By Kelly Easton
“Hiroshima Dreams” begins in the spring of 1996, when Lin is 5 years old. Her grandmother, whom she calls Obaasan, is moving from Japan to live with Lin’s family.
Obaasan and Lin share a special gift of second sight. Obaasan becomes Lin’s constant companion and mentor and teaches her how to use the ability through meditation on riddle-like stories.
As Lin grows up, her second sight allows her to help the police save a missing boy, warn her sister about a boy who means her harm and see glimpses of Obaasan’s past and experiences at the bombing of Hiroshima.
Easton does a wonderful job writing this book. It is gentle and touching as it kindly and truthfully reveals Lin’s path to adulthood and Obaasan’s experiences at the end of World War II.
While Lin and Obaasan’s abilities are important to the plot of the story, this book is more about Lin growing up and her relationship with her grandmother than about her gift. Lin begins the book as a painfully shy child and through her relationship with Obaasan gains the confidence to make friends and come out of her shell.
This is a good read for teens and adults looking for a heartwarming story filled with glimpses of Japanese culture and intergenerational relationships.
The Road of the Dead
By Kevin Brooks
Set in Britain, “The Road of the Dead” is the story of Reuben (Rube) and his brother Cole on a journey to solve the mystery of their sister’s murder.
Rube doesn’t necessarily have second sight, but he has the ability to cast out and experience the feelings and innermost thoughts of those who are close to him. When his sister Rachel is murdered, he is right there with her — seeing what she sees and feeling what she feels — even though his body is miles away.
The police have leads that they are pursuing, but Cole isn’t satisfied with their efforts, so he decides to investigate for himself. Rube, though not invited, goes with Cole at their mother’s request. Together, Rube and Cole travel to a small town full of secrets, fear and violence.
To solve the mystery of Rachel’s murder, they must fight for every piece of the puzzle and endure brutal treatment by almost everyone they encounter.
The creepy factor of “The Road of the Dead” and Brooks’ simple writing is pretty high. The story is told from Rube’s perspective, which allows readers access to the true feelings and motivations of the other characters.
As with many books like “The Road of the Dead,” for every answer Rube and Cole find, they uncover more questions. The climax of the book begins pretty early (about two-thirds of the way through) and Brooks has a difficult time sustaining the pace, but the solution to the mystery of Rachel’s death and the development of Rube and Cole’s characters along the way are worth the wait.
This is a book for teens and adults looking for a thrilling mystery who don’t mind vivid descriptions of violence.
The Missing Girl
By Norma Fox Mazer
The Herberts have five daughters — Beauty, Mim, Stevie, Fancy and Autumn — who are being quietly stalked by a man who crosses their path every morning on their way to school.
The girls have taken no real notice of the man because he is, in all ways, unremarkable. But he watches their every move, notices their every detail, and agonizes over which one is his favorite.
The Herbert family is in crisis. The girls’ parents have little money and are fast approaching desperation, so they decide to “lend out” Stevie to a distant aunt in order to save money. On the day Stevie is supposed to leave for the aunt’s house, Autumn goes for a walk and doesn’t come back.
Mazer uses the characters’ voices to tell this family’s story, which makes it all the more real and frightening for readers. We know from the very first chapter that the man stalking the Herbert girls is evil and, as the book progresses, we come to know and to love each of the girls.
Autumn’s capture and her “stay” at the man’s house are truly frightening in their realistic portrayal. This book is not for the faint of heart, but is appropriate for teens and adults interested in a frightening tale that is all too real. Though the pace builds slowly, this is not a book that is put down easily.
Cari Boatright is the teen librarian at Joplin Public Library.
- Globe Life
Carthage Humane Society featured in YouTube series with Josh Duhamel
One thousand dogs at one time cared for by the Carthage Humane Society now have "forever homes" after their adoption through shelters in and around Minneapolis.
Ryan Richardson: Pet urine becomes indoor problem during winter
My dog and I are sick of winter, and she has begun a rebellion because of it. She has fought me when we go outside because of the cold and snow.
Frankie Meyer: Best starting point for family research is your life, not web
New to family history research? Don't pay a fee to use genealogy websites. Although they may be helpful later in your research, they are not helpful when you begin.
To start your family history, you must start with yourself.
Danya Walker: Ripley biography reveals cartooning history
Robert Ripley is best known for "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" cartoon sketches, books and museums, but I was interested in learning more about the man behind the drawings.
Lisa Brown: 'Blackfish' reveals darker side of marine attractions
It is a film that breaks hearts and angers people. It also changes the way people think -- something a good documentary should be able to do.
Frankie Meyer: Day trips give fresh perspective on old history
Family genealogies are most appreciated by loved ones who are interested in local and national history, too. When a person can imagine ancestors living during specific eras of history, the people come alive.
Ryan Richardson: Pets can pose problems for computers
When I started college back in the 1999, I was a computer science major. I had a promising job at a local cable service, working tech support and system-side support for our servers. I've always been the go-to guy when a computer breaks down with my friends and family.
Moving musical: Students involved with high school's last play proud to present it at MSSU
Mollie Sanders fell in love with "The Drowsy Chaperone" when she was in middle school.
The musical's wit and heart quickly snared Sanders' attention.
Jeana Gockley: Characters stand out in Sloan's 'Counting by 7s'
Several years ago, I had the honor of hearing Nancy Pearl speak at a library conference. She is a celebrity in the world of libraries.
Frankie Meyer: Experts imagine what future libraries will look like
What will libraries of the future be like? That is a question facing libraries around the nation.
- More Globe Life Headlines
- Carthage Humane Society featured in YouTube series with Josh Duhamel