Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood takes place in Mississippi, during the summer of 1964. Glory is not going to be able to have her birthday party at the community pool this year, because the town council has decided to shut it down rather than desegregate. Her new friend, Laura, and her mother have just moved to town from Ohio, so that her mother can work at the free clinic, or as some townspeople put it, to cause trouble. It's a long, hot summer without the pool, but Glory learns a lot about freedom and friendship, especially when her housekeeper, Emma, helps her write a letter to the editor of the local paper.
Author, Augusta Scattergood, also has a blog. She has recently featured her recipe for lemon cookies, that Emma makes in the novel. Anyone want to host a mother/daughter book club and invite me and my girls? I'll make the cookies.
The Year Money Grew on Trees by Aaron Hawkins is about the year Jackson Jones, age 14, makes a deal with his elderly neighbor, Mrs. Nelson. If he takes over the care and maintenance of her apple orchard with 300 apple trees for one year, and sells enough apples to give eight thousand dollars to Mrs. Nelson, the apple orchard is his. Using his siblings and cousins for labor, his Sunday School teacher as a mentor, and the dairy farm down the road for fertilizer, Jackson has his work cut out for him.
Interestingly, this novel is set in New Mexico. Apparently, it gets cold there, even below freezing. Who knew? I thought New Mexico was like Old Mexico, but a state. dur.
Another interesting fact, this novel is set in the 80s, which after last Friday's quick takes nos. 6 and 7, you know the 80s are dear to my heart. The kids hook up a boombox in the orchard so they can listen to Beat It and Billie Jean is not my lover...while working in the trees. We used to sing that on the playground, back in the day. I remember practicing my moon walk in my moon boots. I was super cool.
Born to Fly by Michael Ferrari is a WWII book. Bird's dad is off flying planes for the military. Tomboy, plane-loving Bird makes friends with the other outcast in her class, Kenji, the only Japanese boy in their tiny town in Rhode Island. After seeing a German sub in the bay and discovering a dead body, Bird is threatened by a mysterious man in black. If she doesn't keep her mouth shut, he will hurt her family. When Kenji's uncle is convicted of the murder, will Bird have the courage to speak up?
I really liked this book, except for one thing. Bird's sixteen-year-old sister is a little boy crazy, no big deal. But Bird waves her sister's bra out the window to get a serviceman's attention. She bribes the serviceman with a date with her sister in exchange for a ride in his plane. I don't know that many eleven-year-old girls would wave bras at men out of windows, especially in 1941.
Also, I 'm not convinced that upon meeting the serviceman, the sister would try to cover up the curlers in her hair with her shirt, thus flashing her bra. I don't know that Mr. Ferrari understands the sisterly bond, and the code of modesty, especially between sisters. I do appreciate that he set out to write an adventure story with a female protagonist, and I think he did a good job. I would have edited out the bra scenes. Did they even wear bras in the Forties? Weren't they still wearing corsets or girdles? I'm still letting my kids read it, it just bugs me.
Pretties by Scott Westerfeld is not as good as Uglies. Tally is finally pretty and living in New Pretty Town, when she starts a relationship with fellow pretty, Zane. Keep in mind, she is only sixteen. Though warned about sex, and getting involved too soon, Tally is soon living in Zane's quarters. No, nothing is described, but I'm no fool, and my kids aren't either. In that futuristic society, they have to sleep together for warmth? I don't think so. I don't know if I'll read the rest of the series. I've already told my teens that they can't read this one. Bummer. It was such a good dystopian, sci-fi novel, without the implied sex.