Thursday, December 17, 2009

Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith

Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith

Deborah Heiligman

Beginning with Darwin's notorious chart listing reasons to wed and not to wed, Heiligman has created a unique, flowing, and meticulously researched picture of the controversial scientist and the effect of his marriage on his life and work. Using the couple's letters, diaries, and notebooks as well as documents and memoirs of their relatives, friends, and critics, the author lets her subjects speak for themselves while rounding out the story of their relationship with information about their time and place. She shows how Darwin's love for his intelligent, steadfast, and deeply religious cousin was an important factor in his scientific work—pushing him to document his theory of natural selection for decades before publishing it with great trepidation. Just as the pair embodied a marriage of science and religion, this book weaves together the chronicle of the development of a major scientific theory with a story of true love. School Library Journal

Science and romance...hand in hand!--J. Asmus

Reality Check

by Peter Abrhams

Set in Little Bend, CO, and North Dover, VT, Abrahams's novel follows Cody, 16, who sustains a serious knee injury that leaves him on the bench during the most important recruiting year in his high school career. With no college scholarship in sight, he drops out of school. When his rich girlfriend, Clea, is reported missing from her Vermont boarding school, he drives East to find her and endangers himself in the process. That Cody is a country boy and a dropout both complicate and inform his detective persona; the realization that "with the exception of football" he was wasting his time in school sends him "some message about a whole different way for him to look at things, to live." It is this "whole different way" that allows Cody—a fish out of water among wealthy Dover Academy students—to solve the mystery, though not before a red herring is revealed and a surprise villain is unmasked.--School Library Journal
J.Asmus--This book is a page-turner!