Library Column: New Fiction for Young Adults – The Vicksburg Post

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This column was submitted by Evangeline Cessna, Local History Librarian at the Warren-Vicksburg County Public Library.

This week I’m highlighting some of the new young adult fiction we have in the library. (Don’t worry, these titles can be enjoyed by adults too!)

“Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche” is Nancy Springer’s latest entry in her Enola Holmes series. Although Enola is the much younger sister of the famous Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, she has all the wit and cunning of both. Enola is only 15 years old, but she lives alone in London. When a young professional woman, Miss Letitia Glover, frantically shows up in front of Sherlock’s door to find out about her twin sister’s fate, Enola takes care of the case. Miss Glover’s sister married the Earl of Dunhench, but it appears he sent a brief message to Letitia informing her that her sister is deceased. The count’s note is rather vague and the death certificate is most dubious. It appears to have been signed by John H. Watson, MD (although he denies any knowledge of the event). Enola decides to go undercover, much to the chagrin of his older brother. It turns out that Letitia’s twin is not the first of the Count’s wives to die suddenly and under questionable circumstances. If Enola wants to uncover the secrets held within the walls of the Earl’s House, then she’ll need all the help she can get: Letitia, Sherlock and her old friend the young Viscount Tewkesbury.

Lemony Snicket is an author who has led millions of young readers through a mysterious world of baffling questions and unfortunate events. In his latest book, “Poison for Breakfast”, he has to think about his own idiosyncrasies: the right way to cook an egg, a confusing idea called “tzimtzum” and the transcendent feeling of swimming in open water. This story begins with Snicket receiving a note under his door – “You had poison for breakfast.” Naturally, it follows that he must find the clues that led to his own disappearance. Admittedly, Mr. Snicket did not relish the task, but what choice did he have? Full of wit and wisdom that fans have grown to love from the Snicket books, this story is quite a true story – “as true as Lemony Snicket himself”.

Sasha Peyton Smith delivers an exciting and atmospheric historical fantasy with “The Witch Haven”. Frances Hallowell, 17, spends her days as a seamstress mourning the mysterious death of her brother a few months earlier in New York City in 1911. Everything changes when she is attacked, and the man ends up dead at her feet – his scissors in his neck. Only Frances cannot explain how they got there. Before she can be convicted as a murderer, two mysterious cloak-wearing nurses appear, tell her she is sick, and take her to Haxahaven Sanatorium. Frances discovers that Haxahaven is not really a sanatorium, but a witch school. Within its walls, she finds the brotherhood she dreams of, but the headmistress warns her that magic is dangerous. Feeling unsatisfied with the safe little magic taught at school, Frances is delighted with the promises of Finn, a magical boy who appears in her dream and tells her that he can teach her all the things she longs to learn. Her newfound powers also grab the attention of the leader of an old order who craves magical control of Manhattan – and who will stop at nothing to bring Frances into the fold. Frances will have to decide what matters most, justice for her murdered brother and her growing feelings for Finn, or the safety of her town and her fellow witches. What price will she pay for power? What if the truth was more terrible than she had ever imagined?

Sister-writer duo Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite explore the lasting impact of prejudice and the indomitable spirit of brotherhood with their latest “One of the Good Ones”. Teenage social activist and history buff Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a rally. Her sister Happi and their family are in shock. As Kezi becomes another immortalized victim in the fight against police brutality, Happi begins to question the idealized version of his sister that people honor. Perfect. Angelic. One of the good ones. This sentence does not suit him well. Why are only certain people deemed worthy of being missed? Isn’t that being human enough? Happi and her other sister Genny decide to honor Kezi in their own way, using a copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book as a guide. There is a twist in Kezi’s story, however, one that no one could have predicted, and that will change everything all over again.

Mark Twain’s classic novel, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” receives the Manga treatment from author Crystal Silvermoon. Whether it’s forming a pirate gang to search for buried treasure, getting his friends to whitewash the fence, or spending time at home sharing his medicine with Aunt Polly’s cat, rebel Tom Sawyer evokes the childhood world of 19th century rural America. Tom and his friend Huck Finn hide in the town cemetery, where they witness a grave robbery and murder. Later, the boys hide on a wooded island while the townspeople conduct a frantic search and ultimately mourn them as dead. The friends proudly return to town to attend their own funeral, in time for a dramatic trial for the cemetery murder. A three-day ordeal ensues when Tom and his beloved, Becky Thatcher, get lost in the very cave that houses the murderer. This Manga edition has all the childish pranks and artful observations of human nature like the original.


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