Review: Elsie Mae Has Something to Say by Nancy Cavanaugh

Elsie May Has Something to Say by Nancy CavanaughElsie Mae Has Something to Say
Nancy Cavanaugh
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Published on September 5, 2017

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About Elsie Mae Has Something to Say
Elsie Mae is determined to save her beloved Okefenokee Swamp, but is she willing to accept the unexpected?

Elsie Mae has long treasured summers with her grandparents in the Okefenokee Swamp, so she is devastated to hear that a shipping company plans to build a canal right through it. What will that mean for the people and animals that call the swamp home?

So she writes a letter directly to President Franklin Roosevelt himself and sets off to enjoy what may be her … Continue reading

Review: Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

bone-sparrowBone Sparrow
Zana Fraillon
Disney-Hyperion
Available November 1, 2016

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Every night, Subhi slips out of the compound in the refugee camp and finds the treasures he believes the magical Night Sea brings him from his far away father. Every morning he shows the gifts to his mother, now barely responsive. Subhi has only known life within the fences of the permanent detention center. Up the hill from the center lives a girl named Jimmie who bears her own grief. She comforts herself with her mother’s necklace pendant, a sparrow carved from bone. She meets Subhi, and begs him to read her mother’s journal to her. Subhi shares the pages, filled with stories and songs as magical as … Continue reading

Review: Lucky Strikes by Louis Bayard

Lucky Strikes by Louis BayardLucky Strikes
Louis Bayard
Henry Holt and Co Books for Young Readers
Available July 5, 2016

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Fourteen year-old Amelia’s mother dies, leaving her and two siblings alone in the world. Amelia’s determined to run the family gas station and keep her siblings together until she comes of age. When the town learns of her mother’s death, Amelia and her siblings face being split up in foster care, and Harvey Blevins, who owns all the other gas stations in the area, sees the chance to snatch that last station he covets. What she needs is a parent figure, and the moment the bum falls off a coal wagon, she hatches a plan. If … Continue reading

Review: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye J. Walton

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Leslye J. Walton
Candlewick Press
Published January 1, 2014

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Ava Lavender comes from a long line of peculiarly gifted women who’ve been unlucky in love. She relates her family history beginning with her great-grandparents and their journey from France to the United States in the early 1900s. Ava’s grandmother is the surviving member of her small family by the time she marries. Desperate to escape the bitter memories of her lost loved ones, Emiliene and her husband head west, finally settling in a small Washington town. Emiliene bears one child, Ava’s mother, before her husband dies. Each member of Emiliene’s family bears some peculiarity, and it seems Viviane, … Continue reading

Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published March 14, 2006 (Orig. published 2005)

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A mysterious narrator gives an account of a young girl who has an unusual vice: she steals books. Death comes for the girl’s brother as she and her mother wait for a train to take them to a foster home where the children will be safe. It is he, the collector of souls, who is the only witness to the girl’s first thievery, and he begins to follow her story.

Life in Liesel’s new home is a difficult adjustment, plagued with nightmares, but through them, she and her foster father … Continue reading

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