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Sat, Aug. 6th, 2016, 04:52 pm
Save Yourself (95)

LEARNING TO SWEAR IN AMERICA by Katie Kennedy
Yuri, a 17-year-old Russian physicist, is called to the US by NASA to help save the world when an asteroid is found hurling itself toward California; armed with science and math brilliance but not much in terms of social skills, Yuri meets Dovie who helps him figure out the right reasons to save humanity. Yuri's observations of America are funny, his internal dialog is hilarious, and his relationship with Dovie and her brother is sweet. The end is great and so much more than a survival story. A YA sure to please science fans and those looking for something different on their YA shelves. (Bloomsbury, 2016)

Thu, Aug. 4th, 2016, 11:37 am
Early Dog, Early Humans (94)

THE WOLF'S BOY by Susan Williams Beckhorn
Kai was born with a deformed foot and rescued from abandonment by a wolf pack, but he is still bad luck to his people; his connection with the wolves remains, and when Kai has the chance to save one of the animals, he creates a bond stronger than he's ever had before and is determined to prove both of their worth. Set in prehistoric times, Kai's world is based on hunting and survival and respect between the People, nature, and their god, which makes for a great survival story when Kai sets out on his own. Kai's wolf Uff is actually an early dog, and this book shows a possible evolution of how they became the pets we know today. A great historical MG. (Disney*Hyperion, 2016)

Tue, Aug. 2nd, 2016, 10:03 am
Mornings in the Slammer (93)

ALL RISE FOR THE HONORABLE PERRY T. COOK by Leslie Connor
For eleven years, Perry has lived in Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility, born to his inmate mother who raises him there with the rest of his prison family; when a local district attorney learns of the situation, he takes Perry away from the only home he's ever known, so Perry works harder to make sure his mom gets out on parole. Perry's upbeat, positive attitude makes readers feel for him every step of the way as he navigates life away from his mom. The side characters come from all walks of life and add richness to the story and Perry's world. The author also offers an inside look at the American prison system and what gets someone locked up for decades of their lives. An emotional upper-MG. (Katherine Tegen, 2016)

Sat, Jul. 30th, 2016, 08:30 pm
Sweet and Savory (92)

STARS SO SWEET by Tara Dairman
Foodie seventh grader Gladys Gatsby continues to write restaurant reviews while keeping her identity secret from her parents and editor, but then her aunt arrives from France, her column is threatened, and middle school issues ensue, making Gladys rethink her approach. Gladys is a smart character with relatable issues and a fun penchant for fancy foods that makes this upper-MG novel an enjoyable read. It does seem odd that she could hide her review job from her nice parents for two-and-a-half books, and that she thought they really would've been upset with her success, but the outcome in this ALL FOUR STARS book three is satisfying. (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2016)

Thu, Jul. 28th, 2016, 08:31 pm
To the Sea (91)

SKIN DEEP by Marissa Doyle
When master quilter Garland returns to Cape Cod after a painful divorce, she finds a man and boy washed onto the beach who have mysterious wounds, a secret past, and a connection with Garland and her quilts; will she learn their connection to the sea? Smooth writing, a main character with a unique talent, and a great northern beach setting make this adult fantasy romance an enjoyable read. The selkie lore is interesting as well, and the end wraps up nicely. (Marissa Doyle, 2016)

Tue, Jul. 26th, 2016, 09:38 pm
Shot Up (90)

THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS by Marieke Nijkamp
When Tyler, a returning senior at Opportunity High School, locks the student body in the auditorium and begins shooting his classmates, four teens reveal their connection to the killer and tell the story of the 54-minute ordeal. A scary look at how one unstable individual can destroy the lives of others, and how heroes can appear in different forms. The ending is sad with purported hope. (Sourcebooks, 2016)

Mon, Jul. 25th, 2016, 11:02 pm
Traveling to the End (89)

THE LOOSE ENDS LIST by Carrie Firestone
Maddie's beloved and saucy grandmother is dying and tells her family to join her on a "death with dignity" cruise, where Maddie grows, loves, grieves, and learns to face her biggest fears as she travels around the globe. Maddie's family isn't perfect, but is lovable, as are the other living and dying characters on the boat. The best novels are those that make the reader laugh and cry, and this book does exactly that. A nice look at what makes life worth living. (Little, Brown, 2016)

Fri, Jul. 22nd, 2016, 11:02 am
New Girl, New School (88)

IF I WAS YOUR GIRL by Meredith Russo
Eighteen-year-old Amanda moves from Georgia to Tennessee to escape bullying and beatings in her old town after she transitioned from being Andrew, but instead of laying low, she makes new friends and falls hard for Gavin, but wonders if their relationship will last if he learns everything about her past. Told with beauty, hope, and a strong southern setting, this novel's main character is strong, brave, and someone the reader would want to befriend. Highly recommended to fans of LGBT fiction full of friendship. (Flatiron, 2016)

Tue, Jul. 19th, 2016, 10:44 am
Murdered in Pieces (87)

LOOK PAST by Eric Devine
Avery's childhood best friend and first love was murdered, and now the murderer is taunting Avery about his gender identity and threatening to kill him next if he doesn't repent for his sins; can Avery catch the killer before he strikes again? A well-written novel from the POV of a transgendered boy trying to be himself in a small town where a conservative pastor is respected above many. Gruesome at times and full of swearing, this book is recommended for fans of the author's previous work, murder mysteries, and LGBT protagonists. (Running Press, 2016)

Sat, Jul. 16th, 2016, 09:03 pm
Swim Team Alternate (86)

GOLDFISH by Nat Luurtsema
Lou doesn't know what to do when she doesn't make the Olympic level swim training camp with her best friend until an trio of guys asks for her help to get on a television talent show, and Lou finds new ways to shine. Humorous lines and zany scenes make this British novel laugh-out-loud funny. A perfect Summer Olympics season light read. (Feiwel & Friends, 2016)

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