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Patch Picks: 5 Books For Children And Adults

This week's Patch Pick's features five reading selections to enjoy during National Read Across America Day.

In a celebration of literacy, the National Education Association's Read Across America Day encourages all to spend some time with a good book. Patch spoke with local librarians this week to get recommendation's on titles for children and adults.

(1) Pat Bouvat, youth librarian at the recommends Black Storm Comin’, by Diane Lee Wilson, for grades 6 through 10.

Colton Wescott is a 12-year-old boy traveling west with his family on a wagon train in the 1860s. The family’s journey is compounded by racial discrimination and strife, as they are of mixed race and their mother is a freed slave who has fallen ill. When his father accidentally shoots him and runs away, Colton is forced to care for them on his own. The excitement ensues with their arrival in state of Nevada, where Colton is hired as a rider for the Pony Express.

(2) N.D. Wilson's series, 100 Cupboards is written for ages 9-12, and is another favorite of Bouvat's.

The first book introduces 12-year-old Henry York as the main character and a delightfully creative supporting cast of family and friends. Henry is awakened one night by falling plaster from the walls above him and soon finds a wall full of cupboards, each leading to a different world of suspenseful magic and surprise.

(3) Bouvat says ages 11-14 will find Beyond The Western Sea, by Avi, to be a fun journey in English history.

The book begins when the son of an Irish peasant and the son of English Lord cross paths boarding a ship destined for America in the 19th century. Through a story of friendship and survival, Beyond the Western Sea deals with the class differences of Victorian-era England by using Dickens' style plot themes and vocabulary to tell the tale.

(4) Adults will enjoy Evening, by Susan Minot, as an inspiring final story to a woman's life.

In the novel, Ann Lord is reaching her end and succumbing to illness. Only vaguely conscious, she begins dreaming of a powerful personal memory from 40 years previous. As she drifts in and out of existence, she is placed back in time, where she relives the vivid details of a friend's summer wedding on the New England coast. It is through this dream that she is able to find her final peace and let go.

(5) Frontier Illinois relates our state history from the ice age though the 1860s.

Author and professor James E. Davis examines the early American Indian tribes that called Illinois home, and how the American frontier was opened up by LaSalle and Joliet’s creation of a French colony. He creates a historically accurate time line showing the evolvement of society and culture in Illinois, while showing how the economic and political climate was formed through the birth of democracy, and then forever changed with the unrest of the Civil War.

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