Thursday, February 22, 2018
Books

Books for young readers abound at Times Festival of Reading

At the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading on Nov. 12, young readers will find plenty to interest them. • Six of the festival's featured authors will be presenting books for kids from ages 7 to 17. Whether it's the story of a boy who can talk to sharks or a girl who learns about the power of magic, a novel about a girl who goes to a school that teaches how to make love charms or one about a teenager dealing with a family mystery, a fanciful graphic novel about a time-traveling Egyptian queen or an engaging novel about the real-life childhood friendship between authors Harper Lee and Truman Capote, there are books for every kid who loves them. • These authors will be talking about and signing their books at the festival this year.

Colette Bancroft, Times book editor

Paul Durham's The Luck Uglies trilogy (HarperCollins) is set long ago and far away in Village Drowning, a rural spot that might seem idyllic but has its dark side. Girls like the books' main character, 11-year-old Rye O'Chanter, are forbidden to read. Strange creatures called Bog Noblins lurk outside the village wall, and gargoyles occasionally come to life. Durham's books, for readers in grades 3-7, have won such awards as Florida's Sunshine State Young Readers Award for 2016-17. He lives in New Hampshire.

In Autofocus (HarperTeen), Lauren Gibaldi's second novel for teens, a high school senior named Maude gets an assignment: create a photo portfolio that shows the meaning of family. For Maude, whose birth mother died giving birth, that meaning is an open question. So Maude goes to visit her best friend in Tallahassee, her mother's hometown, to try to solve the mystery of her background. While she's at it, she finds a new relationship of her own. Gibaldi, a librarian, lives in Orlando.

In Love Charms and Other Catastrophes (Swoon Reads), Hijiri Kitamura returns as a student at Grimbaud, where, besides studying to become a maker of love charms, she must deal with a mean girl — and with a perfect boyfriend who is given to her in, literally, a gift-wrapped box. Kim Karalius' second novel, for readers in grade 7 and up, is a sequel to Love Fortunes and Other Disasters. Karalius graduated from the University of South Florida and lives in the Sunshine State.

In Mike Maihack's Cleopatra in Space (Graphix) series of graphic novels for readers in grades 3-7, Cleopatra — yes, that Cleopatra — is whisked to the very far future by a mysterious tablet and finds herself grappling with classes in a high-tech high school as well as trying to save the galaxy from an evil tyrant, as a girl sometimes must. The books are fast-paced and full of sleek and colorful manga-style art. Maihack lives in Lutz.

G. Neri, who lives in Tampa, won a Coretta Scott King prize for his book Yummy and a Florida Book Award for Hello, I'm Johnny Cash, among other honors. His latest book, Tru & Nelle (HMH Books for Young Readers), for grades 3-5, is a charming, often funny novel based on his research into the real-life friendship between two kids who grew up to be very famous authors: Harper Lee, who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird, and Truman Capote, writer of Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Ellen Prager has a Ph.D. in marine science and has been part of research expeditions around the globe, so she brings expert knowledge to her series of adventure books for readers in grades 2-7. The latest, Stingray City (Mighty Media), focuses on a boy named Tristan Hunt. Tristan and his friends, volunteers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, help investigate the disappearance of stingrays and other marine life off Grand Cayman Island. Tristan must try to solve the mystery while hiding a secret of his own: He can talk to sharks. Prager lives in St. Petersburg.

     
               
Comments
Amy Hill Hearth’s ‘Streetcar to Justice’ brings back a forgotten story of black history

Amy Hill Hearth’s ‘Streetcar to Justice’ brings back a forgotten story of black history

During Black History Month, many students learn about Rosa Parks, the civil rights activist who in 1955 refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus to a white passenger — and rode into history.A century before that, another black woman mad...
Published: 02/20/18
Notable: Five new books for young readers for Black History Month

Notable: Five new books for young readers for Black History Month

NotableBlack History MonthHere are five more newly published books for young readers, for Black History Month or any time.Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Assassin (Scholastic Press, ages 12 and up) by James L. Swanson, w...
Published: 02/20/18
‘Hello, Universe’ and ‘Wolf in the Snow’ top American Library Association awards for books for young readers

‘Hello, Universe’ and ‘Wolf in the Snow’ top American Library Association awards for books for young readers

The American Library Association announced its 2018 Youth Media Award winners Monday during its midwinter meeting in Denver.The annual awards honor books, video and audio for children and young adults and are highly regarded guides for booksellers, t...
Published: 02/16/18
Review: Paul Goldberg’s ‘The Chateau’ sets sharp political satire in a Florida condo

Review: Paul Goldberg’s ‘The Chateau’ sets sharp political satire in a Florida condo

The election is fraught with wild allegations and vicious character assassination, accusations of corruption and kickbacks, misspelled messages and outrageous debates — and of course the Russians have their hands all over it.The 2016 presidential rac...
Published: 02/16/18

Events: Dr. Steven Masley to discuss ‘Better Brain Solution’ in Tampa

Book TalkRoslyn Franken (Meant to Be: A True Story of Might, Miracles and Triumph of the Human Spirit) will discuss and sign her memoir at 2 p.m. Feb. 22 at Seminole Community Library, St. Petersburg College, Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N.Dr. Ste...
Published: 02/15/18
Lauren Doyle Owens’ ‘Other Side of Everything’ a suspenseful look at life and death in suburbia

Lauren Doyle Owens’ ‘Other Side of Everything’ a suspenseful look at life and death in suburbia

Adel Minor dies alone, in her three-bedroom ranch house in a South Florida suburb. It’s the fire people notice first, a column of smoke rising amid the 1960s ranch houses of Seven Springs, but once it’s put out the firefighters find Adel, a widow in ...
Published: 02/14/18
Jeremy McCarter, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s co-author, tells us what he’s reading

Jeremy McCarter, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s co-author, tells us what he’s reading

NightstandJeremy McCarterMcCarter, 41, is the co-author with Lin-Manuel Miranda of the book Hamilton: The Revolution. It was McCarter who introduced Miranda to Oskar Eustis, the artistic director of the Public Theater in New York, and that introducti...
Published: 02/14/18
Review: David Pedreira’s ‘Gunpowder Moon’ a gripping story of murder on the lunar surface

Review: David Pedreira’s ‘Gunpowder Moon’ a gripping story of murder on the lunar surface

Gunpowder Moon drops the reader right into the action — and I do mean drops."Dechert stood at the crater rim and looked down," David Pedreira writes in the opening line of his debut novel. "Dionysius was a monster — two miles deep and wide enough to ...
Published: 02/09/18
Amy Bloom’s ‘White Houses’ explores love between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok

Amy Bloom’s ‘White Houses’ explores love between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok

Imagine what it would be like to love someone who belongs to the whole world.When we fall in love, we always compete with other people and forces for our beloved’s attention. Amy Bloom’s smart and tender new novel, White Houses, takes us inside the e...
Published: 02/09/18
Crimes and passion: Three very different kinds of love story

Crimes and passion: Three very different kinds of love story

We love lovers’ stories that pit them against all sorts of obstacles, and these new books do just that — whether it’s a young couple struggling with an unthinkable separation, middle-aged lovers whose affair is heightened by religious guilt, or a guy...
Published: 02/09/18