Evan is grief-stricken after the sudden death of his father, Clifford. His estranged grandfather, the legendary Marine lifer Griff, comes to help “get things in order,” but all Evan knows about Griff is the mutual hate between him and Clifford, culminating in Clifford’s move to Canada to avoid the Vietnam draft. But there may be a hidden motivation for Griff’s sudden willingness to care for his grandson. Evan finds a book on Clifford’s desk that chronicles bizarre, fantastical events from the end of World War II.
M.T. Anderson (The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing) presents a thrilling history of music and the terrible events of World War II. Extensively researched and passionately told, Symphony for the City of the Dead exposes the strengths and weaknesses of humanity through an engrossing tale of war, art and undying creativity.
In an Orwellian society where the government promotes unity through conformity, 15-year-old Kivali Kerwin is at risk for being sent to Blight, a prison-like ghetto. Kivali is genderfluid, and she’s refused to transition to one gender. Unfortunately her government doesn’t allow that, and Kivali is sent to an agricultural camp to train for her adulthood as a young woman.
In the town of Steeple Chase, Pennsylvania, there’s not much for a poor farm girl other than a life of looming drudgery. And this is why, in The Hired Girl, the farmer’s daughter wises up and escapes the farm toil, striking out on her own to push back against the societal, cultural and patriarchal confines that threaten the rest of her days.
In this sprawling, emotionally enrapturing and mostly autobiographical tale, a talented lad comes of age in the harsh shadows of Northern England’s shipyards.
Jo Knowles’ new novel was apparently inspired by a real-life incident in which the author and her family were given the finger by another driver, even though he was in the wrong. This episode prompted her to think about the aggression, power and even hatred implied by this small gesture.
This skillfully rendered novel traces Malcolm X's life through flashbacks, from his father's death to his imprisonment and eventual understanding of his father’s wisdom. X reads like a biography, in part because the author is Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz, written with the multiple award-winning Kekla Magoon.
Gregory Maguire steps out of Oz and into Tsarist Russia in this magical twist on the classic prince and the pauper folk tale.
Developmentally disabled teens Biddy and Quincy have just graduated from high school. Biddy’s been living with her grandmother, and Quincy with various foster families, but now they need jobs and new living arrangements. A team of counselors arranges for the two graduates to share an apartment above a local widow’s garage. At first, Quincy and Biddy resent each other’s company, and mixed-race Quincy isn’t sure how she feels about interacting with a white landlady.
Ava Lavender was born with a pair of wings. Her twin brother, Henry, rarely speaks and hates to be touched. In the rainy Seattle spring of 1944, these two siblings become the newest members of a family already known for its mysterious powers: Their grandmother can smell feelings and bake them into bread; their great-aunt once turned herself into a canary to attract the attention of her ornithologist beau; and their murdered great-uncle haunts his family in the hopes of delivering an important message.