Everyone drives a truck and wears muddy boots, talks slow and walks even slower – today’s teens outside big cities go way beyond those tired old ideas.
An aspiring rodeo queen in Utah draws strength from her Puerto Rican roots.
A Michigan queer girl’s 4-H showmanship in swine competition might draw her crush closer.
Forced up a tree by an angry bull, best friends finally talk about whether Alina’s stories identify with her home state or strive to distance her from West Virginia.
This collection of viewpoints and vistas includes stories by David Bowles, Joseph Bruchac, Veeda Bybee, Nora Shalaway Carpenter, Shae Carys, S. A. Cosby, Rob Costello, Randy DuBurke, David Macinnis Gill, Nasugraq Rainey Hopson, Estelle Laure, Yamile Saied Méndez, Ashley Hope Pérez, Tirzah Price, and Monica Roe.
I live outside a very small town where FFA and AP classes are on the same schedule, and young people can pursue big dreams with or without moving to the big city.
What rural voices have you heard lately? **kmm
Book Info: Rural Voices: 15 Authors Challenge Assumptions About Small-Town America / Nora Shalway Carpenter, ed. Candlewick Press, 2020. [editor interview] [publisher site]
Rachel is brilliant, dependable, and boring-on-purpose. Saying no to everything but her grades in high school kept the Michigan teen at the top of her class, working at her family’s Italian restaurant, and totally safe from heartbreak.
Sorting stuff instead of going to a graduation party, Rachel finds an old advice book and decides to “say yes” to opportunities this summer before college.
Yes – to finally attending a party and even jumping in the pool! Oops, social media caught that.
Yes – to reconnecting with Carrie who left Rachel and Ruoxi for the popular crowd when the trio hit ninth grade. Oops, who left out who?
Yes – to a road trip with her long-time crush, soccer star Clayton! Oops, forgot to let folks know she’d be gone.
Yes – to going out with her buddy-since-birth Miles! Oops, how is her snarky gelato cart co-worker suddenly so charming?
Rachel’s mom and stepdad aren’t sure about her new persona, her grandmother tries to advise her, and other people’s secrets start blurring the lines between okay and oh no.
First stamp in her passport, first kisses, first time to disappoint everyone at once?
Book info: 26 Kisses / Anna Michels. Simon Pulse, 2016. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: After Mark dumps her, Veda knows that summer in their Michigan resort town will just be agony. So that she doesn’t rebound into another relationship, best friend Mel suggests that Vee smooth out the painful edges by kissing 26 boys – one for each letter of the alphabet.
Top secret! Don’t tell anyone, especially their best friend Seth, who might be falling for Mel.
Don’t kiss the same guy twice! Only so many days of festivals and nights of lake beach parties before summer ends.
No attachments! Easy as cherry pie, until quirky co-worker Killian is so charming and funny and all.
Between Mel and Seth spending all their time working on music, Killian’s love for all things George Bernard Shaw, and her divorced parents’ weird dynamic, Veda still tries to keep it cool and kiss through 26 – will she make her goal with her friendships and dignity somewhat intact?
Trapped in Detroit slum,
finding a magic pharmaceutical way out,
with a ticking clock to fuel their Robin Hood ways.
One bottle of MPH lets Roscoe, Rosa, Chevy, and Baseball run and rob faster than the human eye can see. Those 31 little pills help them ransack the banks that made millions by sending jobs overseas, give money to the downtrodden, and get the whole FBI on their trail.
Positive visualizations, a taste for the finer things of life, and a sense of duty to do some good for others while the MPH lasts – not your everyday thievery with these young folks who know their fast-running time is limited and that adding anything to this amazing drug could end it faster.
Phenomenal artwork, use of color, and panel placements (there’s this one I’m remembering – epic!) make MPH a must-read graphic novel; check out the alternate covers, too.
If you could slip between raindrops without getting wet, where would you go?
My book talk: A mysterious drug gives super-speed powers to four friends who leave behind the drugs and guns of their Detroit neighborhood to rob big banks, give money to the needy, and grab the good stuff before that tiny bottle of MPH is gone – but where did it come from?
Learning that his boss set him up for a drug bust to get his girlfriend, Roscoe is finally desperate enough to take a pill from the prison pusher, a pill that freezes time so that the young man can escape and run miles before the next second ticks.
The young man easily convinces Rosa, her brother Baseball, and longtime pal Chevy that MPH will let them take what they want, share with those who need it, and still be richer than Roscoe’s vision board ever promised – as long as they can do it before those 31 pills are gone.
Robin Hoods on a nationwide robbery spree, the four are chased by the FBI who have an unlikely ally in a man who’s spent 30 years in solitary confinement.
No warning labels on this bottle, so adding drugs, alcohol, or jealousy could be deadly…. Graphic novel greatness.
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