The child of first-generation Chinese immigrants to the United States, Kelly Yang writes a work of fiction, Front Desk, based on her own life so that her son could know her story and take inspiration, not fear, from the life of shame and pain and poverty and joy she experienced as a child.  Yang tells her story through Mia Tang and Jason Tao to open the eyes and fill the hearts of readers, giving them empathy for people from all backgrounds and walks of life and arousing in them the courage needed to stand up to injustice when they see it. Jason’s dad, Mr. YaoRead More →

Told in five parts accompanied by maps and full-page art by Tony Piedra, Endling: The Last by Newbery medal-winning author Katherine Applegate opens with a quote from Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, reminding readers that we are all part of the great web of life.  The first in a series that promises adventure, action, and mystery, Endling features well-developed and creatively imagined characters to whom the reader quickly becomes attached and invested. Khara is fourteen years old, frugal with words, and a talented fighter who has discovered the power in disguising herself as a boy.  On her personal quest, she encounters Byx, a dairne who considersRead More →

Dana L. Davis is an actress, a classical violinist, and now an author.  Her debut novel, Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now is a remarkable book about a sixteen-year-old young woman who has found herself in a tsunami of change after her mother dies from Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Because Grams is an elderly resident in an assisted living facility, suddenly Tiffany is flying from low-income housing in Chicago to a mansion in Los Angeles to live with the doctor dad she didn’t even know existed.  Uprooted from her familiar neighborhood, school, and friends and suffering from anxiety disorder, Tiffany must find comfort with a stepmother, four sisters,Read More →

Readers of Tamora Pierce (Song of the Lioness series) and Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows) will likely find Amanda Foody’s new novel, Ace of Shades to be an equally dark and thrilling fantasy-mystery.  This first book in the Shadow Game trilogy features seventeen-year-old Enne Salta, whose only known mother-figure has gone missing. Determined to find Lourdes Alfero—the one person who has listened and advised and cared—Enne leaves her lady-in-training finishing school and her familiar life in Bellamy to cross the seas to New Reynes.  The solitary lead Enne has is a name, that of Levi Glaisyer, and when she arrives in the City of Sin,Read More →