Girlfriends Read

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149 days ago,Mimi's Mom died.  Everyone's given up.  Dad keeps burning pizzas, and he doesn't smile anymore.  Sally only wears black and has a terrible secret.  Conor plays the drums all night and keeps the neighbors awake.  And the dog, Sparkler, hasn't been walked in months.  And that's not even counting how terrible things are at school (when Mimi finally gets there, very late each day).

But Mimi isn't one to give up.  She goes through the days depending upon routine:  Monday is Granny's day, Tuesday is Aunt Marigold's day, Wednesday is Aunt Betty's day, each providing some stability to Mimi and her siblings.  Mimi's best friend, Orla, stands by Mimi at school and texts her jokes every day.

This finely crafted novel is both touching and comic, and it is a poweful portrait of loss, compassion, and the power that comes from sticking together.

Join us on Sunday, November 11th at 2 PM to discuss this delightful novel.  Snacks will be served.

Posted by: Jahnke
on October 16, 2012
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It's 1933, and twelve-year-old Rachel's family doesn't have two nickels to rub together.

Rachel lives in the city with Pop and her younger brother and sister, Joey and Cassie.  Rachel's mother died long ago, but the family has a special friend in Miss Mitzi at the flower shop, and they know everyone on their block.

Pop needs a job.  His search for work lands the family on a farm upstate, in North Lake.  But times are hard there too---the school and library are closed.  Bad news indeed for Rachel, who loves books and learning.  Their isolated farm house is falling apart.  Still, Rachel grows to love the farm.

Miss Mitzi and Rachel write to each other constantly, exchanging letters that sustain Rachel as the three city kids adjust to life in the country.  When Pop's job takes him away from home for a while, Rachel is determined that she and Joey and Cassie will do just fine on the farm.

In this heartfelt novel, beloved author Patricia Reilly Giff brings the endearing Rachel, her family, and their days during the Great Depression to vivid life for today's readers.

Join us on Sunday, October 14th at 2:00 p.m. to discuss this excellent novel.  Snacks will be served.

Posted by: Jahnke
on August 27, 2012
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Because their parents have gone to Paris for a week and their usual sitter is not feeling well, Melissa, Amanda, and Pee Wee are being taken care of by their father's sister from Canada.  It turns out that Aunt Sally is full of fascinating stories about her and their father growing up on Vancouver Island.  Pee Wee, Amanda and Melissa are captivated by the eccentric characters Aunt Sally brings to life, particularly the trolls, who changed Aunt Sally's family forever.

Join us on on Tuesday evening, August 21st at 6:30 to discuss this entertaining book.  Snacks will be served.

Posted by: Jahnke
on July 26, 2012
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"Olive Barstow was dead.  She'd been hit by a car on Monroe Street while riding her bicycle weeks ago.  That was about all Martha knew."

Martha Boyle and Olive Barstow could have been friends.  But they weren't---and now all that is left are eerie connections between two girls who were in the same grade at school and who both kept the same secret without knowing it.

Now Martha can't stop thinking about Olive.  A family summer on Cape  Cod should help banish those thoughts; instead, they seep in everywhere.

And this year Martha's routine at her beloved grandmother's beachside house is complicated by the Manning boys---Jimmy, Tate, Todd, Luke, and Leo.  But especially Jimmy.  What if, what if, what if, what if?

The world can change in a minute.

Join us on Tuesday, July 24th at 6:30 in the evening to discuss this intriguing book by Wisconsin author, Kevin Henkes.  Snacks will be served.

Posted by: Jahnke
on June 28, 2012
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It's 1953 and eleven-year-old Penny dreams of a summer of butter pecan ice cream, swimming, and baseball.  But nothing is that simple for Penny.  For starters, she cannot go swimming because her mother is afraid Penny will catch polio at the pool.  To make matters worse, her favorite uncle is living in a car.  Her Nonny cries every time Penny's father's name is mentioned.  And the two sides of her family are not speaking to each other!  When it rains, it sure does rain, but Penny is learning that like the song says...even the darkest clouds may just contain some pennies from heaven.

Inspired by Newberry Honor winner Jennifer Holm's own Italian American family, Penny From Heaven is a shining story about the everyday and the extraordinary, about a time in America's history when being Italian meant that you were the enemy not all that long ago.  But most of all, it is a story about families----about the things that tear them apart and bring them together.  Holm includes pictures from her family album at the back of the book.

Join us on Tuesday, June 26th at 6:30 p.m. to discuss this wonderful story about families, love, and forgiveness.  Snacks will be served.

Posted by: Jahnke
on May 21, 2012

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