Published on May 8, 2018
‘They think I hurt someone.
But I didn’t. You hear?
Coz people are gonna be telling you
all kinds of lies.
I need you to know the truth.’
As Joe’s older brother nears his execution date, Joe journeys to visit him before the end. He struggles to understand what happened from the night Ed’s accused of murder through the twists and turns in the justice system. Now, barely able to provide for himself, Joe tries his best to support his brother and hold onto the hope that his brother will … Continue reading
A Snicker of Magic
Published February 25, 2014
About A Snicker of Magic
Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart.
But when she arrives in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck’s about to change. A “word collector,” Felicity sees words everywhere—shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog’s floppy ears—but Midnight Gulch is … Continue reading
Blink – Zondervan
Published August 1, 2017
Solo, a YA novel in poetic verse, tells the story of seventeen-year-old Blade Morrison, whose life is bombarded with scathing tabloids and a father struggling with just about every addiction under the sun—including a desperate desire to make a comeback. Haunted by memories of his mother and his family’s ruin, Blade’s only hope is in the forbidden love of his girlfriend. But when he discovers a deeply protected family secret, Blade sets out on a journey across the globe that will change everything he thought to be true.
Even though … Continue reading
When You Never Said Goodbye
Available March 21, 2017
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 … Continue reading
Piecing Me Together Guest Post by Renée Watson
Poetry was my first love.
When I was a child, I wrote poems in a journal and often created hand-made birthday or holiday cards for family and friends with my own poem penned on the inside written especially for my loved one. On Valentine’s Day, more than chocolate—I wanted a poem. I enjoyed the exchange of Valentines with my schoolmates, how we showed care for each other and took one day of the year to make sure each person in our class felt special. By high school, Valentine’s Day was no longer about friendship but more about relationships— was dating, who wasn’t. All of a sudden love was only about romance.
I’m all for romance but I also think it’s important to practice … Continue reading
Every Exquisite Thing
Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers
Available May 31, 2016
It starts with a book. A beloved teacher gives Nanette his copy of an out-of-print novel called The Bubblegum Reaper, about a Holden Caulfield-type boy who falls in love with a girl who shares her secrets with a turtle. As Nanette reads and rereads the novel, she becomes impassioned. She reaches out to the author and discovers another boy who loves the book, and in him, a potential soulmate. But when his vigilante attitude takes him too far, Nanette must learn find the courage to be herself despite the expectations of others on her own.
Part The … Continue reading
Flora and Ulysses
When Flora saves a squirrel from a powerful vacuum cleaner, she discovers that he has super powers. She names him Ulysses and brings him home to teach him what it means to be a hero, and she watches and waits for his true superpowers to emerge. Ulysses’ powers do emerge: a deep love for Flora and the gift of poetry. Her desire to protect him and his power to communicate changes Flora’s life in unexpected ways.
My family and I listened to this as an audiobook on our vacation. I loved the comics that Flora reads and how they were a bond between her and her … Continue reading
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
She might look just like another one of the popular girls, but Samantha has a secret not even her best friends can know: she suffers from OCD. She needs weekly visits to a psychiatrist and prescription meds to keep her anxieties at bay.
As her friendships with the top girls becomes more and more toxic, Samantha desperately wants an outlet. Her search leads her to Caroline, a carefree, fashion-less girl whose frankness and kindness may be just the right rescue. She introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a place where students gather to share poems about anything from chicken nuggets to the loss of a … Continue reading
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published October 1, 2004
Crank is the story of Kristina Snow and the summer that changes her life, when she goes to visit her father and meets the “monster”, Crystal Meth. Based on the experiences of her own daughter, Ellen Hopkins captures the turmoil and grip of addiction in a raw, authentic manner.
The entire story is told in verse. The poems capture the scenes of the story in vivid detail. They flow from scene to scene very smoothly, capturing the raw emotion of the heroine– her desperation, heartache– and the downward spiral of her addiction to Meth. A powerful read.