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: 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: The Crowd by Alleece Balts

The Crowd by Alleece BaltsThe Crowd
Alleece Balts
Available January 10, 2016

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Ella’s excitement over her acceptance into a prestigious school quickly fades when she has her first run-in with the Crowd. These future politicians and business leaders possess the power to make life miserable for the other students. When Jackson, the Crowd leader, turns his attention to Ella, she wants nothing more than to slip back into anonymity. Only her friendship with Lucas, a boy from another school, gives her any joy. With each new challenge the Crowd tosses her way, Ella reminds herself of her father’s words: be kind. Her mother quotes Eleanor Roosevelt, Ella’s namesake, and Ella strives to live up to those lofty words. But … Continue reading

Author Jaimie Engle Talks Bullying and What You Can Do About It

Several years ago, I reviewed a book called Clifton Chase and the Arrow of Light by Jaimie Engle. Since then, I’ve been impressed with Jaimie’s passion to educate kids about standing up against bullying. Her book addresses the issue, but she doesn’t stop there. Jaimie also visits schools to speak about bullying and how to combat it. I asked her to share some of her insights with us here today.

jaimie_engle_author

About Jaimie Engle

Jaimie Engle is an award-winning author of fantasy, horror, and science fiction books from the Space Coast of Florida. Her passion is talking to kids about writing and social issues because words have power. Her first novel, an anti-bullying fantasy adventure, was written after her own son was bullied in school. She took him to archery club, where she … Continue reading

Review: The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers

The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen RiversThe Girl in the Well is Me
Karen Rivers
Algonquin Young Readers

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When tough circumstances force Kammie’s family to relocate, she’s determined to make the most of the change. She approaches the prettiest, most popular girls and attempts to join their group. Only what results is Kammie standing on a board that splits and sends her tumbling into a well. Trapped and slowly sinking further, Kammie begs her new “friends” to help her get out. As she waits for them to bring help (and wonders if they’ve simply abandoned her) she begins to think about the good times lost and the struggles her family currently faces. … Continue reading

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers: Review and Thoughts on Book Banning

some-girls-areSome Girls Are
Courtney Summers
St. Martin’s Griffin

Regina cherishes her position in the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique that rules Hallowell High. But when rumors begin to circulate about Regina and her best friend Anna’s boyfriend, the group turns on Regina. Revenge is the name of the game, and they won’t stop until she’s been destroyed. Regina knows how it works, because she and Anna used to terrorize other students together. Now Regina gets to see what it’s like to be on the other side. She takes refuge in the company of another social outcast—one she helped isolate. As she gets to know Michael and the two develop a tenuous trust, she finds herself caught between her old life, where revenge still beckons, and a new frightening idea: that she could find happiness away from her old crowd. But … Continue reading

Review: 8 Notes to a Nobody by Cynthia Toney

8 Notes to a Nobody (Bird Face #1)
Cynthia T. Toney
Write Integrity Press
Published September 1, 2015

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A cruel comment from a classmate sends thirteen year-old Wendy into a spiral of self-doubt. What can she expect when even her own father barely takes an interest in her life? Mysterious notes from “AFREND” help Wendy see there’s still hope. Who could the notes be from? A cute boy perhaps? When the nasty comments continue to wear her down, Wendy is forced to take drastic measures. She tries changing who she is, hoping it will be enough put the taunting behind her.

This story delves into the anxiety and … Continue reading

Review: Season of the Witch by Mariah Fredericks

Season of the Witch
Mariah Fredericks
Schwartz & Wade Books
Published October 8, 2013

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When she was a little girl in a playground game, Toni learned about princesses and witches. Though being a princess is glamorous, it’s the witch, Toni decides, who has the real power. Later, after the popular Chloe and her entourage make Toni’s high school life a living hell, Toni joins fellow exile Cassandra and performs a spell to stop Chloe and her antics. Only, the results are far worse than Toni expected. And when Cassandra chooses Toni’s best friend as the next target of her wrath, Toni knows it’s up to her to stop the witch from putting another princess under her … Continue reading

Review: Like Moonlight at Low Tide by Nicole Quigley

Like Moonlight at Low Tide by Nicole QuigleyLike Moonlight at Low Tide
Nicole Quigley
Zondervan
Published September 3, 2013

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The last place sixteen year-old Melissa Keiser wants to return to is Anna Maria Island. The echo of laughter and cruel taunts still haunt Missy, even after four years. Her best friend Julie insists that things will be different now, but Missy is afraid to believe her. Until popular Sam King begins to act as though Missy is completely irresistible. She struggles to understand Sam’s desire for her and his friend’s weird overprotective behavior toward her. Josh, it seems, won’t leave Missy alone to make her own mistakes. But when Missy pursues him, he pushes her … Continue reading

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