Stay Where You Are and Then Leave

Author: John Boyne

Pub Date: March 25, 2014

Genre: Historical Fiction, Middle School level

Themes: World War One, family, mental illness

Fave Character: Mr. Summerfield

What I Think: I fell in love with this novel and its characters after only a few pages. Written for a younger audience than me but by the same author of the The Boy in the Striped Pajama’s,  I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I was pleasantly surprised by the balance between historical accuracy and the boundless optimism of a child. Faced with a dark period in England only decades into the 20th century, Alfie’s father goes off to war and lands himself in a mental hospital for shell shocked soldiers. Alfie takes it upon himself to provide for and reunite his broken family in this uplifting, and sometimes heartbreaking, coming of age adventure.


+ Alfie’s persistence and growth throughout the novel

— Kalena and her father being forced to leave England at the start of WW1

Long Story Short: 10/10!! 🙂

x emily.


The Moon Sisters

Author: Therese Walsh

Pub Date: March 4 2014

Genre: Fiction

Themes: relationships, family, acceptance, closure, death

Fave Character: The Girl’s Grandmother

What I Think: A novel that encapsulates the tumultuous journey that is sisterhood while taking you through the stages of grief with sisters Olivia and Jazz after the death of their mother. The most emotional and vulnerable moments of the sisters and the people they meet along the way as well as the wonder of unanswered questions put this novel a cut above the rest.  At times, the story was slow and uneventful but Walsh’s rich writing and clever plot twist made up for it in the end.


+ Olivia and Hobbs interactions

Jazz’s relentless cynicism and their grandfather Orin 😦

Long Story Short: 7/10

x emily.