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Archive for November, 2016

Serafina and the Black Cloak

Monday, November 21st, 2016

51cpfz1ul-_sy344_bo1204203200_by Robert Beatty, 292 pages, Grades 6 and up

Serafina has grown up happily with her father in the basement of the big mansion learning her place in the world. Her father fixes things and Serafina, as it turns out, is really good at catching rats. She has never spoken to the guests of the Biltmore Estate or even the family to whom the mansion belongs; she is a secret. No one at Biltmore knows she exists until one day she witnesses a young guest disappear and fights a terrible monster in a black cloak. She can’t help herself; she has to warn the others. She decides to tell Braedden Vanderbilt, nephew of the Biltmore owners, and luckily he turns out to be a reliable ally because there is a great force of evil they must combat, and Serafina needs all the help she can get.

 

If you enjoy mysterious stories you might also like Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, by Karen Foxlee, or The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman.

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere

Monday, November 14th, 2016

51azmwdlx8l-_sy344_bo1204203200_by Julie T. Lamans, 321 pages, Grades 6 and up

CYRM NOMINEE 2016

Armani was so excited about celebrating her birthday with her friends and family. First the storm keeps her friends away and cancels her party, then the storm forces them into the attic and onto the roof. Hurricane Katrina turns her world is turned upside down and inside out. Houses are filled with water, cars are upside down on top of roofs, people are being pulled away by the water and heat. Armani is forced to grow up a lot more quickly than she imagined, and she wonders how she and her family and friends will make it through.

If you would like to read more about Hurricane Katrina you might like: Zane and the Hurricane, by W.R. Philbrick, or Zeitoun a biography by David Eggers.

You Are My Only

Monday, November 14th, 2016

you-are-my-only-beth-kephart-book-coverby Beth Kephart, 240 pages, Grades 7 and up

Emmy is a young first time mother when her baby is stolen. She is blamed and forced into an asylum as a result of the kidnapping where she grieves the loss of Baby and tries to understand her new circumstances and how to survive them.

Sophie has grown up home-schooled by her mother; they have lived in many different houses in many different cities in the effort to avoid the “No Good” her mother fears. Sophie has never really known anyone but her mother, but now that she is 14 she has become curious about people around her. The friends she makes next door empower her to investigate her mother’s past and give her strength to come to terms with what she discovers.

The two girls each narrate alternating chapters until their stories come together.

If you enjoy books about teenagers in trouble or complicated family situations you might also enjoy: Orbiting Jupiter, by Gary Schmidt, or Waiting for Normal, Leslie Connor.