My Sister’s Grave. Robert Dugoni. 2014. 401 pages. Thomas & Mercer Publishing. [Source: Kindle Unlimited.] Whew. My Sister’s Grave is an emotional and psychological roller coaster from start to finish. I picked this at random while scrolling through Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited offerings, and selected this one purely because of its provocative title. I didn’t bother to read the description; I just jumped in. That’s much like the plot. You’re eased into who Tracy Crosswhite is, but beyond that, you’re thrust into emotional turmoil as she comes to grips with the fact that the remains of her younger sister — who’d gone missing 20 years prior — have just been recovered in a former lake bed near their sleepy little hometown. The rest of the plot follows Tracy’s dogged pursuit of the truth about what happened to Sarah so many years ago. Her focus on the procedural aspects of Edmund House’s conviction for Sarah’s murder opens a Pandora’s box of questions about what really happened and the choices the town made as a result. Cedar Grove was traumatized by Sarah’s disappearance, and the hunt for justice in the past threatens to undermine the precarious comfort they’ve found in the present.
Poof! R.D. Knighten. 2013. 27 pages. Gembay Books. [Source: personal copy.] A friend sent this book to me, thinking it would be a great topic for me and my daughter. Poof is a short story that follows a day in the life of Robin, a little girl of color, and her unexpected romp in the rain. When her beautiful braids poof up after a rain storm, she’s upset that her cute hairstyle is no more. Robin talks to her friend Leslie whose own hair became wavy in the rain. Together the two girls compare the benefits of each hair type, coming to an understanding about how the differences have their own pluses and minuses. Later, Robin talks to her own mother about her hair, eventually realizing how her hair texture allows her to be stylish and creative, when she just thought it lost its beauty.