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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

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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 […]

Review of Dark Shimmer

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Dark Shimmer by Donna Jo Napoli High School   Lamb/Random   358 pp. 9/15   978-0-385-74655-7   $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-385-90892-4   $19.99 e-book ed. 978-0-375-98917-9   $10.99 Napoli’s latest fairy-tale revisioning is set amongst the beautiful homes and mysterious waters of fifteenth-century Venice. Dolce grew up on a tiny island believing that she was a monster: larger than everyone else, […]

Goodbye, Katniss

katniss salute

It’s always hard to say goodbye to a beloved series. In the case of The Hunger Games trilogy, movie adaptations have drawn out the inevitable for several more years — but now the end is truly here. In tribute (har har) to the franchise, we’ve pulled together a roundup of our Hunger Games coverage (and […]

Mockingjay, Part 2: Let’s talk about that epilogue

katniss with baby mockingjay

It’s never fun to listen to someone talk about all of the ways in which a movie was not like the book. And I’m not going to do that here because that is not the point. Am I sad that the personalities and import of secondary characters were lost between Mockingjay the book and Mockingjay […]

“The Hunger Games: The Exhibition”

Motto

There’s a lot of me in this week o’ Hunger Games on Out of the Box. That is likely because I am a giant fan girl. And probably because I have more time on my hands than fellow fangirls Katie and Shoshana. But also because I was lucky enough to go to “The Hunger Games: […]