Review: A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay

A Single Stone by Meg McKinlayA Single Stone
Meg McKinlay
Candlewick Press
Published on March 14, 2017 (Orig. May 1, 2015)

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About A Single Stone
Every girl dreams of being part of the line—the chosen seven who tunnel deep into the mountain to find the harvest. No work is more important.

Jena is the leader of the line—strong, respected, reliable. And—as all girls must be—she is small; years of training have seen to that. It is not always easy but it is the way of things. And so a girl must wrap her limbs, lie still, deny herself a second bowl of stew. Or a first.

But what happens when … Continue reading

Review: It Looks Like This by Rafi Mittlefehldt

It Looks Like This by Rafi MittlefehldtIt Looks Like This
Rafi Mittlefehldt
Candlewick Press
Published September 6, 2016

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About It Looks Like This
A new state, a new city, a new high school. Mike’s father has already found a new evangelical church for the family to attend, even if Mike and his plainspoken little sister, Toby, don’t want to go. Dad wants Mike to ditch art for sports, to toughen up, but there’s something uneasy behind his demands.

Then Mike meets Sean, the new kid, and “hey” becomes games of basketball, partnering on a French project, hanging out after school. A night at the beach. The fierce colors of sunrise. … Continue reading

Review: Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamilloFlora and Ulysses
Kate DiCamillo
Candlewick Press

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When Flora saves a squirrel from a powerful vacuum cleaner, she discovers that he has super powers. She names him Ulysses and brings him home to teach him what it means to be a hero, and she watches and waits for his true superpowers to emerge. Ulysses’ powers do emerge: a deep love for Flora and the gift of poetry. Her desire to protect him and his power to communicate changes Flora’s life in unexpected ways.

My family and I listened to this as an audiobook on our vacation. I loved the comics that Flora reads and how they were a bond between her and her dad. Ulysses … Continue reading

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

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye WaltonThe Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Leslye J. Walton
Candlewick Press
Published March 27, 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: Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta

Quintana of Charyn
Melina Marchetta
Candlewick Press
Published September 26, 2012

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Hidden in a valley north of her homeland, Charynite princess Quintana waits for the birth of her son. Only in her dreams does she sense Froi, her love and the father of the child she carries. Even there, she is not certain if he survived the attack she barely escaped. Another person haunts her dreams as well, one she can’t place at first. She fights the woman’s presence, certain she is an enemy.

Queen Isaboe of Lumatere wakes with Froi’s name on her lips, an occurrence she can’t explain to her husband satisfactorily. Frustrated and feeling betrayed, Finnikin leaves her and their unborn child behind to … Continue reading

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