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Natsumi!

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Natsumi!.jpgNatsumi! (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2018) by Susan Lendroth and illustrated by Priscilla Burris is a delightful picture book. I really love the illustrations.

Natsumi may be small, but she does everything in a big way. She's too fast, too hard, too loud. At least that's what Grandmother, Father, and Mother say. Grandfather doesn't say anything at first, but then he helps her find where she fits in. At the end Natsumi is able to make her family proud.

You can read about the author's other books here and the illustrator's books here.

Here's a fascinating look at the story behind the story of this book that took eight years!

The Someday Birds

SomedayBirdscover.jpgThe Someday Birds (HarperCollins Children's Books, 2017) by Sally J. Pla is a moving and amazing story. I would have chosen this book as the Newbery winner if they'd let me.

Charlie likes routine. He's also fascinated by birds. His younger twin brothers and older sister are not so patient with his routines or interests. With Dad in the hospital and not able to speak due to a brain injury from his time as a war journalist in Afghanistan, Gram is staying with them. None of them like the fact that Charlie speaks too directly about Dad's condition. But life is about to change drastically for all of them, including a lady who might be a spy, a road trip, and of course for Charlie, birds.

I love how the chapter headings are related to birds in some way. I also love this story being in Charlie's viewpoint and how he deals with his OCD/sensitivity/autism spectrum issues.

This award-winning book is the author's debut. Read more about her here and about her other books here. And you should definitely read this blog post about what it was like for her as a child and how a teacher made a difference.

Warcross

Warcross_final.jpgI loved Warcross (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2017) by Marie Lu and am thrilled there's a sequel coming soon.

Emika Chen is a hacker and bounty hunter who is down on her luck. Frustrated she hacks into the International Warcross Championship and is seen! Instead of being arrested, she's contacted by her idol Hideo Tanaka, the creator of Warcross. He flies her from NY to Tokyo where he asks her to be a spy in the tournaments of this popular virtual reality video game. Emika is in even before she sees the promised bounty.

Fun, action, danger, and even romance is in this near future sci-fi that moves rapidiy. I did not want to put this thriller down. And what a shocker ending!

Wildcard, comes out in September! (Love that cover! I know. I'm gushing. But you don't want to miss this duology.) Wildcard_3d.png






Read about Marie Lu's other books here.

Hello, Universe

hello universe.jpgHello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly is the 2018 Newbery Medal winner and such a fun read. I loved the multiple viewpoints and how the characters are brought together despite their aloneness.

First, we meet shy Virgil Salinas, whose own family doesn't seem to understand his quietness. He feels "like unbuttered toast standing next to them." And they call him Turtle. Only his grandmother, newly from the Philippines, seems to get him.

Next up is Valencia Somerset who is struggling with a repetitive nightmare where she is all alone. She's adopted a dog who lives in the woods and sneaks off to feed him.

Then we meet Kaori Tanaka, with her powers of second sight and her younger sister, Gen, who helps her out preparing for clients.

And, of course, there's the bully--Chet Bullens--aka the Bull--who plays an important role in this story of young middle schoolers on summer break.

Each character was unique and interesting, and yet so identifiable. Except for the bully, of course.

This is Erin's third book. Go here to read about the rest of them.

The One Memory of Flora Banks

memory of flora banks.jpgThe One Memory of Flora Banks/big> (Philomel, 2017) by Emily Barr is such a heart-breaking story. Here's the opening line: "I am at the top of a hill, and although I know I have done something terrible, I have no idea what it is."

Flora has memory problems. She writes herself reminders on sticky notes, and on her arm to help her navigate the world. But often she is surprised that she is not ten--the age she was when she had surgery to remove a brain tumor--but seventeen and wondering why she is in an adult body. However, the night she kisses Drake, her best friend's boyfriend, everything changes. She can remember this memory without written reminders. Of course, her best friend Paige is angry at her. Flora lets her parents leave for Paris to go take care of her brother with them thinking Paige will be with her, but Paige isn't coming. Flora keeps reading "be brave" on this journey that changes her life.

This is British author Emily Barr's first novel. The book is available in 26 languages! Her second novel for young adults, The Truth and Lies of Ella Black, is a thriller that came out in 2018.

Emily Barr is also an adult book novelist. Read more about her on her website.

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