BUSHNELL ON BOOKS: Three Books for Children

Lucy’s Around: A Novel from Maine David M. Carew; Maine Writers Press, 2022; 169 pp., $16.95; ISBN 978-1-63381-313-7.

Lucy’s Around: A Novel from Maine

It’s 2020, and 64-year-old unmarried Lucy Bouchier owns and operates a Waterville pizza and sandwich shop called “Lucy’s in the Neighborhood.” She is a well-loved figure in the neighborhood. Then one night after closing, she sees a mysterious man on the street, someone she knows from the past. She couldn’t believe her eyes, the image disappeared and then the memory came back.

Writer David Carew lives in Waterville, and this third novel is well-structured and well-plotted, combining murder mystery, teenage coming-of-age, and social commentary. Carew deftly tells the story in alternating flashbacks from 1972 and 2020, as the mysterious man on the street sparks Lucy’s long-repressed high school memories and the scandalous events of 1972.

Carew’s action from 2020 to 1972 is smooth and almost seamless, as Lucy confides in her best friend Jasmine about her high school sweetheart Will, his friendship with black student Mo, and a A crime that shocked the city, confused the police and brought racism and prejudice to Waterville.

Lucy tells Molly everything she remembers from that year, especially her tender teenage romance with Will and his desire for social justice; Mo’s struggle with prejudice and blame; Mo’s dad who hates white people; George Wallace, the obnoxious shopkeeper who hates everyone else; and the detective dedicated to solving the case with no clues, no evidence, no motive, and no real suspects.

When someone falsified evidence to frame innocent people, and someone else sent police in the wrong direction, things only got worse for everyone, she recalled. 1972, marked by sadness, disappointment and separation, ended badly for everyone, but Lucy finally meets the mysterious man on the street. or her?

the man who saved the books

Mr. Pottle is the town’s trash man, always trying to recycle useful items that people throw away. He kept every book he threw away, and he believed: “Books are treasures. Don’t throw away treasures!”

the man who saved the books Proud, Lynn; Lower East Books, 2022; 32 pp., $18.95; ISBN 978-1-68475-054-2.

This heartwarming children’s book (ages 6-8) was created by award-winning Winthrop author Lynn Plourde and illustrated by Walpole artist Mary Beth Owens. ) with pictures. Mr. Pottle is right – no one should throw away books! He rescues books from the trash and creates his own lending library that everyone in town can use.

Adults worry about his passion for books, but kids fall in love with him for it. One day, he was injured while delivering books to those in need and was bedridden. Parents and children prepared meals and a pile of books for him, but were surprised when they discovered that he could not read. Kids have answers for that, demonstrating compassion, friendship, and the power of books.

Hector Fox and the Raven’s Revenge

Astrid Sheckels, the rare combination of award-winning children’s book author and illustrator, creates whimsical, exciting stories and beautifully detailed illustrations for children ages 4-8. Full color illustrations. This is the second book in her Hector Fox series.

Hector Fox and his woodland friends Lucy Skunk, Mo Marten, Charlie Chipmunk and Jeremiah Rabbit receive an urgent plea from three mice guarding a stone tower deep in the Greenwood. The only clue is a black feather and the dreaded Raven’s Revenge.

After the five partners arrived at the stone tower, the crows were flying all over the sky, and the mice told the terrible story of the crow’s revenge. Hector Fox and friends investigate a strange voice inside the tower and another black feather, but everyone soon learns that things are often not as bad as they seem. Enjoyable entertainment.

Hector Fox and the Raven’s Revenge Astrid Sheckels; Island Harbor Press, 2022; 32 pp., $18.95; ISBN 978-1-952143-34-2.

Bill Bushnell lives and writes in Harpswell.

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