Shelf Life Blog
It’s the summer of 1975, and Raymie Clarke has a plan. Two days earlier, in the greatest tragedy of Raymie’s life, her father ran away from home with a woman who was a dental hygienist. But to make things right again, all Raymie has to do is learn how to twirl a baton, enter the Little Miss Central Florida Tire pageant, and win. Then her dad will see her picture in the paper and come home . . . right?
Orphans Molly and her younger brother Kip are looking for work away from their home in famine-stricken Ireland. They find it at the Windsor estate, an isolated, sprawling house in England that is a lot more than it seems.
As they work and live with the Windsors, Molly and Kip begin to discover that the atmosphere of the old, crumbling mansion is slowly taking the life force of the once-cheerful family of four.
“it takes courage to grow up & become who you really are.”
- e.e. cummings
As a boy, poet e.e. cummings had a huge imagination. He loved to play tag, climb trees, and especially gaze out his window at Mother Nature. Inspired by everything around him, e.e. began to speak poetry, which his mother wrote down for him in a notebook. He played aloud with words to express his excitement for learning.
Amani Al’Hiza isn’t exactly up to no good. Sure, she snuck out of her house disguised as a boy and riding a stolen horse in order to enter a sharpshooter contest at the most notorious pistol pit in town. But Amani needs the prize money to get out of Dustwalk. She has to escape before she winds up dead—or worse, married.
Robo-Sauce is a strange and wondrous concoction. Its neon-orange glow hints at limitless possibilities. Oh, you've never had the pleasure of seeing this extraordinary mixture in action? Well, prepare to be robotomized!
Two years after the infamous and hideous Black Plague swept the continent of Europe, 18-year-old Oswald de Lacy finds himself the Lord of Somershill.
Although he does not wish to claim the title, he has no other choice since the Sickness took his father and two older brothers, leaving him to deal with a crumbling estate; an overbearing, paranoid mother; an unmarried, spoiled sister; and extremely fearful peasants.
Zayele, a lovely and strong-minded girl, did not wish to be on her way to Baghdad to marry a prince she had never met. She certainly did not wish to be separated from her blind brother who relied on her to help him.
So, when a girl jinni appears—a girl who looks surprisingly like Zayele—the unwilling bride-to-be Wishes, as one does with jinnis, that they can change places, and that she, Zayele, can go home. But Zayele doesn’t go back to her village and her family. Instead, she is transported to the magical cavern-city that is home to all the jinni. Sworn enemies of humanity after decades of living as their slaves, the jinni hate humankind even as they are intrigued by them. Trying to pass for a jinni girl is both harder and easier than Zayele expects.
to the clouds
(just loud enough
for the sun to overhear
but not enough to wake the rain)
“the strawberries are furious
and i think i just heard
even the roses sigh”
Francis Orme is the last of a long line of oldest boys named Francis Orme. He wasn’t born Francis Orme, but that’s who he is now. Francis lives with his mother and father in their ancestral home, which has been chopped up into 24 gimcrack flats, The Observatory Mansions. Francis always wears white gloves, works as a “living statue,” and collects items for his Museum of Significant Objects.
What teenage girl has not sighed over the plight of Jane Eyre and the love story in Wuthering Heights? The novels contain “the collective imagination” poured into them by millions of teenage girls. In The Madwoman Upstairs, narrator Samantha Whipple is the last Brontë heir. She is related to three of the most famous women writers, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë, but she has a contentious relationship with them. Gothic and imaginative, The Madwoman Upstairs is a tribute to the Brontës.