25 July 2011

On second thought...

Two recently published exceptions to the talking-animals rule:

Recommended if you like: Stories of orphans or plucky kids who are making the best of bad situations. The three children in THE SUMMER OF THE BEAR aren't really orphaned (or young; Alba, the oldest, is a teenager) but after the mysterious death of their father, who worked in British intelligence, their exile-by-mother to her childhood town in the Outer Hebrides may as well be a one-way trip to the moon -- particularly when Mom is too preoccupied with how her husband was killed to look after the kids. Meanwhile, the town is on the lookout for an escaped circus bear (based on a strange but true story).

Recommended if you liked THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME. A Ghanaian immigrant teenager investigates the murder of one of his classmates around his London tower block, tries to stay in good with the local gang without actually having to join, avoid his older sister's friend who wants to kiss him, win all the footraces at school and befriend the pigeon who sometimes strolls right into his apartment.

Full disclosure, I got both these books in e-galleys to my Kindle (from Atlantic Monthly Press and Harper Perennial).

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