First line: “It’s morning. In a cell on the ground floor, the light shifts dark shapes into a small stool, a scrawny table, and a bed made of wooden boards with no mattress or blanket. On that bed, a thin, huddled figure, Helmuth, a boy of seventeen, lies awake. Shivering. Trembling. It’s a Tuesday. The executioner works on Tuesdays.” Continue reading “Book of the Week: The Boy Who Dared, by Susan Campbell Bartoletti”
First line: â€œThe first Mila was a dog. A Bedlington terrier. It helps if you know these things.â€
Booktalk: 12-year-old Mila was named after her grandfatherâ€™s dog, who died 80 years ago, and sometimes she thinks that she has some dog-like traits. For example: she has a good sense of where she is, and where sheâ€™s going. She can sense peopleâ€™s feelings. She is determined. She notices small details. And sheâ€™s very, very good at following a trail. Continue reading “Book of the Week: Picture Me Gone, by Meg Rosoff”
First line: “It happened long ago, when I was only a child.”
Booktalk: 90 years ago, the Great Disruption threw the entire world into disarray. Europe was plunged back in time to the Dark Ages and cut off from the rest of the world. The United States was broken into pieces, with the East Coast in the 19th century, and the west spanning from prehistoric times to the far future. Some countries are stuck in the Ice Age, while others have glittering cities with three-hundred-story buildings and flying vehicles.
Sophia lives in 19th-century Boston with her uncle, the most famous mapmaker in New Occident. Maps in Sophiaâ€™s world – the world after the Great Disruption – donâ€™t just show you the land, though – they can show you memories. Maps can be made of paper, or glass, or onions, or an entire lake. Maps might even have the power to rewrite history – and if Sophia wants to save her long-lost parents, sheâ€™ll have to figure out how to do it.
Similar titles: Leviathan (Scott Westerfeld), The Emerald Atlas (John Stephens), The Castle Behind Thorns (Merrie Haskell)
Booktalk: Meet Bea and Jonah – a.k.a. Robot Girl and Ghost Boy.
Beaâ€™s mom called her Robot Girl because she didnâ€™t cry when her gerbil – whom sheâ€™d named after a famous Nazi – died. But of course Bea doesnâ€™t get too attached to things – she’s never lived in one place for more than a year. Continue reading “Book of the Week: How to Say Goodbye in Robot, by Natalie Standiford”
First line: “The world swayed beneath Cora.”
Booktalk: This book contains two connected stories. Continue reading “Book of the Week: In the Shadows, by Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo”
First line: “What follows is the strange and fateful tale of a boy, a girl, and a ghost.”
Booktalk: We all think we know fairy tales. Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty – thereâ€™s a bad guy and a princess and they all live happily ever after. At least they do in the Disney versions. Continue reading “Book of the Week: Far Far Away, by Tom McNeal”
First line: “A long time ago, in the spring before the five days of the unspeakable, Finnikin of the Rock dreamed that he was to sacrifice a pound of flesh to save the royal house of Lumatere.” Continue reading “Book of the Week: Finnikin of the Rock, by Melina Marchetta”