The poignant odyssey of a tenacious young girl who braves the dangers of the Texas frontier to avenge her mother’s death Early one morning in the remote hill country of Texas, a panther savagely attacks a family of homesteaders, mauling a young girl named Samantha and killing her mother, a former slave, whose final act is to save her daughter's life. Samantha and her half-brother, Benjamin, survive, but she is left traumatised, her face horribly scarred. Narrated in Benjamin's beguilingly plainspoken voice, The Which Way Tree is the story of Samantha's unshakeable resolve to stalk and kill the infamous panther, rumored across the Rio Grande to be a demon, and avenge her mother's death. In their quest she and Benjamin, now orphaned, enlist a charismatic Tejano outlaw and a haunted, compassionate preacher with an ageing but relentless tracking dog. As the members of this unlikely posse hunt the panther, they are in turn pursued by a hapless but sadistic Confederate soldier with troubled family ties to the preacher and a score to settle. In the tradition of the great pursuit narratives, The Which Way Tree is a breathtaking saga of one steadfast girl’s revenge against an implacable and unknowable beast. Yet with the comedic undertones of Benjamin's storytelling, it is also a timeless tale full of warmth and humour, and a testament to the enduring love that carries a sister and brother through a perilous adventure that takes on the dimensions of a legend.
Author: Elizabeth Crook
Publisher: Scribe Publications
In this gripping, emotionally charged novel, a tragedy in Texas changes the course of three livesOn an oppressively hot Monday in August of 1966, a student and former marine named Charles Whitman hauled a footlocker of guns to the top of the University of Texas tower and began firing on pedestrians below. Before it was over, sixteen people had been killed and thirty-two wounded. It was the first mass shooting of civilians on a campus in American history. Monday, Monday follows three students caught up in the massacre: Shelly, who leaves her math class and walks directly into the path of the bullets, and two cousins, Wyatt and Jack, who heroically rush from their classrooms to help the victims. On this searing day, a relationship begins that will eventually entangle these three young people in a forbidden love affair, an illicit pregnancy, and a vow of secrecy that will span forty years. Reunited decades after the tragedy, they will be forced to confront the event that changed their lives and that has silently and persistently ruled the lives of their children. With electrifying storytelling and powerful sense of destiny, Elizabeth Crook's Monday, Monday explores the ways in which we sustain ourselves and one another when the unthinkable happens. At its core, it is the story of a woman determined to make peace with herself, with the people she loves, and with a history that will not let her go. A humane treatment of a national tragedy, it marks a generous and thrilling new direction for a gifted American writer.
Author: Elizabeth Crook
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick The American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century. From the moment she entered the world, Francie needed to be made of stern stuff, for the often harsh life of Williamsburg demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit. Often scorned by neighbors for her family’s erratic and eccentric behavior—such as her father Johnny’s taste for alcohol and Aunt Sissy’s habit of marrying serially without the formality of divorce—no one, least of all Francie, could say that the Nolans’ life lacked drama. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the Nolans’ daily experiences are tenderly threaded with family connectedness and raw with honesty. Betty Smith has, in the pages of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, captured the joys of humble Williamsburg life-from “junk day” on Saturdays, when the children of Francie’s neighborhood traded their weekly take for pennies, to the special excitement of holidays, bringing cause for celebration and revelry. Betty Smith has artfully caught this sense of exciting life in a novel of childhood, replete with incredibly rich moments of universal experiences—a truly remarkable achievement for any writer. This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
Author: Betty Smith
Publisher: Harper Collins
As The Giving Tree turns fifty, this timeless classic is available for the first time ever in ebook format. This digital edition allows young readers and lifelong fans to continue the legacy and love of a household classic that will now reach an even wider audience. Never before have Shel Silverstein's children's books appeared in a format other than hardcover. Since it was first published fifty years ago, Shel Silverstein's poignant picture book for readers of all ages has offered a touching interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return. Shel Silverstein's incomparable career as a bestselling children's book author and illustrator began with Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back. He is also the creator of picture books including A Giraffe and a Half, Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros?, The Missing Piece, The Missing Piece Meets the Big O, and the perennial favorite The Giving Tree, and of classic poetry collections such as Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, Every Thing On It, Don't Bump the Glump!, and Runny Babbit. And don't miss Runny Babbit Returns, the new book from Shel Silverstein!
Author: Shel Silverstein
Publisher: Harper Collins
Category: Juvenile Fiction
"Fans of R.J. Palacio's Wonder will appreciate this feel-good story of friendship and unconventional smarts." --Kirkus Reviews Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there's a lot more to her--and to everyone--than a label, and that great minds don't always think alike. The author of the beloved One for the Murphys gives readers an emotionally-charged, uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who's ever thought there was something wrong with them because they didn't fit in. This paperback edition includes The Sketchbook of Impossible Things and discussion questions. A New York Times Bestseller! * "Unforgettable and uplifting."--School Library Connection, starred review * "Offering hope to those who struggle academically and demonstrating that a disability does not equal stupidity, this is as unique as its heroine."--Booklist, starred review * "Mullaly Hunt again paints a nuanced portrayal of a sensitive, smart girl struggling with circumstances beyond her control." --School Library Journal, starred review
Author: Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Category: Juvenile Fiction
Hailed by George Bernard Shaw as "one of the summits of human achievement," this 1903 novel satirizes the hypocrisy underlying Victorian England's major institutions — family, church, and class structure.
Author: Samuel Butler
Publisher: Courier Corporation
Max reappeared in the doorway of the inn, and the crowd on deck shouted in delight as he stopped, bowed to his audience, and took a huge gulp from the open bottle. Gretchen shuddered against Helga’s shoulder, and Hermie’s fist pounded the rail as he muttered between clenched teeth, “Come on, Papa.” “It’s all right. The captain will wait.” Paul breathed into his cupped hands. The ship began its laboring surge as the black, swirling water of the Weser River churned up waves that grew from undulating ripples to frothy caps. Still Max whirled and danced and tipped his bottle as he headed almost casually toward the departing ship. The laughter died, and in a body the crowd began coaxing him to jump, make one mad leap, to entertain them one more time. Helga pulled the children tighter against her, holding them, willing them not to watch. And then Max jumped, tossing the empty bottle into the water as his body floated, suspended, arms extended, fingers spread, wildly grasping for the slowly arching rail. His face suddenly twisted to disbelieving shock as his fingers missed their grip, and he dropped like a slender arrow straight down into the roiling, icy water without causing the slightest splash. After three long months at sea, Helga Heinrich and her four children sail into the thriving Indianola seaport on the Texas coast in 1853 to begin a new chapter.
Author: Myra Hargrave McIlvain
A Gen-X librarian's laugh-out-loud funny, deeply moving collection of love letters and break-up notes to the books in her life. Librarians spend their lives weeding. Not weeds, but books! Books that have reached the end of their shelf life, both literally and figuratively. They remove the ones that patrons no longer check out, and they put back the ones they treasure. Annie Spence, who has a decade of experience as a Midwestern librarian, does this not only at her Michigan library but also at home, for her neighbors, at cocktail parties—everywhere. In Dear Fahrenheit 451, she addresses those books directly. We read her love letters to Just Kids and Frog and Toad Storybook Treasury, as well as her break-ups with The Giving Tree and Dear John. Her notes to The Goldfinch and The Time Traveler’s Wife feel like classics. Through the lens of the books in her life, Annie comments on everything from feminism to health to poverty to childhood aspirations. Hilarious, compassionate, and wise, Dear Fahrenheit 451 is the consummate book-lover's book.
Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks
Author: Annie Spence
Category: Literary Criticism
An Amazon Best History Book of the Month "[A] narrative with resonance well beyond seekers of Texas history. The Last Sheriff in Texas would be an amazing allegory for our times, were it fiction. Instead it suggests cultural trenches that we view as new that were dug decades ago." —Houston Chronicle Beeville, Texas, was the most American of small towns—the place that GIs had fantasized about while fighting through the ruins of Europe, a place of good schools, clean streets, and churches. Old West justice ruled, as evidenced by a 1947 shootout when outlaws surprised popular sheriff Vail Ennis at a gas station and shot him five times, point-blank, in the belly. Ennis managed to draw his gun and put three bullets in each assailant; he reloaded and shot them three times more. Time magazine’s full-page article on the shooting was seen by some as a referendum on law enforcement owing to the sheriff’s extreme violence, but supportive telegrams from all across America poured into Beeville’s tiny post office. Yet when a second violent incident threw Ennis into the crosshairs of public opinion once again, the uprising was orchestrated by an unlikely figure: his close friend and Beeville’s favorite son, Johnny Barnhart. Barnhart confronted Ennis in the election of 1952: a landmark standoff between old Texas, with its culture of cowboy bravery and violence, and urban Texas, with its lawyers, oil institutions, and a growing Mexican population. The town would never be the same again. The Last Sheriff in Texas is a riveting narrative about the postwar American landscape, an era grappling with the same issues we continue to face today. Debate over excessive force in law enforcement, Anglo-Mexican relations, gun control, the influence of the media, urban-rural conflict, the power of the oil industry, mistrust of politicians and the political process—all have surprising historical precedence in the story of Vail Ennis and Johnny Barnhart.
A True Tale of Violence and the Vote
Author: James P. McCollom
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
The New York Times-bestselling story of kindness, friendship, and hope. Trees can't tell jokes, but they can certainly tell stories. . . . Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood "wishtree"—people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. Along with a crow named Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red's hollows, this wishtree watches over the neighborhood. You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red's experience as a wishtree is more important than ever. Funny, deep, warm, and nuanced, this is Katherine Applegate at her very best—writing from the heart, and from a completely unexpected point of view. This book has Common Core connections.
Author: Katherine Applegate
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Category: Juvenile Fiction
"The Sheep Queen" is a Western epic in miniature, the story of Emma Russell Sweringen, known as the Sheep Queen of Idaho ("surely one of the most fascinating characters in current fiction" -- Publishers Weekly); the daughter who disappointed her; the grandson who adored her; and the granddaughter, who was given up for adoption, who spent nearly half her life finding her way back to her family.
Author: Thomas Savage
Publisher: Back Bay Books
The National Book Award-winning author of The Noonday Demon explores the consequences of extreme personal differences between parents and children, describing his own experiences as a gay child of straight parents while evaluating the circumstances of people affected by physical, developmental or cultural factors that divide families. 150,000 first printing.
Parents, Children and the Search for Identity
Author: Andrew Solomon
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Family & Relationships
Two boys' lives are changed forever when a sinister travelling carnival stops at their Illinois town.
Author: Ray Bradbury
Publisher: Simon and Schuster