This was an accidental choice, but it’s turned out to be a fairly happy accident. Which is a bit of a coincidence, as the book was accidentally announced as a finalist for the 2011 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Despite the error having been made internally, Myracle had to withdraw from the contest. […]

This one is a wonderful book for our challenge–the saltwater coastal marsh where Kya lives is a vibrant vital part of her life, and an integral part of the story. The marsh birds are present not just in their calls, but in their individual feathers and characteristics–some of them incredibly detailed: the crest feathers of […]

This one reminds me a bit of the thriller I read and posted about in New Hampshire Pre-Visited–it really didn’t do it for me in terms of plot or characters, but there were some great descriptions of Idaho and Lake Coeur d’Alene that I really wanted to post. I’m reading my way across the USA–5 […]

I associate Idaho with several of my cousins who grew up in Eureka, Montana–the “nearby” mid-sized towns included Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho, in the panhandle. But Idaho also makes me think of Craters of the Moon National Monument, a volcanic site near the center of the state. And Picabo Street, the Olympic skier, who grew up […]

This was a last minute addition, and I’m really glad I found it–Casanova does a really nice job with the northern Minnesota setting in her Young Adult novel Frozen. I am reading my way across the USA–5 or so books from each state, with an emphasis on setting–books where the setting is really tangible, and […]

This was an unexpected addition to my list, and it was a great one! I read this snippet from an interview with the author and just had to add it: One journalist kindly alerted me to the fact that there was a hoax in my Wikipedia entry, a claim that I was writing about “the […]

The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard (2006) was a definite winner, at least in terms of learning about Kansas. While Becky Mandelbaum’s Bad Kansas left me full of bleakness, Nancy Pickard’s Kansas gave me some hope. Not that she was all rosy about the state–there were plenty of descriptions of that bleakness. He […]

Earlier in March 2018, I read Murder In Burnt Orange, the 7th in Jeanne M. Dams’ Hilda Johansson Mystery series, and, while it was an entertaining, quick read, I found that it didn’t really give me much of a feel for its setting of South Bend, Indiana. I also speculated, however, that this might have […]

I’m reading my way across the USA–3 to 5 books from each state, with a focus on books where the setting really becomes another character in the book. Unfortunately, Murder in Burnt Orange by Jeanne Dams (2011), did not meet that criteria. It was a fun, quick book, with an authentic historical feel, and some […]

In the immortal words of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, “And now, for something completely different!” Indiana. The first things that come to my mind when I think of Indiana are the Indy 500 race, and the song “Gary, Indiana” from The Music Man. (Sorry! If it’s any consolation, it’s stuck in my head too, now.) […]