Sue (Suyapa) does not want to have a quinceañera where she'd be required to wear a poofy dress and dance around, so when her mom surprises her by having planned one and invited guests during a family trip to Honduras, Sue isn't happy. That is, until she makes a deal with her mom: 1 quinceañera for 1 overnight sleep camp with her friends. However, preparing for the celebration takes a tragic turn when Sue's beloved grandmother passes away suddenly.
Ash is a middle schooler who loves music, is a synesthete who can see sounds, and is figuring out their gender identity after being bullied at their last school for being a “flip flop freak.” It doesn’t help that Ash’s dad is putting more and more pressure on them to just choose a gender and “stick with it.” Then Ash meets Daniel at their new school. Daniel is a photography fan, kind, in-tune with his emotions, scared his parents are going to get a divorce, and mourning the loss of his dog.
Jack and her gender fluid brother, Birdie, are siblings who have to move in with their stoic and no-nonsense uncle after their eccentric uncle proves that he is not a good caretaker after their mother's sudden death. The constant upheaval, new scenery, school, and bullying in their new life throw them through a loop. Through grieving, confronting bullies, and confronting comfort zones -- Birdie, Jack, and both their uncles learn to love and accept each other for who they are. Together, the family creates a new sense of home together.
As he often does, Jamie Ford writes about the clashing and melding of different cultures in his three historical novels: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Songs of Willow Frost, and Love and Other Consolation Prizes.
Death has been defeated and world peace achieved. With the guidance of Artificial Intelligence, humanity has ushered in a utopia…. mostly. In Scythe, Neal Shusterman posits that AI has evolved into an omniscient (and omnibenevolent) force called the Thunderhead, through which the world has achieved a true and lasting peace. The Thunderhead controls everything, but unlike many dystopian works, this is a miraculous and profoundly beneficial event. The only power that the Thunderhead does not possess is the ability to take life.
A blind French girl. A brilliant German boy. A locksmith who works at a world-class museum. A French resistance worker who doubles as a housewife. An agoraphobic great uncle who has not left home since the close of the last war, WW1. A Nazi army gem expert who prowls after a world-class jewel that he believes will cure his advanced cancer.
These are the main characters that people this fascinating WWII novel. Tying them all together are radio signals and a blue diamond worth millions.
The novel alternates (mostly) between the points of view of Marie-Laure, a blind girl and Werner, an orphan who teaches himself advanced radio skills. Marie-Laure has been blind since the age of six. Just after the German occupation, she and her locksmith father flee Paris, but soon after the Germans take and imprison her father.
A myth surrounds the blue diamond itself. Marie-Laure learned about the diamond early in her life. The myth says that anyone who carries it will have bad luck befall them. Unfortunately, the museum director entrusts the locksmith with this diamond as the Germans enter Paris. He also ordered two other duplicates created to confuse anyone trying to track the diamond. None of the three employees trusted with the diamond know who has the real one.
There are times when everything in life seems just as clear as... mud. That’s doubly true if you happen to spend lots of time scrounging the Mississippi River, which is exactly what the characters in the latest from Jeff Nichols (director of 2011’s shamefully overlooked Take Shelter) do to get by. Centering on Ellis and Neckbone, two early-teens swamp rats who befriend a fugitive hiding out near their fishing spot,