Bill has performed every single year of our 42 years of existence. Bob Franke has also been a favorite of Marblehead audiences since he ran Saturday Night in Marblehead for a number of years. Bill quickly became a popular performer in the Boston area. Now, well into his fifth decade as a folk performer, he has gained an international reputation as a gifted songwriter and performer. Singing mostly his own songs, he has become one of the most popular and durable singers on the folk music scene today, performing nearly concerts a year and driving over 65, miles annually. Another important recognition was given to him in

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By Tom Pow. Random House pound;4. By Kate Thompson. Random House pound; By Annie and Maria Dalton. Random House pound;5. By Ellen Wittlinger. Simon amp; Schuster pound;5. By Janet Tashjian.

Puffin pound;5. In a futuristic society, improved public services come at the cost of individual happiness. Citizens are cordoned off into distinct zones, illicit gangs roam the spaces between, and abandoned children, for whom family life is a distant memory, scavenge a living. Bradley, Vincent and Floris live so closely with their dog protectors as to be almost canine themselves, depending on their pack instincts; when Floris is abducted, desperate measures must be taken to retrieve her.

The pacing sometimes falters - the false humility of the treacherous Red Dog is no sooner revealed than the danger is past - but the writing has a mythic quality, and the loyalty of children and dogs compels page-turning. For capable readers of about 11, The Pack offers total immersion in a vividly imagined world. Folklore is at the core of Annan Water, which is short enough to read at a sitting.

The finale - drawing us back, inevitably, to the river - is as mysterious and unexplained as the song. Some readers hate endings as wide open as this; others will be enthralled, and will wish, as I did, that the book were longer. The remaining three titles will appeal to difficult-to-please teenage readers in Year 9 and above. Invisible Threads tells two stories: those of year-old Carrie-Anne, and of her mother Naomi, who gave her up for adoption. Carrie-Anne is determined to meet her birth mother, though her resolve falters when her goal seems achievable.

Their first-person stories are told in alternating short chapters, setting up questions and expectations for the reader. John, moving awkwardly between his absent father and a mother who avoids any kind of physical contact, meets other teenagers through the "zines" they exchange - self-published magazines swapped in a music store.

Marisol, "rich spoiled lesbian private-school gifted-and-talented writer virgin looking for love" befriends him, strictly on her own terms; although her sexuality is never in doubt, John falls in love. The anguish of this is mitigated by the confidence Marisol gives him in expressing his feelings in writing - to readers of his "zine", and, more urgently, to his parents.

Josh Swensen, narrator of The Gospel According to Larry, does just that - posting intermittent "sermons" inveighing against consumerism, and gradually revealing the 75 items which are, by his own rule, his only possessions. Soon Larry becomes a victim of the media he despises, and his personality more sought-after than his message. Clever, engaging and teasing, this could become a word-of-mouth favourite.

Log in Linda Newbery.


Bob Franke and Bill Staines

By Tom Pow. Random House pound;4. By Kate Thompson. Random House pound; By Annie and Maria Dalton. Random House pound;5. By Ellen Wittlinger.


Bob Franke

Transcript Order Videotape Recommended Reads Sometimes it helps to dig into a good story or advice book about divorce and stepfamilies. Here are some books-- some new, some old-- that are worth checking out. For additional resources and organizitions, check out our page. Fiction Books Broken Hearts Trying to learn to communicate again, he enters the "zine" world, producing his own personal little literary magazine. After her parents separate, Karen is concerned about how the family will manage financially and who will take care of them, and both her brother and sister have trouble coping.


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Bob Franke and Claudia Schmidt


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