Patricia Hruby Powell

Patricia Hruby Powell

Patricia Hruby Powell | 'Boots on the Ground' gives varied perspectives on Vietnam

"Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam" (Viking 2018) by award-winning author Elizabeth Partridge is a great read for all adults — young and otherwise.

If you grew up in the '60s or '70s, you can follow the history and marvel at your junior high (elementary, high school or college) understanding of the events.

Patricia Hruby Powell | Graphic novel tells a heartbreaking story

"Hey, Kiddo" (Graphix/Scholastic 2018) is a graphic novel and a memoir by author/illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Its subtitle, "How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction," is a pithy description of this important, page-turning book.

Patricia Hruby Powell | A fabulous story about a lovable misfit

"The Truth As Told By Mason Buttle" (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen 2018) by Leslie Connor is the story of a lovable misfit. Not only is he a gigantic seventh-grader, but he is sweaty beyond belief. He changes T-shirts throughout the day and mops up his forehead with paper towel and bandanas. What's worse, his best friend, Benny, died mysteriously.

Patricia Hruby Powell | 'Poet X' offers an inspiring story

Xiomara’s strict and ultra Catholic mother fears for her daughter’s virtue. Xiomara seems to be doing pretty well taking care of herself. Males of all ages have been muttering, whispering, grabbing at her for a few years now. Of course she’s angry. Anger serves her well.

Patricia Hruby Powell | A devastating story sprinkled with humor

Charlie Bobo is an oversized 12-year-old boy, the son of sharecroppers living in 1858 South Carolina in "The Journey of Little Charlie" (Scholastic 2018) by three-time Newbery Medalist Christopher Paul Curtis.

Because Curtis is African American and has always written black characters, I was taken aback when Little Charlie bartered with the sheriff.

Patricia Hruby Powell | Youths will love book written for adults

Sy Montgomery, author of "How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2018), shows that humans who love other species learn love, forgiveness and grief, among other necessary human traits.

The award-winning author writes for both children and adults and is a naturalist and adventurer. This is an adult book that young adults will love.

Patricia Hruby Powell | Spooky story will keep you turning pages

Felix and Lee Vickery, 13-year-old twin boys, live in "The House in Poplar Wood" (Chronicle Books 2018) by K. E. Ormsbee.

The book opens with, "The last day of October was creeping into Poplar House. It came through fissures in the gables and mite-sized holes in the floorboards, bringing with it the scent of burnt oak branches."

Patricia Hruby Powell | Loyalty, love prevail in funny story

Ronney, 15, takes care of his little sister, Mina. He repairs the damaged wall, reseals the driveway and has the carpet changed because it's soaked in blood. Why?

His depressed father rarely gets out of his bedroom or even his pajamas, since he lost his job, and attempted suicide.

Patricia Hruby Powell | 'Hiding' is perfect for thoughtful readers

A lovesick teen wandering his neighborhood finds himself in his ex-girlfriend Laura's backyard. He slips into her basement and is trapped there overnight due to the alarm system, in "Hiding" (Clarion 2018) by Henry Turner.

The next morning, the family members leave but the maid arrives. And there's a large dog in the house. He's got time to think.

Patricia Hruby Powell | Book sparks discussion on military service

When Jake Liddell returns home wounded from a tour of duty in the Middle East, everyone says he's a hero. Jake says, "My body may have returned home, but my brain is still wired for war." He needs pills to sleep. His grandfather, a war hero called The General, is already urging Jake back to the battlefield. Jake awaits — and questions — the Silver Star he will be awarded.

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