Review: Beetle and the Hollowbones by Aliza Layne

Beetle and the Hollowbones by Aliza Layne

Beetle and the Hollowbones
Aliza Layne
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Published August 4, 2020

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About Beetle and the Hollowbones

In the eerie town of ‘Allows, some people get to be magical sorceresses, while other people have their spirits trapped in the mall for all ghastly eternity.

Then there’s twelve-year-old goblin-witch Beetle, who’s caught in between. She’d rather skip being homeschooled completely and spend time with her best friend, Blob Glost. But the mall is getting boring, and B.G. is cursed to haunt it, tethered there by some unseen force. And now Beetle’s old … Continue reading

Review: Tell Me Something Real by Calla Devlin

tell-me-something-realTell Me Something Real
Calla Devlin
Simon & Schuster / Atheneum

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Her mother’s cancer dominates Vanessa’s life. Alternative treatments in Mexico are the only hope for her mom, whose cancer is terminal. While Vanessa tries to anticipate her mother’s every need and keep her sisters (foul-mouthed Adrienne and saint-obsessed Marie) together, she also dreams of a day when she can pursue her own dreams. She pours out her grief in her music and counts the days until she’ll hear back from music schools about applications she’s secretly sent out.

Then two new members join Vanessa’s family group—a boy whose cancer is in remission and his overprotective mother. As Vanessa and Caleb begin to fall in love, … Continue reading

Review: Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Where Things Come Back by John Corey WhaleyWhere Things Come Back
John Corey Whaley
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Published May 3, 2011

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The summer before his senior year, Cullen Witter’s sleepy Arkansas hometown implodes with changes. His cousin dies of a drug overdose. An extinct woodpecker is spotted by a smarmy nature enthusiast. And Cullen’s sensitive, insightful younger brother goes missing.

Woven through this summer tale of loss and love is another seemingly unrelated story about a missionary just returned from Ethiopia, his jaded college roommate and a girl who returns to Cullen’s town following a failed marriage. … Continue reading