In the past few weeks I have read Circus Mirandus, The Book of Kings, Anna and the Swallow Man, The Beastly Bones, The Hired Girl. I gave up, temporarily, on The Six of Crows and I promise to go back to that because my Boss says it's worth the effort. I also read Confessions of an Imaginary Friend.
I am pretty sure that there are other books that I have read recently that did not make this list. You will note that few if any of these books are on the recently released Youth Media Awards. (Mainly because several of these are 2016 releases so....)
As a matter of fact, I did a poor job of reading award-worthy books this year. I have been reading what I want - so there.
So here is a short run down of two of the books mentioned above.
The Book of Kings -by Cynthia Voigt. I want to live in Max's home town. I, too, want to be a solutioneer. Max Starling must rescue his parents who have been tricked into playing the King and Queen of a small, oppressed South American nation. So, he, his grandmother, his tenant, Ari who is also a Baron, his "assistant", Pia's, father, two boys who may end up being good friends and Max's painting teacher all pile on to a ocean liner, leaving behind the idyllic city of Queensbridge. Don't DO it! Max. What a delightful adventure, full of twists and turns and headstrong people.
The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz. When Jane's unhappy father burns her journals - they are a waste of her time - Jane runs off to Baltimore and gets a job as a hired girl in the home of a department store owner and entrepreneur. Her job is complicated by the clash of cultures. Jane's mother was Catholic, though Jane rarely had a chance to attend church. And the family she works for are observant Jews. Jane is NOT 18 as she claims but only 14, so she makes some choices and behaves in ways that threaten to get her fired. Good book. Read it.