New Books Highlight: Beautifunusual
Beautifunusual = Beatiful + Unusual. So many books can be described this way! Books that are beautifunusual fall into many genres: fantasy, realistic fiction, sci fi, romance, and the list goes on until you have listed all genres of books because ANY book can be so beautiful and so unusual – so out of the ordinary and unlike anything else you’ve read – that you can only describe it with this word: beautifunusual.
Today’s New Books Highlight celebrates a couple of brand spanking new and shiny books that are beautifunusual, and therefore absolute must-reads.
This is an easy one because you already love A. S. King, right? King is the author of 2012 YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults title Everybody Sees the Ants, Edgar Award-nominated and 2011 Printz Honor Book Please Ignore Vera Dietz, and the Generally Awesome The Dust of 100 Dogs. So this book should be high on your “read soon” list. The book follows main character Astrid Jones, who – for lack of a better outlet due to ignorant parents, a backwards town, and falling-apart friendships – confides her secrets and shares her love with the passengers in the airplanes she loves to watch fly over her backyard. Astrid is possible falling in love with another girl, and this she can share with no one but the passengers, even when her friends demand answers. In an unusual and beautiful (hey, the theme of the day!) twist, all the love she sends to these people she doesn’t know, has actual consequences in their lives.
Jepp of Astraveld, a teenage dwarf in 16th century Spain, decides to do what many great heroes have done throughout history and defy his destiny. After he leaves behind his country home for the promise of grandeur, he finds himself imprisoned as a court dwarf, forced to endure humiliation and heartbreak. When he and a fellow court prisoner Lia make a run for it, Jepp gets kidnapped and fears the worst. Yet he actually finds what may be the best: a caring master who teaches him the secrets of the stars. This story is based on real people and real history, which makes it all the more beautifunusual. Jepp escapes time and again what has been fated for him, finding along the way what is true for all of us: that fate is what you make of it.
This book takes you back to an India torn apart during the year 1947 when British colonial rule was coming to a violent end. Bilal is watching his father die and wishes only for his peace so he decides to tell a little lie about what’s really going on in their country – just so his dad doesn’t have to worry about his beloved country being torn asunder. But the well-intentioned lie rapidly spirals out of his control. The lie is intricate and beautiful, becoming a wish and an almost-reality, more than just an untruth. Bilal’s unfailing optimism in the face of the violence in his town, and the lack of resources he has to keep his little story alive, is beautiful. And just a little unusual, too.
What’s your favorite beautifunusual book?