Tag: new york city

Waiting on Wednesday for Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George

Waiting on Wednesday for Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day GeorgeSilver in the Blood by Jessica Day George
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on July 7th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 358
Goodreads

A New York Times bestselling author brings dark secrets to life in a lush new YA perfect for fans of Libba Bray or Cassandra Clare.

Society girls from New York City circa 1890, Dacia and Lou never desired to know more about their lineage, instead preferring to gossip about the mysterious Romanian family that they barely knew. But upon turning seventeen, the girls must return to their homeland to meet their relatives, find proper husbands, and—most terrifyingly—learn the deep family secrets of The Claw, The Wing, and The Smoke. The Florescus, after all, are shape-shifters, and it is time for Dacia and Lou to fulfill the prophecy that demands their acceptance of this fate . . . or fight against this cruel inheritance with all their might.

With a gorgeous Romanian setting, stunning Parisian gowns, and dark brooding young men, readers will be swept up by this epic adventure of two girls in a battle for their lives.

New WoW1890s New York City. A mysterious Romanian family. Adventure. A Prophecy. Bloomsbury is bringing us a new Paranormal YA this July by Jessica Day George!

I only recently discovered that this YA title (look at that intriguing cover!) was being published by Bloomsbury in July. The author actually went to Romania to undertake research for her book, so that makes it even more appealing. I love when I read about authors traveling to the country in which their books are set for research. I think it adds a richer dimension to the story, and that shows.

I adore books set in the Victorian era, fantasy, and Eastern Europe, so it’s no surprise that I’m excited about this book. On GoodReads, Sandie from Teen Lit Rocks has stated that this would be an excellent title for MG readers moving towards YA. Since I love MG and YA equally, and come into contact with both kinds of readers, I’m looking forward to discovering a new book that I can recommend to those readers who are on the border between these two camps.

I don’t think I need to say much about how enchanting that cover is! There’s a place on my shelf for Silver in the Blood and I look forward to putting it there soon.

What are you waiting on Wednesday for this week?

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, in which we share those upcoming releases we are most excited about!

What Katie Read

Waiting on Wednesday: Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Waiting on Wednesday: Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca SteadGoodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
Published by Wendy Lamb Books on August 4th 2015
Genres: Middle Grade, Realistic
Pages: 304
Goodreads

This brilliant novel by Newbery Medal winner Rebecca Stead explores multiple perspectives on the bonds and limits of friendship. Bridge is an accident survivor who's wondering why she's still alive. Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture. Tabitha sees through everybody's games--or so she tells the world. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through seventh grade?     This year everything is different for Sherm Russo as he gets to know Bridge Barsamian. What does it mean to fall for a girl--as a friend? On Valentine's Day, an unnamed high school girl struggles with a betrayal. How long can she hide in plain sight? Each memorable character navigates the challenges of love and change in this captivating novel.

Newbery Winning Author REBECCA STEAD has a new book coming out in August! It’s realistic, set in New York City, and harbors a beautiful cover. Just look at it!

New WoW

You may know that When You Reach Me is one of my favorite books of all times–it’s both historical and fantasy–two of my favorite genres wrapped up into one.  and Liar and Spy is another beautiful story Stead wrote after her Newbery winning When You Reach Me.

Yes, When You Reach Me was stunning with its Brooklyn setting, its mystery, and its references to A Wrinkle in Time. Liar and Spy sports a twelve year spy who drinks coffee and is named Safer. He and Georges, a newcomer to the Brooklyn apartment building, participate in various spy activities and you’ll never guess what happens next. Trust me, if you haven’t read either of these gems, you must skip off to the library at once and procure them!

It’s safe to say that Rebecca Stead is one of my favorite Middle Grade authors and I will read anything she writes. When I found out she had a book releasing in August, I just about jumped out of my chair.

flailing

I’m beyond excited for Goodbye Stranger and look forward to reading it in the near future!

What are you waiting on Wednesday for this week?

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, in which we share those upcoming releases we are most excited about!

 

What Katie Read

Middle Grade Review (with donuts!): Absolutely Almost (2014) by Lisa Graff

Middle Grade Review (with donuts!): Absolutely Almost (2014) by Lisa GraffAbsolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
Published by Penguin on June 12th 2014
Genres: Family, Friendship, Middle Grade, Realistic, Social Issues, Special Needs
Pages: 304
Goodreads
five-stars

From the author of the National Book Award nominee A Tangle of Knots comes an inspiring novel about figuring out who you are and doing what you love. Albie has never been the smartest kid in his class. He has never been the tallest. Or the best at gym. Or the greatest artist. Or the most musical. In fact, Albie has a long list of the things he's not very good at. But then Albie gets a new babysitter, Calista, who helps him figure out all of the things he is good at and how he can take pride in himself. A perfect companion to Lisa Graff's National Book Award-nominated A Tangle of Knots, this novel explores a similar theme in a realistic contemporary world where kids will easily be able to relate their own struggles to Albie's. Great for fans of Rebecca Stead's Liar and Spy, RJ Palacio's Wonder and Cynthia Lord's Rules. (GoodReads)

Suggested age range: 9 and up

Illuminations of Spirituality:

“You couldn’t get where you were going without knowing where you’d been.”

Wow. Where do I begin with this one? Lisa Graff’s books are spiritually deep, in my opinion, but they aren’t religious in any way. The protagonist, native New Yorker, Albie, is figuring out who he is in the story, but this isn’t a typical “discovery of one’s identity story.” We watch Albie navigating his struggles in school, making new friends, and dealing with bullies. It’s through his relationships with others that he find authentic connection that ultimately affects the way he sees himself. Calista who watches Albie every day after school is fabulous! She lets Albie use his allowance to buy a donut every day, and donuts are near and dear to Albie’s heart. Just wait for the drawings of Donut Man towards the end of the story! Calista uses the figure of Donut Man to encourage Albie with a valuable message that ends up affecting him in a profound way.

The quote I included at the beginning of this section reflects a word of wisdom Albie receives in the story. We have to start somewhere to get to somewhere else, even if that place doesn’t seem very appealing or much to be proud of. These insightful quotes throughout Graff’s story are like little gems you want to highlight and hold onto.

Who Might Want to Read This Book:

If you read and loved any of Lisa Graff’s other books, like A Tangle of Knots, or books by Jennifer Holm, I think you’ll love this. Many of us know what it’s like to struggle with something, especially when it comes to academics, but how often do authors effectively represent the perspective of a struggling middle grade student? Graff has pulled this off flawlessly in my opinion, and the result is a refreshing and luminous narrative about Albie—honest and kind Albie, who is valuable because of who he is, and not what he can do. This is a good pick for struggling readers, but readers who appreciate an insightful realistic narrative would do well to pick this one up.

The Final Illumination:

As I read this book, it reminded me of how often I judge by appearances without reflecting on what might be going on inside a person. The interesting thing about the story is that we do know what’s going on inside Albie, but those around him often don’t. So WE understand why he acts the way he does, but many of the kids and adults around Albie don’t. It’s a good reminder of the way that people are quick to judge based on outward appearances, but if we take a step back and put ourselves in the other person’s shoes, we often will respond differently. I loved this aspect of the story–the way it really made me think.

There aren’t a huge number of middle grade books that effectively pull off the perspective of the struggling student. After all, it is an adult author attempting to authentically represent the perspective of a person who is an age that the adult can no longer get back to. However, sometimes an author comes along who is able to do this very well. John Boyne is one who I think pulled it off with The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Absolutely Almost is another pick—the adults in the story struggle to understand Albie and his way of thinking and navigating the world, just as Albie attempts to figure out why the people around him act and say things the way they do. Albie is honest and heartfelt, and like many readers, I suspect, I grew to love him as a character, and wanted to share some choice words with the bullies at school who made his life difficult. I cheered for him when things went well, and loved the way his babysitter, Calista, created a superhero just known for liking donuts. This is a humorous and authentic realistic read from Lisa Graff, and you may end up liking Albie just as much as I did.

“I’m Donut Man. I don’t have a superpower. I sure do like donuts, though. Yum!”

If you have a craving for gourmet donuts and you find yourself in Costa Mesa, CA (not the Brooklyn of the book), you should check out Sidecar Donuts. I’ll take a Huckleberry donut and a Madagascar Vanilla Twist!

Visit the 51st Kid Lit Blog Hop and discover other fantastic Kid Lit Blogs!

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five-stars
What Katie Read
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