Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Book of the Week - Disappeared by Francisco X. Stork

       I read this on the train back from ALA in Chicago back in June and haven't stopped recommending it since. I devoured it in one fell swoop it was so good. Not only was it a pageturner, it asks important questions about the state of our world and makes us think.

Girls disappear in Juarez. Some turn up dead. Some are never heard of again. Newspaper reporter Sara Zapata's best friend disappeared four months ago and suddenly a message comes through threatening the lives of her family if she keeps reporting on the missing girls. Her younger brother Emiliano is in love with the daughter of a lawyer, reputed to work for the cartels. As the Narcos surreptitiously try to recruit Emiliano, Sara discovers a cryptic message from her friend and the danger escalates with a shot up house, desert survival, and betrayal. A must read.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Refugee by Alan Gratz

Outstanding middle grade/middle school fiction but a wonderful read for teens and adults as well. Three different kids, three different times, different parts of the world but connected all the same. All risk their lives as they become refugees. Told in alternating narratives, Jewish Josef, flees the  Nazi Germany on the ship, St. Louis, going to Cuba in 1938, only to be turned back. Isabel and her family escape Castro's Cuba in 1994 in a cobbled together non-seaworthy raft with neighbors. In 2015 Mahmoud and his family leave Aleppo and it seems they may never find safety, with one setback following another. This powerful book will not leave any reader unchanged.