Welcome to another edition of Must Read Monday! This feature is where I spotlight older, recent, or upcoming releases I am looking forward to. The lists will include all genres I like to read, everything from picture books to comics, children’s lit to adult fiction!
This week: two YA historical fiction titles coming out early 2016. First up we have Salt to the Sea, the latest from critically acclaimed author Ruta Sepetys. I have not yet read Between Shades of Gray (I know!!) but I was absolutely taken with everything about Out of the Easy– I found Sepetys’ writing and narrative style is sophisticated and assured, and her characters so compelling. I look very much forward to Salt of the Sea, and hopefully will also get a chance to read her Between Shades of Gray soon (at least well before the movie adaptation comes out!). Next up this week is the second young adult novel from author Sharon Biggs Waller. I was fortunate enough to receive an opportunity to read an ARC of Waller’s strong debut, A Mad, Wicked Folly just around the time it came out. I was impressed with the novel as a whole, fascinated by its subject matter, and was thrilled to discover another historical fiction writer to look out for. The Forbidden Orchid sounds like it could be another winner, and my hopes are high for it!
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Expected publication: February 2, 2016 by Philomel Books
In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety.
Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.
The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller
Expected publication: February 2, 2016 by Viking
Staid, responsible Elodie Buchanan is the eldest of ten sisters living in a small English market town in 1861. The girls’ father is a plant hunter, usually off adventuring through the jungles of China.
Then disaster strikes: Mr. Buchanan fails to collect an extremely rare and valuable orchid, meaning that he will be thrown into debtors’ prison and the girls will be sent to the orphanage or the poorhouse. Elodie’s father has one last chance to return to China, find the orchid, and save the family—and this time, thanks to an unforeseen twist of fate, Elodie is going with him. Elodie has never before left her village, but what starts as fear turns to wonder as she adapts to seafaring life aboard the tea clipper The Osprey, and later to the new sights, dangers, and romance of China.
But even if she can find the orchid, how can she find herself now that staid, responsible Elodie has seen how much the world has to offer?