Book of the Week (4/15/2019)

Swan: The Story of a Very Special Person and Her Mom by Wendy Gilker (Charleston, S.C. : CreateSpace, 2016).

New London, NH author Wendy Gilker tells the beautiful story of her daughter, Bree in her book, "Swan". Bree was born with the rare disorder, Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome (Deletion 4P). The diagnosis she received from doctors when Bree was born was that Bree would be lucky to live 5 years, never be able to move or recognize anyone and that seizures/epilepsy would take over her life even with medications. Wendy details the happy and full life that Bree and herself experienced together, driven by love and persistence.
"In this book you will find the true story of how a person’s life can change overnight, in hours or an instant. It is about how a young mother struggles to adapt to and understand how to deal with the challenges of a lifestyle she knows nothing about. In appearance, this new life looks like the worst case scenario for any parent, yet it is really a story about how one goes from a life of fear and panic to one centered on love and eventually peace. In the story of the “Ugly Duckling”, the duck was always the beautiful Swan to be, it just had to be with people who were able to see, recognize and appreciate the Swan potential. The little “Ugly Duckling” of this story, takes her mother on an incredible spiritual journey. Bree is a teacher of Swan."-- Back cover


Congratulations to the 2019 NH LAL Semi-Finalists!

Level 1 (grades 4-6)
  • Teagan Arborgast
  • Sofia Bergskaug
  • Giada Bourassa
  • Sophia Brickner
  • Jacob Brien
  • Taylor Christle
  • Kiren Cook
  • Angelina Costa
  • Julian Crespo
  • Emma DiGennaro
  • Mercedes Gavin
  • Colby Hallett
  • James Kelly
  • Avery Labatte
  • Grace Lebiedz
  • Brady Paris
  • Madeline Sullivan
  • Molly Topliff
  • Abigail Wallis
  • Jonah Winsor
Level 2 (grades 7-8)
  • Daniella Allanach
  • Marcus Anderson
  • James Barrett
  • Madelyn Bergen
  • Aden Cremonini
  • Owen Johnson
  • Lucas Kachadorian
  • Colby Lajoie
  • Eden Leak
  • Jacob Lydon
  • Jaidyn Malette
  • Mackenzie O´Connor
  • Auburn Rafferty
  • Aarika Roy
  • Hannah Stec
  • Grace Webb
Level 3 (grades 9-12)
  • Victoria Arrigo
  • Ava Blair
  • Abigail Foley
  • Raizel Hernandez
  • Emily Jastrem
  • Nilaani Pazhaniappan
  • Rease St. Gelais
  • Megan Swedberg
  • Bryna Wilson
  • Paige Witherbee
Please note that there were 2 additional students whose letters were selected as semi-finalists. As of 4/12/19 we had not received permission to announce their names.

New Hampshire's winning letters will be selected from these semi-finalist letters and announced at the end of April. The Center for the Book at the New Hampshire State Library will award $100 to each first place winner. State winners will advance to the national Letters About Literature competition.  If you want to get the latest LAL news, you can subscribe to LAL news email feed at the NH Letters About Literature page.

NOTE: This post was updated (4/12/19) to add the names of additional students once their release forms were received.


Book of the Week (4/8/2019)

Convergence of Valor by G. G. Goncarovs (CreateSpace, 2012).
At the start of the American Civil War, German spy Gunter Rohlenheim is sent by Prince Otto von Bismarck to the United States to gather intelligence on the development of an advanced warship. Before Gunter can find his way to his intended target, his nemesis from ten years earlier sends an assassin to neutralize him. Barely escaping death, Gunter is surprised when his investigation uncovers more advanced war technology being developed by the Confederates. Angamar, an enigmatic old scientist, connives to include Gunter into his development of a self-propelled torpedo, and Gunter discovers the reincarnation of his own first engineering project, a submarine. The Confederate submarine experiment evolves into the H. L. Hunley and Gunter, using the alias Sam Miller, is consumed with his desire to become part of her crew. When the Hunley is called up for duty as a blockade breaker in Charleston, South Carolina, Gunter is forced to choose between loyalty to his homeland, the submersible, and an attractive war widow. The forensic reconstructions of the H. L. Hunley's crew sparked the ides of Convergence of Valor. -- Publisher's blurb
Join NH author Guntis Goncarovs at the Toadstool Bookshop in Milford on Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 2 pm where he will present and sign his book.


Book of the Week (4/1/2019)

Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon by Kim Chaffee (Salem, MA: Page Street Kids, 2019).

What better way to wrap up Women's History Month, than with a powerful tribute to one of running's most iconic figures and strong female role models. Kathrine Switzer is truly a brave, barrier breaking individual who made marathon running a possibility for other women with her infamous 1967 Boston Marathon run.
"Kathrine Switzer changed the world of running. This narrative biography follows Kathrine from running laps as a girl in her backyard to becoming the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with official race numbers in 1967. Her inspirational true story is for anyone willing to challenge the rules. The compelling collage art adds to the kinetic action of the story. With tension and heart, this biography has the influential power to get readers into running. An excellent choice for sports fans, New Englanders, young dreamers, and competitive girls and boys alike."-- Amazon.com
"Her Fearless Run" was written by New Hampshire first time author, Kim Chaffee.

Visit Kathrine's website to learn more about her life and achievements.