Celebrating two new young adult Chronicle Books: "The Revelations of Louisa May" and "The Water and the Wind"
Monday, November 17, 2014
But the best part of events such as these is the conversations one has with other authors and educators. With people who get books, and love them.
A few days ago, Jaime Wong, the lovely marketing coordinator for Chronicle Books/Children's, sent copies of two books by the authors with whom I'll be sharing a Friday evening meal (alongside educators and the Chronicle team).
The first, by Michaela MacColl (Always Emily, Nobody's Secret, Prisoners in the Palace), is a mystery called the Revelation of Louisa May. Michaela, who I first met in Boston last year, specializes in the "intertwining of the facts of a beloved author's real life with a suspenseful fictional tale." Here we meet the great Louisa May Alcott as a teen—her principled family struggling to make ends meet, her home a station stop for runaway slaves, and Emerson and Thoreau counted among neighbors and friends. Louisa has a lot on her hands when we first meet her, and there will be plenty of excitement ahead, as Louisa's mother leaves for a stint at paying work, a runaway is kept hidden in the house, a slave catcher comes to town, and a mystery erupts. There's a reason these Michaela books are so popular—just the right amount of history, just the right amount of maybe, and an intriguing historical lesson for teens.
The second book in my package is by the debut author K.E. Ormsbee. Called The Water and the Wild, it is graced with a most gorgeous illustrated cover by Elsa Mora. It is a charming fantasy that takes its heroine down through the roots of apple tree to another world "in pursuit of the impossible: a cure for the incurable, a use for the useless, and protection against the pain of loss." The language here beguiles:
Lottie, like any red-blooded girl, had been taught to get out of the way of things like speeding convertibles and masked men with guns, but she had never expected to have a run-in with a homicidal tree. More than that, and what confused Lottie the most in the split-second she had to realize that she was about to get smashed to smithereens, was that she had not seen any lightning. If she was going to be killed by a falling tree, Lottie thought in that last moment of cognizance, she wished it would have at least had the decency to get struck by lightning first. That would have been a much more dramatic way to go.
Look for both these books from Chronicle Books next April.