Wednesday, August 30, 2017
She's determined to real living friends and not just books, but she gets off to a rough start. After a couple of missteps, she meets Carolyn who is interested in learning about Iran, a loyal friend, and a fellow bookworm.
Things are looking up until political unrest in Iran eventually leads to the Iranian militants taking a group of Americans hostage. Suddenly it seems like all of America is against Cindy and her family.
Despite the anti-Iranian sentiment in America, California feels like home, but Cindy also really misses her family in Iran. With the new regime in power, many freedoms have been stripped from women in particular. This is not the Iran she loves. Lucky for her, Cindy finally has some real friends who will stand by her.
Firoozeh Dumas's newest book is a semi-autobiographical look at life in the late 1970's. This book is honest, heartfelt, and full of humor. It's great to read a story with such loyal friends and then to discover they are real people. Highly recommended!
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
The following day, they decide to go back to the National Gallery to see if anything jogs his memory. He doesn't remember anything personal, but he does discover he is some kind of art expert with knowledge far beyond your average twelve-year-old.
While they are investigating his identity at the museum, Art and Camille soon realize they have become targets of kidnappers. They still aren't sure why, but they know they need to escape. Are the police in on the plot? Who is behind the kidnapping? Does it have anything to do with Art's amnesia?
Now they are in a race across Washington, D.C. to uncover the truth before their enemies stop them for good.
Meanwhile, the National Gallery is in the process of purchasing a long lost Van Gogh painting. Could this have anything to do with the people who are after Art and Camille?
This new mystery by Deron Hicks is a fast paced adventure with QR codes to link the reader to images to the works of art discussed in the story. This book is sure to please mystery and art fans alike!
One night after a concert in the park, Cool Papa falls asleep and never wakes up. Clayton is devastated. His main father figure and best friend is gone.
His mother has resented her father for most of her life. If he wasn't gone serving in the military, he was on the road playing the blues. She barely tolerated him while he was alive, and now that he's gone, she wants to get rid of all traces he ever lived with them.
Clayton is so overwhelmed with anger and frustration he decides to run away. Over the course of a day, he journeys through the city alone facing dangers and coming to terms with his feelings.
Rita Williams-Garcia's new novel is an honest exploration of grief and family relationships. Recommended.
Thursday, August 24, 2017
Through trickery and business acumen, Mercy manages to secure a trial spot at St. Clair's, the most prestigious girls' school in San Francisco. She is totally out of her element amidst her wealthy white peers, but she is determined to be successful.
Then, a devastating earthquake strikes on April 18 leveling most of the city in a single blow. Mercy and her classmates end up living in a tent encampment in the park with other survivors. Everyone has lost something, and some people have had lost the people they loved most.
Author Stacey Lee shares the story of the San Francisco earthquake from a different perspective giving the reader window into the terrible disaster with a dose of realism when it comes to the racism and division that was common at that time. Mercy is a strong character with a powerful spirit. Highly recommended!
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
In 1982, Mary is one of a handful of girls in foster care living in Thornhill. The other girls seem to get along fairly well probably because they follow the whims of the resident bully. Mary is the outcast. Her shy and quiet ways coupled with her puppet making hobby make her the main target for physical and psychological bullying.
The two girls are connected by loneliness, living more than 30 years apart.
Amy Smy's book is told in two different time periods and formats. Ella's story is told almost exclusively in illustrations-the only text coming from documents in the illustrations, and Mary's story is told through journal entries. This book is an interesting mix of moods and emotions. Mary's experiences in Thornhill are profoundly sad and, unfortunately, may mirror those of other children who fall through the cracks. But this book is also a creepy ghost story that will leave readers with just the right amount of uneasiness.
Monday, August 21, 2017
Me when I found out this was a sequel to Girl Stolen:
Cheyenne survived a harrowing ordeal when she was kidnapped, and now her father and stepmother are more protective than ever. She has her own live-in bodyguard and self-defense instructor, Jaydra, who goes pretty much everywhere with Cheyenne and takes every opportunity to test her self-defense skills.
Griffin is testifying against his father in the trial which doesn't sit too well with Roy and his half-brother Dwayne. Griffin has been living with his mother's sister since the kidnapping, but it hasn't exactly been a perfect life. He is still struggling in school because of his dyslexia, and his anxiety over the upcoming trial doesn't help. He wants to talk to Cheyenne. He misses her so much, but he wants to honor her wishes.
When Cheyenne told Griffin they couldn't be in contact, she thought it was for the best, but now she regrets that decision. When he contacts her on Facebook, she is thrilled.
Meanwhile, Roy knows that if Griffin testifies, he will lose. He and Dwayne devise a plot to get Griffin and Cheyenne out of the picture, maybe permanently.
Cheyenne is an even stronger character in this book with her newly acquired martial arts skills and some cool tech designed to aid the blind, and April Henry fans will race through this sequel to discover her fate. Recommended!
Thursday, August 17, 2017
The flawed are untouchable; it's against the rules to help a flawed person. But one day Celestine is on the bus with her friends when she sees a situation she can't ignore. There are two unflawed women sitting in the flawed seats ignoring a flawed man who is obviously in distress.
Celestine knows she shouldn't get involved, but something compels her to step forward. That decision changes the course of her life. Will she be imprisoned, flawed, branded?
Now Celestine is re-examining her perfect life and the perfect society in which she lives.
Cecelia Ahern's series starter begins like a generic dystopia, and Celestine's change of heart is a little abrupt. I wasn't sure this one was going to do anything for me in the beginning, but once I got past the setup chapters, I really got engaged in the story and questions of morality and integrity. Recommended for 8th grade and up for some language and scenes of violence.
Thursday, August 3, 2017
Queen Levana's genetically modified wolf soldiers have gone rogue without her controlling influence, and someone has to bring them in. Enter Iko, unsung hero of the revolution and loyal friend.
Iko's success rate is high, but there are always a few soldiers who escape. They are unified under a charismatic leader, and they have a common enemy, Iko's best friend.
I am a huge fan of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles, but I was concerned about the graphic novel continuation of the story wouldn't live up to the originals. I am pleased to say I was wrong. I absolutely loved volume one of this planned series. Iko is a classy and sassy hero, and the android protagonist allows the author to explore new ideas about humanity and equality. Highly recommended!