The top books chosen by Canadian library staff

May 2019 Adult List

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  1. Me, Myself, They
    by Joshua M. Ferguson 'Canada'
    House of Anansi Press
    May 07, 2019
    BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / LGBT
    Paperback

    Description

    Me, Myself, They: Life Beyond the Binary chronicles Joshua M. Ferguson’s extraordinary story of transformation to become the celebrated non-binary filmmaker, writer, and advocate for trans rights they are today. Beginning with their birth and early childhood years of gender creativity, Ferguson recounts the complex and often challenging evolution of their identity, including traumatizing experiences with gender conversion therapy, bullying, depression, sexual assault, and violent physical assault. But Ferguson’s story is above all about survival, empathy, and self-acceptance. By combining their personal reflections on what it feels like to never truly fit into the prescribed roles of girl or boy, woman or man, with an informed analysis of the ongoing shifts in contemporary attitudes towards sex and gender, Ferguson calls for recognition and respect for all trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people, and an inclusive understanding of the rich diversity of human identity. Through their honest and impassioned storytelling, we learn what it means to reclaim one’s identity and to live beyond the binary.

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  2. Bina
    by Anakana Schofield 'Canada'
    Knopf Canada
    May 14, 2019
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover

    Description

    The extraordinary new novel from the acclaimed writer whose previous book, Martin John, was shortlisted for the Giller Prize, and whose debut, Malarky, won the Amazon First Novel Award.

    "My name is Bina and I'm a very busy woman. That's Bye-na, not Beena. I don't know who Beena is but I expect she's having a happy life. I don't know who you are, or the state of your life. But if you've come all this way here to listen to me, your life will undoubtedly get worse. I'm here to warn you ..."

    So begins this "novel in warnings"--an unforgettable tour de force in the voice of an ordinary-extraordinary woman who has simply had enough. Through the character of Bina, who is writing out her story on the backs of discarded envelopes, Anakana Schofield filters a complex moral universe filled with humour and sadness, love and rage, and the consolations, obligations and mysteries of lifelong friendship. A work of great power, skill, and transformative empathy from a unique and astonishing writer, whose previous book, Martin John, was shortlisted for the Giller Prize, and whose debut, Malarky, won the Amazon First Novel Award.

    "Anakana Schofield's Bina is a fiction of the rarest and darkest kind, a work whose pleasures must be taken measure for measure with its pains. Few writers operate the scales of justice with more precision, and Schofield is no less exacting in what she chooses to weigh. The novel's themes--male violence, the nature of moral courage, the contemporary problems of truth and individuality, the status of the female voice--could hardly be more timely or germane. Schofield's sense of injustice is unblinking and without illusion, yet her writing is so vivacious, so full of interest and lust for life: she is the most compassionate of storytellers, wearing the guise of the blackest comedian." --Rachel Cusk, Giller Prize-shortlisted author of Outline and Transit

    "Intimate, disarming, and riotous, Bina is a searing exploration of one woman's soul that unwinds like a reluctant confession. Whether Bina is rescuing a ne'er-do-well from a ditch, taking a hammer to a plane or considering the dark request of her best friend, Schofield has created a compelling, practical everywoman--someone who has had enough and is ready to make a spectacle." --Eden Robinson, Giller Prize-shortlisted author of Son of a Trickster and Monkey Beach

    "Insightful. Inventive. Hilarious. Genius." --Eimear McBride, author of A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, winner of the Bailey's Prize for Women's Fiction, and The Lesser Bohemians, winner of the James Tait Memorial Prize
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  3. Year of the Orphan
    by Daniel Findlay
    Arcade
    May 21, 2019
    FICTION / Dystopian
    Hardcover

    Description

    The Road meets Mad Max in this stunning debut with a gutsy, charismatic young female protagonist—for fans of Station 11, The Passage, and Riddley Walker.
    In a post-apocalyptic future where survivors scavenge in the harsh Australian Outback for spoils from a buried civilization, a girl races across the desert, holding her treasures close, pursued by the Reckoner.

    Riding her sand ship, living rough in the blasted landscape whose taint she carries in her blood, she scouts the broken infrastructure and trades her scraps at the only known settlement, a ramshackle fortress of greed, corruption, and disease known as the System. It is an outpost whose sole purpose is survival—refuge from the hulking, eyeless things they call Ghosts and other creatures that hunt beyond the fortress walls.

    Sold as a child, then raised hard in the System, the Orphan has a mission. She carries secrets about the destruction that brought the world to its knees. And she's about to discover that the past still holds power over the present. Given an impossible choice, will the Orphan save the only home she knows or see it returned to dust? Both paths lead to blood, but whose will be spilled?

    With propulsive pacing, a rich, broken language all its own, and a protagonist whose grit and charisma are matched by a relentless drive to know, The Year of the Orphan is a thriller of the future you won’t want to put down.
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  4. The Unhoneymooners
    by Christina Lauren
    Gallery Books
    May 14, 2019
    FICTION / Romance / Romantic Comedy
    Paperback

    Description

    For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime—maybe even love—in this romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling authors of Roomies.

    Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.

    Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.

    Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is . . . Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.

    With Christina Lauren’s “uniquely hilarious and touching voice” (Entertainment Weekly), The Unhoneymooners is a romance for anyone who has ever felt unlucky in love.
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  5. Vessel
    by Lisa A. Nichols
    Atria/Emily Bestler Books/Alloy Entertainment
    May 21, 2019
    FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
    Hardcover

    Description

    “A surprising page-turner...Compelling. Highly recommended.”—Library Journal (starred review), Debut of the Month

    An astronaut returns to Earth after losing her entire crew to an inexplicable disaster, but is her version of what happened in space the truth? Or is there more to the story…A tense, psychological thriller perfect for fans of Dark Matter and The Martian.

    After Catherine Wells’s ship experiences a deadly incident in deep space and loses contact with NASA, the entire world believes her dead. Miraculously—and mysteriously—she survived, but with little memory of what happened. Her reentry after a decade away is a turbulent one: her husband has moved on with another woman and the young daughter she left behind has grown into a teenager she barely recognizes. Catherine, too, is different. The long years alone changed her, and as she readjusts to being home, sometimes she feels disconnected and even, at times, deep rage toward her family and colleagues. There are periods of time she can’t account for, too, and she begins waking up in increasingly strange and worrisome locations, like restricted areas of NASA. Suddenly she’s questioning everything that happened up in space: how her crewmates died, how she survived, and now, what’s happening to her back on Earth.

    Smart, gripping, and compelling, this page-turning sci-fi thriller will leave you breathless.
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  6. The Campfire Cookbook
    by Viola Lex
    DK
    May 07, 2019
    COOKING / Methods / Outdoor
    Paperback

    Description

    Cooking outdoors can be magical, so break out of the kitchen, light your fire, and enjoy delicious recipes you can rustle up when camping, dining al fresco, enjoying some beachside living, or having an off-the-grid adventure.

    Chef Nico Stanitzok and lifelong camper Viola Lex have teamed up to create more than 80 sweet and savory camping recipes. Alongside traditional campfire favorites such as BBQ chicken, grilled corn on the cob, and kebab skewers, you'll find recipes for breads, grilled Camembert, pancakes, and even chocolate cakes baked inside oranges. The eclectic mix of recipes will satisfy the more adventurous outdoor cook, while the step-by-step instructions and mouthwatering photography make the recipes easy to follow and suitable for those new to outdoor cooking.

    Each recipe has a symbol that tells you which is the best way to cook the dish, be it an open fire, grill, or camping stove. Cook up glorious feasts regardless of whether you're at a festival, in an RV on the open road, wilderness or primitive camping out on the trail, "glamping," or simply campfire cooking on a picnic at the beach. As well as outdoor cooking hacks and tips, you'll find checklists of camping essentials and basic recipes for camping must-haves such as BBQ sauce, ketchup, and dukkah, and even a fun questionnaire to help you decide what kind of camper you are.

    The Campfire Cookbook is the ultimate cookbook for open-air cooks who love to explore.
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  7. ALWAYS REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE
    by Anita Ekstein
    Azrieli Foundation
    May 15, 2019
    HISTORY / Holocaust
    Paperback

    Description

    When the Nazis invade eastern Poland in 1941, young Anita Ekstein discovers that being Jewish is dangerous, and her days are suddenly filled with fear. Her parents no longer have time to dote on her and instead are occupied with trying to save her life. In 1942, when Anita is only eight years old, her mother is taken from the Skole ghetto by the Nazis. Devastated, her father immediately enlists the help of a Catholic man, Josef Matusiewicz, who courageously smuggles Anita out of the ghetto and gives her shelter. Anita must do whatever it takes to survive ? be quiet, stay in the house ? and become a Catholic. When her hiding place is discovered, Anita narrowly escapes and is concealed in a cramped, dusty wardrobe for weeks on end. Next taken in by a priest and his abusive and antisemitic housekeeper, Anita has only her prayers and her faith to give her hope. As an orphan after the war, Anita struggles with her identity. She is afraid of being Jewish and clings to her new faith, but ultimately, she embraces her father?s last words to Always Remember Who You Are.
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  8. Before I Was a Critic I Was a Human Being
    by Amy Fung 'Canada'
    Essais Series
    May 07, 2019
    BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / Asian & Asian American
    Paperback

    Description

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  9. The Bride Test
    by Helen Hoang
    Berkley
    May 07, 2019
    FICTION / Romance / Contemporary
    Paperback

    Description

    From the critically acclaimed author of The Kiss Quotient comes a romantic novel about love that crosses international borders and all boundaries of the heart...

    Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he's defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

    As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can't turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn't go as planned. Esme's lessons in love seem to be working...but only on herself. She's hopelessly smitten with a man who's convinced he can never return her affection.

    With Esme's time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he's been wrong all along. And there's more than one way to love.
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  10. The Paris Diversion
    by Chris Pavone
    Crown
    May 07, 2019
    FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
    Hardcover

    Description

    From the New York Times bestselling author of The Expats. Kate Moore is back in a pulse-pounding thriller to discover that a massive terror attack across Paris is not what it seems – and that it involves her family

    American expat Kate Moore drops her kids at the international school, makes her shopping rounds, and meets her husband Dexter at their regular café: a leisurely start to a normal day, St-Germain-des-Prés.

    Across the Seine, tech CEO Hunter Forsyth stands on his balcony, perplexed that his police escort just departed, and frustrated that his cell service has cut out; Hunter has important calls to make, not all of them technically legal.

    And on the nearby rue de Rivoli, Mahmoud Khalid climbs out of an electrician’s van, and elbows his way into the crowded courtyard of the world’s largest museum, in the epicenter of Western civilization. He sets down his metal briefcase, and removes his windbreaker.

    That’s when people start to scream.

    Everyone has big plans for the day. Dexter is going to make a small fortune, finally digging himself out of a deep financial hole, via an extremely risky investment. Hunter is going to make a huge fortune, with a major corporate acquisition that will send his company’s stock soaring. Kate has less ambitious plans: preparations for tonight’s dinner party—one of those homemaker obligations she still hasn’t embraced, even after a half-decade of this life—and an uneventful workday at the Paris Substation, the clandestine cadre of operatives that she’s been running, not entirely successfully, increasingly convinced that every day could be the last of her career. But every day is also a fresh chance to prove her own relevance, never more so than during today’s momentous events.

    And Mahmoud? He is planning to die today. And he won’t be the only one.
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April 2019 Juvenile and Young Adult List

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  1. A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities
    by Mady G.
    Limerence Press
    Apr 23, 2019
    YOUNG ADULT NONFICTION / LGBT
    Paperback

    Description

    A great starting point for anyone curious about queer and trans life, and helpful for those already on their own journeys!

    In this quick and easy guide to queer and trans identities, cartoonists Mady G and JR Zuckerberg guide you through the basics of the LGBT+ world! Covering essential topics like sexuality, gender identity, coming out, and navigating relationships, this guide explains the spectrum of human experience through informative comics, interviews, worksheets, and imaginative examples. A great starting point for anyone curious about queer and trans life, and helpful for those already on their own journeys!

    And don't miss A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson!
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  2. Most Marshmallows
    by Rowboat Watkins
    Chronicle Books
    Apr 30, 2019
    JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories
    Hardcover

    Description

    Most marshmallows are born into marshmallow families, play with marshmallow friends, and go to marshmallow school where they learn to be squishy. Most marshmallows read a book before bed and then fall asleep to dream ordinary marshmallow dreams. Is this book about most marshmallows? It isn't. Because Rowboat Watkins knows that just like you, some marshmallows have big dreams, and just like you, these marshmallows can do anything they set their minds to. This sweet and silly book is an inspiring reminder that by being true to ourselves each of us can be truly extraordinary.
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  3. The Tallest Tree House
    by Elly MacKay
    Running Press Kids
    Apr 23, 2019
    JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Friendship
    Hardcover

    Description

    From esteemed author-illustrator Elly MacKay comes a magical fantasy tale about the importance of working as a team and being a good friend.

    Mip and Pip are two fairies who live in a beautiful forest near a waterfall. One day, Mip has a brilliant idea to build a tree house and decides to make it into a contest: whoever can build the tallest tree house the fastest wins! Pip, who is much more thoughtful and a planner, reads about architecture and sketches out blueprints while Mip, the speedster, is already halfway done constructing her house. But when a powerful gust of wind threatens Mip's tree house and Pip's safety, the two friends must learn to appreciate each other's talents to save the day-and to build the tallest tree house in the forest.
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  4. Hot Dog Girl
    by Jennifer Dugan
    G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
    Apr 30, 2019
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Romance / LGBT
    Hardcover

    Description

    A fresh and funny contemporary YA rom-com about teens working as costumed characters in a local amusement part.

    "I'm wrecked with love for this funny, joyful, bighearted book." --Becky Albertalli, bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

    Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to have the absolute best, most impossibly epic summer of her life. There are just a few things standing in her way:

    * She's landed a job at Magic Castle Playland . . . as a giant dancing hot dog.
    * Her crush, the dreamy Diving Pirate Nick, already has a girlfriend, who is literally the Princess of the park. But Lou's never liked anyone, guy or otherwise, this much before, and now she wants a chance at her own happily ever after.
    * Her best friend, Seeley, the carousel operator, who's always been up for anything, suddenly isn't when it comes to Lou's quest to set her up with the perfect girl or Lou's scheme to get close to Nick.
    * And it turns out that this will be their last summer at Magic Castle Playland--ever--unless she can find a way to stop it from closing.

    Jennifer Dugan's sparkling debut coming-of-age queer romance stars a princess, a pirate, a hot dog, and a carousel operator who find love--and themselves--in unexpected people and unforgettable places.

    "Both classic and new, hysterical and heartfelt, and packed with all the awesomeness and awkwardness of first love, first job, and the painful thrill of growing up." --Mackenzi Lee, bestselling author of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
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  5. Papergirl
    by Melinda McCracken 'Canada'
    Roseway Publishing
    Apr 15, 2019
    JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / Canada / Post-Confederation
    Paperback

    Description

    Ten-year-old Cassie lives with her working-class family in 1919 Winnipeg. The Great War and Spanish Influenza have taken their toll, and workers in the city are frustrated with low wages and long hours. When they orchestrate a general strike, Cassie — bright, determined and very bored at school — desperately wants to help.

    She begins volunteering for the strike committee as a papergirl, distributing the strike bulletin at Portage and Main, and from her corner, she sees the strike take shape. Threatened and taunted by upper-class kids, and getting hungrier by the day, Cassie soon realizes that the strike isn’t just a lark — it’s a risky and brave movement.

    With her impoverished best friend, Mary, volunteering in the nearby Labour Café, and Cassie’s police officer brother in the strike committee’s inner circle, Cassie becomes increasingly furious about the conditions that led workers to strike.

    When an enormous but peaceful demonstration turns into a violent assault on Bloody Saturday, Cassie is changed forever.

    Lively and engaging, this novel is a celebration of solidarity, justice and one brave papergirl.

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  6. When You're Scared
    by Andrée Poulin 'Canada'
    Owlkids
    Mar 15, 2019
    JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Emotions & Feelings
    Hardcover

    Description

    It’s a bright and beautiful day at the lake where a boy and his mother are camping. The boy is just a little scared of jumping into the water. At the same time, not too far away, a hungry bear cub is a little scared of diving deep into a dumpster, where tasty snacks await.

    Later, when the boy encounters a distraught mama bear sniffing around the dumpster, he’s very scared. But so is her bear cub, who is trapped inside! Bold, graphic artwork moves the narrative along in this mostly-wordless book full of sound effects and simple variations on a single phrase full of so many meanings (“He was scared”). Parallel stories of the mother and son, and mama and cub, come together when the campers, despite being scared, help rescue the cub from the dumpster.

    This simple, moving story invites readers to observe expressions, body language, and details hidden in the illustrations to follow the narrative. It’s a sweet summer read that normalizes fear and encourages acting with courage and compassion—even when you’re scared.
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  7. Pilu of the Woods
    by Mai K. Nguyen
    Oni Press
    Apr 16, 2019
    JUVENILE FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / Fairy Tales, Folklore, Legends & Mythology
    Paperback

    Description

    "Pilu of the Woods is a heartwarming tale full of natural wonder, with wise and lovely messages about coping with grief, facing your feelings, and learning to forgive yourself." - KATIE O'NEILL (Eisner Award-winning author of The Tea Dragon Society)


    For fans of Hilda and the Troll comes PILU OF THE WOODS, a heartwarming and bittersweet story of friendship, loss, exploring complex emotions and finding your way home from debut creator Mai K. Nguyen.

    Willow loves the woods near her house. They’re calm and quiet, so different from her own turbulent emotions, which she keeps locked away. When her emotions get the better of her one day, she decides to run away into the woods. There, she meets Pilu, a lost tree spirit who can’t find her way back home—which turns out to be the magnolia grove Willow’s mom used to take her to. Willow offers to help Pilu, and the two quickly become friends.

    But the journey is long, and Pilu isn’t sure she’s ready to return home yet—which infuriates Willow, who’s determined to make up for her own mistakes by getting Pilu back safely. As a storm rages and Willow’s emotions bubble to the surface, they suddenly take on a physical form, putting both girls in danger… and forcing Willow to confront her inner feelings once and for all.

    BONUS CONTENT: This edition includes blank journal pages in the back to encourage readers to keep their own notes about nature and their feelings.
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  8. I Will Be Fierce
    by Bea Birdsong
    Roaring Brook Press
    Apr 23, 2019
    JUVENILE FICTION / Imagination & Play
    Hardcover

    Description

    Written by Bea Birdsong and illustrated by Nidhi Chanani,I Will Be Fierceis a powerful picture book about courage, confidence, kindness, and finding the extraordinary in everyday moments.

    Today, I will be fierce!

    It's a brand new day, and a young girl decides to take on the world like a brave explorer heading off on an epic fairytale quest. From home to school and back again, our hero conquers the Mountain of Knowledge (the library), forges new bridges (friendships), and leads the victorious charge home on her steed (the school bus).

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  9. Carl and the Meaning of Life
    by Deborah Freedman
    Viking Books for Young Readers
    Apr 02, 2019
    JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories
    Hardcover

    Description

    From the often Caldecott-buzzed Deborah Freedman, a sweet and funny story about finding your place in the world.

    Carl is an earthworm. He spends his days happily tunneling in the soil until a field mouse asks him a simple question that stops him short: "Why?" Carl's quest takes him on an adventure to meet all the animals of the forest, each of whom seems to know exactly what they were put on this earth to do, unlike the curious Carl. But it's not until the world around him has changed that Carl begins to realize everyone, no matter how small, makes a big difference just by being themselves.
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  10. Mya's Strategy to Save the World
    by Tanya Lloyd Kyi 'Canada'
    Puffin Canada
    Apr 30, 2019
    JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Peer Pressure
    Lexile measure 780L
    Hardcover

    Description

    Twelve-year-old Mya Parsons could save the world and organize her family, if only she had her own cell phone. A Dork Diaries for today's socially conscious young readers.

    Mya Parsons runs her school's social justice club with her best friend, Cleo. Her lifelong desire is to work for the United Nations and change the world, and then bask in all the ensuing adulation. Her more immediate desire is to get a phone, preferably one like Cleo's, with a leopard-print case to match. When her distracted dad and her long-distance mom (temporarily in Myanmar taking care of Mya's grandmother) both say no, no way, and possibly never, Mya launches a campaign to prove herself reliable and deserving. She advertises her babysitting services, takes on more responsibility around the house, and attempts to supervise her sister's skateboarding lessons. Her efforts leave her ego bruised and the kitchen slightly scorched. She's no closer to touch-screen victory, let alone the Nobel Peace Prize she deserves. But all that changes after an accident leaves Mya to take charge--an experience which helps her realize how much she's grown, with or without access to proper communications.
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