Monday, June 15, 2009

Two More Books from The Class of 2k9

My family all met in Oregon this last weekend and I did finish a book - The Road to Tater Hill by Edie Hemmingway. This is a middle grade novel about a sixth grader named Annie who spends summer with her grandparents in the mountains of North Carolina. Except this summer (1963) her father is serving in the airforce in Germany and her mother has just given birth to her baby sister, Mary Kate, who died before Annie could see her, or her mother could even hold her. This is no surprise - you'll find out on the first page. But what is surprising is the tender story, you'd have to say poignant, of a girl who is grieving alone for a sister she will never know. If Annie's substitute "rock baby" doesn't touch your heart, then you are a cold, cold person. I loved Miss Eliza, the mountain descriptions, the jam making and the weaving lessons. Read this book and you'll be thankful for your family and thinking about taking a trip to the real Tater Hill. I had an advance copy so you can preorder Edie's book (I'd suggest it). It will be available in early September.

It's been a few months since I read Fran Cannon Slaton's historical middle grade novel, Where the Whistle Blows. This one debuts this week in book stores and has had great reviews and buzz. Fran's novel is set in the mountains of West Virginia in the 1940s. Jimmy Cannon chronicles each Halloween, which happens to be his father's birtday, from the time he is twelve until he is eighteen. In these six years the steam locomotives that have been the life blood of his town are being phased out, his father is aging, and Jimmy gives us a snapshot of his world from Halloween pranks to championship football games to stunning accidents. When the Whistle Blows celebrates life, death, change, and friendship in a very special way. Fran is offering a drawing for an Advance Reader's Copy of When the Whistle Blows right now at our Class of 2k9 blog. Visit and leave a comment to enter.

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