As Plain as the Nose on Your Face: A Different Me by Deborah Blumenthal

a_different_meA Different Me
Deborah Blumenthal
Albert Whitman & Company

Allie has only one wish for her birthday this year. She wants surgery to fix everything wrong with her. Specifically, to correct the huge problem in the middle of her face: her nose.

Through an online forum, she meets two girls also waiting for nose jobs. Together they form a sisterhood, sharing insecurities, secret hopes and dreams, and crossing off the days until their procedures.

Then a mentoring project challenges Allie to look … Continue reading

Not the Usual Cancer Story: Zac and Mia by A J Betts

zac_and_miaZac and Mia
A J Betts
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group

Trapped in the ICU at a hospital near Perth, Australia, Zac is desperate for any distraction. Anything that will get his mum to leave him alone for a little bit. Anything new to ponder. When the newest patient on the adult cancer ward turns out to be a surly but gorgeous girl, Zac attempts to reach out to her. Mia is all fire and fury, but Zac doesn’t give up. He remembers those early days of denial … Continue reading

Author Jill Williamson Talks Inspiration, Lingo and What’s Next

jill_williamsonAuthor Jill Williamson took time from her busy schedule to talk to me about what inspired her award-winning series The Safe Lands Trilogy and what she’s working on next. Here’s what she had to say…

A story is often inspired by a question. What question inspired you to write this novel?

I was at my ladies’ Bible Study, and we were working on Beth Moore’s Daniel book. On screen, Beth asked us to think about some teenage boys we knew and how they might cope if they were taken from their … Continue reading

A Total Knockout: The Manager by Caroline Stellings

managerThe Manager
Caroline Stellings
Cape Breton University Press

Convinced an experimental surgery will solve her problems, Tina drags her sister on a wild journey from Nova Scotia to Boston. Along the way, Tina finds a gem of a boxer and convinces him to let her operate as his manager. Though skeptical at first, Jesse Mankiller begins to respect Tina’s unorthodox style. Together they hope to prove they have what it takes to win the big fight.

Like its protagonist, Tina MacKenzie, this is definitely one of those books that … Continue reading

A Girl Who Loves Homonyms: Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

rain_reignRain Reign
Ann M. Martin
Feiwel & Friends

Rose finds comfort in two things: homonyms and her dog Rain. When a fierce storm rips through her sleepy northern town, her dog disappears. Rose enacts a plan to find her missing companion, but along the way she learns about empathy for others in her community who’ve lost homes and family in the hurricane.

It’s difficult not to compare this novel with others with a similar narrator. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime particularly came to mind. Martin’s … Continue reading

Exploring the Alaskan Wilderness in Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading

kittyhawkKitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold
Iain Reading

Teen adventurer Kitty Hawk’s dreams come true when she receives funding which allows her a chance to study the behavior and habits of humpback whales in waters off the coast of Alaska. Aboard her trusty De Havilland Beaver, Kitty observes and documents information about the whales from the air. The altitude gives her more than a bird’s eye view of the whales, though. When she spots a suspicious boat she fears may be carrying stolen Yukon gold, she stops … Continue reading

Exciting Conclusion to a Thrilling Series: Rebels by Jill Williamson

rebelsRebels
Jill Williamson
Blink – Zondervan

Mason and Omar’s friends helplessly watch from their hiding places as the brothers face liberation, a process which remains a mystery to all Safe Landers. Once the boys learn what it is to be liberated, they begin plotting to bring the truth to all the people of the Safe Lands. After all, the only way to bring freedom to the Safe Lands is to expose the horrible secrets that fuel the leadership’s power.

From his place in hiding, Levi continues to pursue his … Continue reading

A Book Set in My Backyard: Paper Towns by John Green

papertownsPaper Towns
John Green
Penguin Group

Popular and notorious Margo Roth Spiegelman shocks Quinten out of his low-key, rule-abiding existence when she drags him along with her on a night of pranks and misadventures. When Margo disappears the following morning, Quinten believes she left clues to her whereabouts behind, hoping he will find her. As he searches for clues, he realizes there’s much more to Margo than the queen bee people perceive her to be. Through the Whitman poem she leaves behind and the abandoned hideaway Quinten discovers, he … Continue reading

Part Nature Walk, Part Journey of Heart: Nest by Esther Ehrlich

nestNest
Esther Ehrlich
Random House Children’s

Chirp begins fifth grade looking forward to another year of beloved family traditions: dancing with her mother, bird-watching hikes, and impromptu performances with her older sister Rachel. But something is different in the Orenstein house. Rachel hushes Chirp when she asks questions or wants to show her mother some new dance steps. Chirp can’t understand how these things could make her mother sad like Rachel says.

Then comes her mother’s devastating diagnosis. There will be no more dancing. As her mother’s health deteriorates, … Continue reading

Sizzling Dystopian Romance: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

shattermeShatter Me
Tahereh Mafi
HarperCollins

For months seventeen year-old Juliette remains locked inside a cold brick cell alone. She counts the days. Hours. Cracks on the wall. And then. Without explanation, a young man joins her in her cell, seemingly against his will. She recognizes him as Adam, the boy from her former life, the only one who ever showed her kindness.

As he begins to chip away at her outer shell, she warns him again and again that he cannot touch her. No one can. Though it is … Continue reading

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