Some Kind of Happiness

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Title: Some Kind of Happiness

Author: Claire Legrand

Summary: Finley can hardly believe that her parents are sending her to stay with her dad’s family – whom she has never even met – for the summer so they can work out their issues with each other. After all, it’s hard enough for her to recover from her crushing bouts of sadness which leave her unable to leave her bed sometimes. At least Finley has the Everwood: a fantastic world she has been crafting and refining her whole life about an enchanted forest filled with secrets and adventure. Carrying her notebook of stories with her, she has no idea what to expect. What she finds is a family brightly bursting with life – sweet-natured cousins, loving aunts and perfectly poised grandparents – and more: a house built on the edge of a wild forest that Finley knows in her heart is the true Everwood she’s been dreaming about. As the summer goes on, it is in this place that she discovers that it’s not just the characters in her stories hiding a devastating secret.

This gorgeous and dramatic book is a must-read for anyone who likes realistic fiction. Finley’s struggle with the reality of her parent’s difficult relationship, the new realization that big families come with expectations, and the unpredictable feelings that threaten to destroy her might break your heart, but you won’t want to put this down until you know how it all turns out. Lyrical and unrelenting, this is a book to share with friends and the adult readers in your life so you can all talk about it together. Finley and her family are unforgettable.

Who will like this book: People who like stories about big families, especially families with secrets. Readers who like books about storytelling and characters with wild imaginations. Aspiring writers. Fans of books featuring mysteries from the past.

If you like this, try this: See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian

The Kid Table

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Title: The Kid Table

Author: Andrea Seigel

Summary: If you have a big family, than you know exactly what this book is about: At holidays, parties and all other gatherings, while the grown-ups sit together discussing grown-up things, everyone under 18 is relegated to a separate (often shoddily constructed) ‘kid’ table. And the truest way to tell that you are  finally considered a grown-up in the eyes of your family is when you make the jump to the adult table.

Ingrid and her cousins are still at their folding table even as they enter their late teens. When her self-centered cousin Brianne brings her mysterious, magnetic new boyfriend Trevor to a family gathering, she gets bumped up to the adult table, leaving Ingrid and the others behind. When Trevor starts flirting with Ingrid, she knows it spells trouble but just can’t resist.

Ingrid is smart, calculating, incredibly self-aware and deeply caring, even if she doesn’t always know the best way to show it. She is clever and she knows it, but being smart doesn’t make doing the right thing any easier. If being responsible means denying your feelings, who would ever want to leave the kid table? Can Ingrid and her cousins come to terms with what it means to be a grown-up in an absurd world?

Who will like this book: Anyone who has ever been stuck at the kid table. Readers who have the sneaking suspicion that they might be smarter, or at least cleverer, than some of their adult relatives. And anyone who actually likes spending time with their extended family.

If you like this, try this: A much darker, more mature book about cousins left to their own devices, how i live now by Meg Rosoff.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian