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Brave new worlds

bruchac_trail of the dead

Along with questions about technological and scientific advances, these recent YA novels — three sci-fi adventures and one science-centric historical fantasy — implicitly explore issues of social justice, inviting readers to think critically about our own world. Having escaped from prisonlike Haven in Killer of Enemies, a battle-hardened Lozen now leads her band of refugees […]

Allegiant movie review

allegiant poster

Last spring, the inimitable Siân reviewed Insurgent, the second movie in the Divergent series. Among her observations: “Things exploded. A lot.” I doubt it will surprise anyone that in Allegiant (directed by Robert Schwentke; Summit, March 2016; PG-13), the third adaptation in the trilogy — no, wait, the first part of the two-part adaptation of […]

Radioactive!: How Irène Curie & Lise Meitner 
Revolutionized Science and 
Changed the World

women's hist_conkling_radioactive

Radioactive!: How Irène Curie & Lise Meitner 
Revolutionized Science and 
Changed the World by Winifred Conkling Middle School, High School   Algonquin   227 pp. 1/16   978-1-61620-415-0   $17.95 e-book ed. 978-1-61620-555-3   $17.95 While there have been plenty of biographies of Marie Curie for teens, little has been published for this audience about her daughter, Irène. Conkling’s biography […]

From the Guide: Narrative Nonfiction

collier_choosing courage

The trending genre of narrative nonfiction is one we have followed closely — see for example our August 2015 What Makes Good Narrative Nonfiction e-newsletter and Marc Aronson’s Writer’s Page article “What Is Narrative Nonfiction?” The Horn Book Guide’s wide-lens view on children’s publishing makes narrative nonfiction’s current popularity and usefulness abundantly clear. All recommended […]

Review of Essential Maps for the Lost

caletti_essential maps for the lost

Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti High School   Simon Pulse   323 pp. 4/16   978-0-4814-1516-3   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4814-1519-4   $10.99 High-school grad Madison Murray is living in Seattle with her uncle’s family while reluctantly taking a real-estate course to fast-track a partnership with her controlling mother back in Spokane. Swimming in Lake Union […]

Review of Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History

blumenthal_hillary

Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History by Karen Blumenthal Middle School, High School   Feiwel   418 pp. 1/16   978-1-250-08029-5   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-250-06014-3   $9.99 Though definitely not a hagiography, this biography offers a frank yet positive account of Clinton’s life through the 2015 announcement of her presidential candidacy. Beginning with her birth in 1947, […]

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 […]