8 year old Laurie

Middle-grade magic

Two slim books you can enjoy in a single sitting. The first is a family story with a wee bit of magic. The second is like Kafka for kids. Heartbreaking, too. One story is filled with hope, the other not so much.

8 year old Laurie

From my nightstand

Here are my latest reads, all highly recommended:

Stick by Andrew Smith

If you've read The Marbury Lens you know just how intense Andrew Smith can be. He never lets you off the hook, though he's crafted a surprisingly sweet ending for a gritty story of two brothers who've grown up amidst secrets and abuse.

Destroy All Cars by Blake Nelson

Spot on funny. Nelson's book is built around a teenaged boy's rants against consumerism (written for his AP English class) and recollections of an on-and-off-again romance with one of his classmates, including his first sexual experience. Delightful.

Sport by Mick Cochrane

Adult novel/memoir about a boy growing up in the 1960s with an alcoholic father and a mother struggling with Multiple Sclerosis. Lots of baseball references and beautiful, clear writing.

Moon Pie By Simon Mason

A middle-grade novel that deals with a father's struggle with alcoholism. Sounds like a downer, doesn't it? But this book is written with equal parts wit and pathos.

8 year old Laurie

Where I've been


Just got back from my first-ever trip to the southwest for my son's hockey tournament in Phoenix. While I didn't hug a cactus, I did fall in love with the Sonoran desert.