By Jean Megan Sovern. Eleven-year-old Maggie Mayfield is an A-plus student with big plans for herself, but at this moment she is also facing a lot of problems–like starting middle school and figuring out how to help her father who is out of work and in a wheelchair.
By Ruth Ozeki
A brilliant, unforgettable, and long-awaited novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki.
“A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be.”
In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace – and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine.
Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox – possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.
Full of Ozeki’s signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.
By Erica Lorraine Scheidt
Anna remembers a time before boys, when she was little and everything made sense. When she and her mom were a family, just the two of them against the world. But now her mom is gone most of the time, chasing the next marriage, brining home the next stepfather. Anna is left on her own – she discovers that she can make boys her family. From Desmond to Joey, Todd to Sam, Anna learns that if you give boys what they want, you can get what you need. But the price is high – the other kids make fun of her; the girls call her a slut. Anna’s new friend, Toy, seems to have found a way around the loneliness, but Toy has her own secrets that even Anna can’t know.
Then comes Sam. When Anna actually meets a boy who is more than just useful, whose family eats dinner together, laughs, and tells stories, the truth about love becomes clear. And she finally learns how it feels to have something to lose – and something to offer. Real, shocking, uplifting, and stunningly lyrical, Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt is a story of breaking down and growing up.
By Lisa O’Donnell
Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard. Neither of them were beloved.
Marnie and her little sister, Nelly, are on their own now. Only they know what happened to their parents, Izzy and Gene, and they aren’t telling. While life in Glasgow’s Maryhill housing estate isn’t grand, the girls do have each other. Besides, it’s only a year until Marnie will be considered an adult and can legally take care of them both.
As the New Year comes and goes, Lennie, the old man next door, realizes that his young neighbors are alone and need his help. Or does he need theirs? Lennie takes them in–feeds them, clothes them, protects them–and something like a family forms. But soon enough, the sisters’ friends, their teachers, and the authorities start asking tougher questions. As one lie leads to another, dark secrets about the girls’ family surface, creating complications that threaten to tear them apart.
Written with fierce sympathy and beautiful precision, told in alternating voices, The Death of Bees is an enchanting, grimly comic tale of three lost souls who, unable to answer for themselves, can answer only for one another.
By John Corey Whaley
New in paperback!
Winner of the 2012 Michael L. Printz and William C. Morris Awards, this poignant and hilarious story of loss and redemption “explores the process of grief, second chances, and even the meaning of life” (Kirkus Reviews).
In the remarkable, bizarre, and heart-wrenching summer before Cullen Witter’s senior year of high school, he is forced to examine everything he thinks he understands about his small and painfully dull Arkansas town. His cousin overdoses; his town becomes absurdly obsessed with the alleged reappearance of an extinct woodpecker; and most troubling of all, his sensitive, gifted fifteen-year-old brother, Gabriel, suddenly and inexplicably disappears.
Meanwhile, the crisis of faith spawned by a young missionary’s disillusion in Africa prompts a frantic search for meaning that has far-reaching consequences. As distant as the two stories initially seem, they are woven together through masterful plotting and merge in a surprising and harrowing climax.
This extraordinary tale from a rare literary voice finds wonder in the ordinary and illuminates the hope of second chances.
By Adam Wilson
In Wilson’s debut novel, Flatscreen, the biggest act of youthful rebellion from this rich poor man’s Judd Nelson is his exploration of the sartorial possibilities of the common bathrobe. He wants for nothing (save to get laid); lives in the shadow of his older brother, Benjy; and supports his recreational drug habit with a regular stipend from his remarried father. Nice work if you can get it, but when Eli’s mother sells their home to a disabled former D-list television star named Kahn, the thin walls of distraction that surround Eli begin to crumble, and he must face the reality of his wastrel’s existence.
By Jonathon Odell
Troubled by his wife’s disturbing mental state and concerned about a mysterious plague that is sweeping through the plantation in the pre-Civil War South, Master Satterfield purchases a slavewoman known as a healer. But the master gets more than he bargained for when Polly’s sharp tongue and troubling predictions cause unrest throughout the plantation.