She had a twin brother,
didn’t know till now –
visiting his grave seems right… so far from here.
So… if you just discovered at age 16 that you were a twin, would that explain why you never felt complete?
Emma thinks it’s possible and that traveling from New York to North Carolina to see his headstone will help her in ways that her parents and much older siblings can’t.
Peter longs to escape their small town, and a trip with Emma (just friends) is one way to start.
Another satisfying story of traveling, evolving friendship, and interesting secrets from the author of The Statistical Probability of Falling in Love (my notes here) and Geography of Me and You (noted here).
Your favorite road-trip novel?
Book info: You Are Here / Jennifer E. Smith. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2015. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Try out for school play – okay.
Make new friends – okay.
Hope your brother isn’t a murderer – yikes!
Francie decides to stay in the Minnesota northwoods for senior year, despite the adventure at Enchantment Lake (my recommendation here) over the summer, but is the New York private eye (on TV) ready for the reappearance of her brother Theo, disappearance of newly found dinosaur bones, and winter on the lake (really thin ice)?
Second in the series, a twisty-turny mystery.
Book info: The Clue in the Trees: An Enchantment Lake Mystery / Margie Preus. University of Minnesota Press, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Waiting for that car to return from the hanging forest,
waiting to finish school and leave this tiny town,
waiting for the right guy to notice her (really notice)…
Jacklin wishes she could go to Europe like her sister did (why’d she come home?) or actually get paid for her job at the town’s failing grocery store.
Is Ma just waiting for Jacklin and Trudy to leave town for good?
Is renovating the old drive-in movie show with Jeremiah and Roly worthwhile?
What about that guy camping in the suicide grove of the national forest nearby?
Look for this summer tale of interpersonal drama and some questionable choices in hardcover or paperback at your local library or favorite independent bookstore (more opening every week in USA!)
What are you waiting for today?
Book info: In-Between Days / Vikki Wakefield. Simon Schuster Books For Young Readers, 2016 (hardcover), 2017 (paperback). [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Preparing 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?
Grandfather 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?
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.
When Middie’s perfect (really, he is the best ever!) boyfriend is kidnapped while on a humanitarian gap year project abroad, she is utterly devastated – and only Nate’s best friend understands how she feels.
If only she and Lee had anything in common besides Nate – or do they?
Read the first chapter here for free, courtesy of the publisher, to meet Middie and Nate as he leaves for Honduras and she tries to start navigating her life without him by her side daily.
How do you cope with folks leaving?
Book info: The Leaving Season / Cat Jordan. Harper Teen, 2016. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
We depend on our smartphones
which depend on tantalum found in coltan
whose mining destroys families – human and gorilla!
Why does corporate greed incite kidnapping and environmental catastrophe in the Congo and elsewhere?
How can we individuals make it stop, save children like Imara and Bobo from being kidnapped and enslaved to mine coltan, protect habitat for gorillas?
This middle-grade novel reminds us how interconnected we are and how our unthinking consumer choices can drastically affect others.
When is a smartphone a dumb choice?
Book info: Gorilla Dawn / Gill Lewis; illustrated by Susan Meyer. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2017 hardcover, May 2018 paperback. [author site] [publisher site] [author video] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.