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.
Amen McBee, the youngest of five sisters, gobbles up words the way other children gobble up sweets. She couldn't be more different from her twin sisters Arabella and Annabella---called the Bellas. The mischievous Bellas constantly frighten Amen with stories about Mr. Tominski---the old recluse who lives in the woods nearby and mysteriously tends to a flock of doves. The Bellas insist that Mr. Tominski is a dangerous bogeyman who eats children whole, but Papa vows that the "keeper of the doves" wouldn't hurt anyone. When tragedy strikes the family, Amen must decide once and for all who is right.
Short but powerful, The Keeper of the Doves is an unforgettable story written by Newberry Medal winner, Betsy Byars.
Join us on Sunday, May 20th from 2:00 until 3:00 PM to discuss this amazing book. Snacks will be provided.
Natalie's best friend, Zoe, is sure that the novel Natalie's written is good enough to be published. But how can a 12 year old girl publish a book? Natalie's mother is an editor for a big children's publisher, but Natalie doesn't want to ask for any favors.
Then Zoe has a brilliant idea: Natalie can submit her manuscript under a pen name (Cassandra Day), with Zoe acting as her literary agent. But it's not easy for 2 sixth graders to put themselves over as grown-ups, even with some help from a couple of real grown-ups who are supportive but skeptical. The next best-selling school story may be in their hands----but can Natalie and Zoe pull off their masquerade?
Read The School Story to find out, and then join us on Sunday, April 22nd at 2:00 in the afternoon to discuss this entertaining book. Snacks will be provided.
Life isn't like the movies, and eleven-year-old Turtle is no Shirley Temple. She's smart and tough and has seen enough of the world not to expect a Hollywood ending. After all, it's 1935, and jobs and money and sometimes even dreams are scarce. So when Turtle's mama gets a job housekeeping for a lady who doesn't like kids, Turtle says goodbye without a tear and heads off to Key West, Florida, to stay with relatives she has never met. Florida is like nothing Turtle has ever seen. It's hot and strange, full of ragtag boy cousins, family secrets, and even buried treasure! Before she knows what has happened, Turtle finds herself coming out of the shell she has spent her life building, and as she does, her world open up in the most unexpected ways.
Join us on Sunday, March 18th at 2:00 in the afternoon to discuss this Newberry Honor Book. Snacks will be served.
Her plan to help the Resistance soldier was unraveling. She was the fool, and not only had she put herself in danger, but she now risked her brother's life and the soldier's too.
The year is 1942, and Norway is under Nazi occupation. Twelve-year-old Marit has decided to take action, decided not to heed her grandfather's warnings. But will her plan work? Can she really complete her part of this secret code? And even if she can, would it make any difference to the Resistance?
As this novel reveals what Norwegian people did to preserve their dignity and freedoms, it uncovers a startling statistic: the German secret police systematically rounded up one teacher in ten and sent them to concentration camps for their refusal to teach Nazi propaganda to Norwegian schoolchildren. Here, set on an island of sturdy fishing trawlers and brightly painted homes, is a riveting novel about risks taken, secrets kept, and, always, questions about whom to trust.
Join us on Sunday, February 19th at 2:00pm to discuss this intriguing book. Refreshments will be served.