Cures for Heartbreak

Cures for Heartbreak by Margo Rabb. 

This is the story of Mia whose mother died twelve days after finding out she had cancer.  Now fifteen-year-old Mia, her older sister and her father must find their ways to a life without her mother.  Mia struggles with the loss and along the way encounters a series of characters who offer moments of levity.  Mia’s voice is strongly written and believable.  I enjoy that she is the type of teen who likes shopping, makeup and clothes.  She is not an intellectual, but doesn’t have to be to make razor-sharp comments about those around her.

Her battle to overcome the loss of her mother is filled with laugh-out-loud moments that blend into sober, dark times filled with grief.  I found this to be a powerful device, emblematic of the real tumult of loss.  The characters such as Mia’s sister and father are well-drawn and developed.  Though Mia and her sister are opposites in most ways, they come together in the humor they both see around them. 

Recommended for teen girls who enjoy romances, stories of loss, and most of all a good laugh through the tears.

Badger's Fancy Meal

Badger’s Fancy Meal by Keiko Kasza. 

Badger has a den full of food, but he wants something fancier, so he heads out to look for it.  He sees all sorts of yummy-looking animals as he explores, but they all escape him.  What he doesn’t realize is that they are all escaping into his food-filled den. Only when he has lost it, does he realize the value of what he already had.

This is a clever book that will be very familiar to adults, but is fresh for children.  The device of using a turning page to hide from badger what happened on the last page but allows children to view it is very clever and fun.  As always, Kasza’s illustrations are winningly done and will project well to a group of children. 

I would recommend this for a thanksgiving story that is free of Pilgrims.  It shows not only a love of food but offers a device to really talk about what we should be thankful for.

Stan Lee and Dis-ney

Disney has signed an exclusive deal with the legendary Stan Lee of comic book fame.  He is the creator of Spiderman, the Hulk and the X-Men.  The agreement allows for production of all kinds of entertainment, so hopefully we will see great things come out of this.