Bev has spent much of her adult life promoting reading and literacy. From Africa to Cable she has shared that passion. Her favorites seem to change with the season. Here are some of her current recommendations.
A young girl eagerly explores her grandma's north woods through the seasons in this intergenerational gem. Grandma isn't glamorous like many grandmas are, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and there is much for the young girl to find beautiful in addition to her Grandma.
Their natural world is alive with sounds, sights, and smells whether they are skipping stones, quietly observing from a log, or making their way through the snowy woods. The scratchboard and watercolor illustrations perfectly extend the richness of the story. A subtle and satisfying way to teach the appreciation of our earth's treasures.
-- Bev's Picks, May 2016, Redbery Books, Cable, Wisconsin
Lucy thought she left her hardscrabble childhood behind when she finally made it to New York as a successful writer. That changes when her mother arrives to keep Lucy company during an extended hospital stay. Elizabeth Strout, moving expertly, weaves a story from this starting point of Lucy Barton's ordinary life into something special. Shared memories, mother and daughter relationships, and how to be human make this a memorable story.Elizabeth Strout is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Olive Kitteridge.
If you know that this book won three prestigious awards*, you don't need to be told this is one fine book. This is the story of every Grandma and child. Nana and CJ make a trip across town every Sunday after church. Along the way the reader is treated to a cityscape where Nana can find beauty everywhere as she encourages CJ to really see his world. As we take the bus trip with the pair, we can only wonder what will be at the Last Stop on Market Street. No spoilers here. -- Bev's Picks, February 2016, Redbery Books, Cable, Wisconsin*Newbery awarded for distinguished contribution to literature.*Caldecott Honor awarded for distinguished picture book.*Coretta Scott King Honor for distinguished book by African American author that honors Dr. King's legacy.
On the short list for the Newbery Medal, this is a brilliantly constructed novel that crosses several genres - part historical and a bit of fantasy that has a feel of contemporary coming of age. Three characters (Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California) each try to keep their families intact under difficult circumstances. The stories are told separately but tied together with one musical instrument and one surprise ending. This one is good for any preteen, boy or girl, on your list (ages 10 and up). We want to see this one on the short list for an award. -- Bev's Picks, February 2016, Redbery Books, Cable, Wisconsin
Just as Nancy Horan did in Loving Frank, this novel brings to life the story of another strong woman and a talented man; in this case Fanny van de Grift Osbourne and Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson. Fanny gives up her personal ambitions as an artist and writer to be Stevenson's caregiver but at what cost? This multi-faceted book is full of passion, love and loyalty but life can still take unexpected twists and turns. - wealth and poverty, privilege and survival, history and travel, success and disappointment, darkness and joy. Be forewarned, with new eyes you'll want to revisit the works of Robert Louis Stevenson. -- Bev Bauer, Redbery Books, Cable, Wisconsin (February 2014)
This young adult novel is aimed at middle school and high school aged students. Based on current events, Endangered is the story of 14 year old Sophie, who spends her summers in the Congo with her mother. In the Congo, Sophie and her mother live in a sanctuary for bonobos (pygmy chimpanzees). Sophie raises a young bonobo orphan and is tested when a rogue militia attacks the sanctuary. With her own mother gone, Sophie must save herself and a group of bonobos from violent onslaught.
Endangered has something for all readers: survival, adventure, animals, family, and heart and soul. But most importantly it honors the literary heritage of Sigurd Olson which is to capture the spirit of humanity's relationship with nature, promote the awareness, preservation, and appreciation of preserving the natural world for future generations. -- Bev Bauer, Redbery Books, Cable, Wisconsin
Customers have been raving about Gone Girl for the past few months, reviewers have been giving it stars, and now it is starting to show up on the best-of-the-year lists. I decided it was time to move this psychological thriller to the top of my stack. We hear the voice of both Amy and Nick, a married couple living the good life in New York. Suddenly life changes and unemployment, a dwindling trust fund, and a dying parent sends the two to Nick's hometown in Missouri. The move is a big adjustment for Amy and the marriage is in trouble. Then Amy is missing and everything points to Nick. While Nick seems a little clueless and irresponsible, he doesn't seem like a killer. Could he be an unreliable narrator? But if not Nick, then who? No spoilers here, but the book is full of twists and turns to the very end.
This book connects the dots between lives that have intertwined at this rustic fishing resort for thirty years. Secrets are revealed, courage tested, love unfolds, and lives are changed. A great read for sitting at the lake!