1) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Starting with something old, this book is a long-time favourite of mine and my sister's. It has been re-read many times ever since I received it as a gift when I was a teenager.
First published in 1943, the novel is a coming-of-age story of Francie Nolan and her Irish American family struggling to survive in Brooklyn. White's depiction of family relationships is charming and the characters believeable, without romanticising the hardships of poverty and alcoholism. The protagonist, Francie is a girl who loves to read and write and yearns for a better life for herself and her family. The story follows her through to young adulthood where she gets her heart broken and ends with the insinuation that she does find love afterall.
Lesley-Anne is now half-way through the book and she loves it. I suspect it would be more of a hit with girls than boys though.
2) The Cat Royal series by Julia Golding
This second recommendation is purely Lesley-Anne's. She found this series in the library and quickly became hooked. There are six books available in this series so far (she found four in the library): The Diamond of Drury Lane, Cat among the Pigeons, Den of Thieves, Cat O'Nine Tails, Black Heart of Jamaica and Cat's Cradle. Eventually, there will be nine all together.
The protagonist of the series is orphan Cat Royal and the stories are set in the theatre. She sets off to solve mysteries, from recovering a stolen diamond to saving fugitives from slavery.
I haven't read this series so I can't share my views, but Lesley-Anne raves about it and she devoured all four books within a week. She also loves the Companions Quartet by the same author, which is a series of four fantasy books.
Although the protagonist is female, I think boys may also enjoy this author as she writes in the mystery and fantasy genres which boys generally love.
Performing for Ghosts - Hungry Ghost month came & went. I don't miss the ashes flying about or watching out where I walk in case I trip over some offering. But I do look forward...
8 months ago