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Monday Book Review — What’s New on My Nightstand: “Willa of the Wood,” by Robert Beatty; “Nothing Happened,” by Molly Booth; “Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen,” by Candace Fleming & Eric Rohmann

July 30th, 2018

“Willa of the Wood,” by Robert Beatty (Disney-Hyperion, 2018, 376 pages, $16.99) feels a bit like “The Borrowers,” which is cool. Set in 1900 in the Great Smoky Mountains, the book tells the story of Willa, a “night spirit” who borrows things from humans in order to ensure her clan’s survival. The novel is different, offbeat and has lots of adventures. Beatty is also the author of the Serafina fantasy series.

I’m enjoying reading “Nothing Happened,” (“what happens at camp stays at camp”) a twist on Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” (written by Molly Booth, Hyperion Books, 2018, 325 pages). Camp Dogberry, the year-round home of sisters Bea and Hana Leonoto and their parents, welcomes back counselors Claudia, Ben, John and the younguns who attend as campers. Book contains teen sexuality, some curse words, and dialogue that is funny, honest and real. Great summer read.

Another good read is “Strongheart, Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen,” written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmann. (Random House Children’s Books, 2018, ages 8-12, 256 pages, $17.99.) The book is based on the true story of Strongheart and Lady Jule, canine movie stars of the 1920s. These German Shepherds were something else (if you google you can find some old clips on YouTube.) Kids like dog books, and “true” books (“Did this really happen? In real life?”), so I’m thinking “Strongheart” will be a hit. The illustrations are graphic novel-style — tip of the hat to Brian Selznick (“Hugo Cabret,” “Wonder”).

Bon appetit, babies.

WM

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