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Barbara Gregorich
Waltur Paints Himself into a Corner and Other Stories
Houghton Mifflin
ISBN: 0618747966
$15.00, 48 pages

This early reader for ages 6 to 9 continues the humorous adventures of Waltur the bear and his friends Matilda and Darwin (begun in last year’s Waltur Buys a Pig in a Poke and Other Stories). Determined to put the cart before the horse, taking too literally the admonition not to paint himself into a corner, and disregarding the warning to let sleeping dogs lie, Waltur lands in a tree . . . paints himself into a room . . . and gets lost in the woods—all because he ignores wise old proverbs.

Donna McCreary
Fashionable First Lady: The Victorian Wardrobe of Mary Lincoln
Lincoln Presentations
ISBN: 0-9795383-0-0
$26.95 - 155 pages
purchase online

Mary Lincoln enjoyed fine horses, a good joke, and an exquisite wardrobe for which she was both criticized and revered. This book examines Mrs. Lincoln’s clothing and offers a commentary about who she was as a person. Also included is information about 19th century fashion, wardrobe guidelines for the social elite, and stories about social events involving the Lincoln family.

Ellen F. Steinberg     web site
Recipe adaptations by Eleanor Hudera Hanson    
Learning to Cook in 1898: A Chicago Culinary Memoir
Wayne State University Press
ISBN: 978-0-8143-3364-8
$19.95 Paper
5.5 x 8.5, 240 pages, 4 illustrations
purchase online

Based on the pocket notebook and handwritten recipes of Irma Rosenthal, a young Chicago housewife from the turn of the twentieth century, Learning to Cook in 1898 is a glimpse into American culinary history.

more information and printable order form

Marlene Targ Brill    
Marshall "Major" Taylor: World Champion Bicyclist, 1899-1901
Twenty-First Century Books
ISBN: 978-0-8225-6610-6
list $31.93; school and library $23.95 112 pages; grades 5-9

Decades before Jackie Robinson broke the racial divide in baseball and Lance Armstrong and the Tour de France were born, Marshall "Major" Taylor became the fastest bicycle racer in the world and one of the wealthiest African Americans in the United States. His achievements on three continents occurred during one of the worst eras of Jim Crow laws against blacks. Still, U.S. race organizers included Taylor, the first black in professional cycling, because he was fast, skilled, and drew crowds. Throughout his career, he suffered racial prejudice on and off U.S. tracks as competitors crowded him out, hotels and restaurants refused to serve him, and judges ruled against him because of his skin color. Yet Taylor always triumphed—at the finish line.

Steven Burgauer    
The Night of the Eleventh Sun
Authors Choice Press
ISBN: 1-4196-7154-5

The fossil record is unclear. Did Neanderthal speak? Did he laugh, have music, feel love? Did he interact with Homo sapiens or get killed by him in mortal combat or get pushed to extinction on less marginal lands? This book answers some of those questions in a strongly researched fictional setting.

Meet Strong Arms, leader of the clan. Predator species have spite hardwired into their behavior. Killing the competition before it grows up is always a good genetic strategy for any meat-eater. Now, take one that's smart, adaptive, and a consummate tool-user, and you have the makings for a conflict of monumental proportions.

Margaret McMullan
When I Crossed No-Bob
Houghton Mifflin
ISBN-13: 978-0-618-71715-6     ISBN-10: 0-618-71715-3
$16.00, 216 pages, Ages 10-14, Grades 5-9

Life as an O'Donnell is all twelve-year-old Addy knows, and life as an O'Donnell means trouble.

Tucked away in a gray patch of woods called No-Bob, the O'Donnell clan has nothing but a bad reputation. So when Addy's mama abandons her on the afternoon of Mr. Frank Russell's wedding celebration, nobody is very surprised. A reluctant Mr. Frank and his new wife take Addy in, and Addy does everything she can to prove that at least one O'Donnell has promise. But one day, Addy witnesses a terrible event that brings her old world crashing into the new.

As she finds herself being pulled back into No-Bob and the grips of her O'Donnell kin, Addy is faced with the biggest decision of her life. Can she somehow find the courage to do what's right, even if it means betraying one of her own?

Mary Elizabeth Anderson
Gracie Gannon: Middle School Zero
Rayve Productions
ISBN: 978-0-979772-02
$10.95     purchase online

In this novel which focuses on the subject of bullying, "Gracie" learns to handle the situation by working to surround herself with new friends. "Gracie Gannon" is a character every middle school student, teacher, and parent will recognize, and so is her life. The book shows the details of the effects of bullying on children who are victims of bullies and also the ones who bully. Hopefully teachers and counselors will use this book as a way to stimulate growth, get students "talking" and bring this harmful behavior into the open. Readers will be able to identify with Gracie as she overcomes her feelings of a "middle school zero" and gains self-confidence.  

Frank S. Joseph
To Love Mercy
Mid-Atlantic Highlands
ISBN: 0-9744785-3-9
$14.95 (paperback original), 294 pages

"TO LOVE MERCY portrays 1940s Chicago from the South Side to Riverview, with a focus on two boys, one from Bronzeville, one from Hyde Park. What makes it so remarkable is the careful -- loving -- care to get the words and cadences right from Chicago of the era of our childhood. A wonderful, very special book."  
Gary Johnson, President, Chicago History Museum

Lori Andrews
The Silent Assassin
St. Martins/Minotaur
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-35271-4
$23.95, 294 pages

As geneticist Alexandra Blake investigates a D.C. homicide, she uncovers a trail of murder leading from the modern White House back to the Vietnam War. Publishers Weekly called The Silent Assassin "outstanding" in a starred review. The Chicago Tribune said, "Blending elements of forensic-powered mystery, psychological suspense and a Ludlumesque espionage thriller, Andrews' newest is a page-turner…. It's highly recommended."

Lori Andrews
St. Martins/Minotaur
ISBN-10: 0-312-94245-1
$6.99, 310 pages, paperback

In SEQUENCE – which was nominated for an RT Best First Mystery – geneticist, Dr. Alexandra (“Alex”) Blake uses cutting edge medical and forensic technologies at the Armed Forces Institutes of Pathology to track a serial killer. See

"...plenty of excitement for fans of forensic-based thrillers in the Reichs and Cornwell mold"

Brandon Marie Miller
George Washington for Kids, His Life and Times
Chicago Review Press
ISBN-10: 1-55652-655-5;    ISBN-13: 978-55652-655-8
130 pages, illustrations, maps, further reading, places to visit, bibliography, timeline 21 hands-on activities based on Washington's life

He loved jokes and dancing, but had a fierce temper. He received little formal education but was an innovative farmer, tinkerer, and problem solver. He fought for liberty and independence, yet owned slaves—and eventually freed them. He defeated a king, but by personal example, set the standard for a limited civilian presidency. Washington's fellow citizens turned again and again to this unique and complex man to lead them through eight long years of war, to guide them as they wrote a new constitution, and to act as the new nation's first president.

Gerard Wozek    
Postcards From Heartthrob Town: A Gay Man's Travel Tales
Haworth Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-56023-623-8
$17.95    204 pp.
Haworth Press

"Truly one of the most compelling and original voices working in gay literature and travel memoir today."
    —Mitzi Szereto, editor of Erotic Travel Tales series

"Written with a poet's flair, Wozek's work embraces the romance, the melancholy, and the wonder of wandering the physical landscapes of the world and the inner landscapes of emotion."
    —Richard Labonte, The San Francisco Bay Times

Rev. George William McDaniel    
A Great and Lasting Beginning: The First 125 Years of St. Ambrose University
St. Ambrose University
ISBN: 15915203653495
$34.95    purchase online

A chronicle of the history of St. Ambrose University from its founding in 1882 through the current day. McDaniel—a St. Ambrose alumnus, priest, and history professor – integrates the history of the Catholic Church and Catholic higher education. More than a single school’s history, McDaniel situates St. Ambrose within the broader social contexts in which it grew.

McDaniel details the growth and development of St. Ambrose College from all-male through attempts to provide education for women, prior to becoming coeducational in 1967. World War II greatly impacted St. Ambrose with an influx of navy personnel during the war and veterans attending on the GI Bill after the war. The book concludes with the transition from St. Ambrose College to St. Ambrose University and its tremendous growth at the end of the 20th century.

Andrew Kantar    
Black November: The Carl D. Bradley Tragedy
Michigan State University Press  
Young Adult Nonfiction
ISBN-10: 087013-783-2,   ISBN-13: 978-087013-783-9

In November 1958, the freighter Carl D. Bradley broke in two on Lake Michigan. Most of the thirty-three crewmen who perished hailed from the little harbor town of Rogers City, Michigan. In an instant, twenty-three women became widows and fifty-three children were left fatherless. Black November also recounts the tale of the two survivors, whose fifteen-hour ordeal on a life raft is a remarkable story of endurance and tenacity.

"... A story of tragedy and triumph detailed through meticulous research and personal interviews that makes your heart ache and your spirit soar for those who survived in spite of Lake Michigan’s dark side."
    —Thomas Farnquist, Executive Director, Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society

Lynn Voedisch    
Excited Light
ASJA Press  
ISBN: 0-595-42173-2
$14.95, 201 pages,

A young boy, coping with a single, alcoholic mother, talks to angels at night. Together, they work a miracle when a romantic stranger threatens his mother's life.

Kevin Davis
Defending the Damned: Inside Chicago's Cook County Public Defender's Office
Atria Books  
ISBN: 978-0-7432-7093-9
$25.00, 320 pages,

From journalist Kevin Davis comes the compelling new book Publishers Weekly calls "skillfully crafted." Defending the Damned goes behind the scenes with a group of battle-hardened lawyers fighting for those accused of the ultimate crime: murder.

"Gripping and revealing. A great and important book."
   —bestselling crime author Michael Connelly

"Stunningly real and poetically unromantic."
   —Robert Kurson, bestselling author, Shadow Divers

Richard Cahan and Michael Williams    
Richard Nickel's Chicago: Photographs of a Lost City
CityFiles Press, Chicago, Illinois
ISBN: 0-9785450-2-8
$39.95 hardcover, 192 pages with 250 duotone photographs

Richard Nickel was an architectural photographer whose dramatic 1972 death in the Loop's Stock Exchange Building has been chronicled in newspapers, magazines, a TV documentary, a biography and two plays. Few of the photos have ever before been seen.

"Nickel's photographs must be seen by all, not so much to bemoan lost things, but to prevent such crimes against cityscape from ever occurring again."
   —Erik Larson, author of The Devil In The White City

"Collected together here in this splendid book, Nickel's images are, at heart, a record of the life and, alas too often, the death of great Chicago architecture, a theme chillingly echoed in Nickel's own brief life and his death amid the ruins of his beloved Stock Exchange."
   —David Garrard Lowe, author of Lost Chicago

Cynthia J. Olson    
Elaine and Tangles
ISBN: 1-4241-5643-2
softcover $16.95, 139 pages, 5.5 x 8.5

order online:

A story of how a young girl faces bereavement and change when all the security, the happiness, and her parents’ love is taken from her as the Twin Towers collapse that day when unknown terrorists flew planes into the office where her parents were meeting with their lawyers. They are never found. Elaine is placed in a boarding school where her Old English sheepdog is allowed to stay with the caretaker. Befriended by a teacher, she is invited to spend the next summer in a cabin and explore the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with the teacher and her new husband. Friendships are made. They have many adventures and a great summer. But what will happen in the fall? Even with the help of caring people, will Elaine find happiness for herself and her dog?

Neal Samors    
Chicago in the Sixties: Remembering a Time of Change
Chicago's Neighborhoods, Inc.
ISBN: 0978866304 - softcover, $35
ISBN: 0976666312 - hard cover, $50
344 pages, 150 duotone photographs

order online, more information, photos:

Anyone who lived in Chicago during the 1960s will remember the overwhelming popularity of the disc jockeys on WLS and WCFL Radio, the arrival of the Beatles, the 1963 Champion Chicago Bears, the 1967 snowstorm, the construction of the new campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago, the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy and the 1968 assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the growth of the Civil Rights Movement, the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the popularity of Second City and Old Town, men first walking on the Moon, and the early development of Chicago Regional Theater. These, and many other events, are recalled in great detail by the interviewees.

Gerald Morris    
The Lioness and Her Knight
Houghton Mifflin
ISBN: 0-618-50772-8
$16.00, 352 pages

Luneta leaves home to stay with a friend of the family near King Arthur's Court. No sooner does she start on her journey with her cousin, Sir Ywain, than she gets swept up in adventure, romance, betrayal, and more than a little bit of magic.

Gail Lukasik
Five Star, March 2006
ISBN: 1-59414-360-9
$25.95 Hard Cover

An amateur naturalist dies of mushroom poisoning, a day later the local librarian kills herself, then the buried bones of an infant are discovered. Chicago native Leigh Girard is finding life in a small town can be fatal. Determined to start a new life after her mastectomy, Leigh flees to Wisconsin’s Door County peninsula, where she takes a job as reporter for the local newspaper. Her first assignment, the naturalist’s obituary, turns into a hunt for a murderer.

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