I don’t know about you, but I have been having a hard time reading “adult” books recently. What would usually take me a couple of days, sometimes takes a fair bit longer. I get about 100 pages in and realize I just don’t care. That actually did happen in Local Girl Missing, but I pushed through and then was happy I did because I realized I did care what happened to Sophie, who went missing 20 years earlier and whose remains have been found near the pier where it is assumed she fell through.

Sophie’s best friend Frankie gets a call from Daniel, Sophie’s brother, telling her about the remains and asking her to return from London to their hometown to help him figure out what happened that night.

“Haunted by the familiar faces that filled her youth and threatening notes that allude to past secrets only Sophie would have known, Frankie begins to think she sees a woman on the pier late a night, a woman who looks just like Sophie. Could she be seeing her friend’s ghost? Does someone else know what happened all those many years ago?”

Author Clair Douglas did a great job of weaving in details and keeping you guessing right until the end. I like how it went back and forth from the present seen through Frankie’s eyes and the past, reading Sophie’s journal. I never did get it and it was worth waiting to the end to see what happened.

Lupe Wong Won’t Dance

So much happened in Donna Barba Higuera‘s Lupe Wong Won’t Dance. Lupe is an amazing baseball player, who is going to be the first female pitcher in the major leagues. She has worked hard all her life and championed causes important to her like expanding race bubbles on school tests and “complaining to the BBC about the length between Doctor Who seasons.” Lupe just needs to get As in all her subjects in order to meet her favourite baseball pitcher. The problem is her A is being blocked by PE – because this session’s class doesn’t have anything to do with balls, but rather a square dancing, and Lupe Wong Won’t Dance.

In addition to Lupe trying hard to get out of square dancing, there was issues of bullying, racism and being a good friend.

I wasn’t a fan of the book and struggled to finish reading it. My son, on the other hand, really liked it so we read this one to the end. I think the reason I struggled was because while Lupe makes some great points and in the end does the correct thing, I really didn’t like her character. I also don’t like baseball, or at least not enough I want to read so much about it.

Lupe Wong Won’t Dance is from Raincoast Books and retails for $24.99.

Monster and Boy

Monster and Boy is an early chapter book that begins with a mother telling her son that there are no such things as monsters. This makes the monster under the boy’s bed quite sad. So the monster decides to show himself to the boy, who is so startled he opens his mouth to scream. The monster panics and swallows the boy whole.

And the adventures begin.

This would be a fun book to read to kids who want to move beyond picture books. It was funny and I liked that the narrator, in this case author Hannah Barnaby, seemed to be talking right to the reader. There are some fun moments including when the boy, who gets out of the monster’s stomach, but is now smaller than his little sister, falls into the toilet. The little sister is pretty fun, too.

The book has pictures, illustrated by Anoosha Syed, on every page.

Monster and Boy is from Raincoast Books and retails for $18.99.

A copy of these books were provided by Raincoast Books
for an honest review. The opinions are my own.