Shadow Baby is a beautifully told, somewhat meandering story of a young teen coming to grips with the loss and grief that surrounds her. Clara has a wonderfully-developed, distinctive narrative voice that brims with personality.
A brief digression to reference an article from the New York Times, The Stories That Bind Us.
One of the things that draws me to young adult books is their handling of serious issues. When I saw this title dealing with both depression/suicide and the search for roots and answers to family secrets, I was intrigued. The Astonishing Color of After handled both beautifully. Leigh's search for answers and connection to the Taiwanese grandparents she never knew after her mother's death is a painful one that reaches no easy answers but still ends with hope and an implied sense that healing can finally begin.
"We're all performing our bruises"
In Ponyboy’s world, there are only 2 kinds of people: greasers and socs. A soc has money, power, and privilege, and can get away with practically anything. But a greaser always lives on the outside, and needs to watch his back if he doesn’t want to get beat up by a group of socs. Ponyboy is a greaser, and has always been proud of it, and fights against gangs of socs to help his fellow greasers. But one terrible night, his friend Johnny accidentally kills a soc in self defense, and their ensuing escape causes his entire world view to change and learns that pain feels the same whether you...
Janner, Igiby, Tank, and their disabled sister Leeli are gifted children living in a cottage above the Dark Sea of Darkness. But even with their gifts and the help of their mother and former pirate grandfather, they still struggle to survive as the evil Fangs of Dang pursue them and take over the land by killing anyone who stands in their way. For these children are not only special, but the Fangs believe they hold the secret to finding the legendary jewels of the former king.
This book drew me in with the humor and creativity of names and phrases and situations. Some of it was the...
Hurricane Harvey in the news raises the relevance of this novel to a category five. The fact that we're bringing Julie Murphy--one of the best contemporary realistic fiction authors in the country--to town for a Meet the Author visit means you must put this book on your radar. I listened to the audio version. It's fantastic. The narrator is a perfect fit for Ramona's voice.
"If you must blink, do it now. Pay careful attention to everything you see and hear, no matter how unusual it may seem. And please be warned, if you fidget, if you look away, if you forget any part of what I tell you, even for an instant, then our hero will surely perish."
Thus begins the saga of Kubo.
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel is a powerful story about a mother and father faced with making a life-altering decision concerning their youngest child: how do they support their son, Claude, as Claude transitions to become their daughter Poppy?
Mia, "Rabbit", Hayes is a fighter and the very heart of her adoring family. But so is the cancer slowly taking over her body. Rabbit, however, refuses to acknowledge that her diagnosis has just rapidly plummeted or share the news with her 12 year old daughter, Juliet. Neither of them is ready to say goodbye. Rabbit's family is amazing, particularly her strong tough Irish "Mammy" Molly, who fights like a tiger for her daughter's life. Rabbit's father, Jack, and her siblings, Grace and Davey, are believably drawn characters.
This is the first in a six book series, totaling some 3,000 pages, about a quiet man from Norway reflecting on parts of his life. It is boring and breathtaking at the same time. The author ruminates on the death of his father and his own mortality as he shuffles through memories of his childhood and then the more recent past. Day-to-day events such as making breakfast, working at a computer, and making phone calls take center stage. We all do things like this every day and then forget about them. Somehow, Karl Ove Knausgaard makes them memorable.