‘BookPage’ has good suggestions for reading material

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 23, 2009

By Susan Triplett
Rowan Public Library
Patrons entering the library are likely to spy the carousels filled with current rental selections which sit just inside the main doors.
For many visitors, the sight of popular new books and DVDs prompts a closer look. Fewer patrons may notice the copies of a slim periodical, “BookPage,” which sit atop each rental display and are also available ó for free.
As a monthly publication, “BookPage” can’t be beat for pithy, informational summaries of the latest books. The editors’ selections are representative of a broad range of genres and often include books which patrons might not otherwise readily discover.
One such book, “The Leanin’ Dog,” comes from the periodical’s December issue and stands out as an invitation to family reading, enjoyment and discussion.”The Leanin’ Dog” is ostensibly written for an 8- to 12-year-old audience. On one level, the novel is the adventurous story of a girl and her dog. Yet as a coming-of-age tale, “The Leanin’ Dog” is ambitiously comprehensive in the spectrum of issues it addresses ó for instance, grieving the loss of a parent, experiencing life as a child with special needs, developing trust and overcoming fear. How do an 11-year-old child and her father handle the leaps of faith that life asks of them?”In The Leanin’ Dog,” Dessa Dean and her dad share a spartan existence in a remote part of Colorado. During the winter months, they’re completely isolated. Dad must tend his traps and Dessa is left on her own at home each day. The harsh cold and snow-filled days and nights provide a beleaguering background throughout the novel.
The reader quickly learns that Dessa’s mother recently froze to death, an event which imbues the High Plains winter season with particular menace. The loss of her mother has left Dessa slightly frostbitten, deeply grieving and severely phobic.
When Dessa meets an equally fearful dog, the story of how a girl and a dog actually save each other takes off. It’s a tale which could easily fall into stereotypes, becoming overwrought and sentimental. Instead, the reader is likely to find the story credible and down-to-earth; even the dog’s behaviors seem true to life.
Told in first person narrative, the prose is simple yet descriptive, the sensory images are compelling, and the pace moves along without a ho-hum pause. What’s the significance of the title? Check it out.
“BookPage” is full of pleasant surprises for the patron seeking the next good book ó of just about any genre. Why not take a copy of “BookPage” home today?
Computer classes: Classes are free. Sessions are 90 minutes long. Class size is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis. Dates and times are subject to change without notice.
Headquarters ó Monday, 7 p.m., Introduction to E-mail; Thursday, 2:30 p.m., Introduction to Open Office.
South ó Tuesday, 11 a.m., Introduction to Online Genealogy.
Teen program: Headquarters, Monday, 5:30-7 p.m.; South, Tuesday, 3:30-5 p.m.; Come to Rowan Public Library for an animated evening. Guests will draw Manga, create shrinky dink keychains and play PS2 Anime games. Bring your favorite Anime/Manga games and drawings with you to share with others.
Tuesday Night at the Movies: All movies are at 6:30 p.m. All movies are rated G, PG or PG 13; some movies are inappropriate for younger audiences. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Free popcorn and lemonade.Movies feature China. Tuesday, “The King of Masks.”