Cecilia Galante’s Patron Saint of Butterflies  follows the story of two young girls, Agnes and Honey, as they realize that the religious commune that they’ve spent their entire lives on is not like the rest of the world–and when all is not as it seems on the commune with its charismatic leader, the changes are for the better. Told in alternating narratives between the two girls, Galante weaves the two (very different) perspectives into an inspirational tale about friendship, faith, healing, and family.  The book, while it contains some heavier themes, handles delicate situations and broaches some serious topics with grace. The two-perspective approach allowsRead More →

The wait was long; the wait was painful; but today the mystery was solved!  In Ghost in the Machine, Patrick Carman concludes his highly suspenseful, fast-paced, and tech-savvy thriller duo that started in last year’s Skeleton Creek.  When we left high school best friends Ryan and Sarah at the nail-biting end of Skeleton Creek, they were trapped in the defunct,  surface-mining gold dredge outside their tiny, isolated home town.  Forbidden to have contact with each other, yet bent on solving the sinister mysteries surrounding the dredge’s death-laden past, Ryan and Sarah snuck into the dredge late at night to find a secret room when they wereRead More →

Who: Liza Ketchum, Author.  12-year-old Amelia Forrester, spunky, smart and adventurous protagonist – a true newshound.  Amelia’s mother, Sophie, and her best friend, Estelle – enterprising women seeking new opportunities and freedoms.  A variety of authentic, interesting charaters all working to find their fortunes. Where & When: A richly detailed San Francisco (also known as Phoenix City), Spring & Summer 1851 What:  Newsgirl, a vivid, entertaining and enjoyable novel for middle grade readers that captures both the essence and the excitement of the California gold rush.  When they arrive in San Francisco after the months-long sea crossing through Panama from Boston, Amelia, her mother and Estelle areRead More →

From Publisher’s Weekly:  Five backlist novels and two new titles are featured in Point of View, a fall marketing initiative from Penguin Young Readers Group. The campaign, which focuses on literary books with strong, somewhat challenging themes, entails consumer and trade components and aims to connect readers who embraced such novels as Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson to new books with a similar appeal. Joy Peskin, executive editor at Viking, who edited Wintergirls and After, views the campaign as “a great opportunity to give attention to important books by our newer authors, by tying them into more establishedRead More →

Dealing with the aftermath of an accidental shooting, Donny Bailey Seagraves’  Gone From These Woods is a meditation on grief, anger and loss.  11-year-old Daniel has a troubled relationship with his alcoholic father so he finds companionship and a father-figure in his fun-loving uncle Clay.  When Clay gives Daniel his grandfather’s .410 rifle and proposes rabbit hunting, Daniel has mixed feelings: he wants to spend time with Clay but he has a secret aversion to hunting and killing.  With a rabbit in his sights, Daniel is unable to take his shot; but in the moment after the rabbit runs, Daniel’s life is shattered when Uncle Clay goes down.Read More →

If B.B.W. weren’t the toughest, fiercest wolf on the block, he’d be a pirate sailing the 7 seas, living a life of fun, adventure and causing trouble!  Which is why his pick this week for a fun book & puppet combo is Margaret Mahy’s The Horrendous Hullabaloo and the Scarlett Macaw puppet.  When Peregrine the Pirate isn’t out at sea, he loves to attend pirate parties and he has fun, fun, fun! The Three P’s like this story too since Peregrine’s Aunt and his parrot, who aren’t invited to the pirate parties, decide to have a party of their own. When all the parrot’s friendsRead More →

At the start of their junior year at Georgia O’Keefe School for the Arts (aka Fashion High), Chloe, Mackenzie, Isabel and Erika are best friends. But over the couse of the year their friendship is seriously tested as each girl faces a variety of personal challenges and has to make hard choices about who she is, what she wants, and what’s important to her.    The story is told through Chloe’s illustrated journal as she looks back over a year that has altered the rules of their friendships and their social standing at school. Trying to make sense of everything that’s happened, the story chronicles the trust,Read More →

“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!” – Oh, The Places You’ll Go! Dr. Seuss’s Oh, The Places You’ll Go! 2010 College Scholarship Program for high school seniors. Essay Question:  Dr. Seuss’s Oh, The Places You’ll Go! delivers an important message about the chances and the troubles that life presents.  Thinking about the book, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, what kinds of opportunities and challenges do you think your education will present in the future? 1st Place Winner will receive $5,000 to put towards a college of their choice. Applicants must be 12th grade high school students graduatingRead More →

Andromeda Kleinis a misfit.  Stringy hair, boy body, oily skin, brittle bones and faulty hearing are just the start. Socially awkward, shy, sarcastic, and uncomfortable in crowds, Andromeda Klein finds solice in the intricacies and minutiae of Renaissance magic, occultism and Tarot and the quiet halls of her deserted local library branch (“the International House of Bookcakes”).  She has no real friends at school and is the subject of frequent teasing and bullying, no boyfriend to speak of and little hope of attracting one, and a dad who is bi-polar and a mom obsessed with online role play.  Andromeda Klein’s only real friend and partnerRead More →