Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Edgar Award Nominees: 2015 Juvenile and Young Adult, plus (2014) ONE CAME HOME, Amy Timberlake

Seems the TBR (to-be-read) pile never really dwindles, especially when it's time to add the Edgar Award Nominees. These are selected by the MWA, the Mystery Writers of America, and the award title refers to the late, great Edgar Allen Poe.

Here are the 2015 nominees in the Juvenile category:

Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick
Space Case by Stuart Gibbs
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
Nick and Tesla's Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove by "Science Bob" Pflugfelder
and Steve Hockensmith  
Saving Kabul Corner by N.H. Senzai
Eddie Red, Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile by Marcia Wells
And here are the 2015 nominees in the Young Adult category:

The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi
Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano
Fake ID by Lamar Giles
The Art of Secrets by James Klise
The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson 
I'll be gathering a few to read over the next couple of months; the finalists are announced at the Edgars Banquet, which this year is set for April 29.

I gave myself time to read the 2014 "Juvenile" category winner this week -- ONE CAME HOME by Amy Timberlake, also a Newbery Honor Book for 2014. Set in 1871 in Wisconsin, a year of an amazingly huge nesting of passenger pigeons there, this crime fiction/adventure ("A Sister Lost. A Body Found. The Truth Buried.") arrives in the voice of 13-year-old Georgie (Georgina) Burkhardt, whose sister Agatha's body is being buried in the first chapter. Soon Georgie's doubts and guilt about that body send her out investigating how Agatha died -- murder, or not dead after all? -- along with one of Agatha's suitors and riding her own rented mule. Thanks to her shooting skills (she has her own Springfield rifle), Georgie's better prepared than most to deal with violent criminals. But she's not as well prepared for inflicting death on a human. Or, for that matter, for the complications of adult affection playing out in front of her.

It's a good read, loaded with passenger pigeon lore as well as a wonderfully feisty protagonist. Timberlake evokes the landscape, Georgie's state of mind, and the wild vulnerability of American frontier life vividly, and I know I'll want to read this one again. And to share it with a lot of other readers.

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