Flights And Chimes And Mysterious Times

In nineteenth-century England, a boy is about to discover a mysterious mechanical world he may never escape. Ten-year-old Jack Foster has stepped through a doorway and into quite a different London. Londinium is a smoky, dark, and dangerous place, home to mischievous metal fairies and fearsome clockwork dragons that breathe scalding steam. The people wear goggles to protect their eyes, brass grill insets in their nostrils to filter air, or mechanical limbs to replace missing ones. Over it all rules the Lady, and the Lady has demanded a new son—a perfect flesh-and-blood child. She has chosen Jack. His only hope of escape lies with a legendary clockwork bird. The Gearwing grants wishes—or it did, before it was broken—before it was killed. But some things don’t stay dead forever.

Friday Never Leaving

Friday Brown and her mother Vivienne live their lives on the road, but when Vivienne succumbs to cancer, 17-year-old Friday decides to search for the father she never knew. Her journey takes her to an abandoned house where a bunch of street kids are squatting, and an intimidating girl named Arden holds court. Friday gets initiated into the group, but her relationship with Arden is precarious, and it puts Friday, and anyone who befriends her, at risk. With the threat of a dangerous confrontation growing, Friday has to decide between returning to her isolated, transient life, or trying to help the people she’s come to care about, if she can.

A Troublesome Boy

Teddy can’t believe how fast his life has changed in just two years. When he was twelve, his father took off, and then his mother married Henry, a man Teddy despises. But Teddy has no control over his life, and adults make all the decisions, especially in 1959. Henry decides that Teddy should be sent to St. Ignatius Academy for Boys, an isolated boarding school run by the Catholic church.
St. Iggy’s, Teddy learns, is a cold, unforgiving place — something between a juvenile detention center and reform school. The other boys are mostly a cast of misfits and eccentrics, but Teddy quickly becomes best friends with Cooper, a wise-cracking, Wordsworth-loving kid with a history of neglect. Despite the priests’ ruthless efforts to crack down on the slightest hint of defiance or attitude, the boys get by for a while on their wits, humor and dreams of escape. But the beatings, humiliation and hours spent in the school’s infamous “time-out” rooms, and the institutionalized system of power and abuse that protects the priests’ authority, eventually take their toll, especially on the increasingly fragile Cooper.
Then one of the new priests, Father Prince, starts to summon Cooper to his room at night, and Teddy watches helplessly as his friend withdraws into his own private nightmare, even as Prince targets Teddy himself as his next victim.

A Bus Called Heaven

One morning in front of Stella’s house, an abandoned bus appears, looking sad as a whale on a beach. On its front, held up with packing tape, is a hand-painted sign that says Heaven. Right away, the bus brings change to Stella’s street when people stop to talk about it instead of rushing by. And as Stella looks past all the empty bottles and cans inside, as she sees the sparrows nesting in the engine, she changes, too. “This bus could be ours,” she declares. With a master’s eye for finding the magic in the mundane, Bob Graham creates an encouraging story about community – a whimsical tale about neighbors of all ages and stripes coming together, and about one little girl who comes into her own.

Hansel and Gretel

It’s a tale as timeless as storytelling itself: two children, lost in the woods, stumble upon a candy house that isn’t all that it seems. From Hansel’s trail of bread crumbs to Gretel’s ingenious triumph over the witch, the details of this familiar fairy tale enchant children year after year. Now, in an update on her classic retelling, Caldecott Honor winner and New York Timesbestseller Susan Jeffers brings Hansel and Gretelto life for a new generation.

The Wish Pony

When the balloon was born I was going to tell it exactly what I thought about it, how sick it had made my mother and how it had ruined my life. Ruby’s mum is having a baby, but why does she need one of those when she’s already got a Ruby? To make matters worse, her best friend Sarah has just found another, BETTER friend. It seems like everyone is abandoning her. But when Ruby meets the mysterious Magda, who gives her a very special gift that might, just MIGHT even be a bit magical, everything begins to change.

The Wish Pony was Catherine’s first exploration of magic realism. It was partly inspired by a small ornamental horse she once saw in a relatives display cabinet.

Wanting Mor

Jameela and her family live in a poor, war-torn village in Afghanistan. Even with her cleft lip and lack of educational opportunities, Jameela feels relatively secure, sustained by her Muslim faith and the love of her mother, Mor. But when Mor dies, Jameela’s father impulsively decides to start a new life in Kabul. Jameela is appalled as he succumbs to alcohol and drugs, then suddenly remarries, a situation that soon has her a virtual slave to a demanding stepmother. After she’s discovered trying to learn to read, Jameela is abandoned in a busy market, eventually landing in an orphanage run by the same army that killed so many members of her family. Throughout it all, the memory of her mother sustains her, giving Jameela the strength to face her father and stepmother when fate brings them together again. Inspired by a true story, and set in a world far removed from that of Western readers, this powerful novel reveals that the desire for identity and self-understanding is universal.

Take a closer look at Wanting Mor as examined in WOW Review.