A missing dad still alive? Time to go find him! Here’s the plan, guys…
Grams’ death leaves Freddie and his stepdad all alone their English town, but her final message solves a lifelong mystery – the name of his long-gone biological father!
Best pals Ben and Charlie agree to take the train with him to Wales as their last fun weekend before they’re dragged off to summer activities that their families love (and they despise).
The eleven year olds’ quick trip turns into an adventurous trek – missed connections, a new destination, an onion-eating contest, a bicycle-built-for-two, and emergency change into superhero costumes to elude a jewel thief!
Can they keep convincing their parents that they’re just at a sleepover? Why did Freddie’s dad never try to contact him? Why didn’t they bring more underwear?
Their teacher said it was a miracle that their class made it through the school year, but Freddie, Ben, and Charlie encounter real miracles aplenty in this hilarious debut novel.
When does your search become a mission? **kmm
Book info: The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddy Yates / Jenny Pearson. Norton Young Readers, 2020. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Watching for the new moon to appear, Special foods enjoyed for generations, Gifts and love and faith and joy!
Muslims observe the two Eid holidays with celebratory traditions as varied as the world is wide.
New clothes can be a hallmark of Eid – even as cousins Hawa and Fanta disagree about which style of dress is “Perfect” during the African community’s Eid parties in New York City or Makayla worries that friends will make fun of her new-ish abaya from the second-hand store in “Creative Fixes.”
“Gifts” make Eid special for Idrees who begins understanding that giving is more important than getting, and a young man saving up for a new bike is repeatedly reminded by his grandmother that his name “Kareem means ‘generous’. “
The same foods every year are family traditions, so when big sister is busy, it’s just “Yusuf and the Big Brownie Mishap”, and Nadia quietly goes to the bakery for their favorite pastries while Mama sleeps after chemo in “Don’ut Break Tradition.”
Despair lifts when a kind Greek villager helps Bassem “Searching for Blue” bring the taste of Eid love to his refugee camp, and a grieving father helps his daughter try to make the “Taste” of Mama’s special lontong, always cooked by heart in their Malaysian apartment instead of written down.
Going high above the City of Boundless Light, “Seraj Captures the Moon” marking the end of Ramadan in a graphic novel illustrated by the same artist who sketched the chapter headings and book cover showing young people preparing for Eid from Canada to the US to Australia.
Fifteen Muslim authors bring us stories that reflect the wide range of community and family traditions for celebrating Eid – all with food, all with love, all with renewed hope.
What says home and hope to you? **kmm
Book info: Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices / edited by S. K. Ali and Aisha Saeed; illustrated by Sara Alfageeh. Amulet Books, 2020. [S. K. site] [Aisha site] [Sara site] [publisher site] Personal copy; video and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Cass is waiting to hear about Julia’s secret project, Funny, smart, drama chick Julia, Best friend ever. Dead in a car crash – bam. Just like that.
Now Cass won’t see how Julia would have finished her amazing play and will never know if there could be more than just friendship between them. But she and Julia had long planned that they would bike all the way to the Pacific Ocean after graduation – no reason to wait a whole year, so Cass preps for a solo bike trek in the summer before her senior year, taking along Julia’s ashes from Chicago to the sea.
Let the drama kids take Julia’s work-in-progress and turn it into a play over the summer – Cass is taking action. She doesn’t sit around moping and mourning – she pedals and aches and discovers things about herself and about friendship that she never imagined. That’s probably the most ‘ninja’ way to live of all – Julia would have cheered for that.
Look for this debut novel at your local library or independent bookstore and journey along with Cass and Julia, maybe finding a little more love along the way. **kmm
My Recommendation: After Julia’s death in a car crash, Cass can’t stay in town as the Drama Kids get ready to perform Julia’s “top secret” play as a tribute to begin their senior year of high school. Cass decides to bicycle from Ohio to California, just as she and Julia had planned. But instead of Julia as her traveling buddy, she’ll have her best friend’s ashes along for the ride to the Pacific Ocean, Julia’s dream destination.
Why would she want to spend all summer painting sets for Julia’s incredible “Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad” musical, especially when Heather (who loudly questioned Cass’s sexual orientation throughout junior high) gets the lead and Julia’s boyfriend keeps changing the staging? Why?
So, armed with cellphone, maps, spare bike parts, her parents’ blessings, and Julia’s ashes, Cass heads off across the country. She meets good people, not-so-good people, her first love, and herself along the way.
Can Cass make it all the way to California on her bike? Will the Drama Kids be able to put on Julia’s musical with no adult interference? Did Cass love Julia or was she in love with Julia or does it even matter since Julia is dead?
Alternating chapters of Then (the summer trip) and Now (last-minute preparations for the musical) reveal Cass’s worries and wonderment about life, love, and dividing by zero (“so ninja!” according to Julia). (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
For Fun Friday, we’re heading north of the border. I can see why Jenna would rather spend her summer with the godmother she hasn’t seen in years, instead of sweltering in a Florida retirement community with her grandma – it’s been ridiculously hot in C.Florida this summer already and there’s only so much bingo that a teen wants to deal with…
Oh, I did laugh out loud when Jenna, the kayak, and the beaver lodge had a sudden meeting, but Jenna’s summer looks like an uphill climb, doesn’t it? And what about the bear, and the moose, and the mountain biking? Well, you’ll just have to read this funny book to find out, eh?
My Book Talk: Jenna is a Green Teen for environmental awareness at her high school, so when she can choose between spending the summer in the Canadian woods with her godmother Susie or snoozing through card games at her grandmother’s Florida retirement village, she jumps at the chance to head north.
But the teens of tiny Stillwater, British Columbia, have known each other forever and don’t exactly welcome Jenna. Ethan, Grady, and Reeve play practical jokes on her from the moment they meet. Fiona hates everything, especially her stepmother, Susie, who works frantically with her new husband to transform a huge old house into a bed-and-breakfast resort before the first guests arrive in a few weeks. And Jenna’s best friend doesn’t get much cellphone signal at her summer camp job back home… what else could go wrong?
How about crashing through a beaver dam with her kayak or accidentally catching a trout? “I left the cork on the hook! I didn’t think anything would actually bite!” screams vegetarian Jenna.
The five teens start to get along as they create a website (complete with videos of Jenna’s rookie attempts at rock climbing and dirt bikes) so the inn can compete with the new luxury spa hotel across the valley, but secrets and misunderstood kisses may end the whole summer with a crash!
Does everything have to be eco-friendly or else? What makes a true friend? Why do guys have to be so complicated? (and watch out for the bear, Jenna, and the moose, too!)(One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
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