Review of Caminar

brown_caminar

Caminar by Skila Brown Middle School    Candlewick    200 pp. 3/14    978-0-7636-6516-6    $15.99 “Forest sounds / all around / but on the ground / the sound / of Me / grew. Echoed. / I heard a path I could not see.” Exquisitely crafted poems are the basis of an unusually fine verse novel set in 1981, in […]

At long last

nix_clariel cover

There may have been some jumping up and down yesterday when I spotted this on the Magazine table. Garth Nix’s Abhorsen trilogy/Old Kingdom Chronicles is one of my all-time favorite series; I’ve read Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen several times each and listened to the superb audiobooks narrated by Tim Curry many more times. The trilogy […]

The new headless torsos, redux

erlings_boy on the edge

The new headless torsos could also be this.   For more book jacket love, read Thom Barthelmess’s article What Makes a Good Book Cover? From the March/April Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Illustration.

Review of Beyond Magenta

kuklin_beyond magenta

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin High School    Candlewick    182 pp. 2/14    978-0-7636-5611-9    $22.99 e-book ed.  978-0-7636-7035-1    $22.99 Rather than attempting to convey the spectrum of transgender experience through a multitude of voices, Kuklin tries something different here, focusing on just six young people whose gender identity is something other than what […]

Boys’ life

herrndorf_why we took the car

A heartrending and hilarious junior-high road-trip novel; a story about stepping up in dire straits; an exploration of grief, false exteriors, and hope; and a riveting depiction of a boy feigning manhood. These new novels featuring teenage boys offer coming-of-age drama with real heart. Two teens abandon their lackluster lives and hit the Autobahn in […]

Review of The Impossible Knife of Memory

anderson_impossible knife of memory_170x257

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson High School     Viking     371 pp. 1/14     978-0-670-01209-1     $18.99     g Hayley Kincain has spent the last five years riding shotgun in her father’s rig, discussing fractions and evolution — an on-the-road version of home schooling. Constant movement has helped keep the past at bay for […]

Review of Why We Took the Car

herrndorf_why we took the car

Why We Took the Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf; trans. from the German by Tim Mohr Middle School, High School    Levine/Scholastic    250 pp. 1/14    978-0-545-48180-9    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-545-58636-8    $17.99 Two teens abandon their lackluster lives and hit the Autobahn in this audacious tragicomedy. Mike Klingenberg, boring and unpopular, lives a life of quiet desperation […]

Rule-breakers and rising stars

reynolds_break these rules

Joining Rookie Yearbook Two (“HORMONES SUCK. But being a young person doesn’t always”) are two recent teen-centric anthologies, each with a different focus but both with teen appeal. Break These Rules: 35 YA Authors on Speaking Up, Standing Out, and Being Yourself, edited by Luke Reynolds (Chicago Review Press, September 2013), includes short-story anecdotes from […]

Happy Valentine’s Day

tunnell_candybomber

Some years ago, my optimistic neighbor told me that he considers Valentine’s Day to be the unofficial start of spring. Given the ridiculous winter we are having in the northeast, this year I am holding him to it! So, in desperate hope for the start of spring, I am dedicating this post to Valentine’s Day. […]

Hello and a book recommendation

Rapture Practice

By way of introduction, a story and a book recommendation. When I was in school, I had an experience that many people have and one I think about often as a teacher — I felt like I rarely saw myself in a book (though disclaimer — I had some excellent teachers). I always feel that […]