Whether you light a menorah every year or are new to the Jewish Festival of Lights, you’ll find something to appreciate among this year’s Hanukkah picture book offerings. All three involve combinations of rhyming verse and fine art, as well as new takes on old traditions.
First there was Wilbur the pig. Then there was Ivan the shopping mall gorilla. Now there’s Audrey the cow.
Beloved children’s and young adult author Katherine Paterson has won two Newbery Medals, two National Book Awards and numerous other honors. However, it was only when she realized her children had never heard family stories over the kitchen sink—they’d long had a dishwasher—that she penned a memoir.
With a contract for her first YA novel in hand, recent high school graduate Darcy Patel puts college on hold and moves to New York City. But living and writing in the city turn out to involve more than just hobnobbing with the publishing community. She also needs to find (and furnish) an apartment, stick to a budget . . . and navigate her first romantic relationship.
Twins Johnny and Will and their friend Rad are back for more adventures in the third installment of Allen Johnson Jr.’s Blackwater Novels, set in 1940s Alabama and Georgia.
There’s something about cats. In 2010, Benno and the Night of Broken Glass by Meg Wiviott and Josée Bisaillon showed the Nazi Kristallnacht riots from the point of view of an alley cat. Before that, The Cats in Krasinski Square by Karen Hesse and Wendy Watson told how stray cats distracted Nazi dogs, allowing food to be smuggled into the Warsaw ghetto. And now there’s Clare, a cat who sees the contemporary Israeli/Palestinian conflict from a unique point of view.
The last thing Emily Bird remembers is the party. It should have been just another networking event to connect prep-school students with internships and Ivy League acceptances, especially within the elite Washington, D.C., African-American community. But when Bird wakes up days later in a hospital room, she knows she’s forgotten something important about that night. That feeling is further reinforced when mysterious messages begin hinting that she knows a secret about a deadly terrorist-linked flu virus that’s recently reached pandemic proportions.
Lily Proctor has had enough of the real world. Sure, her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts, might have an interesting history, but she’s tired of her best friend Tristan’s romantic wanderings, her mother’s public outbursts and, most of all, the perpetual fevers and allergic reactions that keep her from having a life. So when an otherworldy voice offers to transport her to a place where she can be powerful and strong, Lily readily agrees.
Twelve-year-old Candice Phee figures that her life needs fixing. Her father and her uncle need to end their longtime feud, and her mother needs to find a way out of her depression. Also, her pen pal Denille needs to finally write back, and her new friend Douglas needs to return to the real home he claims is in Another Dimension. Candice knows she can solve these problems, big and small, because she’s daring, determined and bursting with creative ideas.
Art and life are both equally intense for high school junior Addison Stone. When her art teachers arrange for her to leave her small town and spend the summer immersed in the New York City art world, no one expects that the whirlwind of city life will eclipse her senior year . . . or that the following summer, her body will be found in the East River under mysterious circumstances.