Review: The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill

The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie MorrillThe Lost Girl of Astor Street
Stephanie Morrill
Blink
Published February 7, 2017

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Eighteen-year-old Piper Sail’s best friend Lydia goes missing from a neighborhood street in 1924 Chicago. Piper vows to find her friend, even if she has to take up the investigation herself. As Piper begins to hunt for Lydia, she soon learns everyone in her neighborhood hides a secret, even her father and the handsome detective who’s working the case. Piper realizes finding the truth may cost her newfound love, her respect for her family, and possibly, her own life.

I loved this book! I was hooked from the first page. Immediately we meet interesting (and funny!) … Continue reading

Review: The Fearless Traveler’s Guide to Wicked Places by Peter Begler

Fearless Traveler's Guide to Wicked Places by Peter BeglerFearless Traveler’s Guide to Wicked Places
Peter Begler
Capstone Books for Young Readers
Available March 1, 2017

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When a skull-shaped cloud kidnaps Nell’s mother and turns her into a bird, she and her brothers vow to get their mother back. To do this, they must find a powerful Fearless Traveler and persuade him to take them to a land of nightmares. Once there, they will have to make the dangerous journey to see Ravenhead, the only Dreamer who can undo the curse and return Nell’s mother to her real form. Along the way, Nell and her brother battle nightmares both outside and inside themselves. The only weapons they … 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: City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrauCity of Ember
Jeanne DuPrau
Yearling Books
Published in 2003

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Lina has only known life in the City of Ember, a settlement built and stocked with all the supplies its citizens might need hundreds of years earlier. Now the shelves of the storehouses grow increasingly bare, and power outages plague everyone. When Lina and her best friend Doon discover a damaged document, Lina wonders if it could be from the Builders themselves. She and Doon work to decipher the message and save Ember before the city’s power supply fails for the last time.

I picked up this book because a friend recommended it, and I’m so glad I did. Actually, I … Continue reading

Review: The Infinity of You & Me by J. Q. Coyle

The Infinity of You and Me by J Q CoyleThe Infinity of You & Me
J. Q. Coyle
St. Martin’s Griffin
Available November 8, 2016

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Alicia’s hallucinations are only getting worse: more frequent and more intense. Despite that, she doesn’t want to give them up because the hallucinations are the only place she sees her father. Then he shows up in real life, warning Alicia of incredible danger, and suddenly everything shifts. The people Alicia trusted most have been lying to her, and now she’s on the run from them. The hallucinations are real. In them, Alicia journeys to other universes, ones where more than her life is at stake. She must find an atlas, a map … Continue reading

Holiday Gift Ideas for Your YA Reader

Books are one of my favorite gifts to give (okay, and to receive!) because there’s something for everyone. There were years where we gave a book to each person on our Christmas list. I enjoyed my holiday shopping that year especially because it was a chance to take all that I knew about a person’s interests and try to match them up with a book. This year we’ve chosen to support a local charity organization for the majority of our gift purchases, but there are a few books that still made it onto our gift list. Here are my top picks for the readers on my Christmas list.

For the Fairy Tale Lover

Traitor's Masque by Kenley DavidsonTraitor’s Masque by Kenley Davidson
Page Nine Press
Published December 14, 2015

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Review: The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras

The Best Possible AnswerThe Best Possible Answer
E. Katherine Kottaras
St. Martin’s Griffin
Available November 1, 2016

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When a panic attack lands Viviana in the hospital, her mother insists that she slow down and stop taking her studies so seriously. But even the thought of slowing down stresses Vivi out. She has summer engineering camp to attend! And SATs to prep for! And college applications to write! Everything has to go perfectly, no room for error. It’s the only way her dad will stop being disappointed in her and come home. And after her failure at school, the one involving Dean and that photo she sent him, Vivi needs something to go right.

But her mom won’t … Continue reading

Review: The Homecoming by Stacie Ramey

The HomecomingThe Homecoming
Stacie Ramey
Sourcebooks Fire
Available November 1, 2016

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Trouble with the law sends John back to his mom’s house, a place he hasn’t lived since a year after his brother’s accident. Still reeling from his girlfriend’s death, John’s only plan is to keep his head down until he’s served out his time. Then he’s California bound. Connections, especially with a girl, are the last thing he needs. But as the issues he once left behind begin to catch up with John at home, he finds that his usual retreats—pot and alcohol—aren’t enough. As the pressure builds, John must make a choice: to face the terrible truth about his past or let it destroy him … Continue reading

Review: Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

bone-sparrowBone Sparrow
Zana Fraillon
Disney-Hyperion
Available November 1, 2016

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Every night, Subhi slips out of the compound in the refugee camp and finds the treasures he believes the magical Night Sea brings him from his far away father. Every morning he shows the gifts to his mother, now barely responsive. Subhi has only known life within the fences of the permanent detention center. Up the hill from the center lives a girl named Jimmie who bears her own grief. She comforts herself with her mother’s necklace pendant, a sparrow carved from bone. She meets Subhi, and begs him to read her mother’s journal to her. Subhi shares the pages, filled with stories and songs as magical as … Continue reading

Review: The Friendship Experiment by Erin Teagan

friendship-experimentThe Friendship Experiment
Erin Teagan
HMH Books for Young Readers
Available November 1, 2016

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Middle school isn’t at all what Maddie hoped it would be. Not when her best friend has changed schools. Not without the calm, sure presence of her grandfather. If only friendships were as simple, as reliable as science. Though she finds herself surrounded by new potential friends, Maddie can’t help but think about all the reasons those students are wrong or annoying. To cope with her losses, she writes Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in her journal. When Maddie’s new would-be friends read some of the SOPs that features how to escape them, they feel hurt and betrayed. Maddie realizes that pushing people … Continue reading

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