Books by Bonnie Shimko

YOU KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO by Bonnie Shimko
YOUNG ADULT
Released: March 26, 2013

"It's a fast-moving tale with an engagingly complex protagonist, but it suffers from its credibility issues. (Thriller. 12-17)"
Fifteen-year-old Maggie, or Mary-Magdalene, as her flaky young mother Roxanne optimistically christened her, hears a didactic male voice inside her head instructing her precisely how and when to kill individuals who have wronged her friends. Read full book review >
THE PRIVATE THOUGHTS OF AMELIA E. RYE by Bonnie Shimko
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2010

Despite Amelia E. Rye's confession that, "I'm a very good liar. I curse, too," she comes clean to readers in her "personal memoir," in which she relates the difficulties of living with her bad-tempered mother, who was pushing 50 when Amelia was born. Mrs. Rye is too worn-out to muster any motherly feelings for her daughter. She forces Amelia to wear hand-me-downs that are decades out of fashion, causing the friendless girl to become the brunt of cruel pranks. Everything changes the day Fancy walks into Amelia's fourth-grade class. New to the upstate New York town, the friendly African-American girl offers friendship and acceptance, the very things Amelia has been hankering for. The story moves quickly, and in its four-year span Amelia learns the truth about her dysfunctional family's unhappy past. The 1960s-era setting is mostly irrelevant to the plot, the racial tension is unconvincing and Amelia's observations are too often wise beyond her years. What propels this otherwise undistinguished coming-of-age story forward is the strong bond of friendship that deepens over time between Amelia and Fancy. (Historical fiction. 10-12)Read full book review >
KAT’S PROMISE by Bonnie Shimko
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Aug. 1, 2006

Kat's already precarious family dynamics are shaken completely when the aunt whom she blames for her mother's death becomes her guardian. Aunt Paulina had refused to provide funds for a possibly life-saving operation. Her version of family history is at odds with Kat's memories, and her treatment of Kat is governed entirely by bitterness and anger. Kat's new life is filled with strange revelations, new relationships and danger. The housekeeper is really her paternal grandmother; a neighbor becomes a mentor and protector. There is also a friend's pregnancy scare and a near rape by Paulina's new boyfriend. But there's a happy ending for Kat, and Paulina gets her comeuppance. Kat is a sympathetic character who approaches her problems with courage and honesty. But Shimko does not fully develop any of the other characters, and several plot elements are contrived and somewhat over the top. A near miss. (Fiction. 12-15)Read full book review >
LETTERS IN THE ATTIC by Bonnie Shimko
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"Brisk, fun, and good-natured. "
Winning debut describes a young girl coming of age during the 1960s. Read full book review >