Jake and Lily are twins.  Sure, they are a little different – Lily’s got a temper, Jake’s always calm – but in many ways, they feel like two halves of the same person.  When one of them is in trouble or in pain, the other one just knows it; they can communicate without words; it’s a secret “power” they call the goombla and sharing it means everything. But the summer they turn 11, things change.  Their parents decide it’s time for them to have separate rooms.  Jake starts hanging out with a group of guys from down the street, and Lily, well, Lily feels lostRead More →

Tackling some of the same powerful questions he did in his stunning debut You, Charles Benoit’s latest for young adults is Fall From Grace. High school senior Sawyer’s life is already neatly planned out for him: finish his above average high school career, packed with all the right extra-curriculars and volunteer work, go to the local liberal arts college and major in accounting for a career as an insurance actuary, and after college marry his beautiful, perfect high school sweetheart.  And until the day at the Mock United Nations assembly when he meets Grace, Sawyer has never bothered to question the plans his parents soRead More →

New York City resident Sarah Beth (Sethie) Weiss is seventeen years old and obsessed with food and fat.  From Sethie’s perspective, lanky Janey won the genetic lottery and Sethie lost; even her 49 year old mother Rebecca looks better in a bathing suit.  Sethie’s two favorite words, svelte and lithe, are etched on her bedroom mirror, along with the mantras: Don’t Eat and Bones Are Beautiful.  5’4 Sethie weighs 111 pounds but she still sees fat on her boney frame.  Rules and definitions, order and control, rituals and routines govern Sethie’s life, unlike best friend Janey and almost boyfriend Shaw, who stroll through life unhurried.Read More →

Everyone has secrets. Some are small and innocuous “I am going to surprise my friend with a special lunch”  but others carry much more weight “I am betraying my best friend in a terrible way.”  We carry these secrets, large and small, light and heavy, around with us every day. But when the burden of these secrets, hopes, and fears becomes to much, we have to find ways to lighten the load.  In the woods behind 10 year old Minty Mortimer’s house, there’s a big old oak tree with a gaping hole in the center, and as she discovers one summer afternoon, it’s the tree where peopleRead More →

We’ve got some goodies to celebrate the 100th Fan milestone on Facebook – will you be the lucky one to receive this care package in the mail? And who knows, even if you’re not #100, we may have a little something just for #101 or #102… Step 1: Like us on Facebook (Use the Like Button on our right sidebar, or click here) Step 2: Come back to this post and leave us a comment about how you found out about us. Good Luck and Thanks!Read More →

The notion of a “bleached” culture or absence of culture among white people looms large, and young adult authors are working to dispel that belief as they explore the diversity of what it means to be white. Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s book Faith, Hope, and Ivy June (Delacorte, 2009) and now Child of the Mountains by Marilyn Sue Shank are appropriate for performing some myth-busting as well as providing a door for cultural discussions with a focus on diverse lifestyles, especially those conditions imposed by class differences and geographical circumstances. Set in 1954 in the mountains of West Virginia, Shank’s book features eleven-year-old Lydia Hawkins whoRead More →

Yesterday by author C.K. Kelly Martin is a dystopian book flavored with time travel, Orwellian, and other futuristic Brave New World elements like genetic and mind engineering. Although the novel features detailsreminiscent of Feed by M.T. Anderson and Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, it offers neither the plot sophistication nor the thematic richness. In fact, the novel’s lengthy exposition spans several chapters before it escalates into action that holds the reader’s attention. The plot revolves around two sixteen year old designer babies, Freya Kallas and Garren Lowe, who look like Greek statues with classical, sculptured beauty. When a Toxo outbreak threatens humanity’s mass extinction, the two teens—whose parents have powerful jobs inRead More →

The April issue of our newsletter is out now! Bringing book industry news, info on new releases and cool websites, book reviews, opportunities to win free books, tech news and much more straight to your inbox! Not signed up for our email mailing list? It’s easy- just find the Join Our Mailing List link on the right sidebar of this blog. (Or, click here) In the meantime, just in case you didn’t get one, check out the newsletter here. Did We Mention You Could Win Free Books? Check It Out Now!Read More →

By 2050, global warming has turned the climate into mankind’s enemy: once “normal” weather systems like hurricanes and tornadoes are now monster storms that ravage the world with their intensity and frequency.  Life has become a dual existence of living indoors: above ground anxiously waiting for the next storm system and then spending a good deal of time in underground storm shelters wondering if your home has been annihilated.  Playgrounds are built in cavernous underground shelters, no one rides bikes, goes on picnics or travels far.  The food supply is all grown in special DNA-ture farms secure from the uncontrollable weather.  Amid this dire climate,Read More →