In Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee, it’s 1906 in San Francisco and Mercy Wong is determined to escape the poverty of Chinatown. Consulting Mrs. Lowry’s Book for Business Minded Women, the tenacious Mercy knows her ticket to success is to get into St. Clare’s School for Girls – off limits to all but the wealthiest white girls. But through a mix of cunning and bribery, Mercy gets in, but soon discovers getting in was the easy part. With anti-Chinese racism running high, Mercy refuses to let a bunch of spoiled heiresses ruin her plans.
But then disaster strikes, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake destroys Mercy’s school and home, and with martial law in effect the students are forced to wait for their families in a temporary encampment. As fires rage through the city in the aftermath of the earthquake, Mercy can’t just wait for the army to bring help – she needs to get things done. But what can one fifteen year old girl do to help all those suffering in her broken city?
Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee is available to reserve at the Haliburton County Public Library.
The book All Saints by K.D. Miller is an intricate series of stories, each of which has a connection, however loose, to the Anglican congregation of All Saints church, which is on the brink of extinction. The stories with the strongest link are about Simon, a widowed rector who has survived his depressed wife and now finds himself attracted to one of his parishioners. All Saints’ characters aren’t the sort who get a lot of prime time in modern fiction: most are middle-aged or older, torn apart by remorse and loss, marking time. They are baffled by “celebrities who all look alike” and iPads. But Miller, a Canadian, makes the reader see significance in their lives that they do not; her genius is wringing suspense—and tenderness—from the ordinary. A few of the stories have no apparent connection to All Saints, but Miller is a subtle writer who rewards careful readers. With each story, All Saints gains momentum, until it begins to feel very much like a novel. All Saints is one of ten titles nominated for the Evergreen™ Award. Read one or all ten titles and cast your vote for your favorite at your branch of the Haliburton County Public Library in October.
*Originally aired on 100.9 CANOE FM June 12th – 25th, 2016.