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Growing up on a farm in the hottest corner of Zimbabwe Will Silver deeply loves the land, the animals and the people who surround her and love her right back. When her father unexpectedly dies devastated, Will is dealt another blow when her caretaker's new wife decides the Will and her wild ways would benefit from boarding school in England taking her away from everything she holds dear and thrusting her into a world she is completely unprepared for. Rundell's prose is magical and this touching story of friendship, love and resiliance is sure touch your heart. -- Reviewed by Shannon, Books Inc. Children's Department Buyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ned's twin brother was killed in a tragic accident when they were young boys. In an attempt to save them both, their Mother the village Witch uses magic to stitch his soul to Ned. The magic which is of course never supposed to be used for personal gain has unintended consequences and leaves Ned a weak and stuttering boy, teased and barely tolerated by the rest of his village. When his mother is unexpectedly called away by the queen, Ned is left to guard the tempermental magic. In her absence, the bandit king, who is obsessed and pulled by the magic, tries to steal it away setting off a chain of events and turning Ned into an unlikely hero. This is a page-turning fantasy adventure story with a rich cast of characters, told from multiple perspectives. I simply couldn't put it down! -- Reviewed by Shannon, Books Inc. Children's Department Buyer

 

Growing up in Savannah, Georgia, 16-year-old Dovey is no stranger to storms. She knows how to survive and how to prepare the house when one comes. But Hurricane Josephine is no ordinary storm. After the storm kills her best friend, Carly, Dovey has a psychotic break and ends up on pills that are supposed to help her, but instead leave her confused, groggy, and out of touch with reality. She's struggling to get by when one day she sees her supposedly dead best friend in a cafe. After ditching her meds, Dovey goes on a quest to find out just what happened to Carly, but what she uncovers is a dark and sinister web closing tightly over the city she loves - and Josephine was only the beginning. Something wicked this way comes indeed...

Dark, engaging, and spooky as all get out, Servants of the Storm is a perfect book to read during a storm or right before Halloween! Great for the older teen who was hooked on R.L. Stine and wants something more. Dovey, being bi-racial and her best friend being African American, adds another dimension (albeit briefly discussed) of racial tension that runs through the heart of Savannah. -- Reviewed by Katherine from Books Inc. Laurel Village

Convinced that her father has been wrongly convicted, Daisy and her friend Graham hatch a wild plot to break him out of prison. It involves a coin from the year 1919, a miniature horse, a stolen truck, the smelliest dog in the world, and an older cousin who is still loopy from a long-ago head injury. As their improbable plot unfolds, Daisy learns a valuable lesson about taking responsibility for one’s actions. Her family and the others around her are lovingly dysfunctional, but this heartfelt story will leave you with a feeling of hope for Daisy’s future. -- Caitlin, Children's Department School Planning

 

 

 

 

 

The world created in this novel is amazing and the adventure is fun and scary. The main characters enter a video gaming contest that lands them inside the game - a beautiful, crumbling world that needs their help. The world is based on Jamaican culture, written by a Jamaican-born author, allowing for an interesting way to learn some Jamaican mythology. Besides having culturally diverse characters, one of the main characters is wheelchair bound. They read like real kids with real concerns, taken to an extreme. Diverse, real, a must-read! -- Cheenie from Books Inc. Burlingame

Craig Johnson’s collection, Wait for Signs, signals October with its cover image of an owl backlit by a full moon, and one of its stories, Fire Bird, inspired this month’s drink.  Breaking and Entering Bourbon takes pride of place in honor of the star of Mr. Johnson’s tales, Sheriff Walt Longmire, and Gunpowder Tincture adds a smoky accent. 

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, so there’s a shot of Tabasco, too.  Trick or treat!


Fire Bird
2 oz. Breaking and Entering Bourbon    
.5 oz  Gunpowder Tincture
.25 oz. simple syrup
2 dashes Tabasco
Combine all and stir with ice.  Strain into a chilled canning jar and garnish with an orange twist.

Having read Elizabeth Wein's other novel, Code Name Verity some time ago, I decided to pick up Rose Under Fire and it does not disappoint. Wein is a masterful storyteller and researcher and she uses her skills to tell stories of a different war front: that of the women in World War II. Rose Justice from Pennsylvania is chosen by the RAF (Royal Air Force) to ferry planes across enemy lies to support the Allies' war efforts. Rose's plane is eventually intercepted and shot down--resulting in her becoming a prisoner of the Nazis. She is sent to Ravensbrück, the women's concentration camp. There she meets young women that are under the scrutiny of the Nazi Doctors who conduct expiriments on them. These "Rabbits" are strong women with little to no hope left in them. Together the ladies form a strong bond and trust in one another and foresee an inevitability of their release by Allied forces. This novel is amazing, intellectual and inspiring. Perfect for young historians! -- Reviewed by Books Inc. SFO

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