Posted in PB, So Many Good Books

Love in the Library

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Love in the Library by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and illustrate by Yas Imamura is based on a true story about love in a Japanese internment camp. I love it so much I wish every kid and adult would read this.

Tama should be going to college, but she’s incarcerated because she Is Japanese-American. She works in the Idaho camp library where she meets George. The library gives her hope as she can escape in books. And then…

These lines: “To fall in love is already a gift. But to fall in love in a place like Minidaka, a place bulit to make people feel like they weren’t human–that was miraculous.”

Inspired by her maternal grandparents’ experience, Maggie has written a heart-wrenching story. Currently, there are terrible stories about immigrant detention. See this report on migrant children.

See Maggie’s other books here and read about her here.

See Yas’ art here and read about her here where you can also click on the awards tab.

Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

The First State of Being

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

The First State of Being (Greenwillow Books, 2024) by Erin Entrada Kelly is a fun mix of historical fiction—Y2K—and time travel.

It’s 1999 and 11-year-old Michael is hoarding food that he’s stolen for when the world shuts down on January 1, 2000. (He has to help his single Mom who is struggling making ends meet. And she loves peaches, right?) And then he and the apartment maintenance man meet a weird teenager, who appears to be half Filipino like Michael. Ridge doesn’t even know what year it is and is dressed oddly. Something’s off about that kid. Despite all of Michael’s worries, he decides to help Ridge obtain his desire of going to a mall.

This is a story of hope and has great reminders of deciding how we want to be. The book came out in March.

Erin is a Newbery medalist and a NY Times bestselling author. Read about her here and check out all her books here.

Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

The Night Raven

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

The Night Raven – Moonwind Mysteries #1 (Amazon Crossing Kids, 2023) by Johan Rundberg and translated by A.A. Prime was an interesting historical, especially if you are a fan of Victorian mystery writer Anne Perry, which I am. It has a similar feel except directed at young readers. The story is set in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1880.

Twelve-year-old Mika knows this harsh winter means death for many. One night she takes in a newborn to the orphanage where she lives and hears a reference to the “Dark Angel.” When the police come to her for questioning, this could be her chance to matter.

Here‘s some great backstory on this novel and information on the author. The book was originally published in Sweden, but thanks to A.A. Prime we can read it too. I’m looking forward to more of these books. You can see all of Johan’s books here but this is the only one in English.

Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

By the Light of Fireflies

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

By the Light of Gireflies : a novel of war hero Sybil Ludington (Wyatt-McKenzie Publishing, 2021) by Jenni L. Walsh is a fun historical about a little known heroine. (And has such a gorgeous cover.)

Sybil is the oldest of eight children and dearly wants to be more than a farmer’s wife. When her papa and his men need help to fight the Loyalists (loyal to King George), Sybil and her sister help the spy ring and Sybil makes a night ride longer and farther than her hero Paul Revere.

This is a fascinating story that builds on the basics known about Sybil. The novel is a Publishers Weekly BookLife Editors Pick.

Jenni is a storyteller of women throughout history. She writes for adults and middle grade readers. Read about her here and check out her other books here.

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

Where the World Ends

Where the World Ends (Flatiron Books, 2019) by Geraldine McCaughrean is an amazing historical novel of survival. It’s a 2020 Michael L Printz Honor book, a winner of the 2018 Carnegie Medal (published in the UK by Usborne in 2017) and is on many other lists.

Every summer, men and boys are put ashore on a remote sea stack to harvest birds, eggs, feathers, and oil. But this year, for Quill and his friends, no boat comes to get them. What does it mean that no one came? Is it the end of the world? And how can they survive the winter?

Right from the first line, “His mother gave him a new pair of socks, a puffin to eat on the voyage and a kiss on the cheek.,” we know we are in a different setting. You’ll meet John who has been hiding a secret and learn about all kinds of birds as Quill endures abandonment and struggles to survive.

Geraldine writes for children and adults–she’s one prolific author! Read about her here and check out all her books here.