“Never Mind Miss Fox”

Never Mind Miss Fox: A Novel  Set in England, ‘Never Mind Miss Fox’ threatens to tumble Clive and Martha’s marriage when a woman from their past- Eliot Fox- reappears.  The first half of the story describes young Clive and his brother, Tom, as they both are falling in love. Although Clive loves and eventually marries Martha, he has a brief tryst with Eliot (Tom’s crush) before settling down.  Attending Oxford, Clive pursues Martha until she succumbs to his attempts to make her his.  Eliot sees Tom as just a friend.  When a wild night of parties is about to end, Clive and Eliot have a one-night stand which threatens his marriage years later.

Years later, Clive and Martha’s only child, Eliza, arrives home excited about her new piano teacher, Miss Fox.  Although Clive tries to squelch the relationship, he fails and Martha discovers the brief night they spent together years ago.

Will the secrets of the past be the end to Clive and Martha? Will she forgive him?

What are Eliot’s intentions in reappearing in their lives at this time? Is she seeking revenge?

Bombay Blues


Bombay Blues by Tanuja Desai Hidier is a sequel to the 2002 YA novel “Born Confused”, which, if you have not read, you MUST. Bombay Blues picks up two years after her last book left off: Dimple Lala, an “ABCD” – American Born Confused Desi (Hindu for a person from South Asia), who also a talented photographer, carrying her Chica Tikka, her third eye SLR camera, everywhere and recording everything with it. A gift from her beloved grandfather, her now deceased Dadaji, its photographs were how the two bridged their language barrier, communicating their lives to each other in pictures from half way around the world – Dimple in New Jersey, Dadaji in Bombay. Dimple also found herself involved with the boy her parents had considered ‘a suitable boy’ and whom she originally rejected simply because meeting him was arranged by their parents. The very handsome Karsh Kapoor is a favorite Indian DJ playing gigs in Manhattan night spots.
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“The President’s Shadow”


Usually, when authors write novels using the same characters or write a new book in a series, they include hints, clues, or totally retelling of plot lines that were previously developed.  “The President’s Shadow” is Brad Meltzer’s third book in his Culper series.  However, unless readers have read the two previous novels, they will be totally confused about characters, and the plot.

Beecher White works at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.  His mentor Aristotle “Tot” Westman lies in a coma at a D.C. hospital.  Beecher visits him every day hoping that he will regain consciousness.  Meltzer never explains how Tot suffered a gun-shot wound that caused the coma.  That, I am assuming, was explained in the second book.

White is not the only person who is concerned about Westman’s condition.  Someone else is monitoring his health status.  All of this intrigue revolves around the fact that Westman is the head of the Culper Ring.  The Culper Ring really did exist.  It was a secret society created by George Washington during the American Revolution.  After the death of Nathan Hale, Washington felt that in order for us to win the war and protect his men against the British, secrecy/spying was necessary.  Meltzer revives this organization which is tasked with protecting the Presidency.

White is seeking information as to the circumstances around the death of his father while he was serving in the army.  The files he needs are now in the hands of the President.  It seems President Wallace and Beecher have crossed paths before.  See previous books.

Beecher’s investigation leads him to a remote island in the Caribbean. There with the help of a mentally ill former friend of his father’s, the man’s dying daughter, Clementine, an old childhood friend, Marshall, and assorted bad guys he learns the truth of his father’s military service.

Readers beware.  It is obvious that you must read the previous two books in this series to understand and enjoy “The President’s Shadow.”

A good read for children: War Horse

war horseWritten by Michael Morpungo, this novel is based on the fact that horses were used during World War l to carry men into battle and to pull heavy war machinery. Many soldiers developed close bonds with the horses, and these bonds would serve to pull many back from the brink of despair at the horrible toll of war. This story is told from the horse’s point of view, Joey, a farm horse from England sold to an Army Captain by the farmer who owned him. His son, Albert, is devastated when he learns of this, having grown up with Joey.  As the tale continues, the reader experiences the war years as seen through Joey’s eyes.

After speaking to a World War veteran who had been part of a regiment utilizing horses, Morpungo became inspired to write a story about the horrors of war as seen through a horse’s eyes. He then met a young boy who came to his farm as part of a charity Morpungo founded in 1976 for inner city kids. The boy was a stammerer, yet  able to speak to one of the farm horses without a single stutter. Morpungo then decided to write a story about the bond between men and horses, set during the time period of the Great War.

After publication, War Horse met with critical acclaim in 1982, having been runner up to the Whitbread Award, which is chosen by the Booksellers of Great Britain and Ireland. It was released as a Steven Spielberg film in 2011.

I would recommend this for grades 5 and up, and be forewarned– it is a tear jerker.

Happy Birthday, Beatrix Potter

Today, July 28, marks the birthday of English author, illustrator and natural scientist Beatrix Potter. Born in 1866, she, of course, is best known for her children’s books, especially “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.”

Born into a wealthy family, she exhibited her artistic talents early on.  She wrote and published privately ” Peter Rabbit” in 1901.  A year later a small, three-color edition was published by Frederick Warne & Co.

We have 13 Beatrix Potter books in our children’s collection.  Most are small in size just right for little hands.  9780723247739_p0_v1_s192x300