Julia Kelly’s latest novel revolves around an elaborate garden in England and the generations of women who cultivate it and create it. Crossing three time periods from 1907 to the present day, we meet several women whose lives are effected by the unique garden. Venetia Smith is the original landscaper in 1907. Diana Symonds and Beth Pedley live near the garden during WWII. Emma Lovett is the modern-day garden artist who is hired to restore the original garden’s luster and wonder back to life. The plot shifts from each of these characters and we see how the current day owner fits in to the ancestors who originally created it. Along the way, the WWII section ties both ends together. The transitions between the different points in time flow easily and smoothly. Gaps of history are filled in as each of the three stories come together with a satisfaction that brings us to 2021 and the current owners of the English garden. Also available on audio.
Kate DiCamillo’s Flora and Ulysses is coming to Disney streaming next week. Several of her books have already been made into popular films (example: Because of Winn-Dixie). The story stars a special squirrel who is saved from being sucked up by a vacuum cleaner. DiCamillo’s Tiger Rising novel is set to come to the big screen this year as well. Time to get caught up on your DicCamillo books!
Good news for teacher and librarians! Many publishers have extended permissions to read their materials online to June 30. They include Boyd’s Mill & Kane, Candlewick, Crabtree, Free Spirit, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster. You can access the full article from School Library Journal here.
According to Jerry Kuntz, of the top 25 series requested by RCLS patrons in Enterprise catalog, 5 were either in the Young Adult or Juvenile categories. They are: (JUV) Keeper of the Lost Cities series by Shannon Messenger and the Harry Potter series. Young Adult series were Ready Player series by Ernest Cline; Throne of Glass novels by Sarah Maas; Selection series by Kiera Cass and Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. So take heart — our kids ARE reading!!
Nick Hornby’s latest novel, Just Like You, involves 22 year-old Joseph and 42 year-old Lucy. Recently separated from her alcoholic husband, Lucy is raising her two sons while working as English Department head at a nearby school. Joseph cobbles together various part-time jobs and still lives at home. When they meet at the butcher shop where Joseph works, Lucy asks him if he would babysit her boys. Chemistry and attraction is on both sides and they soon begin an affair. The obvious age difference complication is amplified because Joseph is African-American and Lucy is white. This is not just a book about a younger man and an older woman. While the clichés are not ignored, Hornby goes deeper to help the reader understand the true bond between them and how this can possibly be a deep relationship. I listened to the audio edition which I recommend.