Review: Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

Three Times LuckyThree Times Lucky
Sheila Turnage
Dial Books
Published May 10, 2012

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Mo LoBeau, rising sixth grader in the tiny town of Tupelo Landing, turns detective when a local man turns up murdered. Mo and her best friend Dale figure they can locate the killer before that nosy outsider detective has time to finish his lunch at the café. After all, Mo already has experience searching for things, most particularly her “Upstream Mother” who set Mo on a raft and sent her down the river to the Colonel and Miss Lana as a baby. Mo and Dale follow clue after clue in the murder investigation, even as a hurricane barrels toward them. When Mo’s … Continue reading

Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Letters to the Lost
Brigid Kemmerer
Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Published April 4, 2017

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About Letters to the Lost
Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re … Continue reading

Review: Dawn on the Road by Lea Waterhouse

Dawn on the Road
Lea Waterhouse
CrossLink Publishing
Published February 23, 2017

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When Dawn learns of an opportunity to visit a college for the arts, she feels desperate to go. She knows, though, her parents would never, ever go along with her dreams of pursuing a career in photography. But when an old friend from her past returns to town and offers Dawn a ride on his motorcycle, Dawn realizes this might be the perfect chance to chase her dream, and reconnect with the gorgeous guy she once left behind.

Dawn’s sense of the world (sometimes lack of it) and her struggle to embrace her dream really resonated with me. I liked the ways in … Continue reading

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

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About Dreamland Burning

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

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