Teen Advisory Board Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fire and Heist Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781101931004
Availability: Not Yet Published
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - December 4th, 2018

This story is set in a modern world that's just a bit different from our own, in which humans live side-by-side with supernatural wyverns (like a kind of dragon in human form, but which can breathe fire.) Wyverns, like fabled dragons, love treasure, but they don't steal from humans. Instead, they play elaborate "heist" games among their own kind, the success of which then determines each family's status in wyvern society. The main character, Sky Hawkins, is a modern high schooler. Her mother recently disappeared following a failed heist and her family's status has taken a dive. All of her wyvern friends have deserted her, even apparently her boyfriend. Sky is determined to do what her mom couldn't and restore her family's status - and if possible, find her mom as well. Sky teams up with a non-wyvern friend and an older wyvern wizard with a hidden agenda - and what they find could change their whole world. This book was not what I expected, but it had its share of excitement. Even though it's billed as a teen book, the romance involved was fairly tame. I'd recommend it for readers 12 and up who like adventure with a little fantasy thrown in.
 
- Review by Colleen, age 13.


Strange Days Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781524740245
Availability: Not Yet Published
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - December 4th, 2018

If you made Felix Yz for young adults, then turned everything up about three or four notches, you'd have this book. It's really weird, but I liked it. Alex, the main character, is a normal teen, age 16, until his parents are killed by aliens. Nobody believes him. They all think he's crazy and that he did it. Then Alex starts getting letters from himself in his own handwriting, including details only he would know. He follows his instructions and travels to Seattle from L.A., running away so the cops don't pick him up. He hooks up with an organization which is trying to save people from aliens, using technology they got from different alien species. Alex turns out to be a perfect DNA match to witness the future. Of course, he finds that everything isn't as it seems. This book really encourages you to think differently. I'd recommend it to teens age 14 and up who have a high tolerance for the weird.
 

--Review by Colleen, age 13


Girls Write Now: Two Decades of True Stories from Young Female Voices Cover Image
By Girls Write Now (Contribution by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781947793057
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Tin House Books - October 16th, 2018

This read like a wake-up call - really fresh and diverse and original. It includes a bunch of true stories about the experience of girls from all around the world. They're all short stories, but the girls come from all different cultures and backgrounds, and there's even some foreign languages incorporated into some of the stories. This collection includes something everyone should be able to relate to: like the girl who has a weird name no one can pronounce to the experience of an immigrant coming here not knowing the language, to the experience of an American with a different cultural heritage she doesn't know much about. There are stories of girls overcoming racism and sexism and the grief of losing a loved one. I highly recommend it to teens, especially girls - of course.

 

-Review by Colleen, age 13


Nightingale Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781335012340
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Harlequin Teen - September 25th, 2018

This book is really suspenseful and well-written. I could not put it down. It's also really creepy, with a lot of mindblowing plot twists. Overall, it's really good, even empowering in a "girl power" sort of way. It's set in 1951, when girls have a much more limited choice in what they can do. June is not a normal girl. She's very independent, with different views on life, and she likes to write. She's sent to a mental institution for reasons that aren't revealed until later in the book. The story is told in a split perspective, half her experience at the institution and half flashbacks of the events leading up to her institutionalization. While she's at the institution, June discovers disturbing layers of truth as she attempts to find out what's really going on. I'd recommend this book for readers age 14 and up, especially girls who like horror and suspense.
 
Review by Colleen, age 13


Give the Dark My Love Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781595147172
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Razorbill - September 25th, 2018

This book was really compelling and I wanted to keep reading. It was also super-original and diverse - not one of your token fantasies, even though it is set in a medieval-style empire. Nedra, the main character, gets a scholarship to attend a prestigious academic to study medicinal alchemy. She wants to help stop this plaque which is decimating the population: The Wasting Death.Nedra turns out to be a natural in the field, but this is not a normal plaque. Its origin is magic. Nedra is distressed when her patients at the hospital where she volunteers keep dying, so she starts delving into a forbidden type of alchemy - necromancy. Predictably, things go downhill from there. I'd recommend it for dark fantasy lovers age 14 and up.
 
-Review by Colleen, age 13


The Agony House Cover Image
By Cherie Priest, Tara O'Connor (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780545934299
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - September 25th, 2018

This book is written from two different perspectives, half in comics, half in prose. It starts out when a girl moves into a new house. She and a friend who is a boy are pretty sure it's haunted. They capture tape recordings of whispering people. Then they find a comic book manuscript by a guy from the 1950s. Reading the comic book, they find it tells a story set in this house, about things that happened here in the 1950s. This sampler gave me only a little taste of what the book would be like. It seemed good and reminded me a bit of Spirit Hunter. I would recommend it to readers  age 12 and up who like spooky stuff.
 
-Review by Colleen, age 13


Witch Born Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338277531
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Chicken House - September 25th, 2018

This story was really appealing, at times pretty funny and at times dark. It's essentially historical fantasy with a whole lot of "what ifs." It's set in the time of Mary Tudor and Queen Elizabeth, who are fighting for the throne. Meanwhile, the country is full of witch hunters. These hunters burn the mom of Alyce, the main character. But it turns out Alyce is a witch too. She's sent to an asylum, which she hates, and she eventually escapes. Immediately, she's being pursued by a bunch of witch hunters. Mary and Elizabeth also have their own reasons to try to get their hands on Alyce, so she's running all the time. With the help of a 12-year-old boy, Solomon, from a group of traveling performers, Alyce has to try to figure out the dark secrets around her. The story has lots of plot twists. I would recommend it for readers age 12 and up, especially girls, and fans of fantasy and historical fiction from this time period.
 
Review by Colleen, age 13


Nevertheless, We Persisted: 48 Voices of Defiance, Strength, and Courage Cover Image
By Amy Klobuchar (Foreword by)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781524771966
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 4th, 2018

This is a collection of people who were told "You can't" by other people or by the circumstances of their life, and who determined for themselves "I can." The collection includes the stories of a bunch of really diverse people, from a Holocaust survivor to black and Hispanic people who were not expected to "amount to much," to ethnic minorities to girls in sports before Title IX, to gay, lesbian, and transgender teens facing discrimination. My favorite was the one by Maulik Pancholy, an Indian-American actor who I know as one of the voices from “Phineas and Ferb.” Trained as an actor, once he started trying out for roles, he was told he was “too ethnic” to play the roles he really wanted and had to settle for something stereotypical and demeaning instead. Then, when he did start achieving some success, he'd get comments like, “There's actually no reason for that character to be Indian. Why make him Indian?” My response would be “Dude, is there some reason this character has to be 'white?'” I also found the essay by Danielle Vabner, the girl who lost a brother in the Sandy Hook massacre, to be really powerful, and I was moved by the stories of Kara Nirghin, the South African girl who found a way to minimize the effects of drought in her country; and Jillian Mercado, the model with muscular dystrophy. Everyone who has felt repressed by society or circumstances can find something to relate to in this book. I would recommend it to readers age 13 and up.

- Review by Colleen, age 13.


Seafire Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780451478801
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Razorbill - August 28th, 2018

Seafire by Natalie C. Parker is an amazing book about trust, courage, and doing what is right. This book has women empowerment and tells us that we have the power to fight for what we want, even if the odds are not in our favor. This book follows a girl named Caledonia, a captain of the ship, Mors Navis. Her crew is all female and full of women just like her, that had their families killed by Aric Athair and his army of Bullets. Their mission: take down Aric and all of his bullets. Seafire is a great book for teens that shows us that together, anything is possible.

 

-Review by Ava, age 13


Darius the Great Is Not Okay Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525552963
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Dial Books - August 28th, 2018

This book was so good I couldn't put it down, despite being told to shut it three times during the same 4-H meeting. I finished it in one day. I had no background knowledge on Iran, where the majority of action in this book takes place, but it was easy to understand - the main character has only the most general knowledge himself. Darius is half-Persian and is going to Iran to visit his ill grandpa. Darius is a total nerd who likes Star Trek and Lord of the Rings and is full of obscure references I loved. Even these are explained within the story so you don't have to be a Tolkien buff to get them. Darius is really funny, but he also has depression, as does his dad, who he does not get along with at all. In Iran, Darius meets the first real friend he has really ever had. It's a great book and an interesting look people who are a little out of the ordinary. I'd recommend it for teens.
 
-Review by Colleen, age 13.


Mirage Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250126429
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Flatiron Books - August 28th, 2018

This book was really good and not like anything else I've read before. I just finished it and I want to read the sequel IMMEDIATELY to find out what happens. Amani, the main character, is a farm girl who lives on a planet ruled by aliens. The Vath, who are oppressing her people, are technologically very advanced, with robots and stuff. On the day of Amani's coming-of-age ceremony, her home is raided by droids, who seize her and take her back to the palace. There, she finds she is the mirror image of the princess and she must learn to act as the princess' body-double. The story is compelling and original and I would recommend it to teens age 14 and up who like science fiction, fantasy and dystopian worlds.
 
 -Review by Colleen, age 13


These Rebel Waves Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062471505
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - August 7th, 2018

This book really kept me on the edge of my seat. The plot involves former rebels who now form the government, and a rebel girl who played a key role back in the war and now has to act the proper senator's daughter. But not all is as peaceful as it seems. There's a proposal to crack down on raiders (like pirates) who are technically citizens but living outside the law. Meanwhile, a threat of invasion from outside the realm looms. The other side of the story involves a heretic prince who is researching magical herbs in secret, even though they've been outlawed. Magic is healing, but magic is heresy.  What he finds out is transformational, and his dad wants him to use it as a weapon, not for healing. The story includes elements of adventure, fantasy, and dystopia, with a diverse cast of characters and a lot of plot twists, conspiracies and betrayals. I'd recommend it for readers age 14 and up.

- Review by Colleen, age 13


This Story Is a Lie Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781616959111
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Soho Teen - August 7th, 2018

Peter Blankman, a math genius living with only his mother and sister and suffering from massive panic attacks, is also the center of a web of lies.  This fast paced and secretive story will keep you on the edge of your chair until you've finished the book.  What is really going on, the truth will be kept until the very end. Sometimes what you know can hurt you more than what you don't.

 

-Review by Anderson


Nine Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062567260
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: HarperTeen - August 7th, 2018

 
Julian is a normal boy - for our standards.  But in a different dimension similar to ours where humans have nine lives instead of one, he is an outcast.  After getting sucked into what is known as 'burning', a competition to see who can have the most crazy death, Julian learns something strange is going on, something that has the potential to wipe out humans.  The moral of the story  being that privileges are something to be respected, not abused. 
 
-Review by Anderson


Girls Resist!: A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution Cover Image
By Kaelyn Rich, Giulia Sagramola (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781683690597
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Quirk Books - August 7th, 2018

This was a really good feminist guidebook for young women. I don't anticipate embarking on a petition drive or other campaign in the near future, but this book is full of lots of good ideas about things you can do when there's an issue you're concerned about. It also has some revealing information, like the fact that Hispanic women earn like 54 cents on the dollar compared to what white men make. That's really - wow. I'd recommend this book to people who liked Nevertheless We Persisted and How I Resist, as well as other guidebooks like Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy.
 
- Review by Colleen, age 13


Heretics Anonymous Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062698872
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - August 7th, 2018

We need to have more books like this. It was great, really hilarious. I could really relate to it, and I couldn't put it down.
The main character, Michael, and his 10-year-old sister have moved a lot, due to his dad's job. His dad, meanwhile, seems to put his work ahead of his kids. Michael's family is kind of mainstream religious, but Michael himself is an atheist. Now he has to attend this really strict, traditional, nose-in-the-air Catholic school. Obviously, he hates school, but he does connect to others who don't fit in, and they form "Heretics Anonymous." Besides him, there's an outspoken feminist who wants to be a priest, a Jewish guy who's also gay, a pagan, and a guy who wants to wear a cloak to school every day. They embark on a secret campaign to change the school from within, mostly through pranks like stealing the sex ed video and editing it to make it more accurate and true to science; finding loopholes in the school dress code and posting them in the locker rooms, stuff like that.
Then they take a prank too far and someone gets blamed for it. I would recommend this to mature readers age 14 and up - people who march to a different drummer.
 
- Review by Colleen, age 13.


Sea Witch Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062438775
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - July 31st, 2018

You've all heard of the tale of the little mermaid, but have you ever wondered about how the evil sea witch got to where she was? The book Sea Witch by Sarah Henning is a story of a girl that got pushed over the edge to become a monster. A new take on the most memorable villain of the sea; full of friendship, magic, love, and betrayal. I could not put this book down and got lost in the world. It is perfect for teens that love beautiful worlds full of magic and fairytale retellings. Sea Witch is a beautifully written book that will leave you in tears.


Heart of Thorns Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062447685
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - July 31st, 2018

Heart Of Thorns by Bree Barton is an outstanding book about revenge, love, and sisterhood. This book is about a girl named Mia who has one goal, vengeance on the Gwyrach that killed her mother. Gwyrach are half-girl, half-god and are hunted throughout the kingdom. Forced to marry the prince, Mia fleas, only to find out that she might just be the one thing she hates most in the world, Gwyrach. This book is a fast paced fantasy, beautifully written, and one that you will not be able to put down.

 

-Review by Ava, age 13


Heart of Thorns Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062447685
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - July 31st, 2018

Mia Rose is a princess in the River Kingdom. The older of two sisters, she's always protecting her younger sister Angelyne, who is sickly. Her dad is part of the Circle of Hunters for the people called Gwyrach, who are supposedly evil magic people. They're all women. In Mia's society, all women must wear gloves and must be accompanied by men everywhere they go because all women are suspected of being Gwyrach. A Gwyrach killed Mia's mom three years ago and she wants to become a Huntress, the first woman to do so, in order to get revenge. She's planning that journey when suddenly she gets stuck in an arranged marriage to the king's son Quin. She tries to escape and fails. Then she finds out she's a Gwyrach and almost everything she was taught is completely wrong. A lot of shocking secrets are revealed. I'd recommend this book to readers age 13 and up, especially girls. I am glad to note, though, that the book has a very diverse cast of characters - not everyone's a straight white guy.
 
- Review by Colleen, age 13.


20 Scary stories, 20 mystery writers of America, but too many screams to count.  Each story has only one thing in common.  They all start with a scream, and all end with one.  Inside the exciting worlds of these stories the birds are quite hungry, the leaks have escaped, and something seems a little suspicious about the haunted house of Luis de la Vega.  Beware!

 

-Review by Anderson


Sanctuary (A Sanctuary Novel) Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534405332
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Simon Pulse - July 24th, 2018

This book was super-good, suspenseful and well-thought-out, with diverse characters and an interesting setting. It's set in the distant future. Fifty years before the story opens, alien probes came to the Earth. Then, a generation later, kids started having superpowers. This scared the general population, so they imprisoned the kids and microchipped their arms to negate their powers. This story happens in "Sanctuary," a prison for these teens which is orbiting the Earth. The main character, Kenzie, is a junior guard, a position for which she's trained all her life. She's totally loyal to the Omnistellar Corporation and believes all of the prisoners are criminals and should be locked up. Then she's accidentally locked in with the prisoners, which proves to be an eye-opening experience. Meanwhile, aliens come and start attacking, and the plot thickens. There will be a second book, which I am already eager to read. I'd recommend this book to readers age 14 and up who like science fiction.
 
Review by Colleen, age 13.


Contagion Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062574145
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: HarperTeen - July 24th, 2018

I powered through this in less than a day - just over four hours, to be exact. It was so compelling I couldn't put it down. The story is set in the distant future where space travel is much more advanced. Thea, the main character, has taken an intern research position for her summer job. Then her organization gets a distress call from another planet.  She and others go to the other plant to investigate, and they encounter unexpected danger. The story is really scary and complex. It was really interesting to figure things out as the keys to the mystery were revealed bit by bit. I would recommend this book to readers age 13 and up, especially fans of Unearthed.
 
Review by Colleen, age 13.


Letting Go of Gravity Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534403161
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon Pulse - July 17th, 2018

This book was so good I couldn't put it down! Letting Go of Gravity is about a girl named Parker and her twin brother, Charlie. Parker is the Valedictorian of her class and has a full scholarship to Harvard to be a doctor, while Charlie just battled leukemia and doesn't have a care in the world. Parker also has an internship at the local children's hospital, but she can't muster the courage to walk in, because she thinks about all of the times her brother was in the hospital. Meanwhile, Charlie is struggling with getting his life back on track. Parker also meets up with a childhood friend named Finn who's family is known for being bad - his dad was arrested and his brother is a drug dealer. Finn helps Parker to let go of what's bothering her and ends up not being as bad as people think he is. Parker realizes that following your heart and letting go is the best way to have a happy future. Charlie realizes that leaning on and listening to the ones you love the most will help you to succeed in life. I recommend this book to anyone 12 and up.

  -Review by Audra, age 12


The Fragile Ordinary Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781335016744
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harlequin Teen - June 26th, 2018

This book is very well-written and makes you want to read on. The Fragile Ordinary is about how Comet, a Scottish introvert who would rather curl up with a book and read than go to a party, meets Tobias King, a slacker from America. Comet wants nothing to do with Tobias until their English teacher pairs them up for a project. Comet has no choice but to work with him if she wants to keep up her straight A's. As Comet gets to know Tobias better, she realizes he isn't who people think he is. Tobias had a dark past with his dad pressuring him to be better than anyone, up until his dad died. He only hangs out with the "bad boys" because he is trying to protect his cousin. Meanwhile, Comet's parents have no care for her, because they care too much about each other. As Comet and Tobias start to get closer, Comet realizes that she doesn't want them to fall for each other so badly that they end up like Comet's parents. But, Comet and Tobias end up changing each other for the better - Tobias gets his grades up and Comet becomes braver and tries more things. One of the brave things Comet does is stand up to her parents to build a better relationship with them. I recommend this book to anyone 12 and up who likes romance novels.

                                                  -Review by Audra, age 12


Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781484790625
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Disney-Hyperion - June 5th, 2018

This book is so much more than funny - it's a touching story about how sometimes it's important to open doors to new experiences.  It's tough to be a giant in kids' shoes, but that is what Neanderthal, or really Cliff is.  With no friends, a dead brother, and an abusive father, it's hard to fit in. That is, until the day that Aaron Zimmerman nearly dies.  This book leaves you hanging on every word till the very end, with an exciting twist waiting there. 

-Review by Anderson


The Bird and the Blade Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062674159
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - June 5th, 2018

This was a really good book, though very complex. The beginning few chapters were frankly a bit confusing as the story jumped from one time to a different time and back again. But when you got further into the book, the story began to come together. It's set during the Mongol Empire. The main character, Jinghua, is a slave with a mysterious past who ends up with Khalaf, who turns out to be a prince. When his home and land is invaded, Khalaf and his father Timur, wind up escaping with Jinghua. To restore their fortunes, Khalaf decides to undertake an impossible riddle challenge to win the hand of the Princess Turandakht, daughter of the supreme Khan. Problem is, the challenge has killed every prince who has attempted it so far.
As they travel, Jinghua begins to fall in love with Khalaf, but she won't open up on her mysterious past. This can't end well, can it? The story is compelling, intriguing and fairly true to history, opening up a window on that era.
 
-Review by Colleen, age 13


Dear Rachel Maddow Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250146021
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Feiwel & Friends - June 5th, 2018

I don't read a lot of realistic novels, but this was surprisingly good. The main character, Brynn, has a lot of strikes against her - the fact that she's a lesbian doesn't even make the list. Her girlfriend has recently left her. Her dad left and resists all efforts to get in touch, while her mom has remarried a mouth-breathing troglodyte. Worst of all, Brynn is still mourning her beloved older brother, who died of a drug overdose. Oh yeah, and she's got dyslexia. Now her grades are so low she's been kicked off the one thing she cares about - the school paper. Challenged for a school assignment to write to a famous person, she begins an imaginary correspondence with liberal news anchor Rachel Maddow, which turns into a journal of sorts. I would recommend this for anyone who has felt marginalized.
 
- Review by Colleen, age 13.


Breakout Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781681195360
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - June 5th, 2018

Nora Tucker, an average girl lives in the small town of Wolf Creek, a not-so-ordinary town.  With the main attraction being a large prison, the town is scarcely populated.  As Nora begins yet another summer, two inmates break out, and with the help of her friends Lizzie and Elidee, she embarks on a large manhunt. Along the way they discover who is really allowed in Wolf Creek.  In this thought provoking novel written in letters and text messages, you will learn the value of hard work and true friendship.
 
-  Review by Anderson


The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780425288863
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - May 22nd, 2018

I seem to have developed a "strange fascination" with this book. It's really weird, but in a good way. It's not your normal run-of-the-mill story. It's not even your normal run-of-the-mill story about hypnotism. When the story starts, Noah's already plenty weird. He has only two friends, and they're twins. There's Val, a social media star, and Alan, a gay guy who swears all of the time. Noah's actually a champion swimmer but doesn't want to be on the team, so he fakes a back injury so he doesn't have to compete. He's actually a kind of hermit and doesn't really go outside - until his friends convince him to go to this big party at a mansion. He ends up in the mansion's library, where he meets a strange kids named "Circuit," who hypnotizes him, then acts like it never happened. When he returns to his normal life, Noah finds a lot of things have changed just slightly. Alan, previously a DC fan, is now obsessed with Marvel. His couch-potato dog seems to be on caffeine. His mom has a weird scar she won't talk about. The only thing that's the same are Noah's "strange fascinations," including his obsession with a certain video on YouTube, an old man he passes every day, an author from mid-century, and a photo a class speaker dropped a year ago.
The story has lots of twists and turns. I'd describe it as similar to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda with the weirdness level cranked up. It was really strange, but I loved this book, including the random references to stuff like Harry Potter. I'd recommend it to readers age 14 and up who don't have a problem with profanity and lots of weirdness.
 
- Review by Colleen, age 13


You Are Mighty: A Guide to Changing the World Cover Image
By Caroline Paul, Lauren Tamaki (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781681198224
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - May 15th, 2018

This book contains some really good stories about kids actually doing something about laws, regulations or situations they found unfair. Like young people are doing right now in response to school shootings, it's really time for kids to start changing things. I was inspired by the stories of the teen who got the rating on the "Bully" movie changed; the girl who wrote Russia to ask for an end to the arms race and actually got a response; the girl who was upset about styrofoam containers at Jamba Juice and got the company to change to paper cups, and more. This book has advice kids can actually use, not necessarily something way out of their reach like going to the White House, but small steps that could lead to big changes. I would recommend it to kids everywhere interested in working toward a better world.
 
Review by Colleen, age 13.


Onyx & Ivory Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062652669
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 15th, 2018

This book ended up being very good. The main character, Kate, is 17. Her father was accused of trying to kill the king and he was executed, and she has been branded a traitor and exiled. No one really knows what happened that day, though. Kate thought her dad and the king were friends. So now she's working as a horse racer far away. Also, she is a wilder. There are two types of magic in this world. Magists are considered to be fine. They have to use stones to store their magic. Wilders, however, are outlawed. They usually have a gift with an element, but Kate has one of the rarest gifts. She can read animals' minds, and it turns out it works with humans too. Randomly, she runs into her old boyfriend, the king's younger son, who is being attacked by flightless dragons called Nightdrakes. They usually fly at night, but this time it's day. Anyhow, she has to save him, and then things get weird. I will be looking for this book when it comes out and its sequel as well. I would recommend it to teen readers who liked The Traitor's Game.
 
- Review by Colleen, age 13.


I Am Gandhi: A Graphic Biography of a Hero (Ordinary People Change the World) Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780525552697
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - May 8th, 2018

I really liked the art in this graphic novel biography of the great Indian leader - and all of the different styles were very interesting. Meanwhile, Gandhi's story was really inspiring. It's the tale of people rising up even though they had nothing, and a leader - Gandhi - who could have had a comfortable life as a well-off, high-status lawyer, and instead gave that up to fight for the rights of even the lowest status people. In school, we study all about war leaders, but there are other ways to lead. Gandhi led through peace and determination, and his ideas inspired the world.
 
Review by Colleen, age 13


The Smoke Thieves Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780425290217
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - May 1st, 2018

This was a really good book. It kept me motivated to read more. It has five main characters, with widely varied backgrounds and personalities, but it takes a while for the different stories to come together. There's Catherine, a princess doomed to an arranged marriage; Ambrose, her loyal guard, who commits treason to protect her; Tash, a young demon hunter who makes her living by illegally collecting demon smoke - a very risky business; March, a servant whose countrymen were all killed and he was forced into servitude to the oppressors; Edyon, the bastard son of an independent merchant woman and an unknown nobleman. He's a loaf, a layabout and a thief - and then he finds out he's heir of a king after the foreign king's legitimate sons were killed. The king's rivals, however, want to kidnap and get rid of Edyon. The story is very original, with lots of twists and turns. It has elements of historical fantasy but does not go in the direction you might imagine. It also has really diverse characters, which I appreciate. The book is big and seems intimidating at first, but you wind up reading it faster and faster as it goes on because you want to know what happens. I'd recommend it to lovers of fantasy and adventure, age 13 and up.
 
- Review by Colleen, age 13


The Diminished Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781335016416
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harlequin Teen - April 10th, 2018

This was a really good book with a lot of good fantasy elements. It had a complex plot with dual main characters who switched back and forth from chapter to chapter. Almost everyone in this land is a twin. One of the main characters, Vi, is "diminished." Her twin died when she was a baby. She has to work for this temple, for this god she doesn't believe in - she's essentially a slave. The other main character, Bo, is "singleborn." With no twin, he's heir to the throne. He doesn't feel like he fits in. He is being forced into marriage to a girl named Penelope. However, he's in love with Penelope's male twin. Then both Penelope and her twin die. Eventually, Vi and Bo cross paths. There are some shocking twists as the story comes to a close. I would recommend this book for teen readers in general - it has a broad range of appeal.
 
- Review by Colleen, age 13. 


Dread Nation Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062570604
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - April 3rd, 2018

I don't usually read zombie books, but this one is actually really good. Basically, this is an alternative history, in which the Civil War didn't end because one of the sides won. Rather, they agreed to stop fighting so they could deal with the greater danger - zombie apocalypse! So they freed the slaves to create an army to fight the zombies. The book is set 17 years later, when this young black girl, Jane, is attending a "finishing school." She's not doing very well at turning into a proper young lady, but she is succeeding at the secret curriculum - learning to fight zombies. It's a very compelling, fast read, an interesting book that should be very appealing for readers age 12 and up.
 
- Review by Colleen, age 13.


Orphan Monster Spy Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780451478733
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - March 20th, 2018

The Amazing book Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen is about a girl who is a Jew during World War II. Her mom dies, and she is left to fend for herself, often remembering about how it was before her mom died. She meets a man, who helps her survive, by making her pass as Christian, and sending her to a boarding school. This great story has many ups and downs, and can be violent at times. Overall this is a great novel, with an amazing and important story to share with readers of all ages. 
 
- Review by Gretchen age 13


The Price Guide to the Occult Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780763691103
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - March 13th, 2018

This book was really weird, but I liked it. Basically, the main character Nor comes from a long line of witches who always have daughters. They've lived on an archipelago off Washington for eight generations. The first witch, Rhoda Blackburn, set a curse on the family. Now they only have one "gift" each. Nor, the ninth generation, lives with her grandma, who has a healing talent. She pulls pain out of people like it is a physical thing. Nor's mom, Fern, is greedy. Her natural talent is mind control, so she has become famous and goes on all kinds of talk shows. She has gained all kinds of followers who have tattooed ferns on their arms in her honor. Fern can use other talents too, besides her own, but every time she does, she has to kill someone. To increase her power even more, Fern wants to make Nor into a blood sacrifice. It looks like there's going to be a sequel, and I want to keep reading. I would recommend this book to readers of dark fantasy, ages 14 and up because it gets pretty gory.
 
 
REVIEW BY COLLEEN, AGE 13