A fresh, emotionally complex bildungsroman of young American love that looks long and hard at violence, and at what can...

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MELT

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

In Castrovilla’s (Revolutionary Friends, 2013, etc.) YA novel, a teenager finds an existential crisis in a doughnut shop—and a love like no other.

When straight-laced 16-year-old Dorothy meets rough-edged 17-year-old Joey at a Dunkin’ Donuts in her new home of Highland Park, her friend Amy warns her to keep her distance. But she can’t ignore the fact that she and Joey are drawn to each other. She’s a stereotypical “good girl”; her parents, both successful professionals, regularly quiz her on her whereabouts and watch for truancy. Joey, on the other hand, is a quintessential lost soul: a paradoxical, convoluted figure whose violent past has left him with literal scars. He’s also physically intimidating, with a reputation to match, but it’s a façade that masks his sensitive, traumatized interior. Joey’s father, a police officer who beats his family, is another obstacle to his happiness, and as Dorothy does her utmost to save Joey from a life of alcoholism and nihilism, his father stands in the way, a perpetual source of danger. Joey and Dorothy must find their way as they struggle with doubt and fear for their lives. The story is told from Joey’s and Dorothy’s first-person points of view, alternating between snappy prose and jagged, sharp-edged poetry that evokes the terror of violence and the ecstasy of infatuation. The author sugarcoats nothing in this tale of adolescence and anxiety, nor does she paint its characters with a broad brush. Dorothy and Joey’s plight is both an inner and an outer struggle, a reckoning with a cold world, and a psychological drama about the stakes of truth-telling that ends with a gratifying act of mercy.

A fresh, emotionally complex bildungsroman of young American love that looks long and hard at violence, and at what can overcome it.

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-0991626106

Page Count: -

Publisher: Last Syllable Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2014

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...

WAITING FOR THE BIBLIOBURRO

Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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