Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Solemn Lantern Maker by Merlinda Bobis

I love serendipitous finds like this book. Browsing the Random House booth at NCTE where they were giving away three free books to teachers on opening day of the conference, I pick this up. It satisfied three criteria - (1) cover appeal, (2) a seasonal message and (3) a jacket blurb that piqued my curiosity - "It's six days until Christmas, and on the bustling streets of Manila a mute ten-year-old boys sells his version of the stars." Magical and riveting book.

Riley Park by Diane Tullson

I read this tiny YA novel in the airport coming home from NCTE. I was sent on the mission by colleagues at SHS to find a new book for 10th grade basic students; I think I have found it. Recommended in a session at NCTE about new books for teens, Riley Park details the after math of a party in the park that ends in violence.