Zuri and her sisters have always lived in Bushwick. They love their neighborhood. So when the house across the street is renovated to be a mini mansion and a new family moves in, Zuri knows right away they don't belong. She can't stand them, especially arrogant Darius. But as her world opens up so does her heart. Is there room in there for the Darcy boy?
I loved this retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in the author's childhood hometown. The characters are well developed, the story is beautifully told and I highly suggest you listen to the audiobook narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo. Recommended for grades 7 and up.
Jess is the son of a book smuggler in a world where books as we know them are forbidden by the Great Library of Alexandria. Keepers of the world's knowledge, the Great Library was once noble and inclusive. Now power hungry, they have become cruel and oppressive. Into this world, Jess is thrust as a spy for his family. What begins as a mission to infiltrate the library and share knowledge, changes as he gets to know his fellow classmates. Full of action and really cool elements, like Greek fire and lion automatons, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat. Recommended for grades 7 and up.
Emeline lives in a small village at the edge of the kingdom. When her brother breaks a village rule and crosses the moat, she goes after him. A dark and sinister creature tries to grab them, a creature everyone thought was a myth. Now they must go to the capital to tell the King an Ithin has been seen.
The journey will take them many days and there is much danger on the way. With political unrest in the kingdom with one side firmly backing science, and one backing magic, the information that they carry will make them targets to both parties. Will they be able to navigate not only their way there, but a way to stay safe amongst the political backbiting as well?
A beautifully told story with many moving pieces. Emeline is a strong character with a good moral compass who is devoted to her family. The story is subtle but delivers a powerful message. Recommended for grades 6 and up.
Rumi and Lea are as close as sisters can be. They love writing songs together and were in the middle of creating a new one when a car crash changes everything. Now, Lea is dead and Rumi has been sent to Hawaii to live with an aunt she barely knows as she tries to deal with the hole that has been left in her life. Angry and confused she struggles to move forward.
Beautifully written, with some memorable characters and a beautiful setting. This book doesn't flinch from the raw grief Rumi and other characters are dealing with and is intense in its honesty. This is a book that stays with you long after you finished reading. Recommended for grades 7 and up.
City of Ghosts was the perfect amount of spooky atmospheric location plus terrifying ghost story. When Cassidy goes to Edinburgh, Scotland to shoot on location with her parents, "The Inspectors", she gets more than she bargained for. Her parents are ghost experts and are filming their new show there. What they don't realize is that Cassidy can really see ghosts, and not all ghosts are friendly. When she meets another girl who can also see ghosts, she gets tangled up with a ghost that preys on children. I loved this story and can't wait for the next installment. Recommended for grades 5 and up.
Eliza Mirk doesnt' like to speak. She dresses like a homeless person and doesn't really enjoy school. Once home, however, she is Lady Constellation, the author of the wildly popular Monstrous Sea web comic. She spends hours in her room, creating her comic, writing forum posts and ignoring comments. She barely tolerates her family and can't wait to graduate from high school.Then she meets Wallace.
The story starts off slowly, and includes a story within a story with panels and drawings from her web comic. Eliza suffers from anxiety and doesn't realize it. The anxiety is portrayed in such a real way, that you can feel her worry and see her body language. As she opens herself up to Wallace, her world view shifts and she begins to question the last several years of her life. A beautifully told story, with great characters. Recommended for grades 8 and up.
I read two titles by Hilary W. Poole from the Mental Illnesses and Disorder: Awareness and Understanding Series - ADHD and OCD. Both were presented in an easy to understand format. Further reading lists as well as online resources were given at the back of the book. Poole explains the different types of ADHD, the treatments available and other helpful information. She explains it in such a way that students can easily understand the information and can find resources to help them.
The OCD book was set up in a similar way, explaining about OCD and the differences between obsessive and compulsive behaviors. She also explains some of the brain chemistry that causes the behaviors. Like the ADHD book there are additional resources in the back. I highly recommend both titles for students who want to have a better understanding of these mental disorders. Recommended grades 6 and up.
Elin must leave home when her mother is sentenced to death following the death of the Toda serpents she was in care of. Thus begins an epic journey through the next several years of her life where she is going to have to make tough decisions and decide between her love for the beasts and her kingdom. This lush fantasy will magically transport you to another time and place. The characters are so real, you will feel their joys and sorrow. Elin is a character that will stay with you long after you finish the book. Recommended for grades 7 and up.
Telgemeier uses her own graphic novels to help young authors try to find their own voice and stories. With behind the scenes content, like pictures of her drawing process, Telgemeier shows children how to create their own graphic novel from their lives. There are plenty of pages for writing and drawing, and thoughtful questions to get the creative juices flowing. The only downside is the format. It is difficult to draw or write in a bound book, it should have come spiral bound instead. Overall, it is a great book for young authors or any fans of Telgemeier's work. Recommended grades 4 and up.
Speak has been updated in its graphic novel format, but it still just as powerful as the original novel. In black and white artwork, Melinda's first year of high school is drawn out. As she struggles with what happened at the end of year 8th grade party, we see how keeping her secret and her silence causes her both mental and physical damage. No one seems to notice how she is withdrawing from school, or from life. The only class she enjoys is Art and even that frustrates her at times. Beautifully crafted and still so important. Recommended for 7th grade and up.