Everyone loves a good ‘whodunit,’ and the most famous of them all are the gruesome murders of Jack the Ripper. Occurring in 1888, Jack the Ripper committed a string of murders so gruesome that “no one, not even the most criminally insane would attempt” (291). In Kerri Maniscalco’s debut novel, the first Young Adult acquisition under James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, she explores the adventures of Audrey Rose Wadsworth, a girl with the knowledge and determination to find the killer who alludes all. Audrey Rose is a young woman in high society, but she is not the typical young socialite. After her mother’s death yearsRead More →

Just when I was beginning to think The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl was simply a fantasy to entertain tweens in a Marvel Comics style, the book turned into a legitimately powerful tale (pun entirely intended!).  With this Squirrel Meets World installment, the husband and wife team of Shannon Hale and Dean Hale cleverly pens a multi-genre adventure-mystery featuring superhero “Doreen Green, age fourteen. Over five feet tall and not an inch mean” (6), who is also “ with powers of squirrel and powers of girl” (259). Despite her super hero abilities, Doreen has realistic and adolescent relatable life-dilemmas—she has body image issues and friendship challenges at UnionRead More →

Resembling a collection of short stories with the clever and mischievous sixteen-year-old witch, Kendra Hilferty as a unifying character, Beheld by Alex Flinn does some serious genre-blending and blurring.  Part fairy tale, part historical fiction, part romance, and part mystery, Beheld—with its heroes, struggles, and allegories—reveals insight into what it means to be human while conveying its layered theme and multiple morals. The main plot thread features Kendra’s search for James Brandon, her beloved soulmate.  Four other stories run parallel to Kendra’s in that the characters also seek transformation through human relationships.  Ann Putnam’s story, which brought back memories of reading The Crucible by ArthurRead More →

Alex Meadows has just passed from primary to secondary school in Lambourn, England, so he is constantly on guard to protect his status and to avoid being targeted by Alan’s Battalion, a gang of school yard bullies commanded by Alan Tydman.  Alex plans not to react to any of the gang’s bait since reactors get hurt, a truth that David Marsh can testify to when he refuses to fly under the radar.  But when Alex—and everyone else in his grade—gets an invitation to the Icarus Show, he dares to believe in possibility.  From the teaser campaign to the main event, Alex is intent on solving theRead More →

If you’re reading this review of Agents of the Glass: A New Recruit by Michael D. Beil, it’s because the Agents of the Glass have gone “to quite a bit of trouble to make certain that it ended up in your hands at this very moment” (1). It’s something they needed you to receive, because you can play an important role in helping their cause. The Agents are a secret, centuries old society dedicated to protecting the good in the world from the Syngians, a group who wants just the opposite. Currently, the Syngians are trying to manipulate the world through their broadcasting company, NTRP.Read More →