Michel Faber’s phenomenal The Book of Strange New Things is primed to become a classic on space, faith and, above all, devotion.
First there was Wilbur the pig. Then there was Ivan the shopping mall gorilla. Now there’s Audrey the cow.
The Armenian genocide that took place 100 years ago is not discussed in most history classes, but the story is still sadly relevant.Told in verse, Like Water on Stone follows three Armenian children, orphaned by the Ottoman siege of 1915, as they race to safety and, hopefully, to America. Their path is littered with bodies, and they see the smoke of their neighbors’ destroyed houses. Along the way, an eagle watches the young trio and does what he can to guide them and keep them safe.
Though both the author and illustrator of A Possum’s Tail have worked with British children’s magazine OKIDO—Gabby Dawnay is a regular contributor, and Alex Barrow is the art director—this is their first picture book collaboration. It’s offbeat and endearing, so don’t be surprised if children ask for multiple reads.
It’s 1861, and the men of Keokuk, Iowa, have finally been called to war. Unfortunately for 11-year-old Ike Button, he’ll have to stay behind with the women while his older brothers, father and uncles all serve in the Union Army. Ike doesn’t want to care for his baby cousins when he could be off fighting like the men. Determined to forge his own destiny, Ike conjures up a scheme to go to Missouri and slip into the regiment. But before those ill-conceived plans come to fruition, Ike discovers that the war is happening in Keokuk, too, and he doesn’t need to be a soldier to fight for the cause.
Truly Lovejoy, or Drooly as her brother calls her, tries to stay under the radar. But she’s nearly six feet tall and sporting size 10.5 shoes, so being overlooked is impossible.
With the publication of The Lay of the Land in 2006, it appeared Richard Ford had written the final chapter in the story of Frank Bascombe, one that began with The Sportswriter and continued with the Pulitzer Prize-winning Independence Day. Happily, Ford has given readers one last chance to enjoy his knowing, wry protagonist.
A few years ago, I taught Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild in a college freshman writing class. I thought the story of Chris McCandless, who turned his back on civilization to hike into the Alaskan wilderness, would resonate with undergraduates. Chris’ tragic journey may have ended with his death, but his quest for purity and adventure was inspirational. Or so I thought.
“Running a totalitarian regime is simple: tell the people what they’re going to do, shoot the first one to object, and repeat until everyone is on the same page.” Such was life in Ukraine for young Lev Golinkin and his family, and it might have been tolerable had he not also suffered daily beatings in school for being a Jew. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the family fled to Austria where they lived in a refugee hotel before immigrating to the U.S. A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka is the story of that journey and of Golinkin’s struggle to reclaim his identity.
A Map of Betrayal, the new novel from the PEN/Faulkner-winning author Ha Jin (Waiting, Nanjing Requiem) is a haunting tale of two families and two countries that are linked together by the life of a single spy. When American-born professor of Asian Studies Lillian Shang inherits her father Gary’s journals, she uncovers details of his four-decade career as a spy for Communist China. But when history threatens to repeat itself in the next generation, Lillian must struggle with issues of loyalty and betrayal.