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Alison has been at Eagle Harbor Books since 2000. She has recently handed over management of the Children and Young Adult sections in the store, to focus full time on our many delightful Gift products. In her spare time, Alison likes to read, work on jigsaw puzzles, bake with her daughters - and play in the dirt, sometimes with her grandsons.
Listed as a YA title, like The Book Thief, this novel will appeal to adult readers as well. A tumultuous and heart wrenching story of five brothers left to live their lives without parental supervision. Secrets, a death and a romance, horse racing and a bridge combine to twist your heart. A testament to the power of love. Rodie. There are five Dunbar brothers in this epic family saga of grief, loss and reconciliation, and Clay is the best of them. Clay is the bridge.
What a weird and wonderful book! Elfin historian Brangwain Spurge is sent (by catapult) to the seemingly wicked goblin court of Ghohg the Evil One to deliver a gift as a peace offering. His host, the goblin archivist Werfel, is happy and excited to show Brandon all the wonderful things his kingdom has to offer. But things don't go well for anyone and they are both caught up in an international crisis that could mean war. Told both with incredible illustrations by Eugene Yelchin and the narrative of Anderson, this is my favorite kind of middle grade book - one that can be read as an amazing adventure but also with so many more elements such as politics, prejudice and who gets to write history. Ages 10+
What an adventure! Strycker set out a journey in 2015 with an incredible goal-to see almost half the bird species of the world in one year. His methods were even more amazing. Apart from two organized birding tours, he contacted local birders in every area he planned to visit and arranged to go birding with them. All were eager to share their knowledge, their time and sometimes their floors to sleep on to be a part of this record breaking experience. Not only did Noah see more birds than he could hope for, he made friends around the world and experienced many incredible places. He shares all his adventures with humor, joy, and a sense of discovery. You may want to grab your binoculars and go off on an adventure of your own, even if it is only in your back yard.
This is my favorite middle grade book of 2017! Four very different kids survive a plane crash in the Amazon jungle, and readers will be fascinated by how they build a raft, harvest honey like monkeys, taste spiders, and adopt an orphan sloth. As they struggle, they learn a new respect for the natural world and wild, untamed places. Ages 8-12.
Where the Crawdads Sing is a murder mystery, a coming of age story and a story of survival, with my latest favorite fictional character—Kya—who is resilient, courageous, smart and above all respectful of the magical marsh and all the creatures who live there with her
A quiet boy, a lonely ghost and two other outcasts form a group and a bond in this lovely story about bullying and the power of friendship and connection. Ages 10-13.
Terrific! Fantastic! This prequel to His Dark Materials Trilogy is every bit as good as the original! Ages 13 to 17.
In this old-fashioned mystery set in a creaky old house at the top of a steep hill, Milo and his family are settling in for a quiet Christmas when unexpected guests start arriving at their smuggler’s inn. Milo solves the puzzle with the help of his new friend, Meddy, and her role-playing game which lets him use detective skills he didn’t even know he had. Perfect for fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society! Ages 10-13.
Here is the Robin Hood and Maid Marian story as you have never heard it before, with amazing writing that takes you to the shadowy woods and the dark castle where sinister magic happens! Ages 14 & up.
A suicide, a murder or two, and a cast of complicated characters in a very dysfunctional family—all add up to another satisfying, multi-layered mystery solved by Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers!
Eleven-year-old Ellie has never felt like she fit in with her theater family, who are always telling her to find her passion. Who knew that the arrival of a strange boy—who looks a lot like her grandfather, a scientist obsessed with finding eternal youth—would open up a world of science and all its wonders, questions and possibilities? I loved this charming, funny and quirky book! Ages 8-12.
What do you do when you are the editor of a famous food magazine and the magazine is suddenly defunct, leaving you out of a job? You cook, of course! This glorious cookbook chronicles the year Ruth Reichl took to decide what she wanted to do next, with cooking as her salvation and inspiration. The recipes range from simple to complex, celebrating the seasons and all the bounty of the local farmer’s market.
There is a certain charm in cookbooks that are part memoir, part recipe. They provide a perfect world—we can read, and then cook! Weir’s book ranges from recipes learned from her grandparents to her time at cooking school in France and her years working at Chez Panisse. Then there are her true gypsy years, traveling and teaching classes in Australia, France and beyond. The recipes thus have a wide geographical span, from a farm in Massachusetts all the way to Marrakech and back to Copita, the Sausalito restaurant Weir opened in 2012.
“I don’t have to tell you I love you. I fed you pancakes.” As soon as I read that quote from the author’s grandmother on one of the first pages of this book, I knew I was in for a treat. Flinn, author of another of my favorites, The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry, has written a warm, wonderful and funny memoir about growing up in the Midwest, surrounded by loving family and good food. And there are recipes at the end of each chapter and at the end of the book, including those love-filled pancakes from Grandma Inez. What a treat! ~ Alison
Do you know Lowly Worm? He was one of my favorite characters from the Richard Scarry books I read to my kids when they were little… and he’s back! The new book was found unfinished after Mr. Scarry’s death and was completed by his son, Huck. The page entitled “This Is Me” is my favorite because it shows his shirt and trouser, which are just tubes—he is a worm, after all. But what a funny, wonderful worm! Ages 3-7.
When Oliver’s explorer parents go missing, he sets sail on a rescue mission with some new and unexpected family friends: a grumpy albatross, a nearsighted mermaid… even a living island! But the search on the high seas is more dangerous and exciting than Oliver could have imagined. Can he and the crew escape from an army of sea monkeys, defeat a wicked sea captain, and more, in time to save Mom and Dad? Ages 7-10.
At first I was a little skeptical at first to read this book. I don't usually read about pirates, but I do love to read about food and this turned out to be a winner! Full of action and romance and unusual food!
I am not a vegetarian, but there are many recipes that intrigue me in this elegant new cookbook by Mollie Katzen of Moosewood fame. The savory Mushroom Bread Pudding, Gazpacho Salad, or anything from the chapter titled “Cozy Mashes” all sound delicious. The recipes are all vegetarian and many are vegan, so there will be something for everyone! ~ Alison
Lee Child delivers again in his 17th thriller starring Jack Reacher, the mysterious man with no home. Reacher is hitchhiking (again) and is picked up by two men who might turn out to be murderers or perhaps something else entirely. The twists and turns of the plot, from the slow but steady build up to the slam bang-bang finish make this a true thriller! ~ Alison
I love making jam and pickled food. My husband thinks I am a little obsessed, but I get such joy from my shelves of full jars. These recipes are presented in wonderful detail, with photos and explanations. I’m going to try bacon jam because it sounds so interesting, and caramelized onion jam because it sounds so delicious, and homemade Sriracha because it would be the perfect holiday gift for my sons-in-law. I already have eight jam and preserving cookbooks, so the question is, do I need another? The answer is yes, if it’s this one! ~ Alison
There is nothing more satisfying for me than a shelf full of homemade jam, ready to provide the wonderful taste of summer in the cold, dark winter. And even if you are a canning novice, McClellan’s clear instructions for small batches of jam and pickles will bring you closer to that same feeling of satisfaction. These are not the usual jam recipes—some of our favorites include Mixed Stone Fruit Jam and Spiced Plum Jam. But there are so many more I want to try, I might need another shelf! ~ Alison
This is a remarkable story about a man who escapes Nazi-occupied Holland and the horse he saves from the slaughterhouse. Together they beat the odds and rise to the top of the show jumping world. An inspiring book for any horse, animal or people lover. ~ Alison
Ever since I saw the movie Julie and Julia, I have been fascinated by everything about Julia Child, even hosting some “Julia” dinners where we cook from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I am looking forward to some quiet time when I can sit down with a cup of tea and read about the development of both that cookbook and the friendship between Julia and DeVoto in their personal letters. It will be a real treat! ~ Alison
This novel involves three women in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962 during the civil rights movement. The story has broad appeal—my 82-year old mom, my 22-year old daughter and I all read it and loved it for the wonderful plot and characters that grab you and don’t let go! ~ Alison
This book is hard to read in parts because of the violence to women, but the stories of hope and perseverance of these amazing people overshadow that. Most inspiring to me are the stories of individual women—one, for example, who built a hospital in a country in Africa that doesn’t officially exist, and another, in India, who let her past inspire her to work for rehabilitation and counseling for young girls held captive in brothels. The authors provide a lot of information that could be dry and boring, but because of the excellent writing, the stories and facts blend together to make an inspirational work. I am giving this book to my mom, my sisters and my daughters because it is so important and compelling. ~ Alison
The central character in this novel is a woman who runs a cake business in Rwanda and gives advice to a wide variety of customers. But the book is about so much more than that. It is a story about her courage to overcome her past and to help others to do the same, and about the healing power of food. ~ Alison
I love reading books about cooking-not cookbooks, but books about people learning how to cook, experimenting with cooking, and talking about food. Flinn tells her tale of attending the famous Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris with humor and charm, sharing her frustrations and eventual triumphs over the cooking, the chefs and the French language. The culmination is her boning of a 20 lb. turkey for a Thanksgiving celebration because it wouldn't fit into the small European oven. I don't want to know how to bone a turkey but I love reading about it! ~ Alison
The warm and witty writing in this book put me right there in France with the author-planning the menu for Christmas dinner, searching for the perfect oysters, and sharing in his glee at finding just the right wine in the most surprising place. This is a wonderful celebration of the love of food, family and Christmas!
Francis is back with one of my favorite characters, Sid Halley, who deals with race fixing, internet betting, and . . . murder.