Review: Naomi Teitelbaum Ends the World by Samara Shanker

Naomi Teitelbaum Ends the World by Samara Shanker

Naomi Teitelbaum Ends the World
Samara Shanker
Atheneum
Published September 6, 2022

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About Naomi Teitelbaum Ends the World

A magical Bat Mitzvah gift gets out of control and thrusts a girl into a supernatural quest with the fate of the world at stake in this spooky middle grade adventure that’s perfect for fans of Aru Shah.

Naomi Teitelbaum is so ready for her Bat Mitzvah. Her prayers are memorized and she’s definitely got a handle on her Torah portion (well, almost). Then she gets a mysterious gift: a tiny clay Golem. To Naomi’s shock, it comes to life—and obeys her every command.

At first, this small … Continue reading

Review: The Loophole by Naz Kutub

The Loophole by Naz Kutub

The Loophole
Naz Kutub
Bloomsbury YA
Published June 21, 2022

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About The Loophole

Your wish is granted! This YA debut is equal parts broken-hearted love story, epic myth retelling, and a world-journey romp to find home.

Sy is a timid seventeen-year-old queer Indian-Muslim boy who placed all his bets at happiness on his boyfriend Farouk…who then left him to try and “fix the world.” Sy was too chicken to take the plunge and travel with him and is now stuck in a dead-end coffee shop job. All Sy can do is wish for another chance…. Although he never expects his wish to be granted.

When a mysterious girl slams into … Continue reading

Review: Year on Fire by Julie Buxbaum

Year on Fire by Julie Buxbaum

Year on Fire
Julie Buxbaum
Delacorte Press
Published April 5, 2022

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About Year on Fire

Can a single kiss change everything?

It was a year on fire. They fell in love. Someone was bound to get burned.

The Spark: Just days before the start of junior year for twins Arch and Immie and their best friend, Paige, a spontaneous kiss shakes the very foundation of their friendship. But some ties run too deep to be broken by accidental betrayal.

The Fuel: Enter Rohan, new to Wood Valley High by way of London, who walks into school on the first day completely overwhelmed by his sudden move halfway around … Continue reading

Review: Girl, Unstrung by Claire Handscombe

Girl, Unstrung by Claire Handscombe

Girl, Unstrung
Claire Handscombe
Published November 23, 2021

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About Girl, Unstrung

You might think it’s fun to grow up around Hollywood with semi-famous parents.

You’d be wrong, and Clara Cassidy would be the first to tell you so.

She’s fourteen, figuring out life with three siblings and a new stepmom, and navigating her freshman year at a stupid high school where she doesn’t even want to be. She was supposed to be at arts school by now.

It’s fine, though, totally fine: she’s going to practice her viola extra hard and get into LACHSA next year. She’s definitely 100 percent focused and not even slightly … Continue reading

Review: Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle

Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion
Gregory Boyle
Free Press
Published March 9, 2009

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About Tattoos on the Heart

How do you fight despair and learn to meet the world with a loving heart? How do you overcome shame? Stay faithful in spite of failure? No matter where people live or what their circumstances may be, everyone needs boundless, restorative love. Gorgeous and uplifting, Tattoos on the Heart amply demonstrates the impact unconditional love can have on your life.

As a pastor working in a neighborhood with the highest concentration of murderous gang activity in Los Angeles, Gregory Boyle created an organization … Continue reading

Review: We Light Up the Sky by Lilliam Rivera

We Light Up the Sky by Lilliam Rivera

We Light Up the Sky
Lilliam Rivera
Bloomsbury YA
Published October 26, 2021

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About We Light Up the Sky

Pedro, Luna, and Rafa may attend Fairfax High School together in Los Angeles, but they run in separate spheres. Pedro is often told that he’s “too much” and seeks refuge from his home life in a local drag bar. Luna is pretending to go along with the popular crowd but is still grieving the unexpected passing of her beloved cousin Tasha. Then there’s Rafa, the quiet new kid who is hiding the fact that his family is homeless.

But … Continue reading