professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Henkes' little wonders

No cover to show as Amazon and Titlewave do not have it available. The book will debut in May of this year. I adore Kevin Henkes' books about Owen and Lily and Chrysthemum. But his middle grade novels are truly gems and astonish me time after time. Here is someone whose illustrations are comic and yet somehow real. His novels SUN AND SPOON, THE BIRTHDAY ROOM, and OLIVE'S Ocean among others are incredible forays into the small places we all inhabit.

BIRD MOON LAKE has two narrators: Spencer and Mitch. Mitch is spending the summer with his mother and grandparents following his father's sudden departure from the family. Mitch thinks that perhaps the small house next door to his grandparent's home might be perfect for a new start for him and his mother. However, Simon's family shows up unexpectedly one day and Mitch's plans are dashed. Mitch and Simon's paths are now intersected. How will each of their stories continue?

What I so admire about all of Henkes' novels are the small details of daily life that Spencer and Mitch see, what children see that many grown ups walk past. Not that his characters are some sort of uber-observers; they are quite realistically drawn kids. However, they have not lost their childlike wonder, they are not jaded in the same way as the adults around them. In many ways, I think, they are the logical and human outgrowth of Lily and Owen and Chrysanthemum. Food for thought.

Tomorrow the hubby and I head back from Corpus Christi (where I taught a children's lit class today) to home and then I head to Houston for a series of seminars on YA lit next week. You know what that means...time to read and to listen to some audiobooks. So, stay tuned.

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