Everybody Sees the Ants by King, A.S.
Book list *Starred Review* Fifteen-year-old Lucky Linderman doesn't feel lucky. After creating an ill-conceived school survey on suicide, he is besieged by well-meaning but ineffective adults who want to make sure he's okay. But though he is honest about how not okay Nader McMillion's bullying is, no one intervenes, not even his parents, who are too caught up with their own inadequacies. Better to pretend everything's fine, even when Nader...More
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
Book list Looks like a bummer of a summer for 11-year-old Jack (with a same-name protagonist, it's tempting to assume that at least some of this novel comes from the author's life). After discharging his father's WWII-souvenir Japanese rifle and cutting down his mom's fledgling cornfield, he gets grounded for the rest of his life or the rest of the summer of 1962, whichever comes first. Jack gets brief reprieves to help an old neighbor wri...More
The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom
Publishers Weekly Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven) has a nose for "thin places": places where the boundary between secular and sacred is porous, and ultimate meaning is easier to encounter. In his new novel, Coldwater, Mich., is this thin place, a town where people who have lost loved ones begin receiving phone calls from the dead in heaven. Sully Harding's wife died while he was in prison, and their young son, Jules, hopes h...More