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You’ve got to have friends

barnett_samanddave

Picture books about friendship can be a dime a dozen. However, these four new gems — about companions in adventure, in-sync skating partners, a tender odd-couple bond, and a freewheeling affection-giver — freshen things up. In Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, two boys set out to do just that — but unearth nothing. Eventually […]

Middle-school capers

hilmo_skies like these

Middle school can be a time when kids broaden their horizons, explore new talents, and form more grown-up opinions. But it can also be a time for mischievous adventure, social snafus, rule-breaking, and guerilla-style activism — and these middle-school capers abound with such madcap antics. Twelve-year-old Jade, star of Tess Hilmo’s Skies like These, would […]

2014 BGHB Awards last call

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With the May 15th deadline around the bend, this is the last call for 2014 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards submissions. Please read the guidelines carefully before submitting, and contact khedeen at hbook dot com with questions. Winners and honor books will be unveiled live on Saturday, May 31st, at BEA. Stop by the Librarians’ Lounge, […]

Choose your own teenage dream

clark_maybe tonight

The model made popular by the Choose Your Own Adventure middle-grade books comes to a teen audience in two new paperback series with massive appeal for reluctant-reader girls. Bridie Clark’s Snap Decision series, which debuted last summer with Maybe Tonight? (Roaring Brook, August 2013), places the reader in the driver’s seat to navigate life at […]

Review of We Were Liars

lockhart_we were liars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart High School    Delacorte    228 pp. 5/14    978-0-385-74126-2    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-98994-0    $20.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-375-98440-2    $10.99 Cadence Sinclair Eastman, eldest grandchild in a Kennedy-esque clan, narrates this story about her wealthy family, one that’s rife with secrets and is broken under the hood. Cady begins the book by […]

April is National Poetry Month

mcphail_my mother goose

Preschool-perfect nursery rhymes, a potpourri of new-reader-friendly seasonal verse, a presidential history lesson in rhyme, and a picture book biography about a famous poet — these new books offer unique avenues for celebrating National Poetry Month. Editor and illustrator David McPhail’s My Mother Goose: A Collection of Favorite Rhymes is an affable collection of sixty-three […]

Boys’ life

herrndorf_why we took the car

A heartrending and hilarious junior-high road-trip novel; a story about stepping up in dire straits; an exploration of grief, false exteriors, and hope; and a riveting depiction of a boy feigning manhood. These new novels featuring teenage boys offer coming-of-age drama with real heart. Two teens abandon their lackluster lives and hit the Autobahn in […]

“HORMONES SUCK. But being a young person doesn’t always.”

rookie yearbook 2

Rookie, popular e-zine for teenage girls and brainchild of teen blogger Tavi Gevinson, has steadily garnered fans since its launch in 2011. With monthly issues, the site offers engaging, cutting-edge, easily browsable material. Rookie Yearbook Two (Drawn and Quarterly, October 2013), the second compilation of annual content, featuring goods from 2013, is just as vibrant […]

Review of The Midnight Dress

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The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee High School     Knopf     281 pp. 10/13    978-0-375-85645-7    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-95645-4    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-449-81821-3    $9.99 Self-contained, morose fifteen-year-old Rose and her alcoholic father arrive in Australian beach town Leonora, and it seems like they may actually stay put for a spell, for once. Rose enrolls in school and […]

Boys to men

coaltown jesus

Being a teenage boy can be tough. Things change, insecurities reign supreme. These new YA novels all feature male protagonists dealing, in their own ways, with life’s big stuff. When fourteen-year-old Walker offers up a prayer (“Look…if you’re up there, help / my mom, okay? My brother’s been dead / two whole months, and she’s […]