Rural Russia is not a kind place for Jews in the early 20th century. Miserable, powerless peasants make their Jewish neighbors the scapegoats for everything that goes wrong—and things go wrong all the time. For teenager Clara, the repression tightens as she watches her father and brothers spend their days studying the Torah, while she sweeps floors and prepares meals. As a girl, Clara is forbidden to learn how to read, write or speak Russian—but secretly, she does all three.
“Down a path worn into the woods, past a stream and a hollowed-out log full of pill bugs and termites, was a glass coffin . . . and in it slept a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives.” So begins Holly Black’s exquisite story about siblings Hazel and Ben and the sleeping faerie prince they swore to protect. When Hazel and Ben were children, they would disappear into the forest, whisper their secrets to the horned boy and protect unsuspecting humans from the evil faeries. Ben subdued them with his haunting music, while Hazel wielded a sword against the sinister fae who lured tourists to their deaths. As they grew older, Hazel put away her sword and Ben gave up his music. But then one day the horned boy woke up. Hazel, now 16, once made a bargain with the fae, and they’ve come to collect.
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.