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Review of Bull

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Bull by David Elliott High School    Houghton    188 pp. 3/17    978-0-544-61060-6    $17.99    g There’s little grand or heroic in Elliott’s clever verse version of the classical story of the Minotaur: its title, Bull, is topically and colloquially apt. The story unrolls in the voices of seven characters, each with his […]

Review of Amina’s Voice

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Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan Intermediate, Middle School    Salaam/Simon    197 pp. 3/17    978-1-4814-9206-5    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4814-9208-9    $10.99 Musically talented Amina struggles with shyness and, since she started middle school, with issues of assimilation. Her best friend Soojin, who is Korean American, is considering changing her name with […]

Angie Thomas on The Hate U Give

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In our March/April 2017 issue, assistant editor Shoshana Flax asked author Angie Thomas about the timeliness of her important novel The Hate U Give. Read the full starred review. Shoshana Flax: The book feels very, tragically up-to-the-minute. How far into the editorial process were you making changes based on current events? Angie Thomas: I tried […]

Review of The Hate U Give

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    453 pp. 2/17    978-0-06-249853-3    $17.99 Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter lives a life many African American teenagers can relate to: a life of double consciousness. Caught between her rough, predominantly black neighborhood and the “proper,” predominantly white prep school she attends, […]

“All YA Need Is Love” panel

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On the heels of Valentine’s Day, I attended an event sponsored by the Boston Teen Author Festival aptly called “All YA Need is Love.” The panel, which discussed all kinds of love in YA fiction, featured Kim Savage, author of After the Woods and Beautiful Broken Girls; Rebecca Maizel, author of Between Us and the […]

Children’s Books Boston “A Midwinter Night’s Fantasy Panel” recap

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Dragons are people, too. Or at least, it’s possible to put so much thought into them as characters that they might as well be. This was just one takeaway from Children’s Books Boston’s “A Midwinter Night’s Fantasy Panel,” in which our own Martha V. Parravano moderated a discussion between authors Kristin Cashore and Tui T. […]

Review of History Is All You Left Me

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History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera High School    Soho Teen    293 pp. 1/17    978-1-61695-692-9    $18.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-61695-693-6    $10.99 Seventeen-year-old Griffin loses Theo, his best friend and first love, twice: first when the young men break up, and again, as the book opens, when Theo drowns. Dual timelines carry readers simultaneously […]

Review of Well, That Was Awkward

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Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail Middle School    Viking    314 pp. 2/17    978-0-670-01308-1    $16.99    g As eighth grade comes to a close and her fourteenth birthday approaches, Gracie Grant discovers she has a problem. Out of the blue, Gracie realizes she like-likes longtime and suddenly very attractive classmate AJ Rojanasopondist. But that’s not the […]

Review of Me and Marvin Gardens

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Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King Intermediate, Middle School    Levine/Scholastic    250 pp. 2/17    978-0-545-87074-0    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-545-87077-1    $10.99 The middle-grade debut of YA novelist A.S. King (Still Life with Tornado, rev. 9/16) was bound to be a little weird — and it is. It’s also a smart, environmentally conscious underdog story […]

Dystopian teen heroes

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These four novels envision authoritarian societies, some in the future, some not-so-futuristic, that cause their teenage protagonists to take revolutionary action. Under Little Town’s strict Regime, no one crosses the border to or from Old Country — until the Duda family arrives as refugees. Protagonist Charlie befriends teenager Pavel Duda and tries to teach him […]