Review: The Crowd by Alleece Balts

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

Amazon | Goodreads | Author web site

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 … Continue reading

Review: Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes

towersfallingTowers Falling
Jewell Parker Rhodes
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Available July 12, 2016

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When Deja’s family loses their home and are forced to move to a shelter, she starts fifth grade at a new school. She’s embarrassed by her family’s situation and braced for judgment from the other kids. Instead, Ben, also a new kid, and Sabeen, a sweet girl who covers her hair with a scarf, become Deja’s new friends. As their teacher, Miss Garcia, begins a unit about history connecting to the present, the class learns about the World Trade Center towers falling on September 11, 2001. The material covered in the classroom is gentle and oblique, but Deja feels … Continue reading

Review: Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

Paper and Fire by Rachel CainePaper and Fire
Rachel Caine
New American Library/Random House
Available July 5, 2016

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Jess survived induction into the Library, but life as one of their soldiers is far more grueling than he expected. The girl he loves is locked away forever, and his best friend is lost. When rumors bring Jess’s old classmates together again, they face a terrible choice: a rescue mission that would mean living the rest of their lives on the run from the Library, if they manage to escape. Jess promises refuge with his family, but even he isn’t sure he can count on his father to hide them … Continue reading

Review: Lucky Strikes by Louis Bayard

Lucky Strikes by Louis BayardLucky Strikes
Louis Bayard
Henry Holt and Co Books for Young Readers
Available July 5, 2016

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Fourteen year-old Amelia’s mother dies, leaving her and two siblings alone in the world. Amelia’s determined to run the family gas station and keep her siblings together until she comes of age. When the town learns of her mother’s death, Amelia and her siblings face being split up in foster care, and Harvey Blevins, who owns all the other gas stations in the area, sees the chance to snatch that last station he covets. What she needs is a parent figure, and the moment the bum falls off a coal wagon, she hatches a … Continue reading

Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone by Rachel CaineInk and Bone (The Great Library #1)
Rachel Caine
New American Library/Penguin/Random House

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

The Great Library controls all knowledge in a world that’s never known the printing press. Jess believes in the rule of the Library, even though his family has built their fortune selling forbidden books on the black market. When he’s sent to join the Library as a spy for his family, his passions only become stronger: to protect knowledge, to serve an agency created to bring that knowledge to the masses. But something dark and twisted has taken root at the core of the institution Jess loves, and as he’s faced with the horrible truth of it, he must decide where … Continue reading

Review: When Mountains Move by Julie Cantrell

whenmountainsmoveWhen Mountains Move
Julie Cantrell
David C. Cook / Thomas Nelson

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Millie and Bump set off for Colorado and a new life together. Leaving Mississippi is all Millie ever wanted, but it seems the dark memories she thought to escape have followed her. With the memory of what Bill Miller did still hanging over her, Millie isn’t sure she can ever accept her husband’s love, and she’s not sure the past will stay buried long enough for her to try.

As Millie’s new life begins to unravel, her Choctaw grandmother arrives. She anchors Millie with the roots of family and tradition and teaches her the healing power of forgiveness.

Just like Cantrell’s debut, Into the … Continue reading

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