Dagg, Carole Estby. The Year We Were Famous.
Based on the true story of the author's great-aunt and great-grandmother. In 1896, Clara's mother, who has been too depressed to get out of bed since the death of Clara's brother, decides suddenly that she can save the family farm from financial ruin by walking from Mica Creek, Washington to New York City in order to get $10,000 offered by a publisher if she can make the trek in the allotted amount of time AND write a book about it. Concerned for her mother's safety and doubting her ability to make the journey unaided, Clara decides to go with her mother. The walk is hard, and a number of obstacles, from obnoxious men to bad weather, and even when the two make it to New York, things do not go well.
Strengths: A beautiful book, this made me SO happy. My daughter and I once walked 26 to Sunbury and back in about 7 hours. This is roughly the length of the walk that these two women had every single day for 7 months! Even though we are very active, we were very sore the next day. The details of the journey, and of the historical time period, were colorful and intriguing. I'll be very interested to see what this author writes next.
Weaknesses: This will be a hard sell. But I'll buy it for the few students who will read it!
Bennett, Sophia. Sequins, Secrets and Silver Linings.
Nonie loves fashion, even though her choices are dubious. (Silver leggings?) Her friend Edie is a minipolitico who is trying to save the planet. Her friend Jenny is a minor starlet who is uncomfortable with her newfound fame as well as her body. When Nonie meets Crow, a Ugandan refugee living with her aunt, she is intrigued by Crow's styles. The friends help Crow out with her fashion designs and try to improve her lot.
Strengths: Liked the immigrant twist, and the fact that the extreme pinkness was offset with social conscience. Very fun. And shiny!
Weaknesses: May date quickly, but should last for a good long while.