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Review of I Have Lost My Way

I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman High School    Viking    258 pp.    g 3/18    978-0-425-29077-4    $18.99 A chance meeting leads to intimate connections for three struggling nineteen-year-olds in Forman’s (If I Stay, rev. 7/09; I Was Here, rev. 1/15) latest novel. Freya is an up-and-coming singer who has lost her voice, to her controlling […]

Review of Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots

Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots by Margarita Engle; illus. by Rudy Gutierrez Middle School, High School    Atheneum    179 pp.    g 5/18    978-1-5344-0943-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0945-3    $10.99 In 1942 Los Angeles, after working all day at the canneries, teen sisters Lorena and Marisela can’t wait to put on their sharpest swing […]

Review of The Belles

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton Middle School, High School    Freeform/Disney    440 pp. 2/18    978-1-4847-2849-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4847-3249-6    $10.99 In the fantastical courtly society of Orléans, everyone is born ugly — “skin pallid, gray, and shriveled, eyes cherry red, hair like straw — as if all the color was leeched out of them.” Everyone, that […]

2018 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: High School

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2017–2018 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. For a handy take-along list of […]

Review of Speak: The Graphic Novel

Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson; illus. by Emily Carroll High School    Farrar    376 pp. 2/18    978-0-374-30028-9    $19.99 In this new graphic novel adaptation of Anderson’s Speak (rev. 9/99) — a powerful narrative of a high school freshman’s year of self-preservation after a brutal sexual assault — artist Carroll starkly renders protagonist Melinda’s […]

Review of Jabberwalking

Jabberwalking by Juan Felipe Herrera Middle School, High School    Candlewick    138 pp. 3/18    978-1-5362-0140-6    $22.99 Paper ed.  978-0-7636-9264-3    $14.99 In a loose and jazzy style (and with a nod to Lewis Carroll), the former U.S. Poet Laureate offers instructions for “Jabberwalking,” or writing poetry while in motion: “You have to move fast! / Move, move, […]

Review of The Prince and the Dressmaker

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang; illus. by the author Middle School, High School    First Second/Roaring Brook    282 pp. 2/18    978-1-250-15985-4    $24.99 Paper ed.  978-1-62672-363-4    $16.99 With a setting and palette reminiscent of Disney’s Cinderella and a setup involving a royal ball, this graphic novel has all the trappings of a rags-to-riches romance. […]

Review of Between the Lines

Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes Middle School, High School    Paulsen/Penguin    213 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-399-24688-3    $17.99 “Just step up, step up to the mike / and let your truth fly, loud, / proud, raw.” That’s what students are preparing to do in Mr. Ward’s high school class in the Bronx. Through poetry, they are […]

Review of Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi High School    Holt    533 pp. 3/18    978-1-250-17097-2    $18.99 When magic suddenly disappears from the kingdom of Orïsha, King Saran seizes the chance to murder all the maji (rare and powerful magic-wielders), leaving alive only the divîners (children born to be maji but too young to have yet […]

Bad blood

All teens grapple with family dynamics as they define their individual identities. But the protagonists of these YA fantasy novels must also contend with magic, secrets, and misdeeds in their bloodlines. In Frances Hardinge‘s A Skinful of Shadows, orphan Makepeace (an illegitimate relation) becomes a servant to the aristocratic Fellmotte family. She soon realizes that […]