December 13, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi | SLJ Review

Gr 7 Up –Told from the point of view of Destiny, this novel focuses on one Syrian family tragically affected by a senseless and brutal war.

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 9 Up –While high school jock Rafe is okay with being gay, he’s tired of being the go-to LGBT celebrity in his supportive Colorado town.

A List of New YA Book Release Links for 2018

December is here, which means it’s time to start thinking about 2018 YA Lit releases. I’ve already submitted my first book order for January 2018 titles. Here for your convenience (and really, for mine) is a list of links to booklists put together online so far for 2018. In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing […]

YA: Dark Magic, The “Descendancy,” and a Teenage Scrooge | December 2017 Xpress Reviews

Historical fiction meets sci-fi in 20th century Philadelphia during the flu epidemic; recovered memories spark a teen to question her ex-boyfriend’s tragic death; and debut author Maaren crafts a stellar fantasy for A Wrinkle in Time fans in this month’s Xpress.

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

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline | SLJ Review

Gr 8 Up –In a dystopian future, a young Métis boy, Frenchie, comes of age while fleeing capture.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black | SLJ Review

BLACK, Holly. The Cruel Prince. 384p. ­Little, Brown. Jan. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316310277. POP

Gr 9 Up –Human Jude has been raised along with her twin, Taryn, and half-sibling, Vivi, in Faerieland by Madoc, the faerie who murdered her parents. This intricate realm is filled with beautiful, blood-thirsty, playful, and powerful faeries who seem to have no patience or use for humans beyond enslaving them with magic. Despite this, Jude is determined to earn respect and a place in it all by becoming a […]

I Never by Laura Hopper | SLJ Review

Gr 10 Up –A stellar debut novel that easily compares to Judy Blume’s iconic Forever.

I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina | SLJ Review

Gr 9 Up –Alfonso Jones loves to play trumpet and is thinking of trying out for his class’s hip hop–themed Hamlet. On a shopping trip with his crush Danetta, the African American teen, who is looking for his first suit to wear in celebration of his father’s release from jail, is shot by a white off-duty cop who incorrectly assumes the suit hanger is a gun.

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.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert | SLJ Review

Gr 9 Up –Alice Proserpine’s mother Ella was raised on fairy tales amid the cultlike fandom surrounding the release of Tales from the Hinterland, a collection of grim fairy tales that, in the 1980s, briefly made Alice’s grandmother Althea Proserpine a celebrity.

Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser | SLJ Audio Review

Gr 7 Up –Amy Lennox and her mom, Alexis, decide they need a change, so the duo head to the family home in Stormsay, Scotland. There, Amy discovers her family’s book-jumping legacy.

Three Sides of a Heart by Natalie C. Parker | SLJ Review

The authors use unique strategies for weaving together sexuality and relationships in their love triangle–themed prose.

10 Diverse YA Fantasy & Sci-Fi Titles | SLJ Spotlight

Ten new sci-fi and fantasy books featuring a diverse range of leading characters, including sequels to Traci Chee’s and Daniel José Older’s YA debuts.

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

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust | SLJ Review

BASHARDOUST, Melissa. Girls Made of Snow and Glass. 384p. Flatiron Bks. Sept. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250077738.

Gr 8 Up –When Mina fell ill, her father the magician cut out her dying heart and replaced it with glass. Unable to love or be loved, Mina learns that beauty can be used to manipulate others. At 16, she leaves the South with her father to move North where snow perpetually falls. Her father is being rewarded for curing the king’s daughter, the cover story […]

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus | SLJ Audio Review

MCMANUS, Karen M. One of Us Is Lying. 9 CDs. 11:44 hrs. Listening Library. May 2017. $65. ISBN 9781524756901. digital download.

Gr 9 Up –Five high school students walk into a normal Monday after-school detention but only four leave alive. Simon, the dead student, was despised for the secrets he revealed in his toxic gossip app targeting the students of Bayview High. The remaining four students all have reasons to want Simon dead, and the police quickly zoom in on all of them […]

I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin | SLJ Review

DUNN, Gaby & Allison Raskin. I Hate Everyone But You. 352p. Wednesday Bks. Sept. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250129321.

Gr 10 Up –This contemporary coming-of-age story of two friends on opposite shores explores difficult topics in a relatable tone. Ava and Gen are best friends whose relationship defines the maxim that opposites attract. Ava, the perfectionist, joins a sorority because she thinks that’s what college students should do. She struggles with balancing her social life, anxiety, and class load. Gen is studying journalism […]

New Releases and Mini Reviews: Little & Lion, The Bakersville Dozen, and The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

Today is a good day for book releases, as apparently all the recent books I have chosen to read release today. Is it fate? Destiny? Hard to say. Let’s dive right in, shall we. Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert Two step-siblings who were closer than close are reunited after one, Little (the female) spends […]

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas | SLJ Audio Review

THOMAS, Angie. The Hate U Give. 9 CDs. 11:40 hrs. HarperAudio. Feb. 2017. $39.99. ISBN 9781470827137. digital download.

Gr 9 Up –Starr has learned to adapt her personality to fit two worlds. “Garden Heights Starr” helps her ex-gangbanger father in his neighborhood grocery. “Williamson Starr” has a white boyfriend, and is one of the few black students at a tony prep school in an exclusive part of town. When gunshots ring out at a Garden Heights party, Starr and her friend Khalil leave. […]

Odd & True by Cat Winters | SLJ Review

WINTERS, Cat. Odd & True. 368p. Abrams/Amulet. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781419723100.

Gr 9 Up –Trudchen, a polio survivor who reads tea leaves, is the younger sister to Odette, and both are Maria’s daughters. All through Tru’s youth, Od would fill her head with magical, fantastical stories to fill the dark times. After a two-year absence, Od returns looking haunted and accompanied by a case full of mysterious weapons that she promises will help kill monsters. Soon, the siblings whisk away on […]

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore | SLJ Review

CASHORE, Kristin. Jane, Unlimited. 464p. Penguin/Kathy Dawson Bks. Sept. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780803741492.

Gr 9 Up –Before her Aunt Magnolia died in a blizzard in Antarctica, she made Jane promise to accept any invitation she might receive to visit Tu Reviens. When her high school tutor, Kiran, extends an invitation to her family’s annual spring gala at Tu Reviens, Jane knows she has to accept even though she is still deep in mourning for the aunt who had raised her. But the […]