Endangered bird feathers as a prop,
a social club with no social awareness,
time to stop this nonsense!
Waiting out her parents’ transatlantic divorce arguments, Lane decides to take summer at her wealthy grandmother’s palatial Florida estate from boring to bold by inviting other 12 year old girls to form a secret club.
Ofelia’s overprotective Cuban-American parents want the budding journalist to stay safe, quit being so inquisitive, and certainly not apply for news-writers’ camp in New York City.
Helping her grandfather research connections between their Bahamian roots and local citrus growers leaves Aster plenty of time to cook up new dishes while Mom’s overseas in the Army.
As youngest sister, Cat is her society-conscious mother’s final chance to have a Miss Flora in the family, but she’d rather watch living birds than sit in boring club meetings.
The new friends decide to challenge the tradition of Miss Flora wearing a ceremonial hat with feathers from endangered birds – it should be in a museum!
All their low-key protests – stickers, lawn flamingos at the Flora clubhouse – get taken over by the Flora leader for publicity! How can this eclectic crew make the townspeople understand the importance of protecting local birds in peril?
Not her fault!
Not the worst thing after all?
Tatum’s unwarranted ‘house arrest’ after (former?) BFF Ashlyn’s big mistake plus petsitting to pay the fine and all those community service hours sweltering outdoors… the only good things about this summer are her growing design business (and flirting with one particular client), getting to know Abby (so much ivy to eradicate!), and having grandma Blanche (how could uptight stepmother be this free spirit’s daughter?) at home.
Happy book birthday this week to It Started With Goodbye!
How to draw the line between supporting a friend and enabling them?
Book info: It Started With Goodbye / Christina June. Blink YA Books, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Attacking overgrown vines wasn’t Tatum’s plan for summer, but starting her design business online (and flirtatious emails with SK) might make ‘house arrest’ and community service a bit more bearable.
After her BFF’s bad judgment puts the Virginia teen completely under her rigid stepmother’s supervision while Dad is overseas, only pet-sitting or doing community service can get Tate out of the house shared with perfect stepsister Tilly, the ballet prodigy. Luckily, they don’t know how happy Tate is that Tilly’s grandmother Blanche is here for the summer.
Interesting to become friends with Abby and Hunter – will they ever act on their growing attraction?
Exciting that her TLC Design is getting clients online – who is SK and will she ever meet him?
Still sad that Ashlyn won’t acknowledge her part in that fiasco – will she ever answer Tate’s emails?
A bit magical having abuela Blanche on her side – almost like a Cinderella story!
Able to make water where there is none!
Generations after the Devastation of chemical and biological weapons nearly wiped out life on Earth, mutations may be nature’s way of keeping humanity around, perhaps to save the very last tree in the whole world, hidden where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers once flowed.
Look for the first book in the series, Dry Souls (my no-spoiler review here), to visit Kira’s world as she first discovers her affinity for water in this parched future Earth.
How far would you go for friendship?
Book info: The Last Tree (Dry Souls, book 2) / Denise Getson. CBAY Books, 2016. [author’s Facebook] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Kira isn’t sure how she can call water through solid rock into places where it once flowed, but the United Territory Council government will stop at nothing to capture her and find out how she can bring forth water when all land is desert.
The teen must stay free so she, Tuck, and J.D. can rescue friend Tamara and continue their stealthy mission to get Kira near old lakebeds to call their waters back.
When she is asked to help a special tree, how can Kira say no?
Is this last tree in the entire world truly the Tree of Knowledge?
But how can she keep her family of friends safe from the UTC?
Kira’s adventures in the dry and toxic world introduced in Dry Souls, book one of the series, continue as she jumps across the world from danger into world-altering risks.
From Thursday through Wednesday (30 June to late night 6 July), you can download either or both of these these complete audiobooks for free, then listen to them whenever you like, as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.
Click on the link following each title to go to the SYNC site now (you’ll need Overdrive app to listen; free download link there, also).
Journalist/food detective Pollan explored conventional and organic farms, hunting, foraging, mega-corporations and small enterprises to see how food gets to your table and how you can make informed choices about what you eat.
Austin and Robby didn’t intend to create a horde of 6 foot tall praying mantises that want only to eat and reproduce, but that’s what people in their small Iowa town are becoming! Not the most convenient time to fall in love with both your best friends…
What summer food will you snack on as you listen?
A vanished people, towering trees of mystery,
a chance to save the world…
Now out in paperback for its 25th anniversary, Merlin Saga author T.A. Barron’s tale of a young teen striving to complete a perilous quest even as she mourns her parents’ deaths is an adventure and a celebration of the interconnectedness of life, as it weaves together old secrets, ancient peoples, time travel, and an evil bent upon conquering the world.
My book talk: At her aunt’s Oregon home, grieving teen Kate helps Aunt Melanie try to stop out-of-work loggers from destroying a newly discovered redwood grove and is hurtled back in time to meet nature beings and Native peoples who are struggling to prevent an evil force from overtaking their world. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
Too sad to keep on living in a climate chaotic world,
her parents have chosen their time to die…
or is it the pharma talking?
Nat’s mom and dad – former environmental activists – could have waited just a few more years to invoke the Service Contract ending their lives, till the teen and her younger brother moved out as workers – why now?
In this too-possible dystopia, global warming has changed weather patterns, babies are now illegal, and new diseases mutating weekly make face-to-face contact rare.
Ask for Nat’s story at your local library or independent bookstore to see if she can find a way to keep her family together once she discovers the truths that pharma-corps are trying to hide. (I loved the book, but its title… not so much)
My book talk: Preparing to honor her parents’ final week of life, Nat learns that big money uses pharma to trick the few remaining Americans into thinking that global warming has eliminated the entire natural world.
At a tropical resort devoted to final Contracts, the teen and her hackerkid brother discover real plants and animals and people who think for themselves. Are pharma-corporations really lying to the public about imminent doomsday?
Her decision about joining the rebels must come soon, as her parents’ date with a lethal farewell drink in mere days will leave Nat and Sam in a group survivors’ home in Oregon – are her parents really sad enough about the state of the world to leave it forever?
When a mega-hurricane hurtles toward Hawai’i, will it be too late to rescue her not-old parents and not-old-enough brother?
Addressed to an imagined friend safely orbiting this climate-chaos world, Nat reflects in the Contract-provided mourning journal about Starships and Pills and her unexpected opportunity to escape pharma-managed life… if she can. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
Leadership is needed,
Hope is required,
Young people must prevail or die.
The final volume in the Ashfall Trilogy is a blockbuster! Alex and Darla have survived cannibals, bandits, the US government, and near-starvation in Ashfall (my review here) and Ashen Winter (my review here).
Now they must organize citizens against an oncoming threat or decide to leave the townspeople to their own fate… what a burden for kids just old enough to drive.
Full disclosure: I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book since I won the right to name a character in it through the Authors for Henryville auction which raised money to rebuild school libraries after the 2012 tornado there. The character who shares my husband’s name in Sunrise is somewhat like him (not always the case where naming rights are involved – thank you, Mike); no spoiler to tell you that he dies, because many, many people die in the perpetual winter brought on by the Yellowstone supervolcano eruption, so I’m tangentially in the book as his widow.
I just discovered Darla’s Story eBook, told from her point of view, paralleling Alex’s narrative in Ashfall from the supervolcano eruption to their meeting on her Iowa farm under perilous circumstances (makes this a trilogy with 3.5 books).
How well would you survive a frozen future?
Book info: Sunrise (Ashfall Trilogy, book 3) / Mike Mullin. Tanglewood Press, 2014. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: After a year of perpetual winter, Alex and Darla face tough choices when his uncle’s farm suddenly fills with townspeople who think the armed bandit attack is a one-time problem.
Everyone is tired of subsisting on kale and frozen pork, but when refugees flood Uncle Paul’s Illinois farm after renegades attack the nearby town, it’s up to young people like Alex and Darla to find medical supplies and more food (and maybe retaliate against the aggressors).
When folks move back to town but refuse to post guards against the bloodthirsty psychopath’s brigands, Alex and Darla lead another group to establish a safer settlement, complete with greenhouses and electricity from a repurposed wind turbine.
Why is Mom staying in town instead of with Alex?
Why won’t the Mayor post guards against the next attack?
Will Alex and Darla stay alive long enough to make their love a true commitment?
This final volume in the Ashfall Trilogy pits short-sighted leaders against vicious villains, the need for community against the will to go your own way, and the unforgiving brutality of volcanic winter against the hope of love and the possibility of springtime. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
Light – the Rats forgo it so they can control the water,
one of the most basic human needs;
The Prime Minister controls everything – and everyone – else.
Underground for so many generations, the humans guarding Earth’s last freshwater source have mutated into Rat-like darkness dwellers… that’s what the Council tells the Toppers in 2250, when rain on the Earth’s surface is only a memory and emotions are deemed unnecessary.
Imagine having to memorize each step and turn of the long, perilous journey to the Aquifer! If Luca’s father, the Deliverer, is brave enough to face the Rats at the Aquifer every year to renew the water agreement, why is he so sad and distant the rest of the year?
Be sure to have a big drink of cool, clear, fresh water at hand when you read this intriguing tale of a future Australia and a young man whose emotions refuse to stay sedated – just published this month.
My book talk: Luca knows someday he will be Deliverer, making the dangerous journey underground to ensure New Pert’s freshwater supply, but all the Toppers believe about the Rats controlling the Aquifer in 2250 may be a lie.
Only needful work is allowed, no wasteful emotions or art or writing, say the Prime Minister and the Council, so the precious water lasts all year, until the Deliverer renews the agreement with the dreadful Rats by taking them lightsticks that only the Toppers can make.
At 15, Luca is nearly done with school, trying to train his mind to remain calm, practicing the memorized steps and turns of the journey to the Aquifer that his father teaches him, the dreadful journey that someday will be his to make as Deliverer.
Trying to stay unnoticed by the Watchful Amongus is essential, else the Council’s enforcers will cast offenders in chains and dump them into the sea – “undone” from this life. When Luca hides a classmate who’s declared undone in the Deliverer’s shack, he starts a chain of events that could undo the cautious agreement between the Rats and the Toppers, breaking off the water supply or opening it forever.
Why does the museum-keeper show Luca the things she calls “books” and teach him to write?
What broke the spirit of the Deliverer – his many journeys to the Aquifer or something else?
When the time comes, will Luca be brave enough to travel underground as Deliverer?
Forbidden friendships, shared secrets, widespread lies, and even bigger truths fill this tale of a future Australia where spirits are parched for affection as much as their bodies are longing for water from the Aquifer. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
My Book Talk: It was the cats who decided to save Lillian. She just wanted to say hello to the fairies, but here she lies, dying of snakebite. Changed by their magic from a dying girl into a live kitten, Lillian can’t comfort her aunt or the neighbors who search the old woods. She must find out how to turn back into herself… and then how to make right the consequences of her choice.
These forest cats know that their magic might anger the Father of All Cats, that great black puma who stalks these ancient woods, who prowls in dark dreams. But they just couldn’t let the girl die, not after she’s been so generous with milk for them and respectful of the Apple Tree Man.
Lillian-kitten sets out to find Old Mother Possum, who might help her turn back into girl-Lillian. Accompanied by T.H. Fox (his mother named him Truthful and Handsome), she makes the long journey, despite his warnings that the part-witch-part-someone may not choose a solution that’s easy or simple.
Oh, turning back one death puts it onto another! Now Lillian has a bigger problem to solve and consults the wise woman at the Kickaha reservation nearby. Aunt Nancy sees only one path and not an easy one, as this problem is so big that Lillian must ask a difficult favor of the fearsome Bear People, no matter what the personal cost.
Does young Lillian have the courage to walk alone into the Bears’ den?
Why do the cats of the forest keep watching her?
Is love enough to turn away death?
Originally a very short picture book, The Cats of Tanglewood Forest brings even more depth to Lillian’s journey as she searches for a way to make things right again in her world, despite the danger to herself. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
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