Similar to Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, The Way Back to You by Michelle Andreani and Mindi Scott uses a road trip as a metaphor for the journey survivors take as they learn how to cope with death and loss. After sixteen-year-old Ashlyn Montiel dies in a freakish bicycle accident in Bend, Oregon, her boyfriend—Kyle Ocie, a baseball player who doesn’t believe in the afterlife—and her best friend—sassy, smart, cheerleader Claudia Marlowe—have difficulty overcoming the shock of having Ashlyn ripped from their lives.  Realizing they will never be with her again not only affects how the two live; the idea of going on withoutRead More →

At the end of her sophomore year, Summer Everett will travel to France to visit her father, a famous but somewhat flaky artist.  She will be spending her sixteenth birthday away from all that is familiar in Hudsonville, New York, where her mom is a philosophy professor.  In Provence, she anticipates a summer of possibility, inundated with wild surprises, maybe even her first kiss.  But without the abundant confidence and curvy figure of her BFF, Ruby Singh, Summer is plagued with uncertainty.  In fact, Summer’s favorite question is what if: What if I answer my cell phone before I board the plane for France? OrRead More →

Readers of historical, regional fiction—like Faith, Hope, and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Child of the Mountains by Marilyn Sue Shank, and A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck—are liable to enjoy True Colors by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock. Rich with childhood pleasures like popsicles, swimming holes, and cotton candy but also replete with childhood fears like divorce, abandonment, and acceptance, Kinsey-Warnock’s book features Blue Sky, a ten year old girl living on a dairy farm near Shadow Lake, Vermont in 1952.  Blue, who at two days old was “found stuffed into the copper kettle Hannah Spooner grew her marigolds in” (1), longs to learn herRead More →