Cold War anxieties play out in a sensitively told story set during the Cuban missile crisis in the 1960s, perfect for fans of Gary Schmidt and Kristin Levine. Joanna can’t get over how her brother broke his promise to never leave like their dad did. Sam is thousands of miles away on a navy ship, and no matter how often he sends letters, Joanna refuses to write back. When she makes a promise, she keeps it. But then President Kennedy comes on TV with frightening news about Soviet missiles in Cuba—and that’s where Sam’s heading. Suddenly Joanna’s worries about being home alone, building up the courage to talk to a cute boy, and not being allowed to go to the first boy-girl party in her grade don’t seem so important. Maybe sometimes there are good reasons to break a promise. The tense timeline of the Cuban missile crisis unfolds alongside a powerful, and ultimately hopeful, story about what it means to grow up in a world full of uncertainty.
A beautiful new edition of Hugh Hood’s debut story collection. It all started toward the end of the 1930s, when the young Hugh Hood serviced a flourishing Saturday Evening Post delivery route with more than fifty weekly customers. That was where the author-to-be first encountered the short story, in the fiction of the famous magazine writers Damon Runyon, Guy Gilpatric, Arthur Train, and the master of them all, P.G. Wodehouse. Hood would go on to write several novels and short story collections. Perhaps more importantly, he would be a founding member of the now-legendary Montreal Story Tellers group. Reissued here on its 55th anniversary, Hood’s first collection of short fiction, Flying a Red Kite contains some of his most well-known short fiction, from the post-apocalyptic visions of “After the Sirens” to the Faulknerian portrait of rural Ontario in “Three Halves of a House.” Flying a Red Kite is an essential window into the work of a major and unique Canadian talent.