When we meet Jonny, he can’t sleep; he turns on the light to play The Secret Land of Zenon.
Simon & Schuster, 2013
In this first sentence of Teddy Wayne’s novel, Jonny might be any eleven-year-old boy.
But even while listening to the background music for Zenon, Jonny recognizes the audience-loyalty retention strategy at [...]
Whitney Otto’s How to Make an American Quilt was a story which immediately and powerfully appealed to me.
As a narrative it was deliberately fragmented (like a quilt), and the idea of a mosaic of smaller pieces comprising a larger, complex whole translated brilliantly into film in the hands of Jocelyn Moorhouse.
I know, I [...]
Susannah Cahalan knows how to tell a story. She started as a “copy kid” at the New York Post, sorting mail and making coffee, and when readers meet her on the page, she is a full-time writer there.
Yet, the three story pitches she has just volleyed to her boss have flopped. She wasn’t surprised; she was [...]
Raami is “just a spit past seven” in 1975, when the year of the Tiger shifts to the year of the Rabbit.
It is the Khmer New Year, and Raami’s parents disagree about whether it is appropriate to celebrate when there is so much misery and fighting.
Raami is pleased that her mother is insisting [...]
“She’s a beauty all right,” said Tom, taking in the giant lens, far taller than himself, atop the rotating pedestal: a palace of prisms like a beehive made from glass. It was the very heart of Janus, all light and clarity and silence.”
Janus is a small isolated island off the west coast of Australia, [...]
On the surface, Nalo Hopkinson’s YA novel is about the chaos which ensues after a volcano emerges dramatically in Lake Ontario.
Simon & Schuster, 2012
It also, however, takes on the chaotic elements of the reader’s society: the sexism, ableism, homophobia and racism that characterizes the everyday world of the reader.
Sojourner, called Scotch [...]
Each of us has experienced those moments, when passing noise and bustle, of feeling removed from what really matters.
You know, those moments of startling clarity, when you are surrounded by stillness, observing the action but separated from it?
Like this, in Frances’ words, in Harriet Lane’s debut novel:
“Every so often, [...]
Holly Black’s Modern Faerie Tales series begins with Tithe. I bought a copy of it some years ago for my niece, thinking there was just enough swearing and sexual tension to incite an interest in reading.
(That wasn’t entirely successful, but I did quite enjoy reading it myself. Not that I ever buy books as [...]
Once Upon a Time has wrapped up for another year, but I haven’t properly mentioned some books, including two terrific books of Inuit folktales which I’ll discuss tomorrow. But, first…
Cameron Dokey’s The World Above is part of the series of retellings from Simon Pulse; there are about twenty retellings in all, and they all seem to [...]
The stories in Birds of a Lesser Paradise are so consistently good that I almost didn’t want to read them.
Scribner – Simon & Schuster, 2012
Beginning Megan Mayhew Bergman’s collection, I had no expectations. She’s been much-anthologized, and has a nice list of publishing credits, but that doesn’t guarantee a good match between [...]