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Saturday, February 28, 2015 |  Madison, WI: -8.0° F  A Few Clouds
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Culture Bin: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Fly Guy; The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Fly Guy
By Tedd Arnold

Take one traditional song, one boy with a most unusual pet and one unsuspecting grandmother, and you get one funny story complete with a happy ending. Buzz and his pet fly, Fly Guy, go to visit Grandma. Grandma accidentally swallows Fly Guy, and then she begins swallowing the traditional antidotes - spider, bird, cat, etc. Tedd Arnold, who has written a number of books for beginning readers about Buzz and Fly Guy, knows just how to create the exaggerated characters, outlandish circumstances and over-the-top visual drama that appeal to readers 5 to 8 years old. It's Fly Guy who saves the day. Pick up this treat for your beginning reader.
- Karen Lucas

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
By Sherman Alexie

In this young-adult novel, Junior, an aspiring artist, lives on an Indian reservation near Spokane, Wash. Mr. P, Junior's teacher, encourages him to transfer to the high school in Reardon, a neighboring town. Mr. P believes that Junior has hope for a better life. Nonetheless, once Junior decides to transfer, he's seen as a traitor by everyone on the reservation. The story is at times hilarious, at times heartbreakingly sad. The differences between Junior and the rest of the kids at the new school, who are all white, are vast. However, Junior triumphs in many situations, making this National Book Award Winner a worthwhile read. Cartoons and drawings by Junior enhance the text.
- Lesley Kircher

Reviews are provided by the Youth Services librarians of Madison Public Library

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