Author: Emma Donoghue
Call #: DON
Jack loves to play, watch Dora the Explorer and eat candy. In other words, the narrator of this novel is a normal five-year-old. Except that Jack has lived his whole life in one room. The only other people he knows are his mother, who taught him everything he knows, and Old Nick who brings them food and supplies. To explain any more would be to ruin this book which unfolds, in turns, with heart-pounding suspense, quiet tragedy and unabashed wonder. This was my favorite fiction book of 2010.
Recommended by: Kathy
Author: James Fuerst
Call #: FUE
Eugene “Huge” Smalls is a troubled 12 year old living in 1980’s New Jersey. He is precocious, self aware and addicted to pulp mysteries but he also has serious anger issues. When his grandmother’s retirement home is vandalized, Huge puts himself and his sidekick, Thrash, on the case. This character driven, coming-of-age novel is reminiscent of Catcher in the Rye. It is a quirky but ultimately hopeful ode to adolescence, written for an adult audience.
Recommended by: Becky
Title: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Author: Alan Bradley
Call #: M BRA
In this fresh and intelligent cozy, readers are swept back in time to rural England in 1950. Flavia de Luce, an 11 year-old aspiring chemist with an interest in poisons, finds a man lying in her garden, taking his last breaths. Readers will root for Flavia, who is just old enough to look out for herself but has not yet lost her adventurous spirit, as she investigates this mysterious death and ends up entangled in a decades old rare stamp smuggling ring.
Recommended by: Becky
Title: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Author: Jonathan Safran Foer
Call #: FOE
Nine year old Oskar Schell is finding it very difficult to deal with the death of his father who was killed in the World Trade Center attacks. After finding a mysterious key in a vase in his father’s bedroom closet, Oscar searches New York City for a lock that fits that black key. This story, told from a precocious child’s viewpoint, presents an interesting approach to dealing with death and tragedy.
Recommended by: Sharon