Tim Whyman’s house was full of life: children, cats, chickens and a dog. Then
came the mini-pigs, adorable and tiny. Hilarious adventures unfold as Tim
struggles to balance work from home with a growing brood. I laughed out loud at
the pigs’ antics and the author’s solutions and couldn’t wait to turn the page.
This is the book that taught me to love history, in all its fascinating study. We grow up, learning stories that don’t seem to have anything to do with us. But the history we learn is just that: stories. The “facts” are twisted, rewritten, or simply left out to create a narrative that has everything to do with how we perceive our world and ourselves. Eye-opening.
I know that book groups might be hesitant to read a book that falls into the Young Adult genre, but truly I think any story that can depict childhood and coming of age in a way that can immerse both young and adult readers, is a story that is well worth discussion. In When Things Come Back 17 year-old Cullen narrates what happens when his small town suddenly becomes a hotspot after what was thought to be extinct woodpecker is spotted. Cullen is both impressed and mortified by his town's transformation—suddenly his peers are sporting woodpecker inspired haircuts and bird-watching becomes an ideal date. But then when his 15-year-old brother goes missing amidst the chaos, Cullen’s surprise turns to something more vigilant and shadowed. The gift of this YA novel (which was the winner of the coveted Michael Printz award) is the way that regret, surprise, and humor are all interweaved. Layered and remarkably unique, this novel calls to mind how ordinary and extraordinary are only a coin’s throw apart.