Book Review: Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

Moonglass (2011) is a beautiful coming-of-age novel for teens by Jessi Kirby. Sixteen-year-old Anna Ryan leaves behind the beach where she grew up... where her mother deliberately drowned herself... to a new California beach, full of old family history. Now living in her mother's childhood vacation spot, on the very shore where her parents had … Continue reading Book Review: Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

Book Review: Pretty Face by Mary Hogan

Pretty Face (2008) by Mary Hogan is a short teen fiction about Hayley, a teen who's self-conscious about her weight. Although people say she has a pretty face, being overweight in the vain land of Southern California isn't easy. Hayley’s family is also a little dysfunctional, with her overbearing mother constantly pressing Hayley to lose weight. … Continue reading Book Review: Pretty Face by Mary Hogan

Book Review: Sea by Heidi R. Kling

Sea by Heidi R. Kling is another of my favorite novels. Fifteen-year-old Sienna “Sea” Jones has not been herself since her mother died in a plane crash over the Indian Ocean. Suffering from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and being treated by her father, a psychologist, Sienna no longer body-boards in the ocean or engages … Continue reading Book Review: Sea by Heidi R. Kling

Book Review: Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

When I picked up Shanghai Girls, I was hooked 'til the last page. Lisa See’s writing is difficult to put down. The story of the two sisters, Pearl and May, begins in 1930s Shanghai. The girls earn their money posing as Chinese calendar models, or “Beautiful Girls,” and live a life of luxury, parties, night clubs, and excessive … Continue reading Book Review: Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Book Review: Dear America: Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild (California Territory, 1849) by Kristiana Gregory

Susanna, her parents, and her sister set sail from the U.S. east coast to the west in hopes to reunite with family in Oregon. However, on their voyage, their mother is taken by the sea when a giant wave sweeps upon deck. Susanna, her father, and sister are devastated by their loss, but must continue … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild (California Territory, 1849) by Kristiana Gregory

Book Review: Dear America: Valley of the Moon, the Diary of María Rosalia de Milagros (Sonoma Valley, Alta California 1846) by Sherry Garland

Rosalia is a servant girl for a wealthy Spanish ranchero family in Alta (upper) California. She and her little brother Domingo are orphans, though it is apparent through the color of their skin that they are of mixed Native American and Hispanic descent. They and their fellow servants are treated surprisingly kindly by the hospitable … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: Valley of the Moon, the Diary of María Rosalia de Milagros (Sonoma Valley, Alta California 1846) by Sherry Garland