Liza Bernard has had many careers including weaver, cookbook writer, art show director, graphic designer, and bookseller. All of these taught her the different skills needed to do the many things necessary to keep the Norwich Bookstore afloat. She lives in Pomfret with husband Brian and daughter Rachel (when she is home from college), who was known as the "bookstore baby" because she spent a lot of time here when both the bookstore and she were under a year old!
Nick, the 12-year-old protagonist, is faced with his parent's divorce, his best friend being on
the opposing soccer team, a first crush, and middle school bullies. Told in verse with humor and grace, this novel grabs readers right at the kickoff and scores some great vocabulary words along the way.
Like many whose life seems to changing rapidly or out of control, 10-year-old Raymie thinks she can set things right if she can win a beauty & talent contest: her father would return home, her mother would be happy... In reality, she gains control of how she can cope with life events through unlikely friendships and daring adventures.
The most important person in 7-year-old Elsa's life is her grandmother who tells her fantastical stories to help explain the world. When her grandmother dies, she is tasked with delivering a series of letters to occupants of the apartment building. This leads to revelations about the characters in the stories she has heard, and about the people who surround and love her. A magical story of interwoven lives.
An Austrian child who was born in 1933 to a Jewish woman who converted to Christianity and her husband, a Lutheran clergyman, narrates this historical novel. From his young perspective, we learn of the coming war and the society that both enabled and fought it. We watch his family dynamics and the role his various siblings play in the conflict and experience his evolving perspectives on history.
An addictive read about obsessions and the lengths some will go to bend reality to their wish for the truth. Told from four points of view, this fast-paced novel delves into the murky areas of online contact from Facebook to porn and the horrible fact of child abduction.
A disturbing history of how we deal with "others" in our midst, and how we have alternately ignored, judged, tried to "fix," and accept ‘differences’ now labeled autistic. We played the blame game (frigid mothers!) and the power game (my theory is better than yours). In the process, we hurt many innocent children and we helped many others... We all know someone on the spectrum; this book helps us understand how much we don't know!
"Did war make us evil or just activate an evil already lurking within us?" muses one of the four young adults Sepetys portrays in this powerful novel. Fleeing from Poland, Prussia, and Lithuania at the end of WWII, carrying guilt and secrets and fear, three meet up on the road and band together with a few others to try to survive the journey to the sea. The fourth is a German soldier they encounter when they reach the doomed evacuation ship. The short chapters and the story's tension propel the reader through the characters’ varied back stories and shed light on the connections and caring that managed to survive the horror of war.
Technology and witchcraft, the end of the society, time warps -- sounds crazy! Yet this is an engaging novel of two young people helping each other fit in, going separate ways for years, and then finding each other again as the world descends into chaos. Will these two different, gifted, and human be able to figure out their place in the scheme of things?
Diane Rehm writes honestly about the decline and death of husband of over half a century. She does not sugarcoat their marriage, nor does she spare herself as she describes making tough decisions about his care as Parkinson's steals his abilities. She also ponders the next phase of life now that she is on her own: home, family, career, retirement, and priorities. An important book about the end of a life, and those who are affected.
A gripping reimagining of WWII. Young women enlist or are drafted to fight alongside the young men and face the same challenges plus discrimination from those who think they should not be there. As in the '40s, the troops are also segregated by race. From the perspective of three diverse women, this gritty novel explores the complex issues of battle and group dynamics -- for males and females alike -- in a wholly believable way. The first book of a series, so we will be able to follow these engaging heroines.
Special powers, high adventure, good guys doing bad things, bad guys doing good things... They are not Heroes, they are Zeroes, and until a falling out a year ago, they had been honing their special skills. After a series of bad coincidences, the must join forces again to put things right. Westerfeld hooked me in the first chapter and I could not put this book down!
It's 1969 and 12-year-old Mimi has just moved to Vermont from California. She is a shy but strong girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut, who is interested in woodwork at a time when shop class was open only to boys, and wants to be accepted for herself, not seen as odd because her father is African-American and her mother Japanese. Written in verse, this is the story of family, friendship, and self-discovery that sheds a gentle light on the intentional and unintentional bigotry in our culture.
Powerfully told in the first person, this is the story of grief and healing, friendship and remorse. The Worst Thing might be learning that your best friend drowned, or is it the worst because you had a major disagreement, or that you are growing up and apart. Middle school is bewildering for Suzy, but she finds her way in unique and unexpected ways.
This fast-paced novel explores human strengths and shortcomings in two alternating storylines. A hospice nurse learns about healing from her patient, while he, an aging professor, learns about living from her. The other story is his last manuscript about a Japanese bomber in WWII that he asks the nurse to read aloud. Meanwhile, she applies the lessons learned to helping her husband, newly returned from a third tour of Iraq and suffering with PTSD, reenter civilian life and rebuild their relationship. Lots of important content...
Coates writes about fear and it's corrosive effects on our culture from a very personal perspective. He persuades us that we need a new way of understanding American history, a new story, and new names for ourselves and others in order for humanity to survive and thrive.
Between the World and Me is urgently needed! It should be required reading for everyone in America: high schools and colleges; church groups and businesses; and especially all law enforcement and justice department personnel.
This is a book I wish had not needed to be written... and I am grateful to Coates for the courage to share his views.
Don't be put off by the size of this book -- it is a collection of stories that you can dip into as time allows. Some of the shorter ones will blow your socks off! A few of the longer stories, I returned to the beginning as soon as I finished them to enjoy the masterful storytelling again. O'Brien's use of language with the Irish turn of a phrase, her surprising plot twists, and the unique yet universal characters she introduces create small universes in which readers may immerse themselves for a short while.
Set in 1963 Cuba, our narrator is an 82-year-old woman looking back on her life and the revolution. It is a novel about aging, regrets, and the power of stories. The teller and the listeners are all transformed by the haunting tales of family and love, war and loss woven into the story.
A 10-year-old southern California girl travels to Vietnam with her grandmother to find closure about her grandfather and the war. Contemporary issues, cultural differences, and history are explored. At it's heart, this is a story of family ties and the importance of true friends.
Histories within stories within drawings... Selznick's portrait of the theatre and the lure of the sea offer the structure and movement to this magically complex novel presented partly in prose and partly in full page detailed illustration. But the "true" story in this exceptional book is about connections with family and and friends; and the power of love and trust and understanding.
Craving company during the long nights, an older widow invites a neighboring widower to help her alleviate their loneliness by sharing her bed, as friends, nothing more. They fend off gossipy townsfolk, and their unique and tender relationship is deepened by the extended stay of a grandson. Challenges are mounted by extended family and heart wrenching decisions must be made.
A long time fan of Haruf's writing, I am only disappointed that this poignant and eloquent novel is his last.
A haunting and beautiful portrait of a bright, artistic fifteen-year-old boy and his experience with schizophrenia. Magically fantastical and hauntingly realistic scenes carry the reader into this scary and all-to-common other world. Based on his son's story, Shusterman gives voice to amazing internal and external dialogues. Reading this novel helped me form a deeper understanding of this condition that affects many.
The confusing time for tweens portrayed in graphic format... Friends, interests, and parents are all points of contention for twelve-year-old Astrid. She is intrigued after watching a Roller Derby, and learns to skate, makes the team, and figures out that the world is not black and white. Jamieson has a gift for portraying emotions, action, and information in this tightly-paced story.
A quirky novel that takes on important issues in the guise of the work-a-day world of a London bus driver. The relationship between drivers and management, the problem of showing up early, and conflicting ideas on how to improve the system, especially for those who do not believe the "only true path is the maintenance of headway." Dryly witty and thought provoking.
Being 13 is hard! Having his dad die was devastating and then seeing his dad's favorite hat on "Junk Man" tipped Owen over the edge. But there are consequences to throwing bricks at people, and in the process of serving his unconventional probation, Owen finds not only redemption, but friends, and a new way of looking at the world.
Set in upstate NY just after the Civil War, a small community struggles with trust, faith, and love in the aftermath of sudden killings. Who is to be believed, who is ultimately responsible? Jeffrey Lent recreates the time and place in such fine detail that the reader is present: can feel the dust and grit, struggles with the conflicting desires. His best yet!
Curiosity, adventure, calamity and then more curiosity... See the world from a cat's point of view!