Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

26026063Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2016
Publisher: Dutton BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction, WWII, Bullying

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BLURB:

Growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and while her bullying seems isolated at first, things quickly escalate, and reclusive World War I veteran Toby becomes a target of her attacks. While others have always seen Toby’s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. She will soon need to find the courage to stand as a lone voice of justice as tensions mount. Continue reading

Review: Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King

9711714Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Bullying, Contemporary, Family

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BLURB:

Lucky Linderman didn’t ask for his life. He didn’t ask his grandfather not to come home from the Vietnam War. He didn’t ask for a father who never got over it. He didn’t ask for a mother who keeps pretending their dysfunctional family is fine. And he didn’t ask to be the target of Nader McMillan’s relentless bullying, which has finally gone too far.

But Lucky has a secret–one that helps him wade through the daily mundane torture of his life. In his dreams, Lucky escapes to the war-ridden jungles of Laos–the prison his grandfather couldn’t escape–where Lucky can be a real man, an adventurer, and a hero. It’s dangerous and wild, and it’s a place where his life just might be worth living. But how long can Lucky keep hiding in his dreams before reality forces its way inside?

Michael L. Printz Honor recipient A.S. King’s smart, funny and boldly original writing shines in this powerful novel about learning to cope with the shrapnel life throws at you and taking a stand against it. Continue reading

Review: Ugly by Robert Hoge

28186305Ugly by Robert Hoge

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Random House Canada
Publication Date: September 6th, 2016
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Non Fiction, Memoir, Beauty, Bullying

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BLURB:

When Robert Hoge was born, he had a tumor the size of a tennis ball in the middle of his face and short, twisted legs. Surgeons removed the tumor and made him a new nose from one of his toes. Amazingly, he survived with a face that would never be the same.

Strangers stared at him. Kids called him names, and adults could be cruel, too. Everybody seemed to agree that he was ugly. But Robert refused to let his face define him. He played pranks, got into trouble, had adventures with his big family, and finally found a sport that was perfect for him to play. AndRobert came face to face with the biggest decision of his life, he followed his heart.

This poignant memoir aboutovercoming bullying andthriving with disabilitiesshows that what makes us ugly also makes us who we are. It features a reflective foil cover and black-and-white illustrations throughout. Continue reading

Review: Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

6624871Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publicatio Date: January 5th, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, High School, Abuse, Bullying, Friendship

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BLURB:

Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard—falling from it is even harder.  Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High… until vicious rumors about her—and her best friend’s boyfriend—start going around.  Now Regina’s been frozen out, and her ex-best friends are out for revenge.  If Regina were guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth, and the bullying is getting more intense by the day.  She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past whom she herself used to bully.  Friendship doesn’t come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend…if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don’t break them both first.

Tensions grow and the abuse worsens, as the final days of senior year march toward an explosive conclusion in this dark new tale from the author of Cracked Up To Be. Continue reading

Best of the Saddest Young Adult Books

Best of the Saddest Young Adult Books

Dear readers, having recently experienced some drama in my personal life – the sad kind – I felt inspired to make a list of the best of the saddest young adult books that I have read.

Let’s get to it!

10 – The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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This book’s atmosphere in general made me sad. It’s an extremely beautifully-written story focusing on Charlie’s emotional responses to diverse situations and his overall thoughts about the world around him. Continue reading

Review: Nice Girls Endure by Chris Struyk-Bonn

27178701Nice Girls Endure by Chris Struyk-Bonn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: August 1st 2016
Publisher: Switch Press
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Bullying, High School, Self-Confidence

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BLURB:

Chelsea Duvay is so many things. She s an avid musical lover, she s a gifted singer, and she has the most perfect, beautiful feet. But no one ever notices that. All they notice is Chelsea s weight. Daily, Chelsea endures endless comments about her appearance from well-meaning adults and cruel classmates. So she keeps to herself and just tries to make it through. Don t make waves. Don t draw attention. That s how life is for Chelsea until a special class project pushes the energetic and incessantly social Melody into Chelsea s world. As their unlikely friendship grows, Chelsea emerges from her isolated existence, and she begins to find the confidence to enjoy life. But bullies are bullies, and they remain as vicious as ever. One terrible encounter threatens to destroy everything Chelsea has worked so hard to achieve. Readers will be captivated by Chelsea s journey as she discovers the courage to declare her own beauty and self-worth, no matter what others might think. A must-read for anyone who loves to explore the personal but powerful territory of everyday life.” Continue reading

Review: Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

22692740Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Point of View: 1st Person
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, High School, LGBT, Gender Fluidity, Bullying

BLURB:

The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is…Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s so-called “normal” life.

On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s REALLY like to be a gender fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything. Continue reading