With the writing of her debut novel, We Set the Dark on Fire, Tehlor Kay Mejia set out to begin an answer to some questions: What do we lose when we are forced to subjugate our desires for our drive?  How long can we keep ourselves in the cages in which society is so fond of locking us?  As she chips away at the answers, she actually asks more questions, as all good research will do.  The promised second book in the duology will certainly answer and ask more.  This daring and romantic fantasy will likely be appreciated by fans of The Handmaid’s Tale byRead More →

Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has joined with veteran and award-winning author Tonya Bolden to bring an important topic to young readers: The Reconstruction and the dawn of the Jim Crow era in American history. In their nonfiction book Dark Sky Rising, readers will learn about one of the most pivotal yet least understood chapters in American history.  Beginning with the Civil War and during its aftermath, the United States struggled to heal the sectional divide that slavery and state secession had caused.  Despite their playing a decisive role in saving theRead More →

Jessica Khoury’s science fiction novel Last of Her Name features sixteen-year-old Stacia Androva and Clio Markova, two girls who are like sisters.  Possessing an instinctual urge to keep Clio safe, Stacia trusts Clio even when she can’t trust herself.  Their existence is mostly idyllic until the threat of rebellion comes knocking. A vintner’s daughter on the planet Amethyne, Stacia lives in Afka, a valley town huddled between the hills.  Stacia is a tenacious young woman with a muscular build and mechanics certification.  Appollo Androthenes, aka Pol, is Afkan’s wrestling champion and Stacia’s protector.  The three friends share multiple memories, a trio against the universe.  ButRead More →

Observable Qualities Each chapter opens with field notes; Ben Phillippe’s protagonist reduces many of his observations to labels in order to make his world and the people in it easier to categorize and digest; readers can find themselves or their past social dilemmas in the pages of The Field Guide to the North American Teenager; Key Subjects Norris Kaplan: the son of French Canadian Haitian parents, Judith and Felix; transplant from Montreal to Austin, Texas; prone to snarky, spiteful, and other satirical remarks; to some people, he’s the “dickish Canadian guy with a chip on his shoulder” (136) because he focuses on other people’s insecurities.Read More →

Fluent in the language of vectors and the laws of physics, Rukhsana Ali dreams of one day working at NASA and plans to attend Caltech when she graduates from high school.  She also can’t wait to escape her home in Seattle where her Muslim parents believe that daughters and sons are not the same. In her mother’s mind, Rukshana’s worth in the marriage market is directly proportionate to her culinary prowess.  Therefore, she has to know how to prepare chai, goat vindaloo, and roti  in order to impress a potential mother-in-law.  But Rukshana isn’t a traditional Muslim, and she’s more interested in Ariana’s sweet-nothings whisperedRead More →