Category Archives: Young Adult Book Review

A certain October by Angela Johnson

From three-time Coretta Scott King Award–winner Angela Johnson, a wrenching, honest book about surviving the unimaginable and finding a way to go on.

Scotty compares herself to tofu: no flavor unless you add something. And it’s true that Scotty’s friends, Misha and Falcone, and her brother, Keone, make life delicious. But when a terrible accident occurs, Scotty feels responsible for the loss of someone she hardly knew, and the world goes wrong. She cannot tell what is a dream and what is real. Her friends are having a hard time getting through to her and her family is preoccupied with their own trauma. But the prospect of a boy, a dance, and the possibility that everything can fall back into place soon helps Scotty realize that she is capable of adding her own flavor to life.

With artfully spare prose, acclaimed and award-winning author Angela Johnson explores the ramifications of unexpected death in this compelling coming-of-age story. An ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick.

A certain October

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

“Wildly entertaining . . . I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.”—Justin Cronin, The New York Times Book Review

“A modern sci-fi masterpiece . . . should do for aliens what Twilight did for vampires.”—USAToday.com

the 5th wave

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s library by Chris Grabenstein

Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library.

Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high.

In this cross between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Night in the Museum, Agatha Award winner Chris Grabenstein uses rib-tickling humor to create the perfect tale for his quirky characters. Old fans and new readers will become enthralled with the crafty twists and turns of this ultimate library experience.

escape-from-mr-lemoncellos-library

Revenge of a not-so-pretty girl by Carolita Blythe

Fans of Walter Dean Myers and Rita Williams-Garcia’s One Crazy Summer will cherish this gripping story of an African American girl living in 1980s Brooklyn, who overcomes abuse and neglect in discovering real friendship, self-respect, and that pretty and mean don’t always win.

Girls who are pretty have a way of looking down their perfect noses at anyone they feel isn’t worthy of sharing the air with them. They have a way of making regular girls like me feel inferior for not winning the gene pool lottery. Tormenting them is my way of getting even.
Everyone knows that pretty equals mean, and Evelyn Ryder used to be a beautiful movie star—never mind that it was practically a lifetime ago. There’s no time limit on mean. So if you think I feel guilty about mugging her, think again.
But for something that should have been so simple, it sure went horribly wrong. See, I think I might have killed that old movie star. Accidentally, of course. And I’m starting to believe that my actions have cursed me, because nothing in my life has gone right since then.
That’s why I’m returning to the scene of the crime. To see if there’s any chance that old lady might still be alive. To see if I might be able to turn my luck around. Maybe my life can be different. But if I want things to change, I’m gonna have to walk the straight and narrow. And that means no more revenge.
Revenge of a not-so-pretty girl