My mailbox was full of books this month. There are so many great books coming out this summer, I don’t know how I am going to keep up with all of them. I am certainly looking forward to sitting on my porch and reading all these amazing books. 

As always, if I am choosing to read a book, then be sure that I truly think it is worthy of my time. Of course, some books just find their way to my mailbox without my previous knowledge. I am only going to spend time reading and reviewing books that I enjoy. If I’m not feeling it, I’m going to put it aside. I can’t get to all these great books that come my way, but at least I can tell you about them here and I hope to review them just as soon as I can! 

If you would like to purchase any of these books, 
clicking on the photo of the book will take you directly to Amazon.  
If you choose to purchase, I will receive a small commission 
without you having to pay any more for your purchase.  
I appreciate your support of reviews. 
The Deliberate Reader
I’m linking up with The Deliberate Reader to share our stacks of books for May.
To see  her Stack of Books as well as other bloggers Book Stacks, click HERE

By: Lori Nelson Spielman
Published: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Plume Books
I became a huge fan of Spielman last summer when I read her first novel, THE LIFE LIST. See my review, HERE. So, I waited…not very patiently….when I found out her second book was coming out this summer. I read it quickly and enjoyed it thoroughly. You can see my review, HERE. You’ll want to add this one to your list!
The Forgiveness Stones craze is sweeping the nation—instantly recognizable pouches of stones that come with a chain letter and two simple requests: to forgive, and then to seek forgiveness. But New Orleans’ favorite talk show host, Hannah Farr, isn’t biting. Intensely private and dating the city’s mayor, Hannah has kept her very own pouch of Forgiveness Stones hidden for two years—and her dark past concealed for nearly two decades. But when Fiona Knowles, creator of the Forgiveness Stones, appears on Hannah’s show, Hannah unwittingly reveals on air details of a decades-old falling out with her mother.
Spurned by her fans, doubted by her friends, and accused by her boyfriend of marring his political career, Hannah reluctantly embarks on a public journey of forgiveness. As events from her past become clearer, the truth she’s clung to since her teenage years has never felt murkier. Hannah must find the courage to right old wrongs, or risk losing her mother, and any glimmer of an authentic life, forever.
By: Jennifer Scott
Published: May 5, 2015
Publisher: NAL
Last year I read and reviewed Scott’s book THE SISTER SEASON and really enjoyed the family drama, the surprises, and characters. You can see my review, HERE. I think her newest novel sounds like the perfect one to take on a summer vacation! 

Karen Freeman, Melinda Crocker, and Joanna Chambers have never met—but every morning they get their coffee at the Tea Rose Diner.  Karen stops in on her way to the office job she’s held for more than twenty years, wondering how her sweet-faced boy turned into a misguided young man.  EMT Melinda fuels up for her days helping others, after nights spent worrying her fear of having children could drive her husband away.  And Joanna, with her long blonde hair and bohemian flair, digs into the Boston cream pie and hides—from her friends, from her family, and most importantly, from herself.

Their paths may have never crossed. But one morning, on the lawn of the Tea Rose, the three women collide during a searing event in the life of twenty-something Maddie Routh. In the nine months that follow, they return to the spot over and over. To discover what it means to be a mother, a wife, a lover, a friend. To find Maddie Routh. And to find themselves.  Despite the challenges they’ve faced, these four women unite to show us second chances do exist, if only we have the courage to see them.  
A College Athletes Story of Trauma, Recovery, and Awakening
By: Nick Dennen
Published: June 30, 2014
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
I love true stories, especially ones that show strength, bravery, and are full of hope. This one will definitely be inspirational. It’s just $.99 for Kindle right now, so don’t pass it up!
On September 27, 1998, Nick Dennen was a normal twenty-year-old college athlete. When he fell thirty-five feet into a creek, he sustained a traumatic brain injury and was in a coma for several weeks. Doctors told his family that death was probably near, and if he did survive, a full recovery would be impossible. Despite those opinions, Nick did relearn to walk and talk again after a two-year recovery that tested his family’s fortitude.

The retelling of Nick’s brave recovery brings the realization that crises don’t happen to individuals, they happen to everyone who loves that individual. Crises challenge faith. But within a crisis, love brings hope. And through love and hope, one can see that possibilities are everywhere.
By: Jane Porter
Published: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Berkley
I like Jane Porter’s books because I can identify with the characters. The story lines aren’t far-fetched and are fun to read. I especially loved her Brennan Sisters series. You can see those reviews, HERE, HERE, and HERE.  These novels were set in wine country and this one is too which makes me want to read it even more! I also love that their is a historical connection in this one.
In the wake of a tragedy that tore her life down to the foundations, Dr. Alison McAdams has lost her way. So when she’s summoned to Napa to care for her ailing father, she’s not sure she has anything to offer him—or anyone else.
What Ali finds in Northern California wine country is a gift—an opportunity to rest, and distance from her painful memories. Most unexpectedly, she finds people who aren’t afraid of her grief or desperate for her to hurry up and move on.
As Ali becomes part of her father’s community, makes new friends of her own, and hears the stories of a generation who survived the Second World War, she begins to find hope again. In a quest to discover the truth about another woman’s lost love, she sets off on a journey across oceans and deep into history. And in making sense of that long-ago tragedy, Ali is able to put together the broken pieces of her heart and make new choices that are right for her.
Advice from the Wisest Americans on Love, Relationships, and Marriage
By: Karl Pillemer, PhD
Published: January 8, 2015
Publisher: Hudson Street Press
I am certainly not a newlywed or looking to find the love of my life, but this book also shares stories about staying together for a lifetime and I love hearing about those inspirational marriages. After 16 years of marriage, I know it isn’t easy to keep married life exciting and find time for each other. These stories will hopefully inspire me to find a new way to keep it exciting. 
Based on the most detailed survey of long-married people ever conducted, 30 LESSONS FOR LOVING shows the way to lifelong, fulfilling relationships. The author, an internationally renowned gerontologist at Cornell University, offers sage advice from the oldest and wisest Americans on everything from finding a partner, to deciding to commit, to growing old together. 

Along the way, the book answers questions like these: 
How do you know if the person you love is the right one? 
What are the secrets for improving communication and reducing conflict? 
What gets you through the major stresses of marriage, such as child-rearing, work, money issues, and in-laws? 

From interviews with 700 elders, 30 LESSONS FOR LOVING offers unique wisdom that will enrich anyone’s relationship life, from people searching for the right partner to those working to keep the spark alive after decades together.

Chloe by Design
By: Margaret Gurevich
To Be Published: September 1, 2015
Publisher:Capstone Young Readers
I purchased MAKING THE CUT for my daughter because she loves fashion. She loved it and read it quite quickly even with it being nearly 400 pages. The publisher sent me the next in the series for her to read and she is so excited! She thought she was going to have to wait until September to read it! Fans of Project Runway will love this book series!
16-year-old Chloe Montgomery beat out the competition to win Teen Design Diva, but she already has another challenge to face — tackling her internship. After winning the first season of the fashion reality show, Chloe is ready to start her job with a famous designer, Stefan Meyers, in New York City. But with an old crush and new challenges to contend with, Chloe discovers that fast-paced fashion industry isn’t for the faint of heart. Will she be able to make it work, or will the balancing act prove to be too much for this budding designer? 
By: D S Thornton
To Be Published: October 1, 2015
Publisher: Capstone Young Readers 
Capstone also sent along this yet-to-be published book. The idea is interesting to me and I could see my daughter liking this one as well. Great for middle grade readers.
Would you believe that under the ground, right beneath your city, was another city? Would you believe it was populated with Scrappers, people built of metal and glass and stone? Jerome has no choice but to believe it after he meets Arkie. Arkie is a Scrapper, and he and Jerome quickly become friends—maybe even brothers. So when Arkie’s city is in danger, Jerome knows he must help. But helping Arkie means hurting Jerome’s dad, the only real family Jerome still has.
By: Dorothy Rosby
Published: November 7, 2014
Publisher: Dorothy Rosby
I was contacted by the author and I chose to give it a look because of the humor aspect. I hope it is a fun, light read.
This is the book for people who read self-improvement books and never get any better. (Also for the people who sincerely wish they would. ) A humorous look at relationships, anxiety, communication, bad habits, and more.

By: Tom Rath
Published: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Silicon Guild
I like the ideas Rath has written about and how he focuses our making our days better…with more meaning. I’m anxious to read his thoughts.
Tom Rath, author of six influential bestsellers, reveals the three keys that matter most for our daily health and well-being, as well as our engagement in our work. Drawing on the latest and most practical research from health, psychology, and economics, this book focuses on changes we can make to create better days for ourselves and others. ARE YOU FULLY CHARGED? will challenge you to stop pursuing happiness and start creating meaning instead, lead you to rethink your daily interactions with the people who matter most, and show you how to put your own health first in order to be your best every day. 
By: David Khayat, MD
Published: April 20, 2015
Publisher: W W Norton and Company
It is hard to find someone who hasn’t been touched by cancer. It seems like I’m hearing about it every day. I have heard sugar is one to avoid, but I am wondering what other foods should be avoided and which ones should be consumed daily. I also find that his recommendations are catered to age groups and even hair color. I also know that this is just one doctor’s opinion, and no one should take medical advice like this without consulting their own physician. 
In this international bestseller, Dr. Khayat provides easy-to-follow and often surprising guidelines on what are now known to be the foods most likely to reduce the risk of cancer. For those of a scientific bent, he explains what cancer is and how it develops. Bringing together his own research with that of other major cancer specialists, he breaks down what the studies mean, which ones provide the most solid evidence, and how to use their results in your and your family s diet.

Structured by the major food groups as well as supplements, beverages, and exercise The ANTICANCER DIET may surprise you by not disparaging red meat but alerting you to find out the source of your fish and suggesting sole over salmon. While highly recommending commercial pomegranate juice, it cautions people with fair hair and eyes against drinking orange juice. What stage of life a person is at will also affect what they should consume. Pregnant women, older women, men, and children may process foods differently.

With numerous easy-to-read charts and tables along with a comprehensive food list at the back of the book, this accessible, user-friendly guide helps readers realize the power in their everyday choices.” 

By: Deirdra Riordan Hall
Published: June 1, 2015
Publisher: Skyscape
I just thought this story sounded really interesting. It made me think a bit about the movie “What Eating Gilbert Grape” which I loved. 
I’m the fat Puerto Rican–Polish girl who doesn’t feel like she belongs in her skin, or anywhere else for that matter. I’ve always been too much and yet not enough.
Sugar Legowski-Gracia wasn’t always fat, but fat is what she is now at age seventeen. Not as fat as her mama, who is so big she hasn’t gotten out of bed in months. Not as heavy as her brother, Skunk, who has more meanness in him than fat, which is saying something. But she’s large enough to be the object of ridicule wherever she is: at the grocery store, walking down the street, at school. Sugar’s life is dictated by taking care of Mama in their run-down home—cooking, shopping, and, well, eating. A lot of eating, which Sugar hates as much as she loves.
When Sugar meets Even (not Evan—his nearly illiterate father misspelled his name on the birth certificate), she has the new experience of someone seeing her and not her body. As their unlikely friendship builds, Sugar allows herself to think about the future for the first time, a future not weighed down by her body or her mother.
Soon Sugar will have to decide whether to become the girl that Even helps her see within herself or to sink into the darkness of the skin-deep role her family and her life have created for her.
By: Pamela Moses
Published: June 2, 2015 (paperback)
Publisher: Berkely
I have heard some good things about this book. I think it is an interesting premise with four college girls all having issues related to food and my guess, other similar issues as well.
Self-doubting Ruth is coddled by her immigrant mother, who uses food to soothe and control. Defiant Francesca believes her heavy frame shames her Park Avenue society mother and, to provoke her, consumes everything in sight. Lonely Opal longs to be included in her glamorous mother’s dinner dates—until a disturbing encounter forever changes her desires. Finally, Setsu, a promising violinist, staves off conflict with her jealous brother by allowing him to take the choicest morsels from her plate—and from her future. College brings the four young women together as suitemates, where their stories and appetites collide. Here they make a pact to maintain their friendships into adulthood, but each must first find strength and her own way in the world. 
By: Katarina Bivald
To Be Published: June 18, 2015
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
I saw this title and was instantly intrigued. It made me think of THE GUERNSEY AND LITERARY POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY by Annie Barrows (who has a new book out this summer) and I knew it was one I had to read. This has already become an International Bestseller and is hitting the states this summer.
Warning: once you let books into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…

This is a book about books. All sorts of books, from Little Women and Harry Potter to Jodi Picoult and Jane Austen, from Stieg Larsson to Joyce Carol Oates to Proust. It’s about the joy and pleasure of books, about learning from and escaping into them, and possibly even hiding behind them. It’s about whether or not books are better than real life. 

It’s also a book about a Swedish girl called Sara, her elderly American penfriend Amy and what happens when you land a very different kind of bookshop in the middle of a town so broken it’s almost beyond repair. 

Or is it? 

The Readers of Broken Wheel has touches of 84 Charing Cross Road, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Chocolat, but adds an off-beat originality and intelligence all its own.
By: Paula McLain
To Be Published: July 28, 2015
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Paula McLain is the author of THE PARIS WIFE, which has gotten great reviews, but sadly I haven’t yet read.  This one sounds fascinating.
Paula McLain, takes readers into the glamorous and decadent circle of British expats living in Kenya in the 1920s. CIRCLING THE SUN tells the story of the beautiful young horse trainer, adventurer, and aviator Beryl Markham, from her childhood in British East Africa to her relationship with hunter Denys Finch Hatton and rivalry with Out of Africa author Karen Blixen—a notorious love triangle that changed the course of Beryl’s life. 
A 90-Day Devotional
By: Boyd Bailey
To Be Published: August 1, 2015
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
I love the book of Proverbs and who doesn’t have time to spend two minutes with God? 
To find practical answers for everyday challenges, you can’t go wrong with the book of Proverbs. And to help you apply its timeless truth to every area of your own life, popular devotional writer Boyd Bailey offers these concise and down-to-earth daily readings.

Building strong relationships, achieving financial stability, speaking words that help and heal…you’ll find God’s plan for your success in all these areas and many more. Each brief devotion includes a verse or two from Proverbs, a short reflection, a question to help you remember the message and take appropriate action, and a short list of related Scripture references for further study.

Start each day with just two minutes in the Bible. You’ll soon be enjoying the benefits of a storehouse of wisdom in your heart.

Stories 16-18
By: Werner Stejskal
Published: October 28, 2014
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
I can’t resist a good cat story. This book is free on Kindle right now.
These illustrated cat stories are all about “Oliver and Jumpy”, who are best of friends and experience many adventures together. Oliver is an elegant black tomcat, who is full of himself. As a matter of fact he says: “I love myself!” quite often. Naughty, isn’t he? But his best friend Jumpy, a kangaroo lady, is aware that it is only a front! Oliver has a soft heart and will always want to help others. The great thing is Jumpy’s pouch, which Oliver loves to ride in! He calls her his kangaroo taxi! These little bedtime stories with their lovely illustrations are great for small kids. A parent can read the text and tell the child in his own words. These animal stories have sufficient text to keep early readers happy and provide some educational value. Depending on your device, there is pop-up text (at Amazon) or audio available. Several talented illustrators are essential to bring these children’s stories to you in quick succession. Love you all! Meow!
I also received an envelope of bookmarks promoting two books, HOPE and ELENA VANISHING.
Both are memoirs. HOPE is written by the mother of an anorexic. ELENA VANISHING is her daughter’s memoir.  Reading them will give you both sides of this compelling story.  For more info about these books you can go to
A Mother’s Life with a Daughter’s Anorexia
By: Clare Dunkle
Published: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Chronicle Books
The heart-wrenching story of absolute love, and the fight against a deadly disease, from an often ignored but important perspective: the mother of the anorexic. 
By: Elena Dunkle and Clare Dunkle
Published: May 19, 2015
Elena is a fighter, a survivor-but never a victim. This isn’t the story of anorexia. It’s the story of a person. This is Elena’s story.
Books I Won

I won a set of JoJo Moyes books from Laura at A Novel Review.  I haven’t read any of JoJo Moyes’ books and so I am anxious to see what everyone is raving about! These have apparently gained popularity after being republished under Penguin Books as these were first published several years ago.
By: JoJo Moyes
Published: Originally published in 2005, republished October 28, 2014
Publisher: Penguin Books
1946. World War II has ended and all over the world, young women are beginning to fulfill the promises made to the men they wed in wartime.

In Sydney, Australia, four women join 650 other war brides on an extraordinary voyage to England—aboard HMS Victoria, which still carries not just arms and aircraft but a thousand naval officers. Rules are strictly enforced, from the aircraft carrier’s captain down to the lowliest young deckhand. But the men and the brides will find their lives intertwined despite the Navy’s ironclad sanctions. And for Frances Mackenzie, the complicated young woman whose past comes back to haunt her far from home, the journey will change her life in ways she never could have predicted—forever.
By: JoJo Moyes
Published: Originally published February 1, 2008, Republished August 26, 2014
Publisher: Penguin Books
Liza McCullen will never fully escape her past. But the unspoiled beaches and tight-knit community of Silver Bay offer the freedom and safety she craves—if not for herself, then for her young daughter, Hannah. That is, until Mike Dormer arrives as a guest in her aunt’s hotel.

The mild-mannered Englishman with his too-smart clothes and distracting eyes could destroy everything Liza has worked so hard to protect: not only the family business and the bay that harbors her beloved whales, but also her conviction that she will never love—never deserve to love—again.

For his part, Mike Dormer is expecting just another business deal—an easy job kick-starting a resort in a small seaside town ripe for development. But he finds that he doesn’t quite know what to make of the eccentric inhabitants of the ramshackle Silver Bay Hotel, especially not enigmatic Liza McCullen, and their claim to the surrounding waters.

As the development begins to take on a momentum of its own, Mike’s and Liza’s worlds collide in this hugely affecting and irresistible tale full of Jojo Moyes’s signature humor and generosity.
By: JoJo Moyes
Published: Originally Published on January 10, 2010, Republished June 26, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Books
A sophisticated, spellbinding double love story that spans decades and thrillingly evokes a bygone era. In 1960, Jennifer Stirling wakes in the hospital and remembers nothing—not the car accident that put her there, not her wealthy husband, not even her own name. Searching for clues, she finds an impassioned letter, signed simply “B,” from a man for whom she seemed willing to risk everything. In 2003, journalist Ellie Haworth stumbles upon the letter and becomes obsessed with learning the unknown lovers’ fate—hoping it will inspire her own happy ending. Remarkably moving, this is a novel for romantics of every age.
By: JoJo Moyes
Published: Originally Published January 5, 2012, Republished July 30, 2013
Publisher: Penguin Books
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time. 

By: JoJo Moyes
Published: Originally Published August 20, 2013, Republished June 24, 3014
Publisher: Penguin Books
In 1916, French artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his wife Sophie to fight at the Front. When her town falls into German hands, his portrait of Sophie stirs the heart of the local Kommandant and causes her to risk everything – her family, reputation and life—in the hope of seeing her true love one last time.

Nearly a century later and Sophie’s portrait is given to Liv by her young husband shortly before his sudden death. Its beauty speaks of their short life together, but when the painting’s dark and passion-torn history is revealed, Liv discovers that the first spark of love she has felt since she lost him is threatened…

Two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for the thing they love most—whatever the cost.

By: JoJo Moyes
Published: Originally Published on December 5, 2013, Republished March 31, 2015
Publisher: Penguin Books
Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages… maybe ever.
Book Gift

Pat gave me this book for Mother’s Day. Just skimming it, I know I’m going to like it. I love these types of books and I like watching and listening to Dana Perino of Fox News. I’m looking forward to reading this one.
Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side
By: Dana Perino
Published: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Twelve
Thoughtful, inspiring and often surprising, AND THE GOOD NEWS IS… traces Dana’s unlikely journey through politics, the White House, and television. She has an uncanny ability for knowing what to say and how best to say it. A recurring theme in AND THE GOOD NEWS IS…is that planning has never worked for Dana; every time she has made a plan, something unexpected-and often better-has happened. 
AND THE GOOD NEWS IS… blends a candid self-portrait with advice for allowing one’s very best personality traits to shine through, emphasizing that dignity and civility are choices we make for ourselves.
Books I Purchased

By: Lisa Jewell
Published: August 12, 2014
Publisher: Atria Books
I purchased this as a Kindle Daily Deal for $1.99. Be sure to click on the link on my side bar for Daily Kindle Deals. You never know what goodies you might find.
Meet the Bird family. They live in a honey-colored house in a picture-perfect Cotswolds village, with rambling, unkempt gardens stretching beyond. Pragmatic Meg, dreamy Beth, and tow-headed twins Rory and Rhys all attend the village school and eat home-cooked meals together every night. Their father is a sweet gangly man named Colin, who still looks like a teenager with floppy hair and owlish, round-framed glasses. Their mother is a beautiful hippy named Lorelei, who exists entirely in the moment. And she makes every moment sparkle in her children’s lives.

Then one Easter weekend, tragedy comes to call. The event is so devastating that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear the family apart. Years pass as the children become adults, find new relationships, and develop their own separate lives. Soon it seems as though they’ve never been a family at all. But then something happens that calls them back to the house they grew up in — and to what really happened that Easter weekend so many years ago.
By: Catherine Ryan Hyde
Published: November 14, 2013
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
My cousin told me about this book after her family was raving about it over Memorial Weekend. It is only available on Kindle and at this time it is just $4.99. But it was $1.99 when I purchased it.
Hayden Reese once believed he could have it all — and once, he almost did: a wife and a daughter he adored, and a child on the way. But little by little, a chain of heartaches stripped him of all he loved — and a flash of violence changed his destiny. Now at middle age, newly spring from jail in a remote California town, Hayden is utterly alone — his girlfriend has left and he just buried his beloved dog. It seems God may never be done with Hayden Reese. And that’s the “good” news.  
With summer starting, I challenged my daughter Reagan to read 4,000 pages. Everytime she hits 500 pages she receives a reward with the rewards increasing. In her first week she is over 250, so I think she is right on track! She chose some of her prizes including gift certificates to Claire’s and a maxi skirt. We took a bunch of her brother’s books to Half Price Books and she stocked up on some she thought looked good. She was especially excited about The Lemonade War Series because she had already read the first two in the series.
The Lemonade War Series
By: Jennifer Davies
Published: April 1, 2014
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Jessie and Evan Treski have waged a lemonade war, sought justice in a class trial,unmasked a bell thief, and stood at opposite ends over the right to keep secrets.
   Now they are creating a magic show—a professional magic show, in their own backyard! They practice, they study, and they practice some more. And who shows up? Their father, who has done such a good job of disappearing over the past few years.
   Just as Evan and Jessie took on running a business in The Lemonade War and a court of law in The Lemonade Crime, in this fifth novel of the bestselling Lemonade War series, they take on the challenges of magic and illusion all while discovering some hidden truths about their own family.
The Lemonade Wars Series
By: Jennifer Davies
Published: May 1, 2012
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Everything about this trip to Grandma’s house was different:

First, because of the fire, Mrs. Treski, Evan, and Jessie had driven up to Grandma’s two days after Christmas instead of the day before, missing Christmas with Grandma entirely.

Second, the fire had left a hole in the back kitchen wall big enough to drive a car through! And with Grandma in the hospital and not in her house, everything felt off.

Third, someone had climbed the long, slow slope of Lovell Hill to the top and had stolen the old iron bell hanging on its heavy wooden crossbeam.

Who on earth would steal the New Year’s Bell? And how could Grandma, Mrs.Treski, Evan, Jessie, and their neighbors ring in the New Year without it?

Like a modern-day Beverly Cleary, Ms. Davies writes with heart, humor, and honesty about the inevitability of profound change and reveals just how well she understands the complex emotions of the children.
The Lemonade War Series
By: Jennifer Davies
Published: January 8, 2013
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
With the help of Class 4-0, Jessie and Evan Treski have waged a lemonade war, sought justice in a class trial and even unmasked a bell thief. In the fourth installment, Valentine’s Day and a lesson about the distinctive power of poetry collide when someone leaves mysterious candy hearts for the class. Not to worry, self-appointed ace reporter, Jessie, is determined to get the scoop on class crushes—no matter the consequences. Poignant and funny,  it’s a Valentine’s Day mystery full of sweet (and sour) surprises.
By: Jennifer L Holm
Published: December 26, 2007
Publisher: Yearling
It’s 1953 and 11-year-old Penny dreams of a summer of butter pecan ice cream, swimming, and baseball. But nothing’s that easy in Penny’s family. For starters, she can’t go swimming because her mother’s afraid she’ll catch polio at the pool. To make matters worse, her favorite uncle is living in a car. Her Nonny cries every time her father’s name is mentioned. And the two sides of her family aren’t speaking to each other!

Inspired by Newbery Honor winner Jennifer Holm’s own Italian American family, Penny from Heaven is a shining story about the everyday and the extraordinary, about a time in America’s history, not all that long ago, when being Italian meant that you were the enemy. But most of all, it’s a story about families—about the things that tear them apart and bring them together. And Holm tells it with all the richness and the layers, the love and the laughter of a Sunday dinner at Nonny’s. So pull up a chair and enjoy the feast! Buon appetito! 

By: Susan Shreve
Published: September 1, 2006
Publisher: Arthur A Levine Books
Blister is Susan Shreve’s most popular character, and she’s back to find out what happens when Cupid comes calling….

Blister was there for Jonah when he was the new student everyone loved to hate. Blister was there for Jonah when he lied and said he was a big TV personality. And Blister was right alongside Jonah when he turned his lie into a real job at a television station, complete with his very own show.
But now everything has changed. Because Jonah is in trouble once again, and he’s looking to Blister to be more than just a friend.
By: Danette Haworth
Published: August 19, 2008
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Spunky, headstrong Violet Raines is happy with things just the way they are in her sleepy backwoods Florida town. She loves going to the fish fry with her best friend, Lottie, and collecting BrainFreeze cups with her good friend Eddie. She loves squeezing into the open trunk of the old cypress tree, looking for alligators in the river, and witnessing lighting storms on a warm summer day.

But Violet’s world is turned upside down when Melissa moves to town from big city Detroit. All of a sudden Violet’s supposed to want to wear makeup, and watch soap operas, and play Truth or Dare! It’ll take the help of Violet’s friends, her Momma, a few run-ins with lightning, and maybe even Melissa, for Violet to realize that growing up doesn’t have to mean changing who you are.
Be sure to let me know if you read any of these. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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  1. KateUnger on June 4, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Wow. Lots of great books. Your reference to "The Life List" reminded me that I bought the Kindle version. I'm adding it to my list of books for June. 🙂

  2. bermudaonion on June 8, 2015 at 1:24 am

    Nice mailbox and terrific win! Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend was big at BEA!

  3. Sheila @ The Deliberate Reader on June 10, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    I love Penny from Heaven, so I hope your daughter does as well – it's such a good book!

    And I'm very excited to learn about The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend – with comparisons to Guernsey and 84 Charing Cross Road of COURSE I want to read it.

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