What lengths would you go to in order to attract the attention of your crush? In Jake Gerhardt's debut middle-grade novel, three eighth-grade boys are all crushing on the same girl: Miranda Mullaly. Told in the alternating voices of class clown Sam, studious Duke, athletic Chollie and oblivious Miranda, this comedy of errors is a breezy, fun read.
Gerhardt perfectly captures those awkward middle-school years with lots of humor and plenty of heart. In a Behind the Book essay, he shares his own hilarious story of noticing girls for the first time.
Written for anyone who cares about preschool education in this country, The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups offers terrific insights into the world of children—the delight of imaginative play, the allure of nature, the power of emotion.
Much has been made lately of the so-called (and very popular) “meta” trend in picture books, which feature intrusive narrators who acknowledge that the action is happening in . . . well, a book. Snappsy the Alligator is one such story, and it’s likely that, when 2016 is over, we’ll look back on it as one of the funniest picture books of the year. It definitely kicks off 2016 in high spirits.
On a hot summer night in 2009 in Seattle, a 23-year-old man crept through the bathroom window of the home of 39-year-old Teresa Butz and her partner, 36-year-old Jennifer Hopper. The pair awoke to find the stranger standing over their beds with a knife; he proceeded to rape and stab the women repeatedly.
A never-before published novel from the late M.F.K. Fisher and a new novel set around some of the events in Fisher's own life make for excellent paired reading this month.
At 18 years old, Lady Helen Wrexhall is poised and polished, if a bit too spirited. She’s ready to overcome her late mother’s traitorous legacy and make her debut presentation in the court of King George III. That is, until sinister Lord Carlston appears and introduces Helen to the darker side of Regency London and the demons that lurk in the shadows.
Unlike most 12-year-olds who face being uprooted, Jeremiah is excited to move. Hillcrest, Ohio, has one of the best high-school baseball teams in the country, with a state-of-the-art field and a town full of fans. Baseball is especially important to Jeremiah following his heart transplant. Since he can no longer play, Jeremiah must stay on the sidelines and work on his new dream of becoming a coach.
Janice Y.K. Lee’s 2009 debut, The Piano Teacher, was beloved by readers and critics for its pitch-perfect portrayal of Hong Kong in the years after World War II. In her second novel, The Expatriates, the author—who was born in Hong Kong and educated in the U.S.—explores modern-day Hong Kong through the eyes of three American women who are all struggling to find their roles in a land far from home.
Three American women become ensconced in the cultural mélange of Hong Kong’s expat community in Janice Y.K. Lee’s absorbing, character-driven novel, following 2009’s The Piano Teacher. The author, who was born and raised in Hong Kong, opens her novel with a spot-on description of that sprawling city’s expat contingent—the Chinese, Irish, French, Koreans and Americans—“a veritable UN of fortune-seekers.” They have come for their jobs, or their husbands’ jobs; for six months, a year, maybe three years or more. And they have no idea what to expect from their temporary new home.
As senior year draws to a close and college looms, Andrew finds himself very much alone. He’s lost his two best friends to a car crash, and his parents are more distracted than ever following his football star brother’s return. Andrew is left with nothing but his obsessive crush on Laura, the prettiest girl in school. But as he begins spending more time with Laura and her fundamentalist Christian youth group, he starts to question everything he’d once held true.