It’s a happy, busy day at KT Literary, with FOUR book birthdays being celebrated today! Our final heartfelt congrats go to Krista Van Dolzer, for her debut The Sound of Life and Everything. Krista’s received lovely reviews for TSoLaE from Publishers Weekly, Voya, School Library Journal, and just this week from Booklist, who wrote:
It’s 1952, but Ella Mae’s aunt still grieves the loss of her son at Iwo Jima. That grief drives her to donate Robby’s dog tags (still with blood spatters) to Dr. Franks, who claims to be able to bring Robby back. But when the experiment goes awry and a young Japanese soldier is cloned instead, 11-year-old Ella Mae suddenly finds herself in the midst of prejudices and a search for truth that she had not even known existed. Studded with references to real scientific journeys taking place, particularly the race to isolate DNA, this novel humanizes science—both its wonders and its flaws—and the result is a remarkable effort that explores stereotypes, family, and friendships that transcend the 1950s. With a voice reminiscent of Calpurnia Tate, Ella Mae’s questioning mind and outspoken nature will win readers.
All About The Sound of Life and Everything
A fascinating speculative historical fiction debut set in 1950s California–perfect for fans of “When You Reach Me.”
Twelve-year-old Ella Mae Higbee is a sensible girl. She eats her vegetables and wants to be just like Sergeant Friday, her favorite character on “Dragnet.” So when her auntie Mildred starts spouting nonsense about a scientist who can bring her cousin back to life from blood on his dog tags, Ella Mae is skeptical–until he steps out of a bio-pod right before her eyes.
But the boy is not her cousin–he’s Japanese. And in California in the wake of World War II, the Japanese are still feared and despised. When her aunt refuses to take responsibility, Ella Mae and her Mama take him home instead. Determined to do what’s right by her new friend, Ella Mae teaches Takuma English and defends him from the reverend’s talk of H-E-double-toothpicks. But when his memories start to resurface, Ella Mae learns some shocking truths about her own family and more importantly, what it means to love.