Tag Archive | survival

In TENMILE mining town, what future does she have? by Sandra Dallas (MG book review)

Back of young girl with long hair, looking at old western town at base of mountains - book cover of Tenmile, by Sandra Dallas

Beautiful mountains above,
gold in the ground below,
the many toiling to benefit a few..

Some have enough, most have little, a few have so much – life in their Colorado gold mining town isn’t fair, her widowed doctor father tells 13-year-old Sissy.

“She’d asked him once why he hadn’t moved to Denver, where there were beautiful houses and grass and leafy trees. ‘Because people in Tenmile need me,’ he’d replied.” (p.85)

When their fathers are injured in the mines, some of her friends must drop out of school to support their families, working as maids, clothes washers, even down in the mines as young teens…

Willie Gilpin’s big brother died of scarlet fever, so his worried mother keeps him home from school. The rich mine owner’s son has gotten spoiled and mean; 13-year-old Sissy will tutor him, but not put up with his bad behavior.

Oh, no! Another mine accident! Sissy runs to help.
Doc has taught her many treatments and remedies; she helps him setting broken bones and delivering babies – but no one thinks a girl can be a doctor in 1880!

Look for this 2022 release in hardcover, paperback, or eBook at your local library or independent bookstore (not affiliate links).

What dream job are you aiming for, despite what others say?
**kmm

Book info: Tenmile / Sandra Dallas. Sleeping Bear Press, hardcover 2022. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

They search to see WINGS IN THE WILD – wings of hope? by Margarita Engle (YA book review)

Standing brown girl paints mural of tropical birds while seated brown boy serenades her with guitar - book cover of Wings In the Wild, by Margarita Engle

Creative people caged like birds,
our overheating planet –
where is justice?

Fleeing Cuba when their massive wood sculptures protesting the imprisonment of artists are revealed by a hurricane in 2018, Soleida is separated from her parents – the sixteen year old animal rescuer must continue out into the world, alone.

Yet another wildfire consumes his parents’ California mansion and the forest where Dariel serenades animals with Cuban love songs. Better to leave their elite expectations and go with Abuelo to help interview Cuban refugees stranded in Costa Rica, experience its natural wonders before climate change destroys them, too.

In spring 2019, Soleida and Dariel meet among the sea of refugee tents – her hopes of freedom shredded to the bone, his anger at these injustices burning hot.

What will she think of the tropical animals and birds that move in closer and closer to hear his songs and guitar?
What will he think of her journey-story, surviving fear and flood and hunger, leaving her parents behind?

Together, they find her artist cousin nearby in the cloud forest.
Together, can they let the world know about her parents, trapped in Cuba?
Together…can they have any future together?

Watching incredible birds, painting them, singing them near, pondering what could be – this novel-in-verse traverses difficult situations and wonder-filled landscapes.

Readers will recognize Soleida’s neighbors Liana and Amado from Your Heart, My Sky (recommended here), much like the interwoven stories of people who have left Cuba connect with those remaining there. Just released in paperback on April 23, 2024.

How far would you go to be free?
**kmm

Book info: Wings in the Wild / Margarita Engle. Atheneum, hardcover 2023, paperback 2024. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

O is for OTHERWORLDLY source of sorrow and joy, by F.T. Lukens (YA Book Review) #A2Z

book cover of Otherworldly, by F.T. Lukens, published by Margaret K McElderry Books / S&S

Bargain made with the Other World,
elixir of life sought by one brings winter for all
… forever?

Supernatural familiar Knox knows he’ll be whisked away the moment that a human-initiated contract is completed, everything about his time in this world erased, as usual. Hmmm…still no response from the queen about his reports.

After spring quit coming to their area five years ago, Ellery stopped believing in the goddess of earth (or river nymphs or gnomes or fae).

Ellery now works in the city to help their family try to keep the farm going (so much for school…sigh). Thankfully, cousin Charley and her girlfriend have a place for the 17 year old to stay – work, shiver, sleep, repeat.

When a hot young guy comes into their diner, Charley dares Ellery to talk to him. Oh, no, too shy!

They literally run into each other that evening, as Knox is fleeing the unearthly Shades trying to return him to the Other World before he’s seen more of this one!

If Knox signs another contract, he’ll regain his magic to fight the Shades and can stay in the human realm, so Ellery agrees – he’ll investigate this perpetual winter’s cause, and they’ll help him experience human life that he’s only seen on TV.

Between local sightseeing and work at the diner, the pair investigates the mystery of ever-winter (with help from Charley and Zada), trying to keep ahead the Shades, requesting assistance from supernatural beings also affected by the unnatural weather, realizing that Knox cannot resist being pulled back to the Other World when the last item on the contract is completed.

Told in alternating chapters by Knox and Ellery as they encounter dryads and pixies in the city, escape a hockey match brawl, and begin falling for one another.

Then Knox is suddenly before the Queen – what can Ellery do?

By the author of Spell Bound (I recommended it here), So This Is Ever After (more here), and In Deeper Waters (here).

What otherworldly being might inhabit your area?
**kmm

Book info: Otherworldly / F.T. Lukens. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2024. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

L is LUMINOUS LIFE OF LUCY LANDRY: orphan, treasure seeker, by Anna Rose Johnson (MG book review) #A2Z

book cover of The Luminous Life of Lucy Landry, by Anna Rose Johnson. Published by Holiday House/PRH

Mama the actress died, then Papa,
now her guardian too –
where will Lucy go?

A remote lighthouse on a tiny island in vast Lake Superior!? Living with a family she’s never met? Thankfully, they’re also of Ojibwe and Acadian heritage…

So 11-year-old Lucy goes to the Martin family in 1912, an only child in hand-me-down clothes with a big imagination and few practical skills now among a bustling family of eight.

They gather seagulls’ eggs for cooking, their school lessons arrive every month with the household supply order and a box of books, and not one of the six children believes that Lucy’s mother was a famous actress…

Her ship-captain father told Lucy of a valuable ruby necklace lost when the Elva Jane shipwrecked and how a grand piano from its cargo washed ashore at Mermaid’s Cove across the water from this island – she’s determined to find that necklace in memory of her father!

But first she has to get over her fear of boats and convince the older Martin children to help her search and not make more mistakes at the lighthouse (that scary inspector could arrive any time).

The necklace’s owner is still living? Perhaps she knows a little more.
Who’s that boy searching for the necklace? Lucy must find it first!
A storm is coming while Mr. Martin is away? The children must light up the lighthouse for sailors’ safety!

Lucy tries to find her place in a new family in northern Michigan while keeping memories of her parents alive in this historical novel touched with mystery, glossary of Ojibwe and French words included.

Could you live on an island with little communication to the outside world?
**kmm

Book info: The Luminous Life of Lucy Landry / Anna Rose Johnson. Holiday House, 2024. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

ASTONISHING & EXTINCT PROFESSIONS: 89 JOBS YOU WILL NEVER DO, by Marcus Rottman & Michael Meister (MG non-fiction review)

book cover of Astonishing and Extinct Professions: 89 Jobs You Will Never Do,  by Markus Rottmann; illustrated by Michael Meister; translated by Ashley Curtis & Sonia Curtis. Published by Helvetiq

Who… cried on demand?
…could not afford to stumble?
…could hold their breath the longest?

This intriguing, large-format book highlights 89 long-gone jobs, some that we’ve heard of – executioner, court jester, explorer – and others that sound entirely strange to our ears – whalebone ripper, candle trimmer, ice harvesters.

From gladiators and royal tasters to switchboard operators and computing rocket women, professions have arisen to fill a need and then fade away if a better (or faster or cheaper) way is found. Wet nurses gave way to baby formula powder, and airplane detectors’ sensitive ears were replaced by the invention of radar.

You’ll be thankful for modern indoor plumbing when you learn about the jobs of fullones (collected urine to wash clothes in), nightmen (who shoveled out pit toilets), and Abtrittanbieter (walking toilets with a bucket and big cloak)!

Discover the origin of “whipping boy” and “mad as a hatter,” as well as how the Bow Street Runners led to modern police work.

The book’s illustrator even shows himself moving from traditional to digital art methods. Think about which of today’s professions are threatened with extinction as you plot your future career path!

A fascinating import from Switzerland, translated from German to English.

What’s the most unusual past profession you’ve ever heard of?
**kmm

Book info: Astonishing and Extinct Professions: 89 Jobs You Will Never Do / Markus Rottmann; illustrated by Michael Meister; translated by Ashley Curtis & Sonia Curtis. Helvetiq, 2023. [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

It’s not fair! Teens incite THE PEACH REBELLION post-WWII, by Wendelin Van Draanen (YA book review)

book cover of The Peach Rebellion, by Wendelin Van Draanen. Alfred A. Knopf | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Over a decade since coming to California during the Dust Bowl days, her tiny brothers dying of sickness and buried under a creekside tree north of here, and folks are still calling Ginny Rose’s family “Okies” after World War II, despite all their hard work.

After her first day working at the peach cannery, a flat bike tire detours the 17 year old to Peggy’s peach farm where she meets banker’s daughter Lisette.

Wow, Papa and Mama tell Ginny Rose to keep half her wages for new school clothes and her future! Her sister Anna Mae is aghast at the idea of being left behind with their deeply depressed mother

Peggy’s big sister opens the teen’s eyes to truths about the family peach farm, very unwelcome facts that explain why Doris hasn’t brought her baby back to visit.

Lisette’s fancy new house? Her father’s bank foreclosed on his good friend’s house, then the banker bought it instead of stopping the seizure?!

Ginny Rose discovers Babyland in the cemetery, where the tiniest children are buried – could she bring her little brothers here, for good?

The three teens from very different parts of society find a common purpose as Peggy and Lisette decide to help Ginny Rose on her quest!

Told in alternating chapters by Ginny Rose and Peggy during the sweltering summer of 1947.

Which friends would help you with a challenge?
**kmm

Book info: The Peach Rebellion / Wendelin Van Draanen. Alfred A. Knopf /PRH, 2022. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

A quest, an escape, SOMETHING CLOSE TO MAGIC is needed! by Emma Mills (YA book review)

book cover of Something Close to Magic, by Emma Mills. Published by Atheneum | recommended on BooksYALove.com

When Aurelie’s feckless parents used up all their money, she was forced to leave school and magic lessons to become apprentice to a miserly baker.

Use her Seeker skills again? Dashing finder Iliana convinces her to try – for a percentage of the bounty. Everyone knows that each magic spell used has a consequence of opposites…

They set out through the dreaded Underwood to find Elias, son of a royal servant. Along the way, Aurelie is pulled underground by an ancient being, rescued by Quad (a troll friend of Iliana), and has a vision of Elias nearby.

But instead of Elias, the three young women find Prince Hapless’s coach under attack!

To throw off the kidnappers, they continue roundabout in the Underwood, rather than take Hapless directly onward to the Scholar’s City. The prince is funny and nice and honest about being a very terrible student of magic, only living up to his court-given royal name now and again.

What?! The newspaper says Iliana and Aurelie kidnapped Hapless! But the attackers wore palace guard uniforms… something’s fishy.

They magically change the prince’s appearance and head for the capital instead. He and Aurelie hate to part, but promise to write… back to boring real life.

When Iliana appears at the bakery several weeks later, worried about a plot against Hapless at his sister’s ball, Aurelie must decide – see the man she knows she cannot be with or abandon her chance to become a master baker.

A pretender grabbing for the throne, unrequited affections, old magic and new magic – a worthy tale indeed!

What magic spell would you choose, if you knew it could boomerang?
**kmm

Book info: Something Close to Magic / Emma Mills. Atheneum, 2023. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Experience our Black History when you read with your ears! (audiobook recommendations)

Our AudioSYNC 2023 summer season ends with two outstanding audiobooks celebrating Black history of recent and earlier times.

You must download either or both audiobooks into your Sora shelf by Wednesday August 2nd! Get all the details here.

Huge thanks to Audiofile magazine and the many audiobook publishers who provided these great selections to us free!

CD cover of Freedom: The Story of the Black Panther Party,by Jetta Grace Martin, Joshua Bloom, Waldo E. Martin Jr. | Read by Dion Graham. Published by Recorded Books

Freedom: The Story of the Black Panther Party (free Sora download 7/27 -8/2/23)
by Jetta Grace Martin, Joshua Bloom, Waldo E. Martin Jr. | Read by Dion Graham
Published by Recorded Books

The history of the Black Panther Party comes to life, from its founders and their stories to its work supporting African American families in crisis to its collapse and next steps of key members.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/208263/freedom!-by-jetta-grace-martin-joshua-bloom-waldo-e-martin-jr-read-by-dion-graham/

swirling lines clipart http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/mondays-throughout-the-day-17164159
CD cover of Not Without Laughter, by Langston Hughes | Read by Jaime Lincoln Smith. Published by Tantor Media

Not Without Laughter (free Sora download 7/27 -8/2/23)
by Langston Hughes | Read by Jaime Lincoln Smith
Published by Tantor Media

A Black family’s struggles and challenges include racially charged encounters as son Sandy grows up in 1930s Kansas.

A classic Harlem Renaissance novel, narrated to perfection.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/225993/not-without-laughter-by-langston-hughes-read-by-jaime-lincoln-smith/

What was your favorite AudioSYNC summer audiobook this year?
**kmm

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Scary times – who will be brave? (audiobook recommendations)

Frightening or challenging? You decide with these professionally produced audiobooks respinning fairy tales as our AudioSYNC summer winds down.

You have until Wednesday 19 July 2023 to download either or both audiobooks into your Sora shelf. Get all the details here.

Not your everyday experiences…

CD cover of The Lantern's Ember, 
by Colleen Houck | Read by Piper Goodeve. Published by HighBridge Audio

The Lantern’s Ember (free Sora download 7/13 – 7/19/23)
by Colleen Houck | Read by Piper Goodeve
Published by HighBridge Audio

Guarding the Otherworld’s entrance for centuries, Jack is startled when young witch Ember slips through its gates.

Doesn’t she realize its true dangers? Dare he leave his post to save her? How could he not?!

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/229597/the-lanterns-ember-by-colleen-houck-read-by-piper-goodeve/

swirling lines clipart http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/mondays-throughout-the-day-17164159
CD cover of Red Hood, by Elana K. Arnold | Read by January LaVoy.
Published by Harper Audio

Red Hood (free Sora download 7/13-7/19/23)
by Elana K. Arnold | Read by January LaVoy
Published by Harper Audio

For 16-year-old Bisou, one transcendent evening encompasses her first period, first encounter with the pleasures of sex, memories of her mother’s bloody death, and a stalker whose wolf-form hides a terrible classmate.

Red Riding Hood retold with emphasis on feminine instincts in the face of male toxicity.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/173189/red-hood-by-elana-k-arnold-read-by-january-lavoy/

What edge-of-your-seat tale would you recommend?
**kmm

divider clipart http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/mondays-throughout-the-day-17164159

Oracle’s prophecy, a WOLFISH connection – danger! by Christiane M. Andrews (MG book review)

book cover of Wolfish, by Christiane M. Andrews. Published by Little Brown | recommended on BooksYALove.com

In their cave of mists, Oracle and Apprentice tell the future, but young Alba won’t repeat the waters’ most dismal words to rob poor peasants of a little hope.

Alas, Alba does speak truth to one boy, eleventh in the royal succession and suddenly the new king, about his joyless reign being cut short by his sibling and a beast.

Later visions show her that the king’s mother soon after birthed twins who were swiftly taken from the palace, yet all are told that her child was stillborn … where were the king’s siblings taken?

In the mountains, little Rae helps her adoptive parents watch their sheep, growing strong on their love and sunshine and Mop’s songs.

In the forest, a wolf-child learns to hunt and revel in the scents around him, as furred and swift-running as his litter-mates.

At the cave entrance, a young priest guarding them at night reluctantly teaches Alba how to write, and she records her vision of the twins for the priests’ library.

One day, Rae sings the song she senses in hillside breezes and sees a wolf, whose attack is stopped – by another wolf! The defending wolf allows Rae to tend his wounds, and somehow they truly see one another…

Alba’s writing is discovered, and she is banished. Now what? Now where?

To her first market day in the town, Rae and her parents go, not knowing that the king ordered all children of the twins’ age – and hers – captured!

Can Alba and Rae and the wolf escape the king’s anger and make their own futures come true?

A lyrical tale of the magic of songs and of being known, seen, loved.

Would you want to know your future?
**kmm

Book info: Wolfish / Christiane M. Andrews. Little Brown, 2022. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.