by Laura Ruby
Balzer & Bray, Harper Collins, 2015
ALA Michael L. Printz award for excellence in young adult literature
National Book Award finalist
I picked up Bone Gap from the library shelf because it had two awards on the cover. The story held my attention, particularly because there was MAGIC involved.
Brothers Finn and Sean O’Sullivan live alone. Their mother left a few years ago to start a new life in Oregon. Young, beautiful Roza appears in their barn and stays on, but then goes missing.
Finn knows Roza was kidnapped–actually saw her speaking to the man and getting into his car–but he can’t recall the man’s face. No one believes Finn.
How Finn continues his search for Roza, and what he learns about himself, includes beekeepers, a magical horse, and other surprises.
Ruby tells a good tale of “love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness.”
*The book is definitely young adult level.
Jennifer Castle, YA Author
An article about Jennifer Castle in our local paper prompted me to search for her books in the teen section of Elting Library.
First I zoomed through her award-winner, The Beginning of After, about a teen that loses her family in a car accident. That was so good that I jumped into You Look Different in Real Life. This story’s characters are teens who have participated in a documentary that filmed their lives every five years. The first two films, when they were five and eleven years old, were hugely popular. Now the students are sixteen years old. Castle explores their relationships and how each of them reacts to another filming.
I couldn’t get hold of the next book, What Happens Now, so I read her latest, Together at Midnight. Of the three books, I liked the first two best. In her stories, Castle deals with serious life situations and changes. I can almost hear her asking questions. How does a young woman deal with losing her parents and her brother? What is it like to be famous because you were filmed at age five and eleven? Will you agree to being filmed now that you are sixteen? What do you do if you have a learning disability, but everyone expects you to go to college? What if you are gay and your family is super-conservative?
For me, the character’s voices were totally authentic. I can’t wait to get my hands on What Happens Now.