October Staff Pick : Boys in the Boat

Our October staff pick comes from Pat Drogowski. This is what she had to say about it.

The Boys in the Boat “My summer favorite, maybe all-time favorite:

 The Boys in the Boat : Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin  Olympics by Daniel Brown

The popularity and challenges of crew are intricately and interestingly described through the  Seattle college team that makes it to 1936 Berlin Olympics team! This was the number-one sport of that era.  But more than that is the struggle of the main character faced with extreme poverty, family abandonment and the stamina and courage to win and lose. History and the extremes of life during the Depression and Dust Bowl are woven so well into this story. He is an unsung American hero to say the least.”

September Staff Pick : The Royal We

This month we have a great selection from one of our librarians, Lynne H.

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica MorganThe Royal We

“The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan has been my favorite book of the summer. It’s totally basically fanfiction of Kate Middleton and Prince William… but don’t laugh, I swear it’s really good! For those who love easy to read chick lit that you don’t have to think about.”

If you enjoyed this book, check out the other YA books written by these two : Spoiled and Messy.

 

July Staff Pick: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn was a huge bestseller two years ago, staying on the New York Times’ list for months.

Pat, who picked the book, said about it:

Think Fatal Attraction with Glenn Close in a hip marriage! Everything you think will happen, doesn’t. It’s Gone Girlterrifying for a desperate husband who is accused of murdering the ‘gone’ girl – his wife.

About why the book is especially appealing she said:

You cannot put it down! There are twists, turns, a sociopathic/psychopathic wife who is assumed murdered, quick chapters, believable characters, families in dysfunction, and confused one-sided investigators. This book needs a sequel.

Gone GirlWhile author Gilliam Flynn has no plans for a sequel, the movie is due out on October 3, 2014. The internet was abuzz this week when a new trailer was released.

If you haven’t read it yet, check out a copy and read it before you see the movie this autumn!

March Staff Pick: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Our March Staff Pick is from Pat, on the first anniversary of it’s publication in March 2013, after nearly 50 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List (including time spent in the number one spot): Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Click the title to read more about the book and see reviews in our library catalog.

This book received a *Starred Review* from Booklist and was called, “the new manifesto for women in the workplace,” by Oprah Winfrey.

Here is what Pat has to say about the book, and why she liked it:Lean In

The chief operating officer of Facebook wisely and clearly explains the inequalities women face in the workforce and how she has paved her way. This book reads and rings true, especially for young women in all leadership positions. Sandberg writes compellingly and includes a wonderful family background that guided her throughout and taught her well. Those who have made gains for women and others need to understand that these huge strides have made the world a better place for everyone.

Pat also said that she thought Lean In would be eye-opening for men as well as women, even especially for men.

Lean In is also available at Sewickley Public Library as a Book on CD; or through OverDrive as a eBook in both Kindle Book and Adobe EPUB eBook formats, and as an eAudiobook in both mp3 and WMA formats.

February Staff Pick: Help for the Haunted by John Searles

This month’s staff pick is from Ing: Help for the Haunted, by John Searles. Booklist reviewer Joanne Wilkinson calls Searles’ third novel “[s]uperlative storytelling” in a starred review.

Help for the Haunted by John SearlesIng described the story, without giving too much away…

Sylvie has always known that her parents had unique jobs, jobs that scared others and even scared her from time to time. Her parents were help to haunted souls, modern day exorcists, if you will. But was the danger in their family really of a supernatural nature? Or was something even more sinister going on?

When asked what appealed to her about the book, and why you should check it out, Ing said,

This is a fascinating story and has a very sympathetic narrator in Sylvie. If you enjoy supernatural stories, or even if you don’t, this book is written well and keeps you guessing all the way through.

Help for the Haunted has won a 2014 Alex Award, which is given each year by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association, to “ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.” Click the link above to see other 2014 Alex Award Winners.

In addition to the print copy of Help for the Haunted that can be found, and requested, through the library catalog, this title is also available as an OverDrive eBook.

 

January Staff Pick: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

Our first staff pick in an ongoing series has been graciously provided by Sue. This debut novel by M.L. Stedman was a months-long New York Times bestseller and received a starred review from Booklist.

The Light Between Oceans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS by M.L. Stedman

After serving four years on the Western Front, Tom returns a decorated military hero. He takes a position as a lighthouse keeper on an isolated island, Janus Rock. Soon after, he meets his young bride, Isabel, and brings her to accompany him. They have dreams of raising their family happily, together on the island. After years of fertility trouble and two miscarriages, a boat washes up to the shore carrying a dead man and a living baby. And this is all on page one of the book!

Sue enjoyed The Light Between Oceans for a variety of reasons. Here are her comments on what appealed to her and why you should check it out:

The writing is beautiful, and yet fast-paced enough so that you don’t want to put it down. From page one, you are hooked. This is a good old-fashioned novel: plot driven with plenty of twists, poetic descriptions, emotional conflict, and well-drawn characters. In fact, it’s impossible to read this book and not become totally drawn in by the characters. The setting is also appealing, a remote island off the coast of Western Australia on which a lone couple lives and keeps the lighthouse. But, what an emotional quandary they face! And how they unknowingly affecting the lives of others with their choices!

Sue said she highly recommends The Light Between Oceans for book club discussions due to the deep moral dilemmas faced by many of the characters.

Click the title above to find this book in the online library catalog, where you can request a copy.

Books Soon to be Movies in 2014

“I’m glad I read the book first,” is a phrase I often hear people say after seeing a film based off a book. Books as inspiration for movies are more popular than ever, and 2014 is set to be a good one if you enjoy literary films.

BuzzFeed recently posted a list of “16 Books to Read Before They Hit Theaters This Year.” Here are a few that can be found at Sewickley Public Library. Click the titles to request them through the library catalog:

 

Labor Day by Joyce Maynard LABOR DAY by Joyce MaynardBooklist Review: Stranger danger is a concept unfamiliar to 13-year-old Henry, who befriends an injured man during one of his and his agoraphobic mother’s rare shopping excursions in town with disastrous results for all. To be fair, neither mother nor son have much worldly experience, thanks to Adele’s emotional fragility following her divorce. Yet their willingness to assist a strange man has less to do with their collective lack of judgment than it does with Frank’s infectious charm, a quality that will escalate over the coming days as the escaped convict and murderer holds the pair hostage in their own home. With remarkable ease, Adele falls in love with Frank. As she helps him plan a second escape to Canada, Henry fears losing the little stability he has ever known. Told from Henry’s point of view, Maynard’s inventive coming-of-age tale indelibly captures the anxiety and confusion inherent in adolescence, while the addition of a menacing element of suspense makes this emotionally fraught journey that much more harrowing.–Haggas, Carol Copyright 2009 Booklist

 

The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel and Bret WitterTHE MONUMENTS MEN: ALLIED HEROES, NAZI THIEVES, AND THE GREATEST TREASURE HUNT IN HISTORY by Robert M. Edsel and Bret WitterBooklist Review: This is a chronicle of an unusual and largely unknown aspect of World War II. The heroes here aren’t flamboyant generals or grizzled GIs in combat. In civilian life these men and women had been architects, museum directors, sculptors, and patrons of the arts. They were drawn from thirteen nations, although most were American or British citizens. Beginning in 1943, they were recruited into a special unit formed to protect and recover cultural treasure that had been looted by top Nazis, especially Hitler and Goring. As Allied armies liberated areas of northern Europe after D-Day, these monuments men moved into the front lines. Since they had little advance knowledge of the location of the looted art, their efforts often resembled treasure hunts. In addition to recovering stolen art, they worked tirelessly, often at personal risk, to protect and restore art damaged by the ravages of war. Edsel describes the exploits of these men and women in a fast-moving narrative that effectively captures the excitement and dangers of their mission.–Freeman, Jay Copyright 2009 Booklist

 

A Long Way Down by Nick HornbyA LONG WAY DOWN by Nick HornbyBooklist Review: In his trademark warm and witty prose, Hornby follows four depressed people from their aborted suicide attempts on New Years Eve through the surprising developments that occur over the following three months. Middle-aged Maureen has been caring for her profoundly disabled son for decades; Martin is a celebrity-turned-has-been after sleeping with a 15-year-old girl; teenage Jess, trash-talker extraordinaire, is still haunted by the mysterious disappearance of her older sister years before; and JJ is upset by the collapse of his band and his breakup with his longtime girlfriend. The four meet while scoping out a tower rooftop looking for the best exit point. Inhibited by the idea of having an audience, they agree instead to form a support group of sorts. But rather than indulging in sappy therapy-speak, they frequently direct lacerating, bitingly funny comments at each other–and the bracing mix of complete candor and endless complaining seems to work as a kind of tonic. Hornby funnels the perceptive music and cultural references he is known for through the character of JJ, but he also expands far beyond his usual territory, exploring the changes in perspective that can suddenly make a life seem worth living and adroitly shifting the tone from sad to happy and back again. The true revelation of this funny and moving novel is its realistic, all-too-human characters, who stumble frequently, moving along their redemptive path only by increments. –Joanne Wilkinson Copyright 2005 Booklist

 

This Is Where I Leave You_PB.inddTHIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU by Jonathan Tropper Booklist Review: Judd Foxman is in his late thirties when he finds himself living in a damp, moldy basement apartment, without a job and separated from his wife, who is having an affair with his now ex-boss. To make matters worse, Judd finds out his wife is pregnant with his child and that his father has just died, leaving a dying wish to have all four of his children sit shivah for seven days. What transpires over the course of that week is a Foxman family reunion like no other; filled with fistfights, arguments, sex, and a parade of characters offering their sympathies and copious amounts of food. This is a story that could be told by your best guy friend: laugh-out-loud funny, intimate, honest, raunchy, and thoroughly enjoyable. Tropper is spot-on with his observations of family relationships as each member deals with new grief, old resentments, and life’s funny twists of fate. Tropper’s characters are real, flawed, and very likable, making for a great summer read.–Kubisz, Carolyn Copyright 2009 Booklist

 

Happy New Year! We hope you enjoy reading and watching along with us here at Do Something @ Sewickley Public Library!

NPR Book Concierge 2013

The folks over at NPR Books usually write a variety of end-of-year ‘Best Of’ lists to highlight the outstanding literary offerings of the past year. However due to the number of lists ballooning from 13 in 2008 to 20 in 2012, they decided to try a different format.

And so, NPR’s Book Concierge was born! It’s billed as ‘Our Guide to 2013’s Great Reads,’ and I encourage you to go check it out. The site allows you to choose what you’d like to read along the left-hand side (in categories such as ‘Eye Opening’ or ‘ It’s All Geek To Me’) and displays a collage of books recommended by NPR Staff that fit you chosen category or genre.

Of course, not all of the books will be available at Sewickley Public Library, but if one grabs your attention, it never hurts to give us a call or stop in to ask a librarian whether it can be requested from another library in Allegheny County.

Here are a few from the site you may not have heard a lot of buzz about that can be found at Sewickley Public Library, to get you started:

FICTION

Lexicon by Max BarryLEXICON by Max BarryBooklist Review *Starred Review* – Words have power to persuade, to coerce, even to kill. And so they have since the days when wordsmiths were called sorcerers. Streetwise teenager Emily knows nothing of this until she is recruited to join a clandestine international organization that seems bent on taking over the world through the power of language—the reason, perhaps, that its members call themselves poets. In the meantime, a young man, Wil, is kidnapped from an airport by two mysterious men determined to unlock a secret buried deep in his brain. Yes, Wil and Emily will be brought together in due course, but in the meantime, there is a great deal, some of it abstruse, about language in this fast-paced, cerebral thriller that borders on speculative fiction, but none of it slows the nonstop action that takes readers from Washington, D.C., to a small town in the Australian desert, a town whose 3,300 residents have all died mysteriously and violently. Could the cause have been the power of words at work? The poets sometimes seem a bit too omnipotent, and the book’s chronology is occasionally a bit confusing, but otherwise this is an absolutely first-rate, suspenseful thriller with convincing characters who invite readers’ empathy and keep them turning pages until the satisfying conclusion.–Cart, Michael Copyright 2010 Booklist

Night Film by Marisha PesslNIGHT FILM by Marisha PesslBooklist Review *Starred Review* – When the daughter of a notorious film director is found dead in New York, an apparent suicide, investigative reporter Scott McGrath throws himself back into a story that almost ended his career. But now McGrath has his Rosebud, and like Jedediah Leland in Citizen Kane, who hoped to make sense of media mogul Charles Foster Kane by understanding his last word, so the reporter sets out to determine how Ashley Cordova died and, in so doing, penetrate the heart of darkness that engulfs her reclusive father, Stanislas. Like Pessl’s first novel, the acclaimed Special Topics in Calamity Physics (2006), this one expands from a seemingly straightforward mystery into a multifaceted, densely byzantine exploration of much larger issues, in this case, the nature of truth and illusion as reflected by the elusive Cordova, whose transcend-the-genre horror films are cult favorites and about whom rumors of black magic and child abuse continue to swirl. His daughter, piano prodigy Ashley (her notes weren’t played; they were poured from a Grecian urn ), is almost as mysterious as her father, her life and death equally clouded in secrecy and colored with possibly supernatural shadings. Into this mazelike world of dead ends and false leads, McGrath ventures with his two, much younger helpers, Nora and Hopper, brilliantly portrayed Holmesian irregulars who may finally understand more about Ashley than their mentor, whose linear approach to fact finding might miss the point entirely. Pessl’s first novel, while undeniably impressive, possessed some of the overindulgence one might expect from a talented and precocious young writer. All evidence of that is gone here; the book is every bit as complex as Calamity Physics, but the writing is always under control, and the characters never fail to draw us further into the maelstrom of the story.–Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist

NONFICTION

Lawrence in Arabia by Scott AndersonLAWRENCE IN ARABIA: WAR, DECEIT, IMPERIAL FOLLY AND THE MAKING OF THE MODERN MIDDLE EAST by Scott AndersonBooklist Review *Starred Review* – To historians, the real T. E. Lawrence is as fascinating as the cinematic version in Lawrence of Arabia is to movie fans. The many reasons interlock and tighten author Anderson’s narrative, yielding a work that can absorb scholarly and popular interest like. Start with Lawrence’s WWI memoir, Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1922). A rare-book collectible, it inspired many of the scenes in David Lean’s film and is also subject to cross-referencing interpretations of Lawrence’s veracity. For lyrical though Lawrence could be about Arab leaders and desert landscapes, he could also be enigmatically opaque about the truth of his role in events. Accordingly, Anderson embeds Lawrence and Seven Pillars in the wider context of the Arab revolt against Turkey, and that context is the British, French, German, and American diplomacy and espionage intended to influence the postwar disposition of the territories of the Ottoman Empire. Lawrence was Britain’s agent in this game, and the other powers’ agents, although none enjoy his historical celebrity, assume prominence in Anderson’s presentation. Its thorough research clothed in smoothly written prose, Anderson’s history strikes a perfect balance between scope and detail about a remarkable and mysterious character.–Taylor, Gilbert Copyright 2010 Booklist

To the End of June by Cris BeamTO THE END OF JUNE: THE INTIMATE LIFE OF AMERICAN FOSTER CARE by Cris BeamBooklist Review *Starred Review* – Whenever newspaper headlines scream about the abuse of foster children, the public is outraged, child protection agencies radically change their policies, and poor children go on living in a hodgepodge of foster care and suffering myriad unintended consequences, according to Beam, whose background includes a fractured childhood and experience as a foster mother. Here she offers a very intimate look at a system little known to most people. Beam spent five years talking to foster children, parents and foster parents, and social workers, mostly in New York. Her profiles include Bruce and Allyson, with three children of their own, taking in as many as five foster children, and Steve and Erin, fostering a child they want to adopt, whose mother signed away her rights on a napkin. Beam also writes about teens who’ve been bounced from home to home, some longing for adoption, others sabotaging their chances out of fear, many hoping for promised aging-out bonuses. Beam offers historical background and keen analysis of the social, political, racial, and economic factors that drive foster-care policies, noting the recent swing from massive removals to support for keeping families together. A very moving, powerful look at a system charged with caring for nearly half a million children across the U.S.–Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2010 Booklist

Sources:

Best Books of 2013: NPR(http://apps.npr.org/best-books-2013/)

Booklist Online: Book Reviews from the American Library Association (http://www.booklistonline.com/)

Patron and Staff Book Reviews 6/22/12

Every Friday, we’ll post a sample of the many reviews that have been added to our online summer reading program over the past week. You can always read more of them on their respective, review pages: Adult & Staff. If you’re interested in writing your own reviews, head over to tinyurl.com/sewickleyreads to sign up!

The Affair by Lee Child – Good, light, summer reading. We finally find out how Reacher’s military career ended!

Check this Book Out Today!Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton – This isn’t just a chef writing about food, this is a chef writing about her very interesting life. But you can see where the relationship with food comes from.

The Breakup Bible by Melissa Kantor – The Breakup Bible is SO accurate. It really does show what a broken heart can do. Jenny has just been dumped by Max and just can’t get over him. Great book. The only thing that kept me from loving it is that Jenny is not really a likable girl. She’s pretty judgmental about everyone else in the world. Hints of a less evil Margaret Simon. But that’s it. Written by the author of Girlfriend Material and the Darlings series. Good book for someone going through the pain of a break up.


Cell 8 by Roslund & Hellstrom – Ohio death row inmate “dies”, is buried, wakes up in Sweden (vis Moscow), marries, works as band singer, kicks a drunken idiot, is arrested, deported to Moscow, extradited to Ohio, & is executed. Excellent writing.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein – “In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can.” I was not prepared for the second half of this upsetting and amazing tale!

Confessions of a Not It Girl by Melissa Kantor – I always hated being it. It is funny how that idea of being “it” changes. I am NOT an it girl at all. Never have been, sadly. Jan (pronounced Yahn, she is named for one of her parents’ favorite artists, Jan Van Eyck. I like him too, but I wouldn’t name a kid after him!) Miller isn’t either. Confessions of a Not It Girl is her story of love non-existant and love almost lost and love found. This is another from Melissa Kantor and I liked it, but Jan wasn’t very likable, but again, not liking the main character all that much and yet still being able to enjoy the book says something good about the book. I think Kantor is a really good author. A good, quick read and there are some very funny, funny lines.

Check this Book Out Today!A Dark and Lonely Place by Edna Buchanan – it was a long slow read. the basic story is attention grabbing, but not where the reader won’t put down the book. I did finish it tho. I would rate it a C to C-


Devil is Waiting by Jack Higgins – Islam, IRA, Mossad all tangle along with the irrestible lure of power and money overcoming devotion to Allah. Alas, youth cannot be revisited.

Check this Book Out Today!Fifty Shades Freed by E L James – I had a harder time getting through this book in the trilogy. However, it was still enjoyable and I was very sad to close this one up. I feel like I’ve said good-bye to close friends! I seem to always go through this little mourning phase at the end of a really absorbing series!


Check this Book Out Today!French Fried by Harriet Welty Rochefort – I am a huge lover of all things non fiction so this book was a delicious morsel to snack on!


Raising the perfect child through guilt and manipulation by Elizabeth Beckwith – This is funny, but not at all politically correct. Like it could be offensive to family-oriented people and to people who try not to be racist–so pretty much everyone. But if you don’t mind being offended, it has some entertaining views on parenting, and even some that I might use with my own kids.  Check this Book Out Today!

The Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick – I’ve had this on my shelf forever and just got around to reading it. I’d heard it was really good, but I was doubtful at first because it gets off to a slow start. Well, it turned out to be one of those stories that is like a roller coaster and the first part you’re just clacking up the hill wondering when you’re ever going to get to the top and then it just takes off! The characters were all kind of nuts, but not nuts enough that you couldn’t see where they were coming from.

Check this Book Out Today!

Rose Madder by Stephen King – Story told from two perspectives: Rose, a battered and broken wife and Norman, her disturbed, abusive husband. Rose escapes to Chicago and starts a new, hopeful life but you know Norman is coming. The fact that King lets you into Norman’s thought process, might be the most disturbing thing about this book. Not only because you learn his motivations, but because you actually start to feel bad for him. At least I did. Predictably, his childhood was marred by his father who was abusive both physically and sexually. Norman does a lot of very disturbing things to anyone who gets in his way.
Rose, meanwhile, is ambling along in her new life. Not sure of who to trust, what feelings she should have, and what her life will become. Then she finds (or rather is found by) a mysterious and unsettling painting in a pawn shop. This book did take awhile to get supernatural. I was glad it did because without it, Rose was just boring and honestly, a little annoying.
Reminded me a lot of Insomnia especially when they mentioned Susan Day! (Hey Hey)

Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher – “Everything affects everything,” declares Hannah Baker, who killed herself two weeks ago. After her death, Clay Jensen finds seven cassette tapes in a brown paper package on his doorstep. The narrative alternates between Hannah story which chronicles the13 people who led her to make this horrific choice and Clay Jensen’s thoughts, reactions and revelations. The author creates an intense, suspenseful novel that was quite thought provoking. Disturbing but worth reading.

Twilight Eyes by Dean Koontz – Although there is an undercurrent of horror – goblins masquerading as humans are the scary psychopaths here – this is a psychological thriller about a boy attempting to hide among carnival folk in a Pennsylvania town.

Patron and Staff Book Reviews 6/8/12

Every Friday, we’ll post a smattering of reviews that have been added to our online summer reading program over the past week. You can always read more of them on their respective, review pages: Adult & Staff. If you’re interested in writing your own reviews, head over to tinyurl.com/sewickleyreads to sign up!

Austenland By Shannon Hale
I haven’t read a lot of Jane Austen’s books, but I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It was short, entertaining, and an interesting look at the way people presented themselves in the 1800s. Even though I like the fact that the book was short, I would have preferred it to be a bit longer. I believe that the author could have done a bit more with describing the scenery and the clothing of the period, which is why I gave the book a four instead of a five.  If you’re looking for a fun way to escape for an afternoon, I would definitely recommend this book!

Dearly, Departed By Lia Habel
I wasn’t sure how I would feel about a steampunk zombie novel…I stayed up until 2am to finish it and there was fluttering in my chest when Nora and Bram were each realizing they liked each other and were trying to figure out how a human and a zombie could be together. Crazy, huh?

Gone from Home By Angela Johnson
Angela Johnson can tell a beautiful story and she can tell beautiful short stories. And I can’t say I’ve ever read an Angela Johnson story that I didn’t like. Some of these I truly love. A ginormous smile would just appear when I would come to the last line of many of these, here in Gone from Home. Literary and lovely. Read the book, only 101 pages, but it should take you a long time, because you’ll want to treasure each sentence. Seriously.

The Help By Kathryn Stockett
Was a wonderful story of the bravery and courage of three woman who decided to make a difference in the culture. I laughed, I cried, and I could not put it down.

I Suck at Girls By Justin Halpern
I was only vaguely familiar with the author’s twitter fame – “Sh*t My Dad Says” – going into this book, but now I’m really interested in learning more. The author is witty and funny, but his dad is funnier (and loves to use the “F” word). Quick read that’s sure to make you laugh out loud!

Insomnia By Stephen King
Out of all the King books I’ve read, the protagonist, Ralph Roberts, was the most likable. He is inflicted with insomnia after the death of his wife. At first he is tired beyond expression. But then, when he think he might die from lack of sleep, his world is inundated with colorful auras. He is terrified and awestruck all at once. Read 300 pages of this, in wonderful, descriptive Kingian prose, and then the story really starts.

With all the crazies in the world, it’s still hard to believe this occured. Disturbing.

Unsinkable (Titanic #1) By Gordon Korman
If you are “of a certain age” and from Pittsburgh, and you listen to the audio book of Gordon Korman’s Unsinkable, the first in his Titanic Trilogy, you will think of Patti Burns a lot! When you listen to an audio book, of course, you don’t know how the characters’ names are spelled. Even know I knew that the stowaway on the Titanic, the homeless boy from Belfast was probably named Paddy Burns, (he is) every time I heard the narrator say his name I thought of Patti. I miss Patti. All of Pittsburgh does.

This is a neat way of telling the story of the Titanic. Fiction and nonfiction. The story of four characters who were on that fateful voyage. One is Paddy Burns, a stowaway, trying to escape thugs who are out to kill him. Another is Alfie, a boy of fifteen who lied about his age to get a job on the Titanic with his father, who is a boiler dude. Sophie, the daughter of an American suffragette, who has been thrown out of England for stirring up trouble and another girl…I can’t remember her name, but she is as interesting a character as the others, I just can’t recall her name! She is the wealthy daughter of British royalty. The four meet up on the ship and they are characters you can care about, all the while thinking about what is coming ahead for them on the high seas.