Monday, November 24, 2014

Revolution by Deborah Wiles 495 pages

Revolution by Deborah Wiles

Revolution is the second installment in a trilogy set in the 1960s. (First: Countdown, set during the Cuban Missile Crisis). Revolution, a 2014 National Book Award Finalist, takes place in Greenwood, Mississippi during the summer of 1964. 12 year old Sunny is looking forward to a summer of swimming and playing, but adults talking about “invaders” coming from the North make her worried. As she listens more, she learns that people from the North are coming to help people in Greenwood register to vote. She can’t figure out why people are upset. And she’s got invaders in her own house, with a new step mother, brother and sister.

In alternating chapters, readers learn the story of Raymond, an African American boy, who is becoming aware of all the places he can’t go this summer—the swimming pool, the baseball park, the movie theater, just to name a few, due to the Jim Crow laws.  And he’s restless. He doesn’t want to settle anymore.

As the novel progresses, Sunny’s and Raymond’s stories intersect and both of their worlds expand. Interspersed throughout the book are images and articles from 1964 that make the story come alive. This is a moving book that I thought about long after I finished. While it’s cataloged as an older juvenile book, adults would find it fascinating as well.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Biggest Books of 2014

     Books That Were Bestsellers, Won Awards, Or We Just Loved












Science Fiction/Fantasy






Kids and Teens










National Book Award Winners





Young People's Lit

Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters

Monday, November 17, 2014

Change of Heart by Jude Deveraux 388 Pages

Fans of Jude Deveraux have long been waiting for the next book in the Edilean series and guessing which branch of which family she focuses on. In this book it's the Taggerts. The oldest son Frank and his genius step-son  Eli. Change of Heart originally started as a short story that was published some years ago, but readers were always asking Deveraux about the characters in the story and what happened to them. So here they are.

I found the story a little strange and had a hard time identifying with the characters in the book. And at times the story was all over the place. The book would have definitely profited from more editing. But I'm a big fan of Deveraux's and I read the book to the bewildering end. Next time start with an original idea, please.