This fascinating social history tracks the institution, or what is now known as an "institution", of marriage through all its practical, political, religious, and romantic iterations and uses. There are surprising arrangements and partnerships between families, clans, or individual people at just about every point in history from pre-history to today. Like most social histories, a major takeaway that the "good old days" never existed, and that the soaring divorce rates are directly tied to the very new idea that marriage is based on romantic love, intimacy, and personal fulfillment.
Posts by Beth M
One of the awards announced Monday in Seattle is the William C Morris YA Debut Award. This is a lesser known award (compared to the big hitters like Newbery and Cadlecott), but it's the one I look most forward to. They release a list of finalists in December, so right there you have a handful of brand new YA authors you know you should keep an eye on. And the choices are always thoughtful, exciting, and fresh.
This year's Newbery Medal went to Merci Suarez Changes Gears, a snappy and emotional novel about a middle school, family, and how little life changes add up fast. Sixth grade is not off to a great start for Merci-- things she's always loved to do are no long "cool", friendships seem to suddenly come with all these unwritten rules, and her beloved grandfather is acting more and more confused.
If there is one thing the collective body of literature about frontier life has told us, it's that life on the prairie was rough stuff. In Caroline Starr Rose's riveting novel in verse, a lone little girl goes up against the Kansas grasslands, where being alone means being ALONE, and winter can come as early as it wants.
Fans of Sally Thorne's debut novel, The Hating Game, have been RABIDLY waiting for her second book for what feels like decades, but was actually three years. Her hilarious, galloping writing never lets the reader rest a beat between moments of chemistry-- it has a wonderful dizzying effect. Almost everyone I know has read The Hating Game at my insistence, and many of them simply and reverently refer to it as The Book.
This fictionalized biography of Artemisia Gentileschi is as beautiful, powerful, and haunting as the paintings its subject produced. Gentileschi is best known as a celebrated Italian Baroque painter, and for insisting on trying her rapist in a court of law-- two things that were near unheard of for women of her time.
Smash YA hit The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas took home a handful of awards at American Library Association Youth Media Awards, a few months after winning the Boston Globe Horn Book Award. The hype is real, you guys, it's THAT GOOD.
This year's Newbery Award for the most distinguished contribution to children's literature goes to Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly. Told from the shifting points of view of four kids, Hello, Universe is both an exciting and thoughtful, quiet and suspenseful. It's the story of a quiet kid that gets trapped in a well, and the three seemingly disparate kids that set out to find him. Infused with Filipino folklore, there is a lot to love in this story about courage, friendship, and childhood.