Finn O’Sullivan has always been a little strange. The people of Bone Gap call him Moonface and Sidetrack for his dreamy ways, but until recently, no oFinn O’Sullivan has always been a little strange. The people of Bone Gap call him Moonface and Sidetrack for his dreamy ways, but until recently, no one minded Finn’s oddness. Now, though, Roza is gone and it’s Finn’s fault. Roza, who blew into Finn and his brother Sean’s life unexpectedly, and who all of Bone Gap fell in love with. Finn swears that Roza was kidnapped, but he can’t describe what the kidnapper looks like, and Bone Gap residents are beginning to suspect that Finn’s not to be trusted.
Ruby blends elements of small town coming-of-age stories with a heavy dose of magical realism. The fantastical elements are occasionally heavy-handed (a mysterious black horse is named Night, thus: Night Mare), but the characters are unique and memorable, from hard, sad Sean to the boys’ wizened neighbor Charlie Valentine. Likewise, the town of Bone Gap jumps off the page. Themes of beauty, sight, love and family are woven throughout.
A meditative exploration of what it means to see and be seen by those we love recommended for fans of Maggie Steifvater and Nova Ren Sum....more
This book, due in Feb. 2015, has already been optioned for a movie, and more than anything else, it feels cinematic: striking settings, lots of actionThis book, due in Feb. 2015, has already been optioned for a movie, and more than anything else, it feels cinematic: striking settings, lots of action sequences, flimsy character development and "plot-driven" but with a slightly incomprehensible plot. Unfortunately, as a book, it doesn't quite work. The best part is the world building, especially the settings - a Scottish estate, futuristic Hong Kong, an airship that circles over London. The logic of the science/magic and the history are intriguing but not well-fleshed out. The characterization is based on what the author tells you about the characters, rather than anything they say or do. It's also the first in a series, and it basically reads like 400 pages of build-up for the next book.
An additional purchase if you have kids who are hungry for sci-fi/fantasy series (this has sort of a futuristic magic feel). Otherwise, wait to see if the movie gets made and buy it then....more
In this graphic memoir, Telgemeier recounts her early relationship with her sister Amara through a series of anecdotal flashbacks, framed by a summerIn this graphic memoir, Telgemeier recounts her early relationship with her sister Amara through a series of anecdotal flashbacks, framed by a summer road trip to a family reunion. Telgemeier's trademark style is here with its vivid colors, here dimmed to indicate the flashback sections, and expressive faces. There's a scene where she tells Raina tells cousins she likes comics, citing "Foxtrot" as an example, and the resemblance between Sisters and the long-running strip is clear, once you're looking for it, in both the visual style and the content of the book.
Telgemeier's real strength is hitting the sweet spot between true middle-grade and true YA by capturing the turmoil of early adolescence without the seriousness or older content of much YA. That's not to say Sisters doesn't tackle serious issues: Raina's parents marriage is slowly falling apart, and the family's outgrown their tiny apartment but can't afford a bigger place. Still, Raina's about 14 during the summer road trip, and she's mostly concerned with having enough batteries to keep her Walkman playing. The family reunion perfectly captures the in-between-ness that lots of middle schoolers feel: Raina's older cousins make fun of her for sleeping with a stuffed animal and aren't interested in roller skating anymore; the younger ones are rowdy and wild. Although they spend most of the book fighting, in the end, Raina and Amara find they can rely on each other when they can't count on anything else.
It’s the summer of 1964, and Mississippi is filling with young volunteers from all over the country, here for a Freedom Summer during which they’ll seIt’s the summer of 1964, and Mississippi is filling with young volunteers from all over the country, here for a Freedom Summer during which they’ll set up schools and community centers in black communities and encourage African-Americans to register to vote. Sunny, a white girl about to turn thirteen, is barely aware of the changes going on around her. She’s content to listen to the Beatles’ new record, go to the pool in the afternoons, and spend her evenings at the movie theater, where her uncle Parnell always lets her in for free. Raymond, a black boy, isn’t so lucky. There’s a Freedom Rider named Jo Ellen staying at his house, and his mother wants to register to vote, regardless of the consequences. Intertwined with Sunny and Ray’s stories are historical documents - photographs, newspaper clippings, leaflets, song lyrics - as well as short essays by the author that provided background information and evoke the summer’s uneasy mood. Revolution is a beautifully crafted and beautifully written book that provides a complex look at the summer of 1964. Highly recommended for grades 5-8. ...more
Dream Thieves is my favorite so far, but they're all SO GOOD.
Blue Lily, Lily Blue picks up where The Dream Thieives wrapped up: Blue’s mother Maura isDream Thieves is my favorite so far, but they're all SO GOOD.
Blue Lily, Lily Blue picks up where The Dream Thieives wrapped up: Blue’s mother Maura is missing, and Blue, her Raven Boy friends and the psychic women of 300 Fox Way are determined to find her. Meanwhile, the search for the buried Welsh king Glendower continues and the threat of the mysterious Greenmantle settles much closer to home. As in the first two books in the series, Stiefvater’s writing is lush and gorgeous. The characters are unique and memorable, the dialogue sharp, the world-building unforgettable. Blue Lily, Lily Blue is clearly a middle book that sets up the action for the series finale (expected in 2015), and readers will want to have read the first two. Still, this is one of the finest series in young adult literature today....more