UNDERGROUND CITIES, IMPRISONED GHOSTS,
Ms. Thornton’s imaginative fiction knows no bounds…
Grades 4-7, 352 pp
Capstone Young Readers;
WHEN FIFTH-GRADER Jerome Barnes first meets Arkie in the local junkyard, he can’t believe his eyes. For Arkie is no ordinary kid. He looks more like a robot. Or a toy. That’s because Arkie’s from Smithytowne, far beneath the surface, where everything — even the people — are made entirely of Topside discards: street signs, bicycles, vacuum cleaners, you name it.
When it’s clear Smithytowne is in danger from greedy Topsiders, it’s up to Jerome and his friends — one human, one Scrapper — to protect the city below.
“The pages practically turn themselves.”
SCRAP CITY… where Chronicle Stones play holographic recordings, a secret 19th-century diary tells of the great Lifestream that brings inanimate objects to life, and the mysterious Cylinder of Steel holds a key to the past.
MARVIN PLOTNIK AND THE SANDY RIVERS HILLTOP RANCH FOR WAYWARD YOUTH, JUVENILES, AND YOUNG ADULTS
Humor; Young Adult+; 332 pp
“You’re sending me to a boarding school?
A redundantly-named boarding school?”
THUS BEGINS the adventures of ninth-grade graphic novelist and all-around-smart-aleck Marvin Plotnik. He’s just been told by Finger-Wagging Authority Figures they’ve had enough of his shenanigans, thank you very much. (Apparently, bowling balls and maple syrup do not make for a good experiment.) They are Sending Him Away For His Own Good they tell him, Initial-Caps and all, and in two days’ time he’s to board a bus bound for the Sandy Rivers Hilltop Ranch for Wayward Youth, Juveniles, and Young Adults — which is like four states and a really disagreeable bus ride away.
Which turns out to be nothing because in no time at all the whole lopsided “ranch” is careening through space with Marvin and his fellow travelers destined for a fate so dastardly, so disgusting, so culinary, we can’t even hint at it without throwing up.
Plus, the whole thing’s really hard to deal with considering that stupid time-loop business. And being strung upside down over a vat of Serubian Bog Oil. And having to listen to sappy ’70s pop tunes. (i.e., Seriously Uncomfortable.) All of which, if you were to ask our young hero, gets really annoying (especially that hanging over the oil thing) because for the first time in young Marvin’s life, he’s totally fitting in.
Now, if only he could hold back those pesky alien hordes…
EVERYTHING YOU EVER HAD
(Adult Literary – seeking publication)
THE LAST THING Moses Coates remembers isn’t very memorable. A typical evening in 1945, he kisses his wife goodnight and goes to bed. But when he opens his eyes, he is disoriented and in an unfamiliar apartment house. It is soon all-too-clear Moses has passed on; but try as he might, he has no recollection of the event. Worse, at every attempt to leave the building, he is thrust into his past. Such is Moses’s existence for forty long and lonely years — stuck in a Washington, D.C., apartment house … reliving a life left behind.
Is it the Dead Who Haunt the Living,
or the Living Who Haunt the Dead?