Jason Mott’s second novel, The Wonder of All Things, is equal parts supernatural thriller and coming-of-age tale as 13-year-old Ava and her best friend, Wash, bravely attempt to navigate their small-town world in the wake of a public disaster. When a beloved local stunt pilot crashes his plane into a crowd of spectators at a festival, Wash is critically injured. When word travels that Ava’s simple act of placing her hands over her friend has healed his wounds, the once quiet town of Stone Temple is soon swarming with folks who are desperate to cure their own loved ones, or themselves.
Let me confess: I’m a medical book junkie. That said, Terrence Holt’s Internal Medicine: A Doctor’s Stories is my new favorite, both in terms of literary merit and intriguing medical details and drama.
Most people don’t think much about homonyms or prime numbers. But most people aren’t 12-year-old Rose Howard, whose every waking moment is spent thinking about just those things. So it’s especially good luck that both her name (Rose/rows) and her dog’s (Rain/reign) are homonyms.
“I’m a risk taker.” With that short sentence, readers are introduced to Arcady, a goal-scoring, wisecracking soccer star. However, very few people know just how good Arcady is at soccer. Arcady is a resident of an orphanage in Soviet Russia intended for children of enemies of the Soviet state. Instead of fame and fortune, Arcady plays for stolen rations and survival.
Sara Farizan’s debut, If You Could Be Mine, told a wrenching tale of young love lost to the complications of growing up and growing apart. The stakes in Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel are slightly lower, making for pure rom-com pleasure.
In what has to be the best-named picture book of the year, Newbery Medalist Patricia Mac-Lachlan brings readers the story of the young Henri Matisse and his childhood inspirations, with eye-catching illustrations from Hadley Hooper.
It’s one thing to learn your ABCs. It’s quite another when Oliver Jeffers is in charge. His new picture book, Once Upon an Alphabet, contains 26 very short stories, beginning with “An Astronaut” and ending with “Zeppelin.” Preschoolers and beginning readers will delight in these vignettes featuring everything from a lumberjack who repeatedly gets struck by lightning to, of all things, a puzzled parsnip.
At the age of 85, Edward O. Wilson, one of our foremost evolutionary biologists (and a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner), has written a provocative book that is so fascinating it nearly lives up to the stunning ambition of its title.
Michele Raffin was a suburban California mom who’d finally signed up to join a gym when, to her dismay, her personal trainer was extremely late for their session. When he finally arrived, he had a good reason for the delay: He’d come across a wounded bird by the side of the freeway. In what would become a life-changing moment, Raffin met that dove and tried to save it. And though it didn’t survive, she found herself a few days later responding to a newspaper ad seeking someone to rescue another dove. Her course in life was set.
Suki Kim, author of the highly regarded novel The Interpreter, went to North Korea to teach English under doubly false pretenses. Her fellow instructors at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) were evangelical Christians pretending to be nonreligious teachers. (“North Korea was the evangelical Christian Holy Grail, the hardest place to crack in the whole world,” she writes.) To be accepted into the program, Kim pretended to be an evangelical pretending to be a nonreligious teacher. She feared exposure on all sides.