The Edmond Sun

August 27, 2013

8-27 Good Reads


Special to The Sun



“Every Day After,” the first novel from debut author Laura Golden, is the inspiring tale of Lizzie Hawkins, a spunky sixth-grader growing up in depression-era Alabama, who refuses to give up on her family no matter how dire the circumstances get.

Eleven-year-old Lizzie had it all — supportive parents, a loyal best friend named Ben, and great grades in school. But when the depression hit Bittersweet, Alabama, all of that changed.

Her father abandoned their family to find work, her mama is so sad she can’t take care of herself, let alone the mortgage, and the bank is after their house.

That leaves Lizzie, too stubborn and proud to ask for help, to take care of everything.

To make matters worse, Lizzie’s nemesis Erin has stolen her spot at the top of her class, her best friend Ben, and it seems she won’t be satisfied until Lizzie’s mama is hospitalized and Lizzie is packed off to an orphanage.

Lizzie tries to keep her head high and hold on to the hope that her daddy will come home, but as the stakes get higher, she is forced to realize that sometimes the bravest thing you can do is ask for help.

As a child, Laura Golden was a reader, a dreamer, and a listener. She loved to read anything from cereal boxes to C.S. Lewis; she dreamed of becoming everything from a figure skater to a fairy tale princess; and she loved to listen to older generations spin tales about the “good ol’ days.” She was inspired to write this story based in part on her family history.

Ages 9-12.



The third book in the Never Girls series, “A Dandelion Wish” continues the saga of four real girls and their encounters with the fairy world.

Kate, Mia, Lainey, and Gabby are special girls. They know how to travel between their hometown and Never Land — through a broken slat in a backyard fence.

But what happens when the fence is repaired…with one of the girls stuck on the Never Land side?

The Never Girls debuted in early 2013 to popular acclaim with “In a Blink,” which became a “New York Times” best-seller, followed by “The Space Between.”

Ages 6-10.



Winner of the 13th annual Delacorte Press Prize for a First Young Adult Novel, Corina Vacco’s “My Chemical Mountain” follows Jason who, rocked by his father’s recent death and his mother’s sudden compulsion to overeat, lashes out by breaking into the abandoned mills and factories that plague his run-down town.

Jason and his two best friends — Charlie, a fearless thrill junkie, and Cornpup, a geek inventor whose back is covered with cysts — rage against the noxious pollution that suffocates their town and despise those responsible for it.

At the same time, they embrace the danger of their industrial wasteland and boast about living on the edge.

Then, on a night the boys vandalize one of the mills, Jason makes a costly mistake — and unwittingly becomes a catalyst for change. In a town like his, change should be a good thing. There’s only one problem: change is what Jason fears most of all.

Author Corina Vacco felt compelled to write about toxic towns after reading an article alleging that hundreds of thousands of children and teens throughout the United States attend schools built on or near dangerously polluted sites. She found the inspiration for this book while living in Western New York, where she heard teachers speak out against a landfill adjacent to an elementary school.

Ages 14 up.

NOTE: Email to have your name entered into a drawing for the following titles: “Every Day After” and/or “The Never Girls: A Dandelion Wish."  Deadline is 10 a.m. Sept. 3. Winner will be notified by return email. Winner is responsible for picking up the book at The Edmond Sun at 123 S. Broadway. All entrants must be 18 or older to win.