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A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
Inside A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy

Flashback March 2011

A flashback to what I reviewed in March 2011:

flashback 3 300x184 Flashback March 2011

Bayou Volume One by Jeremy Lo. From my review:Charon, Mississippi, 1933. Two ten year old little girls are playing, Lee and Lily. One black, one white. One lie results in Lee’s father arrested and a lynching feared. To save her father, Lee leaves her familiar world behind for a world of monsters,a world just as dangerous as the segregated south she leaves behind.

Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell. From my review: “This is a story of two friends, Collette and Iris, with Iris (the narrator) still interested in their imaginary world while Collette will play only when boys can’t see. When Iris tells Ben “we can call up the dead tomorrow,” she does it to embarrass Collette and keep Ben away. Collette initially hushes her until she realizes Ben is interested. Then, Collette uses it. The triangle of Iris, Collette, and Ben is a quiet one, one that is equally about children growing unevenly to adulthood as it is about the feelings they have for each other. Iris is annoyed at Collette’s attention to Ben, Collette gets angry if Iris isn’t nice to Ben then gets jealous if Iris and Ben get along too well, and Ben … Ben is a fourteen year old boy, and he flirts with Collette but also with Iris. Each is growing into who they are, leaving behind childish things.

Rosie and Skate by Beth Ann Bauman. From my review: “Rosie, 15, and Skate, 16, are left alone in a falling-down Victorian when their dad, a drunk, serves three and a half months for shoplifting.  Their cousin Angie moves in to help out. Rosie, the shyer of the two, goes to meetings and hopes that this time her father stays sober. Skate, more cynical, moves in with her boyfriend’s mother while he’s away at college.  Together and apart, they try to figure out their lives.

The Queen of Water by Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango. From my review: It would be easy to say that The Queen of Water breaks your heart; when a seven year old is taken from a family and shown a dirty rug to sleep on. When she realizes her parents aren’t going to bring her home. The first time she is hit. The second time. When her desire to learn to read is mocked. When the person she trusts betrays her. When she realizes that she is caught between two cultures, without a home. Virginia doesn’t want your pity. She doesn’t want to break your heart. A stubborn child, she uses that willfulness to adapt, to learn, to grow despite all obstacles, even when those obstacles are her own fears and insecurities. This is a story of triumph, of hope, of finding one own’s way, and being true to oneself. Being true to oneself is never easy, because first you have to know yourself. How can you know yourself when your parents give you away? When the world you live in and is told is “good” labels you and your heritage “bad”, “stupid,” “ugly”?

 

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About Elizabeth Burns

Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let's chat. I am a New Jersey librarian. My opinions do not reflect those of my employer, SLJ, YALSA, or anyone else. On Twitter I'm @LizB; my email is lizzy.burns@gmail.com.

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