Review: A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody

A Week of Mondays
Jessica Brody
Farrar Straus Giroux
Published August 2, 2016

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After a horrible Monday in which her local rock-star boyfriend dumps her and she makes a fool of herself at a speech in front of the whole student body, Ellison Sparks makes a promise. She vows she’ll make things right if she could only have a chance to do things over. So, when the next morning dawns Monday all over again, she realizes she has exactly that chance. As Ellie scrambles to fix everything that went wrong the first time (and second time and third time…), Ellie begins to wonder if maybe the things she fights for so desperately aren’t the things that … Continue reading

Review: Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

Goodbye DaysGoodbye Days
Jeff Zentner
Crown Books for Young Readers
Published March 7, 2017

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From Goodreads
One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.

The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney … Continue reading

Review: Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan

Amina's Voice by Hena KhanAmina’s Voice
Hena Khan
Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster
Published March 14, 2017

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Now that Amina is in middle school, it seems everything is changing. Her best friend Soojin wants to hang out with Emily. Amina remembers Emily making fun of her and Soojin in elementary school. Soojin wants to celebrate becoming an American citizen by changing her name, and she wants Amina to help her pick something “American.” Amina struggles to find her own place in the shifting world. Soojin encourages her to sing a solo for a chorus concert, but Amina worries she’ll freeze up and be unable to speak. Then she learns she’ll have to speak at a recitation … Continue reading

Review: Giant Smugglers by Matt Solomon and Chris Pauls

Giant Smugglers
Matt Solomon and Chris Pauls
Feiwel & Friends
Published May 17, 2016

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Thirteen-year-old Charlie stands up to a bully and soon finds himself on the run. When he ducks into an abandoned warehouse, he discovers someone else already hiding there: a giant! Charlie soon learns that the giant is on his way to meet his family, but an evil doctor and his team of scientists are close to finding him. If they find the giant, they’ll harvest growth hormones and use them to make a fortune on athletes and soldiers. Charlie vows to help his new friend escape and to keep him from becoming anyone’s science experiment.

The story moves quickly, right from the … Continue reading

Review: See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

See You in the Cosmos
Jack Cheng
Dial Books
Published February 28, 2017

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From Goodreads

11-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan—named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare … Continue reading

Review: When You Never Said Goodbye by Meg Kearney

When You Never Said Goodbye
Meg Kearney
Persea
Available March 21, 2017

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Through poetry and journal entries, Liz relates the story of her first year at NYU and her search for her birth mother. As she forms a circle of friends, she gradually shares with them the truth about her adoption and her search. She finds support and love from these friends and from her family, though each member of her family struggles with the search for different reasons. Liz won’t give up looking, even as one obstacle after another rises to meet her.

One of my favorite things about this story were all the references to literature and poetry contained … Continue reading

Review and Giveaway: Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham

I’m today’s stop on the Irish Banana Blog Tour for Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham, and I can’t wait to tell you about the book. Stick around for my review, a list of the other tour stops and where you might find great stuff like Q&A with the author, AND don’t miss the chance to win one of three hardcover copies of the book in the giveaway below!

Dreamland Burning
Jennifer Latham
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Available February 21, 2017

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About Dreamland Burning

When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family’s property, she … Continue reading

Review: Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

Piecing Me Together by Renee WatsonPiecing Me Together
Renée Watson
Bloomsbury
Published February 14, 2017

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Jade believes the only way she’ll find success is to get out of her neighborhood. That’s why she accepts a scholarship to a privileged, mostly white school. It’s why she puts her studies first—no time for boys, no time for goofing around. As a girl from a poor neighborhood, Jade knows she must appreciate the opportunities that come her way, even those that treat her as less-than. When she joins a mentorship program meant to help “at-risk” (read: black) girls, Jade’s frustration mounts. How is her so-called mentor supposed to teach her anything when she doesn’t have her own life together? … Continue reading

Review: Nowhere Near You by Leah Thomas

Nowhere Near You by Leah ThomasNowhere Near You
Leah Thomas
Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Published February 7, 2017

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After Ollie’s mother died, he left home with Dr. Auburn-Stache to travel the United States meeting other kids with bizarre abilities resulting from lab experiments. In letters to Moritz, the German boy with no eyes who has become his best friend, Ollie relates the journey. He meets a boy with bones so brittle they snap like chalk, and a girl who removes her heart when her feelings become too intense. Inspired by Ollie’s cross-country adventure, Moritz makes a journey of his own, joining a prestigious school where he meets a girl with … Continue reading

Review: Unfolding by Jonathan Friesen

Unfolding
Jonathan Friesen
Blink
Available January 31, 2017

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Jonah’s been in love with Stormi pretty much since the day the twister plucked her up from her home and set her down unhurt in his neighbor’s yard. Mysterious, beautiful, and a gifted mechanic, Stormi often senses things before they come to pass. When one of her premonitions results in a girl’s death, the town rallies against her. Jonah follows her, determined to clear Stormi’s name. In the process, he uncovers a dark secret the town has kept for most of his life.

Friesen has this ability in his writing to craft guys you can’t help but root for. His heroes have all the odds stacked against them, … Continue reading

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