Feeling small, alone, and unloved, Ellis Truman has been abandoned by her parents. With a father addicted to drugs and an alcoholic mother who is mostly absent, Ellis is often home alone. She grows up embarrassed of her house, her parents, and who she is. She grows up in a world of in-between, unsettled, angry, and unsure of where she belongs. Then, Sandry Albrey, who grew up in Indiana with Ellis’ father, offers Ellis a home.  Sandry knows Tru’s shortcomings as well as the depth of his love. It is from her that Ellis will also learn the true meaning of love. Although Sandry welcomesRead More →

Having been raised by her grandparents, Maria (Ri) Fernández has a lot of questions: Why did her mother abandon her? Why is Grandma so cold to their Mexican American neighbors? Why doesn’t the family speak Spanish? Why is Grandma keeping secrets? Wishing to “be enough” in Grandma’s eyes and yearning to study journalism and become a writer—not the doctor or engineer that Grandma wants—Ri feels like an outsider in her own life.  She is tired of everyone else telling her what’s best for her without regard for what she wants. Estranged from her Mexican identity—mostly due to her grandmother’s insistence about the sacrifices she hasRead More →

Sometimes a story can take us to a place of understanding and awareness.  Cultural identity literature at its best, The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller transports readers to a place so familiar we wonder whether we haven’t been here before, where we know the people and can relate to their challenges, where we share their hunger for fulfillment, their starvation for affection, attention, and validation, and their hunger for justice. This book will appeal to readers who enjoyed Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron or Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson.  Although it is a book for all readers,Read More →

Despite his warm, friendly, and generous nature, junior Lawrence Barry is on the verge of expulsion for his actions at a diversity assembly at Meridian High School while stoned.  Because his father is a powerful attorney of the law firm Barry, Yu and Singh and because his counsellor Mr. Lunley believes Lawrence has potential and simply needs to channel his energies in more positive directions, the expulsion hearing is thwarted.   However, with his dad’s threat of Langdon Military Academy hanging over his head, with Mr. Lunley’s having recruited him for the Buddy Club, and with Principal Stone scrutinizing his every action, Lawrence has to reformRead More →