The Night Children. Sarah Tsiang, Delhpine Bodet, ill. 2015. 32 pages. Annick Press. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] It’s no surprise that kids suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out). This book is a cute imagining of what happens once kids are tucked away in beds each night. The Night Children causing mischief in neighborhoods each evening once kids having to go home is a creative and humorous take on what comes with a day change. From “steal[ing] slices of the moon” to hanging webs, the Night Children have a fun playtime that explains the subtle changes kids see from one day to the next.
Snap! Hzel Hutchins, Dušan Petričić , ill. 2015. 32 pages. Annick Press. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] This is the kind of book you give a kid when they get that first coveted 64-pack of crayons. This is the kind of book I wish I’d had when I was little, lamenting that first chipped crayon tip. This is the kind of book you enjoy sitting down to read right before the promise of a few blank sheets of paper for your 7 year old. I found this book to be filled with excitement – who’d think that coloring with crayons is all that exciting, right? But somehow Evan’s adventures are fun and exploratory. As he tries to work around his broken and missing crayons, he actually learns about the nature of color (ROY G BIV, anyone?) and how basic shades blend together to create a robust palette of color. This would be appropriate for any age from baby through early elementary school.
The Trouble with Love. Lauren Layne. 2015. 249 pages. LoveSwept. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] Emma Sinclair and Cassidy’s lives are just tolerably messy – she told him she didn’t want to marry him the night before their wedding, and he stood her up at the altar the day of. Seven years later and four states north, she’s a dating columnist at Stiletto and he’s editor-in-chief of its “brother” magazine Oxford. They somehow find a balance of mutual indifference that leaves their friends and coworkers wondering “what the hell happened with them?” But when Emma’s editor-in-chief Camille decides to take a sabbatical, Cassidy steps in as her temporary replacement — and interim Emma’s boss. And you can’t forget Emma’s flooded apartment; Camille’s “generosity” winds Emma up in a gorgeous apartment that happens to be next door to Cassidy. Even this could have been manageable if Cassidy hadn’t assigned Emma to revisit her past relationships in a “12 Days of Exes” piece. But once Emma started opening her cans of worms, it complicates how she tidily compartmentalized what happened between her and Cassidy.
Feel the Wind. Rhea Dufresne, Guillaume Perreault, Julie Beck, translator. 2015. 24 pagse. Look Around Books. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] This is such a quick, fun read! The author takes the reader through an exploration of the various forms of wind, while also highlighting their impacts on the world around us. The book is certainly educational, but it isn’t overly so at the expense of an enjoyable book. This is probably a great tool for teachers but also for parents who are helping kids understand the world around them. It’s challenging enough for an emerging reader to tackle on their own (with a bit of help for more complex words), but is simple enough for younger readers to comprehend.
This Is Where It Ends. Marieke Nijkamp. 2016. 288 pages. Sourcebooks Fire. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] Reading this book will leave you shell-shocked. It is haunting. It is emotionally draining. It is real. This Is Where It Ends is told over the course of 54 minutes. But in those 54 minutes, you experience an entire lifetime. The day starts as quietly as any other in sleepy Opportunity, Alabama, with the local high school welcoming students back to a new semester with a school-wide assembly meant to motivate and encourage the student body. Things quickly turn when students and faculty find themselves trapped inside with a lone gunman, intent on leaving his tragic mark on their community. The story is told from first-person accounts of several students. There’s Autumn, the junior whose brother Tyler is the gunman. There is also Sylv, Autumn’s girlfriend. Tomas is Sylv’s twin brother, who finds himself and his friend Fareed as one of few students in a position to save everyone trapped in the auditorium. Claire, whose brother Matt is trapped inside, is Tyler’s ex-girlfriend. Interspersed within are accounts of the shooting found on various social media platforms from people connected to those inside.