Another brilliant, original and moving novel from the author of The Time Traveler’s Wife.
Julia and Valentina Poole are normal American teenagers — normal, at least, for identical “mirror” twins who have no interest in college or jobs or possibly anything outside their cozy suburban home. But everything changes when they receive notice that an aunt whom they didn’t know existed has died and left them her amazing flat in a building by Highgate Cemetery in London. They feel that at last their own lives can begin … but they have no idea that they’ve been summoned into a tangle of fraying lives, from the OCD-suffering crossword setter who lives above them to their aunt’s mysterious and elusive lover who lives below them, and even to their aunt herself, who never got over her estrangement from the mother of the girls — her own twin — and who can’t even seem to quite leave her flat….
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly, because, being the cover whore that I am, I just have to have that book! LOL It sounds pretty good too.
From Booklist: Growing up with six brothers in rural Texas in 1899, 12-year-old Callie realizes that her aversion to needlework and cooking disappoints her mother. Still, she prefers to spend her time exploring the river, observing animals, and keeping notes on what she sees. Callie’s growing interest in nature creates a bond with her previously distant grandfather, an amateur naturalist of some distinction. After they discover an unknown species of vetch, he attempts to have it officially recognized. This process creates a dramatic focus for the novel, though really the main story here is Callie’s gradual self-discovery as revealed in her vivid first-person narrative. By the end, she is equally aware of her growing desire to become a scientist and of societal expectations that make her dream seem nearly impossible. Interwoven with the scientific theme are threads of daily life in a large family—the bonds with siblings, the conversations overheard, the unspoken understandings and misunderstandings—all told with wry humor and a sharp eye for details that bring the characters and the setting to life. The eye-catching jacket art, which silhouettes Callie and images from nature against a yellow background, is true to the period and the story. Many readers will hope for a sequel to this engaging, satisfying first novel. Grades 4-7. –Carolyn Phelan
Yes, My Darling Daughter by Margaret Leroy because Publisher’s Weekly said “fans of old-fashioned gothics will welcome this” book and I love a good old-fashioned gothic!!
From Publishers Weekly Fans of old-fashioned gothics will welcome this tale of love, betrayal and death from British author Leroy (The River House). At first glance, Grace, a single mom, and Sylvie, her bright, lovely child, have a simple, happy life. Though Grace struggles to make ends meet, all is well until Sylvie begins to act out at preschool and with playmates. She has tantrums, makes odd remarks and has an extreme fear of water. As Sylvie’s behavior worsens, Grace is at a loss to explain her daughter’s outbursts. She seeks help, only to find herself and their lifestyle to blame. When Sylvie recalls what seem to be past-life experiences, Grace looks up a university professor who’s studied the paranormal in the hope he can resolve Sylvie’s increasingly erratic behavior. Heavy with atmosphere and rich in detail, Leroy’s prose lures readers into a disturbing murder mystery. Her characters are as realistic and intriguing as her locales in England and Ireland.
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer because Sassymonkey told me to I have to read it. I figure she’s been reading my blog for a very long time and she knows what she’s talking about.
Amazon.com Review It’s almost the end of Miranda’s sophomore year in high school, and her journal reflects the busy life of a typical teenager: conversations with friends, fights with mom, and fervent hopes for a driver’s license. When Miranda first begins hearing the reports of a meteor on a collision course with the moon, it hardly seems worth a mention in her diary. But after the meteor hits, pushing the moon off its axis and causing worldwide earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes, all the things Miranda used to take for granted begin to disappear. Food and gas shortages, along with extreme weather changes, come to her small Pennsylvania town; and Miranda’s voice is by turns petulant, angry, and finally resigned, as her family is forced to make tough choices while they consider their increasingly limited options. Yet even as suspicious neighbors stockpile food in anticipation of a looming winter without heat or electricity, Miranda knows that that her future is still hers to decide even if life as she knew it is over. Veteran author Susan Beth Pfeffer, who penned the young adult classic The Year Without Michael over twenty years ago, makes a stunning comeback with this haunting book that documents one adolescent’s journey from self-absorbed child to selfless young woman. Teen readers won’t soon forget this intimate story of survival and its subtle message about the treasuring the things that matter most—-family, friendship, and hope.–Jennifer Hubert
PS: That graphic of the book is supposed to be animated and show all the pictures of the books. If you can see it move, will you let me know? I can’t seem to see it unless I click on it and open it separate. Also, if YOU want to see all four covers, click on the book!