In a book that manages to be both cosmic and grounded at the same time, author-illustrator Claire A. Nivola explores no less than the notion of one’s very soul. This isn’t a picture book that addresses merely birth and death. It’s a story that suggests that we are beings who originate from stars; we enter a “river of time” on Earth; and we return to the “elders” at the star homes from which we came.
Best friends Hannah and Zoe understand each other, “like we’re some kind of Siamese twins connected at the soul.” Zoe is there when Hannah’s abusive father sends her out in a bikini to sell hot dogs, ostensibly to raise money for college. Hannah is there when Zoe bounces between moods of elation and despair, and makes sure Zoe stays properly clothed and relatively safe.
BookPage Teen Top Pick, April 2014
When 16-year-old Travis Coates, dying from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, donated his head (the only part of his body not ravaged by cancer) to be cryogenically stored at the Saranson Center for Life Preservation, he imagined being reinstated in 100 years, alongside jet packs and other futuristic gadgets.
No one can ever have too many picture books about smart girls who love science—or too many stories about big, loyal dogs. Still, a book with these elements needs other features to stand out, and Maggi and Milo delivers.
Near Albuquerque, New Mexico, a teenager struggles to define herself in the aftermath of her parents’ divorce, the harsh newness of high school life and the recent death of her sister.
Prenna James was born in the 2080s, during a time of disease and environmental catastrophe. She and her mother escape a blood plague by traveling to the present day with a group of time travelers. Forced to assimilate, Prenna attends high school with kids who must never know she’s from the future—except for Ethan Jarves, who makes her feel special and safe.
Lantern Sam is a rare male calico cat who lives aboard a train called the Lake Erie Shoreliner (New York to Chicago in under 20 hours!) in the 1940s. Ostensibly in the care of conductor Clarence Nockwood, Sam is an intelligent and independent cat who has the ability to share his thoughts with some humans. Clarence is one of them, but when 10-year-old Henry Shipley comes aboard, Sam finds he can “talk” to him, too.
In her searing new novel, National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart paints a vivid picture of a divided Berlin and the wall that separates friends, lovers and families.
If you think you know all about Dorothy and her trip to Oz, you may be surprised to discover you only know half the story. Much like A.G. Howard did to Alice in Wonderland in Splintered, Danielle Paige turns a beloved tale and movie into an intriguing novel of dark magic for older teens.
In Aaron Meshon’s Tools Rule!, the tools in a very messy yard need to get organized, but how? By building a tool shed, of course! From the obscure awl to the ubiquitous drill, all the tools pitch in and, in turn, teach the reader about what they do.