National Book Award Finalist: Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick

Patricia McCormick is no stranger to transforming traumatic true-life experiences into digestible and empathetically rendered fiction. A former journalist, she tackled hard-hitting subjects in her previous four books, from cutting (CUT) and drug addiction from the addict’s sibling’s point of view (MY BROTHER’S KEEPER) to an American soldier’s guilty conscience during the Iraq war (PURPLE […]

Three YA Anthologies Featuring Stories About Bullying and More

Featuring stories written by more than 35 of the biggest and best names in YA fiction, these three themed anthologies are an invaluable resource for the classroom and home library. While one collection focuses mainly on the effects of bullying on today’s teens, and another contains meditations on fate and the unknown, the third presents […]

David Levithan’s Latest YA Novel: Every Day

David Levithan is the king of boundary-stretching novel concepts. His first novel, Boy Meets Boy, busted the world of gay teen lit wide open with its hopeful and upbeat vision of a reality in which homosexuality is not only accepted but delightfully normal. The Lover’s Dictionary traces the course of a relationship via a series of dictionary entries. Written […]

Red Heart Tattoo – A Timely Read by Lurlene McDaniel

I don’t know what’s happening in your neck of the woods, but in mine every conversation seems to be about some aspect of the shooting at the midnight showing of the latest Batman flick in Aurora, Colorado. Questions are flying. What kind of lunatic could do a thing like this? Why aren’t there stricter gun-control […]

Seraphina – Rachel Hartman’s Killer Fantasy Debut

The ARC of Seraphina has been on my shelf for a while. Truthfully, I wasn’t planning to read it. Why? I’m not a big fan of fantasy (I know. Pshaw!). I’m more of a realistic fiction girl. But when the starred reviews started piling up and the praise poured in, I thought, “Why not see what the […]

On the Day I Died: Ghost Stories Perfect for Reading (and Telling) Around the Campfire!

In the Author’s Note following On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave, Candace Fleming (Amelia Lost; The Fabled Fifth Graders of Aesop Elementary School; Lowji Discovers America  ) remembers fondly the times her mother would freak out Candace and her sister by telling them ghost stories before bedtime about people they knew or superstitions and legends they […]

5 YA Beach Reads

Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard. Eighteen-year-old Bria Sandoval is in a snit. Her boyfriend Toby broke up with her and she is blue as can be—but not heartbroken enough to miss a chance-of-a-lifetime post-graduation trip to Central America to see the sights and forget about her worries. Plus, Central America means Central American boys: “I’d only hook up […]