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NewPages Book Reviews

Posted October 1, 2009

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  • Book Type Children's Novel
  • by Sharon Jennings
  • Date Published October 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1-897187-55-5
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 152pp
  • Price $8.95
  • Review by Jessica Powers
I loved this book! I think I fell in love with it the first time the main character, Lee, mentions Anne of Green Gables and her excitement about meeting a “real-life orphan,” Cassandra, who is moving in with a relative next door. Anne was my favorite character from children’s books when I was a kid. She felt like a real person to me – a friend, someone I wanted to meet, someone I wanted to be like, someone I was – dare I say it? – jealous of – exactly the way Lee feels. But being an orphan in real life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, as Lee finds out when she becomes friends with Cassandra.
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  • Book Type Illustrated
  • by Anne Jewett
  • Date Published September 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9792035-8-9
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 32pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Jessica Powers
This children’s picture book follows Sophie’s search for the warmest place in her house after spending time outside playing in the snow. Ultimately, the warmest place is snuggled up next to her parents in their bed during the middle of the night. The story is light and sweet while the illustrations are delightful and fun. Altogether, a great book for bedtime.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Steven D. Schroeder
  • Date Published 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1-934289-71-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 78pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Roy Wang
Steven Schroeder and his brain like to wander. Whether physically through the landscapes of Colorado, or mentally through recollections of schadenfreude, Schroeder drags his rucksack of modern references behind him. String theory, Asimov, army-town life, thermodynamics – all pop up naturally in the course of his bizarre musings.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Claudia Keelan
  • Date Published October 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1930974869
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 79pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Vince Corvaia
Missing Her is a moving, elegant series of poems, or elegies, that examines loss on both a very public and a private level. Keelan’s topics include Mary after the birth of Jesus, the Vietnam War, September 11th, Hurricane Katrina, and the death of her father. In “About Suffering They Were,” she writes, “There are no old poems, / Only new textbooks directing / The unprepared student to the painting / Behind the poem.” In Missing Her, we are all unprepared students, and Keelan leads us not merely to her poems but to the truths behind poetry.
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  • Book Type Edited
  • by Sy Safransky, Tim McKee, Andrew Snee
  • Date Published 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-0-91320-040
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 351pp
  • Price $18.95
  • Review by Jeanne M. Lesinski
The 35 fiction pieces and 15 poems from The Sun magazine collected for this anthology deal with passion, longing, and romantic love. As editor Sy Safransky so aptly describes this work, “[It is] about the room upstairs at the end of the hall, shared by two lovers who’ve decided to stay – for a weekend or forever, no one can say. Sometimes they kiss, sometimes they bite. They dream they’re in heaven. They swear they’re in hell. That room.” This room is occupied by a range of men and women of various cultures, ages, and sexual persuasions, and, as with any and all relationships, the dynamics of each relationship portrayed here is as individual as its author could imagine.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Suzanne Burns
  • Date Published June 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9815899-6-1
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 197pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Laura Pryor
A handsome former soap star, tired of his shallow, fat-free life, kidnaps a pastry chef to do his bidding. A woman, suddenly obsessed with the domestic arts, breaks into someone’s home and begins cooking and cleaning while they’re gone. We all have strange, fleeting impulses – Suzanne Burns’s characters act on them.
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