Books and News to Give You Paws

Youth Yak

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Jen Jen

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Antony John

Our Lake LodgeAntony John recently came to the store for a quick signing/meet-and-greet. He lives in the St Louis, Missouri area, but was traveling through Minnesota. I had met Antony at a bookseller event in St Louis a few months ago, so we weren’t complete strangers. His forthcoming book is a middle grade novel called Mascot. The main character in Mascot is Noah, who used to be a star baseball player, a catcher, but after a car accident left his dad dead and Noah wheelchair-bound, things have changed. Noah’s old teammates don’t know how to interact with him. Then a new kid comes to school, a heavy kid who prefers to be called by the nickname Doublewide. It’s no surprise that Doublewide is an easy target for teasing. Noah isn’t sure he really likes Doublewide either, but the two form a friendship. Now Noah has really become an outcast. He also likes to spend time with a classmate named Alyssa, who is, almost as bad as a heavyweight kid, a girl. Noah’s mom has started dating a man and Noah is completely opposed to this—not only that, but sometimes he gets stuck hanging out the date’s daughter, a 9-year-old know-it-all with a mean streak. The book is about many things—a kid living with a disability, coping with the death of a parent (which is complex in and of itself but I won’t give away any details), friendship, baseball, family, neighbors. What does the title mean? It’s related to baseball, but you’ll have to read the book to get the full in-depth appreciation. This would make an excellent book for a middle grade book group OR an adult book group looking to read a juvenile book. I will definitely be pitching it to the Beagle Women’s Book Group when we meet later this month to choose future book group books.

Pam Cascade's Picks




The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
Kiersten White

This book got me back into my love of retellings of classic literature. This novel’s focus is on a different perspective in the Frankenstein universe. In this tale, the anti-social Victor Frankenstein is given a caregiver, a girl of around his age named Elizabeth, who is instructed to be his friend. She soon realizes that Victor, who seems to lack social cues, is much more troubled than is apparent on the surface. She helps him learn to appear normal in hopes that his rich family will keep her around. This fragile plan starts to unravel when Victor leaves for higher education and cuts off all contact. Elizabeth goes on the hunt for Victor, but soon realizes that his madness has gone to a whole new level.


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