Shelf Awareness for Readers for Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Random House: Day by Michael Cunningham

From My Shelf

For Youngest Readers: Interactive Books

There are tons of books for children that include interactive aspects for the solo reader, like flaps, dials or pull-tabs. These new board books feature cool, inventive attributes sure to engage young readers.

A Pile of Leaves by Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin (Phaidon Press, $18.95, ages 2-4)
Published in collaboration with the Whitney Museum of American Art, A Pile of Leaves uses clear acetate pages and an autumnal palette to build a layered leaf pile. Each page-turn breaks the pile down, making it a little smaller on the right-hand page and identifying the individual object on the left: a leaf, an acorn, a grasshopper, a lost mitten. The final double-page spread includes a picture and name of every item in the pile.

Into the Forest by Laura Baker, illus. by Nadia Taylor (Abrams Appleseed, $9.99, ages 3-5)
Into the Forest, following a little squirrel trying to find her mother in the forest, is tactilely stimulating, its illustrations full of raised features that create different textures and shapes. With a back cover much larger than the front, each page builds in size--from the shrubbery height front cover to the treetop heighted back--resulting in a multi-layered forest effect.

Mirror Play by Monte Shin (minedition, $14.99, ages 3-5)
For older board book readers, Monte Shin's Mirror Play includes a mirror and abstract shapes that can be spun 360 degrees. The reader places the attached mirror at a right angle to the shape and spins the shape around until the mirror reveals the hidden, symmetrical form (a plane, a banana, a mouse). Every hidden item is listed with its picture on the last page.

--Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

Candlewick Press (MA): The Skull: A Tyrolean Folktale by Jon Klassen

The Writer's Life

Julia Quinn: A New Book and Netflix, Ahoy!

photo: Roberto Filho

Historical romance author Julia Quinn is one of only 16 people ever to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. In The Other Miss Bridgerton (reviewed below), Poppy Bridgerton's longing for adventure and romance are unexpectedly fulfilled when she finds herself caught up in the exciting world of privateer Captain Andrew James Rokesby. Quinn lives in Seattle, Wash., with her family.

Poppy Bridgerton is an independent, adventurous and intelligent young woman impatient with society's restrictions for females. Do you think women of her disposition were more common in the Georgian era than contemporary readers realize?

I don't know. I hope so. Either way, there were certainly some women who felt stifled by the rigid societal box they'd been placed in, and those are the women I tend to write about. The tricky part is doing so in a way that is historically accurate. Or at least plausibly historically accurate.

The details Andrew shares with Poppy about Lisbon's architecture are fascinating. How did you happen upon this interesting historical information?

It was a wonderful case of serendipity. I already knew that Andrew was interested in architecture and engineering; I'd dropped some hints about this when he was a secondary character in Because of Miss Bridgerton. I also knew that the characters were heading to Lisbon. But it was only when I began researching the city for scene-setting details that I learned of Lisbon's unique architectural history. After much of the city was leveled by a massive earthquake in 1755, the central district was rebuilt with some of the earliest seismically protected buildings in Europe. I knew that Andrew would totally geek out over this. And since my major in college was history of architecture, I should probably admit that I geeked out, too.

Did you find it challenging to write a heroine who is essentially cut off from her female friends and, instead, is befriended by and interacts with rough men outside her ordinary world?

I don't know if challenging is the right word, but it did open up new avenues for characterization. It's one thing to have a character interact with unfamiliar people and societies; it's another to explore how this makes her feel. Poppy found herself pondering how small and sheltered her world had been up to that point, and it made for a few uncomfortable moments.

Is there anything you can share about the upcoming Netflix production slated for the Bridgerton series books?

The project is very early in development, so there are still a lot of unknowns, but Netflix announced that the production was ordered "straight-to-series," which means that there won't be a traditional pilot. Television viewers generally think of pilots as the first episode of the first season, but historically they've served another purpose--giving the networks something to look at when deciding whether to order a complete season. A straight-to-series order is great news--it means that Netflix is committed to producing a full season rather than just one episode.

Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?

I'm often asked if I'm a "plotter" or a "pantser," and I think the answer is a little of both. I do write fairly lengthy synopses before digging into the actual writing of a book, but these documents are about characterization as much as plot. I spend a lot of time thinking about the characters and their backstories. It's not enough to know what sorts of characteristics and personality traits they possess; I also need to explore their personal histories. We are all shaped by our experiences, and if I want to create three-dimensional characters, I need to know what has happened to them before page one. A lot of this information will never make it into the final novel, but I will know it, and I think that helps me to create more fully realized characters.

Where do you like to write?

I have three places where I do the bulk of my work: my local Starbucks (I'm practically on staff; they all know me, and added bonus: they always offer me the mis-made drinks before dumping them), my treadmill-desk at home and our vacation place in Mexico. I go there a few times each year by myself for what I call solo writing retreats. It's amazing how much you can get done when you disconnect from the commitments of everyday life.

Are there books you've read this year that you'd recommend for fans of your own novels?

I just finished a binge of Joanna Shupe. She writes historical romances set in Gilded Age New York City. I had one of her e-books downloaded on my phone when I went on vacation last month, and as soon as I finished it, I bought six more!

What's next for you? Will we see another Bridgerton novel? 

I'm working on the final book in the Rokesby series, which is also known as the Bridgerton prequel series, so... yes? --Lois Faye Dyer, writer and reviewer

BINC: Read Love Support Campaign

Book Candy

Iceland's Christmas Book Flood

"The Christmas book flood [Jólabókaflóð]: Iceland's literature-loving holiday tradition" was explored by Mental Floss.

---'s 2018 word of the year is... "misinformation."


Headline of the day: "Glasses worn by Irish author James Joyce while writing Ulysses fetch €17,000." (via the Irish Post)


"Tales of the unexpected: 10 literary classics you may not have read" were recommended by Henry Eliot in the Guardian.


Buzzfeed featured "16 libraries that look like Hogwarts IRL."


"A close-up look at the most influential medical book of the 16th century" was offered by Atlas Obscura.

Great Reads

Rediscover: J.D. Salinger

January 1, 2019, marks 100 years since the birth of author J.D. Salinger. To celebrate the centennial, Little, Brown has published a boxed hardcover set of Salinger's four books: The Catcher in the Rye (1951), Nine Stories (1953), Franny and Zooey (1961) and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction (1963), each with a striking new cover. They will also be available as single volumes later in 2019. According to Salinger's son, Matt, the infamously reclusive and litigious writer "hated birthdays, holidays, and pretty much any planned or culturally mandated celebrations, and he'd certainly hate this centennial--but he loved writing and he loved his readers, and I hope his readers will be glad for an excuse to remember him in this way."

For the Salinger-curious looking to delve beyond Catcher in the Rye, Nine Stories includes "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," which introduces the fictional and frequently appearing Glass family. Franny and Zooey follows the two youngest Glass family members in two stories, first at a small liberal arts college, then in their parents' Upper East Side apartment. Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction tracks Glass brothers Buddy and Seymour, both before and after Seymour's suicide. The J.D. Salinger Boxed Set is available now ($100, 9780316450713). --Tobias Mutter

Book Review


North of Dawn

by Nuruddin Farah

North of Dawn continues Nuruddin Farah's focus on the Somalian diaspora. Mugdi and Gacalo, long settled in Oslo, Norway, are devastated when their son's conversion to radical Islam leads him to their home country of Somalia and his death in a suicide bombing. This horrific loss is also the beginning of the transformation of their lives: their son had extracted a promise that they would care for his wife and her two children if something were to happen to him. As the novel opens, in 2009, Mugdi is at the airport meeting Waliya, 12-year-old Naciim and 14-year-old Saafi.

The characters in North of Dawn are patient and generous; Mugdi and Gacalo's material and emotional support are endless. But they're also fearful: Waliya clings to strict Islamic tradition, refusing to work or leave her apartment. However, "Grandma and Grandpa" soon convince the children of their good intentions, and their relationship is warm and hopeful. Mugdi, a translator and former ambassador, schools Naciim, while slowly gaining the trust of Saafi, who arrived terrified of men. Even Waliya responds to their kindness, although she is also drawn to radical Islam and the influence of an old friend.  

Real-life episodes of right-wing violence and Somalian conflicts bring a sense of immediacy to the story. Farah's (Hiding in Plain Sight) simple diction and straightforward narrative enhance this novel of the personal consequences of social upheaval. --Cheryl Krocker McKeon, manager, Book Passage, San Francisco

Discover: This novel follows the consequences of a Somali family long-settled in Norway welcoming their Somali daughter-in-law and her children to Oslo.

Riverhead, $27, hardcover, 384p., 9780735214231

A Light of Her Own

by Carrie Callaghan

Carrie Callaghan follows the intertwined journeys of two women in her debut novel, A Light of Her Own. As a young artist in 17th-century Holland, Judith Leyster struggles to make a living and earn the professional respect she deserves. She's gained valuable skills during her apprenticeship to Haarlem painter Frans de Grebber, and a close friend in his daughter, Maria. But Judith has her sights set higher: she wants to open her own workshop, train apprentices and win a place in the city's powerful guild of painters, all men. Maria, though she also wants to paint, is preoccupied with questions relating to her Catholic faith: What does God want of her and what sacrifices will he require?

Like her protagonists with their paintings, Callaghan renders her subjects in rich detail, giving readers a glimpse into the world of painters' workshops, smudged with freshly ground pigments and smelling of linseed oil. The politics of the painters' guild and the women's internal challenges are also vividly drawn. While Judith burns with ambition, she struggles to make ends meet, help her ne'er-do-well brother, Abraham, and fight the sexism and corruption displayed by her male colleagues. Maria, desperate for some higher purpose, throws herself into a quest to retrieve a saint's relic. The plot meanders for a bit until Maria's return, but Callaghan brings the characters together to uncover a conspiracy and mend their relationship. Callaghan's novel is as compelling as one of Judith's paintings, a well-crafted blend of light and shadow. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

Discover: Carrie Callaghan's debut novel vividly renders the artistic journeys of two young female painters in 17th-century Haarlem, in Holland.

Amberjack Publishing, $24.99, hardcover, 320p., 9781944995898

Mystery & Thriller

Past Tense

by Lee Child

In Lee Child's Past Tense, Jack Reacher wants to go across the country, from Maine to California. On the way, he sees a sign pointing toward Laconia, N.H., his dad's hometown--a place he's never visited. Reacher decides to take a detour for a look at the old homestead before hitting the road again. His plans don't unfold that way.

Meanwhile, Shorty and Patty, a young Canadian couple, are driving to New York City. They need a rest stop and their old car is overheating, so they turn onto a rural road in the New Hampshire woods. They find a secluded motel that's far from being a five-star establishment, but the rate is cheap and the staff is solicitous. Maybe too much. The couple's and Reacher's journeys eventually converge.

Reacher's excursion is personal; he's tracking his father's roots, but he's not burning with curiosity since he seems content with not knowing too much about the man's past. What keeps Reacher in town is his discovery that the facts as he knows them don't match Laconia's records.

Some readers will likely guess early on the couple's situation at the hotel, and the lead-up to it is drawn out a little too long, but once that development gets going, the action is vintage Child. As usual, Reacher may deviate from his intended route, literally and figuratively, but finds he's exactly where he needs to be. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, blogger at Pop Culture Nerd

Discover: While on a personal mission, Jack Reacher saves a stranded couple from a dangerous game.

Delacorte, $28.99, hardcover, 400p., 9780399593512

Dark Sacred Night: A Ballard and Bosch Novel

by Michael Connelly

Los Angeles detective Renée Ballard is making the best of the "late show," the long, lonely overnight shift that turns over cases to other detectives. One night, she discovers none other than retired detective Harry Bosch going through cold-case files. Bosch, now a back-up investigator with the tiny San Fernando Police Department, knows as well as Ballard that he shouldn't be there. But their unerring sense of justice is powerful, and they unofficially team up to solve the murder of a 15-year-old girl.

Daisy Clayton was one of countless runaways disposed of on the mean streets of L.A., but Bosch made a promise to Elizabeth, Daisy's mother, a recovering opioid addict struggling to stay sober and to find meaning in life. He has even taken Elizabeth in, straining his relationship with his daughter, Maddie. Meanwhile, Ballard juggles multiple cases on the night shift and Bosch finds himself the target of a violent San Fernando gang that leaves one witness dead--with Bosch's business card stuffed in the victim's mouth.

Dark Sacred Night is a magnificently complex thriller and an outstanding entry for both lead characters. Ballard, introduced in The Late Show last year, is still paying the price for filing a sexual harassment complaint. And Bosch believes he saved Elizabeth from the throes of addiction, only to be "left with the question of whether he had rescued her at all." Ballard's willingness to bend the rules and Bosch's propensity to break them make for a gripping police procedural with surprises at every turn. --Frank Brasile, librarian

Discover: Veteran detective Harry Bosch teams up with Renée Ballard to investigate the murder of a runaway in this exceptional thriller from Michael Connelly.

Little, Brown, $29, hardcover, 448p., 9780316484800


The Other Miss Bridgerton: A Bridgerton Prequel

by Julia Quinn

In this vibrant, engaging tale set in 1786 England, Poppy Bridgerton's ordinary life is turned upside down when she explores a known smugglers' cave on the Dorset coast. Discovered by two gruff sailors, she's kidnapped and taken aboard the ship of Captain Andrew James. Poppy believes Andrew is a pirate, but he's actually a privateer secretly working for the Crown. He has official business in Lisbon that cannot wait, so Poppy is confined to his cabin for the journey. Their initial annoyance with each other quickly gives way to being intrigued by each other's keen intellect and their shared interests--and the close quarters forces them to become more thoroughly acquainted than would otherwise be allowed. Andrew is keeping multiple secrets, but one in particular may ruin any chance of a future with Poppy: his real name is Andrew James Rokesby. His family in Kent are neighbors to Poppy's uncle, and his oldest brother is married to her beloved cousin. Andrew has little doubt Poppy will be outraged when she discovers his deception. When dangerous Lisbon criminals kidnap Andrew and Poppy for ransom, however, he realizes he may never have the chance to confess.

Delightfully witty, wonderfully romantic and filled with adventure, The Other Miss Bridgerton stars two exceptionally likable, honorable people of strong and admirable character. Quinn's fans are certain to adore this latest entry in the tales of the Bridgerton family. --Lois Dyer, freelance book reviewer

Discover: On the high seas in 1786 England, two people discover the challenge, danger and delights of risking their hearts.

Avon, $7.99, mass market paperbound, 400p., 9780062388209

Graphic Books

To Kill a Mockingbird: A Graphic Novel

by Harper Lee, Fred Fordham

Adapting a novel as universally beloved as Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird into a graphic novel is fraught with peril. For many students, Lee's compassionate and humorous coming-of-age tale is their first exposure to grappling with issues of racial inequality, gender roles and compassion for those different in color, class and beliefs. Nevertheless, Fred Fordham (who illustrated Philip Pullman's The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship) has done a magnificent job adapting and illustrating the 1960 classic.

Set in Alabama over a three-year period (1933-1936), To Kill a Mockingbird is told from the point of view of six-year-old Jean Louise Finch (aka Scout), whose lawyer father is defending a black man accused of raping a white woman. Although judiciously edited, Fordham's adaptation is amazingly faithful to the novel--even more faithful than Horton Foote's Oscar-winning screenplay for the 1962 film starring Gregory Peck as lawyer Atticus Finch. (Atticus's sister, Aunt Alexandra, was absent from the film but is present in this new medium. Mrs. Dubose, the antebellum morphine addict down the street, also regains her prominence from the novel.)

Fordham's full-color illustrations are vibrant, imaginative and detailed. And his text adaption retains the simple poetry and wry humor of Lee's writing. This beautiful, full-color graphic novel incarnation is sure to please Lee's fans and win new devotees. --Kevin Howell, independent reviewer and marketing consultant

Discover: Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is adapted into a magnificent graphic novel by Fred Fordham.

Harper, $23.99, hardcover, 288p., 9780062798183

Food & Wine

The Fat Kitchen: How to Render, Cure and Cook with Lard, Tallow and Poultry Fat

by Andrea Chesman

Andrea Chesman (The Backyard Homestead Book of Kitchen Know-How) has created a surprisingly beautiful cookbook in The Fat Kitchen: How to Render, Cure and Cook with Lard, Tallow and Poultry Fat. It begins somewhat unusually, with a chapter on the chemistry and biology of animal fats and why--probably to the surprise of many Americans--they may be healthier than many vegetable fats. For example, when vegetable seed oil is heated in a deep-fryer, it releases aldehydes (linked to cancer and dementia). According to Chesman, repeated frying in any kind of vegetable oil makes food increasingly contaminated. Animal fats, however, can safely be re-used several times for frying.

The Fat Kitchen is full of information on which fats come from which parts of animals, how to render them at home (or where to buy them) and how to store and use them properly. But the real showpiece of The Fat Kitchen is its many delectable recipes. Each one includes gorgeous photos, detailed instructions and tips on how to best incorporate fats. And the recipes themselves will have readers salivating, including Onion Confit and Chorizo-Cheese Empanadas; Curried Beef Pasties in the savory section; and Amish Potato Buns, Jelly Doughnuts and Blueberry Galette in the sweets. Any home cook wanting to avoid processed oils, as well as anyone hoping for more tender baked goods and tasty main dishes, is sure to enjoy The Fat Kitchen. --Jessica Howard, bookseller at Bookmans, Tucson, Ariz.

Discover: This beautiful cookbook includes recipes and methods for rendering and cooking with animal fats.

Storey Publishing, $24.95, paperback, 304p., 9781612129136

Biography & Memoir

The Barefoot Woman

by Scholastique Mukasonga, trans. by Jordan Stump

The Barefoot Woman by Scholastique Mukasonga (Our Lady of the NileCockroaches) is a loving tribute to a strong mother and a striking work of memoir.

Mukasonga and her family lived as exiles in Rwanda in the years leading up to the genocide of the Tutsi. This time in her life, when they were all together and alive, was short, but Mukasonga has vivid memories, especially of her mother, Stefania, a leader in the makeshift village where they were regularly terrorized by Hutu soldiers. In an earlier memoir, Cockroaches, Mukasonga depicted the horrific end of her family. Here, she focuses on her mother: Stefania is a hard worker, always with her hoe in hand; a healer with a medicinal garden of grasses, tubers, roots and tree leaves; a "highly respected matchmaker"; and a dedicated, ever-vigilant protector of her children.

Extraordinarily, this book is at times horrifying in its content and at other times playful; lyric in its style and tender in its handling of the central character. While the reader's knowledge of the genocide to come hangs over the narrative, the everyday events often retain a quotidian feeling; Stefania and her neighbors worry over their children but also laugh and celebrate and arrange marriages. As a literary work, this establishes a rare balance. Jordan Stump's translation from the French beautifully conveys this sense of both tragedy and day-to-day joy.

The Barefoot Woman is also an essential record of traditions and a way of life that are in danger of disappearing. This is an adoring, gorgeously rendered memorial to a mother and testimony to a people. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Discover: A shadow of tragedy hangs over this lovely, lyric memoir of Tutsi childhood in Rwanda, but the author's love for her strong mother remains central.

Archipelago Books, $16, paperback, 152p., 9781939810045

Late-Life Love: A Memoir

by Susan Gubar

In her early 70s, moving with her beloved older husband to a more manageable apartment, editor and critic Susan Gubar (Memoir of a Debulked Woman) turned to literature and the arts to find stories of romance and devotion in old age. Late-Life Love combines criticism with her memoir of the persistent love in her marriage, despite the pains and humiliations of advanced age.

In most works of art, love has been traditionally tied to youth. After a certain age, women in particular are supposed to give up romantic love and focus all their affection on younger generations. "This terrible and terribly influential belief that Eros hates old people seems to be intensified by a lens of ageism that presents people beyond their prime as fearful, garrulous, foolish, solipsistic, or doddering."

Couples who meet late in life, as Gubar met her husband, are her first subject. After a certain age, most people have learned a few things about love and relationships, but also carry emotional baggage and deep-set loyalties to family and places. Untrustworthy bodies, anxiety about lost looks and fear that the time left may be too short can all act as obstacles to new love.

Works she considers include poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Donald Hall, the opera Fidelio and novels by Gabriel García Márquez, Toni Morrison and others. Between them, she manages her husband's care, quilts, remembers past moments of romance and reports new ones, and attends a cancer support group for herself. They lose old friends, accept the support of family and make the most of what they still have together. --Sara Catterall

Discover: Stories of romantic love in old age from literature and the arts intertwine with a thoughtful memoir of the author's resilient marriage.

Norton, $25.95, hardcover, 272p., 9780393609578

Nature & Environment

The Re-Origin of Species: A Second Chance for Extinct Animals

by Torill Kornfeldt, trans. by Fiona Graham

"There is no way in which a lost species can really be brought back to life," writes Swedish science journalist Torill Kornfeldt in her fascinating debut, The Re-Origin of Species: A Second Chance for Extinct Animals. "The nearest thing we can manage is a substitute." But as each chapter reveals, the "substitutes" that many scientists think are possible would be nearly identical to--and just as astonishing as--the originals.

Kornfeldt travels the world to meet scientists who are attempting "de-extinction," the practice of bringing extinct animals back to life. In Siberia, she meets Sergey Zimov, a Russian scientist attempting to revive mammoths. And in California she speaks with Ben Novak, a young scientist trying to resurrect the passenger pigeon. Other scientists are working on the northern white rhino, a Spanish ibex called a bucardo and, yes, even a dinosaur. There are still advancements to be made in genetic research before any of these experiments could result in actual resurrected animals but, according to the scientists Kornfeldt interviews, breakthroughs are happening at an unprecedented pace. De-extinction is only a few years away from becoming reality.

Kornfeldt asks several experts whether these experiments are moral, and most respond with absolutes: that they're unquestionably right or wrong. Kornfeldt sidesteps the question herself by saying the science falls in a moral gray area. Nevertheless, this thought-provoking and deeply engaging book throws into the question the very meanings of life and death as we understand them. --Amy Brady, freelance writer and editor

Discover: This fascinating debut explores the science of bringing extinct animals back to life while questioning the morality behind it.

Scribe Us, $18.95, paperback, 256p., 9781947534360

Children's & Young Adult

Blacklisted!: Hollywood, the Cold War, and the First Amendment

by Larry Dane Brimner

Before Senator Joseph McCarthy was leading the charge in the United States' Red Scare, the Cold War fear of Communism manifested itself in the House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities, or HUAC, created to investigate potential threats. In Blacklisted, Larry Dane Brimner (Twelve Days in May) explores HUAC's 1947 campaign to reveal the political views of 19 writers and directors in the film industry, and the bold fight by the accused to preserve their First Amendment rights.

Quoting from the official transcripts of HUAC's investigative hearings about the "alleged subversive influence in America's motion-picture industry," Brimner's nonfiction work delves into the testimonies of the first 10 of the 19 subpoenaed men ("the Hollywood Ten"). During the hearings, witnesses testified against the Hollywood defendants, whose lawyers were not permitted to cross-examine; the committee also denied the movie men the right to read their prepared statements. All 10 refused to respond "yes or no" to the question "are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party of the United States?" Their insistence that the question was a violation of their rights ultimately resulted in each being fined, imprisoned and blacklisted from the U.S. movie industry.

Brimner fittingly relates their story with a suspenseful, cinematic drama that is reflected in the book's design, which features archival photos, related quotes from famous people and even a film leader countdown in the opening pages. His explanatory, captivating text draws readers into the defendants' plights and makes connecting the circumstances of 70 years ago to current events a natural deduction. Meticulously researched with additional references for further study, Blacklisted will entertain and educate readers of all ages. --Jen Forbus, freelancer

Discover: Larry Dane Brimner's YA Blacklisted is the story of 10 film writers and directors who fought to preserve their First Amendment rights amid the U.S. fear of Communism during the Cold War.

Calkins Creek/Highlights Press, $17.95, hardcover, 176p., ages 12-up, 9781620916032


by Hannah Moskowitz

Until just a few months ago, Beleza, Indi, Oscar and Zulu traveled the seas with their parents. Their mom and dad were sicarios: poachers who hunt sea monsters for prestige, sport and (sometimes) money. But then Mom and Dad went away, leaving behind only their travel journal. The four siblings haven't seen them since.

Now, Beleza, Indi, Oscar and Zulu are all alone on a ship so small they "can't breathe without getting air that's just come out of someone else's mouth." Elder sister Beleza has taken on the role of captain, while 17-year-old Indi is first mate and caretaker, and the two are doing their best to hunt the seas and raise "the kids," 12-year-old Oscar and six-year-old Zulu. Indi, whose love for his siblings "sweeps [him] away like a tide," wants something more than this life for them. Beleza, however, has one driving focus: revenge. She wants to use the travel journal to find out which monster likely killed their parents and kill it in return. When a stop on land for information unearths a pretty Tunisian pirate named Hura and rumor of a giant, unkillable monster called El Diamante, the siblings' already dangerous world becomes all the more perilous.

Under 300 pages with extremely short chapters, Hannah Moskowitz's (Zombie Tag) Salt is a quick read with a swiftly moving plot. While monsters pull the reader in, it's the humans and their interpersonal relationships that are the true shining stars of this work. Pick up Salt for the sea monsters and adventure; fall in love with it for the exasperating yet endearing characters. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

Discover: Four siblings sail the seas, fighting monsters and seeking their missing parents, in Hannah Moskowitz's irresistible YA novel Salt.

Chronicle, $17.99, hardcover, 268p., ages 12-up, 9781452131511


Author Buzz

Cherry Lane
(A Huckleberry Bay Novella)

by Kristen Proby

Dear Reader,

It's time to make our way back to Huckleberry Bay, Oregon! I don't know about you, but I absolutely love small town romance, and spending some time at the coast sounds just about perfect for summer!

In this final installment of the Huckleberry Bay series, it's time to check in with Zeke, the new-to-town mechanic with a killer smile. Just about everyone in town loves him. Except Cherry. But when she needs help, she has no choice but to ask her hot neighbor, and to her surprise, he's way more chivalrous than she's given him credit for.

I think you’re going to love this steamy installment in the Huckleberry Bay series!


Available on Kobo

AuthorBuzz: 1001 Dark Nights Press: Cherry Lane (A Huckleberry Bay Novella) by Kristen Proby

1001 Dark Nights Press

Pub Date: 
August 22, 2023


List Price: 
$2.99 e-book

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