New Books for Younger Readers
by Celia McGee
Oliver and the Seawigs
by Philip Reeve, illustrated by Sarah McIntire
(Random House Children’s Books)
Lots of children have had the experience: your parents’ professions mean your family moves a lot, but when they finally decide to settle down, you’re rather relieved and actually pretty excited to have a place to call home.
Ten-year-old Oliver Crisp is a very extreme case in point. His parents are explorers, and they have been everywhere—love at first sight atop Mount Everest, wedding ceremony at the Lost Temple of Amon Hotep, and, with Oliver in tow, pushing through to the deepest parts of the densest jungles, where, in one of Sarah McIntyre’s rambunctious illustrations, Oliver has to do his reading hanging upside down from the branch of a tree sporting exotic flowers, slithering snakes, and a far-too-interested-looking crocodile below.
For a boy like this, imagination can run wild at the thought of domestic calm and a life full of BFF schoolmates, especially when the Crisps’ explorermobile pulls up in front of a rambling yellow house firmly settled in the seaside town of St. Porrocks. But, in a matter of perspective (for Oliver’s: see above), what catches his parents’ eyes are a group of small islands, “’Unmapped!’” “’Uncharted!’” “’Unexplored!” that have apparently popped up in Deepwater Bay. Off they go to investigate, but when Oliver wakes up the next morning, both the islands and his parents have disappeared....
A Novel Approach
More Magazine writes, "In quaint headquarters, tucked among the blank towers of midtown Manhattan, the Center for Fiction feels like somewhere you'd be more likely to run ito Bartleby the Scrivener than your therapist—unless she's a "bibliotherapist" like Noreen Tomassi, the center's executive director, who manages a service called A Novel Approach. For $125, Tomassi will handpick 12 books, basing her choices on a 45-minute phone call, an e-mail exchange or, preferably, a face-to-face session with you..." For more on bibliotherapy or to schedule a session, please click here.
We are thrilled to announce a stellar line up of fall reading groups! Here at the Center we've made it our practice to bring the very best guides to lead our reading groups—extraordinary translators, renowned scholars and notable writers. Where else can you read García Márquez with his award-winning translator, Edith Grossman, or discuss Proust with writer and scholar George Prochnick? FIND OUT MORe
Congratulations to 2011 Emerging Writers Fellow Marie-Helene Bertino for her newly published novel, 2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas (Crown)! Watch Marie-Helene Bertino read and discuss her short story collection, Safe As Houses, at The Center.
2014 Summer Literary Seminars/Center for Fiction prize winner
Four reasons for Edith's body to fidget: the scentless pillow case, the scratchy sheets, the removal of the left breast, the downshift of the morphine. One thing Mort does, downstairs in the den, lodged securely in his olive La-Z-Boy: slide his hand between the cushion and the side. What he finds there: his missing MedicAlert bracelet. Well I'll be a monkey. Two hiding places he had checked: his motorcycle saddlebag, wrapped around the insinkerator blades. Two origin stories about the bracelet: the shrapnel poking at his lung, his mate Johnson pushed it on him right after the mortar split Johnson's leg like a log.
Our summer intern, Delia Graham-Costello, recommends Junot Diaz's This Is How You Lose Her as a must-read for high-schoolers.
"I like this book so much it almost makes me angry. Junot Diaz is another writer who just nails it. He has mastered the art of well-placed humor—a difficult task for even the most seasoned authors. His prose is witty, touching and full of (often misplaced) love. I will admit that this book is in no way PG-13, but its raw language is well placed and well worth it. The language of this book perfectly aligns itself with reality—nothing is sugar coated or assuaged. Additionally, the structure of the book allows you to choose how you read it...."
Founded in 1997 by then Center director Harold Augenbraum, the Proust Society's mission is to encourage the reading, study and enjoyment of the work of Marcel Proust. The Society presents lectures for the public and members take part in groups that read and discuss Proust's masterpiece, À la recherche du temps perdu.