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Recommended Page-Turners: High School Fiction and Nonfiction

bow_scorpion rules

Bow, Erin  The Scorpion Rules 368 pp.     McElderry     2015     ISBN 978-1-4814-4271-8 Ebook ISBN 978-1-4814-4273-2 Pan Polar Confederacy princess Greta and the world’s other royal children are held hostage: if a leader goes to war, his or her child is killed; if that child survives to eighteen, he or she is released. There’s a welcome spin […]

Five questions for Elizabeth Wein

Photo: David Ho

As two-time Boston Globe–Horn Book honoree Elizabeth Wein reminds us below, a page-turner isn’t necessarily about plot twists and cliffhangers. For more books you can’t put down, see our 2016 Summer Reading recommendations. 1. Your books give readers the impulse to both turn pages quickly (what’s going to happen?!) and linger on the descriptions. How […]

RIP Lois Duncan

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I was sorry to hear about Lois Duncan’s death yesterday. Lois had been writing for young people for a long time–her first novel, Debutante Hill, was published in 1958 (and republished in 2013 by Lizzie Skurnick Books). She is someone whose work I always point towards as a reminder that YA fiction did not begin […]

Five questions for Tim Federle

Photo: Beowulf Sheehan

Tim Federle, well known for his middle-grade novels Better Nate Than Ever and its sequel Five, Six, Seven, Nate! (both Simon, 8–12 years), recently published his YA debut The Great American Whatever (Simon, 14 years and up). We asked the versatile writer and Broadway veteran about his reading past and his characters’ futures, and we […]

Fathers, sons, and grandfathers

alexander_booked

The bonds between a son and his father or grandfather can be strong yet complicated. The following books offer middle schoolers a glimpse into some tricky, loving family relationships. In Kwame Alexander‘s verse novel Booked (a companion in structure and theme to his 2015 Newbery Award–winning The Crossover), eighth grader Nick Hall is quite a […]

YA with pride

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June is LGBT Pride Month. Before, during, and after the parades have been attended and the rainbow cakes baked, readers can find queer-centric tales of love, struggle, and discovering one’s identity in the following books. It’s Pride Week in San Francisco in Nina LaCour and David Levithan’s You Know Me Well, and high-school seniors Mark […]

Books in bloom

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It’s almost summer! The weather is getting warmer, the daydreams are kicking in, and the flowers are blooming — outside and on YA covers. Take a look:    

Review of Draw the Line

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Draw the Line by Laurent Linn; illus. by the author High School    McElderry    520 pp. 5/16    978-1-4814-5280-9    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5282-3    $10.99 Adrian’s junior year in high school is not going well. A self-loathing closeted teen stuck in small-town Texas, he’s surrounded by “Bubbas” whose primary values are football and beer. Although he finds […]

Review of Ask Me How I Got Here

heppermann_ask me how i got here

Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann High School    Greenwillow    229 pp. 5/16    978-0-06-238795-0    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-06-238797-4    $9.99 Catholic-school sophomore Addie loves running cross-country, writing poetry, and having sex with her thoughtful, artsy new boyfriend, Nick. Then Addie gets pregnant. Her decision to have an abortion is unwavering, and she has […]

2016 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Middle School

alexander_booked

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2015–2016 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. For a handy take-along list of […]