Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat

The Parking Lot Attendant

Nafkote Tamirat

A haunting story of fatherhood, national identity, and what it means to be an immigrant in America today, The Parking Lot Attendant explores how who we love, the choices we make, and the places we’re from combine to make us who we are.

The story begins on an undisclosed island where the unnamed narrator and her father are the two newest and least liked members of a commune that has taken up residence there. Though the commune was built on utopian principles, it quickly becomes clear that life here is not as harmonious as the founders intended. After immersing us in life on the island, our young heroine takes us back to Boston to recount the events that brought her here. Though she and her father belong to a wide Ethiopian network in the city, they mostly keep to themselves, which is how her father prefers it.

This detached existence only makes Ayale’s arrival on the scene more intoxicating. The unofficial king of Boston’s Ethiopian community, Ayale is a born hustler—when he turns his attention to the narrator, she feels seen for the first time. Ostensibly a parking lot attendant, Ayale soon proves to have other projects in the works, which the narrator becomes more and more entangled in to her father’s growing dismay. By the time the scope of Ayale’s schemes—and their repercussions—become apparent, our narrator has unwittingly become complicit in something much bigger and darker than she ever imagined.

Fiction. Call number: FIC Tam. View in our catalog

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

Warlight

Michael Ondaatje

In a narrative as beguiling and mysterious as memory itself—shadowed and luminous at once—we read the story of fourteen-year-old Nathaniel, and his older sister, Rachel. In 1945, just after World War II, they stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and they grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women joined by a shared history of unspecified service during the war, all of whom seem, in some way, determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? And what does it mean when the siblings’ mother returns after months of silence without their father, explaining nothing, excusing nothing? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all that he didn’t know and understand in that time, and it is this journey—through facts, recollection, and imagination—that he narrates in this masterwork from one of the great writers of our time.

Fiction. Call number: FIC Ond. View in our catalog

Historians on Hamilton

Historians on Hamilton: How a Blockbuster Musical Is Restaging America's Past

Renee C. Romano and Claire Bond Potter, editors

America has gone Hamilton crazy. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musical has spawned sold-out performances, a triple platinum cast album, and a score so catchy that it is being used to teach U.S. history in classrooms across the country. But just how historically accurate is Hamilton? And how is the show itself making history?

Historians on Hamilton brings together a collection of top scholars to explain the Hamilton phenomenon and explore what it might mean for our understanding of America’s history. The contributors examine what the musical got right, what it got wrong, and why it matters. Does Hamilton’s hip-hop take on the Founding Fathers misrepresent our nation’s past, or does it offer a bold positive vision for our nation’s future? Can a musical so unabashedly contemporary and deliberately anachronistic still communicate historical truths about American culture and politics? And is Hamilton as revolutionary as its creators and many commentators claim?

Perfect for students, teachers, theatre fans, hip-hop heads, and history buffs alike, these short and lively essays examine why Hamilton became an Obama-era sensation and consider its continued relevance in the age of Trump. Whether you are a fan or a skeptic, you will come away from this collection with a new appreciation for the meaning and importance of the Hamilton phenomenon.

Nonfiction. Call number: 782.14 His. View in our catalog

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

The Prince and the Dressmaker

Jen Wang

Paris, at the dawn of the modern age: Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride—or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia—the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances—one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

Teen graphic novel. Call number: YA GN Prince. View in our catalog

The Secrets of Ninja School by Deb Pilutti

The Secrets of Ninja School

Deb Pilutti

Ruby sets out to learn her own secret skill at Master Willow’s School for Ninjas in this charming picture book that celebrates confidence, creativity, and kindness.

Master Willow’s Ninja School is a place where junior ninja saplings must learn many important skills: how to make themselves invisible, fight skillfully, meditate patiently and—most importantly—how to be brave and unleash their own secret talent. But Ruby’s no good at traditional ninja skills and she seems too afraid to conquer her fears. Can a quiet, gentle sapling really graduate from ninja school? Yes! Especially when she taps into her own special talents.

Youth easy book. Call number: J EASY Pil. View in our catalog

Descriptions and images provided by the publishers.

© 2018 William P. Faust Westland Public Library