See You at Harry’s – Jo Knowles

12384984See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: May 8th, 2012
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: YA/MG, Death, Family, Contemporary, LGBT

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BLURB:

Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible. It seems as though everyone in her family has better things to do than pay attention to her: Mom (when she’s not meditating) helps Dad run the family restaurant; Sarah is taking a gap year after high school; and Holden pretends that Mom and Dad and everyone else doesn’t know he’s gay, even as he fends off bullies at school. Then there’s Charlie: three years old, a “surprise” baby, the center of everyone’s world. He’s devoted to Fern, but he’s annoying, too, always getting his way, always dirty, always commanding attention. If it wasn’t for Ran, Fern’s calm and positive best friend, there’d be nowhere to turn. Ran’s mantra, “All will be well,” is soothing in a way that nothing else seems to be. And when Ran says it, Fern can almost believe it’s true. But then tragedy strikes- and Fern feels not only more alone than ever, but also responsible for the accident that has wrenched her family apart. All will not be well. Or at least all will never be the same. Continue reading

Mighty Jack – Ben Hatke

27414475Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Publication Date: September 6th, 2016
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Graphic Novels, Retellings, Fantasy

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BLURB:

Jack might be the only kid in the world who’s dreading summer. But he’s got a good reason: summer is when his single mom takes a second job and leaves him at home to watch his autistic kid sister, Maddy. It’s a lot of responsibility, and it’s boring, too, because Maddy doesn’t talk. Ever. But then, one day at the flea market, Maddy does talk—to tell Jack to trade their mom’s car for a box of mysterious seeds. It’s the best mistake Jack has ever made. Continue reading

Shark Girl – Kelly Bingham

615359Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: April 10th, 2007
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Bad Book, Fake Poetry

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BLURB:

On a sunny day in June, at the beach with her mom and brother, fifteen-year-old Jane Arrowood went for a swim. And then everything — absolutely everything — changed. Now she’s counting down the days until she returns to school with her fake arm, where she knows kids will whisper, “That’s her — that’s Shark Girl,” as she passes. In the meantime there are only questions: Why did this happen? Why her? What about her art? What about her life? In this striking first novel, Kelly Bingham uses poems, letters, telephone conversations, and newspaper clippings to look unflinchingly at what it’s like to lose part of yourself – and to summon the courage it takes to find yourself again. Continue reading

Words in Deep Blue – Cath Crowley

31952703Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Books about Books, Death

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BLURB:

Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.

Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough. Continue reading

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane – Kate DiCamillo

37186The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: February 14th, 2006
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Point of View: 3rd Person
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Children’s Books, Love

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BLURB:

Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely.

And then, one day, he was lost. Continue reading

The Princess in Black – Shannon & Dean Hale

20708771The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: October 14th, 2014
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Point of View: 3rd Person
Recommended Age: 5+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Picture Books, Action, Princesses, Humor

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BLURB:

Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret —she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Can the princess sneak away, transform into her alter ego, and defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret? From award-winning writing team of Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham, here is the first in a humorous and action-packed chapter book series for young readers who like their princesses not only prim and perfect, but also dressed in black. Continue reading

Missing – Kelley Armstrong

25487124Missing by Kelley Armstrong

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: April 18th, 2017
Publisher: Crown BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Romance

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BLURB:

The only thing Winter Crane likes about Reeve’s End is that soon she’ll leave it. Like her best friend did. Like her sister did. Like most of the teens born in town have done. There’s nothing for them there but abandoned mines and empty futures. They’re better off taking a chance elsewhere.

The only thing Winter will miss is the woods. Her only refuge. At least it was. Until the day she found Lennon left for dead, bleeding in a tree.

But now Lennon is gone too. And he has Winter questioning what she once thought was true. What if nobody left at all? What if they’re all missing? Continue reading