Three young adult authors examine the importance of music as a means for self-expression in novels that tackle challenges of the teenage years.
WALLACE, 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 [...]
AVASTHI, Swati. Chasing Shadows. illus. by Craig Phillips. 320p. Knopf. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780375863424; lib. ed. $17.99. ISBN 9780375963414; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780375895272.
Gr 8 Up–Teen twins Holly and Corey, children of a Chicago police officer, are fast friends with Savitri, who is also Corey’s girlfriend. One night after the three complete a challenging freerunning session, Savitri witnesses a hooded shooter targeting Corey and Holly in their car. Corey is killed and Holly is hospitalized in a coma. Devastated, Savitri [...]
BURG, Ann E. Serafina’s Promise. 304p. glossary. Scholastic. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545535649; ebk. $16.99. ISBN 9780545549943.
Gr 4-6–Serafina is just 11, but she fetches water from a stream every day and helps her family add to the coin jar by bundling the herbs her mother and grandmother sell. She has witnessed the death of her infant brother, wishing and wondering if she could have done more to save him. Told in verse, this first-person account of a young girl’s life [...]
SLJ’s book review editors have chosen the best fiction titles of 2013. From a plucky pig sailing to the south pole to a endearing story of first love, the middle grade and young adult titles on this list feature three-dimensional characters, fully realized worlds, and stories that stay with the reader long after the last page.
BEAUDOIN, Sean. Wise Young Fool. 430p. Little, Brown. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316203791. LC 2012032472.
Gr 10 Up–This coming-of-age story is told in alternating story lines, leading up to Ritchie Sudden’s arrest and his time in a juvenile detention center. Three years before the story begins, the teen’s sister died in a drunk-driving accident, his father left and married a younger woman, and his mother started dating a younger woman. Ritchie picked up the guitar and poured his emotions into it. [...]
KHAN, Rukhsana. King for a Day. illus. by Christiane Krömer. 32p. glossary. Lee & Low. 2013. RTE $17.95. ISBN 9781600606595. LC 2013007506.
PreS-Gr 2–Spring has arrived in Lahore, Pakistan, and the celebration of Basant ushers it in with an annual kite-flying contest. Young Malik plans to win the self-proclaimed title of “king of Basant” by capturing and/or setting free more kites than anyone else. He puts all his faith in his small handmade kite, Falcon, and enters the competition. Thus ensues [...]
CUNNANE, Kelly. Deep in the Sahara. illus. by Hoda Hadadi. 40p. glossary. Random/Schwartz & Wade. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780-375870347; lib. ed. $20.99. ISBN 9780375970344. LC 2011050245.
Gr 2-4–”In a pale pink house the shape of a tall cake,/you watch Mama’s malafa/flutter as she prays./More than all the stars in a desert sky,/you want a malafa so you can be beautiful too.” Mama cautions Lalla that a malafa is for more than beauty. The pattern continues as Lalla envies her sister’s [...]
KHERDIAN, David. Come Back, Moon. illus. by Nonny Hogrogian. 32p. S & S/Beach Lane. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442458871; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9781442458888. LC 2012037038.
PreS-K–The Moon looms large in children’s literature: Frank Asch, Eric Carle, Kevin Henkes, and countless others have paid homage to that fascinating round face in the night sky. In Come Back, Moon, Kherdian and Hogrogian have collaborated on an original story that has the simplicity and resonance of a folktale. Bear is stretched out uncomfortably, head [...]