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The Nutshell Library by Maurice Sendak
Learn the alphabet with silly alligators, drink chicken soup with rice every month, count visitors with a boy named Johnny, and survive a scare with Pierre, a boy who doesn't care. Endless adventures await in these lyrical stories that children, and their grown-up readers, will love reading and sharing over and over again.
My Name is Mina by David Almond
Almond gives readers a vivid picture of the joyfully free-form workings of Mina's mind and her mixed emotions about being an isolated child. Her gradual emergence from the protective shell of home is beautifully portrayed as she gingerly ventures out into the world. Not as dark, but just as passionate as Almond's previous works, this novel will inspire children to let their imaginations soar.
Mina is a perceptive, fiercely curious, and defiant but sensitive girl who will surely prove a heroine for many.
Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom
by Leonard Marcus
Leonard S. Marcus has culled an exceptional collection of letters from the HarperCollins archives. The letters included here are representative of the brilliant correspondence that was instrumental in the creation of some of the most beloved books in the world today. Full of wit and humor, they are immensely entertaining, thought-provoking, and moving in their revelation of the devotion and high-voltage intellect of an incomparably gifted editor, mentor, and publishing visionary.Ursula Nordstrom, director of Harper's Department of Books for Boys and Girls from 1940 to 1973, was arguably the single most creative force for innovation in children's book publishing in the United States during the twentieth century. Considered an editor of maverick temperament and taste, her unorthodox vision helped create such classics as Goodnight Moon, Charlotte's Web, Where the Wild Things Are, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and The Giving Tree
Tales From Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
Tan follows his wordless epic The Arrival with a collection of--stories? fables? dreams? His prose is low-key and expository; the real story here is the pictures. Some display the somber polish of the Arrival vignettes; others are full-color, full-page fantasies. Each one has more than enough power to seduce the browser into looking closely into its mysteries.
Breathtaking combination of words and pictures.
Moonglow by Michael Chabon
Moonglow unfolds as the deathbed confession of a man the narrator refers to only as "my grandfather." It is a tale of madness, of war and adventure, of sex and marriage and desire, of existential doubt and model rocketry, of the shining aspirations and demonic underpinnings of American technological accomplishment at mid-century, and, above all, of the destructive impact--and the creative power--of keeping secrets and telling lies. It is a portrait of the difficult but passionate love between the narrator's grandfather and his grandmother, an enigmatic woman broken by her experience growing up in war-torn France. It is also a tour de force of speculative autobiography in which Chabon devises and reveals a secret history of his own imagination.
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
"Stunning . . . [an] elegiac glimpse of hope . . . It's a novel rooted firmly in time and place. It vividly captures New York at its worst and best. But it transcends all that. In the end, it's a novel about families--the ones we're born into and the ones we make for ourselves." --USA Today
"The first great 9/11 novel . . . We are all dancing on the wire of history, and even on solid ground we breathe the thinnest of air." --Esquire
Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett
Ann Patchett and the late Lucy Grealy met in college in 1981, and, after enrolling in the Iowa Writers' Workshop, began a friendship that would be as defining to both of their lives as their work. In Grealy's critically acclaimed memoir, Autobiography of a Face, she wrote about losing part of her jaw to childhood cancer, years of chemotherapy and radiation, and endless reconstructive surgeries. In Truth & Beauty, the story isn't Lucy's life or Ann's life, but the parts of their lives they shared. This is a portrait of unwavering commitment that spans twenty years, from the long winters of the Midwest, to surgical wards, to book parties in New York. Through love, fame, drugs, and despair, this is what it means to be part of two lives that are intertwined . . . and what happens when one is left behind.
This is a tender, brutal book about loving the person we cannot save. It is about loyalty, and being lifted up by the sheer effervescence of someone who knew how to live life to the fullest.
Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
At age nine, Lucy Grealy was diagnosed with a potentially terminal cancer. When she returned to school with a third of her jaw removed, she faced the cruel taunts of classmates. It took her twenty years of living with a distorted self-image and more than thirty reconstructive procedures before she could come to terms with her appearance. In this lyrical and strikingly candid memoir, Grealy tells her story of great suffering and remarkable strength without sentimentality and with considerable wit. She captures with unique insight what it is like as a child and young adult to be torn between two warring impulses: to feel that more than anything else we want to be loved for who we are, while wishing desperately and secretly to be perfect.