Tag Archives: Coming of Age

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Ocean at the End of the Lane by neil GaimanTitle:  The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Author:  Neil Gaiman


The fifty-something narrator returns to his childhood home in the English countryside. He takes a drive through the country and finds himself at the Hempstock Farm where he begins to remember things long forgotten, the haunting events that occurred there when he was seven. His friendship with a girl named Lettie Hempstock who tries to protect him from a deadly spirit who disguised herself as a housekeeper and took control of his mother, father and sister. This story has a low-key fantasy element with magic, compassion, loyalty and memories.

Recommended by:  Connie


Stitches by David Small

StitchesTitle:  Stitches

Author:  David Small

Call #:  G SMA

David Small’s coming-of-age memoir in graphic format accomplishes much with few words and stark yet affecting drawings.  When he is 14, he has a procedure that he believes is routine, only to wake from surgery almost mute, having a vocal cord removed.  Not until much later does he find out that he had cancer and was expected to die.  His cold, angry and bitter parents believe they did what was best.  This book is heartbreaking and amazing – there are pictures that will stay with me for a very long time.

Recommended by:  Kathy

Not All Tarts Are Apple by Pip Granger

Not All Tarts Are Apple by Pip GrangerTitle:  Not All Tarts Are Apple

Author:  Pip Granger

Call #:  GRA

Seven-year-old Rosie is living happily with “Uncle” Bert and “Aunt” Maggie above their café in the tough Soho district of London when she learns from a classmate that her real mum’s a tart. Granger brings her own experience of the Soho district to life in the wonderful characters she creates.

Recommended by:  Bobbie

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee BenderTitle:  The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

Author:  Aimee Bender

Call #:  BEN

The story of a nine year old girl who discovers she can taste the emotions of the people who cooked the food she eats grabbed me right away.  Her secret colors her whole life, especially her relationship with her mother.  The book sometimes has a “fantasy” feel to it, but it’s much more than that.

Recommended by:  Betty


I’m Not Scared by Niccolo Ammaniti

I'm Not Scared by Niccolo AmmanitiTitle:  I’m Not Scared

Author:  Niccolo Ammaniti

Call #:  AMM

A very different coming-of-age story: while exploring an abandoned farmhouse, nine year old Michele Amitrano discovers a startling, terrible secret, and must come to terms with what he has found. Like Michele, I had to remind myself that I wasn’t scared.

Recommended by: Bobbie

Jim the Boy by Tony Earley

Jim the Boy by Tony EarleyTitle:  Jim the Boy

Author:  Tony Earley

Call #:  EAR

It is 1934 in rural North Carolina and 11 year old Jim, his mother and uncles are all watching the electricity poles go up around town.  In this coming-of-age story, the reader watches with a nostalgic eye as Jim and his town grow and change. This is a heart-warming and timeless story for any reader looking for a “good read.”

Recommended by:  Becky

The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson

Family Fang by Kevin WilsonTitle:  The Family Fang

Author:  Kevin Wilson

Call #:  WIL

This book is about a family in which the parents are artists whose art involves creating chaos in public spaces and then filming it.  When their two children are born, they include them in their schemes.  The book alternates chapters from the present, when the kids are grown and the past when they detail one of their art installations.  It has all my favorite things – family dysfunction, a discussion of what makes art, a coming-of-age story and dark humor.

Recommended by:  Kathy