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"Daughter of Venice" by Donna Jo Napoli, Wendy Lamb Books/Random House, 274 pages
Read aloud: age 9, 10 and older
Read yourself: age 10, 11 and older
Donata is a daughter of a great noble family in Venice. The year is 1592, and noble girls are secluded from the outside world and are not educated. As a younger daughter, Donata will not be permitted to marry and is destined to enter a life of further seclusion in a convent.
A bright, bold and daring girl, Donata longs to know the Venice she has never seen and thirsts to be tutored like her brothers. Knowing neither will be permitted, she devises a plan to see Venice for herself - a plan that changes her life and that of her family's forever.
Library: Groton Public Library, 52 Newtown Rd., Groton
Library Director: Betty Anne Reiter
Children's Librarian: Kim Balentine
Choices this week: "The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything" by Linda Williams; "Mattland" by Hazel Hutchins; "The Wednesday Wars" by Gary Schmidt
"The Wreck of the Zephyr" by Chris Van Allsburg, Houghton Mifflin, 2013, 32 pages, $18.99 hardcover
Read aloud: age 5, 6 and older
Read yourself: age 7 to 9
An old man recounts a story of a boy who longed greatly to be the world's greatest sailor. He says most don't believe the incredible tale about how the boy's boat came to land high in the cliffs, far away from the ocean. But as the man tells the story, the listener is swept up in the old man's tale, vivid with details of a ferocious storm, a journey to a place where sailboats sail high above the water, and how this young sailor accomplished that very same ability with his sail boat, the Zephyr.
Who is this old man and how did he come to know this story?
"Sophie Scott Goes South" written and illustrated by Alison Lester, Houghton Mifflin, 2013, 40 pages, $17.99 hardcover
Read aloud: age 6 to 9
Read yourself: age 8 and 9
Nine-year-old Sophie is on her way to Antarctica on an icebreaker, and her father is the captain of the ship. The icebreaker is a huge ship, as long as a football field and five stories high. Sophie decides to keep a diary and record entries every day of what she sees and experiences, and what exciting (and sometimes scary) entries they are. From icebergs to penguins, seals, whales, blizzards, unbelievable cold, and so much more, this is an experience Sophie will never forget.
Based on the author/illustrator Alison Lester's journey on an icebreaker to Antarctica, she has written this wonderful book from the perspective of a child taking that same trip.