Monday, December 2, 2019

A Swirl of Ocean by Melissa Sarno

Lindy found Summer on the beach, alone, when Summer was just two years old. For ten years since, they’ve built a comfortable life together at the beach. When Lindy wants her boyfriend to move in with them, Summer feels unsettled and wants to find out more about her roots. After accidentally swallowing ocean water, Summer starts having incredibly vivid dreams. A little detective work has her finding elements from her dreams in her real life, so she drinks more ocean to try and learn her truth.

The magical elements in this book are so subtle and well done, and add a beautiful layer of mystique to the story. The characters are realistic and well-developed, and showcase Sarno’s ability to craft a story you’re going to become wrapped up and invested in. I also highly recommend reading her first novel, Just Under the Clouds.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Beginners Welcome by Cindy Baldwin

Thanks to @kidlitexchange and Harper Books for sharing Beginners Welcome by Cindy Baldwin. This book publishes on February 11, 2020, so go ahead and add it to your wishlist! You won’t want to miss out on this touching, inspiring story.

Annie Lee’s home life hasn’t been the same since her daddy died, and that’s not just because it seems like his spirit is still lingering in the apartment. Annie Lee’s mom works long hours, and since Annie Lee’s friends didn’t know how to relate after her dad’s death, Annie Lee finds herself alone, wrapped in her invisibility cloak. While she searches for things to keep her busy after school, she meets someone who might help her rekindle the love of music that faded after her dad died. Add into the mix a girl who reaches out to her at school, and Annie Lee finds herself wondering if she should let people in again, even if she’s worried about getting hurt again.

The magical realism aspects of this book are faint, so I wouldn’t push it into the fantasy genre, but I do think they added an interesting layer to this story.

Monday, November 11, 2019


Thanks to @kidlitexchange and @scholasticinc for sharing TAKE THE MIC, edited by Bethany Morrow. This book is out now (released October 1, 2019!) so you can get your own copy. I’m getting one for my school library, since this one is getting passed on down the line.

These short stories of resistance are fiction, but they are incredibly realistic and could happen to anyone. The characters are diverse, in regards to skin color, religion, gender, and more. They all have some adversity in life and react in different ways, whether they quietly stand up for themselves or the underdog, or protest and push for change on a large scale. Because of the scope of the diversity and the reactions, I think all readers will feel empowered to make a difference in their daily lives, however they can. This is definitely a must-read for tweens and teens, but I think adults need to read it, too.