Friday, 3 October 2014

#JKSCummunications Luminis Books Blog Tour: Review: Amy's Choice by Marcia Strykowski

Trade paper, $11.95; Cloth, $19.95

ISBN: 9781935462132

Juvenile fiction, 200 pages

Luminis Books, October 2014

Amy Henderson's freshman year starts with a new best friend, Cat, and a newfound confidence. But she misses her crush, Craig, who has gone to live with his aunt in Boston. Craig has promised to write, and Amy checks the mail on a daily basis, but to no avail. There are plenty of distractions, however.

Cat's brother, Ricky, seems interested in Amy, but is she interested in him? And a new friendship with Finn, the lighthouse keeper, who Amy discovers is a talented artist, keeps Amy and Cat busy as they arrange for him to exhibit his work. But things get complicated when Craig returns from Boston and Finn is accused of arson. There are more questions than answers for Amy as life becomes as turbulent as the cold and stormy ocean of her coastal Maine town.

Ideal for preteens, this novel is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Call Me Amy and touches upon issues of friendship, boyfriend troubles, and the power of believing in oneself.

Marissa Curnutte


Publisher announces four new books in various genres for release in October 2014

CARMEL, Ind. – Young love, forbidden desire, enigmatic journeys and poetry – the fall collection from Luminis Books includes four diverse books in October from a mix of new and award-winning authors.

Since 2008, Luminis Books has published meaningful fiction for children and adults, championing the work of up-and-coming writers and cultivating strong, collaborative relationships with authors.

The publisher’s fall releases include two sequels – for young adult fans, “Second Thoughts” by Cara Bertrand, and for middle grade readers, “Amy’s Choice” by Marcia Strykowski – plus a fascinating book of cerebral prose by Chris Katsaropoulos titled “Complex Knowing” and a captivating debut literary novel by Sally Wolfe called “Consolations.”


·         “Second Thoughts” by Cara Bertrand is the much anticipated follow-up to “Lost in Thought,” a finalist for the 2011 Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award. The Sententia series follows a teen with remarkable mental abilities as she makes her way through high school and encounters the leader of a secret society.

·         “Amy’s Choice” by Marcia Strykowski continues the story of Amy Henderson, a teen whose crush moves away and returns only to find another guy trying to win her heart. Strykowski’s sophomore release picks up where her first book, “Call Me Amy,” left off. Her debut release was a finalist in the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ Work-in-Progress Grant competition, and recently named one of Bank Street’s Best Children’s Books of the Year.

·         “Consolations” by Sally Wolfe is the powerful, poignant story of a nun who questions her spiritual calling after engaging in a lustful affair with a Jesuit theology professor.

·         “Complex Knowing” by Chris Katsaropoulos is a collection of poetry combining cerebral prose with enchanting imagery and sentiments. Katsaropoulos has written more than a dozen books, including the novels “Antiphony” and “Fragile.”


It was so wonderful to pick up a book that was so pure and innocent with plenty of emotion. I thoroughly enjoyed CALL ME AMY, and I was excited to spend more time with Amy and her friends. She stepped out of her shell in the first book and I was glad to see that she was finding her true self the more and more this story developed. 

It was great that she had made new friends but after everything she had gone through with Craig in the first book I could understand why she yearned for his return. As with CALL ME AMY, this book was filled with adventure and excitement, but also heartache and tragedy. A great read that will appeal to readers of any age, I think the characters are relatable and endearing. With a niece Amy's age I could easily see her getting up to the mischief in this story and it even took me back to my younger years.

A fantastic tale of friendship with plenty of meaning, this was a thoroughly enjoyable read from start to finish.

Praise for the first book in Marcia Strykowski’saward-winning middle grade series,%201

“[Amy] grows throughout the story, from a shy loner to having two friends and speaking her mind in front of her adversaries at school as well as to the whole town…Amy is a reliable narrator and easily relatable.”

Natalie Struecker, School Library Journal

“Strykowski ably depicts Amy’s insecurity and self-doubt, Craig’s bravura and pain, and Miss Cogshell’s wisdom with a deft, convincing touch. In essence, Amy comes of age as she fights to find her voice in the outside world and shed some of her debilitating insecurity. Readers will cheer her on, and her splendid team too.”


“Well-drawn, sympathetic characters and the developing spark between Amy and Craig combine to create a pleasant, satisfying read.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Strykowski lovingly captures seaside Maine and the travails of adolescence in her quiet, sweet-natured debut novel.”

Publishers Weekly

“To do a good deed, we can find friendship in the most curious of locations. ‘Call Me Amy’ is a novel from Marcia Strykowski following the struggles of Amy Henderson, who finds an injured seal and seeks to nurse it, with the help of a scorned aging woman and an unusual youth. Set in the early 70s and exploring the essence of loneliness, ‘Call Me Amy’ is a powerful read that should prove so very hard to put down, highly recommended.”

Midwest Book Review

“This is a wonderful YA tale for the simple fact that it shows one and all that the power and courage to stand up and be heard in this life comes from within. And that no matter who you are, you have that toughness inside your soul. Craig has a lovely heart that hides behind that sarcasm he aims at the world, and he will remind every small town girl about that quiet boy she fell in love with long ago. ‘Old Coot’ brings the fun and humor along with her, and Pup is the sweetest creature in the world. Having all the ingredients of first love, faith, loss and strength makes ‘Amy’ unforgettable.”

Feathered Quill

“Every once in a while, a book comes along that you just can’t put down. This book draws you in so deeply, you just have to keep reading. Set in the 1970s, it is a heartwarming story of friendship and coming of age. The story is well-developed and has enough twists and turns to keep even a reluctant reader interested.”

Library Media Connection

Marcia Strykowski is a children’s book author and works at a public library.
She grew up in Stoneham, Mass., and earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Northeastern University. She is the author of “Call Me Amy,” which was a finalist in the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ Work-in-Progress Grant competition. She has written for Highlights, Hopscotch, Boys Quest and Fun for Kidz. Strykowski and her husband live in Bradford, Mass.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so pleased you enjoyed reading Amy's Choice, as well as Call Me Amy, and I appreciate that you took the time to share your thoughts--thanks! :)


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