In Milwaukee, Isabelle Day had a house. And she had a father. This year, on Halloween, she has half of a house in Minneapolis, a mother at least as sad as she is, and a loss that’s too hard to think—let alone talk—about. It’s the Midwest in the early 1960s, and dads just don’t die . . . like that. Hovering over Isabelle’s new world are the duplex’s too-attentive landladies, Miss Flora (“a lovely dried flower”) and her sister Miss Dora (“grim as roadkill”), who dwell in a sea of memories and doilies; the gleefully demonic Sister Mary Mercy, who rules a school awash in cigarette smoke; and classmates steady Margaret and edgy Grace, who hold out some hope of friendship. As Isabelle’s first tentative steps carry her through unfamiliar territory—classroom debacles and misadventures at home and beyond, time trapped in a storm-tossed cemetery and investigating an inhospitable hospital—she begins to discover that, when it comes to pain and loss, she might actually be in good company. In light of the elderly sisters’ lives, Grace and Margaret’s friendship, and her father’s memory, she just might find the heart and humor to save herself. With characteristic sensitivity and wit, Jane St. Anthony reveals how a girl’s life clouded with grief can also hold a world of promise.
When Trina and her father move into an abandoned wreck of a mansion called Goldenrod, Trina thinks her life is finally coming together. She can put down roots at last. Maybe she'll even have a best friend! But the kids at school make fun of her, and it seems like Goldenrod itself is haunted. Then Trina finds Augustine, a tiny porcelain doll left behind when the house was boarded up a century ago. Augustine isn't like other dolls: she talks and talks and talks. Augustine helps Trina realize that Goldenrod is trying to tell her an important secret . . . one that may just change her life.
Eleven-year-old Cooper Cameron likes things to be in order. When he eats, he chews every bite three times on each side. Sometimes he washes his hands in the air with invisible water. He invented these rituals after the death of his beloved grandfather to protect others he loves from terrible harm. But when Cooper's strange behavior drives a wedge between his parents, and his relationship with his older sister, Caddie, begins to fray, his mother's only solution is to take Cooper and Caddie to the family cabin for the summer. Armed with a collection of rocks, his pet frog, and his notebook, Cooper vows to cure himself and bring his damaged family back together.
In the fourth volume of a series set in Minneapolis in the 1960s, three friends navigate relationships and new questions about love and identity After three years of high school, Margaret still isn’t any closer to what she wants: to sing and dance on Broadway, to be a model like Twiggy, to be madly in love with someone other than Paul McCartney. It’s not much to ask, but with her friends Grace and Isabelle she’s willing to adjust her goals for the summer to a job, a car, and a boyfriend. When Grace gets a job downtown at the Emerald Cafe, where Teddy, a dreamy college kid, tends the meat buffet, it looks like she, at least, is almost halfway there—until Teddy asks for Margaret’s phone number. “Normal” might not be all it’s cracked up to be (high school graduation, marriage, and housewifery, really?), but as Teddy complicates the girls’ friendship, it slowly becomes apparent that “normal” might mean something different, and infinitely trickier, to him. As the old friends, with adulthood looming, navigate the newly confusing territory of love and sexuality and identity, everything they thought they knew is suddenly, frighteningly thrown into question—and they discover that between the dream of stardom and the certainty of housekeeping there’s a vast unsuspected world of peril and possibility. With all the tenderness, heartache, and humor of her earlier novels about Margaret, Grace, and Isabelle, in Whatever Normal Is Jane St. Anthony takes the friends, and her readers, to a place beyond normal—to a future as satisfying as it is promising.
A coming-of-age novel set in the early 1960s in Minneapolis, The Summer Sherman Loved Me is an honest look at the struggles of a twelve-year-old girl that transcends time. As Margaret tries to sort out her strained relationship with her mother and her feelings for her neighbor who claims to love her, readers join her in her journey discovering what it means to grow up.
Thirteen-year-old Grace is not looking forward to her summer vacation. She’ll have to fend for herself and take care of her siblings while her mom smokes the day away in the back bedroom of the cabin. But when an unexpected companion shows up in the middle of a crisis, she gains hope that maybe the summer won’t be a disaster after all. In Grace Above All, readers will experience a young summer romance and join Grace in gaining a newfound appreciation of family.