Posted in Award Winners, MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Journey of the Pale Bear

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

I always expect great stories from Susan Fletcher and was not disappointed with Journey of the Pale Bear (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2018), although I didn’t think the prologue was necessary.

The story starts in spring of 1252 in Norway, when young hungry Arthur steals a rabbit haunch. The runaway gets shoved into a cage with an ice bear and squeezes out safely after giving the rabbit to the bear. This experience causes Arthur to be drafted to take care of the deadly bear on a ship to England. Arthur wants to reach his father’s people in Wales, so despite his fear of the bear, he agrees. But many dangers await the boy.

The book is an SCBWI Golden Kite honor book. Read about the author here and all her books here. I love, love her dragon series.

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Posted in Award Winners, So Many Good Books, YA Novels

The Red Umbrella

redumbrella_small.jpgCuba, 1961, Lucia and her little brother Frankie are glad that Castro has closed the schools and they get to laze on the beach, but the then truckloads of soldiers go by. Her parents make them stay in the house and the one time they go out, they see some businessmen being beaten. Lucia thinks they must be rebels. But then people start saying her father is a rebel and she sees the murdered body of her doctor who just wanted to discuss things. What will Lucia’s family do?
The Red Umbrella (Knopf, 2010) by Christina Diaz Gonzalez is an excellent historical book. It’s one of those that gives you an education without you realizing you’re being educated. That’s probably one of the reason it is winning awards!
I was fortunate to briefly meet Christina after I’d read her book. She’s very gracious and friendly. And, yes, as beautiful as her pictures. Read about her on her site, where she also has information about awards, her upcoming book, and a link to her blog. I especially enjoyed her entry about 20 things that stood out in her last year, posted on her birthday 8/20.

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