Review: Believe by Julie Mathison

Believe by Julie Mathison

Believe
Julie Mathison
Starr Creek Press
Published August 4, 2020

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About Believe

Full of humor and wonder, BELIEVE explores the power and limits of the imagination – and how love both breaks and heals our hearts.

Eleven-year-old Melanie knows she’s special. She’s never been bored. She understands the secret language of old houses and makes jewels out of broken glass. Her imagination can do anything — … Continue reading

Review: It Came From the Sky by Chelsea Sedoti

It Came From the Sky by Chelsea Sedoti

It Came From the Sky
Chelsea Sedoti
Sourcebooks Fire
Published August 1, 2020

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About It Came From the Sky

This is the absolutely true account of how Lansburg, Pennsylvania was invaded by aliens and the weeks of chaos that followed. There were sightings of UFOs, close encounters, and even abductions. There were believers, Truth Seekers, and, above all, people who looked to the sky and hoped for more.

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Review: Freerunner by Kathy Cassel

Freerunner by Kathy Cassel

Freerunner
Kathy Cassel
Elk Lake Publishing
Published May 16, 2020

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About Freerunner

Night is Kia’s favorite time, when she freeruns to outdistance the memories of abuse she suffered as a young child. But when former reality television star Terrence Jones arrives at their school as the new head track coach, things begin to change in unpredictable ways.

Kia tries out for the team to fit in, but just as she’s gaining … Continue reading

Review: Paris on Repeat by Amy Bearce

Paris on Repeat by Amy Bearce

Paris on Repeat
Amy Bearce
Jolly Fish Press
Published July 14, 2020

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About Paris on Repeat

GROUNDHOG DAY gets a hilarious French twist in this delightful upper middle grade novel about first crushes and friendship when an eighth-grade class trip to Paris goes horribly wrong and the worst day of one girl’s life keeps happening over and over.

Fourteen-year-old Eve Hollis is ready to push through her fears and finally … Continue reading

Review: Being Toffee by Sarah Crossan

Being Toffee by Sarah Crossan

Being Toffee
Sarah Crossan
Bloomsbury YA
Published July 14, 2020

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About Being Toffee

One is trying to forget. The other is trying to remember.

After running away from an abusive home, Allison finds herself taking shelter in a shed behind an abandoned house. But the house isn’t empty after all; an elderly woman named Marla, who suffers from dementia, lives there. And rather than turn her away, Marla welcomes her – she mistakes Allison for an old friend from her past named Toffee.

Allison is used to hiding who she really is, and trying to be what other people want her … Continue reading

Review: Hard Wired by Len Vlahos

Hard Wired by Len Vlahos

Hard Wired
Len Vlahos
Bloomsbury YA
Published July 7, 2020

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About Hard Wired

Quinn thinks he’s a normal boy with an average life. That is, until he finds a trail of clues the father he barely knew left behind.

After Quinn unravels his father’s puzzles, he “wakes up” … and realizes his world was nothing more than a virtual construct. In reality, he’s the first fully-aware A.I. in the world, part of an experiment run by a team of scientists—including the man he thought was his father.

As the scientists continue to study him, Quinn’s new existence becomes a waking nightmare. … Continue reading

Review: Nevertell by Katharine Orton

Nevertell by Katharine Orton

Nevertell
Katharine Orton
Walker Books US
Published April 14, 2020

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About Nevertell

After escaping a Soviet prison camp, Lina is pursued by a powerful witch and her shadow wolves in a riveting debut that imbues frozen wilderness with fairy-tale magic.

All that twelve-year-old Lina knows of the world is the Stalinist labor camp where she was born, a place of hunger, cruelty, and deprivation. After a daring escape into the frigid Siberian wilds with her best friend, Bogdan, Lina vows to reach Moscow and find her long-lost grandmother, whom she hopes will help her return to the camp to rescue her mother. … Continue reading

Review: A Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee

Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee

Forest of Souls (Shamanborn #1)
Lori M. Lee
Page Street Kids
Published June 23, 2020

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About Forest of Souls

Sirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training to become the queen’s next royal spy, her plans are derailed when shamans attack and kill her best friend Saengo.

And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.

Unveiled as the first soulguide in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood—an ancient forest possessed by souls—to enforce peace between … Continue reading

Review: Take Me with You by Tara Altebrando

Take Me with You by Tara Altebrando

Take Me with You
Tara Altebrando
Bloomsbury YA
Published June 23, 2020

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About Take Me with You

Eden, Eli, Marwan, and Ilanka barely know each other beyond having a class or two together. But when they are all summoned via messaging app to an empty classroom after school, they find a small cube sitting on a desk. Its sides light up with rules for them:

Do not tell anyone about the device. Never leave the device unattended.
And then, Take me with you . . . or else.

At first they think it’s some kind of prank or a social … Continue reading

Review: My Life as a Potato by Arianne Costner

My Life as a Potato by Arianne Costner

My Life as a Potato
Arianne Costner
Random House Books for Young Readers
Published March 24, 2020

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About My Life as a Potato

For anyone who has ever felt like a potato in middle school, this hilarious story about a boy forced to become the dorkiest school mascot ever will have readers cheering!

“A grade A, spudtastic (not to mention FUNNY) debut. Arianne Costner sure knows middle school and middle schoolers!” –Chris Grabenstein, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

Ben Hardy believes he’s cursed by potatoes. And now he’s moved to Idaho, … Continue reading

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