Being With Henry

“You never know where this life will take you,” Henry Olsen tells Laker Wyatt when he finds the boy could, penniless, and sleeping on the street. Raised by his hapless, childlike mother, Laker has often had to act more like a caretaker than a son. It’s become easy for him to soothe her with a cup of tea or fake a phone call to her boss on a bad day. But when stepfather number two, Rick the Prick, comes on the scene, everything changes. After Laker fights with Rick, his mother, Audrey, does the unimaginable: She kicks her son out. Drifting aimlessly, Laker meets Henry, eighty-three, a widower with family troubles of his own. Being with Henry brings its own challenges, as well as surprises. How these two disparate souls — an angry, homeless teenager and a lonely, crotchety old man — come to know and care for each other makes a sometimes funny, often poignant, and ultimately moving novel about truth and family and the courage it takes to search for these in unexpected places.

Being Bee

Bee can’t understand what her father sees in Jazzi. Ever since Bee’s mom died, she, her dad, and her two guinea pigs, Fifi and Lulu, have been getting along just fine. Now Bee is supposed to welcome Jazzi, with her bangled skirts and her rock-hard scones and her new way of looking at everything. Imagine how Bee feels when her dad invites Jazzi to move in! Life certainly gets more complicated, especially after Bee discovers that there is something big that Jazzi has not told Dad. Yet knowing the secret makes Bee see another side of Jazzi, one that oddly enough makes Bee more comfortable.