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Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All
Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All | Laura Ruby
41 posts | 29 read | 45 to read
From the author of Printz Medal winner Bone Gap comes the unforgettable story of two young womenone living, one deaddealing with loss, desire, and the fragility of the American dream during WWII. When Frankies mother died and her father left her and her siblings at an orphanage in Chicago, it was supposed to be only temporaryjust long enough for him to get back on his feet and be able to provide for them once again. Thats why Frankie's not prepared for the day that he arrives for his weekend visit with a new woman on his arm and out-of-state train tickets in his pocket. Now Frankie and her sister, Toni, are abandoned alongside so many other orphanstwo young, unwanted women doing everything they can to survive. And as the embers of the Great Depression are kindled into the fires of World War II, and the shadows of injustice, poverty, and death walk the streets in broad daylight, it will be up to Frankie to find something worth holding on to in the ruins of this shattered Americaevery minute of every day spent wondering if the life she's able to carve out will be enough. I will admit I do not know the answer. But I will be watching, waiting to find out. Thats what ghosts do.
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review
Karisa
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Plucky kids creating their own communities, parents giving away their kids, ghosts with pets, and Chicago in the 1940s… I loved this historical fiction fantasy book! I loved it even more after reading the author‘s endnote about how Frankie‘s story was largely inspired by her grandmother‘s life.

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megnews
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tpixie This title sounds great! Did you all enjoy this?! 2y
megnews I‘m really looking forward to hearing everyone‘s thoughts on this. I liked the unique format. It was reminiscent to The Book Thief. The farther I got into the story though, the less it felt it served a purpose. I liked both storylines but I wondered the point in telling the story like that. What about everyone else? 2y
sblbooks @megnews I felt the opposite, I was thinking it would be easier to follow without the ghost aspect. 2y
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Deblovestoread I liked the book but it never brought the two pieces of the story together for me. 2y
mrp27 I agree. Interesting and intriguing format but I don‘t get the purpose. I don‘t feel the ghost aspect enhanced Frankies story. Their two voices were not distinct enough from one another so I was constantly confused as to who was speaking. think it would have been great if they were separate stories. 2y
Butterfinger Yeah, I think agree. For my opinion to work, Pearl should have stayed with Frankie. Instead she roamed and discovered more ghosts. Reading comments have changed my mind. 2y
megnews @Butterfinger I honestly felt it could work. I don‘t know if you‘ve read The Book Thief but I was looking forward to it working as that did. In the end, the lack of connection didn‘t help (to me) but I still liked it until all the ghosts showed up. I don‘t think it added to the story. I still give the author kudos for attempting such a different sort of narrator. 2y
Butterfinger At the beginning, I did think of The Book Thief. One of my favorites. 2y
JaclynW @megnews Agreed. What an interesting format and I am sure a tricky one to write in. I liked it but it had its weak points. I liked them as separate stories. I liked them okay together. For it to have really worked, the story lines needed to have more connection.
2y
24 likes9 comments
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megnews
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mrp27 I wish Pearl had a book of her own. She had a good enough story that I would like to know the details of instead of blurred memories. 2y
megnews @mrp27 I think the concept could work if there was some connection between them. Maybe if Pearl had been an orphan at the orphanage. I thought it really went off track when the other ghosts showed up. I couldn‘t see the point. 2y
mrp27 Totally agree. I was waiting and waiting for that connection. 2y
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Butterfinger I thought the concept of Pearl worked. Although I had questions - why does she haunt the orphanage? Is that where her daughter ended up? I saw Pearl as Frankie's guardian. Or angel or something. 2y
megnews @Butterfinger I really liked it at first but it felt more and more detached as the story went on. I wanted there to be more of a connection in some way. 2y
JaclynW I would have loved to hear more of Pearl's stories. I also liked the other ghost that Pearl met. (I can't remember her name.) I liked several of the girls in the orphanage too. They seemed to all have a background of stories that could have been interesting. 2y
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megnews
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Butterfinger Use joy to show tormentors that they will not be allowed the power to knock you down. The girl who finally left the orphanage to find her nurse. 2y
megnews @Butterfinger I struggled in answering this question but what keeps rolling around in my brain is things like visiting day which many looked forward to, letters, and getting to know someone of the opposite sex despite the challenges. Trying to make life feel a little more normal despite the circumstances. And dreaming of a better life. (edited) 2y
JaclynW @Butterfinger @megnews I agree. Finding the joy in all things and not letting unfortunate circumstances or bullies get you down/have power over you. Such an important life lesson. Frankie and Toni had to do this a lot in and out of the orphanage. Having hope is important. That can drive motivation and efforts towards working for something better. Joy comes from that. Attitude!! It can take you far. 2y
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megnews
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Deblovestoread It seemed like confession was another chore, something you had to do, so she confessed enough to do her duty but kept some things as her own. 2y
mrp27 I agree. It seemed like a chore forced upon them and it was a bit of rebellion to keep something for herself when she had so little agency in her own life. 2y
Butterfinger I felt that she trusted him until she found out that he also knew that her mom was really alive and institutionalized. 2y
JaclynW I found her confessions to be kind of hilarious. She did it out of habit/duty but she played with it to her benefit/gain. I don't think she took it overly serious. But from time to time she did really want advice from the Father. I do think she trusted him on some level.
2y
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megnews
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megnews The ghosts live their deaths over and over. Some of the nuns make life hell for those they are supposed to take care of. I‘ve never understood how those who consider themselves married to Jesus can treat people so cruelly. 2y
sblbooks I don't understand that either @megnews this quote also made me think about negative internal dialogue, which I sometimes struggle with. 2y
Deblovestoread It makes me angry. Where is the love, the compassion, the leading by example? I didn‘t understand the ghosts reliving their deaths. Pearl didn‘t unless I missed it. 2y
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mrp27 On one hand I found the ghosts and their stories intriguing but they were distracting to Frankies story which I was most interested in. I struggle with the purpose of the ghosts in the story. I was also thinking internal dialogue and the choices and risks we make can make or break our own hell‘s. 2y
megnews @Kdgordon88 yeah I don‘t think Pearl did either. (edited) 2y
Butterfinger I think the title and the quote refer to choices. If you make a choice out of love or hate, there will be awful consequences and burdens, especially if you are a woman because you can't control the outcome. Fathers, nuns, brothers do the controlling and I could feel the walls closing in on me while I was reading. 2y
JaclynW @Butterfinger Very well said. Our choices have consequences. Sometimes we have no choice or are forced down a path. Especially for women, like you mentioned. Children too. They just often have to go with what they are told and make the best of it. (what they are given) 2y
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megnews
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#YABuddyRead discussion starts now

megnews I would describe her feelings about the visits as ambivalent. I think she‘s looking forward to better food but I think she distanced herself from her dad so she wouldn‘t be disappointed. I would say he loved them but I was angry when he married, took the lady‘s children from the orphanage and then moved so far away. While I wasn‘t really aware people could leave their children at an orphanage, I wasn‘t surprised by families being separated ⬇️ (edited) 2y
megnews during this time period. My great grandmother went “into service” at age 8 because her dad had remarried and had such a large family. My grandfather‘s mom died when he was young and his dad sent him to another state to live with his grandparents. His sisters were sent to live with an aunt. Tough choices during hard times. 2y
sblbooks I agree every time he comes to visit he ends up disappointing them. He probably thought he loves them but I don't think so. At that time though, that's what a lot of men did. 2y
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Deblovestoread I think he cared for them in a way but I‘m not so sure about love. And Frankie protected herself from disappointment. I do think she had a little pocket of hope that things would be different one day which diminished when he remarried and died when they moved. 2y
mrp27 I agree, I think Frankie felt ambivalent but also abandoned. Learning about the orphanage and parents giving up their children was a little eye opening. I think her father felt he was doing his best but after learning what he did to his wife I changed my mind. He did what he needed to do to live his own life. 2y
Butterfinger I hate that people placed their children in an orphanage during the Depression, but he did visit them at first. Frankie cared more for her sister and brother, I think, more than her father. She saw her father's visit as a way to see her brother without getting severely punished. I could certainly judge the father for taking Vito without the daughters. Jerk. 2y
JaclynW At the beginning, I felt for the father and thought he was doing his best. As I learned more about him throughout the book, my thoughts changed. I didn't like him as well. I thought he was selfish. Maybe it was all due to the time/place of the story but at some level it became unexcusable for me. 2y
13 likes7 comments
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megnews
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Don‘t forget! #YABuddyRead Discussion Saturday!

sblbooks @megnews @saturndoo @Peddler410 @rubyslippersreads if you guys liked this book you should check out the one I just finished 2y
megnews This sounds great! Thanks for the tip @sblbooks stacked. 2y
JaclynW @sblbooks Thanks! 2y
36 likes4 comments
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megnews
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Don‘t forget: April‘s #YABuddyRead discussion is 4/24! All welcome! Tag me in your blurbs, quotes, & reviews.

JaclynW I just picked up the book! 2y
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megnews
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Grab your book for #YABuddyRead. Discussion Saturday April 24. Let me know if you plan to read along. All welcome!

sblbooks I'm in. 2y
Soubhiville What an interesting title. 2y
Peddler410 I‘ll look for this — I think I have it at work. 2y
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Johanna414 I've got this one at work, so I'm in! 2y
rubyslippersreads This sounds good. 😊 2y
JaclynW I will plan on reading this one. 2y
Deblovestoread 🙋🏻‍♀️ 2y
LibrarianRyan 😁❤️👍🏻 2y
SaturnDoo 🙋‍♀️❤❤❤ just picked it up today at library 😁 2y
BarbaraJean Oooh, I really liked Bone Gap, so I‘m interested in reading another one by her! Count me in! 2y
megnews @BarbaraJean @sblbooks @Butterfinger @SaturnDoo @Kdgordon88 @JaclynW @rubyslippersreads @Johanna414 glad you can all join! Looking forward to reading & discussing with you. 2y
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review
Eggs
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Pickpick

Haunting and heartbreaking YA novel: By the author of Bone Gap, this is the unforgettable story of two young women—one living, one dead—dealing with loss, desire, and the fragility of the American dream during WWII. Frankie‘s mother died and her father left her and her siblings at an orphanage in Chicago-it was supposed to be only temporary—just long enough for him to get back on his feet and be able to provide for them once again...#bookspinbingo

Eggs Sorry to blow up your feed Sarah but just catching up - I‘ve been reading/listening to 2-3 books/day @TheAromaofBooks 2y
TheAromaofBooks No worries, Sherri!! I'm always excited to see what you've been reading!! 2y
Eggs @TheAromaofBooks 💗💕💗 2y
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SKlich
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Wonderful story....like stories whispered around a campfire...weaving and developing and not letting the reader go...

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Ellen_C
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Wonderful YA novel about young women being irritants, breaking barriers and being bold. Narrated by a ghost named Pearl who has to come to terms with her own past as she follows a young woman named Frankie around the orphanage where she lives in 1940s Chicago. https://cannonballread.com/2020/06/thirteen-doorways-wolves-behind-them-all-elci...

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Skeeterisme
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Pickpick

Interesting

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ImperfectCJ
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Pickpick

Ruby tells a compelling and enjoyable story, but I doubt the details are going to stick with me.

Some characters are vivid and well-rounded, but others seem to be merely foils, one-dimensional good or evil, which is somewhat disappointing when compared with the more balanced characters. Mad Maureen, however, rocks. If I remember vividly anyone from this book ten years from now, it will probably be her.

#bookspinbonanza book 7 @thearomaofbooks

ImperfectCJ I turned off my phone before I got a photo of the cover, so I grabbed a photo of one of our hibiscus that I took earlier. Hooray for auto backup! 3y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 3y
43 likes2 comments
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emtobiasz
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Loooooong day of work, and it‘s only Monday 😣 I‘m not sure I‘m in the right mood for this one, but it‘s the first one I picked up so we‘ll give it a shot. Beautifully written so far... #ya #historicalfiction

ImperfectCJ I'm reading this same book at this very moment (or I was until I interrupted myself to look at Litsy). 3y
emtobiasz @ImperfectCJ Ha! Same. Here I am back again, really enjoying my book but still going back to my phone... #quarantinebrain 3y
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Mleanne
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Sharanya
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Pickpick

Now THIS is what historical fiction should be — haunting, romantic, achingly beautiful. While the narrative structure felt very similar to other books (see: The Book Thief), the story itself was remarkably compelling. Frankie & Pearl were fantastic protagonists, their struggles, losses & triumphs resonating beautifully with themes of womanhood, self & how resilience is taught, over & over, & not just born. ★★★★☆.

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Sharanya
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#currentlyreading | I have high hopes for this one 🤩

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ImperfectCJ
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Exciting day for library holds pickup! I fear the odds of me finishing these all by the time they're due is low.

mollyrotondo Disappearing Earth was one of my favorite books last year! It is so good! I hope you are able to fit it in your schedule! 3y
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Erinreadsthebooks
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Super excited to add this one to the library‘s collection today 😍🤗 📚 #librariansoflitsy

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xxjenadanxx
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Pickpick

This book was different than I expected but I really liked it. Its set during WWII at a home for orphans & displaced children but is told from the perspective of an observant ghost making it reminiscent of The Book Thief but w/o the profound soul destroying poignancy. There's something satisfying ab the underlying theme of revenge in this book. In the end I was left kind of in awe, equal parts What did I just read? and HECK YEAH, YOU GO GIRL!

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Nitpickyabouttrains
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Pickpick

A ghost visits an orphanage during the Great Depression. Meanwhile two sisters are left there because their parents can‘t take care of them.

Gissy I enjoyed this book!❤️❤️❤️ 3y
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kaykay521
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Pickpick

Read for my YA literature class. An interesting mix of historical and paranormal fiction. Reminded me of The Book Thief a little. Frankie and her sister Toni are abandoned by their father at a Chicago orphanage in the early 1940s. In addition to this the children of the orphanage are watched over by the ghost of a young woman who is trying to come to terms with how and why she died.

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monalyisha
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Snagged that Michael‘s cart on sale! Now I can keep all of my library books (from different networks) organized & together in one place. 🤓

rather_be_reading yes!😍 3y
Thousand-Lives Nice! 👏 3y
Soubhiville I love your bunny bookend! 3y
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shanaqui I have been tempted by organisers like that but fear it might just turn into a vehicle for rabbit joyrides by the three nibbleteers... Our elder statesbun Hulk, especially. 3y
Clare-Dragonfly So pretty! Especially with the bunny, of course. 3y
monalyisha Thanks @ratherbereading @Thousand-Lives @Clare-Dragonfly 🐇 & @Soubhiville 🐰! @Shanaqui Moxie‘s left it alone for now. I‘ll give you progress reports. 😆 3y
RainyDayReading I snagged one when it was on sale too! I‘ve been wanting one for ages and took it as a sign that I should finally get it 🙈 3y
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Branwen
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"The door to heaven didn't open up for me, but not everyone was that kind of angel. Some had wings, others had claws."

Everyone needs to read this book. ? Absolutely hands down one of the best books of the year. Riveting, mysterious, joyous, and heartbreaking all at once. I could not put it down and almost finished it in one sitting. YA historical fiction at its BEST! ??

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Gissy
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Pickpick

Book discussed at BookMarkPR, I couldn't assist to the discussion😢. 2nd & last book read on November😔GR has an excellent synopsis about this book. The story is about Frankie, her family & another not living person. You will read about the cruel life in a orphanage during WWII and how that experience impact our main character personality.It is a sad but beautiful story.According to the author, it is based on her latest mother in law story. 3.85⭐️

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UnabridgedPod
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Pickpick

"Every word is fiction. And every word is true" ("Author's Note").⠀

Laura Ruby's Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All is a brilliant novel, one that's about much more than it initially *seems* to be about. The book, set from 1941-1946, is narrated by a ghost, one who haunts Chicago but especially an orphanage where Frankie Mazza and her siblings, Vito and Toni, live. The Mazzas' father is alive, but unable--⬇️

UnabridgedPod he says--to care for them, so they gain some stability and food and a place to live by living apart from each other. They take some comfort in his explanation until the day that their glamorous Italian father swoops in with a new wife. They leave with Vito and their stepmother's children . . . but NOT with Frankie and Toni. ⬇️ 3y
UnabridgedPod The book's dual stories unwind from there, with the narrator's memories of her own life triggered by the events of Frankie's. There is so much heartbreak here, but also love and hope. Ruby's Author's Note (I quoted from it above), detailing the novel's inspiration, enriched the book for me. Ruby explains that that she based Frankie--her time in the orphanage, and the challenges she had to overcome--on her (Ruby's) own mother-in-law. ⬇️ 3y
UnabridgedPod There's such love here in the telling.

This is my second Laura Ruby novel (after Bone Gap, another five-star read for me), and I'm eager to read more. She is a perfect storyteller.⠀

How often do you read the Author's Note and the Acknowledgments of books? When has an author's explanation enriched a book for you?
3y
Suet624 I just finished a book of hers and her author‘s note did me in. 3y
UnabridgedPod I just love her!! She‘s so thoughtful. ❤️ 3y
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Redwritinghood
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Pickpick

I finished this yesterday and have been wavering between pick and so-so. It was a good look at the treatment of young women and girls in turn of the century America as well as the racism at that time. I‘m not sure I understood the point of the ghost narrator other than to further emphasize the struggles women faced during this time period. Those two parallel story lines were more distracting for me. 3⭐️ #nbaypl2019

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TheLibrarian
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#bookmail - I‘m really excited about both these books.

knoves Is this a quilt! It‘s so pretty. 3y
TheLibrarian @knoves It is and thank you! 3y
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SoManyBooksNotEnoughTime
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Pickpick

This could easily now be my favorite book. I loved every single minute of it. The fierceness of the girls Frankie, Pearl, Marguerite & Toni made me so proud to be female. These girls struggled in ways you won't believe. I understand why this book is a Finalist in the National Book Awards 2019 for Young People's Literature category. It has a depth and history that no other YA books have. It has a paranormal aspect but is mostly historical fiction.

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SassenachTheBookWizard
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Pickpick

Looking for an analysis of US WW II poverty and women/girls? Frankie is by far my favourite character in the whole book but I found it interesting that all the other women characters represented all of Frankie's option as she grew up: marry for need, be boy crazy, nun, or go against the grain and it's the mental hospital for you. Her father is particularly garbage & the book is kinda depressing but an honestly interesting read

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TracyReadsBooks
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Pickpick

Two girls, one living & one dead, navigate life & the afterlife in this book set in 1940s Chicago. In Ruby‘s return to YA she has written a powerful book about family, those we‘re born into & those we find, love & the resilience of people who somehow find a way to survive & even thrive. Inspired by the life of her mother-in-law, Ruby‘s book is perfect for readers interested in Chicago or historical fiction more generally.

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Booksnchill
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#ChillingPhotoChallenge #Scarathon #TeamSlaughter @Clwojick today‘s photo-National Book Award Finalist and Prinz Medal Winning author of Bone Gap #13

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TracyReadsBooks
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New into the library and my next read...at least until I get home and hopefully find my copy of Ninth House waiting for me. Love Ruby‘s writing and I‘m anticipating another good read.

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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

I loved this strange, lovely, ghost story!
Edit Update- realized this fits for #ScaryScavengerHunt Number in the Title
#TeamSlaughter #scarathlon @clwojick #OctoberReads

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Clwojick
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YEAH! Another hold came in - just in time for #Scarathlon. Told from the perspective of a ghost. 👻 #TeamSlaughter

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IndyHannaJones

What October new books are you excited to read??? It's spooky season!!!🍁🍁🍁🦇🦇🦇🦇⛈⛈⛈🍂🍂🕸🕸🕸🧟‍♀️🧟‍♀️🎃🎃🎃🎃

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MidnightBookGirl
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Trying this one out! #audiobooks #librofm #octoberreads

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SkeletonKey
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I picked up a side gig proofing audiobooks. This is the first one I‘ve done and the book was pretty awesome. Lots of strong feels. Historical fiction and a bit of magical realism.

Audio version is due out October 1.

🎧🎧🎧