Nominations for the December 20 Capitol Choices agenda will be due at 11:59 PM on Thursday, December 12. Nominations for the 2014 List will still be accepted for the January 17 meeting as long as the books were published in 2013. The last date for any nominations of 2013 books will be on January 9, 2014.
Like many artists, George E. Ohr gained little fame during his lifetime and could not support himself doing what he loved—creating artistic pots. He had to support his family by also making souvenirs and practical pieces. In 1968, antiques dealer Jim Carpenter was searching for items around Biloxi, Mississippi. Ohr’s sons remembered their father’s pots, thrown before 1910 and stowed away in boxes. When Carpenter saw them, he recognized something special. Ohr had declared that someday people would realize his value and that his work would be “prized . . . and cherished.” He was right. Photographs and text trace Ohr’s life forming clay into things unique and beautiful. Backmatter augments the text. Ten to Fourteen. Lynda Adamson
Clive Campbell, the soon to be DJ Kool Herc, was a Jamaican boy living in a desolate neighborhood in the South Bronx who dreamed of rocking the party. Eventually Herc's creativity and innovation would lay the groundwork for the new art form of hip hop. Hill and Taylor's book is a vibrant mix of playful language, rich illustration, and legendary lyrics that befits a trailblazer's biography from the lively mashup culture that is hip hop. Extensive back matter that includes a timeline round out this positive and hopeful story on the power of art. Seven to Ten. Lizzie Nolan.
Entranced with numbers and unable or unwilling to conform to societal norms, Hungarian-born Paul Erdös was coddled through childhood by his mother and nanny, and cared for as an adult by mathematician friends around the world while he generously shared mathematical ideas. This smoothly told biography is illustrated with numbers of all kinds, demonstrations of the work he did with prime numbers, proofs, a geometrical puzzle, and even a graphic representation of connections between him and 20th-century mathematicians around the world. It’s the number-filled illustrations that set this book apart, offering much for epsilons (Erdös's word for children) to think about. Seven to Ten. Kathy Isaacs
Yoko is undoubtedly one of the most misunderstood folks in rock history, and this biography attempts to set the record straight. Yoko had lived a very full life before meeting John Lennon, doing art on her own, marrying twice and having a daughter. Her life doesn't change when she meets John as much as it evolves. Her vision of art and creativity offers a lot of discussion points, as does the topic of "what do artists owe their fans?" Fourteen and Up. Jamie Watson
Paul Farmer's commitment to bringing quality health care to the forgotten poor of Haiti and the world has changed global health care delivery and the lives of millions. His preferential option for the poor and dedication to curing infectious diseases is itself infectious. Dr. Farmer's quirky, impassioned character is brought to life in Michael French's adaptation of Tracy Kidder's book. This inspiring, detailed story traces Farmer's life from his unusual upbringing to his first transformative trip to Haiti, and from his years at Harvard Medical School to his position of renowned visionary leader of global medicine. Ten to Fourteen. Lisa Cosgrove-Davies
Benedict Arnold’s name represents treachery and deceit, but few seem to know the actual story behind his treason. Both the text and Mark Bramhall’s lively narration recreate the drama and suspense with its underlying touch of sarcasm in revealing Arnold’s story. (10-14)
Lewis Michaux’s great-niece offers this fictional biography of his life and his Harlem bookstore from the 1930s until 1975. Although a flawed man, Michaux’s mission was give power to Harlem’s people through information and books.Archival photographs interspersed with line drawings augment the text.
Temple Grandin suffers from autism, and this portrait of her struggle to understand her condition reveals how much her research and invention have helped other victims. Anecdotes, photographs, and Grandin’s intricately-drawn designs add immediacy and provide greater understanding of autism’s many facets.