November 21, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Grade 9 & Up Fiction | September 2013

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BLAKE, Tamara. Slumber. 172p. Diversion. 2013. $3.99. ISBN 978-1-62-681102-7.

Gr 10 Up–When Ruby’s single mom becomes ill, the 17-year-old has to fill in at Happy Housekeepers in order to keep money coming in. She enters the house that she is assigned to clean in New York’s tony Hamptons and finds it trashed from a wild party. While cleaning, she meets handsome and flirtatious Tam and a host of other young people who are engaged in sexual exploits and indulging in alcohol and drugs. Violet, an ex-girlfriend of Tam’s, is jealous of Ruby and demands that she clean her room. Ruby, desperate for money, reluctantly does so, and in the process steals a necklace. She later confesses her crime to Tam, who has some bad news for her: the necklace will not come off and will only get tighter and tighter. Violet and the others in the house, including Tam, are fae or fairies. They are bored with their lives and enjoy watching humans suffer. The only way for Ruby to end the curse that Violet puts on her family is to perform a series of tasks. In the same vein as Nancy Werlin’s Extraordinary (Dial, 2010), this modern-day fairy tale’s accessible vocabulary and dialogue make it easy to read. The fairy characters are faintly reminiscent of the group of vampires in Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” books, but they use four letter words and seem less mature. Teen girls who are reluctant readers and enjoy watching shows such as True Blood will pick up this title.–Kathy Lyday, South Caldwell High School, NC

redstarKNOWLES, Jo. Living with Jackie Chan. 384p. Candlewick. Sept. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6280-6; ebook $16.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6716-0.

Gr 9 Up–Seventeen-year-old Josh expected to be hanging out with his friends and going to parties during his senior year, but all that changed after a one-night stand ended in an unexpected pregnancy. Afraid to face the girl whose life he believes he ruined, Josh moves in with his Jackie Chan-loving Uncle Larry and begins a new life at a new school. Yet no matter how hard he tries, he can’t escape his past. Overcome with guilt and regret, Josh concentrates on helping his uncle with his karate class. His growing friendship with his neighbor, Stella, forces Josh to face his past in an attempt to find forgiveness, especially from his own worst enemy: himself. In this companion to Jumping Off Swings (Candlewick, 2009), Knowles provides readers with an intimate look at Josh a year after the events of the first book. Tormented by his past actions, Josh is constantly at war with his feelings, denying himself any happiness as penance. As the emotional core of the book, Josh is a complex yet incredibly likable character with whom readers will empathize. Similarly, both Larry and Stella possess dynamic, well-developed personalities, making it easy to believe how crucial a role they play in Josh’s recovery. Divided into four parts, the compelling narrative offers an honest and frank look at teen pregnancy from the male’s perspective, and while the book could have been a depressing read in another author’s hands, Knowles succeeds in writing a character-driven story that is as uplifting as it is heartbreaking.–Audrey Sumser, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Mayfield, OH

redstarLAKE, Nick. Hostage Three. 368p. map. Bloomsbury. Oct. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-61963-123-6; ebook $17.99. ISBN 978-1-61963-149-6.

Gr 8 Up–Amy Fields walks out of her A Level exams required for entrance into the Royal Academy; she is still grieving over her mother’s death and cares little about the future. Her rich father and new stepmother hope that sailing around the world will allow much-needed family bonding, but the idyllic trip ends when Somalian pirates seize their yacht and hold them for ransom. Tension is palpable as the frightened family and crew become pawns in the businesslike negotiations. Although carefully guarded with machine guns, the British teen observes a pecking order among her captors and befriends Farouz, the pirates’ handsome translator. They share memories of personal pain that include Amy’s mother’s suicide, the execution of Farouz’s parents, and the political imprisonment of his brother. Their stories are vivid and poignant, adding layers to a rich characterization, especially details of Somalian culture and mythology. Amy falls in love, understanding Farouz’s vow to use ransom money to free his brother, but is startled back to reality when he agrees to follow orders to shoot her on command. Circumstances become dire when she learns secrets about her father’s business that jeopardize their release, and rival pirates and the navy get involved. The author playfully tells Amy’s account of the rescue the way she hoped it would play out, and then again, as it actually happened. The narrative twist is brilliant, taking readers on an emotional ride to the very last page.–Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY

redstarSALERNI, Dianne K. The Caged Graves. 336p. Clarion. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-547-86853-0. LC 2012021008.

Gr 8 Up–It’s 1867, and 17-year-old Verity Boone is moving back to Pennsylvania after spending 15 years with relatives in Massachusetts. She’s anxious to reunite with her father and meet her fiancé, Nathaniel McClure, for the first time. Unfortunately, life in rural Catawissa isn’t what Verity expected and her homecoming is beginning to feel anything but welcoming. Her father is distant, and Verity and Nathaniel’s first meeting is awkward and uncomfortable. He doesn’t come across as romantic in person as he did in his letters. To make matters worse, he takes Verity on an impromptu walk that leads her to an unsettling sight–her mother’s grave enclosed in an ugly, iron cage. Disturbed and heartbroken, Verity is determined to find out why it was placed in unconsecrated grounds. Unfortunately, her father, Nathaniel, and the townsfolk (while quick to gossip about the Boones) aren’t talking. The only way to unravel the mystery is to read her mother’s diaries, which exposes Verity to unsettling truths about Catawissa and her family. Verity is a likable, feisty, and outspoken heroine. She often infuriates Nathaniel, whom she quickly discovers is worthy of her attentions. Salerni is a masterful storyteller who uses eloquent prose to craft a suspenseful historical mystery that is absolutely impossible to put down.–Kimberly Garnick Giarratano, Rockaway Township Public Library, NJ

The following titles are reviewed in the September 2013 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

Grades 9 & Up

BLAKE, Kendare. Antigoddess. Bk. 1. 336p. (The Goddess War Series). ebook available. Tor Teen. Sept. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-7653-3443-5.

BLOUNT, Patty. TMI. 336p. Sourcebooks/Fire. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4022-7340-7.

CASELLA, Jody. Thin Space. 256p. S & S/Simon Pulse. Sept. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-58270-435-7; pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-1-58270-392-3.

COTUGNO, Katie. How to Love. 400p. HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. Oct. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-221635-9. ebook available.

COUTTS, Alexandra. Tumble & Fall. 384p. Farrar. Sept. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-374-37861-5.

CRANE, Caprice. Confessions of a Hater. 288p. Feiwel & Friends. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-250-00846-6.

CUSICK, John M. Cherry Money Baby. 400p. Candlewick. Sept. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-5557-0. ebook available. LC 2013931460.

DASHNER, James. The Eye of Minds. 304p. Delacorte. Oct. 2013. Tr $18.99. ISBN 978-0-385-74139-2; lib. ed. $21.99. ISBN 978-0-375-99001-4; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-375-98463-1.

DOLLER, Trish. Where the Stars Still Shine. 256p. Bloomsbury. Sept. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-61963-144-1; ebook $17.99. ISBN 978-1-61963-145-8.

EMERSON, Kevin. The Dark Shore. Bk. 2. 470p. (The Atlanteans Series). HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-206282-6. LC 2012029923.

FARMER, Nancy. The Lord of Opium. 432p. S & S/Atheneum/Richard Jackson Bks. Sept. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-8254-8; ebook $12.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-8256-2. LC 2012030418.

FRANKEL, Jordana. The Ward. 465p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-209534-3; ebook $10.99. ISBN 978-0-06-209536-7. LC 2012051733.

FREDERICKS, Mariah. Season of the Witch. 256p. Random/Schwartz & Wade. Oct. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-449-81277-8; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 978-0-449-81278-5; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-449-81279-2. LC 2012040028.

GLEASON, Colleen. The Clockwork Scarab. Bk. 1. 356p. (Stoker & Holmes Series). Chronicle. Oct. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-4521-1070-7.

GREEN, Risa. Projection. 288p. SohoTeen. Sept. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-61695-200-6.

HALBROOK, Kristin. Nobody but Us. 288p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-0-06-212126-4; ebook $8.99. ISBN 978-0-06-212127-1. LC 2012011526.

HEMPHILL, Stephanie. Hideous Love: The Story of the Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein. 320p. HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. Oct. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-185331-9.

HOPKINS, Ellen. Smoke. 560p. S & S/McElderry. Sept. 2013. Tr $19.99. ISBN 978-1-4169-8328-6; ebook $12.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-2358-9. LC 2012038452.

HUTCHINSON, Shaun David. FML. 276p. S & S/Simon Pulse. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-8318-7; pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-3287-1; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-3288-8. LC 2012016007.

HUTCHISON, Dot. A Wounded Name. 320p. Carolrhoda Lab. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 978-1-4677-0887-6; ebook $12.95. ISBN 978-1-4677-1618-5. LC 2012043424.

KLEIN, Lisa. Love Disguised. 320p. further reading. Bloomsbury. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-59990-968-4.

KRUGER, Mark H. Overpowered. 432p. S & S. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-3128-7. ebook available. LC 2012043190.

LAYBOURNE, Emmy. Sky on Fire. Bk. 2. 217p. (Monument 14 Series). Feiwel & Friends. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-312-56904-4. ebook available.

LEVITHAN, David. Two Boys Kissing. 200p. Knopf. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-307-93190-0; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 978-0-375-97112-9; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-307-97564-5. LC 2012047089.

LEVY, Debbie. Imperfect Spiral. 339p. Walker. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-8027-3441-9; ebook $17.99. ISBN 978-0-8027-3442-6. LC 2012027329.

MACHALE, D. J. SYLO. 416p. (The SYLO Chronicles Series). Penguin/Razorbill. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-59514-665-6.

MANCUSI, Mari. Scorched. 352p. Sourcebooks/Fire. Sept. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4022-8458-8.

MESROBIAN, Carrie. Sex & Violence. 304p. Carolrhoda Lab. Oct. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 978-1-4677-0597-4; ebook $12.95. ISBN 978-1-4677-1619-2. LC 2012047181.

MILLER, Leah Rae. The Summer I Became a Nerd. 258p. Entangled Teen. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-1-62061-238-5; ebook $5.99. ISBN 978-1-62061-239-2.

MOSER, Elise. Lily and Taylor. 192p. Groundwood/House of Anansi. Sept. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-55498-334-6; pap. $9.95. ISBN 978-1-55498-335-3; ebook $9.95. ISBN 978-1-55498-336-0.

NORTH, Phoebe. Starglass. 448p. S & S. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-5953-3. ebook available. LC 2012021171.

OSTROVSKI, Emil. The Paradox of Vertical Flight. 272p. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Sept. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-223852-8; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-06-223854-2.

PATEL, Sam A. Data Runner. 232p. Diversion. 2013. ebook $2.99. ISBN 978-1-62-681060-0.

POLSKY, Sara. This Is How I Find Her. 261p. Albert Whitman. Sept. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8075-7877-3.

SHARAFEDDINE, Fatima. The Servant. 160p. Groundwood/House of Anansi. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-55498-307-0; ebook $9.95. ISBN 978-1-55498-309-4.

SMITH, Alexander Gordon. The Fury. 681p. Farrar. 2013. Tr $18.99. ISBN 978-0-374-32495-7; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-374-32497-1. LC 2012032621.

SNOW, Carol. Bubble World. 352p. Holt. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-8050-9571-5.

STINE, R. L. A Midsummer Night’s Scream. 256p. Feiwel & Friends. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-250-02434-3.

TERRY, Teri. Fractured. Bk. 2. 336p. (Slated Trilogy). Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks. Sept. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-399-16173-5. LC 2012044317.

THOMAS, Sherry. The Burning Sky. Bk. 1. 464p. (The Elemental Trilogy). HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. Sept. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-220729-6. ebook available.

WENDIG, Chuck. Under the Empyrean Sky. Bk. 1. 368p. (The Heartland Trilogy). Skyscape. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-4778-1720-9; ebook $7.99. ISBN 978-1-4778-6720-4.

WHITE, Kiersten. The Chaos of Stars. 288p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-213592-6. ebook available.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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