January 15, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

YA A to Z: Alcoholism, In Real Life and in Real Fiction, by by L.B. Schulman

It’s January, which means we’re discussing the Letter A in YA A to Z. Today we are talking about alcoholism with author L. B. Schulman. You can find out more about YA A to Z here. When I was 13, my stepfather came home with a dim diagnosis from his doctor.  If he kept drinking, […]

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman | SLJ Review

Gr 9 Up –A year has passed since the events of Scythe and Scythe Anastasia, once known as Citra Terranova, lives with her mentor, Scythe Marie Curie, and performs her gleanings in relative peace despite causing a rift in the Scythedom by giving her subjects a month to choose how they want to be gleaned, aka killed.

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 8 Up –Porter takes the story of Vasilisa the Beautiful and Baba Yaga, sets it in New York, and turns it on its chicken legs.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 9 Up –Seventeen-year-old Minnow Bly is sentenced to juvenile detention for brutally assaulting a mentally disturbed man. Only 12 hours prior, her entire community had been burned to the ground and the Prophet, the leader of the cult to which her family belonged, had been murdered.

The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis | SLJ Review

Gr 10 Up –Evan Panos is living in an undeniably abusive home.

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed | SLJ Review

Gr 9 Up –Maya Aziz should be on top of the world. She got accepted into film school at NYU, and the cute boy she has been spending time with seems to be into her. The only problem is, she’s been hiding all of this from her loving but very traditional Indian American parents.

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge | SLJ Review

Gr 6 Up– Makepeace is raised in a strict Puritanical environment by her single mother in 17th-century England at the brink of civil war.

Love and Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen | SLJ Review

Gr 9 Up –Passengers on a train, Ammy and Noah, are heading to different places but end up sitting next to each other.

Four Futuristic Finds for Teen Readers | SLJ Spotlight

These four YA sci-fi picks are great recommendations for Doctor Who and Feed fans.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor | SLJ Review

OKORAFOR, Nnedi. Akata Warrior. 496p. Viking. Oct. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780670785612.

Gr 7 Up –Fans of Akata Witch will fall again for the wondrously intriguing fantasy world in modern-day Nigeria in this imaginative sequel. Ekwensu, the evil spirit that Sunny, now 13, and her leopard society friends defeated in the previous book has returned. He severs Sunny’s connection to her spirit face Anyanwu, and without it, Sunny feels lost and unsure of herself. The fact that the severing did not kill her means that the […]

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed | SLJ Review

REED, Amy. The Nowhere Girls. 416p. S. & S./Simon Pulse. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481481731. POP

Gr 9 Up –This gritty and timely novel examines the culture of sexism and rape through the eyes of three girls and a chorus of the universal “Us.” Grace, the new girl in town, just wants to blend in to the point of invisibility. Having been forced out of their conservative Southern Baptist Church when her preacher mother becomes “too liberal,” Grace is still reeling from the […]

Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel José Older | SLJ Review

OLDER, Daniel José. Shadowhouse Fall. 368p. (Shadowshaper Cypher: Bk. 2). Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Bks. Sept. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780545952828. POP

Gr 7 Up –Sierra and her crew of shadowshapers are back for another adventure in this sequel to Shadowshaper. A mysterious card deck appears and, with it, a conflict between Shadow House and The House of Light arises. Sierra must act quickly to figure out whom she can trust while learning what it means to be a leader. She also begins a relationship with […]

The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis | SLJ Review

KOSTAKIS, Will. The Sidekicks. 288p. Harlequin Teen. Oct. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780373212620. POP

Gr 9 Up –When Australian high school student Isaac dies, three fellow students who each considered him his closest friend battle for individual ways forward. While this is Kostakis’s American debut, his literary polish and deep understanding of teen storytelling is compelling and nuanced from the first page. Ryan, Scott, and Miles take turns recounting the months after Isaac’s death. Each viewpoint differs, as does each voice; it is through […]

The Speaker by Traci Chee | SLJ Review

CHEE, Traci. The Speaker. 512p. (Sea of Ink and Gold: Bk. 2). Putnam. Nov. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780399176784.

Gr 7 Up –This installment picks up where The Reader ended, with Sefia and Archer on the run from The Guard. Unsure about how to proceed, Sefia searches the Book and uncovers several jaw-dropping discoveries: Tanin is still alive and Archer is still believed to be the one to lead the impending Red War. In an effort to quell Archer’s nightmares and to stop the conflict, […]

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez | SLJ Review

SÁNCHEZ, Erika L. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. 352p. Knopf. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781524700485.

Gr 10 Up –Fifteen-year-old outcast Julia Reyes longs to attend college in New York, in order to get away from the suffocating watch of her undocumented Mexican parents in Chicago. The unusual death of Julia’s older sister Olga—considered the perfect child by her family—only bolsters this desire, as her parents focus their attention even more strongly on their now only child. When Julia stumbles across unexpected […]

Light Years by Emily Ziff Griffin | SLJ Review

GRIFFIN, Emily Ziff. Light Years. 304p. S. & S./Simon Pulse. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781507200056.

Gr 10 Up –A lyrical science fiction novel about a sensitive and creative teenager tasked with saving herself—and the world. In a near future, Luisa Ochoa-Jones, 16, is a brilliant coder and has just been accepted into a high-profile internship program at a leading tech company. She is eager to begin her career and get out from under the thumb of her controlling mother. But Luisa’s plans […]

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson | SLJ Review

Web excerpt

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins | SLJ Review

PERKINS, Mitali. You Bring the Distant Near. 320p. Farrar. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374304904.

Gr 9 Up –Related in the alternating voices of two sisters and their respective daughters, this work captures the unique and, at times, fraught experience of navigating multiple cultures. Perkins examines the delicate balance between meeting family expectations and attaining personal happiness, a common motif in immigrant narratives. The story opens in 1970s New York, where the Das family has immigrated from England in hopes of planting roots […]

All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry | SLJ Review

MABRY, Samantha. All the Wind in the World. 272p. Algonquin. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781616206666.

Gr 9 Up –Mabry crafts a strong romantic arc set at The Real Marvelous, a maguey ranch rumored to be cursed in the magically realistic Southwest Texas desert. Sarah Jacqueline Crow and James Holt end up at the strange farm following a violent dust storm, and Sarah’s involvement in the accidental death of a maguey foreman elsewhere. Considered outlaws, the two perilously hide their identities and their […]

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera | SLJ Review

SILVERA, Adam. They Both Die at the End. 384p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062457790.

Gr 9 Up –Everyone who is going to die on a given day gets a call to let them know; not the when, or the how, or the why, but just notification that they will die on that day. Mateo and Rufus each get that call and are facing their last day without a loved one. But there’s an app for that. Combining a well-realized alternative present […]