The Totally Made-Up Civil War Diary of Amanda Macleish

The Totally Made-Up Civil War Diary of Amanda Macleish weaves the contemporary story of fifth grader Amanda MacLeish and the "totally made-up" diary of Amanda?s fictional Civil War–era ten-year-old Polly. Like Polly and her war-afflicted family, Amanda?s world is falling apart -- her good-natured father has moved out, and Amanda entirely blames her irritable mother. Amanda?s best friend, Beth, seems to have found a replacement buddy. And half the kids in her class are clueless about writing or the Civil War:

Patrick finished reading. The class clapped politely.
"What did you like about Patrick?s diary entry?" Mr. Abrams asked.
What could anyone possibly say? "I liked the places where you could read your own handwriting." But no one would want to say something mean in Mr. Abrams?s class.

Despite its somber themes, Claudia Mills?s newest novel sparkles like a glass of ginger ale, peppery and sweet. Spirited Amanda blunders through mistakes that only make us love her more. A splash of American history, a dollop of friendship, a pinch of philosophy, humor, pathos, even a dash of romance -- The Totally Made-Up Civil War Diary of Amanda Macleish has something for every young reader.

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.