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A filmmaker’s heart (broken?) – From Twinkle, With Love, by Sandhya Menon (book review)

book cover of From Twinkle. With Love by Sandhya Menon, published by Simon Pulse | recommended on BooksYALove.comInspired by women filmmakers,
Enraptured by cutest guy at school,
Long beloved by his twin brother?!

Twinkle knows she’s just a background character at her Colorado high school, child of immigrants from India, longing to attend film school (big dream, small chance).

When classmate Sahil (twin of heartthrob Neil) offers to produce Twinkle’s short film for the school festival, of course she accepts – casting (almost former) bff Maddie in the lead for gender-reversed Dracula is inspired, Sahil is clever and funny and not Neal, but…

Happy book birthday to From Twinkle, With Love by the author of When Dimple Met Rishi (my no-spoiler recommendation here)

When has the unexpected become the best thing ever, for you?
**kmm

Book info: From Twinkle With Love / Sandhya Menon. Simon Pulse, 2018. [author site]  [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: So many regrets in Twinkle’s life – from being a burden on her hardworking parents to letting best friend Maddie slip away into the popular crowd – but making a film for their school festival may let the Indian-American teen finally show her true talents (and impress her crush Neil and get Maddie back).

If only she can stay true to herself… and not get distracted by her attentive producer Sahil (Neil’s twin brother) or the ‘anonymous’ emails from N (who must be Neil, right?) or grandmother Dadi’s unnerving pronouncements from the beyond.

Staying true to yourself – free audiobooks this week

This week’s free audiobooks from SYNC bring us stories of being one’s truest self despite others’ prejudices.

You can download these complete audiobooks from Thursday through Wednesday (17-13 May 2018) at zero cost, then listen to them whenever you like (as long as they’re saved on your device).

Big thanks to the audiobook publishers who share these super choices all summer long at http://www.audiobooksync.com/!

CD cover of Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki | Read by Rebecca Lowman Published by Listening Library | recommended on BooksYALove.comSaving Montgomery Sole (free download here 17-23 May 2018)
by Mariko Tamaki
Read by Rebecca Lowman
Published by Listening Library

Struggling as the daughter of two moms in their small narrow-minded town, Monty discovers that mysteries come in all forms and that true friends (and frozen yogurt) are true gifts.

 

Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen (free download here 17-23 May 2018)CD cover of Being Jazz, by Jazz Jennings | Read by Jazz Jennings Published by Listening Library | recommended on BooksYALove.com
by Jazz Jennings
Read by Jazz Jennings
Published by Listening Library

Jazz reads her second autobiography recounting her teen years and the challenges and bullying she has faced as a prominent voice for transgender youth in the years following her family’s support as she transitioned as an elementary school child.

What other books about fitting in versus being your true self would you recommend?
**kmm

Violence and truth – books to read with your ears!

This week’s free audiobooks from SYNC bring us 9-year-olds faced with violence and hard choices, on opposite sides of the world.

Download either or both titles by Wednesday (5/16/18), then listen to your selection any time you like, using the free Overdrive app.

Bookmark the SYNC site now so you can download great audiobooks all summer long: http://www.audiobooksync.com/

CD cover of Johnny Get Your Gun, by John Ball | Read by Dion Graham Published by Brilliance Publishing | recommended on BooksYALove.com Johnny, Get Your Gun (free download 5/10-16/18)
by John Ball
Read by Dion Graham
Published by Brilliance Publishing

Fight the school bully? A 9 year old boy with a gun sparks violence in his impoverished LA neighborhood as racial tensions flare during the 1960s.

 

On Two Feet and Wings (free download 5/10-16/18)CD cover of On Two Feet and Wings, by Abbas Kazerooni | Read by Abbas Kazerooni Published by Brilliance Publishing | recommended on BooksYALove.com
by Abbas Kazerooni
Read by Abbas Kazerooni
Published by Brilliance Publishing

Abbas can become a soldier at age 9 in the Iran-Iraq War or escape to Turkey without money, family, or friends! Autobiography narrated by the author.

Other stories of young kids prevailing in terrible times?
**kmm

Tales of escape and hope to read with your ears

Songs of desperation and hope thread through his week’s free audiobooks from SYNC to read with your ears!

Remember that although these complete audiobooks are only available from Thursday through Wednesday, you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.

Click each CD title to reach the download site – enjoy!

CD cover of Solo, by Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess | Read by Kwame Alexander Published by Blink | recommended on BooksYALove.com Solo (free download from 5-11 May 2018)
by Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess 
Read by Kwame Alexander 
Published by Blink

Blade wants to escape his rock-star dad’s raucous reputation… but a family secret bursts onto the young musician’s present – a novel in verse.
 

The Devil’s Highway: a True Story (free download from 5-11 May 2018)CD cover of Devil's Highway, by Luis Alberto Urrea | Read by Luis Alberto Urrea Published by Hachette Audio | recommended on BooksYALove.com
by Luis Alberto Urrea
Read by Luis Alberto Urrea
Published by Hachette Audio

In May 2001, a group of men tried to cross the desert from Mexico into Arizona, but only half survived. Investigative reporting of a story that repeats itself often, even today.

What other stories of escape would you recommmend?
**kmm

U= upperworld’s secrets in Freefall, by Joshua David Bellin (book review)

book cover of Freefall by Joshua David Bellin, published by Simon Schuster | recommended on BooksYALove.comPreparing to flee dying Earth,
only the wealthy 1% may go,
but lowerworld 99% has other ideas!

This dystopian novel begins with privileged Cam’s stealthy views of Lowerworld economic protests (he must find that golden-eyed girl!) leading up to the corporation-run Upperworld’s elite space migration program launch (slated only for the wealthiest, naturally).

Sofie’s eloquence convinces Cam to help her make the case for allowing some Lowerworld people to go on the Otherworld colonization ships.

But the thousand-year space journey ends elsewhere than mission designers planned! Sabotage?

Can there truly be One World on the new less-hospitable planet when money and propaganda had divided Earth into Two?

And what’s attacking them?
**kmm

Book info: Freefall / Joshua David Bellin. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] [book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

S is elegant Sinclair’s, site of Mystery of the Jeweled Moth, by Katherine Woodfine (book review)

book cover of Mystery of the Jewelled Moth by Katherine Woodfine, published by Kane Miller (USA) | recommended on BooksYALove.comJewel thief on the loose,
Gangs terrorizing 1909 London’s Chinatown,
A young woman’s body in the river!
Has crime boss the Baron returned?

At Sinclair’s department store, Sophie sells ladies’ hats, Lil models elegant dresses, and both young women keep their eyes open for strange events, like the disappearance of a valuable moth-shaped brooch during an engagement party.

Time for disguises and etiquette review as they drop in on debutantes, check over clues with buddies Billy and Joe, and research the Moonbeam Diamond’s curse!

My no-spoiler recommendation of book 1, Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, introduces Sophie and Lil as Sinclair’s Department Store opens amid rumor and mystery. Watch for book 3, Mystery of the Painted Dragon.

What disguise would you choose when sleuthing about?
**kmm

Book info: The Mystery of the Painted Dragon (Sinclair’s Mysteries, book 2) / Katherine Woodfine. Kane Miller Publishing, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

R = Riot School – we won’t let it be closed! by Robert Rayner (book review)

book cover of Riot School by Robert Rayner, published by Lorimer | recommended on BooksYALove.comTrying to close our small town’s school?
Why should we spend hours on a bus to another school?
Why won’t adults listen to what the students have to say?

Bilan, Arn, Lettie, Grant, and Barlow each have their own reasons for wanting St. Isaac’s School to stay open.

But the Gang of Five can’t agree on what to do – a sit-in? messages to the media? more “extreme” actions?

Sidestreets is one of Canadian publisher Lorimer’s quick-read series with diverse characters and relatable situations and current topics like immigration and sexual identity in small towns and big cities.

How to decide which injustice to fight against?
**kmm

Book info: Riot School (Sidestreets series) / Robert Rayner. Lorimer, 2017. [author bio] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

P for Penny & Sam, linked as Emergency Contact & maybe more, by Mary H.K. Choi (book review)

book cover of Emergency Contact, by Mary H.K. Choi, published by Simon Schuster BFYR | recommended on BooksYALove.comCollege will be better than high school, of course.
Learning fiction writing from an amazing author!
Connecting with Sam is…um …just text, okay?

Her mom still acts and dresses like a teen, her new roommate Jude is vibrantly alive, so Penny is grateful for the quiet text life she has with Sam (who is 21, but somehow Jude’s former step-uncle).

But can the Korean-American teen become brave enough to write like she should, go out with Jude and Mallory, actually visit Sam in person at the coffeehouse?

And P is also for “plans busted to smithereens” as this debut novel told in alternating chapters by Penny and Sam (lots of texts) moved onto the New York Times Bestsellers list last week before our A-to-Z got to P!!

Yes, Mary will be at the North Texas Teen Book Festival on Saturday, 20 April 2018, and you should be there, too!

Real life or by text?
**kmm

Book info: Emergency Contact / Mary H.K. Choi. Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2018. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

O = Outside In with self-taught sculptor, hidden treasures, by Jennifer Bradbury (book review)

book cover of Outside In, by Jennifer Bradbury, published by Atheneum BFYR | recommended on BooksYALove.comSecret sculpture garden
filled with Ramayana stories,
art threatened by destruction!

Ram lives by his wits and quick feet, as many orphans do in cities and towns of India.

Discovering an immense garden of sculptures hidden in the forest leads him to work and food and thrilling tales from the Ramayana.

But will his repeated journeys into another sector of the city lead the authorities to this art paradise on ‘unused land’?

This fictionalized account of the amazing Rock Garden created from cast-off materials by self-taught artist Nek Chand over 20 years was inspired by the author’s time in Chandigarh, India.

What’s your favorite “people’s art” installation?
**kmm

Book info: Outside In / Jennifer Bradbury. Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Atheneum BFYR, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

N is Name of the Blade calling Mio to danger & love, by Zoe Marriott (book review)

US book cover of Name of the Blade, by Zoe Marriott, published by Candlewick Press | recommended on BooksYALove.comGrandfather said she would become guardian of this katana at age 16, as Yamatos have done for over 500 years.

Surely it’s okay if Mio takes the ancient sword from its hiding place a little early, while Mom and Dad are away…

Monsters and gods, worlds of humans and spirits, from Japan to London to the depths of despair to first love – the katana connects them all to Mio as she struggles to master herself and the legendary blade’s powers.

Glide into Mio’s no longer boring life by reading the first chapter here free (courtesy of the publisher). Yes, all 3 books of the trilogy are available in the US!

Family secrets – what to share?
**kmm

Book info: Name of the Blade (Name of the Blade trilogy, book 1) / Zoe Marriott. Candlewick Press, 2014. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.