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Author Visit starring Jacqueline West (or, wishes really do come true!)

Join us for a hometown celebration of Red Wing author Jacqueline West’s new middle grade novel, The Collectors, this Saturday, October 20th at 1:00 PM!  First in a duology, The Collectors is the story of Van, a most unusual boy, and the secret world he uncovers.  To tell you any more about it would be way too spoiler-y (I did get to read an advanced copy, though, and take it from this librarian – it’s the just right amount of spooky, magical mystery all wrapped up in gorgeous writing that I love!), so you’ll just have to come and hear Jacqueline talk all about her new book – and then read it!

We’ll also be raffling off a copy or two of The Collectors, you can ask Jacqueline questions about writing and books and wishing, get your books signed, and we’ll have some fun Wish Eater crafts too (wait, what’s a Wish Eater?  I’m not telling!).  There will be copies of The Collectors for sale from Rivertown Comics & Games, or you can bring your own along with you (maybe you already read it too!).  Oh… and wish cookies!!  I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon, can you?!

All ages and lovers of middle grade fiction welcome.  See you there!

The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

Book jacket cover of The Cabin at the End of the WorldIt’s October, which means Halloween, which means it’s a great month to talk about horror books. One of the best horror novels of the year so far comes from Paul Tremblay. Publisher’s Weekly wrote “[t]he apocalypse begins with a home invasion in this tripwire-taut horror thriller. Eric and Andrew are vacationing with their seven-year-old daughter, Wen, at remote Gaudet Lake in New Hampshire when their cabin is invaded by a quartet of weapons-wielding strangers, each of whom has been driven there by a shared vision: that the world will end unless one member of this family sacrifices another. That sets the stage for an excruciatingly tense standoff between them and their prisoners as they try to outmaneuver one other. Tremblay  skillfully seeds his tale with uncertainties, including news reports of portentous world catastrophes, that suggest the invaders’ vision is genuine, and he introduces enough doubt into the beliefs and behaviors of all the parties to keep them and the reader off-balance. His profoundly unsettling novel invites readers to ask themselves whether, when faced with the unbelievable, they would do the unthinkable to prevent it.”

Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech

When Louie’s dad brings home the little donkey one cold, dark winter day, Louie just knows he can save him.  Even if he hasn’t had the best of luck before, with the worms, and the fireflies, and the goldfish, and the bird, and the kitten, and all the other small creatures he’s brought home.  This baby creature with the big ears and the spindly legs?  He just knows he can keep him alive, even when nobody else thinks he’ll make it.  After all, Louie was born early too, and he made it just fine.

Naming the donkey Winslow, Louie works hard – bottle-feeding, picking up straw and other not-so-fun messes, sleeping with Winslow to make sure he’s warm and has company, and even giving him shots when he gets sick.  Along with figuring out how to be a friend to his new neighbor Nora, all his work with Winslow helps Louie take his mind off how much he misses – and worries about – his big brother Gus since he joined the army.  And slowly, with a little help and a lot of love from friends, family, and neighbors, Winslow – and Louie – begin to grow and thrive.

I’ve been looking forward to this since I heard that Newbery Award-winning author Sharon Creech was working in a new book about a baby mini donkey (so cute!), and this sweet book is everything I wanted it to be.  Heartwarming, quiet, and full of love, make sure to add this little ray of sunshine and hope to your rainy day reading pile this fall.