Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Little Crooked Bookshelf

by Kate Allen

(This week's pick is from cottager & librarian Melanie Roy.)

What it’s all about …
Best friends Lucy and Fred live in the seaport town of Rockport, Massachusetts. Lucy is an artist and Fred is a scientist and together they are working on a field guide of the wildlife they come across over the summer. When Lucy experiences a devastating loss, she relies on her late biologist mother’s shark research proposal to pull her out of despair. 

Why I love it …
This story is so well done. It will break your heart yet leave you with hope. When you finish reading, be sure to go back and re-read the Rachel Carson quote at the beginning. It will have so much more meaning. As I read I kept picturing the seaside town in the Jaws movie as the setting. This book really would make a terrific movie. There is loss, love, laughter, and a road trip. 

The illustrations --  Lucy’s shark drawings -- are incredible. 

Why will kids love it?
I would hand this to a reader in fifth grade and beyond.Kids will love it because they want to grapple with heartbreaking and difficult topics from the comfort of the pages of a book. And it has some really cool sea animal facts that will be interesting to learn. I hope to do a book club with this title to hear their thoughts.

Why will grown-ups love it?
The opening paragraph of the book: “The morning the great white came to Rockport, my best friend and I were sticking our fingers into the coin returns of every pay phone in town. We averaged about two dollars a day during the summer. Most days we cashed in for candy.” What grown-up wouldn’t want to be reminded of those simple pleasures of our childhood? Beyond that, though, this story is so well done. It tackles tough topics and presents it in a way that is not utterly depressing. 

Pair it with:

Great White Shark Adventure (Fabien Cousteau Expeditions)

by Fabien Coustea, James O. Fraioli, and Joe St. Pierre
This graphic novel would be a great companion to The Line Tender.

Where to find/buy …
Barnes & Noble

Or at a school or library near you!

About the Author-Illustrator
Kate Allen grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Minneapolis, MN with her family. The Line Tender is her first novel. You can find Kate on Twitter at @kateallenbooks

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