A brightly illustrated book that encourages reader/listener participation. They rhyme will help with the guessing and the picture flaps add to the surprise. Just enough information in terms of text and illustration to be engaging and not overwhelming.
Neilly's mom is having Declan's dad's baby. Neilly's dad is marrying a man. Declan's mom was killed years before while driving him to soccer practice. Pretty, popular Neilly features in Declan's fantasies, but in reality, she hardly knows he exists until they are about to be step-siblings. Written with boy/girl voices in alternating chapters in "he said", "she said" style, the story has laugh-out-loud funny moments. Declan's edgy, yet vulnerable, teen male voice rings especially true. Two teens with baggage begin to trust and blossom in a situation not of their own choosing.
Molly and her sister Hannah are reluctantly living with their Grandparents after the sudden death of their mother because their father is unable to care for them. Molly encounters the Green man, the god of spring, who becomes her object of care and concern and as she deals with her loneliness, her sister’s anger and her father’s “inability to cope”.
Eva and Henry (don't call her Henriette) have been friends since they were really little and now at fifteen these two Jersey girls are headed off to pursue their dreams: Eva to summer session at New York School of Dance and Henry to an exclusive tennis camp in Florida. Henry catches the eye of the camp's star male player and has a great deal of success on the court. Eva, though, becomes overwhelmed with her struggles with body image and is unable to fight the eating disorder that has been threatening.
Full of details of the high stakes' worlds of junior sports and dance, this story of friendship told in the alternating voices of the two girls is a satisfying read. Well drawn secondary characters, including some pretty flawed adults contribute to the story's success.
Ella and Zachary have always been friends and always been outsiders at school, Ella for her blotchy skin and Z for just being strange. Now they are sixth-graders and Ella longs for more friends and a more normal middle school experience. When a new student arrives, another African American like Ella, she wonders if he will join the others in avoiding them. Instead, Bailey, with his easy way of fitting in, reaches out to Ella, causing Zach to feel betrayed and to sink deeper into depression.
This is a beautifully written, if quiet story of fragile kids in fragile families, finding ways to navigate those issues as well as the normal growing pains. Strong follow-up to Magoon's first novel, a CSK/Steptoe winner.
The omniscient narrator clues us in to what will happen as well as reminding us of other publications that could give us additional background as he tells the story of a poor boy who triumphs over the hard heartedness of his ultimate superiors (the lady and son of the manor) as well as some of his fellow servants. There is wry humor that adds a level of sophistication to the story.
Franny Chapman is growing up in the middle of the Cold War. She has the typical probllems of an eleven year old but she also has to deal with her sister's Ellen mysterious activities, her Uncle Ott's condition, and of course, the fear of any day being hit by a nuclear bomb. Emma Glvin infuses Franny's voice with the angst of a young woman on the cusp of adolescence and with the fear of disaster. The wonderful audio documentary sequences which are very effectively used more than make up for the lack of photographs included in the print version. First of a trilogy. Ages 10+