Review: Dark Testament: Blackout Poems by Crystal Simone Smith

Dark Testament by Crystal Simone Smith

Dark Testament: Blackout Poems
Crystal Simone Smith
Henry Holt & Co/MacMillan
Published January 3, 2023

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About Dark Testament: Blackout Poems

In this extraordinary collection, the award-winning poet Crystal Simone Smith gives voice to the mournful dead, their lives unjustly lost to violence, and to the grieving chorus of protestors in today’s Black Lives Matter movement, in search of resilience and hope.

With poems found within the text of George Saunders’s LINCOLN IN THE BARDO, Crystal Simone Smith embarks on an uncompromising exploration of collective mourning and crafts a masterwork that resonates far beyond the page. These poems are visually stark, a gathering of gripping verses that unmasks a dialogue … Continue reading

23 Amazing Young Adult Books Coming Winter 2023

23 Most-Anticipated YA Books Coming Winter 2023

23 Amazing Young Adult Books Coming Winter 2023

Seems like every month I have a harder time figuring out my review calendar. There are just too many amazing books coming out these days. I want to read them all! This winter is no exception. Lots of these titles are by authors of books I read last year (or earlier) and loved, so I’m really excited about their newest titles. There are a fair amount of romance titles on here, but some fantasy, historical and murder mysteries, too.

These are the 23 most-anticipated young adult books coming winter 2023 that I’m most looking forward to. I’ll post a separate list of the middle grade titles soon.

23 … Continue reading

Review: Limerick Comics by Robert Hoyman and Steve Feldman

Limerick Comics by Robert Hoyman

Limerick Comics
Robert Hoyman
Illustrated by Steve Feldman
Published March 2, 2019

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About Limerick Comics

Limerick Comics offers original limericks on a wide range of history and science topics, each with an informational panel of surprising facts, presented in entertaining comics.

Young readers age 8 and up are invited to linger on each page to enjoy the humor, ponder inferences, and view the evocative details of each illustrated panel.

Topics include bats, an Egyptian king, a famous trapeze artist, and more.

For young readers and parents alike, this collection of … Continue reading

Review: Being Toffee by Sarah Crossan

Being Toffee by Sarah Crossan

Being Toffee
Sarah Crossan
Bloomsbury YA
Published July 14, 2020

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About Being Toffee

One is trying to forget. The other is trying to remember.

After running away from an abusive home, Allison finds herself taking shelter in a shed behind an abandoned house. But the house isn’t empty after all; an elderly woman named Marla, who suffers from dementia, lives there. And rather than turn her away, Marla welcomes her – she mistakes Allison for an old friend from her past named Toffee.

Allison is used to hiding who she really is, and trying to be what other … Continue reading

Review: The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg

The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg

The Music of What Happens
Bill Konigsberg
Arthur A. Levine Books
Published February 26, 2019

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About The Music of What Happens

Max: Chill. Sports. Video games. Gay and not a big deal, not to him, not to his mom, not to his buddies. And a secret: An encounter with an older kid that makes it hard to breathe, one that he doesn’t want to think … Continue reading

Review: Behind These Hands by Linda Vigen Phillips

Behind These Hands by Linda Vigen PhillipsBehind These Hands
Linda Vigen Phillips
Light Messages
Published on July 7, 2018

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About Behind These Hands
Fourteen-year-old Claire Fairchild has always known music would be her life. She enters a prestigious contest pitted against Juan, a close childhood friend. It doesn’t help that her thoughts about him have turned romantic. But nothing compares to the devastating news that both younger brothers have Batten disease.

While attending a conference about this rare neurodegenerative disorder, Claire receives word that she has won the contest. Her musical goals no longer seem relevant. She can’t reconcile the joy and prestige that a classical music career would bring to … Continue reading