Free Press Journal

Books to help your little ones grow


Ramona Blue

Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever. Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: She likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.

Author: Julie Murphy

Publisher: HarperCollins

Price: Rs499

Dress Codes for Small Towns


Billie McCaffrey doesn’t ‘come out’, but she does realize, unceremoniously, that she’s in love with her best guy friend, Woods, and her best girlfriend, Janie Lee. The way Stevens bounces this realization off of Billie’s religion, her family, and her conservative town will open readers up to thinking about sexuality, gender identity, and love in different ways. By exploring the gray areas of life and love, Stevens has made these somewhat-taboo or over-agonized topics more mainstream, understandable, and approachable.

Author: Courtney Stevens

Publisher: HarperCollins

Price: Rs499

The Secret History of Us

When Olivia crashed her car into a bay, she not only lost the last four years of her life, but the memory of the people who had become the most important parts of it, like her boyfriend Matt. But what she also doesn’t remember is that there was someone else: Walker, with whom she had a fledgling friendship that may or may not have grown into more. With her memories still at the bottom of the bay, Olivia has to piece together what she can of the past to see where her heart leads her in the future.

Author: Jessi Kirby

Publisher: HarperCollins

Price: Rs399

You Don’t Know Me but I Know You

Barrow handles the issue of teen sexuality and pregnancy with grace, and shows the reader all sides of the coin. Audrey’s life, though changed, is not ruined by her choices, and the conflict here is not based entirely on her pregnancy. Despite the pregnancy storyline, the main relationship at the heart of the story is between Audrey and her best friend Rose. As they each deal with their own problems, they lash out at each other in fear that they’re growing apart—but their satisfying and emotional reunion will remind readers that a best friend is for keeps.

Author: Rebecca Barrow

Publisher: HarperCollins

Price: Rs499


When Sid makes yet another mess, and his mum is at the end of her patience, Sid does what every quick-thinking kid would do – he blames it on his big, furry, vanilla-and-pink friend Kevin! And while it seemed like a good idea at the time, Sid gets an unexpected surprise when he finds out that Kevin and his world might not be so imaginary after all – and while his friend might be make-believe, his feelings are very real. A beautifully illustrated rhyming tale of friendship, kindness and stepping up, from a rare picture book talent. The perfect story for any child, from age three and up.

Author: Rob Biddulph

Publisher: HarperCollins

Price: Rs899