chief Joseph
Chief Joseph by Burbank, E.A. (Elbridge Ayer), artist, 1899, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress
Kindergarten to Grade 3

The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen

The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln

Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco

Pink y Say by Patricia Polacco (translated by Alejandra Lopez Varela)
Grades 4 to 6

Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

Give Me Liberty! The Story of the Declaration of Independence by Russell Freedman

Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman

Many Thousand Gone: African Americans from Slavery to Freedom by Virginia Hamilton

Lyddie by Katherine Paterson

Lyddie by Katherine Paterson (translated by Rosa Benavides)
Grades 7 to 8

Saturnalia by Paul Fleishman

Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Russell Freedman

Abraham Lincoln the Writer: A Treasury of His Greatest Speeches And Letters edited by Harold Holzer

Breaking Through by Francisco Jiménez

Senderos Fronterizos: Breaking Through Spanish Edition by Francisco Jiménez
Grades 9 to 12

Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution by Natalie S. Bober

That All People May Be One People, Send Rain to Wash the Face of the Earth by Nez Perce Chief Joseph

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Flores Para Algernon by Daniel Keyes (translated by Paz Barroso)

Lincoln’s Virtues: An Ethical Biography by William Lee Miller

Amistad: A Novel by David Pesci
© 2007 American Library Association. Privacy Policy
Web design & development by Xeno Media

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Have you considered how the library can help you with your genealogy? Check our webs site ( ). After you are in the Web Site click on the words Newton Public Library, this will bring up a site that you can search our catalog. I suggest your click title, author and subject. I typed in Salisbury and got 10 hits, most of them were pictures of Salisbury’s in Amos Griffins class pictures, to find out which Salisbury’s picture is in our library check each base and the first and last name will appear in the subject or note matter. You will be surprised how much information we have in our Special Collections. This collection grows weekly. Other great sources are the Encyclopedia of the Church, DUP Books, County books, etc. They are indexed and you can have the librarian copy any information from these books.

Another great resource is thru Pioneer which is also on our web site or at ( ) In this data base there are newspapers from all over the county and also Heritage Quest is free to use with our pass word. C1P84327. Click on which ever data base you want, and then a screen will come up with city names on it. Go to where it says Everywhere Else and hit Enter Here this is where you use our password ( C1P84327 ) . You will then be able to search whatever data base you want: For instance in Heritage you will find Census, Books, Persi, Fredmans, Rev War, and Serial Set. All free to you because we are a certified library.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Newton town library will soon have new staff

By Rachel Christensen

Otober 6, 2008 | NEWTON -- Sara Rigby is training to become the town's head librarian and five others have submitted applications to become library helpers, Mayor Clair Christiansen told the Town Council Thursday.

Cleo Griffin, Newton's current head librarian, said Rigby completed the necessary certification and is now being trained to take the position. Griffin also gave council the names of residents interested in becoming library helpers. Christiansen said he was fine with all of the applicants and left the final decision to Griffin.

"Accredited librarians are few and far between," Griffin said.

Griffin also said she is in favor of a proposal to build a county library, however Newton voters who are used to the local library are not.

"We've spoiled them," Griffin said.

Christiansen said the county library fund would help build a new library, however control of the library would go to the county.

"[The library] is the best thing we've got going out here," Christiansen said.

In other business:

- Councilman Greg Jorgenson said the fire truck needs odds and ends ranging from gate valves to mounting brackets. The total price of needed equipment for the fire department is a little over $2,000, he said, and the budget will cover some of the cost.

- The owners of the Griffin property have decided not to subdivide the lot, Councilman Jed Woodward said, and therefore do not have to create a new road. He said they will still have to buy a share of water for the lot, but they do not need to worry about a road unless they do anything else with the land in the future.

- Susan Newmyer-Jeppson, town treasurer, said Newton's 24th of July celebration was a success. The food and T-shirts for the event paid for themselves and 6,256 people attended, she said.

"I think we had more this year than we've ever had," Newmyer-Jeppson said.

- Mayor Christiansen said the price of basic Comcast in Newton will change from $12.99 to $15.99. He also said residents should be aware that the channels they receive from a basic pack will also be changing.



Does any one have pictures of William H. Griffin’s homes? He had three wives and each had a home.
We are also looking for anyone in our wards that had Mormon Battalion ancestors. We want to do a display of them and we will research their histories if you don’ have one. F you can help the library please contact Cleo Griffin at 435-563-6540 or the library on Monday nights from 3 to 7 pm.
We have a school picture that has Doug Griffin and Milo Benson are on; if you can help us identify the rest of the class would you please come to the library to help us.
We have a magazine exchange at the library, If you are through reading the magazines you take would you please donate them to the library. Our children like the National Geographic magazines.
Michelle Griffin is taking money and candy donations for the Annual Easter Egg Hunt. Eggs to be dyed will be at her house on Thursday April 9th. We need to thank Michelle for providing an Easter Egg hunt for our children.,
Have you visited the library lately: If not you have missed a treat. The new bookcases received via a grant paid for by Senator Hatch’s Utah Family Foundation filled with children’s books are a delight to behold.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Help the library get new kids & teen books, and get books for you too. Friends of the Library have Scholastic book orders at the library each month.
Have you visited our new children’s section, if not you have missed a treat? We have many new books donated by the grant from the Libra Foundation and by Friends of the Library. Also the new bookcases were paid for with grants from Senator Hatch’s Foundation and Dale J Skinner.
Many new Christian Fiction books have been bought with money from our “Grandparents Account


Being able to read is the key. A study by Drs. Betty Hart and Todd Risley at the University of Kansas showed that white-collar children reach kindergarten having heard 45 million words, whereas blue-collar children have only heard 26 million words and poverty-level children have heard only 13 million words. That is a 32 million word difference between the professional children and the poverty children. In the first 4 years of life the results were staggering. 35% of children enter kindergarten without the necessary skills to be successful students. (Read to Learn, a 1991 Carnegie Foundation report.)
There is a 90% probability that a child who is a poor reader in the first grade will be a poor reader in the fourth grade. (Nation’s Report Card 2003) stated that 40% of 4th graders and 31% of 8th graders are reading below basic skills level.
Our goal is to increase frequency and intention with which parents and care givers talk to their children, share books with their children and bring their children to the library.BRING YOUR CHILD TO STORYHOUR EVERY THURSDAY AT 10:30 AM.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


A Newton Town public hearing to gather input on a countywide library system will be held Feb. 5, 2009 at 7:00pm at the Newton Town Hall, you may view the study at

This is the web site of the study Pete J Giacoma published on Nov, 8th 2008. The Document sent to the town board is much shorter. However the intent is the same. There are some errors about Newton in the report which have been e-mail to Pete. A poster will be placed at the post office detailing some of the report. You may also review both report’s at the library.

Rosette Stone Spanish

Want some fun as a family, come bring your family and take the Rosette Stone Spanish class on our two lap top computers. Your children will love it and Cleo will tend the little ones. Cleo is at the library Mon. and Thurs . From 3 to 7 PM.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Library/Special Collections
MORMON BATTILION (help)!!We want any of you who have Mormon Battalion ancestors to please let the Cleo Griffin or Ruby Woodward know . We want to redo the glass display cases and would like to honor your ancestor in it. Cleo is at the library Monday and Thursday from 3 to 7 PM.
We are searching for pictures of Wm. H Griffin's original homes. One was located where Burke and Jan Benson now live at 59 N Center ST and another one was, just south of Yuvonne Sparks house.
SERVICE STATIONS. We are searching for histories and pictures of the service station that have existed in Newton. Can you help us?
HAVE YOU SEEN THEM??? Come to the library and check out the great pictures of the Logan Temple and Old Main at USU. While there enjoy browsing in the Children's and Young Adult Library which was set up by our great Library Board and many hours by Sarah Rigby.
Library hours: Mon. 3 to 7 pm ;Tues. 3 to 6pm, Thur. 10 to 1pm: STORY HOUR on Thur, 10:30. all ages invited. Thur afternoon 3 to pm. Sat 12 to 4 pm. Our blog address is Look here for new and interesting things about the town and library.
Our Web address to check out what books we have is . We thank all you good Newtonites for your support.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free."
Frederick Douglass
Inspiring books I have read lately

"The Great Serum Race" by Debbie S Miller
A children’s book about the Iditarod Trail
The Iditarod Race in March is in commemoration
of the race in 1925 to carry Diphtheria vaccine to Nome Alaska to save children’s lives. Beautiful pictures by Jon Van Zyle a musher himself. Now at the library..
Also:"Secret Believers: What Happens When Muslims Believe in Christ" by Brother Andrew ( recommended by an institute teacher)