Young Readers Selections at Top Ten Books

Editors Choice - Breaking Dawn

Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4) by Stephenie Meyer - When you loved the one who was killing you, it left you no options. How could you run, how could you fight, when doing so would hurt that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give, how could you not give it? If it was someone you truly loved?

To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife have led her to the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or to pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fates of two tribes hangs.

Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating, and unfathomable, consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella's life--first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse--seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed... forever?

The astonishing, breathlessly anticipated conclusion to the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spellbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions.Great love stories thrive on sacrifice. Throughout The Twilight Saga (Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse), Stephenie Meyer has emulated great love stories--Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights--with the fated, yet perpetually doomed love of Bella (the human girl) and Edward (the vampire who feeds on animals instead of humans). In Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final installment in the series, Bella’s story plays out in some unexpected ways. The ongoing conflicts that made this series so compelling--a human girl in love with a vampire, a werewolf in love with a human girl, the generations-long feud between werewolves and vampires--resolve pretty quickly, apparently so that Meyer could focus on Bella’s latest opportunity for self-sacrifice: giving her life for someone she loves even more than Edward. How close she comes to actually making that sacrifice is questionable, which is a big shift from the earlier books. Even though you knew Bella would make it through somehow, the threats to her life, and to her relationship with Edward, had previously always felt real. It’s as if Meyer was afraid of hurting her characters too much, which is unfortunate, because the pain Bella suffered at losing Edward in New Moon, and the pain Jacob suffered at losing Bella again and again, are the fire and the heart that drive the whole series. Diehard fans will stick with Bella, Edward, and Jacob for as many twists and turns as possible, but after most of the characters get what they want with little sacrifice, some readers may have a harder time caring what happens next. (Ages 12 and up) --Heidi Broadhead
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Editors Choice - Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) by J. K. Rowling
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The Deluxe Edition includes an exclusive insert featuring near-scale reproductions of Mary GrandPré's interior art, as well as never-before-seen full-color frontispiece art on special paper. The custom-designed slipcase is foil-stamped and contains a full-cloth case book that has been blind-stamped on front and back cover with foil stamping on the spine.  The book includes full-color endpapers featuring the jacket art from the trade edition and a wraparound jacket featuring art created especially for this edition by Mary GrandPré.
Readers beware. The brilliant, breathtaking conclusion to J.K. Rowling's spellbinding series is not for the faint of heart--such revelations, battles, and betrayals await in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that no fan will make it to the end unscathed. Luckily, Rowling has prepped loyal readers for the end of her series by doling out increasingly dark and dangerous tales of magic and mystery, shot through with lessons about honor and contempt, love and loss, and right and wrong. Fear not, you will find no spoilers in our review--to tell the plot would ruin the journey, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is an odyssey the likes of which Rowling's fans have not yet seen, and are not likely to forget. But we would be remiss if we did not offer one small suggestion before you embark on your final adventure with Harry--bring plenty of tissues.

The heart of Book 7 is a hero's mission--not just in Harry's quest for the Horcruxes, but in his journey from boy to man--and Harry faces more danger than that found in all six books combined, from the direct threat of the Death Eaters and you-know-who, to the subtle perils of losing faith in himself. Attentive readers would do well to remember Dumbledore's warning about making the choice between "what is right and what is easy," and know that Rowling applies the same difficult principle to the conclusion of her series. While fans will find the answers to hotly speculated questions about Dumbledore, Snape, and you-know-who, it is a testament to Rowling's skill as a storyteller that even the most astute and careful reader will be taken by surprise.

A spectacular finish to a phenomenal series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a bittersweet read for fans. The journey is hard, filled with events both tragic and triumphant, the battlefield littered with the bodies of the dearest and despised, but the final chapter is as brilliant and blinding as a phoenix's flame, and fans and skeptics alike will emerge from the confines of the story with full but heavy hearts, giddy and grateful for the experience. --Daphne Durham

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TOP TEN BOOKS NEWLETTER
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Top Sellers

The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, Book 1) by James Patterson - In James Patterson's blockbuster series, fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride, better known as Max, knows what it's like to soar above the world. She and all the members of the "flock"--Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel--are just like ordinary kids--only they have wings and can fly. It may seem like a dream come true to some, but their lives can morph into a living nightmare at any time...like when Angel, the youngest member of the flock, is kidnapped and taken back to the "School" where she and the others were experimented on by a crew of wack jobs. Her friends brave a journey to blazing hot Death Valley, CA, to save Angel, but soon enough, they find themselves in yet another nightmare--this one involving fighting off the half-human, half-wolf "Erasers" in New York City. Whether in the treetops of Central Park or in the bowels of the Manhattan subway system, Max and her adopted family take the ride of their lives. Along the way Max discovers from her old friend and father-figure Jeb--now her betrayed and greatest enemy--that her purpose is save the world--but can she?


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Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3) by Stephenie Meyer - Readers captivated by Twilight and New Moon will eagerly devour Eclipse, the much anticipated third book in Stephenie Meyer's riveting vampire love saga. As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob --- knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?
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New Moon (The Twilight Saga) by Stephenie Meyer - The movie tie-in edition of the #1 bestselling trade paperback includes a collectible full-color, fold-out poster with photos of the movie cast on both sides.


In New Moon, Stephenie Meyer delivers another irresistible combination of romance and suspense with a supernatural twist. The "star-crossed" lovers theme continues as Bella and Edward find themselves facing new obstacles, including a devastating separation, the mysterious appearance of dangerous wolves roaming the forest in Forks, a terrifying threat of revenge from a female vampire and a deliciously sinister encounter with Italy's reigning royal family of vampires, the Volturi. Passionate, riveting, and full of surprising twists and turns, this vampire love saga captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.
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Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4) by Stephenie Meyer - When you loved the one who was killing you, it left you no options. How could you run, how could you fight, when doing so would hurt that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give, how could you not give it? If it was someone you truly loved?

To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife have led her to the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or to pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fates of two tribes hangs.

Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating, and unfathomable, consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella's life--first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse--seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed... forever?

The astonishing, breathlessly anticipated conclusion to the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spellbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions.Great love stories thrive on sacrifice. Throughout The Twilight Saga (Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse), Stephenie Meyer has emulated great love stories--Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights--with the fated, yet perpetually doomed love of Bella (the human girl) and Edward (the vampire who feeds on animals instead of humans). In Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final installment in the series, Bella’s story plays out in some unexpected ways. The ongoing conflicts that made this series so compelling--a human girl in love with a vampire, a werewolf in love with a human girl, the generations-long feud between werewolves and vampires--resolve pretty quickly, apparently so that Meyer could focus on Bella’s latest opportunity for self-sacrifice: giving her life for someone she loves even more than Edward. How close she comes to actually making that sacrifice is questionable, which is a big shift from the earlier books. Even though you knew Bella would make it through somehow, the threats to her life, and to her relationship with Edward, had previously always felt real. It’s as if Meyer was afraid of hurting her characters too much, which is unfortunate, because the pain Bella suffered at losing Edward in New Moon, and the pain Jacob suffered at losing Bella again and again, are the fire and the heart that drive the whole series. Diehard fans will stick with Bella, Edward, and Jacob for as many twists and turns as possible, but after most of the characters get what they want with little sacrifice, some readers may have a harder time caring what happens next. (Ages 12 and up) --Heidi Broadhead
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Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan, Sir Doyle -

In these twelve intriguing stories, Sherlock Homes and his trusty friend Dr. Watson solve crimes amid the sinister and foggy streets of Victorian London.

"Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell." -- Sherlock Holmes in The Adventure of the Copper Beeches
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Pride and Prejudice (Barron's Classic Novels) by Jane Austen - In early nineteenth-century England, a spirited young woman copes with the suit of a snobbish gentleman as well as the romantic entanglements of her four sisters. Includes explanatory notes throughout the text, an introduction discussing the author and the background of the story, and a study guide.In a remote Hertfordshire village, far off the good coach roads of George III's England, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet -- a country squire of no great means and his scatterbrained wife -- must marry off their five vivacious daughters. At the heart of this all-consuming enterprise are the headstrong second daughter Elizabeth and her aristocratic suitor Fitzwilliam Darcy, two lovers in whom pride and prejudice must be overcome before love can bring the novel to its magnificent conclusion.
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Best Friends Forever: A Novel by Jennifer Weiner -

Includes a bonus MP3 CD of Jennifer Weiner's Little Earthquakes!

Some bonds can never be broken...

Addie Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. That's what Addie believes after Valerie moves across the street when they're both nine years old. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her school's scapegoat.

Flash-forward fifteen years. Valerie Adler has found a measure of fame and fortune working as the weathergirl at the local TV station. Addie Downs lives alone in her parents' house in their small hometown of La Prairie, Illinois, caring for a troubled brother and trying to meet Prince Charming on the Internet. She's just returned from Bad Date #6, when she opens her door to find her long-gone best friend standing there, with a terrified look on her face and blood on the sleeve of her coat. "Something horrible has happened," Val tells Addie, "and you're the only one who can help."

Best Friends Forever is a grand, hilarious, edge-of-your-seat adventure; a story about betrayal and loyalty, family history and small-town secrets. It's about living through tragedy, finding love where you least expect it, and the ties that keep best friends together.
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Twilight Collector's Edition (The Twilight Saga) by Stephenie Meyer - About three things I was absolutely positive:
First, Edward was a vampire.
Second, there was a part of him–and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be–that thirsted for my blood.
And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

“I’D NEVER GIVEN MUCH THOUGHT TO HOW I WOULD DIE– I’d had reason enough in the last few months –but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this. . . . Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of something else, someone I loved. Noble, even. That ought to count for something.”
When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret.
What Bella doesn’t realize is the closer she gets to him, the more she is putting herself and those around her at risk. And, it might be too late to turn back. . . .
Deeply seductive and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight will have readers riveted right until the very last page is turned.The book that started the phenomenon is now available in a deluxe collector's edition! Featuring a ribbon bookmark, cloth cover, ragged edges, new chapter opener designs, and a beautiful protective slipcase, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.

Bella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear.

Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.
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TWILIGHT (film tie-in) by Stephenie Meyer -
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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) (Paperback) by J.K. Rowling -
The Deluxe Edition includes an exclusive insert featuring near-scale reproductions of Mary GrandPré's interior art, as well as never-before-seen full-color frontispiece art on special paper. The custom-designed slipcase is foil-stamped and contains a full-cloth case book that has been blind-stamped on front and back cover with foil stamping on the spine.  The book includes full-color endpapers featuring the jacket art from the trade edition and a wraparound jacket featuring art created especially for this edition by Mary GrandPré.
Readers beware. The brilliant, breathtaking conclusion to J.K. Rowling's spellbinding series is not for the faint of heart--such revelations, battles, and betrayals await in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that no fan will make it to the end unscathed. Luckily, Rowling has prepped loyal readers for the end of her series by doling out increasingly dark and dangerous tales of magic and mystery, shot through with lessons about honor and contempt, love and loss, and right and wrong. Fear not, you will find no spoilers in our review--to tell the plot would ruin the journey, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is an odyssey the likes of which Rowling's fans have not yet seen, and are not likely to forget. But we would be remiss if we did not offer one small suggestion before you embark on your final adventure with Harry--bring plenty of tissues.

The heart of Book 7 is a hero's mission--not just in Harry's quest for the Horcruxes, but in his journey from boy to man--and Harry faces more danger than that found in all six books combined, from the direct threat of the Death Eaters and you-know-who, to the subtle perils of losing faith in himself. Attentive readers would do well to remember Dumbledore's warning about making the choice between "what is right and what is easy," and know that Rowling applies the same difficult principle to the conclusion of her series. While fans will find the answers to hotly speculated questions about Dumbledore, Snape, and you-know-who, it is a testament to Rowling's skill as a storyteller that even the most astute and careful reader will be taken by surprise.

A spectacular finish to a phenomenal series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a bittersweet read for fans. The journey is hard, filled with events both tragic and triumphant, the battlefield littered with the bodies of the dearest and despised, but the final chapter is as brilliant and blinding as a phoenix's flame, and fans and skeptics alike will emerge from the confines of the story with full but heavy hearts, giddy and grateful for the experience. --Daphne Durham

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Fairy Tales and Myths

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book 5) by Rick Riordan - All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of victory are grim. Kronos's army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan's power only grows. While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it's up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy's sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.
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The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4) by Rick Riordan - Percy Jackson isn’t expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse. In this latest installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos’s army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth–a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn. Full of humor and heart-pounding action, this latest audiobook promises to be their most thrilling adventure yet.
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Percy Jackson and the Olympians Paperback Boxed Set (Books 1-3) by Rick Riordan - Humans and half-bloods alike agree--Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a series fit for heroes! Re-live the adventure from the beginning with this boxed set of the first three books.

The Lightning Thief Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. When his mom tells him the truth about where he came from, she takes him to the one place he'll be safe--Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island). There, Percy learns that the father he never knew is actually Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon Percy finds himself caught up in a mystery that could lead to disastrous consequences. Together with his friends--a satyr and other the demigod daughter of Athena--Percy sets out on a quest to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

The Sea of Monsters After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson finds his seventh-grade school year unnervingly calm. But things don't stay quiet for long. Percy soon discovers there is trouble at Camp Half-Blood: the magical borders which protect Half-Blood Hill have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and the only safe haven for demigods is on the verge of being overrun by mythological monsters. To save the camp, Percy needs the help of his best friend, Grover, who has been taken prisoner by the Cyclops Polyphemus on an island somewhere in the Sea of Monsters--the dangerous waters Greek heroes have sailed for millennia--only today, the Sea of Monsters goes by a new nameL: the Bermuda Triangle. Now Percy and his friends must retrieve the Golden Fleece from the Island of the Cyclopes by the end of the summer or Camp Half-Blood will be destroyed. But first, Percy will learn a stunning new secret about his family--one that makes him question whether being claimed as Poseidon's son is an honor or simply a cruel joke...

The Titan's Curse When Percy Jackson receives a distress call from his friend Grover, he immediately prepares for battle. He knows he'll need his powerful demigod allies, Annabeth and Thalia, at his side; his trusty broze sword Riptide; and... a ride from his mom. The demigods race to the rescue, to find that Grover has made an important discovery: two new powerful half-bloods whose parentage is unknown. But that's not all that awaits them. The Titan lord, Kronos, has set up his most devious trap yet, and the young heroes have unwittingly fallen prey. Hilarious and action-packed, this third adventure in the series finds Percy faced with his most dangerous challenge so far: the chilling prophecy of the Titan's curse.
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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain -

Originally intended as a sequel to his immensely popular Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn stands on its own as one of America's most important and beloved literary classics.

For generations, young and old alike have delighted in the unforgettable adventures of runaways Huck Finn and Jim, a slave. In vivid, often gripping prose, Twain brings to fife both the beauty and the folly of preCivil War life along the Mississippifrom the radiant dawn on the river to Huck's terrifying encounters with his father, as well as the outrageous antics of the King and the Duke and Tom Sawyer's outlandish plans to free Jim. Told from Huck's point of view, Huckleberry Finn is also the powerful story of a boy's journey toward adulthood.

In the finest work of his distinguished career, Steven Kellogg has created eighteen stunning pictures that capture Twain's timeless blend of humor and suspense. This is truly an edition that readers of all ages will want to return to again and again.

A seminal work of American Literature that still commands deep praise and still elicits controversy, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is essential to the understanding of the American soul. The recent discovery of the first half of Twain's manuscript, long thought lost, made front-page news. And this unprecedented edition, which contains for the first time omitted episodes and other variations present in the first half of the handwritten manuscript, as well as facsimile reproductions of thirty manuscript pages, is indispensable to a full understanding of the novel. The changes, deletions, and additions made in the first half of the manuscript indicate that Mark Twain frequently checked his impulse to write an even darker, more confrontational book than the one he finally published.
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The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) by Rick Riordan - Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.
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The Sorceress: Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel) by Michael Scott - Book Three in the New York Times bestselling series.

Nicholas Flamel's heart almost broke as he watched his beloved Paris crumble before him. The city was destroyed by Dee and Machiavelli, but Flamel played his own role in the destruction. Sophie and Josh Newman show every sign of being the twins of prophecy, and Flamel had to protect them and the pages from the Dark Elders.

But Nicholas grows weaker with each passing day. Perenelle is still trapped in Alcatraz, and now that Scatty has gone missing, the group is without protection. Except for Clarent—the twin sword to Excalibur. But Clarent’s power is unthinkable, its evil making it nearly impossible to use without its darkness seeping into the soul of whoever wields it.

If he hopes to defeat Dee, Nicholas must find an Elder who can teach Josh and Sophie the third elemental magic—Water Magic. The problem? The only one who can do that is Gilgamesh, and he is quite, quite insane.


From the Hardcover edition.The third book in Michael Scott's "Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel" series, The Sorceress, kicks the action up to a whole new level. Adding to the series' menagerie of immortal humans ("humani") and mythological beasts, the book picks up where The Magician left off: the immortal Nicholas Flamel (of The Alchemyst) and the twins, Sophie and Josh, have just arrived at St. Pancras international train station in London. Almost immediately, they're confronted with a demonic bounty hunter that immortal magician John Dee has sent their way. At the same time, Dee's occasional cohort, Niccolo Machiavelli, decides to focus his energy on Perenelle Flamel, the Alchemyst's wife, who has been imprisoned at Alcatraz since the beginning of the series. In this book, Perenelle gets a chance to show off her sorcery and resourcefulness, fighting and forging alliances with ghosts, beasts, and the occasional Elder to try and find a way out of her predicament and back to Flamel. Scott is as playful as ever, introducing new immortals--famous figures from history who (surprise!) are still alive. He also adds to the roster of fantastical beasts, which already includes such intriguing foes as Bastet, the Egyptian cat goddess, and the Morrigan, or Crow Goddess. Raising the stakes with each installment, Scott deftly manages multiple story lines and keeps everything moving pretty quickly, making this third book a real page-turner. More than just another piece in the puzzle of the whole series, The Sorceress is an adventure in its own right, and will certainly leave series fans wanting more. --Heidi Broadhead

Amazon.com Exclusive: An Interview with Author Michael Scott


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The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien - Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well-to-do hobbit, lives comfortably in his hobbit-hole until the day the wandering wizard Gandalf chooses him to take part in an adventure from which he may never return."In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort."

The hobbit-hole in question belongs to one Bilbo Baggins, an upstanding member of a "little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded dwarves." He is, like most of his kind, well off, well fed, and best pleased when sitting by his own fire with a pipe, a glass of good beer, and a meal to look forward to. Certainly this particular hobbit is the last person one would expect to see set off on a hazardous journey; indeed, when Gandalf the Grey stops by one morning, "looking for someone to share in an adventure," Baggins fervently wishes the wizard elsewhere. No such luck, however; soon 13 fortune-seeking dwarves have arrived on the hobbit's doorstep in search of a burglar, and before he can even grab his hat or an umbrella, Bilbo Baggins is swept out his door and into a dangerous adventure.

The dwarves' goal is to return to their ancestral home in the Lonely Mountains and reclaim a stolen fortune from the dragon Smaug. Along the way, they and their reluctant companion meet giant spiders, hostile elves, ravening wolves--and, most perilous of all, a subterranean creature named Gollum from whom Bilbo wins a magical ring in a riddling contest. It is from this life-or-death game in the dark that J.R.R. Tolkien's masterwork, The Lord of the Rings, would eventually spring. Though The Hobbit is lighter in tone than the trilogy that follows, it has, like Bilbo Baggins himself, unexpected iron at its core. Don't be fooled by its fairy-tale demeanor; this is very much a story for adults, though older children will enjoy it, too. By the time Bilbo returns to his comfortable hobbit-hole, he is a different person altogether, well primed for the bigger adventures to come--and so is the reader. --Alix Wilber
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Brisingr (Inheritance, Book 3) by Christopher Paolini - OATHS SWORN . . . loyalties tested . . . forces collide.

Following the colossal battle against the Empire’s warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still there is more at hand for the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep.

First is Eragon’s oath to his cousin Roran: to help rescue Roran’s beloved, Katrina, from King Galbatorix’s clutches. But Eragon owes his loyalty to others, too. The Varden are in desperate need of his talents and strength—as are the elves and dwarves. When unrest claims the rebels and danger strikes from every corner, Eragon must make choices— choices that take him across the Empire and beyond, choices that may lead to unimagined sacrifice.

Eragon is the greatest hope to rid the land of tyranny. Can this once-simple farm boy unite the rebel forces and defeat the king?
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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) by J.K. Rowling - Running time: 11 hrs., 48 mins.

For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.

Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well. And the Azkban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts...he's at Hogwarts."

Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.For most children, summer vacation is something to look forward to. But not for our 13-year-old hero, who's forced to spend his summers with an aunt, uncle, and cousin who detest him. The third book in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series catapults into action when the young wizard "accidentally" causes the Dursleys' dreadful visitor Aunt Marge to inflate like a monstrous balloon and drift up to the ceiling. Fearing punishment from Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon (and from officials at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who strictly forbid students to cast spells in the nonmagic world of Muggles), Harry lunges out into the darkness with his heavy trunk and his owl Hedwig.

As it turns out, Harry isn't punished at all for his errant wizardry. Instead he is mysteriously rescued from his Muggle neighborhood and whisked off in a triple-decker, violently purple bus to spend the remaining weeks of summer in a friendly inn called the Leaky Cauldron. What Harry has to face as he begins his third year at Hogwarts explains why the officials let him off easily. It seems that Sirius Black--an escaped convict from the prison of Azkaban--is on the loose. Not only that, but he's after Harry Potter. But why? And why do the Dementors, the guards hired to protect him, chill Harry's very heart when others are unaffected? Once again, Rowling has created a mystery that will have children and adults cheering, not to mention standing in line for her next book. Fortunately, there are four more in the works. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson
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The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3) by Rick Riordan - When Percy Jackson receives an urgent distress call from his friend Grover, he immediately prepares for battle. He knows he’ll need his powerful demigod allies, Annabeth and Thalia, at his side; his trusty bronze sword, Riptide; and . . . a ride from his mom.
The demigods race to the rescue, to find that Grover has made an important
discovery: two new powerful half-bloods whose parentage is unknown. But that’s not all that awaits them. The Titan lord, Kronos, has set up his most devious trap yet, and the young heroes have just fallen prey. Hilarious and action-packed, this third adventure in the series finds Percy faced with his most dangerous challenge so far: the chilling prophecy of the Titan’s curse.
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Bargain Books

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
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The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4) by Rick Riordan - Percy Jackson isn’t expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse. In this latest installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos’s army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth–a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn. Full of humor and heart-pounding action, this latest audiobook promises to be their most thrilling adventure yet.
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Life of Pi by Yann Martel - The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.

The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them "the truth." After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional--but is it more true?
Yann Martel's imaginative and unforgettable Life of Pi is a magical reading experience, an endless blue expanse of storytelling about adventure, survival, and ultimately, faith. The precocious son of a zookeeper, 16-year-old Pi Patel is raised in Pondicherry, India, where he tries on various faiths for size, attracting "religions the way a dog attracts fleas." Planning a move to Canada, his father packs up the family and their menagerie and they hitch a ride on an enormous freighter. After a harrowing shipwreck, Pi finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean, trapped on a 26-foot lifeboat with a wounded zebra, a spotted hyena, a seasick orangutan, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker ("His head was the size and color of the lifebuoy, with teeth"). It sounds like a colorful setup, but these wild beasts don't burst into song as if co-starring in an anthropomorphized Disney feature. After much gore and infighting, Pi and Richard Parker remain the boat's sole passengers, drifting for 227 days through shark-infested waters while fighting hunger, the elements, and an overactive imagination. In rich, hallucinatory passages, Pi recounts the harrowing journey as the days blur together, elegantly cataloging the endless passage of time and his struggles to survive: "It is pointless to say that this or that night was the worst of my life. I have so many bad nights to choose from that I've made none the champion."

An award winner in Canada, Life of Pi, Yann Martel's second novel, should prove to be a breakout book in the U.S. At one point in his journey, Pi recounts, "My greatest wish--other than salvation--was to have a book. A long book with a never-ending story. One that I could read again and again, with new eyes and fresh understanding each time." It's safe to say that the fabulous, fablelike Life of Pi is such a book. --Brad Thomas Parsons
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Nick Jr., Dora the Expolrer !Hola! Hello! Storybook and Talking Word Cards (Nick Jr. Dora the Explorer) by Reader's Digest - This inventive book features four stories based on favorite Dora episodes. The book comes with a removable, carry-anywhere electronic "translator" and 20 double-sided word cards, which include 40 different words and phrases. Children can read along with the stories and when prompted with a visual cue, insert a card into the translator to hear how the word or phrase spoken by Dora in both English and Spanish. Muy bien!

¡Vamonos! Let's go! Kids can learn to "say it two ways" with Dora and friends! Cool new format includes a translator with talking word cards. Kids can learn 70 Spanish words and phrases-40 with the word cards and an additional 30 included in the glossary.
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Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett - If food dropped like rain from the sky, wouldn't it be marvelous! Or would it? It could, after all, be messy. And you'd have no choice. What if you didn't like what fell? Or what if too much came? Have you ever thought of what it might be like to be squashed flat by a pancake?
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The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - Written for J.R.R. Tolkien"s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when first published more than sixty years ago. Now recognized as a timeless classic with sales of more than 40 million copies worldwide, this introduction to Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf the Wizard, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth tells of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent."In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort."

The hobbit-hole in question belongs to one Bilbo Baggins, an upstanding member of a "little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded dwarves." He is, like most of his kind, well off, well fed, and best pleased when sitting by his own fire with a pipe, a glass of good beer, and a meal to look forward to. Certainly this particular hobbit is the last person one would expect to see set off on a hazardous journey; indeed, when Gandalf the Grey stops by one morning, "looking for someone to share in an adventure," Baggins fervently wishes the wizard elsewhere. No such luck, however; soon 13 fortune-seeking dwarves have arrived on the hobbit's doorstep in search of a burglar, and before he can even grab his hat or an umbrella, Bilbo Baggins is swept out his door and into a dangerous adventure.

The dwarves' goal is to return to their ancestral home in the Lonely Mountains and reclaim a stolen fortune from the dragon Smaug. Along the way, they and their reluctant companion meet giant spiders, hostile elves, ravening wolves--and, most perilous of all, a subterranean creature named Gollum from whom Bilbo wins a magical ring in a riddling contest. It is from this life-or-death game in the dark that J.R.R. Tolkien's masterwork, The Lord of the Rings, would eventually spring. Though The Hobbit is lighter in tone than the trilogy that follows, it has, like Bilbo Baggins himself, unexpected iron at its core. Don't be fooled by its fairy-tale demeanor; this is very much a story for adults, though older children will enjoy it, too. By the time Bilbo returns to his comfortable hobbit-hole, he is a different person altogether, well primed for the bigger adventures to come--and so is the reader. --Alix Wilber
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The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2) by Rick Riordan - After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson finds his seventh-grade school year unnervingly quiet. His biggest problem is dealing with his new friend, Tyson—a six-foot-three, mentally challenged homeless kid who follows Percy everywhere, making it hard for Percy to have any "normal" friends.
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The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle - As a tiny green caterpillar eats his way through the book, he is transformed into a beautiful butterfly, in a board book edition of the classic picture book."In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf." So begins Eric Carle's modern classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. More than 12 million copies of this book have been sold in its original, full-sized edition, and the beloved tale of science and gluttony has been translated into 20 languages. This five-by-four-inch miniature edition is truly tiny, with tiny type, but it is a nice size for small hands to hold and flip through the pictures. Despite its diminished state, the book is complete in every detail, following the ravenous caterpillar's path as he eats his way through one apple (and the pages of the book itself) on Monday, two pears on Tuesday, three plums on Wednesday, and so on, through cherry pie and sausage--until he is really fat and has a stomachache. And no doubt you know what happens next! Kids love butterfly metamorphosis stories, and this popular favorite teaches counting and the days of the week, too. A fun gift package for caterpillar fans. (Baby to preschool) --Karin Snelson
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The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3) by Rick Riordan - When Percy Jackson receives an urgent distress call from his friend Grover, he immediately prepares for battle. He knows he’ll need his powerful demigod allies, Annabeth and Thalia, at his side; his trusty bronze sword, Riptide; and . . . a ride from his mom.
The demigods race to the rescue, to find that Grover has made an important
discovery: two new powerful half-bloods whose parentage is unknown. But that’s not all that awaits them. The Titan lord, Kronos, has set up his most devious trap yet, and the young heroes have just fallen prey. Hilarious and action-packed, this third adventure in the series finds Percy faced with his most dangerous challenge so far: the chilling prophecy of the Titan’s curse.
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The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery - Few stories are as widely read and as universally cherished by children and adults alike as The Little Prince. Richard Howard's new translation of the beloved classic-published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's birth-beautifully reflects Saint-Exupéry's unique and gifted style. Howard, an acclaimed poet and one of the preeminent translators of our time, has excelled in bringing the English text as close as possible to the French, in language, style, and most important, spirit. The artwork in this new edition has been restored to match in detail and in color Saint-Exupéry's original artwork. By combining the new translation with restored original art, Harcourt is proud to introduce the definitive English-language edition ofAntoine de Saint-Exupéry first published The Little Prince in 1943, only a year before his Lockheed P-38 vanished over the Mediterranean during a reconnaissance mission. More than a half century later, this fable of love and loneliness has lost none of its power. The narrator is a downed pilot in the Sahara Desert, frantically trying to repair his wrecked plane. His efforts are interrupted one day by the apparition of a little, well, prince, who asks him to draw a sheep. "In the face of an overpowering mystery, you don't dare disobey," the narrator recalls. "Absurd as it seemed, a thousand miles from all inhabited regions and in danger of death, I took a scrap of paper and a pen out of my pocket." And so begins their dialogue, which stretches the narrator's imagination in all sorts of surprising, childlike directions.

The Little Prince describes his journey from planet to planet, each tiny world populated by a single adult. It's a wonderfully inventive sequence, which evokes not only the great fairy tales but also such monuments of postmodern whimsy as Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. And despite his tone of gentle bemusement, Saint-Exupéry pulls off some fine satiric touches, too. There's the king, for example, who commands the Little Prince to function as a one-man (or one-boy) judiciary:

I have good reason to believe that there is an old rat living somewhere on my planet. I hear him at night. You could judge that old rat. From time to time you will condemn him to death. That way his life will depend on your justice. But you'll pardon him each time for economy's sake. There's only one rat.
The author pokes similar fun at a businessman, a geographer, and a lamplighter, all of whom signify some futile aspect of adult existence. Yet his tale is ultimately a tender one--a heartfelt exposition of sadness and solitude, which never turns into Peter Pan-style treacle. Such delicacy of tone can present real headaches for a translator, and in her 1943 translation, Katherine Woods sometimes wandered off the mark, giving the text a slightly wooden or didactic accent. Happily, Richard Howard (who did a fine nip-and-tuck job on Stendhal's The Charterhouse of Parma in 1999) has streamlined and simplified to wonderful effect. The result is a new and improved version of an indestructible classic, which also restores the original artwork to full color. "Trying to be witty," we're told at one point, "leads to lying, more or less." But Saint-Exupéry's drawings offer a handy rebuttal: they're fresh, funny, and like the book itself, rigorously truthful. --James Marcus
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Science and Nature

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Books of Wonder) by Jules Verne -

Hold on tight as Captain Nemo takes you on a perilous journey deep beneath the ocean waves, into the incredible underwater world where lives the crew of the mighty submarine the Nautilus. When Nemo captures Professor Arronax; his servant, Conseil; and the harpoonist Ned Land, the prisoners join Nemo's breathtaking journey through the ocean's depths in search of long-lost revenge.

In twelve dazzling full-color plates and dozens of two-color illustrations, two-time Caldecott Medalists Leo and Diane Dillion capture the beauty, grandeur, and suspense of this timeless tale. From the exploration of the lost city of Atlantis to the battle with a giant octopus to the mad genius of the organ-playing Captain Nemo, their art brings the classic words of Jules Verne to vivid life.

More than one hundred years after its first publication, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea remains one of the most memorable adventure stories ever told. Now, with this beautifully illustrated and unabridged gift edition, a new generation can discover the excitement and imaginative power of Jules Verne's epic tale.


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A Really Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson - Enter the world of science as Bill Bryson unmasks the mysteries of the universe.

Did you know that:

• Every atom in your body has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to being you?

• If you are an average-sized kid, you have enough potential energy inside you to explode with the force of several hydrogen bombs?

And—What happened to dinosaurs? How big is the universe? Why are oceans salty? Is a meteor going to hit us?

Tackling everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bill Bryson’s inimitable storytelling skill makes the why, how, and, just as importantly, the who of scientific discovery entertaining and accessible for young readers.From primordial nothingness to this very moment, A Short History of Nearly Everything reports what happened and how humans figured it out. To accomplish this daunting literary task, Bill Bryson uses hundreds of sources, from popular science books to interviews with luminaries in various fields. His aim is to help people like him, who rejected stale school textbooks and dry explanations, to appreciate how we have used science to understand the smallest particles and the unimaginably vast expanses of space. With his distinctive prose style and wit, Bryson succeeds admirably. Though A Short History clocks in at a daunting 500-plus pages and covers the same material as every science book before it, it reads something like a particularly detailed novel (albeit without a plot). Each longish chapter is devoted to a topic like the age of our planet or how cells work, and these chapters are grouped into larger sections such as "The Size of the Earth" and "Life Itself." Bryson chats with experts like Richard Fortey (author of Life and Trilobite) and these interviews are charming. But it's when Bryson dives into some of science's best and most embarrassing fights--Cope vs. Marsh, Conway Morris vs. Gould--that he finds literary gold. --Therese Littleton
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The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls (American Girl Library) by Valorie Schaefer - This bestselling guide answers all the questions growing girls have about their bodies - from hair care to healthy eating, bad breath to bra buying, pimples to periods. It offers guidance about basic hygiene and health without addressing issues of sexuality. Over 1 million copies sold!
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Geometry by Ray C. Jurgensen, Richard G. Brown, John W. Jurgensen -
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Conceptual Physics by Paul G. Hewitt - Written for students of introductory physics, this best-selling text offers students an upbeat, non-threatening overview of the discipline which focuses on concepts and critical thinking rather than number-crunching. It presents physics in a language students can comprehend, using analogies and mental imagery based on real world situations. Mathematical equations, formulas, and calculations appear as a footnote on the page to reference and supplement chapter concepts and help students see the connection between math and science.
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Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes - A board book for babies or toddlers and their parents, featurig a well-known nursery rhyme and interactive text.
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Geometry by Ron Larson -
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Human Anatomy and Physiology (8th Edition) by Elaine N. Marieb, Katja Hoehn -

With the Eighth Edition of the top-selling Human Anatomy & Physiology book, trusted authors Elaine N. Marieb and Katja Hoehn have produced the most accessible, comprehensive, up-to-date, and visually stunning anatomy & physiology book on the market. Marieb draws on her career as an A&P professor and her experience as a part-time nursing student, while Hoehn relies on her medical education and classroom experience to explain concepts and processes in a meaningful and memorable way.

 

The most significant revision to date, the Eighth Edition makes it easier for readers to learn key concepts in A&P. The new edition features a whole new art program that is not only more visually dynamic and vibrant than in previous editions but is also much more pedagogically effective for today’s readers, including new Focus figures, which guide readers through the toughest concepts in A&P. The book has been edited to make it easier than ever to study from and navigate, with integrated objectives, new concept check questions, and a new design program. The new, easy-to-use Instructor Resource DVD includes brand-new A&P Flix animations and all the tools instructors need to prepare their lecture presentations. The robust media package provides readers with indispensable practice tools, tutorials, and self-assessments to help them succeed in their A&P lecture and lab course.

  The Human Body: An Orientation, Chemistry Comes Alive, Cells: The Living Units, Tissue: The Living Fabric, The Integumentary System, Bones and Skeletal Tissues, The Skeleton, Joints, Muscles and Muscle Tissue, The Muscular System, Fundamentals of the Nervous System and Nervous Tissue, The Central Nervous System,  The Peripheral Nervous System and Reflex Activity, The Autonomic Nervous System, The Special Senses, The Endocrine System,  Blood, The Cardiovascular System: The Heart, The Cardiovascular System: Blood Vessels, The Lymphatic System and Lymphoid Organs and Tissues, The Immune System: Innate and Adaptive Body Defensives, The Respiratory System, The Digestive System, Nutrition, Metabolism, and Body Temperature Regulation, The Urinary System, Fluid, Electrolyte, and Acid-Base Balance, The Reproductive System, Pregnancy and Human Development, Heredity. Intended for those interested in learning the basics of human anatomy & physiology


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The Everything Kids' Science Experiments Book: Boil Ice, Float Water, Measure Gravity-Challenge the World Around You! (Everything Kids Series) by Tom Robinson - Science has never been so easy - or so much fun! With The Everything Kids' Science Experiments Book, all you need to do is gather a few household items and you can recreate dozens of mind-blowing, kid-tested science experiments. High school science teach Tom Robinson shows you how to expand your scientific horizons - from biology to chemistry to physics to outer space.

You'll discover answers to questions like:
Is it possible to blow up a balloon without actually blowing into it?
What is inside coins?
Can a magnet ever be "turned off"?
Do toilets always flush in the same direction?
Can a swimming pool be cleaned with just the breath of one person?

Get ready to enter the laboratory and learn how to conduct cool experiments, understand scientific terms like "photosynthesis," and know fun facts like how many latex balloons per day can be made from a rubber tree. Each section has a great science fair project, complete with all the details you need to wow your teachers and friends.

You won't want to wait for a rainy day or your school's science fair to test these cool experiments for yourself!
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The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein -

"Once there was a tree ... and she loved a little boy." So begins a story Of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein.

Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk ... and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave.

This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return.

To say that this particular apple tree is a "giving tree" is an understatement. In Shel Silverstein's popular tale of few words and simple line drawings, a tree starts out as a leafy playground, shade provider, and apple bearer for a rambunctious little boy. Making the boy happy makes the tree happy, but with time it becomes more challenging for the generous tree to meet his needs. When he asks for money, she suggests that he sell her apples. When he asks for a house, she offers her branches for lumber. When the boy is old, too old and sad to play in the tree, he asks the tree for a boat. She suggests that he cut her down to a stump so he can craft a boat out of her trunk. He unthinkingly does it. At this point in the story, the double-page spread shows a pathetic solitary stump, poignantly cut down to the heart the boy once carved into the tree as a child that said "M.E. + T." "And then the tree was happy... but not really." When there's nothing left of her, the boy returns again as an old man, needing a quiet place to sit and rest. The stump offers up her services, and he sits on it. "And the tree was happy." While the message of this book is unclear (Take and take and take? Give and give and give? Complete self-sacrifice is good? Complete self-sacrifice is infinitely sad?), Silverstein has perhaps deliberately left the book open to interpretation. (All ages) --Karin Snelson
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