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Review of The Sun Is Also a Star

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The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon High School    Delacorte    349 pp. 11/16    978-0-553-49668-0    $18.99 Library ed.  978-0-553-49669-7    $21.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-553-49670-3    $10.99 New York City high school senior Natasha believes in science and rationality. An undocumented immigrant from Jamaica, she and her family are facing immediate deportation thanks to her father’s […]

Review of Juana & Lucas

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Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    90 pp. 9/16    978-0-7636-7208-9    $14.99 This brisk, episodic (in the best way) chapter book introduces Juana, a young girl living in Bogotá, Colombia, who loves many things: her city, her family, reading, Brussels sprouts, and her dog, Lucas. She does not like […]

Talented tweens

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Discovering new talents — from running to writing to pranking — helps these middle-school protagonists figure out who they are and what their futures could be. In Ghost, the first volume of Jason Reynolds’s Track series, seventh grader Castle “Ghost” Cranshaw has a talent for running as well as a tendency to get into trouble, […]

YA love stories in troubling times

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Love can flourish in even the most challenging of circumstances. In the following stories, teens fall in love in the shadow of the September 11th attacks, at a self-harm therapy group, and despite cultural and familial pressures. In Gae Polisner’s The Memory of Things, it’s the morning of September 11, 2001, in Manhattan, and the […]

Five questions for Nicola Yoon

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Natasha’s family is about to be deported to Jamaica. It’s a bad time to fall in love, and she fights it mightily. But Daniel Jae Ho Bae is so kind, sweet, and charming, she can’t resist — and neither will readers be able to resist Nicola Yoon’s romantic and multifaceted The Sun Is Also a […]

Review of The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog

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The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz; illus. by Hatem Aly Middle School, High School    Dutton    365 pp. 9/16    978-0-525-42616-5    $17.99    g An ambitious mash-up of medieval saints’ lives, the Joan of Arc legend, thirteenth-century French history, and elements of The Canterbury Tales, Gidwitz’s hopeful story of […]

The Phantom of the Opera is there…

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…inside our office! Editorial intern Molly accessorized her already-adorbs Halloween #OOTD with a mask that just arrived to promote A. G. Howard’s upcoming Phantom-inspired YA novel RoseBlood (Abrams/Amulet, January 2017). Time for a Halloween singalong at our desks, I think!

Review of Still Life with Tornado

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Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King High School    Dutton    296 pp. 10/16    978-1-101-99488-7    $17.99    g “There is no such thing as an original idea,” sixteen-year-old Sarah’s teacher tells the class, a dictum that sticks with the once-promising art student. Sarah had an original idea, and she executed it beautifully, but Something Happened at school […]

Review of Gertie’s Leap to Greatness

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Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley; illus. by Jillian Tamaki Intermediate    Farrar    250 pp. 10/16    978-0-374-30261-0    $16.99    g Gertie Reece Foy lives with her great-aunt Rae in coastal Alabama while her kind and loving father, Frank, works on an oil rig. Her mother, Rachel, who left the family when Gertie was a baby, lives […]

Review of To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party

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To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party by Skila Brown Middle School, High School    Candlewick    292 pp. 10/16    978-0-7636-7811-1    $17.99 In this compelling verse novel, Brown (Caminar, rev. 3/14) imagines the Donner Party’s harrowing survival tale as experienced by nineteen-year-old Mary Ann Graves, a real-life member of the […]