Marcus Sedgwick’s latest offering is the perfect book for readers who are still pondering the multiple paths in his Printz Award-winning Midwinterblood and are seeking something new to captivate and astound them.
Laura Rose Wagner’s debut novel tells the heartfelt, gritty story of a girl living through the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Sixteen-year-old Magdalie and her cousin, Nadine, are like sisters, both raised by Nadine’s mother, who dies in the quake. The boredom, poverty and filth of the makeshift refugee camp are made bearable by the girls’ friendship, but then Nadine’s father procures an American visa, and she moves to Miami. Nadine promises to send for Magda, but as the months drag on, Magda stops expecting a reunion and must rediscover her connection to the people and opportunities that remain in Haiti.
The 12 constellations that form the houses of the Zodiac are the backdrop for this intriguing debut novel. Cancrian Rho is attending school when she begins to have a recurring vision of a dark mass entering the universe beyond Pisces, the 12th House. Like everyone else, Rho has heard rumors of a mysterious 13th House, ruled by an evil renegade named Orphiuchus, and she suspects this might be his return to the Zodiac.
The diamond mines of Marange in Zimbabwe serve as the setting for this portrait of a family in turmoil, which focuses on a tenacious 15-year-old boy named Patson Moyo. Patson and his little sister, Grace, adore their father, a man who has dedicated his life to teaching. But it is their new stepmother, known simply as “the Wife,” who compels her husband to leave his home and seek wealth by moving to Marange, where her brother James is involved in mining. In Marange, she claims, there are “diamonds for everyone.”
Maddie Diaz is looking forward: to a new life once she starts college; to a better relationship with her mother, whose acrimonious divorce is finally coming through; and to a little distance from her friends so she can spread her wings. Cutting through a park after a late shift at work, she witnesses a crime that threatens her future happiness . . . and her life. On the Edge looks at the costs of integrity in an often-lawless world.
The Armenian genocide that took place 100 years ago is not discussed in most history classes, but the story is still sadly relevant.Told in verse, Like Water on Stone follows three Armenian children, orphaned by the Ottoman siege of 1915, as they race to safety and, hopefully, to America. Their path is littered with bodies, and they see the smoke of their neighbors’ destroyed houses. Along the way, an eagle watches the young trio and does what he can to guide them and keep them safe.
Ember is a dragon. Her life has been spent at an isolated training school run by Talon, the organization that governs all dragons. To fulfill the next stage of training—assimilation into human society—Ember and her brother, Dante, must assume human form.
Kekla Magoon’s books just keep getting better. The first time I read her work, I was serving on the Coretta Scott King Awards committee, and we honored Magoon with the Steptoe New Talent Award for The Rock and the River. So it’s with special pride that I look forward to each of her subsequent releases.
Contemporary young adult literature is full of teenage heroines trying to survive in a world, either real or fantastical, that has gone completely mad. Sometimes the power they find within themselves is natural, sometimes supernatural. It can be a gift or a curse. Marie Lu’s wonderful new novel has many of these familiar qualities.
Sara Farizan’s debut, If You Could Be Mine, told a wrenching tale of young love lost to the complications of growing up and growing apart. The stakes in Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel are slightly lower, making for pure rom-com pleasure.