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Kelly Easton Books In Order

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Publication Order of Betts Pets Books

Trouble at Betts Pets (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Canaries and Criminals (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Life History of a Star (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Walking on Air (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Aftershock (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
White Magic (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hiroshima Dreams (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
To Be Mona (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Outlandish Adventures of Liberty Aimes (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Time in the Sleeping Sky (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Kelly Easton is an American author of Betts Pets series. She is a versatile writer who wears many hats. She teaches writing for children and young adults at Hamline University and is a licensed mental health counselor. In the summer, she dedicates her time teaching creative writing to kids in workshops. Alongside her teaching career, Kelly is an accomplished editor and the author of several award-winning novels.

Easton’s books have received prestigious accolades, such as the Asian/Pacific American Literature Award, the ASTAL Middle School Book of the Year Award, and the New York Public Library’s Book for the Teen Age designation. Her notable works include Hiroshima Dreams, Aftershock, White Magic, and Walking on Air, which have garnered critical acclaim and recognition from various literary organizations.

The Outlandish Adventures of Liberty Aimes was selected by the Jr. Library Guild, adding another achievement to her impressive portfolio. Kelly is actively engaged in writing projects, including an adult novel and a sequel to Liberty Aimes, showcasing her ongoing dedication to storytelling across different genres and age groups.

Outside of her professional endeavors, Kelly cherishes her time with her husband, Michael Ruben, and their four children, Isaac, Isabelle, Mollie, and Rebecca, along with their beloved dog, Garfield. She resides in the serene surroundings of islands in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, where she finds inspiration for her writing and continues to make meaningful contributions to the literary world.

The Outlandish Adventures of Liberty Aimes is Kelly Easton’s standalone novel, first published in 2009. At 33 Gooch Street, life isn’t what most kids dream about. Liberty Aimes, like Cinderella before her prince, is homeschooled by her parents. She can’t go outside and has to do all the chores.

But one day, everything changes for Liberty. She finds herself outside her home and decides to go to Sullivan School. Along the way, she meets strangers, some of whom aren’t very nice.

Liberty doesn’t find a prince like Cinderella did. But she meets kind people who try to help her. And eventually, the meanest person she meets gets what they deserve.

This story is exciting from the start. Despite facing challenges, Liberty stays brave and determined. Kids will enjoy meeting Liberty and laughing at the funny characters she encounters.

In Kelly Easton’s 2001 novel, The Life History of a Star, we meet our story’s main character, Kristin Folger, living in Glendora, California. She grapples with a strained relationship with her mother, the story’s antagonist. Their communication is sparse, and Kristin often feels like she disappoints her mother.

Kristin’s parents separated, and her mother’s actions significantly affected their split. Despite this, Kristin’s father still holds affection for her mother and hopes to reconcile. However, their frequent conflicts add stress to Kristin’s life.

Kristin finds support in her friendships with Carol and Simon, her closest companions. However, tensions arise when Carol begins dating Freddie, causing discomfort for Kristin, who longs for the simplicity of their past friendship.

Simon, who has always been a steadfast friend, starts developing romantic feelings for Kristin, complicating their dynamic. Kristin must navigate these changing relationships while dealing with the challenges at home.

Man vs mother is one of Kristin’s life’s conflicts. Kristin knew that her mother would become irate if she disapproved of the disgusting meal her mother prepared. Due to their father’s divorce, Kristin and her brother Bobby suffer due to their mother. Kristin’s mother is an alcoholic, and she won’t allow her to be honest with her without risk of getting hit. Kristin is frequently the target of her mother’s snarky remarks. Instead of family therapy, Kristin advised her mother to attend an AA meeting, and if she hadn’t hurried out the door, she would have been smacked.

Her mother’s alcoholism has an impact on her. Kristin ran home from family therapy after her mom insisted on it since it was too upsetting. Following that, her mother forced her father to leave, not her or her brother.

Man vs self is another dilemma. When one of her instructors questioned why she received consecutive A’s in one academic year and straight D’s in the next, she said it was all based on her mental state. Kristin considered suicide, but her buddy Simon persuaded her that individuals who lack creativity are the only ones who commit suicide. Most of the time, she feels emotionless and numb. She detests the changes to her physique. One major conflict Kristin faces is between herself and her friends. It’s not that she’s directly arguing with them; rather, her friends undergo sudden changes that leave Kristin feeling disconnected.

She tries to explain to Carol that life offers more than what their parents experienced, but Carol focuses on her boyfriend, failing to grasp Kristin’s perspective.

Kristin also notices shifts in her friendship with Simon. Initially fearing he no longer likes her, Simon reassures her of his affection. However, Simon’s romantic advances create distance between them, as Kristin values their friendship and doesn’t want to risk losing it by pursuing a romantic relationship.

The central theme of The Life History of a Star revolves around the journey from innocence to awareness. In the story, Kristin’s attic harbors a symbolic ghost, which represents her brother David, who was severely injured in the Vietnam War.
Initially, Kristin desperately wishes for David’s return, clinging to the hope that he will return unchanged. However, she gradually realizes that David can never fully recover from his ordeal. This realization dawns on her as she witnesses his suffering and the profound changes in his behavior.

Kristin metaphorically labels David as the ghost because he’s no longer the same person he once was; he’s become a shadow of his former self, a lost soul trapped in his pain. The haunting sounds emanating from the attic serve as a constant reminder of her brother’s agony, tormenting Kristin with memories of their shared past.

Despite her longing for David’s restoration, Kristin ultimately comes to terms with the harsh reality that he’ll never return to his previous state. She grapples with feelings of guilt for even harboring thoughts of his death, yet she understands that it would release him from his suffering.

Kristin’s journey from innocence to awareness unfolds as she confronts the painful truth about her brother’s condition and learns to accept the irreversible changes in their lives.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Kelly Easton

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