Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Tina Chambers

Stranded in Time

The past and present collide in Michael Amos Cody’s story collection

The stories in Michael Amos Cody’s A Twilight Reel are peopled with complicated characters — lost, angry, grieving, lonely, violent, and filled with regret, each one searching for some kind of peace. The collection conjures up a small town poised on the brink of a new day, dragging the chains of buried secrets and sorrows firmly behind it.

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Feeling No but Saying Yes

Troubled kids find a balm for pain in the love of a good dog

Luna Howls at the Moon is Kristin O’Donnell Tubb’s third middle-grade novel to feature a service dog as protagonist and narrator, a charming device that works well in this case to illustrate the value of pairing therapy animals with troubled children. Tubb will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on June 15.

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All Kinds of Missing, All Kinds of Loss

Ashley Herring Blake pens a magical mermaid mystery about grief

In Hazel Bly and the Deep Blue Sea, Ashley Herring Blake continues to confront the hard subjects of trauma and loss, identity and community, forgiveness and redemption — subjects she sensitively explored in her previous books for middle grade and YA readers. That she does so within the context of a magical beach-themed mermaid mystery can only be a plus for her young readers. 

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The Blood Was There All Along

A white priest’s experience of the civil rights movement in Alabama

Francis X. Walter’s From Preaching to Meddling provides valuable eyewitness testimony to the struggle for civil rights in Alabama. The memoir is an important historical document by a humble man of faith who tried to live what he believed during a dangerously polarizing time.

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To Wonder, to Marvel, to Be Astonished

Pick a card — or two, or three — for instant inspiration

Artists of all kinds who long for more time and energy to devote to creative pursuits will find much to inspire them in Kickstart Creativity: 50 Prompted Cards to Spark Inspiration, the latest project from Nashville writer and educator Bonnie Smith Whitehouse. She will appear at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus books in Nashville on February 10.

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Anything So Dangerous and Painful as Hope

Alan Gratz’s Ground Zero contrasts the terrors of 9/11 with a day in war-torn Afghanistan

In Ground Zero, possibly his most heart-wrenching middle-grade book yet, Knoxville native Alan Gratz weaves the terror of 9/11 and the pain of the ongoing war in Afghanistan into a story whose relentless pace and nonstop suspense ensure readers feel every bit of it. Gratz will discuss Ground Zero at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on February 12.

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