Pacific Northwest Book Review

"The Ocean in My Ears"

By Meagan Macvie

     A teenager yearns to escape her mundane life and sleepy hometown in Alaska for the excitement that surely awaits her in a bigger city or a college town in the lower forty-eight states in this debut young-adult novel by Pacific Northwest author Meagan Macvie.

     Meri Miller feels trapped by the same people and their predictable routines she has known her whole life, and she is growing tired of her own predictable schedule of eating junk food with her best friend at the 7-Eleven, soggy fries and ice cream at the Dairy Queen or sitting through another church sermon. As she begins her senior year of high school, she begins trying new things like going to parties, making out with older boys and dip-netting for salmon.

     Graduation can’t come soon enough for a teen who’s ready to be an adult, but the harder Meri tries to plan her escape from the place she’s known her whole life, the troubles of adulthood, family and responsibility start to force their way into her life and threaten to derail her plans.

 

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"Monster ABC"

By Derek Sullivan and Kyle Sullivan

     Kids ask a lot of questions. Sooner or later they will hear about monsters and will want to know more. Brothers Derek and Kyle Sullivan created the children's book Monster ABC for this purpose.

     While some adults tell scary stories to children in order to scare them into being good, the Sullivans seek to introduce monsters to young readers as silly and fun, not something to be afraid of.

     Most of the 26 international creatures in Monster ABC will be well known to parents and grandparents reading to their favorite five-year-old, but they have probably never seen them portrayed so playfully and with cartoonish innocence.

 

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"Lives of the Spirits"

By John Pappas

      Before the famous 1804 expedition by Lewis and Clark, before the trading posts and maps and roads divided the Pacific Northwest and white men renamed everything, indigenous people lived off the land, fished the rivers and traded with neighboring tribes. Spirits spoke to people in dreams and guided their actions.

      All this was about to change as white men from Canada, the eastern U.S. and Europe arrived in cloud ships, bringing with them foreign ideas, mysterious diseases and advanced weaponry.

      In author John Pappas’ fourth book “Lives of the Spirits,” the sequel to his earlier novel “When Wolf Comes,” a young white man from Boston named Adian teams up with his Indian wife Neveah, an escaped Virginian slave named Josiah and several Indian translators from different tribes to canoe 200 miles up the Columbia River on a mission of trade and exploration.

 

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