When Burdock—a one-eyed cat named for the prickly burr seeds that inspired Velcro—discovers that Dewey Baxter is planning to burn down his barn, it becomes his mission to save the barn’s inhabitants. It isn’t long before the whole farm—workhorses Tug and Pull, Fluff the sheep, Figgy the pig, Mrs. Brown the cow, Nanny the goat and her kid, Tick—work with Burdock to concoct an escape plan.
Presumably, Charlie was flying solo in his father’s airplane when it exploded over the North Sea. Plane wreckage and Charlie’s blood-soaked jacket attest to the certainty that he died, but at his funeral, Charlie’s American girlfriend, Aubrey, catches the eye of a beautiful girl who seems to be just as heartbroken as Aubrey herself. This is Lena, Charlie’s other girlfriend, who believes that Charlie is still alive.
There is a scene in Stephanie Kallos’ new novel in which protagonist Charles Marlow is describing all the clichés associated with an archetypal film on autism. It feels like a wink at the reader, as this book contains many of these same clichés. Yet Language Arts takes enough of a fresh approach to its subject to make it a riveting read.
Many of us think of North Korea as a nation of automatons, blindly following Dear Leader over the cliff. If nothing else, Joseph Kim’s memoir of his harrowing childhood during the famine that devastated North Korea in the 1990s will complicate that view.
In Dietland, timid Plum Kettle is sure that losing weight is the key that will unlock the life she wants to live. But when she crosses paths with a mysterious young woman, she ends up involved in a full-on riot grrl ride to a feminist awakening. Sarai Walker answers a few questions about her edgy, girl-power debut.
In a windblown field near the sea in Norfolk, England, a land developer’s excavating machine uncovers first a silver wing, then the cockpit of an American World War II fighter plane, then the ghostly remains of a long-dead pilot staring up from inside.
Spy Guy takes readers on a colorful romp through a little boy’s desire to become something he clearly is not—a spy! He is altogether too clumsy, too noisy, too squeaky and in all manners too un-sneaky to be a spy. Plagued by his own awkwardness, noisy shoes, the lack of a good disguise and a head cold, his goal of becoming a consummate spy seems unattainable.
Screenwriter and author Lisa Lutz is well known for her zany mystery series starring Izzy Spellman, private eye. Here she jumps into mainstream women’s fiction with How to Start a Fire, an engaging portrait of female friendship spanning two decades. In 1993, when all three are students at UC Santa Cruz, freshman roommates Kate and Anna find George passed out on the lawn outside the party they had all attended. The three young women quickly become friends during their undergraduate years and beyond, the bonds between them tightening and loosening over the years.
What comes to mind when you think of women’s fiction? If the word is “predictable,” think again: Two fearless first-time novelists are turning tropes upside down.
In the powerful first installment of a new trilogy from Michael Buckley, species collide in this sci-fi tale infused with emotionally charged themes of immigration and xenophobia.