In 1943, 10 year old Dewey sets out to join her father in New Mexico, where he’s engaged in “war work.”  She’s a mechanically minded girl who is teased by girls her own age, but happily finds that she gets along fine with the scientists on “The Hill.”  On the Hill, she finds adults who encourage her curious, engineering-focused mind and she finally has the chance to have a close relationship with her father.  Artistic Suze also lives with her parents on the secret  base, and she’s bored and tired of living in the dusty desert.   She misses her old life in Berkeley, where she livedRead More →

Debut author Pat Walsh’s The Crowfield Curse is a captivating, enchanting, and engrossing mystery that lures the reader into the dark Medieval forest around the Crowfield Abbey, where we know we’re being watched by some hidden, unseen force. In 1347, 14 year old orphan William Paynel lives in the English countryside with the monks at Crowfield Abbey.  On his regular day foray into the forest around the abbey, Will discovers a small, cat-like creature cruelly caught in a iron trap.   But it isn’t a cat Will has discovered: it’s a hob– a magical, talking creature, part man, part animal – one of the fay, or ancientRead More →

Thirteen Days to Midnight, the latest from Patrick Carman, is a thriller from page one.  Being indestructible may seem like a fantastic super power to have, but as Jacob Fielding quickly learns, the addictive allure of testing the limits of fear, the thrill of escaping harrowing accidents unscathed, and even saving another person from certain death, aren’t what they seem to be.  With every heroic act Jacob and his 2 thrill-seeking friends accomplish, the strange power that inhabits Jacob seems to grow stronger, darker, and more like a curse.  He knows something terrible is about to happen, but he can’t convince himself, or his friends,Read More →

Jill Jekel is devastated by the murder of her father. When the police discover that he had been involved in illegal activities they lose interest in finding his murderer. Jill discovers that her father had been secretly working in his laboratory in the middle of the night and used her college savings account to fund his experiments!  Now with her mother falling apart, Jill tries to find “normal” again. When the mysterious, handsome Tristen Hyde gives Jill attention and support she finds herself curiously drawn to him. And when their chemistry teacher suggests they work together in a competition for a chance to win a 30K scholarshipRead More →

Summer always meant the beach house at Cousins Beach with Conrad, Jeremiah and Susannah. But now that Susanna’s died, her romance with Conrad has ended, and she’s estranged from Jeremiah, Belly faces an empty, lonely summer unlike any she’s ever had. Conrad disappears from college and Jeremiah calls Belly to help find him. They go right to where they know Conrad must be: the summer house on Cousins Beach. Belly has to face the truth about her short-lived romance with Conrad; the tensions and pent up anger between the brothers; and a future that’s uncertain now that the boys’ mom has died.  Jenny Han’s second book featuringRead More →

Folly is a beautiful, lyrical, and richly textured story.  The idea behind the novel began by author Marthe Jocelyn imaging  a back-story to what may have been her own great grandmother’s struggle as a poor English country girl, living as a maid in London and becoming pregnant out of wedlock in the late 1800’s.  Fired, homeless, and poor, she’s forced to abandon her baby boy (Marthe’s grandfather) to an orphanage where he’s raised without knowledge of her and then as a teen sent out in the world to make his way. What would this have been like? And so Jocelyn creates Folly. A dual narrative between a fictitiousRead More →

Mackie Doyle doesn’t belong here; he doesn’t fit in; he’s a monster hiding in our midst; and he wants more than anything to fit in and be accepted.  When debut author Brenna Yovanoff’s fabulously eerie, engaging novel, The Replacement, opens, 16 year old Mackie tells us his recurring dream: it’s a dark night; he’s carried through tunnels; brought through an open window; a shadowy man telling him to wait quietly; and he knows in the crib of a human boy who’s been taken. Mackie is a replacement; a cast-off offspring of the age-old race of faeries (the Good Neighbors, the Others) meant to stand inRead More →

Do you know what it’s like to have a best friend? In Smells Like Dog, you will meet an interesting twelve- year- old boy who doesn’t exactly have that privilege. At least until an unexpected event takes place. The morning started just like any other. Homer Winslow Pudding woke up on his family’s goat farm in Milkydale and finished his chores. He ate breakfast. And he thought about his most favorite thing in the whole entire world: treasure hunting. Just like his famous Uncle Drake Pudding, Homer wanted to be an amazing treasure hunter, working along Drake to find lost jewels and maps. Most ofRead More →