Reader’s Review: The Summer I Learned to Fly

Drew’s a bit of a loner. She has a pet rat, her dead dad’s Book of Lists, an encyclopedic knowledge of cheese from working at her mom’s cheese shop, and a crush on Nick, the surf bum who works behind the counter. It’s the summer before eighth grade and Drew’s days seem like business as [...]

Chris Crutcher Responds to WSJ “Dark Themes” article

YA author Chris Crutcher wrote an essay in response to Meghan Cox Gurdon’s controversial Wall Street Journal article about dark novels, calling it “ill-thought out and self-serving ‘reporting’”.  Read his response on the Huffington Post site Huffpost Books. Personally, I believe that Crutcher’s final paragraph is the most impactful statement made so far in this whole [...]

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Bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater did it again with Forever, the continuing story of Grace and Sam’s love for each other and the sequel to Shiver and Linger.  In Forever, Grace and Sam continue to face hardship and obstacles to their love and Cole and Isabel are also still trying to sort out their feelings for [...]

Tris & Izzie

Tris & Izzie, a love story by the bestselling author Mette Ivie Harrison, is about a girl named Izzie who accidentally falls in love with this guy named Tris, a new student at school.  Izzie  has a boyfriend but her best friend doesn’t and Izzie worries that her friend feels like a third wheel sometimes.  [...]

Vanish (A Firelight Novel)

Bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s novel Vanish is about Jacinda’s life when she gets back to the pride. After being taken away from the pride by her mother and almost exposing her race’s one kept secret.  In this detailed sequel to Firelight, there are many issues Jacinda  must face: she has to choose between her love for [...]

You’ll Like it Here (Everybody Does)

Reminiscent of numerous future dystopias, particularly Lois Lowry’s The Giver and TV phenomenon The Twilight Zone, Ruth White’s newest middle grade fiction offering, You’ll Like it Here (Everybody Does), is an unsettling, suspenseful adventure.  At first glance, the Blues are a typical American family: Mom’s an astronomy professor, Gramps is retired and loves puttering around [...]

You Don’t Know About Me

In You Don’t Know About Me, Brian Meehl’s contemporary re-imagining of  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Meehl takes the reader on an engaging, thought-provoking road trip across the Western US with 16 year old Billy Allbright.  Billy and his mom have lived a nomadic existence, going from town-to-town hunting out sinners and standing up for Jesus.  It’s [...]

Noah Barleywater Runs Away

In Noah Barleywater Runs Away, Boy in the Striped Pajamas authorJohn Boyne, again captures the pure essence of childhood, tinged with sorrow and colored with hope.  8 year old Noah Barleywater is running away from home - he’s ready for adventure and to make his mark on life – and there’s something happening at home that [...]

Crossing Lines

Paul Volponi has a talent for capturing the authentic voice of teen guys.  His books regularly display a straightforward, economic style that gets directly to the bare bones of his teen protagonists’ struggles with relationships, right and wrong, maturity, and a whole host of other real-life issues.  In every Volponi book I’ve read, I am [...]


Senior Jake Martin is the school’s soccer star: he’s got the magic that pulls off win after win and keeps him at the center of the school’s in-crowd.  But the magic means more to Jake than just winning on the field; his obsession with prime numbers and his increasingly complex daily rituals keep him focused, [...]