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The Hired Girl – Laura Amy Schlitz, Newberry medal winner


Ruled by a brutal father and brothers and missing her dead mother, 14-year-old Joan Skraggs runs away from her family’s Pennsylvania farm, makes her way to Baltimore, and is rescued from a park bench by a well-dressed young man. She presents herself as Janet Lovelace, age 18, and becomes “the hired girl,” a servant to the Rosenbachs — a prosperous Jewish family who own a department store. Janet keeps a diary, and the reader quickly gleans that her notions of life come from three books: “Jane Eyre,” “Dombey and Son” and “Ivanhoe.” “I plan to go on as bravely as a heroine in a novel,” she writes. “In my new life I’m not going to be vulgar. Even though I’m going to be a servant I’m going to cultivate my finer feelings. I will better myself and write with truth and refinement.”

Janet, the book implies, may one day be an author. But first, she has to scrub floors, beat carpets, iron sheets and wash dishes while keeping kashrut. She’s a tough and determined protagonist, but also impulsive, a bit of a meddler and an irrepressible romantic hungry for an education.  A very enjoyable read giving an insight into jewish customs and ways

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Our Chemical Hearts – Krystal Sutherland


This is a roller coaster ride of a book, lots of raw emotion  This is a teen read that is real, there are so many references to some of the latest apps and current trends, and it was really nice to see an author use and embrace these things, rather than attempt to create a whole new world for the characters. Henry and Grace are very emotional characters and even though Grace seems to be broken beyond repair, everyone who has hope can be put back together again.

A romantic, sad book that is well worth reading

 

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Holding up the universe – Jennifer Niven


This is a fantastic read about teens,relationships, friendships and anxiety.

Libby Strout has been hiding all her life, but now she is ready to face the world again .

After a huge trauma in her life she has the strength to face her first year at high school, she will cope with all the stares and drama that will go with that

This book is beautifully written and the

Then she meets Jack and their worlds collide, “because sometimes when you meet someone, the whole universe just comes into focus”

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The Marble collector – By Cecelia Ahern


The Marble Collector is a thought-provoking novel about family and how the most ordinary decisions we make, can have the most extraordinary consequences for how we live our lives. Also how sometimes it’s only by shining a light on someone else, that you can truly understand yourself.

This is a story of a tough Irish family and how the game of marbles is some how central to their lives and the journey to adulthood.

When Sabrina Boggs stumbles upon a mysterious collection of her fathers belongings, her seemingly uneventful life suddenly alters and shifts.

A box of possessions.

A father with no memory.

A daughter with just one day.

To piece together the past.

 

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The Feathered Bone – By Julie Cantrell


The Feathered Bone is a challenging must read that forces us to face our greatest fears and believe in hope despite them.

It is a dark and sad story about 2 young girls who are on a school trip together in New Orleans, when one of them goes missing.

This is also about Amanda, a mother who was also on  the trip who was in charge of the girls and how this tragedy untangles her and her family.

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All rise for the honorable Perry T. Cook – By Leslie Connor


Perry’s mother is in a minimum security prison and so is he.  For some unexplainable reason nobody has made a fuss and Warden Daugherty has allowed him to remain with his mother.  The prison is the only home that Perry has known and the inmates are his family. He goes to school every day and has a best friend Zoey.

Everything goes bad when someone important gets to know of Perry living in the prison and is determined to  get him out and into a normal family environment.

When Perry moves to the “outside” world, he feels trapped. Desperate to be reunited with his mom, Perry goes on a quest for answers about her past crime. As he gets closer to the truth, he will discover that love makes people resilient no matter where they come from . . . but can he find a way to tell everyone what home truly means?

This is a good read about family and what it means to different people.

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The museum of you – By Carys Bray


This is a beautifully written story about a father and daughter relationship, dealing with life and its challenges.

Clover has never known her mother, but knows that all her things are stored in the second bedroom of their house.

She has never been to told to not go in there, so in her summer holidays when her father is at work she starts to sort through the boxes of items in the hope of gaining some essence of her mother.

At the same time she makes  a new friend and her Uncle Jim has a mental health breakdown.

This book deals kindly with Clover and her extended family it is a great read.2