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Embracing cultural identity

The following YA stories feature teens struggling with family, friendship, and cultural identity in ways that feel organic to their experiences and are relatable to a variety of readers. Alternating between the voices of two seventeen-year-olds — a contemporary biracial (her mother is black, her father is white) young woman named Rowan Chase, and Will […]

History of war

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The following books for middle schoolers describe the horrors of twentieth-century wars and urge readers to learn from history’s mistakes. Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II by Albert Marrin opens briefly with a prologue set on the day of the attack […]

Review of Cloudwish

Cloudwish by Fiona Wood High School    Poppy/Little, Brown    309 pp. 10/16    978-0-316-24212-7    $18.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-316-24211-0    $9.99 The Australian author’s third novel focuses on two minor characters from Wildlife (rev. 11/14). Vân U’ó’c Phan is a hardworking scholarship student, an artist, and the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants who expect her to become a doctor. […]

Review of The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan High School    Knopf    217 pp. 10/16    978-0-399-55380-6    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55381-3    $20.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-399-55382-0    $10.99 It’s been a year since the two teens met and fell in love in New York City (Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, rev. 1/11), […]

Review of Goldenhand

Goldenhand [Old Kingdom] by Garth Nix Middle School, High School    Harper/HarperCollins    345 pp. 10/16    978-0-06-156158-0    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-221678-6    $10.99 In this fifth installment in the series, Sabriel, the Abhorsen, is on a much-needed holiday, and it falls to Abhorsen-in-Waiting Lirael to investigate when her friend (and love interest) Nicholas Sayre sends word of an […]

Review of Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine

Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine by Ibtisam Barakat Middle School, High School    Ferguson/Farrar    223 pp. 10/16    978-0-374-30251-1    $17.99    g In this follow-up to her first memoir (Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood), and beginning where that book left off, Barakat leads readers through her adolescent years in the West Bank during […]

Review of The Sun Is Also a Star

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon High School    Delacorte    349 pp. 11/16    978-0-553-49668-0    $18.99 Library ed.  978-0-553-49669-7    $21.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-553-49670-3    $10.99 New York City high school senior Natasha believes in science and rationality. An undocumented immigrant from Jamaica, she and her family are facing immediate deportation thanks to her father’s […]

YA love stories in troubling times

Love can flourish in even the most challenging of circumstances. In the following stories, teens fall in love in the shadow of the September 11th attacks, at a self-harm therapy group, and despite cultural and familial pressures. In Gae Polisner’s The Memory of Things, it’s the morning of September 11, 2001, in Manhattan, and the […]

Five questions for Nicola Yoon

Natasha’s family is about to be deported to Jamaica. It’s a bad time to fall in love, and she fights it mightily. But Daniel Jae Ho Bae is so kind, sweet, and charming, she can’t resist — and neither will readers be able to resist Nicola Yoon’s romantic and multifaceted The Sun Is Also a […]

The Phantom of the Opera is there…

…inside our office! Editorial intern Molly accessorized her already-adorbs Halloween #OOTD with a mask that just arrived to promote A. G. Howard’s upcoming Phantom-inspired YA novel RoseBlood (Abrams/Amulet, January 2017). Time for a Halloween singalong at our desks, I think!