We've got just one event this week, and one preview for next week.
Wednesday, April 1, 7 pm; Judith Claire Mitchell, author of A Reunion of Ghosts.
Mitchell's novel, ten years in the making, went on sale last Tuesday, and in its first week out, had a substantial pop on our bestseller list. Here's Boswellian Jen Steele's recommendation, which also gives a little background about the book: ""The sins of the fathers are visited upon the children to the 3rd and 4th generations." These are the words that the Alter sisters live by. It has become their motto and this conviction becomes part of the reason they have chosen to die at their own hands on December 31st, 1999. Lady, Vee and Delph Alter have written a suicide note together, which is more than a "goodbye, world" note; it's also a family history. You see, the Alter sisters are descendants of Lenz Otto Alter and Iris Emanuel Alter. Lenz was a chemist and the creator of the poison gas that was first used in WWI. Iris was the first woman to earn a PhD in chemistry and the first in the family to commit suicide. A Reunion of Ghosts is a captivating chronicle of a family and the weight of consequences, which grows heavier with time."
Jeanne Kolker in The Wisconsin State Journal offered this take: “A Reunion of Ghosts is dark, yes. But Mitchell carries readers along for the ride on prose so thoughtful and nuanced that one can forgive the morbid subject matter. Mitchell, whose previous book The Last Day of the War (2004) was set during World War I, crafts a narrative that looks boldly at the legacy of the man who invented the chemical process that would be the precursor to Zyklon B, the gas used in Nazi concentration camps." Read more about the book, including a profile of Mitchell, who teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on their website.
Margaret Quamme in The Columbus Dispatch, is another fan. She notes that "Mitchell’s plot, which twists in unexpected but believable ways and opens up just when it seems as if it can only close in, is thoroughly satisfying, but it’s the tone of her novel — that ability to savor joy and sorrow at the same time — that makes it remarkable."
Here's the trailer for A Reunion of Ghosts
Monday, April 6, 6:30 pm: Middle Grade Mania!
Calling all Middle Grade Maniacs!! We’re throwing a pizza party in your honor! After an introduction by Boswellian Phoebe, we’ll hear from a panel of five excellent middle-grade authors, who will talk about their books (signing copies, of course!), after we toast our favorite teachers (with shopping passes!) and indulge in pizza. Fun for ages 8 and up, you won’t want to miss this fun event. Here's a roundup of tonight's authors.
Seattle musician Steven Arntson, author of The Wikkeling, presents his latest novel, The Trap, in which science fiction, kidnapping, and first crushes combine for a thrilling fantasy that’s Gary Schmidt meets Madeleine L’Engle.
From its starred review in Kirkus: " This riveting science-fiction mystery is much more than an exciting read. The subtle world may be dangerous, but Henry and his friends find that the real world poses its own challenges. Together, they grapple with racism, poverty and alcoholism, all while nursing their first crushes and dealing with the angst of the upcoming fall formal. Arntson folds all of these elements into his narrative without compromising pacing or characterization one bit."
Savvy meets Three Times Lucky in Faith Harkey’s debut novel, a small-town Georgia tale of twelve-year-old Genuine Sweet, a hardworking but poor (and hungry!) “wish fetcher” who can grant anyone’s wishes but her own.
Kirkus Reviews writes: "Through it all, Genuine learns about forgiveness, responsibility and empowering others while remaining true to the humble, spunky girl at her core. A folksy first-person narration combined with a thought-provoking storyline makes this a good pick for solo enjoyment or book club discussion."
Eddie Red Undercover: Mystery in Mayan Mexico is the fun and fast-paced second installment of the Edgar-nominated series by Marcia Wells in which Eddie Red and his best friend Jonah must once again rely on Eddie’s drawing skills and photographic memory to uncover clues to catch a crook when Eddie’s father is falsely accused of a crime.
From Gesse Stark-Smith in School Library Journal: " All three kids are realistic and likable, and although the plot twists may strain some reader's suspension of disbelief, they're fast paced enough to keep those who crave adventure turning pages. Refreshingly, this book features an African American protagonist. Purchase for libraries where the first book or other plot-driven mystery series are popular--and be prepared to add future installments."
Adventures of Jo Schmo series and Melvin Beederman, Superhero series, Greg Trine, debuts the first book in his hilarious new series, Willie Maykit in Space, in which our stalwart hero, Willie Maykit, is stranded during a class trip to outer space, where his wits tested against the monsters of Planet Ed.
From Kirkus Reviews:"Readers new to chapter books and who like to laugh often will most likely find Willy’s story peppered with just enough silly humor (monster poop!) to keep the pages turning."
Magic beans quickly lead to danger in One Witch at a Time, the new standalone companion to The Brixen Witch by Jump the Cracks author—and our special guest for Middle Grade Mania!—Stacy DeKeyser.
From Kirkus: "...the characters are awfully likable, and this tale is set so believably in a traditional Alpine world that it's easy to go along with the make-believe. A satisfying, stand-alone sequel that will certainly send readers back to read The Brixen Witch."
We'll have pizza from Ian's, giveaways, and a $5 coupon off of $25 or more purchase for each educator at the program. This coupon is for personal use, not on school charges, and works on already discounted titles, and in conjunction with Boswell Benefits coupons.
Good thing Kirkus reviews so many kids' books!
I should also note that we're open 10 am to 5 pm on Easter Sunday.