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“Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end
of a long day makes that day happier.” — Kathleen Norris
All Pikes Peak Reads — A Community Reads
Like Water for Chocolate
by Laura Esquivel (Penguin Random House $15)
Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. The classic love story takes place on the De la Garza ranch, as the tyrannical owner, Mama Elena, chops onions at the kitchen table in her final days of pregnancy. While still in her mother’s womb, her daughter to be weeps so violently she causes an early labor, and little Tita slips out amid the spices and fixings for noodle soup. This early encounter with food soon becomes a way of life, and Tita grows up to be a master chef. She shares special points of her favorite preparations with listeners throughout the story.
Young Adult Title
Under a Painted Sky
By Stacey Lee (Penguin Random House $10.99)
All Samantha wanted was to move back to New York and pursue her music, which was difficult enough being a Chinese girl in Missouri, 1849. Then her fate takes a turn for the worse after a tragic accident leaves her with nothing and she breaks the law in self-defense. With help from Annamae, a runaway slave she met at the scene of her crime, the two flee town for the unknown frontier.
But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls. Disguised as Sammy and Andy, two boys heading for the California gold rush, each search for a link to their past and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. Until they merge paths with a band of cowboys turned allies, and Samantha can’t stop herself from falling for one. But the law is closing in on them and new setbacks come each day, and the girls will quickly learn there are not many places one can hide on the open trail.
Save Me a Seat
By Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan (Scholastic $16.99)
Ravi has just moved to the United States from India and has always been at the top of his class; Joe has lived in the same town his whole life and has learning problems–but when their lives intersect in the first week of fifth grade they are brought together by a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and the need to take control of their lives.
Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992
By Anna Deavere Smith (Penguin Random House $15.95)
Twilight is Anna Deavere Smith’s stunning new work of “documentary theater” in which she uses the verbatim words of people who experienced the Los Angeles riots to expose and explore the devastating human impact of that event. From nine months of interviews with more than two hundred people, Smith has chosen the voices that best reflect the diversity and tension of a city in turmoil: a disabled Korean man, a white male Hollywood talent agent, a Panamanian immigrant mother, a teenage black gang member, a macho Mexican-American artist, Rodney King’s aunt, beaten truck driver Reginald Denny, former Los Angeles police chief Daryl Gates, and other witnesses, participants, and victims. A work that goes directly to the heart of the issues of race and class, Twilight ruthlessly probes the language and the lives of its subjects, offering stark insight into the complex and pressing social, economic, and political issues that fueled the flames in the wake of the Rodney King verdict. Combining Smith’s introduction exploring Twilight’s evolution from the streets to the stage, the complete play script, and photos of the author in character, Twilight is a captivating work of dramatic literature – and a unique first-person portrait of a pivotal moment in current history.