AB’s recent reads and what’s also on her booklist for the summer.
The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley – If you’ve read Beauty, McKinley’s gorgeous retelling of Beauty and the Beast, you and/or your kids will certainly this enjoy Newberry Medal Winner, The Hero and the Crown. Full of powerful lessons about identity, strength, and true love, this novel features Aerin, the young daughter of the King of Damar. However, because most of her people suspect that her long-dead mother was a witch, Aerin does not receive the kind of adulation that the rest of the King’s house enjoys. She is strong and brave, as a result, and she wants to prove herself worthy of her father’s love and gain the respect of her people. In this quest for acceptance, she masters use of a plant that protects her from dragon fire and becomes the dragon slayer that her kingdom so desperately needs.
The Lighthouse, by PD James -Number 13 in the James’s Adam Dalgliesh mystery series provides the detective fiction lover with an intelligent and realistic mystery to solve. England’s exclusive Combe Island caters to the wealthy and prestigious, who just want to be left alone. The rules of anonymity are strictly enforced, but this world of relative peace and quiet falls apart when one of the residents is found hanging from the top deck of the lighthouse. Dalgleish and his team are called in to solve this most sensitive of crimes, and the reader is treated to detailed back stories for each character that give nothing away too soon. Some mature content in places, but nothing excessive.
The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau – Here’s another series perfect for the Young Adult dystopian fan (recommended for ages 8 and up). This coming-of-age fantasy follows the story of Lina and her sometimes-friend, Doon, who have grown up in Ember, which the narrator reveals was created two and a half centuries earlier in an effort to save the people of earth from catastrophic annihilation of their own making. The problem is that no one now remembers what the world used to be, and the underground city is dying. The generator that powers all the electricity is failing, and no one knows how to fix it. Lina and Doon are too curious and determined to wait around for something to be done, so they take matters into their own hands. This first in a series book explores the theme of honesty along with showing what amazing things can happen when one person asks the right questions.
Nothing Daunted, by Dorothy Wickenden – Similar to the kind of story-telling found in Half-Broke Horses, which has become one of my favorites in recent years, Wickenden writes an engaging story based on letters she found that were written by her grandmother, detailing the wealthy young woman’s break from high society to chase adventure as a school teacher in wild Colorado during the first world war.
If you haven’t yet, check out Natalie’s picks for Summer 2018 here.