Both a quick read and a somewhat hilarious book, The Tapper Twins Tear Up New York by Geoff Rodkey features sixth graders Claudia and Reese, who are as different as salt and pepper.  Their relationship reminds me of that shared by siblings Robert and Jessie in John Grandits’ companion books of concrete poems, Blue Lipstick and Technically, It’s Not My Fault. Claudia is a humanitarian and a reader who admires Gandhi and detests the social inequities she sees, while her brother Reese is a competitive, athletic, leet-speaking gamer.  Both sibs decide that Culvert Prep, an elite middle school in New York City, should hold aRead More →

Set in Ireland, Moira Fowley-Doyle’s debut young adult novel bumps up against the difficult topic of abuse: sexual, self-imposed, child, and partner.  But The Accident Season stops short of really tackling the topic—perhaps to reflect the reality of trying to protect a terrible secret or to tread with sensitivity, given the YA audience.  Regardless of its somewhat nebulous approach, The Accident Season provides a rich opportunity for wrestling with a difficult topic and for examining life from some of its shadowy angles.  It invites conversations about abusive behaviors—its perpetrators, victims, by-standers, enablers, and allies. Known since childhood for having a big imagination, Cara Morris isRead More →

Late last month, a new release from New York Times bestselling author of the Tiger’s Curse series, Colleen Houck, hit the shelves.  Packed with action and adventure, Reawakened awakens the reader to diverse ways of being in the world and imparts considerable knowledge about Egyptian culture and history. Houck’s book features image conscious, seventeen year old Lilliana Young who enjoys studying people.  During spring break of her senior year, Lilliana is trying to determine a career path.  While psychology and counselling are likely choices, she knows her parents want her to major in something that would make them proud, like medicine, business, or politics.  ToRead More →