In 1945, thirteen-year-old Levi is sent to find the father he has not seen in three years, going from Chicago, to segregated North Carolina, and finally to Pendleton, Oregon, where he learns that his father’s unit, the all-Black 555th paratrooper battalion, will never see combat but finally has a mission. Includes historical notes.
A great, historical fiction account of the 555th parachute battalion, this would be a great read-aloud, leading into black history month. Add to it, a young boy’s first experience with segregation and the prejudice that accompanied it. I recommend this to any of my younger readers.
In the not-too-distant future, huge tornadoes and monster storms are a part of everyday life. Sent to spend the summer in the heart of storm country with her father in the special StormSafe community his company has developed, Jaden Meggs is excited to reconnect with her dad after he spent years researching storm technology in Russia.
While excited to be spending time with her dad, Jaden learns some uncomfortable truths about him and what he has to do with all of the powerful storms that avoid the community that he helped build. Jaden has to decide if family is more important than doing the right thing. Very good book to recommend to my younger readers.
Ever since Tory Brennan and her friends rescued Cooper, a kidnapped wolf pup with a rare strain of canine parvovirus, they’ve turned from regular kids into a crime-solving pack! But now the very place that brought them together – the Loggerhead Island Research Institute – is out of funding and will have to shut down. That is, unless the Virals can figure out a way to save it!
I find myself enjoying this series more with each book that comes out. In this one, Tory and her pack of friends go on a treasure hunt and find themselves being hunted by others who want that treasure. I like the way she weaves the viral powers the teens find themselves with, into the storylines. This will keep you on the edge of your seat, at times.
When Sookie learns the reason why Eric’s vampires are keeping their distance from her, she is devastated. Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime in this final Sookie Stackhouse novel.
Sookie’s last adventure, it makes me sad to see the series end. While not all of the books were as great as others, it was still an enjoyable, escape from the moment, book. Sookie loses her vampire husband to a queen, she ends up in jail accused of murder, several attempts are made on her life by unknown assailants and Sookie’s friends rally around her. A good way to end this series, very recommendable.
In the twenty-second century, Glennora Morgan’s father has been working on a project that will allow him to penetrate the Rift border and retrieve Glennora’s mother; but now that he has succeeded the Authority is suddenly trying to kill them both, and Glennora and her friend Kevin must flee into the Magisterium to escape them.
I guess this would qualify as dystopian, although I am not really sure it takes place on Earth, it never really states that in the book. If you like books that blend the magical with the ordinary, then you will enjoy this one. Glennora has dreams of space flight to another planet but cannot forget her mother, who disappeared. Her father makes her life difficult by focusing on an unknown project that ultimately changes the course of her life forever. You will have to read it to find out if her dream of space travel ever become reality.
Inspired by interviews with real-life cancer survivors and insider sports experience, this unforgettable story shows a brave boy who learns what it truly means to be unstoppable. As a foster kid in a cruel home, Harrison knows his dream of playing in the NFL is a longshot…
This one hit home very realistically, almost like the son of a coworker whose son did not make it to a good ending. I liked that he is given a shot at a good life with people who love him and that he survives to make his dream come true, although not quite as he envisioned before his cancer battle. Definitely need a box of kleenex for this one.
After breaking out of juvenile detention, fourteen-year-old Digger stops his trek across Maryland at a campground where he recovers from injuries, cares for little Luke, works with smart and pretty Nora, and begins to understand how his behavior and choices shape his life.
This a companion book the The Red Kayak, continuing the story of Digger. I liked the story and feel compelled to read the previous story to find out what led him to the decisions that landed him in a juvenile facility. Digger learns a lot about himself in his journey to get back to his mom and siblings. His heart is in the right place, if he only learns to control his impulses and think of the consequences of his actions. Highly recommend it to any reader.
When your best friend is just a tiny bit psychotic, you should never actually believe him when he says, “Trust me. This is gonna be awesome.” Of course, you probably wouldn’t believe a voodoo doll could work either. Or that it could cause someone’s leg to blow clean off with one quick prick. But I’ve seen it. It can happen.
Best friend Adam gives Tyler a voodoo doll of a teacher who gave Tyler a bad grade and it all goes downhill from there. Mayhem reigns in this story, while amusing, I was not so crazy about. Kids will love it, it’s fast-paced and you never know who will be struck down by the voodoo!
A mysterious stranger arrives at a boy’s rundown Alabama farm home, just as a dangerous situation is unfolding for the twelve-year-old and his widowed mother.
I could see the story unfold a mile away, but I still enjoyed seeing the outcome of the characters situation. Foster’s mother has a boyfriend who isn’t probably the best choice for her. He hasn’t gotten over his father’s death and the fact he doesn’t like his mom’s boyfriend isn’t helping the situation. Help comes from a stranger hiking to Texas. The timely arrival of Gary to help them when needed has unexpected consequences.
Benny’s parents are getting divorced, his mom left and his father has become a hoarder, to make matters worse his hometown has been entered into a contest, and now the pressure is on to get the house cleaned up.
I liked the story, thought it was good way to show how hoarding can impact a young person’s life, but not as realistic as it could have been. The story takes place right before computers and the Internet take off in popularity, so I found it a little hard to believe that at that time a town could have actually won a contest to be hooked up to it. Hoarding was also not called hoarding yet, so it is a look into how the disease might start for someone. The tornado does make it interesting and could be the draw for lots of readers.
Robie is an experienced traveler. She’s taken the flight from Honolulu to the Midway Atoll, a group of Pacific islands where her parents live, many times. When she has to get to Midway in a hurry after a visit with her aunt in Hawaii, she gets on the next cargo flight at the last minute. She knows the pilot, but on this flight, there’s a new co-pilot named Max. All systems are go until a storm hits during the flight.
I totally love stories that keep me reading, ones I don’t want to put down until they end and then I hate it that they end. This is one of those books. Absolutely one of the best books I have ever read on the teen level. I did not even suspect the way Robie helped keep herself going, until it was revealed at the end. Highly recommended!
Most kids have enough to deal with between school, homework, extracurricular activities, and friends, but Molly Bigelow has something else on her list: hunting zombies. By day, Molly attends MIST—the Metropolitan Institute of Science and Technology—but outside the classroom she’s busy dealing with the undead. Because not only do zombies exist, they’re everywhere, and it’s her job to help police them and keep the peace. Sure, she’d like to be a regular kid, but given that her mother was the most revered (or feared, depending on your perspective) zombie hunter in the history of New York City, “regular” just isn’t possible. Molly’s got some legendary footsteps to follow—and some undeadly consequences if she fails.
I enjoyed this book, I think it would be alright for younger readers, as well. It reminds me of the Maureen Johnson series, but with zombies, instead of ghosts. The way they train to protect the zombies from the living, as well as the other way around, is a nice addition. The teams don’t just exist to get rid of them. It makes you look at New York City in a whole, new light.
In twelve-year-old Taemon’s city, everyone has a power called psi—the ability to move and manipulate objects with their minds. When Taemon loses his psi in a traumatic accident, he must hide his lack of power by any means possible. But a humiliating incident at a sports tournament exposes his disability, and Taemon is exiled to the powerless colony.
Although this is supposed to be the first in a series, I can’t quite see how the future stories will turn out, based on this one. It’s another that would make for some interesting conversation. What would it be like to grow up in a world where you used your mind to do everything in your daily life and how to view people without the same abilities?
On the day in 1935 when her mother vanishes during the worst dust storm ever recorded in Kansas, Callie learns that she is not actually a human being.
Callie grows up without her father, with her mother always saying he’ll come back for them. During the biggest dust storm of the year, her mother disappears, and Callie learns that her father is one of the Fair Folk. She struggles to figure out who to trust and how to find her mother, once again.
Having been brought back from the dead repeatedly by a top-secret government super drug called Revive, and forced to move so the public does not learn the truth, fifteen-year-old Daisy meets people worth living for and begins to question the heavy-handed government controls she has dealt with for eleven years.
Very intriguing storyline, what would happen if we could revive people from death? It opens all sorts of dialogue for book discussions. I liked it and would recommend it for sure.
“A contemporary retelling of Rapunzel told from the alternating perspectives of three teens whose fates unknowingly bind them together to destroy a greater evil”
While I really like the twisted fairy tales, this one left me feeling like the book was reaching but not quite hitting the mark. It didn’t flow well, although I like the premise of it.
Scarlet Benoit and Wolf, a street fighter who may have information about her missing grandmother, join forces with Cinder as they try to stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana in this story inspired by Little Red Riding Hood.
I so enjoy fairy tales retold. I like the way the author weaves the old tale into a new setting. I also love science fiction and this blends very well.
Eighteen-year-old Bitterblue, queen of Monsea, realizes her heavy responsibility and the futility of relying on advisors who surround her with lies as she tries to help her people to heal from the thirty-five-year spell cast by her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities.
The 3rd in The Graceling Realm series, I liked the medieval sense of the book without it being our medieval past. The touch of fantasy makes it more appealing to me. Bitterblue comes to understand the horror of her father’s reign, while trying to make sense of why some of the horror is still occurring. The two worlds of this book, Dell and the Seven Kingdoms, finally meet. I can’t wait to see what follows.
Twelve-year-old Carley Connors can take a lot. Growing up in Las Vegas with her fun-loving mother, she’s learned to be tough. But she never expected a betrayal that would land her in a foster care.
Carley has to come to grips with her situation with her mother. After landing in foster care, Carley learns to let herself be strong and face her past and how to begin her future. Very good read for upper elementary and middle school readers.
The small town of Chester’s Mill, Maine, is faced with a big dilemma when it is mysteriously sealed off by an invisible and completely impenetrable force field. With cars and airplanes exploding on contact, the force field has completely isolated the townspeople from the outside world. Now, Iraq war vet Dale Barbara and a group of the town’s more sensible citizens must overcome the tyrannical rule of Big Jim Rennie, a politician bent on controlling everything within the Dome.
I enjoyed this huge novel, even though it took me longer than I wanted! I liked the alien connection at the end and have to hope that could never really happen. I will say that I am totally disappointed in the TV version of this book, it really doesn’t match up much, in fact, a lot of it is opposite from the book. I would recommend it to any King fan.