Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Cloud and Wallfish

CloudandWallfishCloud and Wallfish (Candlewick Press, 2016) by Anne Nesbet has an unusual title and is an unusual story. It’s a historical set in 1989, before and after the Berlin Wall comes down, but it’s way more than that.
Noah’s parents came together to pick him up from fifth grade. And as the text says, “…in Noah’s family, picking up kids at school was a one-parent activity.” Things get weirder from there. Much weirder. The family is moving to Germany–but “not the usual Germany.” They say it’s for an urgent expedition. But what expedition has you changing your name and birthday? And when they get to East Berlin Noah can’t go to school because of his speech defect–he stutters. But he ends up making a friend anyway. And, well, let’s just say things get riskier from then on.
I love this book. I like Noah’s personality and the Secret Files. I like how it ends. It was a hard-to-put-down read. Cloud and Wallfish was awarded the California Book Award gold medal in the Juvenile category in June. You can read about that here. See the other awards here.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may recognize Anne’s name as I’ve mentioned her previous books here too. Here’s her website if you’d like more info about Anne or her books.

Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

The Wrinkled Crown

This is the second time for me to read a book by Anne Nesbet. I liked the first book. I like the fantasy The Wrinkled Crown (Harper, 2015) even more. And this coming Monday in Portland, Oregon, the author will be speaking at a bookstore called Green Bean Books!
But back to the book…
Almost twelve-year-old Linnet (Linny) lives in Lourka where the rule is that no girl must even accidentally touch a lourka, the musical instrument with the same name as the village. If she touches one, on her twelfth birthday she’ll be taken by the voices to Away. Because Linny is so musically inclined even as a baby, her father gives her a tethered twin, Sayra, to keep her safe. Sayra, Linny’s best friend, is too kind and lets Linny off of the tether where no one can see. Of course, Linny more than breaks the rule about lourkas. But on their birthday, it’s not Linny who is taken!
The opening line is intriguing: “It was maybe Linny’s last day of all–a pretty horrible thought–but the air in the meadow was humming with sunlight, as if nothing were the slightest bit wrong.” But better yet are the struggles that follow, because Linny has to do everything she can to save Sayra.
I also love what the author says about herself on her website: “I write books for young people-well, to be honest, I write stories I would want to read myself, and I am younger than the average dragon, but older than most poodles.”

Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

The Cabinet of Earths

CabinetofEarthsFrontThe Cabinet of Earths (Harper 2012) by Anne Nesbet is a creepily good book. Here’s the first line: “It was his own grandmother who fed Henri-Pierre to the Cabinet of Earths, long ago when he was only four.” See what I mean about creepy? If you like fantasy, or spooky books, I think you’ll like this one.
Chapter two takes off by introducing us to Maya Davidson, a 12-year-old from California who with her family is currently in France. She’s interesting, smart and brave. Will she solve the mystery of the missing children and be able to protect her little brother from the danger facing him? Read it and find out.
Author Anne Nesbet’s website is appropriately subtitled “curious books for curious people.” There I found she has two other titles I need to check out!
BoxofGargoylesCover-199x300 A Box of Gargoyles is a sequel to The Cabinet of Earths. Yea, more Maya!
I also like this entry on Anne’s blog: Shadows and Wonders: Or, Write Your Novel Like an Eclipse. It talks about seeing differently. Her comments are not just for writing, but for life!