Whoo hoo! I've read three terrific books in a row.
Lexie is looking forward to her annual trip to the beach, even though this year is different due to her parents' divorce. This time, it's just Lexie and her dad. Or so she thinks, until she finds out that Dad's new girlfriend and her two sons are joining them. As you can imagine, Lexie is none too thrilled about these new developments, and everybody has to maneuver around each other rather awkwardly.
This is an honest yet positive story about blended families. Lexie's disappointment is acutely real, yet the baby steps that everyone takes in order to form relationships are sweetly awkward and realistic. As this takes place in the span of one week, not everything is resolved, naturally, but it ends with a satisfying conclusion. Audrey Couloumbis is a fantastic author; if you haven't read her other books, check them out (especially Getting Near to Baby and the Maude March novels).
Oooh, you have to read this! Anya, a Russian immigrant, doesn't really fit in with the other kids at her private high school. She's embarrassed by her mother's Russian ways, doesn't particularly like school, and to make things even worse, falls down a well, where she meets the ghost of a murdered girl.
(Or, so she thinks!)
Taken in by the girl's sad tales of woe, Anya befriends the ghost, until she finds out that her story might not be entirely kosher.
The artwork in this graphic novel is tremendous, the story line has twists and turns that catch you by surprise, and it gets deliciously eerie. Oh, and there's a great section that takes place in the library (where Anya goes to research the ghost girl's murder). Highly recommended.
Bootleg is an eye-opening account of the Prohibition Era. Prohibition activists, gangsters, bootleggers, repealers, politicians, speakeasies, police and judges who looked the other way....it's all covered in fascinating detail. An epilogue looks at the effects of Prohibition and its repeal, including changes in legislation and advocacy (including MADD, or Mothers Against Drunk Driving).
Have a great weekend; stay cool!