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Review of Burn Baby Burn

medina_burn baby burn

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina High School   Candlewick   308 pp. 3/16   978-0-7636-7467-0   $17.99   g This vividly evoked coming-of-age story is set against actual events in 1977 New York City, when tensions rose throughout a city enduring an oppressive heat wave, culminating in the historic blackout of July 13th. Seventeen-year-old Nora López faces an insecure […]

Her-stories

blumenthal_hillary

March is Women’s History Month, and this is an especially noteworthy year for one of the subjects of these four YA biographies (and possible vindication for another one of them whose notorious reputation precedes her). Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History by Karen Blumenthal offers a positive yet frank account of Clinton‘s life through […]

Review of The Great American Whatever

federle_great american whatever

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle High School    Simon    276 pp. 3/16    978-1-4814-0409-9    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4814-0411-2    $10.99 Sixteen-year-old Quinn’s life is static: less than a year after his sister’s fatal car crash in front of their school and his father’s subsequent departure, his screenwriting ambitions have been put on hold, his social […]

This title trend

schwab_this savage song

This trending structure seems to indicate that something serious is going down. It could be the reanimation-via-clockwork of the deceased. It could be that someone’s in love, but at the worst possible time. It could be a mysterious death. Or it could be a war between humanity and monsters. In any case, this dramatic phrase […]

Not your average problem novel

downham_unbecoming

Facing illness, sexuality, family issues, and life-and-death situations, the following teen protagonists maturely and deeply explore the world around them while also looking within themselves. Until the hospital called, asking her mother to pick up elderly Mary, seventeen-year-old Katie — star of Jenny Downham’s Unbecoming — didn’t even know she had a grandmother. Katie, her […]

Five questions for Tanita S. Davis

Tanita Davis_credit David T. Macknet

Coretta Scott King Author Award honoree (for Mare’s War in 2010; Knopf, 13–16 years) Tanita S. Davis’s fourth novel, Peas and Carrots (Knopf, 13–16 years), is told through the alternating perspectives of prickly Dess, whose mother is in jail, and privileged Hope, whose family has fostered Dess’s half-brother since he was a baby and is […]

Review of The Smell of Other People’s Houses

hitchcock_smell of other people's houses

The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock Middle School, High School   Lamb/Random   228 pp. 2/16   978-0-553-49778-6   $17.99 Library ed. 978-0-553-49779-3   $20.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-553-49780-9   $10.99 Through sensory details that viscerally evoke the story’s physical and emotional landscapes, readers are transported to 1970s Birch Park, Alaska, where hunting and fishing are both livelihood […]

Review of The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & the 
Trial of the Century

miller_borden murders

The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & the 
Trial of the Century by Sarah Miller Middle School   Schwartz & Wade/Random   284 pp. 1/16   978-0-553-49808-0   $17.99 Library ed. 978-0-553-49809-7   $20.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-553-49810-3   $10.99 Lizzie Borden took an axe, / Gave her mother forty whacks. / When she saw what she had done, / She gave […]

Review of Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow

rowell_carry on

Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow by Rainbow Rowell High School   St. Martin’s Griffin   522 pp. 10/15   978-1-250-04955-1   $19.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4668-5054-5   $9.99 In Fangirl (rev. 11/13), protagonist Cath wrote fanfiction for the fictitious “Simon Snow” fantasy series. Now Rowell has written a novel set in Simon Snow’s universe and using many […]

Review of City of Halves

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City of Halves by Lucy Inglis Middle School, High School   Chicken House/Scholastic   361 pp. 11/15   978-0-545-82958-8   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-545-83054-6   $17.99 While on reconnaissance for her lawyer father in the City of London, sixteen-year-old Lily is viciously attacked by a two-headed dog and discovers the existence of the other half of the City she […]