Mailbox Monday is hosted each week by Marcia at The Printed Page. It gives bloggers a chance to share with each other the books that they got in the mail the previous week. I love to see what others receive and to share what I received. Here's what came into my house.
Voices in the Dark by Catharine Banner, from Random House
Anselm Andros has clearly defined roles in his family and they are roles he plays very well—he is confidante to his mother, Maria. He is the confessor to his stepfather, Leo, a man haunted by the secrets of his past. And Anselm is also the patient, caring brother to his precocious sister, Jasmine. When the political landscape of Malonia starts to shift, this unassuming family begins to unravel. Even though they’ve spent the past fifteen years leading a quiet life, Maria and Leo’s actions are forever linked to the turbulent history of Malonia and its parallel world, modern-day England. With so much uncertainty at home and in his world, it is more important than ever for Anselm to put all the pieces of the past together. He must listen to his own voice and acknowledge his fears and desires—whatever the cost.
The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade, from Random House
A gripping new series combines Steampunk, spying, and a fantastic Victorian London.
The mysterious Mr. Socrates rescues Modo, a child in a traveling freak show. Modo is a hunchback with an amazing ability to transform his appearance, and Mr. Socrates raises him in isolation as an agent for the Permanent Association, a spy agency behind Brittania’s efforts to rule the empire. At 14, Modo is left on the streets of London to fend for himself. When he encounters Octavia Milkweed, another Association agent, the two uncover a plot by the Clockword Guild behind the murders of important men. Furthermore, a mad scientist is turning orphan children into automatons to further the goals of the Guild. Modo and Octavia journey deep into the tunnels under London and discover a terrifying plot against the British government. It’s up to them to save their country.
The Long Wait for Tomorrow by Joaquin Dorfman, from Random House
Joaquin Dorfman is back with another smart novel that pushes the envelope of literary fiction, examining identity, high school roles, and even the high-blown concept of destiny through a cool science-fiction lens. What if, in a Freaky Friday moment, a wise and humble 40-year-old man woke one morning to find himself transported back in time, into his body more than 20 years before, when he was the popular, entitled, and arrogant quarterback of the school football team? Could the man do anything to stop a tragedy initiated by the cruel actions of the boy, or is fate too strong a force? It’s the small-town football worship of Friday Night Lights with a dark and unsettling Donnie Darko twist.
The Pricker Boy by Reade Scott Whinnem, from Random House
He was human once, or so they say. The son of a fur trapper, he was taunted by his peers and tricked into one of his own father’s traps. By the time anybody found it, the trap’s vicious teeth were empty, pried open and overgrown. It was said the brambles themselves had reached out and taken pity on that boy; that his skin had hardened to bark as thorns grew over every inch of his body.
Maybe it’s true and maybe it isn’t. But anyone who knows anything stays out of the woods beyond the Widow’s Stone.
That used to be enough. But this is the summer everything changes, as Stucks Cumberland and his friends find a mysterious package containing mementos of their childhood: baseball cards, a worn paperback, a locket. Offerings left behind in the woods years ago, meant to keep the Pricker Boy at bay. Offerings that have been rejected.
Black Beauty retold by Sharon Lerner, from Random House
Anna Sewell's classic Black Beauty comes vividly to life in this 40-page picture-book adaptation by Sharon Lerner. Follow the famous stallion as he meets many masters, from Squire Gordon, whose wife Black Beauty saves nearly at the cost of his own life; to the cruel Nicholas Skinner, who drives horses to death; and finally to a reunion with Joe, the kind groom he knew as a colt. Caldecott Award winner Susan Jeffers illustrates this beloved tale with lush watercolor drawings guaranteed to delight and enchant children.
Baby Owl's Rescue by Jennifer Keats Curtis, from Sylvan Dell