Male or female?
Freedom Province gives the choice,
but it’s the only choice they’ll ever get to make!
Imagine being raised with a batch of non-related siblings by a rotating crew of caretakers, medically kept from reaching puberty until age 17 when you decide all your adult physical characteristics including gender…
Which cover do you prefer – the misty hardcover or the mix-and-match paperback?
Book info: Remake (Remake, book 1) / Ilima Todd. Shadow Mountain, 2014 (hardcover); Simon Pulse, 2016 (paperback). [author site] [publisher site] [book trailer] Review copy and cover images courtesy of the publishers.
My book talk: Perhaps “Uncertain” would be a better name for Nine, who wants to run away on Remake Day instead of deciding whether to remain female or become male. The other 17 year olds in her Batch know exactly who they want to be as adults, unconcerned about the Prime Maker’s master plan for total control over Freedom Province.
When an accident rocks the Remake shuttle, Nine washes ashore on an island with people who aren’t perfectly formed, who don’t live in identical highrise buildings, who nurture the tropical land and each other.
Pregancy? Illness? Disability? What are those things?
How does being a “family” make those worries easier?
Can Nine adapt when Freedom’s medications leave her system?
Decisions that Nine must make on the island may have even greater consequences than her Remake Day choice, as she discovers Freedom Province’s deepest secrets.
He dreams of NBA fame,
not math or astronomy,
but suddenly, he must use every skill…to stay alive!
When an explosion hits their neighborhood, young teens must get over old disagreements and pool their talents so they can escape the danger and find their parents, using a new computer game that calls into question everything they ‘know’ about their families and themselves.
Would you run for safety or stay to find your family?
Book info: The Lost Tribes (Lost Tribes, book 1) / C. Taylor-Butler; illustrated by Patrick Arrasmith. Move Books, 2015. [author site] [illustrator site] [publisher site] [book trailer] Review copy from author for MultiCultural Children’s Book Day 2018; cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Life on their boring California street explodes into adventure as Ben and his friends work together on an amazing quest computer game, just before all their parents go missing!
Ben and younger sister April seize Uncle Henry’s challenge to solve the game in one week, bringing in neighbors Carlos (great at programming, bad at basketball), Grace (best friend since kindergarten, even if she’s a girl), and Serise (codebreaker deluxe, super snob) as the 3D interactive missions invite them to “find 8 keys” all over the world.
The five encounter puzzles and codes and stinky bird poop (almost as bad as the goopy smoothies Mom makes Ben and April drink) in Egypt, Easter Island, China – it’s so real!
But their parents are acting weirder than usual, a huge satellite dish appears near Carlos’ house then vanishes, and a nighttime attack sends all the families fleeing, kids separated from the adults!
Can the game help the teens get to the “harbor of safety” in reality?
Who would target their easy-going scientist and doctor parents with bombs?
What did Uncle Henry mean about “introducing them to the family business”?
This first book in the Lost Tribes series takes readers on a wide-ranging adventure as the five youths of different cultural backgrounds must use their individual talents together to keep the universe in balance.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day (27 Jan 2018) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom.
Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
Confined to sealed, sterile room.
no chance to ever leave the hospital – ever!
or is there??
The world knows Joe through the reality tv show that has filmed his battle with SCID since he was little, but the immunodeficiency disease means that he’ll never get to see the world beyond the view through his hospital window.
Read the first chapter here free, courtesy of the publisher.
Four walls, one window – this book was first published in the UK as The Bubble Boy – which title is better?
Book info: Bubble / Stewart Foster. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017. [author Facebook] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Forever trapped in his London hospital room, Joe dreams of leaving this sterile zone of safety, like fellow no-immunities ‘bubble boy’ Henry in the US will soon do with NASA’s help – perhaps the 11 year old has his own superhero, just waiting to take him out!
Not fair than any common germ could kill him, that big sister Beth must go away to university, that the car wreck left them orphaned.
But Joe does talk to Henry on the computer every day (between school lessons) and watches movies and waits for the next visit by the TV crew who’s been documenting his life in the bubble since he was a baby.
This new nurse Amir might be a little crazy, talking about aliens and getting 607 channels of satellite TV into Joe’s hospital room somehow… and making a spacesuit for Joe, like the one NASA built for Henry.
What’s making Joe’s white blood cell count go wonky now?
Will Beth choose a medical school far from London?
Can Amir really help Joe get beyond the airlock door of his hospital room?
Joe hasn’t breathed outside air since he was a tiny infant, but perhaps he actually can venture out and look up into the entire sky….
When is it time to take matters into your own hands?
Book info: Right Where You Left Me / Calla Devlin. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: When Charlotte’s reporter dad goes missing in the Ukraine after an earthquake, she’s ready to jump on the next plane and search for him – until the CIA says he’s been kidnapped by rebels, and any interference by the San Francisco teen or her Russian-born mom will doom him.
Dad’s disappearance shatters her senior year planning college together with best friend Emma and her contentment as school newspaper photographer (on staff with long-time crush Josh!), and Charlotte fears that Mom may retreat into depression that even baking and baking won’t prevent.
Why can’t the ransom be paid to free Dad?
Will Mom ever fully recover from losing Charlotte’s big sister to crib death?
Is Emma right that dating Josh would harm Charlotte’s future?
Love and loss continue to intertwine in Charlotte’s life, as she pushes past her own cautious nature to discover which expectations are worth leaving behind – for her happiness and her family’s future.
Technology destroyed the world,
never repeat the sins of the past!
But ignoring knowledge that could save lives??
Remnants of humankind survived the asteroid hitting Earth, rebuilt their world over thousands of years without the evils of technology, yet some people are seeking out and using forbidden knowledge!
After their parents are killed, older brother Clive vows that the heretic attackers must die.
Studying at the seat of all wisdom, younger brother Clover sees that technology is not purely evil.
The precarious power balance between church and military is shifting, but both want technology-users wiped out!
How do we balance technology overload with being truly alive?
Book info: Strange Fire (The Anchor & Sophia, book 1) / Tommy Wallach. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Their family attacked by heretical rebels, teen brothers Clive and Clover must decide how – or whether – to fight back in their technology-averse society.
After sky-filling lightning devastated the world, its few survivors vowed to erase technology and never repeat the past’s mistakes, for their safety and their future.
Preaching this Descendancy gospel has been the Hamill family’s life work – and may destroy them when they discover a remote settlement purposely experimenting with forbidden science.
Clive knows technology is blasphemy and that long-adored Gemma will help soldiers from the Anchor find the rebels.
Clover wants to learn everything and begins to question the Descendancy’s stranglehold on knowledge.
When technology is blasphemy, can new ideas ever be accepted?
Is it right to keep the people of the Descendancy in ignorance?
What is truth? What is right? Who gets to decide?
This first book in The Anchor and Sophia series pits the power of the status quo against the struggle of knowledge to be free.
How could we afford to not say “I love you” to family?
Book info: All Rights Reserved / Gregory Scott Katsoulis. Harlequin Teen, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: If she doesn’t speak, then Speth won’t add to her family’s debt, but the 15 year old’s silence is copied by other teens coming of age and deemed defiance by officials in this future where even a sigh is tradmarked and must be paid for.
A fee for every gesture (patented, of course), money charged for every word (all copyrighted) – of course, the poor slide deeper into debt and are taken away to pollinate crops in this bee-less world where Lawyers rule and the Cuff worn by all records every single syllable and shrug.
Speth had hoped that her Last Day speech would earn some product endorsement to supplement what older sister Saretha earned after their parents were Collected from them, but watching friend Beecher commit suicide rather than slave his life away to pay his family’s copyright-debt shocks her – into silence.
Can Speth and Saretha keep little brother Sam safe as their debt rises and rises?
Will she accidentally speak and void her Last Day speech contract?
How do the secretive Product Placers move so swiftly in the city dome?
And hidden in powerful lawyer Rog’s towering high-rise is a book, the book that can free them all…
Earlier this month in Long Beach, Cindy told me that she is working on the sequel!
What are you doing to make the world better for all?
Book info: Want (Want. book 1) / Cindy Pon. Simon Pulse, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: To be in Taiwan now means blue sky is ancient history and humanity is one virus away from disaster.
To be ‘mei’ – a have-not – means dying early from pollution and preventable diseases.
To be ‘you’ – privileged, rich – means life-protecting suits, luxury, and ease.
The ransom money will pay for the tech that ‘mei’ Zhou and friends need to infiltrate and destroy the corrupt Jin Corporation.
The sleep-spell drug will ensure that ‘you’ Daiyu will forget that Zhou kidnapped her, brought her to his garden hideout.
Then Zhou masquerading as ‘you’ Jason must pretend that he and Daiyu have never met, ignore their growing attraction, get what he needs to blow apart her father’s suit-technology empire.
Everyone in Jason’s team has lost loved ones due to Jin’s greed which keeps pollution levels high and the cost of life-saving drugs even higher.
All are willing to risk death to give the ‘mei’ majority opportunities for a better life.
Just one chance for 18 year old Jason to get past the best tech in the world, just one…
App developers’ camp – yes!
Time away from Mamma’s nagging – yes!
Greeted as “my future wife” by some guy – no way!
Utterly furious at her parents about this arranged marriage they never mentioned to her, Dimple isn’t ready for the feelings that grow between her and Rishi in San Francisco as they try to win the camp competition as a team.
Arranged marriage today – relic of the past or possibility of a harmonious future together?
Book info: When Dimple Met Rishi / Sandhya Menon. Simon Pulse, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Surely if Dimple wins this young web developers’ challenge, her mamma will stop insisting that the California teen will find her “ideal Indian husband” at Stanford this fall. When Rishi coincidentally finds Dimple at InsaneCom, she is furious to discover that their parents have arranged their marriage – and that he thinks it’s wonderful!
No makeup no glitter Dimple won’t let tradition-loving Rishi woo her – but he is sweet and articulate and even a bit charming.
Deeply romantic Rishi is sad that Dimple can’t see their wonderful future together – but maybe he can help her win the app contest now.
As Dimple and Rishi spend more time together, their attraction grows – but how can it go further when they’ll be on opposite coasts for college?
Family expectations and complications, technical issues and too much coffee, new friends with old problems – looks like InsaneCom will live up to its name for Dimple Shah and Rishi Patel!
Book info: Because You’ll Never Meet Me / Leah Thomas. Bloomsbury USA Childrens, hardcover 2015, paperback 2017. [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: One is allergic to electricity, the other is kept alive by a pacemaker – two very different teen boys become more than brothers or best friends through postal mail, uncovering a secret past that endangers them both.
Ollie must stay in a forest cabin, far from any US city because the tiniest bit of electricity sends him into life-threatening seizures, and says that being 14 and alone is extremely boring.
Moritz, seeing with his ears only, lives with his adoptive father in a busy German city, has a pacemaker for his fluttering heart, and at 16 is beyond bored with his schoolmates.
A doctor sets them up as penpals, so the guys begin telling one another their life stories through trans-Atlantic letters.
Their childhoods were quite strange, with parents gone missing and medical lab mishaps, and real-life friendships today are very difficult. Ollie misses Liz, who’s given up hiking in their woods for the normalcy of high school. Moritz finds a tenuous connection with Owen and his sister Fieke as bullies target all three of them.
These letters exchanged by Ollie and Moritz start encouraging each other to dare to live a little, even if it’s dangerous – as dangerous as the secret past that their shared memories begin to reveal.
Their free download week begins Thursday through Wednesday, so click on the link following each CD’s title now. Of course, you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.
Her DNA is all over the crime scene, but Casey had no reason to murder her boyfriend. The detective isn’t sure if she’s psychotic or heroic, but she’s consuming all his thoughts and if he can’t find her before the police do…
Smudges work at night, Rays work by day in this America – no mixing, ever. Until Sol decides the new baby on the Ray side of her family must visit their dying Smudge grandfather – kidnap, fugitive, conspiracy uncovered – what a time for a Ray and a Smudge to fall in love!
Ready to share their secrets? Ready to flee?