Cake - Love, Chickens and a Taste of Peculiar

Hope is the thing with feathers~ Emily Dickinson
Spunky, smart, twelve-year-old Wilma Sue moves into her fifth foster home---this time to live with two quirky sisters. The sisters’s house has something she’s never known---love. Well, love and chickens and maybe a little magic---or so it appears. But mostly it’s the love.

Cake has received a coveted starred review from Kirkus reviews

KIRKUS REVIEW (Starred review)

Can an oft-rejected orphan settle into the stable, loving home of a pair of gentle sisters who are retired missionaries to Africa?
Twelve-year-old Wilma Sue’s been bounced from home to home in her short life. Now it’s hard for her to believe she even deserves a real home. In a winsomely attractive first-person narration, she relates her growing wonder with Ruth, a social activist, and Naomi, who bakes cakes that are somehow infused with magic. Naomi brings the cakes to deserving members of their tight knit community, each confection perfectly matched to its needy recipient. The sisters also keep chickens that move from being Wilma Sue’s responsibility to her calling. Penny, a girl who lives just down the street seems like the only obstruction to happiness. In many ways, she is more damaged than Wilma Sue, struggling to satisfy her widowed mother’s unmet needs, an impossible task. Magnin maintains a delicate balance between a fablelike fantasy and reality fiction as Wilma Sue gradually discovers that not only is she eminently worthy of love, but that she can also help the people around her by loving them. Wilma’s captivating, clever language and short declarative sentences perfectly exemplify her wary but reverential view of the world.

Cake is available wherever books are sold. 

Carrying Mason

What does it mean to lay down your life?
Luna has learned an awful lot in her thirteen years---how to skin a rabbit, how to gut a fish, here to pick the perfect wildflowers---but it’s not enough. When her best friend, Mason, dies, she decides to honor his memory by moving in with his mentally disabled mother, Ruby Day. While cooking and cleaning for Ruby Day isn’t always easy, everything seems to be going relatively fine---until trouble arrives in the form of Ruby Day’s aunt, who will stop at nothing to make sure her niece is put away in a mental institution.
Luna is only thirteen. How can she stand up to Ruby Day’s aunt? What would Mason want her to do? And why is saying good-bye so difficult?


Initially, all 13-year-old Luna asks is that she be allowed to be a pall bearer for her best friend, Mason.
 But it quickly becomes clear that more will be needed if she is to truly serve her friend’s memory. Mason’s mother, Ruby Day, is variously called “feebleminded” and a “retard,” harsh words for a woman who was able to successfully raise her son and who works every day bagging groceries. Unfortunately, Ruby Day isn’t quite able to manage her own home, so Luna moves in with her to provide both companionship and a little supervision. Then a villainous woman, Aunt Sapphire, shows up in her chauffeur-driven limousine with plans to take Ruby back to the Mason Home for the Feebleminded, a place she doesn’t want to go. Luna is just one girl trying to fight for rights that Ruby doesn’t seem to have—unless she can get the townspeople to rally behind their cause. Gently, deliberately paced, Luna’s first-person tale provides a fresh look at mental disabilities and the additional burden of negative attitudes. While Ruby’s disability is apparent, this effort also celebrates her capabilities. Although the primary focus is Luna, her quirky father, supportive mother and boy-crazy older sister are also sufficiently developed to provide additional depth.
A quiet coming-of-age tale with heart offers a fresh look at mentally disabled adults. (Fiction. 10-15)

Carrying Mason is now available in paperback wherever books are sold.


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