My rating: 3 of 5 stars Received: Publisher Published: May 8th, 2018 Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books Recommended Age: 8+ Pacing: Normal Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Education, Family, Justice, Work, Culture
Life is quiet and ordinary in Amal’s Pakistani village, but she had no complaints, and besides, she’s busy pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher one day. Her dreams are temporarily dashed when–as the eldest daughter–she must stay home from school to take care of her siblings. Amal is upset, but she doesn’t lose hope and finds ways to continue learning. Then the unimaginable happens–after an accidental run-in with the son of her village’s corrupt landlord, Amal must work as his family’s servant to pay off her own family’s debt. Life at the opulent Khan estate is full of heartbreak and struggle for Amal–especially when she inadvertently makes an enemy of a girl named Nabila. Most troubling, though, is Amal’s growing awareness of the Khans’ nefarious dealings. When it becomes clear just how far they will go to protect their interests, Amal realizes she will have to find a way to work with others if they are ever to exact change in a cruel status quo, and if Amal is ever to achieve her dreams. Continue reading →
What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen by Kate Fagan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars Received: Publisher First Published: August 1st, 2017 Publisher: Little, Brown and Company Recommended Age: 14+ Pacing: Normal Genres & Themes: Non-fiction, Biography, Sports, Mental Health, Psychology, Suicide
From noted ESPN commentator and journalist Kate Fagan, the heartbreaking and vital story of college athlete Madison Holleran, whose death by suicide rocked the University of Pennsylvania campus and whose life reveals with haunting detail and uncommon understanding the struggle of young people suffering from mental illness today. Continue reading →
Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey by Ozge Samanci
My rating: 4 of 5 stars Received: Raincoast Books First Published: November 17th, 2015 Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) Recommended Age: 12+ Pacing: Normal Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Memoir, Nonfiction, Education, Coming of Age
Growing up on the Aegean Coast, Ozge loved the sea and imagined a life of adventure while her parents and society demanded predictability. Her dad expected Ozge, like her sister, to become an engineer. She tried to hear her own voice over his and the religious and militaristic tensions of Turkey and the conflicts between secularism and fundamentalism. Could she be a scuba diver like Jacques Cousteau? A stage actress? Would it be possible to please everyone including herself? Continue reading →
My rating: 4 of 5 stars Received: Publisher Publication Date: February 5th, 2015 Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine Recommended Age: 10+ Pacing: Fast Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Learning Disabilities, Bullying, Education
Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.Continue reading →
My rating: 4 of 5 stars Received: Hachette Book Group Publication Date: August 19th, 2014 Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine Recommended Age: 11+ Pacing: Normal Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Nonfiction, Memoir, Education, Women’s Rights, Religion
Malala Yousafzai was only ten years old when the Taliban took control of her region. They said music was a crime. They said women weren’t allowed to go to the market. They said girls couldn’t go to school.
Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. So she fought for her right to be educated. And on October 9, 2012, she nearly lost her life for the cause: She was shot point-blank while riding the bus on her way home from school.
Now she is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest- ever Nobel Peace Prize nominee. In this Young Readers Edition of her bestselling memoir, which includes excessive photos and material, we hear firsthand the remarkable story of a girl who knew from a young age that she wanted to change the world-and did. Continue reading →