Granted, I've got a thing about mountains. Or maybe more than "a thing": At one point I quit my job and joined AmeriCorps in far-western Maryland to try to figure out why so many of my favorite books take place in the mountains. So I knew when I picked up Road to Tater Hill, by Edith Hemingway, that it would quickly become "the most recent book I loved." The author uses her keen eye and ear for detail to give us Annie, a 10-year-old in 1963 whose infant sister has just died. Annie befriends a mysterious woman who lives near the spot where Annie returns to grieve, and together Annie and the woman forge a new path onward.
Readers of all ages who have experienced loss--and what reader has not experienced loss?--will draw strength from Hemingway's sharp observations and message of unexpected renewal. And readers without a particular fondness for mountains don't need to worry. Though the characters are thoroughly rooted in their mountain community, the powerful story and hopeful message will resonate strongly on the subway, on the beach, and anywhere else books are enjoyed.
--Pamela Ehrenberg is the author of two novels for young readers: Ethan, Suspended (2007) is set in Washington, DC, but Tillmon County Fire (2009) is set in the mountains.