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Foyle’s War — Don’t Miss It!

Mary Newkirk, Adult Services Librarian

Recently, my husband and I have been spending quite a few hours in front of the television watching “Foyle’s War,” a fascinating look at life in Britain during World War II.  This series, which began on British television in 2002, has continued to produce new programs that just keep getting better.  Detective Chief Superintendent, better known as DCS Foyle, is played by Michael Kitchen, a well- known British actor.  This quiet, honest widower has been rejected from war duty, so reluctantly continues in his position as chief detective in the small town of Hastings, a seaside town south of London.  Foyle is admired for his intellect. He has high moral standards, is scrupulously honest and doggedly determined. His speech is rather straightforward in manner, but combined with a dry wit. The murders that occur in each episode are set against the background of World War II and its misery, which results in less emphasis on the murders when bombs are falling and telegrams are informing many of war casualties.  Each episode gives an insight on just how different the war years were for the English as compared to Americans.

Several episodes include Foyle’s son Andrew, an RAF pilot, whom Foyle worries about.  Actor Julian Ovenden, who plays Andrew, remarked, “I’ve enjoyed being a part of “ Foyle’s War”. I think the series has done so well because it celebrates British characteristics like courage, stubbornness against overwhelming odds and that sense of community spirit with everyone soldiering on and pulling together. It focuses on the domestic situation, not just the war, and (creator) Anthony Horowitz is extremely deft at finding episodes that are warm and strong in the domestic area alongside a good war story.”  DCS Foyle has a loyal female driver, Sam (Honeysuckle Weeks), who is grateful to have this job and serves with great enthusiasm.  Her zeal for police work is rewarded, as the series progresses, and her unsolicited advice becomes more important, especially her ability to overhear bits of important conversations.

Foyle’s War”- Series 9 is in production now in Liverpool.  Foyle is in a new role as a senior intelligence officer in MI5, immersed in the dangerous world of espionage in post-war Britain.  Anthony Horowitz says this season will probably be his last. “I’ve written 22 episodes. That’s an awful lot of crimes, clues, bodies, suspects, mysteries and chases.”  Many of us sincerely hope he changes his mind.  You can find all of the series in our 791 Suspense DVD collection.

The stories in “Foyle’s War” are all inspired by historical truth.  Many other books and movies at Manhattan Public Library also give a picture of life during the harsh war years of the twentieth century.

Stella Bain by Anita Shreve tells the story of a volunteer ambulance driver and nurse in France who has run away from her abusive husband in America.  She suffers a memory loss after a shelling incident and must rediscover who she is and whom she loves.

The Wind is Not a River” by Brian Payton is a top-notch WWII historical novel about the little-remembered Japanese invasion and partial occupation of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. John is accompanying a crew on a bombing run when his plane is shot down over the island of Attu. He survives and must battle the elements, starvation, and his own remorse while evading discovery by the Japanese.

Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein is the compelling story of a young female spy captured in Nazi-occupied France who writes a confession of her activities in the Resistance In exchange for a temporary stay of execution and lesser forms of torture.  This book has been out for a couple years but shouldn’t be missed by adults and teens.  It has won the Michael Printz Award for best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit.

1940 House” is a documentary show which has a modern family trying to live as if they were experiencing wartime conditions in 1940’s London.  They live with no tv, telephone, or car and experience baths once per week and food rationing. Find this in our 070 Documentary DVD section.

 

 

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Teens choose their top YA books

Janene Hill, Young Adult Librarian, Manhattan Public Library
Teens across the country have spoken.

On October 17 the 2011 Teens’ Top Ten list was revealed by the Young Adult Library Services Association.
With more than 9,000 votes cast, teens across the U.S. expressed their opinions for the best books from the past year. Online voting took place in August and September.
Cassandra Clare and Suzanne Collins exchanged spots from 2010 to take the first and second places on this year’s list. This is Clare’s fourth straight year on the list, but first in the #1 position.
Collins is on the list for the third straight year while James Patterson returns for a third appearance after a two-year absence. Becca Fitzpatrick is back for the second straight year,with six first-timers rounding out the Teens’ Top Ten.
The novels cover awide range of subject matter including aliens, fairies, dystopian societies, secondchances, and the supernatural. These stories take place in settings from afuture United Statesto Victorian England.
2011 Teens’ TopTen
1. The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Tessa Gray’s search for hermissing brother leads her into Victorian London’s supernatural underworld,where she must learn to trust the demon-killing Shadowhunters in order tocontrol her powers and find her brother. Prequel to the Mortal Instruments series.
2. Mockingjay by SuzanneCollins
After surviving her second time in the arena, Katniss has been propelled intoleading a revolution. Residents of District 13 have been preparing for war foryears, and are at the front of the fight. It seems the world is on Katniss’sshoulders as she struggles with being the face of the rebellion and target ofthe Capitol’s vengeance. Final book in the HungerGames trilogy.
3. Crescendo byBecca Fitzpatrick
Nora’s life has never been ordinary, but now that she has learnedabout her true Nephilim bloodline and her guardian angel, she wants to knowmore. What really happened to her father? Does Patch really love her? Is hehiding something? Sequel to the best-selling Hush, Hush.
4. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Nineescaped from the planet Lorien just before it was destroyed by the Mogadorians.Hidden amongst the Earth-beings, the nine wait for the time they can regroup tofight their would-be destoyers. But Number One was caught in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. Theykilled them all. Number Four is next.
5. TheIron King by Julie Kagawa
As Meghan approaches her 16th birthday she discovers she is thedaughter of a faery king, a princess. A changeling has taken the place of herkidnapped brother. Meghan will leave behind everything she knows and travel tothe fae world to find the truth, face unknown enemies, save those she caresabout, and maybe even fall in love.
6. Matched by Ally Condie
Cassia is happily surprised when at the Matching Ceremony, her lifelong bestfriend Xander’s face appears on the screen. Then something startling happens –Ky’s face appears on the screen briefly before fading to black. Cassia beginsquestioning everything. What if all the choices that have been made her wholelife aren’t the only choice and she could make her own? Should she follow the lifeset forth for her by the Society, or travel down an unknown and defiant path.
7. Angel: A Maximum Ride Novel byJames Patterson
Max is starting to believe the scientists saying she needs to save theworld. Fang has left, and the flock’s new member, Dylan, may be her perfectmate. Meanwhile, Max needs to help lead her flock to defeat a doomsday cult outto kill all the humans. Seventh book in the bestselling Maximum Ride series.
8. Paranormalcy by KierstenWhite
E
mployed by theInternational Paranormal Containment Agency, a fairy ex-boyfriend, a mermaidbest friend, and current boyfriend who is a shape-shifter. No, Evie’s lifeisn’t exactly as a “normal” teenager. Seeing paranormals for what they areisn’t exactly something all teenagers can do. Actually, pretty much no one elsecan.
9. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Friday, February 12 started just like any other day for Sam Kingston –atleast the first time. The car crash that night should have taken her life.Somehow though, she is not dead, but reliving the day – seven times. With eachreincarnation, Sam learns more about how her actions effect others and the truevalue of the people, things, and events in her life.
10.  Nightshade by AndreaCremer
When Calla saves a humanboy on her mountain from a bear attack, the consequences are farther reachingthan could be imagined, especially when that boy shows up at her school andappears to be a favored companion of her masters.

Posted in: For Teens, Mercury Column

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