Things We Lost in the Fire

“Things We Lost in the Fire”

The Walla Walla Public Library theme for September is Hispanic Heritage Month.

This week’s adult feature is fiction: “Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories,” by Mariana Enriquez.

Mariana Enriquez’s eerie short story collection looks at contemporary life in Argentina through a strange, surreal and often disturbing lens. In 12 stories containing black magic, a child serial killer, women setting themselves on fire to protest domestic violence, ghosts, demons and all kinds of monsters, Enriquez unforgettably brings horror and the macabre to life.” — Buzzfeed

The youth selection is a chapter book: “Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish,” by Pablo Cartaya.

This story for middle grades, set in Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico, pulls together important themes of family, identity, bilingualism, friends and bullying. Marcus Vega navigates his 6-foot-tall, 180-pound frame through middle school while also caring for his younger sibling, Charlie, who has Down syndrome. Because of his large size, some of his peers consider him to be a monster, or even a bully. When a real bully uses the “R” word in reference to Charlie, Marcus punches him in the jaw. This begins a series of events in which he is expelled from school before spring break, causing his mother to take the boys to Puerto Rico where they are introduced to their father’s extended family for the first time. Marcus decides to locate his long-absent father and over the course of five days, readers travel the island with him as he is introduced to its rich flora and fauna, foods, community life, music and friendliness. Marcus eventually comes to terms with his life challenges, including his own identity. — School Library Journal

To borrow these titles, visit the Walla Walla Public Library at 238 E. Alder St., online at, or call 509-527-4550 for details on curbside pickup and open building hours.

Many other titles are available with a library card on the Washington Anytime Library at


Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,

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