At the end of 2013, Jerry Wheeler of Out In Print rounded up the best books he’d read over the year: “I came across some absolutely amazing books in 2013 . . . This list is in no particular order, but they are all excellent. If you haven’t purchased them yet, you really need to.”

Of the 13 books he rates, two are Bywater titles: Art on Fire by Hilary Sloin and Giraffe People by Jill Malone.

Art on Fire, he writes, is “memorable not only for the story it tells, but for the essays on deSilva’s work sandwiched between chapters of her story. Those essays are as brilliantly satirical of art criticism as deSilva’s story is involving and engaging. Her art informs her life as much as her life informs her art. But even if you’re not an art critic, this wonderful book is a portrait of a fascinating life. And an untimely death.”

Here’s what he said about Giraffe People: “Much more than a young adult novel, [this] is a wonderfully voiced and nuanced look at fifteen years old. The perspective is as adult yet as childish as you remember your own life at that time. If you have forgotten what fifteen was like, you need to read this. If you remember, you’ll be as involved in Cole Peters’ life as she is. And Malone maintains this voice with remarkable consistency, never putting a foot wrong.”

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