An absolutely charming middle grade realistic fiction that hopefully gets some Newbery love in January. When Lucy was 8 years-old the metal fence that she was climbing on was struck by lightning and the jolt has left her with some OCD mannerisms but also with a very strongly developed sense of numbers and math. After the accident Lucy’s primary caregiver, her grandmother, home-schooled her for some time but at the beginning of the story she is determined to send her to middle school for some time with her peers. Lucy’s compulsions don’t go over very well with most of the other 7th graders but a couple of people are able to see past them. This is a story with a lot of heart about friendship, trust, family, the beauty of numbers and one very sweet shelter dog whose narrative caused some (slightly) tear-stained pages in this library book.
Short and precious and so well-made down to the sepia-toned illustrations inside and the tiny golden stars on the book cover. When ten-year-old Livy returns to Australia to see her grandmother after a gap of five years, everyone is disappointed by how little she remembers from her previous visit. She is frustrated too especially as she has the sense that something very important has been left undone from her past. This all changes when she opens her closet door and is reunited with Bob, a special friend and mysterious creature who has been waiting all of these years for her return. The sense of the beauty, power and mystery of memory makes this tiny fantasy a real treat.
Five years ago Brynn and Mia’s friend Summer was found dead in the woods with multiple stab wounds. In a whirlwind trial they quickly become the prime suspects though the case was thrown out of court without a verdict. When Brynn is sent home from rehab, her path crosses Mia’s again and they slowly begin to puzzle through some of the lingering mysteries around Summer’s death and the fairy tale world that tied them together.
You can find this book and similar ones in our very popular THRILLERS section. Ask any library staff member to point the way.
Chains is the first book in Laurie Halse Anderson’s “Seeds of America” series though it works quite well as a stand-alone read too. The story begins in New England in the late 1700s when slavery was still legal through all of the English colonies though it was losing favor. Isabel and her little sister have been promised their freedom by their owner but after her death her nephew quickly disposes of the paperwork and sells them to a husband and wife who live in New York city and who are loyal to the English king. Isabel is a very industrious and clever character but for the most part she is trapped by societal rules for African Americans. Still one path of resistance presents itself – she can become a spy for the American revolutionaries. Isabel’s life makes an excellent lens to explore both slavery and the early years on the American revolution.
We look forward to hosting Laurie Halse Anderson at our school December 2019. She has written many excellent books for teens as well as this Middle Grade historical series.
Bringing Up the Bodies is part two of Hilary Mantel’s study of the life of Sir Thomas Cromwell, a key political and financial advisor to Henry VIII. Part I, Wolf Hall, won the Booker prize for literature and this one actually did too. If you are looking for a well-written and insightful look into the life of the great king and his wives – and of a commoner who rose to amazing heights then this is your writer. Both books are in the secondary Historical Fiction section.
Space Boy was a light and friendly look forward into a future with mining colonies set up in the far corners of the universe and cryogenic freezing as means of long-distance travel. When Amy’s father loses his mining job the whole family is given tickets back to Earth but they will arrive there 30 years in the future. Amy’s adjustment to her new home and the vision that we get of futuristic earth is wonderful and quirky and fresh. This is a creative and quick graphic novel to grab when you’re looking SciFi escape.
My favorite part of this book was undoubtedly chapter 4 when David Grann gives the reader some back story about the forced movement of Osage to a sector of Oklahoma that had hidden riches under the hills. The Thomas Jefferson quote! The Osage representative in the red blanket! Wow. The true crime tale from the 20s which centered around Mollie Burkhart’s family were fascinating too as was the development of the FBI.
Look for this book and similar titles in the nonfiction section around call number 976 (American History)
Behold the Dreamers presents us with a wonderful troupe of characters either striving to attain, or else striving to maintain, their American dreams and the whole book is a beauty of contrasts featuring complex decisions. Cameroonian immigrants Jende and Neni are delighted when an opportunity opens for Jende to become a full time driver for Lehman Brothers Associate Clark Edwards and his family. With this steady income and Neni’s student visa which allows her to take community college classes, both spouses are exactly in the position that they want to be in to support their families, their own interests and to provide a good life for their son Liomi. Then the subprime housing bubble bursts and reality descends in both expected and unexpected ways. There were so many things I loved about this book but at the forefront were the strong Cameroonian values that Jende and Neni maintain throughout all of their ups and downs in America.
This was a fascinating historical fiction novel created by seven top YA authors. The 6 queens (divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived) of Henry the VIII all come to life beautifully in this wonderful account. Each story unfolds from the moment of impending doom as the queen realizes that it is all over for her in Henry’s eyes. The different voices of each writer accentuate the varied personalities of each of these unique women. Interspersed between the histories presented by the queens are Henry’s masterful rebuttals written by M. T. Anderson. Fantastic and so readable for teens! Our recent visiting author Candace Fleming is responsible for this project. She and Eric Rohmann were terrific guests. Thank you PTO for sponsoring!
For all of those young readers who want a tear-jerker, this book has all the feels. Scarlet is a thirteen year old with the weight of her whole family on her shoulders. Her mom is slowly drifting further away into her own world while Scarlet keeps herself occupied as the primary care-giver for her younger brother with asperger’s syndrome. Scarlet is completely devoted to her brother Red and their relationship is the heart of the book. When a fire in the apartment threatens to separate the whole family into medical and foster situations the reader feels the anguish of young Scarlet as she tries to keep everyone together.