A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson is a fascinating book about two sisters: Myra, a seventeen-year-old painter with dreams of securing a full-ride scholarship to the Conservatory for Music and the Arts; and Lucy, a thirteen-year-old aspiring biologist who hopes to improve the environment, save endangered animals, and change the world with her discoveries. With the sudden disappearance of both their mother and father, Myra’s whole world unravels. Abandoned and without resources, the two Whitlock girls can scarcely afford food and rent, let alone the medical care Lucy needs as her illness worsens. A prisoner of guilt and loneliness, Myra doesn’t know howRead More →

While reading Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan, I was immediately struck by the rich detail with which protagonist Willow Chance describes the world as seen through her 12 year old eyes. Willow, a genius who attends Sequoia Middle School in Bakersfield,California, goes to the mall not to buy things but to collect field notes and make diagnostic flash cards on skin disorders.  Besides medical conditions, Willow is obsessed with the number seven, plants, and order.  Rather than engage in small talk, Willow prefers “talk of theories and concepts mixed with facts and known quantities” (89).  Her favorite color is red. These interests and abilitiesRead More →