In March I attended a day long PD class from a local librarian. This class was all about high-interest books, specifically books for young adults. (On a side note, when my students checked out books from our school library recently, a student commented to another, “I checked out a yah book. What’s a yah book?” I walked over and then looked at the spine of her book. “You mean a YA book? That’s for Young Adult.” We all had a good chuckle.) When I entered the class, I was given a list of 300 high-interest books that came out within the last year. Through the seminar, the librarian gave book talks and we watched book trailers, listening and taking notes on books we wanted to share with our students.
One book in particular piqued my interest. That night, I ordered it. Because of other books on my list, I didn’t actually start reading until a few weeks ago. However, I could NOT put this book down. Beautiful language and a unique, intriguing story. Although it is fantasy, it’s really more time-travel with some mythology built in, so not your traditional fantasy genre book. If you’re looking for a new read, I highly recommend this one!
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Summary: Nix lives with her dad, Slate, aboard the ship the Temptation. This unique ship has the ability to travel back in time, real or imagined. With the right map, the crew can sail to ancient India or inside the Chinese burial of Emperor Qin. While travelling the world and seeing its beauty is wonderful, Nix’s father has become obsessed with finding a map to go back to Honolulu in the year 1868. He is desperately trying to be reunited with his love, Nix’s mother. However, trying to go back might erase Nix’s very existence. Slate needs her help in reading the map, but will she help him knowing that she may no longer be?
Excerpt: ” ‘I always knew you’d abandon me once you know how.’
‘I’m not abandoning you,’ I said. ‘I’m letting you go.’
‘I don’t want you to leave.’
‘But you want the map, and you need my help.’ My claim sat in the air between us, and he did not contest it. ‘You said it yourself, Slate. Sometimes a person has to let go of something to make room for something more important. You have to choose.’
He was quiet for so long, I began to fear he’d made the offer without thinking I’d accept, but as I watched, his expression cycled from sorrow to resignation and then to something like relief. ‘You’re right, Nixie,’ he said at last. ‘I’ll let you go too.’
I bit my lip to keep it from trembling; he’d let me go a long time ago. After all, you can only hold one person tight if you’re holding on with both hands.” (294-295)