Here's your Radar Recommendations links for Thursday:
A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy: Friends for Life and Life Without Friends both by Ellen Emerson White: "Even if mystery isn't your cup of tea, you'll enjoy the pop culture references, one liners, the humor. The real characters. Plus, a good plot as Susan risks everything for her best friend. As you can see from what I'm focusing on here, what I like about EEW is what I like about Meg Cabot and Sarah Dessen."
Shaken & Stirred: The Changeover and Catalogue of the Universe, both by Margaret Mahy: "Okay, I don't know about you, but I can't remember the last time I encountered a scene so strange at the beginning of a novel which wasn't strangeness for strangeness' sake. Catalogue's plot follows Angela as she confronts the man she has discovered is her father, and then realizes her true feelings for Tycho (and her mother). It is about the immensity of the universe and finding a place in it anyway."
Big A, little a: A interview with Helen Dunmore: "The coastline is wild and rocky, the sea is often stormy and unpredictable, especially in the part of Cornwall where the books are set. There are high cliffs, rocky coves, and wide sandy beaches for surfing. There are seals, dolphins, basking sharks and countless sea-birds. It is a coast where shipwrecks are common, and many lives are owed to the life-boat service."
Jen Robinson's Book Page: The Treasures of Weatherby by Zilpha Keatley Snyder: "The Treasures of Weatherby has all the ingredients that made the original books so appealing: a mysterious old house filled with interesting treasures (the tower and the library being reminiscent of The Velvet Room), a beguiling girl with secrets, and a hint of what may or may not be supernatural (Can Allegra fly? Does she really hear the voices of ghosts in the house?)."
Bildungsroman: Swollen by Melissa Lion: "Samantha Pallas is that middle girl. She is a part of her high school's cross-country team, which is the best team in school. but there are always girls in front of her, leading the pack, winning the races. She watches her classmates succeed in athletics, in school, in life, as she struggles to find her footing. She yearns to be seen, yet is content to get lost in the quiet. Often, she gets lost with a quiet boy, but even then, it is just for a short time, for an eyeblink, then never seen again, for the duration of a heartbeat, never long enough to have that heart fill with love."
Miss Erin: A discussion of Erec Rex: The Dragon's Eye and an interview with author Kaza Kingsley: "It's funny, my process seems more to involve eating really yummy organic chocolate bars (love the ones with ginger in them) and sipping good herbal tea, getting in a good frame of mind, maybe meditating first, and just letting go."
Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast: An interview with Nancy Crocker, author of Billie Standish Was Here: "I'd like to be Czar of Names; all U.S. birth certificates would have to be approved by me and I'd have the authority to tell people, "No, you are not going to name your baby that silly-assed crap, you are going to give them a proper name. Now.â€�
Fuse Number 8: The Noisy Counting Book by Susan Schade: "Sure, Schade could have had the frog say, "Ribbit". Ribbit is standard operating procedure for frogs in children's books. But "Ga-Dunk"... well, shoot. If I were going to rename this book I'd call it "Ga-Dunk" without question. After all, that's the thing the kids love the most. No matter how many tweets or chirps you've done, it's the satisfying "Ga-Dunk" at the end that gets 'em every time. No one can resist it. It's incredibly fun to say."
lectitans: Who Pppplugged Roger Rabbit? by Gary K. Wolf: "The book takes us back to old Hollywood, where director David O. Selznick is auditioning three actors for the role of Rhett Butler in his musical comedy "Gone with the Wind": Clark Gable, Baby Herman, and Roger Rabbit himself. "
Writing and Ruminating: Hugging the Rock by Susan Taylor Brown: "Much later, in the midst of a chapter/poem entitled The Worst Thing, Rachel and her dad are in a car, discussing some very serious matters, like the whys and wherefores of her mother's behavior. Rachel is nonverbal here, and shrugs. Dad presses on, and Rachel writes "I shrug louder." Talk about your imagery. It's genius."
And Semicolon jumps in too with a look at some overlooked Christian fiction.