Not only is Orphan Train the 2015 One Read One Philadelphia book, but it is a story of flowering in the midst of a desert and life's full circle. "No substitute for the living [the ghosts of parents, true love, sister], perhaps, but I wasn't given a choice. I could take solace in their presence or I could fall down in a heap, lamenting what I'd lost. The ghosts whispered to me, telling me to go on."
You Are Here by Chris Hadfield (Little, Brown, $26.00)
Seeing the familiar from a completely different vantage point can often bring us to a different level of appreciation. Photographs of the earth from the international space station remind us of how small we and our worlds are.
The Blessing Cup by Patricia Polacco (Simon & Schuster, $17.99)
As in companion book The Keeping Quilt, the Blessing Cup is handed down to generations as a reminder of family survivors and their stories. The cover draws the reader in to partake of the same blessings.
The Barefoot Book of Mother and Daughter Tales by Josephine Evitts-Secker (Barefoot Books, $23.99)
Barefoot Books publishing took its name as an invitation to readers to step inside a story. Their books are beautifully illustrated and retold in magical language. Mother and Daughter Tales retell the stories of adventures, from different times and cultures, that a daughter must have to carve a life separate from her mother.
Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper (Simon & Schuster, $26.00)
Coming out in January, this is a story of the lives of three people and a wolf named James who accompanies 82-year-old Etta on her walk from eastern Canada to the coast. "I've gone. I've never seen the water, so I've gone there. Don't worry, I've left you the truck. I can walk. I will try to remember to come back.
Yours (always), Etta"
Janet Elfant, November 2014