Review: Ungifted by Gordon Korman

Ungifted by Gordon KormanUngifted
Gordon Korman
Balzer + Bray
Published on August 21, 2012

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About Ungifted
The word gifted has never been applied to a kid like Donovan Curtis. It’s usually more like Don’t try this at home. So when the troublemaker pulls a major prank at his middle school, he thinks he’s finally gone too far. But thanks to a mix-up by one of the administrators, instead of getting in trouble, Donovan is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction (ASD), a special program for gifted and talented students.

It wasn’t exactly what Donovan had intended, but there couldn’t be a more perfect hideout for someone like him. That is, if … Continue reading

Review: Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

Once Was Lost by Sara ZarrOnce Was Lost
Sara Zarr
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published on October 1, 2009

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About Once Was Lost
Samara Taylor used to believe in miracles. But her mother is in rehab, and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family. And when a young girl in her small town is kidnapped, her already-worn thread of faith begins to unravel.

Samara Taylor used to believe in miracles. She used to believe in a lot of things. As a pastor’s kid, it’s hard not to buy in to the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, … Continue reading

Review: Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist

Love and First Sight by Josh SundquistLove and First Sight
Josh Sundquist
Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Published January 3rd, 2017

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About Love and First Sight

Love is more than meets the eye.

On his first day at a new school, blind sixteen-year-old Will Porter accidentally groped a girl on the stairs, sat on another student in the cafeteria, and somehow drove a classmate to tears. High school can only go up from here, right?

As Will starts to find his footing, he develops a crush on a sweet but shy girl named Cecily. And despite his fear that having a girlfriend will make him inherently dependent on someone sighted, the two of them grow closer and closer. Then … Continue reading

Review: Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin Terrill

Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin TerrillHere Lies Daniel Tate
Cristin Terrill
Simon & Schuster
Published on June 6, 2017

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About Here Lies Daniel Tate
When ten-year-old Daniel Tate went missing from one of California’s most elite communities, he left no trace. He simply vanished.

Six years later, when he resurfaces on a snowy street in Vancouver, he’s no longer the same boy. His sandy hair is darker, the freckles are gone, and he’s initially too traumatized to speak, but he’s alive. His overjoyed family brings him home to a world of luxury and comfort he can barely remember. In time, they assure him, he’ll recover his memories; all that … Continue reading

Review: Between the Lies by Cathy MacPhail

Between the Lies by Cathy MacPhailBetween the Lies
Cathy MacPhail
Kelpies
Published on April 20, 2017

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About Between the Lies
Judith Tremayne is missing. She hasn’t been online, nobody has heard from her. She simply appears to have vanished, until Abbie Knox, a school nobody, receives a message: “I want to come home.” Suddenly everyone knows Abbie’s name. The mean girls and the misfits alike are obsessed with Jude’s disappearance. Abbie finds herself at the centre of a whirlwind of rumours, secrets and lies. Why would popular, fun Jude be messaging loner, loser Abbie? Why would Jude disappear? Can Abbie bring her home? Award-winning author Cathy MacPhail authentically captures the voice and lives … Continue reading

Review: Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor

Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney TaylorThe Definition of Indefinable Things
Whitney Taylor
HMH Books for Young Readers
Published April 4, 2017

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About The Definition of Indefinable Things
This heartbreaking, humorous novel is about three teens whose lives intersect in ways they never expected.

Reggie Mason is all too familiar with “the Three Stages of Depression.” She believes she’s unlocked the secret to keeping herself safe: Nobody can hurt you if you never let them in.

Reggie encounters an unexpected challenge to her misanthropy: a Twizzler-chomping, indie film-making narcissist named Snake. Snake’s presence, while reassuring, is not exactly stable—especially since his ex-girlfriend is seven months pregnant. As Reggie falls for … Continue reading

Review: It Looks Like This by Rafi Mittlefehldt

It Looks Like This by Rafi MittlefehldtIt Looks Like This
Rafi Mittlefehldt
Candlewick Press
Published September 6, 2016

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About It Looks Like This
A new state, a new city, a new high school. Mike’s father has already found a new evangelical church for the family to attend, even if Mike and his plainspoken little sister, Toby, don’t want to go. Dad wants Mike to ditch art for sports, to toughen up, but there’s something uneasy behind his demands.

Then Mike meets Sean, the new kid, and “hey” becomes games of basketball, partnering on a French project, hanging out after school. A night at the beach. The fierce colors of sunrise. … Continue reading

Review: Bullied by J. D. Jacobs

Bullied by J. D. JacobsBullied
J. D. Jacobs
Published April 2, 2017

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About Bullied
When tragedy destroys Ricey Kennedy’s family, Fear is never far behind. Forced to leave everything she’s ever known and move to New York, Ricey thinks life can’t get any worse. But then she meets Katrina, the high school’s mean girl. Day after day Ricey suffers the humiliating onslaught from the smooth-tongued bully, and it doesn’t take long before her self esteem is crushed into nothingness.

Struggling through life, romance is the last thing on Ricey’s mind when she meets the cute Tom Wilson. But Tom is determined to show Ricey that she could have a real chance at a new life and love, if … Continue reading

Review: Solo by Kwame Alexander

Solo by Kwame AlexanderSolo
Kwame Alexander
Blink – Zondervan
Published August 1, 2017

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About Solo
Solo, a YA novel in poetic verse, tells the story of seventeen-year-old Blade Morrison, whose life is bombarded with scathing tabloids and a father struggling with just about every addiction under the sun—including a desperate desire to make a comeback. Haunted by memories of his mother and his family’s ruin, Blade’s only hope is in the forbidden love of his girlfriend. But when he discovers a deeply protected family secret, Blade sets out on a journey across the globe that will change everything he thought to be true.

My Review
Even though it’s told … Continue reading

Review: We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian ConaghanWe Come Apart
Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan
Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Published June 13, 2017

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About We Come Apart
Nicu has emigrated from Romania and is struggling to find his place in his new home. Meanwhile, Jess’s home life is overshadowed by violence. When Nicu and Jess meet, what starts out as friendship grows into romance as the two bond over their painful pasts and hopeful futures. But will they be able to save each other, let alone themselves?

For fans of Una LaMarche’s Like No Other, this illuminating story told in dual points of view through vibrant verse will stay with … Continue reading

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