I had been looking forward to reading Liza Wiemer’s The Assignment as soon as I heard a description. Based on a true story, Wiemer’s novel follows two teens who refuse to do an antisemitic assignment given in history class—one in which they’re expected to argue FOR the Nazi Final Solution and the murder of millions of Jewish people.
Barbara Britton brings us another set of dynamic characters in a unique setting with a page-turning plot in Until June. The story is set in 1918 in Alaska, and even in this remote area there’s worry about the Spanish Influenza epidemic sweeping the world. Geoff an upper-class young man returns home from the war as a double amputee. He’s surly and suffering, and he needs a caregiver – someone to accompany him to a remote island lodge to avoid the flu. Josephine takes the job and is determined to nurse Geoff back to health.
Everything’s Not Fine by Sarah Carlson made me cry—in the best way that a book can. Carlson’s writing transported me so completely into the story of 17-year-old Rose that I was heartbroken over the messed up family situation she finds herself stuck in along with all of the extra responsibilities that really shouldn’t be placed on a teenager’s shoulders. It’s no secret that this story centers around Rose’s mom’s heroin addiction and the overdose that nearly kills her.
Lake Fun for You and Me by Rinda Beach with digital images by Rick Starkey is a fun vacation story with fill-in pages for the young reader to document their own lake adventures. This is a unique book that is both a story to enjoy along with activity pages for the reader to fill in with their own details. The story also builds smart map-reading skills while giving the reader activity pages to fill in with drawings and descriptions of their own time on vacation.
The third installment of the Champion Chocolatier series (Champion Chocolatier: For Better or Worse) is as fun as the first two! I really loved Emmy from the first time we met her as she heads to Duluth to run a chocolate shop. In book two, Champion Chocolatier: Reality Bites, we join Emmy as she competes in a reality TV candy-making contest. That story had some fun twists and turns! Now, she’s getting married and convinces her fiancé to take part in a couple’s contest to win a honeymoon.
Barbara Britton is back with another fabulous story! Lioness: Mahlah’s Journey releases as an e-book today and will be available in print on December 6. I feel so lucky to have received an advance reader copy, so that I can share with you why I love this tale so much.
What a treat to talk with Greg Renz about his book Beneath the Flames. Last week I included my review of his debut novel as part of my bi-monthly wrap of great books. If you missed that, please take a moment to see why I LOVE this book below before we jump into the interview with Greg.
Easter Elfby Rochelle Groskreutz with illustrations by Leah Di Pasquale is such a unique and fun picture book that I’m telling everyone they need to order one for the young readers in their lives. If the name Easter Elf, doesn’t make you look twice, the colorful and playful cover will have you pulling it off the shelf for a closer look. And then you’ll be hooked, because it just gets better from there.
The Griffins of Castle Caryby Heather Shumaker is a delightful ghost story with high stakes for the characters that I love in a middle-grade tale. A trio of American siblings travel to the English countryside to spend a week with their aunt who lives in a small cottage on the grounds of a Mendip Manor and the ruins of Castle Cary—long believed to be haunted. As they explore their temporary home and make some new (rather odd) friends, strange happenings put everyone on edge.