Nancy Deaton, reference librarian at Selby Library, has read four of the One Book candidates and wants to share her thoughts with you.
Someone Knows My Names by Lawrence Hill:
I was moved by the story, the slave narrative of the life of Aminata Diallo, from 12 years old through her elder years. I found the story very compelling and heart rending. It briefly covers her early life in the African village of Bayo, to slavery in Charleston, SC, to New York, NY to Nova Scotia, Canada then on to Sierra Leone, Africa and eventually she ends up in London, England.
Through it all Amanita gained knowledge – many different languages, high level of literacy, math, accounting skills as well as being a noted midwife. Through it all she taught people to read, write and math.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey:
Ms. Ivey writes in a very intriguing way using the Russian folktale of the Snow Child as the basis of her story. Ms. Ivey keeps you in suspense as the story plays out as in the folktale. The author keeps you engaged throughout the story as Faina comes at the first snow fall and goes at the first snow melt in spring.
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward:
a well written fictional account of Hurricane Katrina set in Bois Sauvage, Mississippi and about the family of a father, Randall 17, Skeetah, 16, Esch 15 and Junior 7. Ms Ward is from Mississippi and did go through Hurricane Katrina so as the storm approaches you can feel the tension and fear. The author writes very eloquently and true to the setting of the story in describing their interaction.
The most dramatic chapter in the book is the eleventh chapter when Hurricane Katrina hits. The author leaves you wondering what happens to the family in the aftermath. Do they rebuild? The main thing is that they did survive and will rebuild.
Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith:
When I saw the title and then noted the author I knew I was in for a great story. Seth Grahame-Smith is the author Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, as well as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The story is full of action from the stable in Bethlehem with Mary, Joseph and Child to their escape to Egypt. This is a very good fast paced book that is going to be made into a movie. The author writes in a very vivid, descriptive manner making every scene come alive. You can tell that the author researched the time period, Roman soldiers, Roman occupied Palestine, King Herod and Jerusalem by his vivid descriptions.