Review: Genius: The Game by Leopoldo Gout

Genius: The Game by Leopoldo GoutGenius: The Game
Leopoldo Gout
Feiwel & Friends
Available May 3, 2016

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As the clock counts down to Zero Hour, 200 of the best and brightest kids form teams competing to solve a challenge created by a young visionary with world-changing goals. For Rex, Tunde and Painted Wolf, the competition is only part of the challenge. Rex needs a supercomputer housed at the challenge site to locate his brother whose been missing for two years. A war lord threatens to wipe Tunde’s whole village off the map unless Tunde and his friends deliver a powerful weapon to him at the end of the contest. Painted Wolf will do anything … Continue reading

Review: It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas

It Ain't So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh DumasIt Ain’t So Awful, Falafel
Firoozeh Dumas
Clarion Books

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When Zomorod Yousefzadeh and her family move (again), she decides to take the opportunity to start fresh and try to fit in with her new California schoolmates. The first thing to go? Her name. She adopts the classic Brady Bunch Cindy as her identity. After a rough start, she begins to find true friends. But when unrest in Iran turns into an American hostage crisis, Cindy begins to catch glimpses of an uglier side of the Land of the Free. Cruel bumper stickers and slogans send chilling messages to Cindy and her family. Cindy tries to protect … Continue reading

Review: The Star-touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

star-touched-queenThe Star-touched Queen
Roshani Chokshi
St. Martin’s Griffin

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When Maya’s father the Raja promises her in marriage to end a war over his kingdom, her dreams of living a quiet scholarly life are destroyed. Despite the fact that her horoscope promises only death and destruction to her husband, she finds herself wed to Amar, the ruler of a distant kingdom that stands apart from her world. Amar’s home holds many mysteries, but all are forbidden to explain things to her until the new moon. As Maya’s curiosity builds, she begins to unravel her husband’s secrets. What she learns places worlds in danger. To save them all, she’ll have to journey across kingdoms and beg the … Continue reading

Review: Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

tellwindandfireTell the Wind and Fire
Sarah Rees Brennan
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s

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In this future New York, the city is divided in two: Light vs Dark. Only Light Magicians can live in and access the wealthy, upper-class life. The Dark Magicians are banished to the Dark, to carve out lives in poverty under harsh rule imposed by the Light leadership.

Lucie and her father escaped the dark at a high price. Now Lucie survives at the mercy of friends and by burying her past as deeply as she can. Only, the people in the Dark don’t want her to forget. They’ve made her name a rallying cry to a revolution that could destroy the new … Continue reading

Review: Remember to Forget by Ashley Royer

Remember to Forget by Ashley RoyerRemember to Forget
Ashley Royer
Zonderkidz

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After Delia’s unexpected death, seventeen year-old Levi spirals into depression, unable to speak to anyone. When several attempts at therapy fail, Levi’s mom sends him from their home in Australia to Maine to live with his estranged father. Bitter, angry, and hopeless, Levi’s determined not to let anyone into his life, especially the girl who reminds him so much of Delia. For her part, Delilah’s content to let Levi to himself. He’s rude and erratic, definitely not the kind of guy she needs in her life. But beyond his angry exterior, she senses his deep hurt and finds herself powerfully drawn to … Continue reading

Review: The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

girl-in-the-blue-coatThe Girl in the Blue Coat
Monica Hesse
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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In 1943 Amsterdam, Hanneke is the girl who can help you find things like coffee, meat, kerosene. But when a lonely widow asks Hanneke to find a missing Jewish girl, Hanneke at first refuses to get involved. Locating a Jewish girl and trying to rescue her is far too dangerous.

On the other hand, maybe danger is exactly what Hanneke needs to distract her from the aching grief of her boyfriend’s recent death. Reluctantly, Hanneke agrees to investigate the girl’s disappearance. Her search throws her in the path of a well-organized group of resistance workers who beg Hanneke to … Continue reading

Review: King’s Folly by Jill Williamson

King's Folly by Jill WilliamsonKing’s Folly
Jill Williamson
Bethany House

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Earthquakes rock the kingdom of Armania. The king responds with sacrifices to the gods. His advisors claim the Five Woes and the end of the world are upon them. Prince Wilek believes there must be another solution besides blood shed in sacrifice to angry gods. He and his companions embark on a journey to save the kingdom before the quakes swallow the land. Along the way, they find an empress in need of rescue. A priestess whose goddess demands the ultimate sacrifice from her, and a prophetess who speaks of salvation for the people.

I’ve been a fan of Jill Williamson’s writing since … 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 … Continue reading

Review: Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

Seven Ways We Lie by Riley RedgateSeven Ways We Lie
Riley Redgate
ABRAMS Kids/Amulet Books

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Everyone has a secret to hide. Olivia seems like a girl who has it together. She knows what she wants, and she’s not afraid to say so. At home, she watches her father and sister sink deeper into isolation following her mom’s disappearance, and for once, there’s nothing Olivia can do to fix it. Matt’s parents never stop fighting, and his little brother too often ends up caught in the cross-fire. After months of tuning out his parents’ battles in a haze of pot smoke, is it too late for Matt to confront them? Claire can’t let go … Continue reading

Review: The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Park Davis

Map to Everywhere by Ryan and DavisThe Map to Everywhere
Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis
Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
Published November 4, 2014

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Master Thief Fin is used to being forgettable. Moments after meeting him, no one remembers who he is. Until he meets Marrill, that is. Danger lurks around every turn when the two are swept up in a daring quest to find the missing pieces to assemble the Map to Everywhere. Fin hopes the key will lead him to his mother. Marrill simply wants to escape the fickle Pirate Stream and get back to her blessedly normal Arizona home. In order … Continue reading

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