One of the huge jobs we’re currently in the process of doing is ‘weeding’ the YA collection at Central. This means that we get to see what’s going out lots and what isn’t going out at all. If we think it’s a good book that should be going out more then we keep it. And so, this list of recommendations comes from that collection of books; the gems that haven’t gone out in a while, part one.
Singing It, Anne Cottringer
Flower Power has always moved around. Why should this new town, new school, new flat be any different from all the others? But then she makes some friends who share her passion for old jazz classics. Perhaps her hippie parents’ near-neglect won’t matter, with these new people around her. But as the school year progresses, with boyfriends in the mix, Flower’s relationships evolve and change. Flower finds that the only way that she can deal with it all is to sing her songs, and her old favorites – but will she ever find the courage to sing to a roomful of people?
Footfree and Fancyloose, Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain
Harper Waddle, Sophie Bushell, and Kate Foster committed the ultimate suburban sin: bailing on college to pursue their dreams. Their best friend, Becca Winsberg, took a more traditional path, but she’s got dreams of her own. Now the year is halfway through and the girl’s dreams seem within reach.
The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous, Suzanne Crowley
In the small town of Jumbo, Texas, thirteen-year old Merrille, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, tries to live a “very ordered existence”. But disruption begins when a boy and his father arrive in town, and the youngster makes himself a part of the family.
Miss McAllister’s Ghost, Elizabeth Fensham
Cassie and her two brothers Mick (at 13, one year younger than Cassie) and Wilf (8-years-old) discover a very old lady living a time-forgotten life in a nearby suburb. Her house is cut off from the world, she is largely self-sufficient but has a believable means by which she supplements her food requirements. Miss McAllister moves from irascible and overbearing stranger to become the centre of the children’s lives. Their own parents, caught up in their own lives, are on the periphery of their childrens. Miss McAllister provides stability, a much-needed sense of responsibility, a standard of ethical behaviour and ultimately, love.
Escaping into the Night, D. Dina Friedman
Halina Rudowski is on the run. When the Polish ghetto where she lives is evacuated, she narrowly escapes, but her mother is not as lucky. Along with her friend Batya, Halina makes her way to a secret encampment in the woods where Jews survive by living underground. As the group struggles for food, handles infighting, and attempts to protect themselves from the advancing Germans, Halina must face the reality of life without her mother.
Crossing Stones, Helen Frost
Eighteen-year-old Muriel Jorgensen lives on one side of Crabapple Creek. Her family’s closest friends, the Normans, live on the other. For as long as Muriel can remember, the families’ lives have been intertwined, connected by the crossing stones that span the water. But now that Frank Norman—who Muriel is just beginning to think might be more than a friend—has enlisted to fight in World War I and her brother, Ollie, has lied about his age to join him, the future is uncertain. As Muriel tends to things at home with the help of Frank’s sister, Emma, she becomes more and more fascinated by the women’s suffrage movement, but she is surrounded by people who advise her to keep her opinions to herself. How can she find a way to care for those she loves while still remaining true to who she is?
Soul Enchilada, David MacInnis Gill
After a demon appears to repossess her car, eighteen-year-old Bug Smoot discovers that both the car and her soul were given as collateral in a deal made with the Devil by her irascible Grandfather. Given two-days grace, she tries to find a way to outsmart the Devil and his minions.
This is an enormous job! As you can see, I’m only up to the G’s which is why this is only part one. Keep an eye out for more gems that haven’t gone out in a while!