Sunday, October 15, 2017

October Recommendations


GENUINE FRAUD, by E. Lockhart (author of We Were Liars), is a tale told in reverse, a thrill ride which keeps readers guessing the whole way. Eighteen year old Jule West Williams begins the story on her own in a Cabo San Lucas resort, but she’s not using her own name and she’s the run. Events step back to England, where we meet Immie, whose name Jule gave as hers in Mexico. Money, love, sticky fingers, and superheroes. Confusing? Yes, and readers will be swept away until the very end. (YA)

In LANDSCAPE WITH INVISIBLE HAND, when the alien vuvv arrive, they offer to "end all work forever and cure all disease." Except this causes most people to lose their jobs, and only the richest humans can afford the new “tech." High school senior Adam Costello and his girlfriend Chloe, whose family members are all out of work, go on 1950s-style dates that the vuvv pay to view. It doesn’t go well. This is a biting satire about the world's haves and have-nots, set in an increasingly stratified near-future where the human race has, for the most part, become expendable. M. T. Anderson has created a strange and wonderful fantasy about seeking love amid the filth, and keeping hope alive, despite unquestionable odds against it. (YA)

In THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END, by Adam Silvera, Mateo and Rufus have both been called by Death-Cast, meaning today is their End Day. They meet through The Last Friend app, and they’ve got hours, or even minutes, left to tool around the city, living life to the fullest, doing everything they’ve ever wanted to do before it’s too late. To find the meaning of life before they die. (YA)

Picture books:

CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR, a companion to CREEPY CARROTS with words by Aaron Reynolds and pictures by Peter Brown, is a pitch perfect, just-scary-enough saga about boys’ briefs. The art is laid out to look like old-time movie frames and the soundtrack in my head played “The Cat Came Back” as I read. Funny text, clear illustrations, and they nail the comedic timing—this one’s a winner.

NOW, by Antoinette Portis, is a lyrical celebration of living in the moment, as defined by a young girl who shares her favorite things with readers. The engaging art is boldly designed and deceptively simple.

Board book:

CHEER UP, BEN FRANKLIN, by Misti Kenison, is a concise adaptation of the state of affairs during the revolution. Apparently, Ben Franklin is sad because no one is around to fly kites with him. Betsy Ross is busy sewing the flag, Paul Revere is busy riding his horse, etc. Luckily, (spoiler) Ben makes it to Independence Hall, where his friends are, and he joins the other delegates in signing the Declaration of Independence. I really love this book because of the precise way it’s boiled down history, though I’m not sure who the target audience is—an older sibling who’s already been to school reading to a drooly baby maybe???


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