The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

19370304The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: February 23rd, 2016
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Family, Alaska

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BLURB:

In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger. Continue reading

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

25614492Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2016
Publisher:Philomel Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, World War II

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BLURB:

Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.

Yet not all promises can be kept.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope. Continue reading

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

25902198The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: April 12th, 2016
Publisher:Viking BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Alterbative
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Friendship, Religion

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BLURB:

Dolssa is a young gentlewoman with uncanny gifts, on the run from an obsessed friar determined to burn her as a heretic for the passion she refuses to tame.

Botille is a wily and charismatic peasant, a matchmaker running a tavern with her two sisters in a tiny seaside town.

The year is 1241; the place, Provensa, what we now call Provence, France—a land still reeling from the bloody crusades waged there by the Catholic Church and its northern French armies.

When the matchmaker finds the mystic near death by a riverside, Botille takes Dolssa in and discovers the girl’s extraordinary healing power. But as the vengeful Friar Lucien hunts down his heretic, the two girls find themselves putting an entire village at the mercy of murderers. Continue reading

Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet

28588043Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: October 4th, 2016
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Point of View: 3rd Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction, Germany, Friendship

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BLURB:

Noah Keller has a pretty normal life, until one wild afternoon when his parents pick him up from school and head straight for the airport, telling him on the ride that his name isn’t really Noah and he didn’t really just turn eleven in March. And he can’t even ask them why — not because of his Astonishing Stutter, but because asking questions is against the newly instated rules. (Rule Number Two: Don’t talk about serious things indoors, because Rule Number One: They will always be listening). As Noah—now “Jonah Brown”—and his parents head behind the Iron Curtain into East Berlin, the rules and secrets begin to pile up so quickly that he can hardly keep track of the questions bubbling up inside him: Who, exactly, is listening — and why? When did his mother become fluent in so many languages? And what really happened to the parents of his only friend, Cloud-Claudia, the lonely girl who lives downstairs? In an intricately plotted novel full of espionage and intrigue, friendship and family, Anne Nesbet cracks history wide open and gets right to the heart of what it feels like to be an outsider in a world that’s impossible to understand. Continue reading

Review: A Tyranny of Petticoats

22020592A Tyranny of Petticoats

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: March 8th, 2016
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Point of View: Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Various
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Anthology, Historical Fiction, Feminism, LGBT

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BLURB:

From an impressive sisterhood of YA writers comes an edge-of-your-seat anthology of historical fiction and fantasy featuring a diverse array of daring heroines.

Criss-cross America — on dogsleds and ships, stagecoaches and trains — from pirate ships off the coast of the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago. Join fifteen of today’s most talented writers of young adult literature on a thrill ride through history with American girls charting their own course. They are monsters and mediums, bodyguards and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos. They’re making their own way in often-hostile lands, using every weapon in their arsenals, facing down murderers and marriage proposals. And they all have a story to tell. Continue reading

Review: Snakes and Stones by Lisa Fowler

28695370Snakes and Stones by Lisa Fowler

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction, Family

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BLURB:

Twelve-year-old Chestnut Hill’s daddy stole her and the triplets away from their mama. At least, that’s how Chestnut remembers it.

It’s 1921, and after nearly two years on the road with his traveling elixir show, Daddy’s still making no move to go back to Kentucky and buy Mama that house. So Chestnut is forced to come up with her own plan to get home. At night, when Daddy and the triplets are in bed, she draws up flyers with the name of the next town they’ll be traveling to. Before they leave each town and hoping her mama will see them, she nails up the flyers, leaving Mama an easy trail straight to her children.

When that doesn’t work, Chestnut is forced to try something bigger. But when her newest plan lands Daddy in jail and Mama has to come to the rescue, Chestnut discovers that things are not always as they seem. Written with a wonderful mountain hillbilly voice, Snakes and Stones has a mystery at its heart and lovable, strong, and complicated characters. Continue reading

Review: Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham

24382227Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: February 21st, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Point of View: ist Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery

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BLURB:

Some bodies won’t stay buried.
Some stories need to be told.

When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family’s property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the past… and the present.

Nearly one hundred years earlier, a misguided violent encounter propels seventeen-year-old Will Tillman into a racial firestorm. In a country rife with violence against blacks and a hometown segregated by Jim Crow, Will must make hard choices on a painful journey towards self discovery and face his inner demons in order to do what’s right the night Tulsa burns.

Through intricately interwoven alternating perspectives, Jennifer Latham’s lightning-paced page-turner brings the Tulsa race riot of 1921 to blazing life and raises important question about the complex state of US race relations – both yesterday and today. Continue reading