Friday, October 28, 2011

Time-Traveling Fashionista, by Bianca Turetsky (fiction) - vintage dress in a Titanic time-adventure

Vintage clothes and old letters are tangible links to the past. What if the right vintage dress was a direct link to its original owner's past, like a wearable time-travel ticket?

Louise really appreciates the fine craftsmanship of vintage clothing, frequently wearing her carefully selected ensembles to junior high school (even if her mother disdainfully calls them "used clothes").

Who could imagine that a hand-delivered invitation to a dusty shop would take Louise so far away from her suburban Connecticut home?
First in a series - can't wait for the next!

Book info: The Time-Traveling Fashionista / Bianca Turetsky. Little Brown Teens, 2011. [author's website] [publisher site] [book trailer]

Recommendation: Dreaming about the perfect dress for the seventh-grade dance is much more fun than studying the Titanic in history or doing math problems. Of course, it should be a vintage dress - Louise just adores vintage designer clothes.

When an invitation to the exclusive "Traveling Fashionista Vintage Sale" is hand-delivered, Louise and best friend Brooke go downtown to check it out. The shop may have eccentric owners and terrible crab dip, but its dresses are divine!

When Louise tries on a sparkling, silky pink gown, she swoons and blacks out, waking up... on board an ocean liner?

Everyone calls her "Miss Baxter" - from Mr. Baxter (her uncle and manager, says her maid Anna) to the very elegant passengers aboard. When others look at Louise, they see the beautiful young actress returning from a successful tour in Europe; when she looks at herself in the mirror, Louise sees her 12-year-old self, complete with braces and frizzy hair.

Stumbling through the plush carpeted corridors on Miss Baxter's high heels to the sumptuous dinners at the captain's table, Louise makes a few mistakes that her uncle explains away as stress. Once Louise discovers exactly which ship she's on, her stress level truly skyrockets!

Can she persuade the captain of the Titanic to alter his course? Will any of her new friends survive? Will Louise ever see her parents and modern times again?

First book in a fun series that will have readers prowling vintage clothing shops, looking for the perfect ensemble to send their imaginations back in time. (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy courtesy of the publisher.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Karma, by Cathy Ostlere (fiction) - lost in her parents' India during civil war

World Wednesday takes us from the prairies of Canada to the crowded streets of India as Maya travels to her parents' homeland on a grief-stricken mission.

Instead of learning more about her Sikh and Hindu heritage or meeting family for the first time, she's flung into the chaos, violence, and massacre that followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984.

Look for this stunning verse novel at your local library or independent bookstore - you need to hear Maya's story for yourself.

Book info: Karma / Cathy Ostlere. Razorbill, 2011. [author's website] [publisher site] [book trailer]

Recommendation: At 15, Maya is taking her mother’s ashes home to India, back to the grandparents she’s never met, traveling with her father in 1984, far from Canada where she was born.

Unheard-of for a Sikh and a Hindu to marry in India of the 1960s! Disowned by her family, his family warning of spiritual disaster, Maya’s parents emigrate to Manitoba, where Bapu hopes to be successful and Mata prays for children and peace.

The aloneness that the prairie winds swirled around her mother finds Maya in the crowded streets of poverty-stricken New Delhi, as she tries to make sense of everything in her journal, her diary in verse.
Suddenly, India’s Prime Minister is assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards, and Hindus begin killing Sikhs in revenge. Bapu disguises himself and leaves Maya at their hotel while he tries to find a safe way for them to get to his hometown.

When rioters set fire to the hotel, Maya flees blindly into a city filled with mayhem, heading to the train station to go – anywhere. An accident, an attack, a fright, amnesia, a lost girl… Others continue telling Maya’s story when her own voice is no longer sufficient, as she journeys and drifts in confusion.

Can she find her voice again? Can she find her father? Did he really plan for her to marry someone here in India? How can she keep going, knowing that she left Mata’s ashes behind? This powerful novel in verse takes mature readers to a far land in a time not so distant, when civil war almost fractured India and its horrors threatened a young girl’s hold on reality. (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy courtesy of the publisher.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A little scary or a lot scary (fiction)

Seems like Halloween is more than just a one-day event now, as folks often celebrate the whole month of October!

Get yourself in the spooky mood with these great books which range from deliciously shivery to keep-the-lights-on scary (links to my full recommendations):

Baseball, high school romance, and a zombie invasion! I Love Him to Pieces is No.1 in the graphic novel series "My Boyfriend is a Monster."

Pulled into Ghostopolis before he's dead, Garth must find his way back to the living world.

A seance, a missing brother, a mystery in The Haunting of Charles Dickens.

What does The Mermaid's Mirror show? Will Lena sleepwalk into the California surf and never return?

Is every vision thrust upon The Vespertine at sunset fated to become reality?

Swordfights, heroes, and soulless monsters - in modern-day Paris? Die For Me...

Lenah gladly traded her Infinite Days as a cruel vampire to regain her humanity, but her vampire companions want her back.

She carves charms against "the evil eye" for townsfolk, but something truly evil is swirling its way up the river, drawing Plain Kate along for the deadly voyage.

Hansel and Gretel's tale gets a frightening new twist in Sweetly.

An old evil with a young face, The House of Dead Maids tells a chilling backstory for Wuthering Heights.

Ready for Halloween!
[image from]