After moving to Minnesota to live with his biological mother, Collin's life completely changes. He is neurodiverse, counting each letter of every word spoken to him before compulsively repeating the total back to the speaker. Because of this, he’s had a hard time making friends. But this move not only brings his mother into his life, for the first time, it also brings a friend his age. With the life lessons, magical realism, and unbreakable, once-in-a-lifetime friendships reminiscent of Bridge to Terabithia, The Brave beats out a classic tale with a new heart. One of the most gently transformative and beautiful stories I’ve come across in years.
This runaway bride, second-chance-at-love romance was unexpected and totally swoonworthy. The narrative builds steadily until the final chapters when all hell breaks loose and the story peaks in classic Western fashion. If you like character-driven stories, here's all you need to know: there's a contemplative Native American hero, a Boston society wife with a spine of steel, an abusive bastard of a wealthy husband, and a band of misfit outlaws hidden in a valley of the idyllic Rocky Mountains. Great fun as a standalone or to read out of series order.
As the year ends and we turn our focus to upcoming holidays, I want to highlight an Indigenous author to encourage readers of all ages to decolonize our bookshelves.
From Traci Sorrell, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, We Are Grateful is a beautiful, reflective book that looks at the Cherokee practice of giving thanks as a family and as a community. "We are grateful," in the Cherokee language is otsaliheliga. This and other Cherokee words are sprinkled throughout these pages.
Is it fate that intertwines 17-yr-old Xochi and 12-yr-old Pallas, or is it simply kindred spirit? On the night of the Autumn Equinox, they cast a playful spell and summon two eerie, green forest children - "Water Babies" in Native American lore - but these creatures do more than cause vivid dreams. Told from multiple POV's (including a bookstore cat!) with interludes in verse and oral storytelling, Keil's debut is a lush, magical novel of first loves and found family.
A delightfully dark "New Adult" read for fans of Francesca Lia Block, Sherman Alexie, and Hayao Miyazaki.