My rating: 3 of 5 stars Received: Raincoast Books Published: July 14th, 2020 Publisher: First Second Recommended Age: 8+ Genres & Themes: Middle School, Graphic Novel, Friendship, Bullying, Boarding School
I don’t understand. I don’t understand why some authors decide to include one fantasy element in an otherwise completely contemporary story. I understand magical realism. I think it can be very beautiful, surprising and, well, magical. But this was no magical realism story. Continue reading →
My rating: 4 of 5 stars Received: Penguin Random House Canada Published: May 2019 Publisher: Penguin Teen Recommended Age: 13+ Genres & Themes: Young Adult, LGBTQIA+, Romance, Family, Friendship, Death, Abuse, Bullying
That was an intense reading experience. A rollercoaster ride, really. A thorn to the heart and a sunrise of a thousand different colours. Let me tell you right from the start that if Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe did not work for you, you will probably hate this. If you dislike epistolary novels, you will probably hate this. If you prefer your LGBTQIA+ reads to be light and entertaining, kind of like Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, you will hate this. Actually, it will hate you because this book deserves a reader who is ready for baggage and heartbreak and a hundred different conflicting emotions. Continue reading →
My rating: 4 of 5 stars Received: Publisher Published: October 1st, 2019 Publisher: KCP Loft Recommended Age: 12+ Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Sports, Bullying, Romance, Sisterhood
Let me tell you right from the start that Michigan is one strong, dedicated, admirable heroine who deserved to have her story written. She could be a real girl, literally, because she feels real and she faces real challenges and relating to her was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done in my entire life. Continue reading →
My rating: 3 of 5 stars Received: Penguin Random House Canada Published: September 25th, 2018 Publisher: McClelland & Stewart Recommended Age: 14+ Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Coming of Age, Historical Fiction, Bullying
After his mother abandons the family, thirteen-year-old Russell Pruitt moves with his Korean War veteran father to a small town in southern California. Eager to fit in and figure out the mystifying rules of being a man, he succumbs to the sway of boys more feral than himself–leading to an act of betrayal that will have devastating consequences. Told through cinematic artwork that will transfix readers with its visceral potency and grace, Home After Dark is a mesmerizing evocation of a boy’s struggle to survive the everyday brutalities of adolescence, and forge his own path to manhood. Continue reading →
My rating: 4 of 5 stars Received: Distributor Published: October 1st, 2017 Publisher: Carolrhoda Books Recommended Age: 14+ Pacing: Slow Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Abuse, Racism, Bullying, Romance, Family, Friendship
June’s stepmother physically abuses her, but June can’t find the words to tell anyone. Her only hope is her friendship with Blister, a boy who helps her believe she can escape. Then a shocking tragedy occurs and June finds herself trapped, potentially forever. Continue reading →
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
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 →
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
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 →
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
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 →
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
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 →
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 →