Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Faves of 2016: Maria's Greatest


From now until the end of the year we're counting down some of our favorite books of the year. Today we're presenting a few of Maria's great reads:

Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
The setting:  Krakow in 1939.  We first meet Anna when she is seven-years-old and after her father disappears she befriends the Swallow Man, a man who talks to birds.  They roam about the countryside for four year, escaping death.  An allegory beautifully told.

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina (See our full review here)

It’s 1977 in New York City, and the serial killer known as the Son of Sam is shooting innocent couples around  town.  Nora L√≥pez is about to graduate from high school and is looking forward to a new life, maybe college, away from an unpleasant home environment.  Will she find happiness?

Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton
Piper Baird wants to be a journalist more than anything else.  When she gets a scholarship to a posh private academy in Washington,
D. C., she becomes entangled with the son of the Spanish Ambassador who is definitely out of her league.  Will their romance blossom?



Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley (see our full review here)
After a panic attack in middle school, Solomon  has not left his house for years.  Lisa, a former classmate is getting ready to apply for college admission and believes that if she can get to know Simon she could fix him and have a convincing essay to write that might win her a scholarship.  Things do not work out as she intended, in more ways than one.

The Inquisitor's Tale, or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz
This multifaceted tale begins with the death of a dog.  But, don’t despair- the dog comes back to life and becomes with three most unusual children part of a legend reminiscent of the Canterbury Tales.  My pick for the 2017 Newbery.

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (see our full review here)
Faith seems to be an ordinary girl in Victorian times.  When her father turns up dead Faith goes through his belongings and discovers the Lie tree- a tree that bears fruit upon hearing lies…and when its fruit is eaten, well, you have to read this.

Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart
Though not everyone in her life knows it yet, Lily is a transgender girl.  She finds a friend in Dunkin, who has a secret of his own, he is bipolar.  A powerful book yet an easy read. An important book that will stay with you.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (see our full posts here)
At the end of World War II many people wanted to leave Europe.  This is the story of four very different young people with different backgrounds and secrets who want to board the Willhelm Gustloff, a cruiser that was used to evacuate refugees.  A gripping story that is hard to forget.

The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Four teens’ lives come together in Fairbanks, Alaska in the 1970’s.  All  are trying to escape something and save each other in the process.  Memorable characters and if you like tragedy, romance and adventure your will like this story.

Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz
High school senior Jasmine de los Santos, a Filipino immigrant has done everything she can to insure that she lands a spot in a good university: best grades, cheer leader captain, and she has just become a National Scholar Award winner.  However, everything comes crumbling down when her parents inform her that she cannot accept the scholarship because she and the family are undocumented immigrants.  Topical and timely handling of a current issue in the news.

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