“The Nest”

It is often said that even the closest families can be split apart by money.  In “The Nest” author Cynthia D’Asprix Sweeney has constructed a strong plot that deals with a dysfunctional family and what money or the lack of will lead four siblings to do.

9780062414212_p0_v3_s118x184.jpgThe nest is a joint trust fund that Leo Plumb Sr. had set up to be distributed when the youngest of his four children reached the age of forty.  It was supposed to be a modest inheritance that would help his children as they reached middle age.  Unfortunately, over the course of time and stock market downturns, the nest had depreciated in value.

Each of the four children, Leo, Jack, Beatrice, and Melody had come to rely on the nest to help them out of financial difficulties and each was eagerly awaiting the time when they could split the funds.

When irresponsible Leo crashed his car, all of his siblings will suffer.  The passenger, a waitress that Leo had picked up at a wedding reception, has sustained serious injuries, which result in having a foot amputated.  In order to keep the whole incident quiet, the young girl was paid off by Leo’s mom.  She used part of the nest to do so.

As the plot unfolds, each of the Plumb siblings deals with Leo’s accident and what they can do to get him to repay the nest.

This is a novel about family–how each sibling depends on the others and how each lets the others down.  Author Sweeney, in her first novel, has created well-written characters and a plot that never bogs down.  This is a very good read.

ALA Youth Award Winners

Yesterday, the ALA announced the awards for the best books, audiobooks and videos for youth. The Caldecott Award for best picture book went to Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, written and illustrated by Javaka Steptoe. The Newbery Award winner for best book for children (up to the age of 14) was The Girl Who Drank the Moon, written by Kelly Barnhill. The Printz award for the top teen book  was the graphic novel biography March:Book 3, written by John Lewis and  Andrew Aydin, and illustrated by Nate Powell. You can see the full listing here, along with video announcements.


“A Dog’s Purpose” books and movie

Title: A Dog's Purpose, Author: W. Bruce Cameron  Title: A Dog's Journey, Author: W. Bruce Cameron  Title: A Dog's Purpose Boxed Set, Author: W. Bruce Cameron  Title: Bailey's Story: A Dog's Purpose Novel, Author: W. Bruce Cameron  Title: Ellie's Story, Author: W. Bruce Cameron Title: The Dogs of Christmas, Author: W. Bruce Cameron  Molly's Story: A Dog's Purpose Novel  With the popular ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ movie based on the books set to open on Friday January 27, 2017, the books have been flying off the shelf in my middle school library.  If you’ve seen the trailer in the theater, you know that the movie looks like a heart-warming tear-jerker sure to please dog lovers.  W. Bruce Cameron has more than 6 titles in the series already with “Molly’s Story” scheduled for a release later this year.  ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ looks to be the next ‘Marley and Me.’

Paul Goble

Title: The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses, Author: Paul Goble Title: Her Seven Brothers, Author: Paul Goble Title: Tipi: Home of the Nomadic Buffalo Hunters, Author: Paul Goble  Children’s author, Paul Goble, died earlier this month at age 83. Well known for his 1979 Caldecott winning title, “The Girl Who Loved Wild Horse,” Goble was closely connected to the west and Native American life. Although British born, Goble had an early love for Native American culture when his mother read him tales of tribes and history.  He illustrated and retold Native American tales as well as non-fiction titles of historical events such as Custer’s battle.  According to the Publisher’s Weekly obituary, Goble became an artist-in-residence at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial and an adopted member of the Yakima and Sioux tribes. A biography of Paul Goble is expected out this year.