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An Ocean in Iowa by Peter Hedges DB47261
Scotty Ocean turns seven. His mother leaves him and his two older sisters. Scotty tries various ways to get his mother to return to the family. Some are funny and some are embarrassing. If you are interested in a humorous book about a young boy growing up in Iowa, I would suggest The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson (DB63131). This is a laugh out loud read that takes place in Des Moines. The one thing I did like about An Ocean in Iowa is that a lot of the places mentioned in the story are very close to my home.
Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf DB79095
Ellen Moore has been a social worker in Iowa, working with abused or neglected children for many years. One day when she is running late for work the unthinkable happens. Ellen is investigated and arrested.
Meanwhile, Ellen’s mother. Maudene while working at a restaurant runs across a young girl all alone. Jenny gets sick at the restaurant. Maudene later sees Jenny walking alone. She asks if she can take her somewhere and ends up taking Jenny to her grandmother’s house, she finds out the grandmother has died. Maudene, tells her daughter about Jenny and Ellen urges her to call a social worker. This book handles some tough subjects with sensitivity.