Paula Knows What To Do

One Saturday morning, Daddy won’t get out of bed. He misses Paula’s mom. Paula misses her too, but she realizes that Mommy wouldn’t want them to be sad forever. Paula knows just what to do. Taking out paper and paints, Paula creates a world of rolling seas, blue skies, and―best of all―a boat that she and Dad can sail together. And when the wind blows up a storm, Paula knows just what she and Daddy can do about that too. In this sweet and poignant story about memory and overcoming grief, Sanne Dufft, the author/illustrator of The Night Lion shows how a child’s imagination can find a moment of joy and a safe place to land after a loved one is gone.

Victoria

After losing her parents, fourteen-year-old Victoria and her young twin brothers move in with their aunt. But shortly afterward, her aunt’s boyfriend attempts to assault her, and she runs away and learns to survive on the dangerous streets of Paraná, Argentina. Encountering a world of street kids, gangs and drug dealers, Victoria overcomes deprivation and great hardship. With the help of newly-found friends and her single-minded determination to survive, she carves out a new life for herself and her little brothers.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 7, Issue 1

Moon Pie

Someone has to keep their head, as Mum used to say, and 11-year-old Martha is used to being that someone in her family. Her little brother, Tug, is too small. Her dad has been acting too strange. And Mum’s not here anymore. So when Dad falls off the roof, it’s Martha who ices his knee and takes him to the doctor. And when Dad doesn’t come home, it’s Martha who cooks Tug’s favorite pie and reads him his bedtime story. And when Dad passes out, it’s Martha who cleans him up and keeps his secret. But eventually Dad’s problems become too big for even Martha to solve, and she realizes it’s not all up to her—there are people and places she can turn to.

Sisters . . . No Way!

Cindy, a savvy yet cynical teenager, still traumatized by her mother’s recent death, is appalled when her father falls in love with one of her teachers, a woman with two teenage daughters of her own. She cannot imagine a worse fate than having her teacher as her stepmother, and as for the two prissy girls, she is never going to call them sisters . . . no way! But if Cindy dislikes her prospective sisters, Ashling and Orla think she is an absolute horror — spoiled, arrogant, and atrociously rude to them and their mother when they visit her house. Will the girls ever get along and learn to be a family? Featuring the girls’ stories in two unique, back-to-back diaries, one for Cindy and the other for Ashling and Orla, readers can choose which story to begin with and will enjoy the varying viewpoints recording the same events.

Season of Secrets

Sent by their father to live in the country with their grandparents after the sudden death of their mother, Molly’s older sister Hannah expresses her grief in a raging rebellion while imaginative Molly finds herself increasingly distracted by visions, that seemingly only she can see, of a strange hunt in the nearby forest.

Good Night, Commander

The Commander has lost his mother and one of his legs in the Iran-Iraq war. Now he spends most of his time alone in his room where he recreates the conflict with an imaginary enemy and soldiers, trying to avenge his losses. His father urges him to take off his artificial leg when he is at home, to join his uncles and aunties who have arrived for dinner. But when he does, he finds out that they are all about to go off to meet his “new mother.” Back in his room the imaginary war continues, and he confronts an enemy soldier who is also missing a limb. A battle seems inevitable until The Commander offers the enemy his artificial leg.

See the reviews at WOW Review, Volume 2, Issue 4 & Volume 5, Issue 3.