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Book Review: Grades 9 & Up Fiction | December 2013

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redstarCOKAL , Susann. The Kingdom of Little Wounds. 554p. Candlewick. 2013. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9780763666941; ebk. $22.99. ISBN 9780763669072. LC 2013933162.

Gr 10 Up –After a plague fell upon the Scandinavian city of Skyggehavn in 1561, Ava and her father were the sole survivors of their family. Eleven years later, Ava, who has been taught to sew, is sent to the royal palace as a seamstress to the queen. Work there is coveted, but it is also beset with danger as there are no limits to the cruelty of the powerful. One prick from a needle into the flesh of agitated Queen Isabel sends Ava to the dungeon until she is retrieved by the villainous Count Nicolas. The count sexually abuses her and then sends her to work in the nursery as his spy, where she meets Midi Sorte. After being kidnapped, chained, sexually brutalized, and brought north by ship, Midi, a “Negresse,” was presented as a gift to the court, naked, coated in sugar, and with a sugared plum in her mouth. Desperate to avoid continued mistreatment, the girls claw for survival in a court full of intrigue, disease, and sorrow. Ava and Midi evoke readers’ sympathy as believable protagonists in a cast of mad characters. Cokal eloquently presents a grisly and visceral world that she aptly refers to as a “syphilitic fairy tale.” There is no glossing over all manner of sexual abuse, miscarriages, death, and so on. After a gripping stroll through 550 pages, readers are left with a satisfying ending of justice and hope for Ava and Midi. This novel is distinctive in thought and elocution, but it is also dense and full of adult content. It could have a limited audience among teens.–Mindy Whipple, West Jordan Library, UT

redstarWALLACE , Sandra Neil. Muckers. 288p. Knopf. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780375867545; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780375967542; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780307982384.

Gr 8 Up –Based on the true story of a 1950 scrappy high school football team out of Jerome, Arizona, this novel is about an underdog victory. Felix “Red” O’Sullivan and his friends have grown up in the copper-mining town of Hatley, but the ore has depleted over the years. The town has become so small that Hatley High will be closing at the end of the year and students will begin attending school with their Cottonville rivals. The Muckers football team is the smallest in the state, but Coach Hansen and his players are determined to make their final year one that the whole town will remember. What they don’t have in brawn, they make up for in sheer toughness. While the outcome of the state championship is no surprise, the novel’s strength lies in the development of its characters, especially Red, who is dealing with the loss of his football-champion brother during World War II and his mother’s resulting breakdown. Red also has to fight his town’s prejudice when he wants to date the sister of his best friend, a Mexican American. Clips from the local paper will broaden readers’ perspectives on both the financial straits that the town is in and the McCarthyism that insidiously threatens the townspeople’s cohesion. While the large cast of characters can be hard to keep track of, fans of H.G. Bissinger’s Friday Night Lights (Addison-Wesley, 1990) and other football histories will appreciate this inspiring tale.–Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA

The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue:

ALBIN , Gennifer. Altered. Bk. 2. 400p. (Crewel World Series). Farrar. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374316426; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780374316457. LC 2013011140.

ALENDER , Katie. Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer. 304p. Scholastic/Point. 2013. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780545468091; ebk. $18.99. ISBN 9780545576994. LC 2012045535.

ALEXANDER , Kwame. He Said, She Said. 336p. HarperCollins/Amistad. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062118967; lib. ed. $18.99. ISBN 9780062118974; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780062118998. LC 20132012043496.

AMOWITZ , Lisa. Breaking Glass. 297p. Spencer Hill. 2013. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781937053383; ebk. $6.95. ISBN 9781937053390.

BARNES , Jennifer Lynn. The Naturals. Bk. 1. 320p. (The Naturals Series). Hyperion/Disney. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781423168232; ebk. $17.99. ISBN 9781423181187.

BICKLE , Laura. The Outside. 320p. Houghton Harcourt. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780544000131. LC 2012040065.

BRIAN , Kate. Hereafter. Bk. 2. 320p. (Shadowlands Series). Hyperion/Disney. 2013. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9781423164845. LC 2013008009.

CASS , Kiera. The Elite. Bk. 2. 323p. (A Selection Novel). HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062059963. LC 2012038124.

CHAI , May-lee. Tiger Girl. 229p. Gemma. 2013. pap. $14.95. ISBN 9781936846450. LC 2013021807.

CORIELL , Shelley. Goodbye, Rebel Blue. 300p. Abrams/Amulet. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781419709302. LC 2013010046.

CURLEY , Marianne. Hidden. 384p. (Avena Series). Bloomsbury. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781599908403.

DAUGHERTY , C. J. Night School. 432p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062193858; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780062193841. LC 2012022151.

DERTING , Kimberly. Dead Silence. 389p. (A Body Finder Novel). HarperCollins/Harper. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062082220.

DOUGLAS , Helen. After Eden. 288p. Bloomsbury. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781619631304; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9781619631311.

DUDLEY , David L. Cy in Chains. 336p. Clarion. Dec. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780547910680. LC 2012046026.

GAGNON , Michelle. Don’t Look Now. 319p. HarperCollins/Harper. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062102935. ebook available.


GARCIA
, Kami. Unbreakable. Bk. 1. 305p. (The Legion Series). Little, Brown. 2013. Tr $18. ISBN 9780316210171. LC 2012048435.

GIER , Kerstin. Emerald Green. tr. from German by Anthea Bell. Bk. 3. 447p. (The Ruby Red Trilogy). Holt. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780805092677. LC 2013017885.

GOODMAN , Carol. Blythewood. 496p. Viking. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780670784769.

GRANT , Sara. Half Lives. 390p. Little, Brown. 2013. Tr $18. ISBN 9780316194938.

GREENFIELD , Amy Butler. Chantress. 336p. S & S/McElderry. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442457034; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442457058. LC 2012012410.

HALPERN , Julie. The F-It List. 256p. Feiwel & Friends. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781250025654.

HERRNDORF , Wolfgang. Why We Took the Car. tr. from German by Tim Mohr. 256p. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine. Jan. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545481809; ebk. $17.99. ISBN 9780545586368. LC 2012044118.

HUBBARD , Jennifer R. Until It Hurts to Stop. 256p. Viking. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780670785209.

JOHANSSON , J. R. Insomnia. Bk. 1. 360p. (The Night Walkers Series). Flux. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780738735931.

KAGAWA , Julie. The Iron Traitor. Bk. 6. 352p. (The Iron Fey Series). Harlequin Teen. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780373210916.

KAHANEY , Amelia. The Brokenhearted. 352p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062230928. ebook available. LC 2013014336.

KANG , Lydia. Control. 400p. Dial. Dec. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780803739048. LC 2012032617.

KAUFMAN , Amie & Meagan Spooner. These Broken Stars. Bk. 1. 384p. (Starbound Series). Hyperion/Disney. Dec. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781423171027.

KEEBLE , Helen. No Angel. 384p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780062082275. LC 2012040092.

KNIGHT , Karsten. Afterglow. 336p. S & S. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442450370; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442450394.

LAMB , Victoria. Witchstruck. Bk. 1. 320p. (The Tudor Witch Trilogy). Harlequin Teen. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780373210978.

LASKY , Kathryn. The Extra. 314p. Candlewick. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763639723. LC 2012955181.

LYONS , CJ. Broken. 336p. Sourcebooks/Fire. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781402285455.

MCGARRY , Katie. Crash into You. 496p. Harlequin Teen. Dec. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780373210992. ebook available.

MCGEE , Krista. Anomaly. 336p. Thomas Nelson. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781401688721.

MCKERNAN , Victoria. Son of Fortune. 400p. Knopf. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780375864568; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780375964565; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780375895852.

MCKINLEY , Robin. Shadows. 368p. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks. 2013. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780399165795.

MARILLIER , Juliet. Raven Flight. Bk. 2. 406p. (Shadowfell Series). Knopf. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780375869556; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780375969553; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780375983672. LC 2012039483.

MARTINEZ , Jessica. The Vow. 424p. S & S/Simon Pulse. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442458642. LC 2012039166.

MITCHELL , Saundra. The Elementals. 296p. Houghton Harcourt. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780547853147. LC 2013003904.

MITCHELL , Todd. Backwards. 288p. Candlewick. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763662776. ebook available. LC 2013931469.

OCKLER , Sarah. The Book of Broken Hearts. 368p. S & S/Simon Pulse. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442430389; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442430402. LC 2012033041.

OHLIN , Nancy. Thorn Abbey. 295p. S & S/Simon Pulse. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-6486-5. LC 2012030483.

PEARCE , Jackson. Cold Spell. 323p. Little, Brown. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316243599. LC 2012046186.

PELOQUIN , Lili. This Side of Jealousy. 278p. (The Innocents Series). Penguin/Razorbill. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781595145666.

PETERFREUND , Diana. Across a Star-Swept Sea. 449p. HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062006165. LC 2013003082.

PITCHER , Annabel. Ketchup Clouds. 261p. Little, Brown. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316246767. LC 2012044116.

PLUM , Amy. If I Should Die. Bk. 3. 405p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062004031. LC 2012038120.

POHL-WEARY , Emily. Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl. 224p. Skyscape. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781477817308; pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781477816882; ebk. $7.99. ISBN 9781477867303.

POLAK , Monique. So Much It Hurts. 288p. Orca. 2013. pap. $12.95. ISBN 9781459801363. ebook available. LC 2013935380.

SÁNCHEZ-KORROL , Virginia. Feminist and Abolitionist: The Story of Emilia Casanova. 248p. (Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Series). glossary. Piñata Books. 2013. pap. $12.95. ISBN 9781558857650. LC 2012044035.

SCHEIDT , Erica Lorraine. Uses for Boys. 229p. St. Martin’s Griffin. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781250007117; ebk. $7.12. ISBN 9781250013811.

SCHULTZ NICHOLSON , Lorna. Forward Pass. 144p. (Podium Sports Academy Series). Lorimer. 2013. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9781459403734; pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781459403727; ebk. $7.95. ISBN 9781459403741.

SHARPLES , Diana L. Running Lean. 384p. Blink. 2013. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9780310734970. ebook available.

SHOWALTER , Gena. Through the Zombie Glass. Bk. 2. 480p. (The White Rabbit Chronicles). Harlequin Teen. 2013. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780373210770.

SHUSTERMAN , Neal. UnSouled. Bk. 3. 416p. (The Unwind Dystology). S & S. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442423695; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9781442423718. LC 2013022703.

STASSE , Lisa M. The Uprising. Bk. 2. 400p. (The Forsaken Trilogy). S & S. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442432680; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442432703. LC 2012025051.

THOMAS , Lex. The Saints. Bk. 2. 416p. (Quarantine Series). Egmont USA. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781606843369; ebk. $17.99. ISBN 9781606843376.

TINTERA , Amy. Reboot. 365p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062217073. LC 2012051741.

WHIPPLE , Natalie. Transparent. 368p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780062120168. LC 2012038126.

WHITE , Cecily. Prophecy Girl. 360p. (Angel Academy Series). Entangled Teen. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781620612941; ebk. $5.99. ISBN 9781620612934.

WILLIAMS , Sean. Twinmaker. 491p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062203212. LC 2012043498.

ZARR , Sara & Tara Altebrando. Roomies. 288p. Little, Brown. Dec. 2013. Tr $18. ISBN 9780316217491; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780316217521.

ZINK , Michelle. This Wicked Game. 368p. Dial. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780803737747.

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

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