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ambrose“Peyton Farquhar was dead; his body, with a broken neck swung gently from side to side beneath the timbers of the Owl Creek Bridge.”  Does this quote seem familiar to any of you?  It is a line from Ambrose Bierce’s Civil War era short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” which I read during my GPS days.  Ambrose Bierce was a soldier and author whose disappearance in 1913 has never been solved.  Apparently Bierce’s disappearance was not the only mystery surrounding him.  In Oakley Hall’s novel, Ambrose Bierce and the One-Eyed Jacks, Bierce and his sidekick Tom Redmond solve a couple of mysteries themselves.

Hall’s novel takes place in San Francisco in the spring of 1891.  In this picturesque city, there are sinister goings on- child labor, child slavery, missing women, blackmail, and of course, murder.  Bierce and Redmond are reporters working at William Hearst’s newspaper, the San Francisco Examiner, and Hearst ask them to investigate some missing photography plates.  The search for the missing plates leads Bierce and Redmond into the world of Chinese gangs, prostitution, and corrupt British sailors.  One-Eyed Jacks explores the underbelly of San Francisco, which contains all of the seedy elements that make a good mystery.

Fans of both mystery and historical fiction will like this read, and for those who do like One-Eyed Jacks, I would recommend a couple of other sleuthing authors found in Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson and Dan Simmons’ Crook Factory, along with Hall’s other Bierce novels.

Ms. Harvey ’97
Current Practicum Student~University of Tennessee’s School of Information Science working in the Holland Library

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ImageDo you remember being a 10 year old kid? Aside from those future actors and cheerleaders among us, really we just wanted to fit in, didn’t we? We didn’t have to be the most popular, the best athlete, the best anything really…we simply wanted to be liked and accepted for who we were.

Now imagine you’re Auggie Pullman, a ten year old boy who was born with severe facial deformities. You’re bright, funny, and loving…”ordinary” on the inside, yet not ordinary to the rest of the world. You have been homeschooled so that you could recover from the 27 surgeries it has taken to get you to the point where you can eat and breathe on your own, but that still get stares, questions, and sometimes even horrified gasps when you walk down the street. Now imagine you’re starting a new school, your first ‘real’ school experience, and the courage that it takes to walk down those halls on your own.

I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that Wonder is one of those books that will change your life. It will make you cry happy AND sad tears. It will teach you about love and it will make you think deeply about bullying, inner-beauty, courage, acceptance, friendship, loyalty, and character. It is written at a middle school level, but we should all read this book. We will all be better for it, that I can assure you.

I’m going to do my best to get this book in as many hands as possible at my school, watch out GPS! I’ve found one I’m passionate about!

Mrs. Archambault

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Check out an Animoto I just made promoting some of the new books we get to read this winter thanks to our Grandparents Day book sale on November 18th. Parents, Alums, and other members of the GPS Community are invited to purchase the remaining books to honor a student, faculty member past or present, or even a special GPS memory (info here).

Note: Animoto won’t embed directly into a post so just  look to the right for my VodPod widget. Click on it and enjoy the video!

Have a great weekend!

Katie

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And the winner is….

Congratulations to Mrs. McKenna’s E Period English class! With 78% participation in the book review contest, this enthusiastic group of readers is going to be getting a Julie Darling doughnut party courtesy of the library. Hooray!

If you’re wondering, the contest brought in around 65 good book reviews–some from each grade. This was a huge success and we are absolutely thrilled with the possibilities that this blog presents. We want to hear from students and faculty alike so bring on the reviews! You can email me (karch@gps.edu) or Mrs. Vaughn (martyv@gps.edu) and we’ll get them posted for you.

And now, in honor of their win, I will select a book review submitted by one of the girls from Mrs. McKenna’s winning class. Enjoy!

 

 

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