Mississippi Books and Writers

March 1996

Note: Prices listed below reflect the publisher's suggested list price. They are subject to change without notice.

Firestorm Firestorm

A Novel by Nevada Barr

Putnam ($22.95, ISBN: 039914126X)

Publication date: March 1996


A raging fire in a national park seems an unlikely setting for a murder, but that’s exactly the circumstances that crime-fighting park ranger and medic Anna Pigeon confronts in this mystery thriller. A suspicious fire breaks loose in Northern California’s Lassen Volcanic Park and Pigeon assists in battling the blaze and treating the wounds of other fire fighters. As if that’s not enough, Pigeon finds herself without food and water trapped with a group of fire fighters, one of whom is a murderer. She tries to figure out who the culprit is before he, or the weather, strikes again.

Mississippi Treasure Hunt

Fiction by Taffy Cannon

Juniper ($4.50, ISBN: 0449704505)

Publication date: March 1996


Vangie Bradley expects a lame vacation when she and her brother fly from California to Minnesota to spend the summer with their dad. But then they find a secret letter hidden in an old desk that contains clues that may lead to a fortune! But who wants to live in a world without miracles? The only catch is the key—a 100-year-old test of knowledge. Original.

White Socks Only

Juvenile Fiction by Evelyn Coleman, Illustrated by Tyron Geter

Albert Whitman & Co. ($15.95, ISBN: 0807589551)

Publication date: March 1996


There was a “Whites Only” sign on a nearby fountain, but that didn’t bother this child—after all, she was wearing her clean white socks. Evelyn Coleman combines memories of her Southern childhood with magical realism to create a story that resonates with power. Tyrone Geter’s full-color illustrations convey great feeling and emotion.

Tracks Tracks

Juvenile Fiction by David Galef, Illustrated by Tedd Arnold

William Morrow & Co. ($16.00, ISBN: 0688133436)

Publication date: March 1996

Description from Kirkus Reviews (1 February 1996)

When Albert, who is supervising the laying of new railroad track, drops his glasses, things get a little blurry. He has no time to go home for his spare pair. His hard-working crew puts down track through Sally’s Pond, around cows that look like boulders, through a barn, and over some pine tree “mountains.” Fortunately for Albert, the Mayor loves the wacky ride on the train’s inaugural run, and all’s well that ends well. This starts with a funny premise, but because readers see, every step of the way, the truth behind Albert’s mistakes, the second trip over the track (with the mayor) is a letdown. Arnold uses a looser style than usual, but the broad humor of the illustrations can't carry the piece. (Picture book. 4+) —Copyright © 1996, Kirkus Associates, LP.

Undaunted Courage Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West

Nonfiction by Stephen E. Ambrose

Simon & Schuster (Hardcover, $30.00, ISBN: 0684811073)

Publication date: March 1996

Description from Booklist (1 January 1996):

For decades, biographer Ambrose had nursed an ambition to chronicle the “Corps of Discovery,” as Lewis and Clark styled their ventures. Hitherto detained by opuses on Ike, Nixon, and D-Day, Ambrose here loosens the reins to his admiration of the duo’s fearlessness and skill in braving the unknown, an exploration of which had sunk into obscurity in the 1800s but has since ascended to iconic status in American history. Framed as a biography of Lewis, this work relies heavily on both Lewis’ and Clark’s famed journals, backed up by the author’s personal travels along the Missouri River route from St. Louis to the Pacific. A stimulating tour guide, Ambrose paces the mundane so well with the unusual that readers will be entranced. Not content as a mere recorder of deeds, Ambrose often pauses to assess the military leadership of the explorers, how they negotiated with the Mandan, Sioux, or Nez Perce, and what they reported to Jefferson. Ambrose’s epic, a combination of rhapsody and reality, feels like a final glimpse at a pristine Eden before the crowd of trappers and settlers altered it forever. The book clubs are also agog over this, so prepare for many requests. —Gilbert Taylor. Copyright © 1996, American Library Association. All rights reserved.

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