Oh, WINTER. We may only have been having the cold then kind of warm then cold again and almost snowing? but actually just RAINING FOREVER kind of winter so far, but in the glorious world of fiction, winter has real snow, new friends, book shops, birdwatching, and decades-old mysteries. In Heather Vogel Frederick's new book Absolutely Truly, Truly is struggling with some big changes. Her dad has changed since he lost an arm in Afghanistan, and her family has just packed up and moved from Texas to extremely tiny Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire. But with a bookstore to save from going under, a mystery that starts with a first edition of Charlotte's Web, and a couple of classmates who would love to help her solve it, Truly might just be okay.
When you're done reading about Truly, check out...
Five Great Intermediate Mysteries
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet -- Art theft, two clever kids, and an air of the paranormal.
The Westing Game (A Puzzle Mystery) by Ellen Raskin -- A dead millionaire leaves behind a will that names the 16 residents of Sunset Towers Apartments his heirs...but one of them is the murderer, and only one will walk away with the money. (This one is a Newbery Medal winning classic, and one of my all-time favorites.)
All The Wrong Questions series by Lemony Snicket-- So far there are three books in this quirky sleuth series by the author of A Series of Unfortunate Events. A little bit of comedy, a little bit of noir.
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage -- Moses LeBeau may have washed ashore in a hurricane, but the family that found her is the family that matters most. But an unsolved murder puts that at risk, and Moses will have to solve that murder if she's going to protect the ones she loves...
So B. It by Sarah Weeks -- Heidi's mentally disabled mother only speaks a handful of words, but one of them might hold a world of meaning: soof. Heidi is off across the country in search of the meaning of this one word--the what or the who--which might explain how her unusual, wonderful family came to be.
Five More if You Like Absolutely Truly
Close to Famous by Joan Bauer -- Foster and her mother may have trouble in their past, but they're determined to make it work in their new town. With Foster's baking and her mother's beautiful voice, they soon find a place. The question is, will they be ready when the past shows up to test them?
The Mother-Daughter Book Club series by Heather Vogel Frederick -- For more of Heather Frederick, more about family, more about books, and more about smart, curious girl protagonists.
Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson -- Ginny's fly-by-night aunt dies before Ginny even knows she's sick. But before she can even grieve, Ginny gets her inheritance: a little blue envelope that will start her on a journey across Europe, to find adventure, love, and strength in herself.
Savvy by Ingrid Law -- Everyone in Mibs's family has a savvy--a sort of magic power. Mibs's power is just waking up...and her father is in the hospital after a car crash. She needs to get to him, because she knows her power can save his life...but it's a long way, she can't drive, and the new preacher in town might be a little too interested in what her family is up to.
A Long Way From Chicago and A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck -- For a dash of historical fiction, take a couple of city kids from the 1930s and throw them into the small-town countryside to stay with their grandmother for deliciously old-fashioned, funny adventures.
And that's what I suggest for you this fortnight. Happy reading!