For a REAL Valentine, none of us can look any further than our furry ones, so I'm excited about another great looking dog book! Terry Lynn Johnson is revealing her cover for Ice Dogs today! The book will be published one year for today, and I can't wait. What a gorgeous cover!
Here's the publisher's description: "A 15-year old dogsled
racer and sled dog owner loses her way on a routine daytime outing with
her dogs; with food gone and temperatures dropping, her survival and
that of her dogs and the mysterious boy she meets in the woods, is up to
Farrar, Josh. A Song for Bijou
12 February 2013, Walker Children's
EARC from Netgalley.com
Alex goes to an all boys' school in New York City, so he is intrigued by girls and yet utterly clueless about them. When he sees a new girl who is attending the neighborhood sister school, he is inexplicably smitten with Bijou Doucet and uses his network of friends to find out about her. Bijou has moved to NY from Haiti to live with an aunt, uncle, and older brother. She finds the girls and the school confusing enough-- she doesn't really want anything at all to do with Alex, especially since her uncle is very strict about such interactions. Alex, however, is fairly intense in his pursuit of her-- he talks to her friends, hangs out in her neighborhood, even befriends her brother and starts playing Haitian drums in an effort to connect with the object of his affection. He's not gross and insulting like some of the boys in his school-- he's truly smitten and just wants to be with Bijou. For her part, Bijou finds Alex truly likeable, even if the situation is difficult for her. Also adding to her problems adjusting to American culture is Bijou's past experiences in Haiti, which are not fully explained until the end. Any romance is difficult, and Alex and Bijou are trying to figure out romance while they are still trying to figure out themselves.
Strengths: This is a romance book FOR BOYS!! While chapters are told from both Bijou and Alex's viewpoints, the story really does center on Alex. Hooray! How many books like this are there out there? The description of Haitian culture in New York was really interesting, and I liked how Bijou's background does have an impact on her relationship with Alex but is not the entire focus of the book. I also appreciated that she was from a fairly well-to-do family in Haiti, and how a few characters from the Dominican Republic are also included.Very well balanced.
Weaknesses: Will boys pick this up? The cover is really cute, and not overly girly-- it's perfect for the story, really-- just wondering about the appeal.