May 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Book Review: Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

Publisher’s description For readers of Girl in Pieces and The Way I Used to Be comes an emotionally gripping story about facing hard truths in the aftermath of sexual assault. Mara and Owen are as close as twins can get, so when Mara’s friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn’t know what to think. Can her brother really […]

Book Review: Antipodes by Michele Bacon

Publisher’s description When Erin Cerise steps off her plane in Christchurch, New Zealand, she’s determined to overcome her losses of swim team captainship, her boyfriend Ben, and her reputation. Her mother is certain studying abroad will regain Erin’s chances of a good future. Once Erin meets her uninspiring host family and city, though, she’s not […]

Book Review: Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender

Publisher’s description Caroline Murphy is a Hurricane Child. Being born during a hurricane is unlucky, and twelve-year-old Caroline has had her share of bad luck lately. She’s hated and bullied by everyone in her small school on St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, a spirit only she can see won’t stop following her, and […]

Book Review: The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

Publisher’s description In the vein of Inside Out and Back Again and The War That Saved My Life comes a poignant, personal, and hopeful tale of India’s partition, and of one girl’s journey to find a new home in a divided country It’s 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and […]

Book Review: You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Publisher’s description A moving, lyrical debut novel about twins who navigate first love, their Jewish identity, and opposite results from a genetic test that determines their fate—whether they inherited their mother’s Huntington’s disease. Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. Viola prodigy Adina yearns to become a soloist—and to […]

Book Review: Welcome Home edited by Eric Smith

Publisher’s description Welcome Home collects a number of adoption-themed fictional short stories, and brings them together in one anthology from a diverse range of celebrated Young Adult authors. The all-star roster includes Edgar-award winner Mindy McGinnis, New York Times best-selling authors C.J. Redwine (The Shadow Queen) and William Ritter (Jackaby), and acclaimed YA authors across […]

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

Publisher’s description The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian meets Jane the Virgin in this poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican-American home.    Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move […]

Book Review: Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga

When I’m reviewing books for professional publications, I stay quiet about them on social media. I’m always really excited once a review comes out to be able to talk about the book, finally! Here’s one of my most recent reviews, which originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of School Library Journal.      Here We Are Now […]

Book Review: Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza

Publisher’s description For fans of Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything, Emery Lord’s When We Collided, and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl,Anna Priemaza’s debut novel is a heartwarming and achingly real story of finding a friend, being a fan, and defining your place in a difficult world. Kat and Meg couldn’t be more different. Kat’s anxiety makes it hard for her to talk to […]

Book Review: Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Publisher’s description Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri’s mom avoids these questions—the topic of India is permanently closed. For Pri, her […]

Book Review: The Ocean in My Ears by Meagan Macvie

Publisher’s description Meri Miller lives in Soldotna, Alaska. Never heard of it? That’s because in Slowdotna the most riveting activities for a teenager are salmon fishing and grabbing a Big Gulp at the local 7-Eleven. More than anything, Meri wants to hop in her VW Bug and head somewhere exciting, like New York or L.A. or any […]

Book Review: Cast No Shadow by Nick Tapalansky and Anissa Espinosa

Publisher’s description Greg has lived in Lancaster his whole life. The town’s always had its quirks, and being born without a shadow means he’s counted among them. When Greg discovers an old mansion in the woods just outside of town, he didn’t expect to meet a smart, beautiful, funny, and…very dead teenaged girl named Eleanor. […]

Book Review: Release by Patrick Ness

Publisher’s description Inspired by Judy Blume’s Forever and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, this novel that Andrew Smith calls “beautiful, enchanting, [and] exquisitely written” is a new classic about teenage relationships, self-acceptance—and what happens when the walls we build start coming down. Adam Thorn doesn’t know it yet, but today will change his life. Between his religious family, a deeply unpleasant […]

Book Review: Slider by Pete Hautman

Publisher’s description Competitive eating vies with family expectations in a funny, heartfelt novel for middle-grade readers by National Book Award winner Pete Hautman. David can eat an entire sixteen-inch pepperoni pizza in four minutes and thirty-six seconds. Not bad. But he knows he can do better. In fact, he’ll have to do better: he’s going […]

Book Review: Neighborhood Girls by Jessie Ann Foley

Publisher’s description A powerful coming-of-age story about a girl whose encounters with loss, broken friendships, and newfound faith leave her forever changed, from Printz Honor winner and Morris Award Finalist Jessie Ann Foley When Wendy Boychuck’s father, a Chicago cop, was escorted from their property in handcuffs, she knew her life would never be the […]

Book Review: You Don’t Know Me but I Know You by Rebecca Barrow

Publisher’s description Rebecca Barrow’s bright, honest debut novel about chance, choice, and unconditional love is a heartfelt testament to creating the future you truly want, one puzzle piece at a time. There’s a box in the back of Audrey’s closet that she rarely thinks about. Inside is a letter, seventeen years old, from a mother […]

Book Review: The Lake Effect by Erin McCahan

Publisher’s description A funny, bracing, poignant YA romance and coming-of-age for fans of Huntley Fitzpatrick, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and The Beginning of Everything lake effect | n. 1. The effect of any lake, especially the Great Lakes, in modifying the weather in nearby areas 2. The effect of elderly ladies, mysterious girls, and countless funerals, in upending your life, one summer at the beach It’s the summer after senior year, […]

Book Review: Internet Famous by Danika Stone

Publisher’s description An engaging and relatable novel for the digital age that perfectly captures the complicated interaction between what goes on in our real lives and what we say online. Internet sensation Madison Nakama has it all! Her pop-culture rewatch site has a massive following, and fans across the world wait on her every post […]

Book Review: It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura

Publisher’s description This charming and bittersweet coming-of-age story featuring two girls of color falling in love is part To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and part Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to […]

Book Review: That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim

Publisher’s description This young adult novel by Sheba Karim, author of Skunk Girl, is a funny and affecting coming-of-age story for fans of Jenny Han, Megan McCafferty, and Sara Farizan. Shabnam Qureshi is facing a summer of loneliness and boredom until she meets Jamie, who scores her a job at his aunt’s pie shack. Shabnam […]