The Town That Drowned

I received Riel Nason’s The Town That Drowned as a submission for the YABA. It starts off a bit odd and I wasn’t sure what to expect but in the end I loved it. It’s Canadian historical fiction with a tiny touch of the paranormal.

“Set in the 1960s, The Town That Drowned deftly evokes the awkwardness of childhood, the thrill of first love, and the importance of having a place, any place, to call home”.

The struggles of the town as a whole are beautifully reflected in Ruby’s story. The heart of the novel is Ruby’s relationship with her little brother, who appears to be in the autistic spectrum. His matter of fact way of seeing things and blunt speech frames the crisis in an interesting light, and her protectiveness of him is well written. Every one in the town is exposed as the bullies, hoarders or whatever they are in the face of adversity. It was a hard book to put down, even among the bustle of the holiday season.

I felt like Ruby had a personality that suited her family and small town life.

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The Yo-Yo Prophet

I received the Yo-Yo Prophet by Karen Krossing as a submission for the YABA.

“Small, shy Calvin becomes the Yo-Yo Prophet when his street tricks get the attention of a bully named Rozelle.”

I was never big on yo-yos but I really enjoyed this novel. Calvin is a young man who is thrust into a lot of responsibility and I think he handled it really well. His fears about bullying and his difficulty with being abandoned by his father after his mother dies are realistic and heartbreaking. This is a good book for middle school boys or young teens. I think reading the descriptions of Calvin’s yo-yo performances will make kids want to dust off their old yo-yos and learn the tricks. Honestly I think the reason the book worked for me is it’s about an underdog geek who succeeds. I have a weakness for underdogs.