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1. December Releases

In 2012, I listed 102 YA books written by authors of color. This year, 81. I’m certain I’ve missed some.

For example, in September I missed Antigoddess by Kendare Blake.Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health. Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god. 

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.  Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.  Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.

But still, Why are the numbers of books written by authors of color continuing to decrease? Why is it still difficult for parents, librarians and teens to find YA books that feature teens of color?

December Releases

Cy in Chains: David L. Dudley: 9780547910680: Amazon.com: BooksCy in Chains by David Dudley; Clarion Books, 17 Dec Cy Williams, thirteen, has always known that he and the other black folks on Strong’s plantation have to obey white men, no question. Sure, he’s free, as black people have been since his grandfather’s day, but in rural Georgia, that means they’re free to be whipped, abused, even killed. Almost four years later, Cy yearns for that freedom, such as it was. Now he’s a chain gang laborer, forced to do backbreaking work, penned in and shackled like an animal, brutalized, beaten, and humiliated by the boss of the camp and his hired overseers. For Cy and the boys he’s chained to, there’s no way out, no way back.
And then hope begins to grow in him, along with strength and courage he didn’t know he had. Cy is sure that a chance at freedom is worth any risk, any sacrifice. This powerful, moving story opens a window on a painful chapter in the history of race relations. (Amazon)


Product DetailsControl by Lydia King; Dial Books; 26 Dec  Set in 2150 — in a world of automatic cars, nightclubs with auditory ecstasy drugs, and guys with four arms — this is about the human genetic “mistakes” that society wants to forget, and the way that outcasts can turn out to be heroes.

When their overprotective father is killed in a terrible accident, Zel and her younger sister, Dylia, are lost in grief. But it’s not until strangers appear, using bizarre sensory weapons, that the life they had is truly eviscerated. Zel ends up in a safe house for teens that aren’t like any she’s ever seen — teens who, by law, shouldn’t even exist. One of them — an angry tattooed boy haunted by tragedy — can help Zel reunite with her sister. (Amazon)

Filed under: New Books Tagged: new releases

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2. November: New Releases

Oh, I’ve thought about blogging. I had a great post prepared last Friday and it disappeared when I clicked ‘publish’. Twice it did. I hope this one saves!!

It’s crunch time with BFYA and that is my #1 priority over the next few months. Well, that and the Indiana Council of Social Students and ALAN/NCTE presentations I’m doing this month. And laundry, grocery shopping and keeping up with General Hospital.

I’ve got a few great posts in mind. I won’t be completely gone, but I will be posting even less than I have been. I’ve got a few good interviews that I’m working on. I’m enjoying doing interviews, giving a little more exposure to authors and their works. I’m always looking for new authors to interview. I’m also working on a post about how librarians contribute to diversity as it applies to literature for young adult readers. I was reading a very interesting piece which Jason Low published interviewing literary agents on the issue of the ethnic diversity gap in children’s books and it caused me to look inward. I have to ask what librarians can and should be doing.

In the meantime, it’s November and I have new books to post!


A Translated from Arabic by the Lebanese author, the rapid present-tense narrative is a powerful take on the Cinderella story. Never simplistic, the story’s twists and turns are surprising.


Ash escaped THE SAVAGE FORTRESS . . . but can he survive THE CITY OF DEATH?

As I was leaving my apartment this morning, I picked up a package that contained The Servant by Fatima Sharafeddine (Groundwood/House of Anansi). Sharafeddine was born in Lebanon and raised in Sierra Leona. In the past 10 years, she’s written over 95 books. The Servant was released in April, 2013.

I also managed to miss Sarwat Chadda’s City of Death  (Arthur A. Levine) which was released in October. This is book #2 in Chadda’s Ash Mistry series and it is on the current BFYA list.

And what about November, you ask? Here they are. All FIVE of them.



Angel de la luna and the 5th glorious mystery by M. Evelina Galang; Coffee House Press, Nov. As a baby in her mother’s womb, as a schoolgirl in Manilla, and as a reluctant immigrant to Chicago at age sixteen, Angel burns with a desire to be an activist, but learning truths about her mother and grandmother help her find peace.
True Story by NiNi Simone; KTeen/Dafina, 26 Nov. That’s the plight of eighteen-year-old Seven McKnight. Her freshman year at Stiles University turned out to be a tug of war for her heart and her sophomore year promised more of the same. Just when she’d sworn off her ex-boyfriend, Josiah Whitaker, and thought she’d never love him again, he boldly stepped back into her life, with no regard that she’d moved on with Zaire St. James, her new boyfriend.
Champion by Marie Lu; Putnam Juvenile, 5 Nov. June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.
The Trap by Andrew Fukuda; St. Martin’s Griffin; 5 Nov. After barely escaping the Mission alive, Gene and Sissy face an impossible task: staying alive long enough to stop an entire world bent on their destruction. Bound on a train heading into the unknown with the surviving Mission girls, Gene, Sissy, David, and Epap must stick together and use everything they have to protect each other and their only hope: the cure that will turn the blood-thirsty creatures around them into humans again. Now that they know how to reverse the virus, Gene and Sissy have one final chance to save those they love and create a better life for themselves. But as they struggle to get there, Gene’s mission sets him on a crash course with Ashley June, his first love . . . and his deadliest enemy.
He Said, She Said by Kwame Alexander; Amistad, 19 Nov. 

Sparks will fly in this hip-hop-hot teen novel that mixes social protest and star-crossed romance! He Said, She Said is perfect for fans of Walter Dean Myers and Rachel Vail alike.

He says: Omar “T-Diddy” Smalls has got it made—a full football ride to UMiami, hero-worship status at school, and pick of any girl at West Charleston High.

She says: Football, shmootball. Here’s what Claudia Clarke cares about: Harvard, the poor, the disenfranchised, the hungry, the staggering teen pregnancy rate, investigative journalism . . . the list goes on. She does not have a minute to waste on Mr. T-Diddy Smalls and his harem of bimbos.

He Said, She Said is a fun and fresh novel from Kwame Alexander that throws these two high school seniors together when they unexpectedly end up leading the biggest social protest this side of the Mississippi—with a lot of help from Facebook and Twitter.




Filed under: Me Being Me, New Books Tagged: new releases, november

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3. How Henry Bushkin Got His New Book Published


Henry Bushkin, attorney and former right-hand man to Johnny Carson, has written a book about what life was really like with his famous friend. It’s a deeply personal account filled with scandalous details, including the real story on why his relationship with Carson ended.

Yet despite the book’s obvious potential, Bushkin actually had a hard time getting it published. In Mediabistro’s latest installment of So What Do You Do?, Bushkin talks about the media’s reaction to his writing, his thoughts on the proposed NBC miniseries and the process of publishing:

In the book’s acknowledgments, you explain how the impetus for the book came in 2008 from fellow (and subsequent) Carson attorney Ed Hookstratten. Can you explain a bit how you got from there to here?
Some time ago, I was about to self-publish the book. The book that has come out this week is essentially the same book. Frankly, when I was going to do it on my own with a small staff, it became apparent that Carson wasn’t relevant in the eyes of New York publishers vis-a-vis New York editors. They thought he was just irrelevant.

When I had the manuscript in polished form, I sent it to a friend of mine in New York. She then immediately sent it to a friend of hers at Vanity Fair, and then she asked if she could send it to a friend of hers, an agent in New York. I said yes. And all of a sudden, there were five publishers bidding for it. So it had quite an evolution that took quite some time, with the book going through several gestation periods.

To hear more about the book and its controversies, read: So What Do You Do, Henry Bushkin, Attorney and Author of Johnny Carson?

– Aneya Fernando

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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4. October 2013: New POC YA Release

I searched and searched until I could search no more! 7 days late, I had to get this up. So, please!! let me know what I’ve missed!

The other side of free by Krista Russell; Peatree Press 1 Oct

It is 1739. Young Jem has been rescued from slavery and finds himself at Fort Mose, a settlement in Florida run by the Spanish. He is in the custody of an ornery and damaged woman named Phaedra, who dictates his every move. When Jem sets out to break free of her will, an adventure begins in which Jem saves a baby owl, a pair of runaway slaves, and, eventually, maybe all the residents of Fort Mose.

While Jem and the other characters are fictitious, the story is based on historical record. Fort Mose was the first legally sanctioned free African settlement in what is now the United States. In 1994 the site was designated a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2009, the National Park Service named Fort Mose a precursor site on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
Invasion by Walter Dean Myers; Scholastic October

Josiah Wedgewood and Marcus Perry are on their way to an uncertain future. Their whole lives are ahead of them, yet at the same time, death’s whisper is everywhere.
One white, one black, these young men have nothing in common and everything in common as they approach an experience that will change them forever.
It’s May 1944. World War II is ramping up, and so are these young recruits, ready and eager. In small towns and big cities all over the globe, people are filled with fear. When Josiah and Marcus come together in what will be the greatest test of their lives, they learn hard lessons about race, friendship, and what it really means to fight. Set on the front lines of the Normandy invasion, this novel, rendered with heart-in-the-throat precision, is a cinematic masterpiece. Here we see the bold terror of war, and also the nuanced havoc that affects a young person’s psyche while living in a barrack, not knowing if today he will end up dead or alive.
My basmati bat mitzvah by Paula Freeman; Amulet Books, October

During the fall leading up to her bat mitzvah, Tara (Hindi for “star”) Feinstein has a lot more than her Torah portion on her mind. Between Hebrew school and study sessions with the rabbi, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to hang out with her best friend Ben-O–who might also be her boyfriend–and her other best friend, Rebecca, who’s getting a little too cozy with the snotty Sheila Rosenberg. Not to mention working on her robotics project with the class clown Ryan Berger, or figuring out what to do with a priceless heirloom sari that she accidentally ruined. Amid all this drama, Tara considers how to balance her Indian and Jewish identities and what it means to have a bat mitzvah while questioning her faith.
With the cross-cultural charm of Bend It Like Beckham, this delightful debut novel is a classic coming-of-age story and young romance with universal appeal.
Champion by Marie Lu; Putnam; October

The explosive finale to Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy—perfect for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT!
Ehrich Weisz chronicle: Devil Island by Marty Chan; Fitzhenry & Whiteside, October

When young Ehrich Weisz – the future illusionist, Harry Houdini –  follows his brother, Dash, through a strange portal, he is thrust into an alternate New York where the immigrants aren’t just different ethnicities but different species. He finds work in this strange steampunk world as a Demon Hunter, tracking down dangerous otherworldly visitors that threaten the city’s safety, while hiding his own foreign origins. A curious medallion, his only clue to finding his brother, leads Ehrich to a mysterious woman caught up in interdimensional intrigue, and he must learn who to trust as he unravels the truth if he ever wants to find his way home.
Killer of enemies by Joseph Bruchac; October, Lee and Low

October Years ago, seventeen year old Apache hunter Lozen and her family lives in a world of haves and have-nots. There were the Ones (people so augmented with technology and genetic enhancements that they were barely human) and there was everyone else who served the Ones.
Then the Cloud came, and everything changed. Tech stopped working. The world plunged back into a new steam age. The Ones’ pets — genetically engineered monsters — turned on them and are now loose on the world.
Lozen was not one of the lucky ones pre-C, but fate has given her a unique set of survival skills and magical abilities. She hunts monsters for the Ones who survived the apocalyptic events of the Cloud, which ensures the safety of her kidnapped family. But with every monster she takes down, Lozen’s powers grow, and she connects those powers to an ancient legend of her people. It soon becomes clear to Lozen that she is not just a hired gun… Lozen is meant to be a hero.
Tiger girl by Mary-Lee Chai; GemmaMedia,

Nea Chhim, the spirited heroine of Dragon Chica, struggles with college. Nightmares of war flood the waking memories of this 19-year-old survivor of the Cambodian Killing Fields.  Nea decides she must confront the past to overcome her fear and begin her own life in America. Without telling Ma, she hops on a cross-country bus in Nebraska to see her biological father in Southern California. There Nea comes face to face with a man wounded by survivor’s guilt who refuses to acknowledge the family’s secrets. Nea determines to revive his struggling donut shop and help him recover. Her tireless efforts attract a mysterious young man’s attention—is he casing the place for a gang? It is up to Nea to find out the truth: about her family, the war that nearly destroyed them, and herself.
Tiger Girl weaves together Cambodian folklore and its painful past with contemporary American life to create an unforgettable novel about love, war, and acceptance.

Filed under: New Books Tagged: new

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5. September Releases

Zero Fade by Chris Terry. Curbside Splendor, 10 Sept Zero Fade chronicles eight days in the life of inner-city Richmond, Virginia, teen Kevin Phifer as he deals with wack haircuts, bullies, last year’s fly gear, his uncle Paul coming out as gay, and being grounded.

Mira in the present tense by Sita Brahmachari; Whitman Press, 1 Sept Twelve-year-old Mira comes from a chaotic, artistic, and outspoken family in which it’s not always easy to be heard. As her beloved Nana Josie’s health declines, Mira begins to discover the secrets of those around her and also starts to keep some of her own. She is drawn to mysterious Jide, a boy who is clearly hiding a troubled past. As Mira is experiencing grief for the first time, she is also discovering the wondrous and often mystical world around her. An incredibly insightful, honest novel exploring the delicate balance–and often injustice–of life and death. But at its heart, it’s a celebration of friendship, culture–and life.

Chasing shadows by Swati Avasthi. Alfred A. Knopf, 24 Sept  Chasing Shadows is a searing look at the impact of one random act of violence.
Before: Corey, Holly, and Savitri are one unit—fast, strong, inseparable. Together they turn Chicago concrete and asphalt into a freerunner’s jungle gym, ricocheting off walls, scaling buildings, leaping from rooftop to rooftop.But acting like a superhero doesn’t make you bulletproof…
After: Holly and Savitri are coming unglued. Holly says she’s chasing Corey’s killer, chasing revenge. Savitri fears Holly’s just running wild—and leaving her behind. Friends should stand by each other in times of crissi. But can you hold on too tight? Too long?

Inheritance by Malinda Lo. LIttle, Brown and Co. When teens Reese and David are kidnapped after revealing that they were adapted with alien DNA, Reese is forced to reconcile her new love for David, a human, with feelings for Amber, an Imrian, and make a world-changing choice.

Once we were: the hybrid chronicles by Kat Zang. Harper Collins, 17 Sept  In this riveting sequel to What’s Left of Me, Eva and Addie struggle to share their body as they clash over romance and join the fight for hybrid freedom. With a powerful voice, an intense sibling relationship, and a sweet romance against the odds, this second novel in the Hybrid Chronicles is perfect for fans of Ally Condie, Lauren Oliver, and Scott Westerfeld.

Addie and Eva escaped imprisonment at a horrific psychiatric hospital. Now they should be safe, living among an underground hybrid movement. But safety is starting to feel constricting. Faced with the possibility of being in hiding forever, the girls are eager to help bring about change—now. The answer seems to lie within a splinter group willing to go to extremes for hybrid freedom, but as Addie and Eva fall ever deeper into their plans, what they thought was the solution to their problems just might be the thing that destroys everything—including their bond to each other.

Filed under: New Books Tagged: new releases

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6. New YA: May 15-21.

Five summersNew hardbacks:

Five Summers, by Una LaMarche:

A quartet of girls go to a co-ed summer camp together for five years, they love each other, support each other, swear undying loyalty and unending friendship...but then grow apart once they hit high school. Three years later, the four now-17-year-olds return to Camp Nedoba for a reunion, and amidst much drama, airing of old grievances and healing of heartache, they reconnect. It stars a cast of likable characters, and it’ll be a good pick for fans of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and the like, but while it’s an enjoyable read, it’s also a somewhat forgettable one.

All I Need, by Susane Colasanti

September Girls, by Bennett Madison

The Book of Broken Hearts, by Sarah Ockler

The Dark Shore: Book Two of the Atlanteans, by Kevin Emerson

Night School, by C. J. Daugherty

Thousand Words, by Jennifer Brown

TimeRiders: The Eternal War, by Alex Scarrow

Absent, by Katie Williams

Firecracker, by David Iserson

Screwed, by Laurie Plissner

The Key Wish: The Wish Series, Book 3, by Wendy Tackett

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7. New YA: May 8-14.

School spiritsNew hardbacks:

School Spirits (Hex Hall Novel, A), by Rachel Hawkins:

Speaking of P.E., in order to help Izzy pass as a normal teenager, her mother buys a whole ton of television boxed sets of CW-esque shows. Understandably, Izzy finds them all totally addicting, but also understandably, not remotely helpful in understanding the life of the average American teenager: ...in all the TV shows Mom had gotten me, people usually just spent P.E. talking under the bleachers, or meeting up with their secret boyfriends. 

The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed), by Page Morgan:

Page Morgan’s The Beautiful and the Cursed marks the first time I've seen a gargoyle as a romantic lead, and the fact that the heroine is almost more drawn to Luc Rousseau’s gargoyle side than to his human side gives it a nicely gothic flavor. There are some steamy scenes that are quite effective, the sense of time is interesting—a scene that focuses on one character is often followed up with one about another character during the same period of time—and...wow. I’ve run out of nice things to say.

The Caged Graves, by Dianne K. Salerni:

I love the love story, which is the antidote to instalove. Without getting too spoiler-y about it—there IS a love triangle, but as we’re dealing with an arranged marriage, the triangle works because it allows us to see Verity really, truly, make her choice—it’s a love that grows slowly and steadily, and Salerni highlights the joy of falling in love with an extended family as well as with a future mate.

The Cydonian Pyramid (Klaatu Diskos), by Pete Hautman

Formerly Shark Girl, by Kelly Bingham

Golden, by Jessi Kirby

The Sweet Dead Life, by Joy Preble

Towering, by Alex Flinn Caged graves

Truth or Dare, by Jacqueline Green

Under the Light, by Laura Whitcomb

The Waiting Tree, by Lindsay Moynihan

Winger, by Andrew Smith

The Year of Luminous Love, by Lurlene McDaniel

Yellowcake, by Margo Lanagan

Kindness for Weakness, by Shawn Goodman

The Language Inside, by Holly Thompson

Out of this Place, by Emma Cameron

Parallel, by Lauren Miller

The Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson

The Rose Throne, by Mette Ivie Harrison

The Rules for Disappearing (Rules, The), by Ashley Elston

Spirit and Dust, by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Follow Me Down, by Tanya Byrne

Color of rainNew paperbacks (that I've read):

The Color of Rain, by Cori McCarthy:

There are aspects of Rain’s character that are bound to trouble some readers, and she very definitely makes some choices that those same readers will find equally troubling. Other readers—myself included—will root for her throughout, and find her especially appealing since, unlike the stereotypical Fiery Redhead, she’s capable of playing the long game: First and foremost, she’s a survivor, and as we all learned from Katniss Everdeen, survivors are not always all that easy to like.

Ladies in Waiting, by Ms. Laura L. Sullivan:

The author never comes close to condescending to her audience. As I've already mentioned, she doesn't pull punches in regards to sexual content—Charles II's court was full of scandalous scandals, and he, himself fathered at least a dozen children (all illegitimate) with seven (or eight?) different mistresses—but it should also be noted that she never resorts to infodumps, either (readers will either get the joke about Caligula or they won't). And, despite the assumptions that some peoplemake about the YA, the vocabulary is joyous.

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls, by Julie Schumacher:

Yes, it sounds suspiciously like The Breakfast Club. Yes, they do do some bonding. Assumptions are made based on appearances, and those assumptions are proved wrong. (It's rather fitting that they spend so much time by the pool. You can see to the bottom, so you think you know everything about it, but that's never really true, is it?*) But the tone is very different, and while in The Breakfast Club, the characters Get It All Out There and by the end, There Are No Mysteries, this book does not answer all questions raised.

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8. August New Releases

August offers quite an eclectic select of books! From Milati Perkins comedic collections by authors of color to Margarita Engle’s story of a mountain rescue dog, this month has a lot to off middle grade and young adult readers!

Open life: Riffs on life between cultures edited by Mitali Perkins; Candlewick; August  Listen in as ten YA authors — some familiar, some new — use their own brand of humor to share their stories about growing up between cultures. Henry Choi Lee discovers that pretending to be a tai chi master or a sought-after wiz at math wins him friends for a while — until it comically backfires. A biracial girl is amused when her dad clears seats for his family on a crowded subway in under a minute, simply by sitting quietly between two uptight women. Edited by acclaimed author and speaker Mitali Perkins, this collection of fiction and nonfiction uses a mix of styles as diverse as their authors, from laugh-out-loud funny to wry, ironic, or poignant, in prose, poetry, and comic form.

Sunday you learn how to box: a novel by Bil Wright; Scribner; August “Sunday You Learn How to Box”: presents an unforgettable portrait of fourteen-year-old Louis Bowman in a boxing ring- a housing project circa 1968- fighting “just to get to the end of the round.” Sharing the ring is his mother, Jeanette Stamps, a ferociously stubborn woman battling for her own dreams to be realized; his stepfather, Ben Stamps, the would-be savior, who becomes the sparring partner to them both; and the enigmatic Ray Anthony Robinson, the neighborhood “hoodlum” in purple polyester pants, who sets young Louis’s heart spinning with the first stirrings of sexual longing. Blending quirky humor and clear-eyed unsentimentality, Bil Wright deftly evokes an unrelenting world with lyricism and passion.

Chasing shadows by Swati Avasthi. Alfred A. Knopf; August Chasing Shadows is a searing look at the impact of one random act of violence. Before: Corey, Holly, and Savitri are one unit—fast, strong, inseparable. Together they turn Chicago concrete and asphalt into a freerunner’s jungle gym, ricocheting off walls, scaling buildings, leaping from rooftop to rooftop. But acting like a superhero doesn’t make you bulletproof. After: Holly and Savitri are coming unglued. Holly says she’s chasing Corey’s killer, chasing revenge. Savitri fears Holly’s just running wild—and leaving her behind. Friends should stand by each other in times of crissi. But can you hold on too tight? Too long? (Amazon)

If you could be mine by Sara Farizan; Algonquin, August In Iran, where homosexuality is punishable by death, seventeen-year-olds Sahar and Nasrin love each other in secret until Nasrin’s parents announce their daughter’s arranged marriage and Sahar proposes a drastic solution.

Mountain dog by Margarita Engle; O. Ivanov; A. Ivanov; Henry Holt and Co., August When his mother is sent to jail in Los Angeles, eleven-year-old Tony goes to live with his forest ranger great-uncle in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where Tony experiences unconditional love for the first time through his friendship with a rescue dog.

If I ever get out of here by Eric Gansworth; Arthur A. Levine; August Seventh-grader Lewis “Shoe” Blake from the Tuscarora Reservation has a new friend, George Haddonfield from the local Air Force base, but in 1975 upstate New York there is a lot of tension and hatred between Native Americans and Whites–and Lewis is not sure that he can rely on friendship.

Danny Blackgoat: Navajo prisoner by Tim Tinge; 7th Generation; August Danny Blackgoat, a sixteen-year-old Navajo, is labeled a troublemaker during the Long Walk of 1864 and sent to a prisoner outpost in Texas, where fellow captive Jim Davis saves him from a bully and starts him on the road to literacy–and freedom.

Kizzy Ann Stamps by Jeri Hanel Watts; Candlewick; August n 1963, as Kizzy Ann prepares for her first year at an integrated school, she worries about the color of her skin, the scar running from the corner of her right eye to the tip of her smile, and whether anyone at the white school will like her. She writes letters to her new teacher in a clear, insistent voice, stating her troubles and asking questions with startling honesty. The new teacher is supportive, but not everyone feels the same, so there is a lot to write about. Her brother, James, is having a far less positive school experience than she is, and the annoying white neighbor boy won’t leave her alone. But Shag, her border collie, is her refuge. Even so, opportunity clashes with obstacle. Kizzy Ann knows she and Shag could compete well in the dog trials, but will she be able to enter?”

Burn for burn by Jenny Han and Sioban Vivian; Simon and Schuster; August Three teenaged girls living on Jar Island band together to enact revenge on the people that have hurt them

Little brother of war by Gary Robinson; 7th Generation; August Sixteen-year-old Mississippi Choctaw Randy Cheska lives under the shadow of his brother who was a football hero, later killed in Iraq, until proves himself to his parents and others through the ancient game of stickball.

Oh, snap! by Walter Dean Myers; Scholastic, August: When their journalistic counterparts at a school in England begin to add incriminating photographs to their articles, the Cruisers and students at Harlem’s DaVinci Academy realize that words and pictures do not always tell the whole story.

Alvin Ho: allergic to babies, burglars and other bumps in the night by Lenore Looke; LeUyen Pham; Schwartz and Wade Books; August: When fearful seven-year-old Alvin Ho learns that his mother is expecting a baby, he develops a sympathetic pregnancy–adding to his worry about the burglar who is targeting Concord, Massachusetts.

Filed under: New Books Tagged: new releases

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9. New YA: February 15-21.

Sweet revenge of celia doorNew hardbacks:

The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door, by Karen Finneyfrock:

Celia is smart, creative, curious, sensitive, loves reading, and loves words, but she doesn't talk like someone reading a Diablo Cody script. When she mouths off to one of the jerks at school, she keeps it simple ("You're stupid and mean, and you suck at basketball"; "Keep marching, hate parade"), and in so doing, the moment isn't about the words she chooses, but about the fact that she chooses to to speak up. When she speaks up in defense of others, it comes off as realistic and as real-world possible, rather than as something you'd see in a movie: and that makes it all the more inspiring.

How to Lead a Life of Crime, by Kirsten Miller

Crash and Burn, by Michael Hassan

Fuse (The Pure Trilogy), by Julianna Baggott

Mind Games, by Kiersten White

Neferet's Curse: A House of Night Novella, by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Shards and Ashes, by Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong, Veronica Roth and Kami Garcia

Under Shifting Glass, by Nicky Singer

New paperbacks (that I've read):

Devilish, by Maureen Johnson (new cover art!):

The characters are well-rounded and likeable, the plot twists are twisty and there's genuine suspense. There was a sense of closure at the end and the book works well on its own, but there's plenty of room for more. I'd definitely read a sequel.

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10. New YA: February 22-28.

Also known asNew hardbacks:

Also Known As (AKA), by Robin Benway:

It’s smart, laugh-out-loud funny, hugely entertaining, it passes the Bechdel Test, and I can’t wait to see what Maggie & Co. get up to next. Highly recommended to fans of Ally Carter.

Dualed, by Elsie Chapman:

A walled city with limited resources needs to populate itself with strong soldiers. Okay... so the Powers That Be decide to use said limited resources on genetic engineering to create said strong soldiers...and then kill half of them? Why not just, I dunno, train them? Or create half as many, and train THEM to be BETTER soldiers? Speaking from an entirely pragmatic place—questions of morality aside—raising clones in order to make them fight to the death just seems like A HUGE WASTE.

The Madness Underneath: Book 2 (The Shades of London), by Maureen Johnson:

More than anything else—which is saying quite a lot, given that I love the setting and the premise and the characters and the smoochies and the laugh-out-loud bits and the mystery elements and on and and on—I enjoy Rory's voice. She's an American, but she sounds like an American who's been living in England for a while. Not like Madonna (contrived, pretentious, SO ANNOYING), and not like that Anglophile friend of yours from college who came back from a year abroad slinging 'oi's around willy-nilly (I am convinced that everyone has a friend who did that), but like someone who has picked up some of the rhythm of British English purely by being around it 24/7.

Me, Him, Them, and It, by Caela Carter

The Murder Notebooks: Killing Rachel, by Anne Cassidy

Pulse, by Patrick Carman

What We Become, by Jesse Karp

Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell

Fragments (Partials), by Dan Wells

The Ivy: Scandal, by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur

New paperbacks (that I've read):

Gil Marsh, by A.C.E. Bauer:

I was really hoping to enjoy this one, and I'm still not sure if my lack of enjoyment is on me, or on the book. Actually, I think it's more on me. Meaning that I feel that the book is very much what the author was shooting for, just not a great fit for me. While I did like the details about the cultural differences between the US and the French-speaking parts of Canada, and I enjoyed the post-Enko sections in which Gil interacts with other people—especially the Adèle arc—Gil, himself, left me cold.

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11. Find a New Book Written by a GalleyCat Reader

Looking for a new book? Visit our new Coming Attractions page, a growing list of books written by GalleyCat readers.

We’ve sorted the list alphabetically, but you can search for your favorite genre inside the growing collection. Click here if you want to download a copy of the spreadsheet (CSV file) and sort the information yourself. We will update this spreadsheet frequently and highlight some of the books in our weekly Coming Attractions post.

Click here to submit your book to our permanent database of new books. Please fill in all the blanks and keep your descriptions brief. Authors, publicists, editors, and readers can all make use of this new section, but use the author’s name in the blanks. As always, you can also post literary events on our Facebook wall. (Image via Flickr user IaasB)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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12. New YA: March 1-7.

When love comes to townNew hardbacks:

When Love Comes to Town, by Tom Lennon:

In a way, When Love Comes to Town is a classic issue novel: Neil's coming out experience is front-and-center. The book chronicles his entry into the gay community within the larger Dublin community, his first relationship, his battle with depression, his slow build towards making some sort of peace between his love for his family and his need to be himself, and ultimately, his journey towards self-acceptance. Although it certainly ticks every imaginable box on the Coming Out In The Early '90s checklist, its strong character development and its emotional honesty—seriously heart-breaking painful honesty—keep it from feeling like an afterschool special or a capital-I Issue novel.

Being Henry David, by Cal Armistead:

To a degree, Being Henry David is one of those frustrating stories in which the protagonist could save himself pages and pages of torment and confusion if he’d just, you know, ask someone for help. But Armistead makes Hank’s reasons for avoiding the authorities emotionally believable and logically plausible, so it’s not really an issue. It is, as evidenced by my one-sitting read, an extremely compelling book, and the Thoreau quotes are woven in quite nicely: I can easily imagine this book inspiring younger readers to go and look him up.

The Look, by Sophia Bennett

Infatuate: A Gilded Wings Novel, Book Two, by Aimee Agresti

Legacy of the Clockwork Key (Secret Order), by Kristin Bailey

Let the Sky Fall, by Shannon Messenger Rats saw god

The Murmurings, by Carly Anne West

The Nightmare Affair, by Mindee Arnett

Permanent Record, by Leslie Stella

Requiem (Delirium), by Lauren Oliver

Rats Saw God, by Rob Thomas (CLEARLY, IT'S TIME FOR A RE-READ)

Bruised, by Sarah Skilton

Earth Girl, by Janet Edwards

Emblaze (Embrace), by Jessica Shirvington

Flowers in the Sky, by Lynn Joseph

Crap Kingdom, by DC Pierson

Orleans, by Sherri L. Smith

Spellcaster, by Claudia Gray

A Touch Menacing, by Leah Clifford

Unremembered, by Jessica Brody

When We Wake, by Karen Healey

When We Wuz Famous, by Greg Takoudes

Revenge of the Girl With the Great Personality, by Elizabeth Eulberg

The Summer Prince, by Alaya Dawn Johnson

There is no dogNew paperbacks (that I've read):

There Is No Dog, by Meg Rosoff:

It wasn't just the tone that reminded me of Douglas Adams. It was the warmth—it was how Meg Rosoff was able to poke fun at (and sometimes skewer) humankind (and our mythology), while also conveying a sense of never-ending affection, wonder, and empathy. There's a sense of hope, too, but it's a realist's sort of hope—one that takes the past into account—so while there are brief, perfect moments of beauty, everything is tempered with a cheerful sort of pessimism.

The Springsweet, by Saundra Mitchell:

While I went into this book expecting to enjoy it, I didn’t expect to be swept completely off my feet by the romance. But unexpected romance is all the more satisfying, isn’t it? There are three guys in the picture: a fiddling frontiersman, a dapper dude from Baltimore and Zora’s dead lost love. From the moment Emerson Birch (the frontiersman) appears, Mr. Fancypants never stood a chance—in my eyes, or in Zora’s. It was refreshing to read a romance in which there were multiple parties involved, but that wasn’t a love triangle. 

The Night She Disappeared, by April Henry:

The Night She Disappeared is a straightforward—yet still tense—thriller. From chapter to chapter, the perspective shifts between the four main characters—Kayla and Drew, Gabie and John Robertson—as well as some of the minor ones, like the boys who stumbled on the crime scene and one of the divers who searches the Willamette River. The voices and perspectives are all distinctly different, and the short chapters—none more than three or four pages long—are interspersed with transcripts of 911 calls and police interviews, evidence slips, search warrants, and other documents related to the case.

Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin, Book I (His Fair Assassin Trilogy), by Robin LaFevers:

It’s a must-read if: You are a Buffy fan. Especially if you have a soft spot for the episodes in which Our Buff has to fight her way to the prom (or Homecoming) while wearing her pretty, pretty dress. Ismae wears pretty, pretty dresses all day, every day, and she has more weapons hidden on her person—often including, yes, a crossbow, and even poisoned pearls in her hairnet!—than you’d think would be strictly necessary on a battlefield, let alone at a royal court.

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13. New YA: March 8-14.

ScowlerNew hardbacks:

Starstruck, by Rachel Shukert:

It's a vision of Old Hollywood that both creates and dispels fantasy: it's got the glamour and the clothes and the glitter, but it also shows the ugliness behind the magic. And there's a whole lot of ugliness. Loads of TWISTS and TURNS, and there are clearly some BIG THINGS TO COME in future installments...

Escape Theory, by Margaux Froley:

Whenever the analytical part of my brain complained, the rest of me shushed it: because Escape Theory is entirely entertaining. Sure, Devon won’t be competing in the Detection Olympics any time soon, but the mystery is still engrossing, and even better, the emotional core of the book—her new friendships, but especially her relationship with Hutch—is ultimately quite affecting.

Scowler, by Daniel Kraus:

Scowler deals in true suspense and psychological horror—Kraus never resorts to the cheesy jump scare—and the constant unease and shifting alliances reminded me of the carjacking episode of Six Feet Under and parts of Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects. If you're more inclined to be convinced by the name-dropping of a modern classic, it also made me think of In Cold Blood

Fat Angie, by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo

Heart of Glass, by Sasha Gould

MILA 2.0, by Debra Driza

Panic, by Sharon M. Draper Starstruck

Poison, by Bridget Zinn

Promises to Keep, by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Strands of Bronze and Gold, by Jane Nickerson

Surfacing, by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Trinkets, by Kirsten Smith

Through Dead Eyes, by Chris Priestley

The Secret Circle: The Temptation, by L. J. Smith

Deep Betrayal, by Anne Greenwood Brown

New paperbacks (that I've read):

A Monster Calls: Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd, by Patrick Ness and Jim Kay:

A Monster Calls isn't a fable that features Everyman Characters To Make A Point: It's a story about people. Conor isn't just a stand-in for any random person experiencing heartbreak. He's a real, three-dimensional boy, with a real, three-dimensional life. His grandmother is a real person, as is his mother and his mostly-absent father and the people at school and everyone else in the book.

Cross My Heart, by Sasha Gould:

Judging by the description alone, Cross My Heart has loads of potential—setting, time period, mystery, murders, class and gender issues, secret freaking societies—but ultimately, unfortunately, it reads like...eh. It’s got a plotline standard to any number of movies you’ve seen and forgotten—girl attempts to solve her sister’s murder, gets involved with a shady secret society, falls in love with someone unsuitable—and neither the characterization nor the narration is a particular stand out.

Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator, by Josh Berk:

I’ve been looking forward to Josh Berk’s Guy LangmanCrime Scene Procrastinator for months. Not because I’m dying to read it. I already have. It’s because I’ve been dying for everyone else to read it. I read an advanced copy of it last October while my car was getting worked on, and I laughed so much and so hard that the receptionist gave me The Eye.

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14. New Releases: April 2013

I’m getting behind! My pile of BFYA books is growing! Still, it’s a pleasure to look at that pile because they all stand a chance of being a really good read. The books in that pile have been nominated by BFYA committee members or by the general public as titles that should be on the annual list. The titles nominated are announced each month and the committee members get busy locating copies of the books so that they can be read before each of the ALA conventions.

What don’t I like about the process? The very few titles by authors of color – or featuring characters of color – that we receive. The number is even smaller than the number of the books that are published.

What do I like? I like broadening my reading selections. I avoid monsters, paranormals, werewolves… at all costs, but I cannot avoid them this year! I don’t like reading about murder as entertainment and hate to see that trickle into YA but, I’m reading these books and developing new perspectives. Closing one’s self off from situations isn’t a way to grow.

I also like being able to help get teens reading with the books. I’m getting LOTS of them and am looking for good ways to get them where they’re needed. Please email me if you have suggestions. I’ve been thinking about shipping them down to Henryville, getting them to some of the high schools around here or even taking them to ALA to give them to high schools there. One thing I’ve learned is that schools in small communities are quite conservative, so not all will appreciate some of these books.

I put off posting the new  April releases, thinking I might still find a few more titles and maybe I still will. Looking for new books is really getting interesting. I usually go to Amazon to look and every month, struggle with search terms to find new books that have been released by authors of color for teens. I had seen Walter Dean Myer’s latest book, but in searching for it using his name, the title did not come up for me. I had to use the title of the book to find it. I’ve had this happen with other authors as well. Have you?

Last month, I found the following after posting March releases.

Fat Angie e.E. Charlton-Trujillo; Candlewick, March: Angie is broken — by her can’t-be-bothered mother, by her high-school tormenters, and by being the only one who thinks her varsity-athlete-turned-war-hero sister is still alive. Hiding under a mountain of junk food hasn’t kept the pain (or the shouts of “crazy mad cow!”) away. Having failed to kill herself — in front of a gym full of kids — she’s back at high school just trying to make it through each day. That is, until the arrival of KC Romance, the kind of girl who doesn’t exist in Dryfalls, Ohio. A girl who is one hundred and ninety-nine percent wow! A girl who never sees her as Fat Angie, and who knows too well that the package doesn’t always match what’s inside. With an offbeat sensibility, mean girls to rival a horror classic, and characters both outrageous and touching, this darkly comic anti-romantic romance will appeal to anyone who likes entertaining and meaningful fiction.

Lightning Dreamer by Margarita Engle; Harcourt, March: “I find it so easy to forget / that I’m just a girl who is expected / to live / without thoughts.” Opposing slavery in Cuba in the nineteenth century was dangerous. The most daring abolitionists were poets who veiled their work in metaphor. Of these, the boldest was Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, nicknamed Tula. In passionate, accessible verses of her own, Engle evokes the voice of this book-loving feminist and abolitionist who bravely resisted an arranged marriage at the age of fourteen, and was ultimately courageous enough to fight against injustice. Historical notes, excerpts, and source notes round out this exceptional tribute.

April Releases

  1. Darius and Twig by Walter Dean Myer; Harper 23 Apr

Darius and Twig are an unlikely pair: Darius is a writer whose only escape is his alter ego, a peregrine falcon named Fury, and Twig is a middle-distance runner striving for athletic success. But they are drawn together in the struggle to overcome the obstacles that Harlem life throws at them.

The two friends must face down bullies, an abusive uncle, and the idea that they’ll be stuck in the same place forever in this touching and raw new teen novel from Walter Dean Myers, award-winning author of Monster, Kick, We Are America, Bad Boy, and many other celebrated literary works for children and teens.

  1. The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa Harlequin; 30 Apr

click this link to watch the trailer

  1. The witches of Ruidoso by John Sandoval; Arte Publica April

Young Elijah was sitting on the porch of the Ruidoso Store when fourteen-year-old Beth Delilah and her father climbed down from the stage coach. Blond with lovely pale skin, big blue eyes and “dressed from boot to bonnet in black” in mourning for her mother, she was the prettiest, most exotic thing he had ever seen. And when she bent over to pick up a horned toad, which she then held right up to her face in complete fascination, Elijah learned that it’s possible to feel jealous of an amphibian.
In the last years of the nineteenth century, in the western territory that would become New Mexico, the two young people become constant companions. They roam the ancient country of mysterious terrain, where the mountain looms and reminds them of their insignificance, and observe the eccentric characters in the village: Mr. Blackwater, known as “No Leg Dancer” by the Apaches because of the leg he lost in the War Between the States and his penchant for blowing reveille on his bugle each morning; their friend, Two Feather, the Mescalero Apache boy who takes Beth Delilah to meet his wise old grandfather who sees mysterious things; and Senora Roja, who everyone believes is a bruja, or witch, and who they know to be vile and evil.
Elijah has horrible nightmares involving Senora Roja, death and torture. And when the witch enslaves a girl named Rosa, the pair must try to rescue her from her grim fate. Together, Elijah and Beth Delilah come of age in a land of mountains and ravens, where good and evil vie for the souls of white men and Indians alike.

All book descriptions were shamelessly lifted from Amazon who probably would appreciate your consideration when purchasing your books. I do not work for Amazon. I don’t always shop at Amazon!

Filed under: New Books Tagged: April 2013, BFYA, new releases

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15. New YA: March 15-21.

Ocd the dude and meNew hardbacks:

OCD, The Dude, and Me, by Lauren Roedy Vaughn:

I LOVED THAT THERE ISN'T A ROMANCE. There is a new friendship—and maybe possibly the possibility of a romance (with a different character), or at least the possibility of someone crushing on Danielle—but not a romance. Romantic lurrrve is not portrayed here as curing grief, or loneliness, or being misunderstood, or anything else.

17 & Gone, by Nova Ren Suma:

Suma didn’t win me over in her first few chapters—at first, descriptions like “her long hair woven with brambles, with sticks and leaves and other indecipherable things gummed up and glimmering through the glass” felt more self-consciously literary than lush, lyrical and poetic—but then, either she found her groove or I found my way into her rhythm. Regardless, something clicked, and suddenly everything about the book worked for me: character, voice, storyline and, yes, prose.

The Art of Wishing, by Lindsay Ribar

The Gate Thief (Mither Mages), by Orson Scott Card

Fox Forever: The Jenna Fox Chronicles, by Mary E. Pearson

Everafter (Kissed By An Angel), by Elizabeth Chandler

The Clockwork Princess (Infernal Devices), by Cassandra Clare

Tiger: A Dark Eyes Novel, by William Richter

Maybe I Will, by Laurie Gray

The Incredible Charlotte Sycamore, by Kate Maddison

Pretty Girl-13, by Liz Coley 

New paperbacks (that I've read):

The Queen of Kentucky, by Alecia Whitaker:

Ricki Jo, herself, is a likable, believable heroine who reads the Bible (almost) every night, but who makes mistakes and sees the sexiness in Song of Songs. When she makes mistakes, they're almost always especially cringeworthy because she knows that what she's doing is wrong, and so at times, it's a painful, painful read. In a good way.

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16. New POC Releases: May

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know I’ve spent the morning searching for and posting new POC releases. I didn’t find many for May.

I did find a few to add for April and they’re posted on the Pinterest board for April. I probably post new titles to Pinterest before I do anywhere else, it’s just easier! When I post there, I quickly tweet or post my finds to FB.

I’ve continue posting new POC books to Pinterest since last year and there is one for May. And, there is always my annual list of books as well.  I’ll catch up the April titles on my annual list later; I have a graduation party at the Islamic Center to attend this afternoon!

  1. P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams Garcia; Amistad, 21 May
  2. How I became a ghost by Tim Tingle; Road Runner Press; 28 May
  3. Get over it by Nikki Carter; Dafina Press; 28 May
  4. Death, Dickinson and the Demented life of Frenchie Garcia by Jenny Torres-Sanchez; Running Press Kids; 28 May

Filed under: New Books Tagged: new releases

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17. New YA: March 22-31.

Black helicoptersNew hardbacks:

Avenger (Halflings Novel, A), by Heather Burch

Black Helicopters, by Blythe Woolston

Dear Life, You Suck, by Scott Blagden

Going Vintage, by Lindsey Leavitt

If You Find Me, by Emily Murdoch

Impostor, by Jill Hathaway

Period 8, by Chris Crutcher

Shadow on the Sun, by David Macinnis Gill

Wasteland (Wasteland - Trilogy), by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, by Meg Medina

You Know What You Have To Do, by Bonnie Shimko

New paperbacks (that I've read):

A Touch of Scarlet, by Eve Marie Mont: Touch of scarlet

Emma's narration never really gels into a consistent, believable voice. She ranges from snarky-casual to super-duper stiff and formal (with the occasional infodump), and there's a lot of telling rather than showing, especially when it comes to the interactions and relationships between the characters. Michelle's storyline (along with the student protest and the alternaprom and the end of Dr. Overbrook's arc) never completely integrates with the rest of the story, and so it feels at best, like it should have gotten its own book, and at worst, extraneous. (And, in terms of plotting, very afterschool-specially.)

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden), by Julie Kagawa:

Like so many Mysterious Vampire Heroes before him, [Kanin} is cold and aloof, but betrays his carefully hidden feelings through regular Eyebrow Quirks and Faint Smiles. He’s fond of long-winded exposition, tortured by a guilty past, doomed to forever obsess about righting the wrongs he’s done, says things like “My road must always be traveled alone,” and probably wears a lot of black silk shirts.

Masque of the Red Death, by Bethany Griffin:

While the atmosphere really is wonderfully done—Araby's narration fittingly shares that muffled, deadened quality—and I very much appreciated Griffin's writing, I can't say that Masque of the Red Death was an entirely enjoyable read. (Which isn't necessarily a necessity in a book, of course. But, you know. It's a factor in recommending it to other people.)

The Selection, by Kiera Cass:

America is infinitely slappable, as are BOTH love interests. (Duh. OF COURSE Maxon falls for her, so there's a love triangle!) The characters act more in keeping with what is convenient for the storyline—for instance, when America tries to warn Maxon about the super-duper bitchitude of one of the other contestants, he pulls the I'M ROYALTY AND YOU'RE NOT, THEREFORE YOU CAN'T TALK TO ME LIKE THAT routine, even though up until then, he'd sought out her opinion about stuff like that—than with their own personalities, and most of America's major decisions seem to be based more on who she's angry with at the time than in any sort of logic.

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18. 4 New Releases: June, 2013

  1. A recap of May releases:

P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams Garcia; Amistad, 21 May
How I became a ghost by Tim Tingle; Road Runner Press; 28 May
Get over it by Nikki Carter; Dafina Press; 28 May
Death, Dickinson and the Demented life of Frenchie Garcia by Jenny Torres-Sanchez; Running Press Kids; 28 May

June Releases

Note that in June 2011, I listed 11 books written by authors of color.

The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata. Atheneum, 4 June. MG Summer knows that kouun means “good luck” in Japanese, and this year her family has none of it. Just when she thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong, an emergency whisks her parents away to Japan—right before harvest season. Summer and her little brother, Jaz, are left in the care of their grandparents, who come out of retirement in order to harvest wheat and help pay the bills.

The thing about Obaachan and Jiichan is that they are old-fashioned and demanding, and between helping Obaachan cook for the workers, covering for her when her back pain worsens, and worrying about her lonely little brother, Summer just barely has time to notice the attentions of their boss’s cute son. But notice she does, and what begins as a welcome distraction from the hard work soon turns into a mess of its own.

Having thoroughly disappointed her grandmother, Summer figures the bad luck must be finished—but then it gets worse. And when that happens, Summer has to figure out how to change it herself, even if it means further displeasing Obaachan. Because it might be the only way to save her family. (Amazon)

Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel by Diane Lopez (who I am so glad to see writing again!) Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 11 June. It’s summer before eighth grade, and Erica “Chia” Montenegro is feeling so many things that she needs a mood ring to keep track of her emotions. She’s happy when she hangs out with her best friends, the Robins. She’s jealous that her genius little sister skipped two grades. And she’s passionate about the crushes on her Boyfriend Wish list. And when Erica’s mom is diagnosed with breast cancer, she feels worried and doesn’t know what she can do to help.

When her family visits a cuarto de milagros, a miracle room in a famous church, Erica decides to make a promesa to God in exchange for her mom’s health. As her mom gets sicker, Erica quickly learns that juggling family, friends, school, and fulfilling a promesa is stressful, but with a little bit of hope and a lot of love, she just might be able to figure it out. (Amazon)
The Girl of His Dreams by Amir Abrams. K-Teen Dafina, 25 June. YA That’s the motto 17-year-old heartthrob Antonio Lopez lives by. Since his mother walked out, Antonio’s father has taught him everything he needs to know about women: they can’t be trusted, and a real man has more than one. So once Antonio gets what he wants from a girl, he moves on. But McPherson High’s hot new beauty is turning out to be Antonio’s first real challenge. (Publisher)
Dork Diaries 6: Tales from a Not-So-Happy-Heartbreaker by Rachel Renee Russell. Aladdin, 4 June. MG It’s the biggest dance of the year and Nikki Maxwell is hoping her crush, Brandon, wants to be her date. But time is running out. What if he doesn’t want to go with her? Or worse—what if he ends up going with Mackenzie?!! (Amazon)

Filed under: New Books Tagged: june 2013, new releases

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19. New YA: April 1-7.

RottenNew hardbacks:

Rotten, by Michael Northrop:

More easily accessible and not quite as gritty as Gentleman, but still realistic and truthful. But I know that the burning question in your mind—it was the one in mine, at any rate—is probably this: IS THIS A CRYING BOOK? Well, that's a pretty major spoiler. So I shall leave the answer to that question in the comments section.

That Time I Joined the Circus, by J.J. Howard:

While it’s not a title that has inspired me to gush, it’s a solid debut and a solid book: I have absolutely no complaints. Lexi’s narration is clear and honest, her guilt about what happened back in New York is understandable and palpable, and the friendship storyline is given just as much weight as the romance. Howard shifts back and forth between past and present so smoothly that, by the time Lexi's past catches up with her, the groundwork has been laid to allow for a reaction worthy of one of her beloved Regency romances...while still being emotionally believable.

Stung, by Bethany Wiggins:

While I liked the basic premise of Stung—bees die out, which basically causes the apocalypse (no bees, no food; no food, people freak out; scientists try to save the bees and accidentally create a rage virus; the haves create a governmental structure that is focused on their own survival, and to hell with the have-nots)—I couldn't get over my issues with the main character. The issues, though, are somewhat spoilery, so if you're planning on reading it, I'd suggest skipping the rest of the post.

The Sweetest Dark, by Shana Abe

Money Run, by Jack Heath

Wanderer, by Roger Davenport Garden Of My Imaan

Garden of My Imaan, by Farhana Zia

A Corner of White: Book 1 of The Colors of Madeleine, by Jaclyn Moriarty

Reaper's Legacy (Toxic City Book Two), by Tim Lebbon

Rise: An Eve Novel, by Anna Carey

The Rising (Darkness Rising), by Kelley Armstrong

Shadow Grail #3: Sacrifices, by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill

This Is What Happy Looks Like, by Jennifer E. Smith

Vengeance Bound, by Justina Ireland

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin Trilogy), by Robin LaFevers

Fearless (Mirrorworld), by Cornelia Funke and Oliver Latsch

In the Shadow of Blackbirds, by Cat Winters

Light: A Gone Novel, by Michael Grant

Itch: The Explosive Adventures of an Element Hunter, by Simon Mayo

Nameless: A Tale of Beauty and Madness (Tales of Beauty and Madness), by Lili St. Crow

White Lines, by Jennifer Banash

Emilie-and-the-Hollow-WorldNew paperbacks (that I've read):

Emilie and the Hollow World, by Martha Wells:

Martha Wells’ Emilie and the Hollow World is so entertaining, so compelling, SO MUCH FUN that it made me do something that I haven’t done since the fourth grade: When my lunch break was over, I just kept on reading by super-stealthily hiding my book under the desk. Which would have been less obvious if I’d been sitting in my office rather than the library’s circulation desk. Happily, judging by all of the smirks I caught, my patrons apparently approve of the appearance of my (usually Inner) Bad Librarian.

I Hunt Killers, by Barry Lyga:

Beyond Jazz, who's such a fabulous narrator that I'd recommend the book for his voice and characterization alone, everything else here is straight-up, flat-out super. The mystery and investigation, the friendships, the secondary characters, the depiction of media and its view of Jazz as a commodity, the pacing, the atmosphere, everything. There's a wonderful balance between dark humor and actual gravity, between real life and epic drama.

It's Our Prom (So Deal With It), by Julie Anne Peters:

[Azure] definitely dominates, and she's also much harder to like, mostly because her behavior is so hypocritical: she's supposedly hugely open-minded and stridently opposes People Judging Each Other, but she's very dismissive of people who have opinions different than her own, and she judges other people on the basis of their appearance on a regular basis. BUT, realizing that is a big part of her personal journey.

The Night She Disappeared, by April Henry:

The technical details about the investigation (especially the methods of the dive team) are worked in naturally, and fans of procedural/forensic mysteries are bound to like those elements. Similarly, fans of The Mentalist will like the subplot that deals with the faker psychic lady. Oh, and it's worth noting that John Robertson is creepy as all get out, but while there's certainly an implied threat of sexual assault, nothing like that ever happens onscreen.

No Safety In Numbers, by Dayna Lorentz: No safety in numbers

Enjoying No Safety in Numbers will require some suspension of disbelief and for readers to avoid thinking too hard about details. You’d think, for instance, that a mall large enough to house a rock-climbing gym and an ice rink would, A) have some showers somewhere, if not an actual gym, and B) have at least a bare-bones custodial staff on hand during the day. But, no. Not this one.

Ripper, by Stefan Petrucha:

The original characters—Carver's peers, their adoptive parents, the Pinkerton detectives—read more like stock characters than real people, but Teddy Roosevelt and Alice, especially, really shine. I didn't form emotional attachments with anyone, but some of their relationships were affecting: Carver and Finn's sloooow journey from enemies to allies was especially well done, in that it was organic and subtle. Also, although Carver is mostly an Everyboy Type, he's not perfect, which always makes for more interesting reading. The mystery itself is spun out very well, and the climax/reveal is fabulous: yes, I guessed where it was going, but not because of any missteps on the author's part. I'M JUST THAT SMART.

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20. July New Releases


July!! I haven’t worked during the summer since the 1970s. I’m pretty sure that having to do so this summer is why it just doesn’t feel like summer at all to me. I keep waiting for… I’m not sure what; just something to happen to signal that it has indeed begun.

Nonetheless, we’ve passed the Longest Day of the Year and the corn should be knee high by tomorrow. Summer is here! And, here are the summer books by authors of color. First, a more complete listing of the June releases followed by the July books about authors of color.

The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata. Atheneum, 4 June
Ask my mood ring how I feel by Diane Lopez. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 11 June
Underneath By Sarah Jamila Stevenson; Llewellyn Worldwide; 8 June
The girl of his dreams by Amir Abrams. K-Teen/Dafina, 25 June
Dork Diaries 6: Tales from a Not-So-Happy-Heartbreaker by Rachel Renee Russell. Aladdin, 4 June
Curse of the ancients by Matt de la Pena; Scholastic, June (MG)
Charm and Strange by Stephanie Kuehn; St. Martin Press 11 June
+-+402485563_140Since you asked by Maureen Goo; Scholastic, July Fifteen-year-old Holly Kim, the copyeditor for her San Diego high school’s newspaper, accidentally submits a piece ripping everyone to shreds and suddenly finds herself the center of unwanted attention–but when the teacher in charge of the paper asks her to write a regular column her troubles really start.

+-+649492073_140Star Power (Charly’s Epic Fiasco) by Kelli London; Kensington, 30 July Charly St. James is on top, and she’s determined to keep it that way. That’s why she and the producers have come up with a plan to take The Extreme Dream Team to the next level–by turning loners into VIPs. After all, how can you enjoy your new digs if your life is jacked up?
But when Charly meets her first makeover, Nia, she knows she’ll have to do more than dress her up and boost her self-esteem. Nia is living in the shade of her twin sister, who is luxuriating in a major case of pretty girl syndrome. And the more Charly tries to get Nia to shine, the more her twin sabotages her mission. Good thing Charly loves a challenge, ’cause these twins’ troubles are more than skin deep. . .
51NyxXdEDhL._SY346_Gaby, lost and found by Angela Cervantes; Scholastic 30 July “My name is Gaby, and I’m looking for a home where I can invite my best friend over and have a warm breakfast a couple of times a week. Having the newest cell phone or fancy clothes isn’t important, but I’d like to have a cat that I can talk to when I’m home alone.”


If I ever get out of here by Eric Gainsworth; Arthur A. Levine; 30 July Lewis “Shoe” Blake is used to the joys and difficulties of life on the Tuscarora Indian reservation in 1975: the joking, the Fireball games, the snow blowing through his roof. What he’s not used to is white +-+447799563_140people being nice to him — people like George Haddonfield, whose family recently moved to town with the Air Force. As the boys connect through their mutual passion for music, especially the Beatles, Lewis has to lie more and more to hide the reality of his family’s poverty from George. He also has to deal with the vicious Evan Reininger, who makes Lewis the special target of his wrath. But when everyone else is on Evan’s side, how can he be defeated? And if George finds out the truth about Lewis’s home — will he still be his friend?


Way too much drama by Earl Sewell; Kimani Tru, 30 July Maya is ready to put the fabulous back into her life—and that means getting her manipulative cousin, Viviana, out of it. Bad enough that Viviana is living under the same roof and tried to claim Maya’s boyfriend, Misalo, for +-+784937332_140herself. Now she’s going to Maya’s high school and she’s part of the quiz team competing on a TV show…alongside Maya, Keysha and Misalo.

Maya has no sympathy when Viviana finally starts to feel the pressure of fitting in to her new world. That’s until her cousin does something drastic…and dangerous. Maybe Viviana isn’t as tough as everyone thought. Maya could be the only person who can help bring her back safely. Question is…does she want to?

Filed under: New Books Tagged: July 2013, new releases

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21. New YA: April 8-14.

MojoNew hardbacks:

Strangelets, by Michelle Gagnon:

As it has a number of similarities—a rotating focus on various teenagers suddenly left alone in a mysteriously empty and hugely dangerous world—Michelle Gagnon’s Strangelets is likely to appeal to fans of Michael Grant’s Gone series. As in Gone, the characters have to decide who will lead and who will follow, to work towards an understanding of what caused their predicament while also finding a safe haven and, above all, to survive their environment and each other. Like Gone, the premise will require some suspension of disbelief, and both books are far more plot-driven than character-driven, though the multinational cast of Strangelets makes for a broader variety of perspectives, belief systems and outlooks.

Mojo, by Tim Tharp:

At page eight, I was completely and irrevocably in love with Mojo, and more specifically, with the voice of its narrator, high school junior Dylan Jones. I didn’t fall in lurrrve with the boy himself—instead, I developed something far more rare: a sort of awe at what a fully realized character he is. I believed in him unreservedly from the very first page—through crazy situations and plot twists—and, even as I watched him make mistake after mistake, felt nothing but affection for him.

Rapture Practice, by Aaron Hartzler:

There’s plenty of humor—the official Kirkus review called it “hilarious,” though I found it more subdued than that—but I had a lump in my throat for almost the entire 400 pages. It’s written with such emotional honesty that it’s impossible not to empathize with Hartzler’s young self: regardless of whether he’s writing about his Big Questions about God and religion or getting caught in a lie about buying the Pretty Woman soundtrack.

Return of the Mystic Gray (Crater Lake), by Steve Westover

Revenge of a Not-So-Pretty Girl, by Carolita Blythe

Awakening (Tankborn Trilogy), by Karen Sandler

Dead River, by Cyn Balog

Zom-B City, by Darren Shan

Hammer of Witches, by Shana Mlawski

Inferno: Chronicles of Nick, by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Mountains Beyond Mountains (Adapted for Young People), by Tracy Kidder and Michael French What happened to goodbye

Nine Days, by Fred Hiatt

New paperbacks (that I've read):

The Obsidian Blade (Klaatu Diskos), by Pete Hautman:

That’s when the pacing changes, and The Obsidian Blade goes from low-level-Ray-Bradbury-subtly-weird to off-the-wall-Jasper-Fforde*** crossed with The-Matrix-on-47,000-pounds-of-Sweet-Tarts-hyperweird. Plus some serious meditation on faith, religion and destiny, madness and vanity. Basically, it gets nuts, in the best possible way. And, in addition to being a rip-roaring adventure on its own, it sets the stage for some epic weirdness to come.

What Happened to Goodbye, by Sarah Dessen:

It's got family drama that's so realistic that I spent entire pages on the verge of tears, not because it's a sad sort of book, but because Dessen perfectly captures the push-pull between an estranged mother and daughter, without ever making either one into the bad guy. They both make mistakes, and they certainly don't—sometimes won't—understand each other, but they're both real people.

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22. New YA: April 15-21.

Game (i hunt killers 2)New hardbacks:

The Game, by Barry Lyga

The Grass Is Always Greener (Belles), by Jen Calonita

Taken, by Erin Bowman

True: An Elixir Novel, by Hilary Duff

Who Is AC?, by Hope Larson and Tintin Pantoja

Hunger Moon, by Sarah Lamstein

Furious, by Jill Wolfson

The Milk of Birds, by Sylvia Whitman

The Pond, by Robert Murphy

The Symptoms of My Insanity, by Mindy Raf

Cameron and the Girls, by Edward Averett

Dead Silence: A Body Finder Novel, by Kimberly Derting

Domination (A C.H.A.O.S. Novel), by Jon S. Lewis

The After Girls, by Leah Konen

New paperbacks (that I've read):

Keeping The Castle, by Patrice Kindl:

It’s very, very rare that I read something that forces me to type (or worse, utter) the three words that I regard as the Most Insipid Descriptors Ever. I’m going to go ahead and get them out of the way right now: Keeping the Castle is DELIGHTFUL and CHARMING and LOVELY.

Legend, by Marie Lu:

Cinematic action, romance, politics, extremely sketchy medical experiments, some possible Soylent Green-ish doings (<--that one is extremely unlikely, but sicko that I am, I can't help but hope for it), codes, cage fights, and a couple of seriously shocking-ass moments... Legend is fun stuff.

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23. New YA: April 22-30.

The programNew hardbacks:

The Rules (Project Paper Doll), by Stacey Kade:

Ariane’s narration is funny and thoughtful, and her paladin tendencies make her immediately likable. In order to disappear into the background, she observes human behavior (and high school culture) very closely, and her habit of constantly second-guessing each action with an “Okay, what would a regular human do?” keeps her perspective fresh while also evoking all of Dexter Morgan's most entertaining moments.

Nobody's Secret, by Michaela MacColl:

Aspects of it work. Fans of Emily Dickinson—well, those who don’t find the basic premise vaguely sacrilegious*—will definitely appreciate the requisite bee, gingerbread and coconut cake cameos, but more especially the poetry that MacColl uses in the chapter headings and directly in the narrative. Newbies, meanwhile—although Emily is 15, I’d peg this book as an upper middle-grade/lower-YA crossover—will hopefully discover how easily accessible and enjoyable Dickinson’s poetry can be.

The Program, by Suzanne Young:

Teen readers will not only be enthralled by the storyline and the romance, but also relate to feeling controlled and out of control, to Sloane’s struggle to hide her pain and to the desire to please one’s parents while also wanting to break free of them.

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden), by Julie Kagawa:

Cool premise, action-packed, nice post-apocalyptic western vibe (Jackal is rarely seen without his ankle-length duster), but with slim characterization and weak dialogue. It’s very definitely got an audience, and fans will be happy with it, but I’ll be sticking to Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines as my vampire series of choice.

Gorgeous, by Paul Rudnick Spirit's chosen

Life After Theft, by Aprilynne Pike

The Last Academy, by Anne Applegate

The Servant, by Fatima Sharafeddine

Sketchy (The Bea Catcher Chronicles), by Olivia Samms

The Ward, by Jordana Frankel

The Boyfriend App, by Katie Sise

The Silver Dream: An InterWorld Novel, by Neil Gaiman, Michael Reaves and Mallory Reaves

Spirit's Chosen (Princesses of Myth), by Esther Friesner

The Haunted House on Raven's Roost, by Jim &. Ann Sheridan

Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman, by Neil Gaiman and Maria Dahvana Headley

Darius & Twig, by Walter Dean Myers

The Elite (Selection), by Kiera Cass

Exile (Mercy Novel, A), by Rebecca Lim

Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood, by Abby McDonald

manicpixiedreamgirl, by Tom Leveen Obsidian mirror

Natural Born Angel: An Immortal City Novel, by Scott Speer

Obsidian Mirror, by Catherine Fisher

Quintana of Charyn: The Lumatere Chronicles, by Melina Marchetta

Arclight, by Josin L. McQuein

The Loop, by Shandy Lawson

New paperbacks (that I've read):

Dreamless (Starcrossed), by Josephine Angelini:

When I wrote about Josephine Angelini’s Starcrossed earlier this week, I listed “Lack of Love Triangle” as being one of the many things in its favor. Because, really. Who among us is not suffering from Love Triangle Fatigue?

You know where this is going, right? Right: I should have kept my big trap shut.

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Harlequin Teen), by Kady Cross:

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar suffers from the same problem as The Girl in the Steel  Corset—it’s insanely repetitive. This time, instead of being treated to various iterations of the phrase “ropey red hair,” all the characters stand around quirking their eyebrows at one another.

Pushing the Limits (Harlequin Teen), by Katie McGarry:

Pushing the Limits is a she-said/he-said romance about a couple of high school seniors who discover two things: opposites attract, and sometimes those who appear to be completely different on the outside are actually very similar on the inside. (So, really, opposites aren't really opposites? Or something. Maybe I'm overthinking this. ANYWAY.)

Keep Holding On, by Susane Colasanti:

Is bullying an important issue, relevant to the target audience? Of course. Are child abuse/neglect, rape, depression, poverty and teen suicide also important? Duh, yes. Are the messages that Keep Holding On promotes—hope and survival—things that teens need to hear? Of course. So although the storyline was a surprise, I could have easily gotten past that if the book had been, well, better.

Kill Switch, by Chris Lynch:

Crackling, believable dialogue, and a storyline that features moments of such tension that my skin is crawling just thinking about them. Despite the brevity of Daniel's voice, the complexity of the familial relationships is top-notch.

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24. New YA: May 1-7.

Thorn abbeyNew hardbacks:

Invisibility, by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

The Circle: The Engelsfors Trilogy--Book 1, by Sara B. Elfgren and Mats Strandberg

Our Song, by Jordanna Fraiberg

Thorn Abbey, by Nancy Ohlin

Maid of Secrets (Maids of Honor), by Jennifer McGowan

Mystic (Soul Seekers), by Alyson Noël

Nantucket Blue, by Leila Howland

Never (Lightbringer), by K.D. McEntire

Nothing but Blue, by Lisa Jahn-Clough

The Originals, by Cat Patrick

Reboot, by Amy Tintera

The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P.), by Eoin Colfer

The Savage Blue (The Vicious Deep), by Zoraida Cordova

Fall of Night: The Morganville Vampires, by Rachel Caine 5th wave

Ender's Game (Movie Tie-In) (The Ender Quintet), by Orson Scott Card

Icons, by Margaret Stohl

If I Should Die (Revenants), by Amy Plum

The Lucy Variations, by Sara Zarr

The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey

Abandon Book 3: Awaken, by Meg Cabot

Chantress, by Amy Butler Greenfield

Criminal, by Terra Elan McVoy

The End Games, by T. Michael Martin

New paperbacks (that I've read):

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, by Jesse Andrews:

I loved it for Greg, who—unlike many a boy in books about cancer—is not wise, thoughtful, mature, sweet, generous, or even all that nice, but is real, relatable, slappable**, and hilarious. I loved it for Earl, who is just plain wonderful—and who, even though Greg is so self-absorbed that he hardly even knows him, comes off as a real, believable person. A real, believable, hilarious person.

Zenn Scarlett (Strange Chemistry), by Christian Schoon: Me and earl and the dying girl

Zenn Scarlett has a great sense of place, both physical and political; wonderfully described alien species that aren’t at all anthropomorphized; a likable heroine, tight pacing with lots of chapters ending on exciting old-timey serial cliffhangers, and a good amount of humor. I enjoyed it hugely...with a few minor caveats. (You totally knew that was coming, didn’t you?)

Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas:

Celaena is a swaggering, smart-mouthed heroine—with a secret past, naturally—who hides her pain and fear behind a smirking exterior. She’s comfortable in her own skin and with her own sexuality, and her vanity is strangely charming. She holds grudges and is quick to lash out, but those who are lucky enough to call her “friend” know her loyalty and warmth.

The Innocents, by Lili Peloquin:

But while the writing itself is actually really decent, Razorbill’s packaging of The Innocents is the most exciting thing about the book. The drama isn’t particularly dramatic—more angst than action—and the shocking behavior of the characters looks almost wholesome compared to what went on in Beverly Hills, 90210 over 20 years ago.

Gilt, by Katherine Longshore:

Katherine Longshore’s depiction of Catherine Howard is quite well-rounded. She’s manipulative, tempestuous (behind closed doors), power-hungry, selfish and short-sighted, but it’s always worth remembering that she’s also 16 years old. She’s married to an ailing, sad old man, and she longs for romance. That she would chafe at her lack of freedom is easily understandable, that her power would occasionally go to her head is easily believable, and the rare glimpses we get of her sadness and her fear are affecting. It’s a darker, more nuanced portrait than the Sexy Nose Hair cover art implies.

Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein: Gilt paperback

Trust me? Add this to your list. Don’t trust me? Add it to your list anyway. Fan of historical fiction? Espionage? World War II stories? Add it, add it, add it. Even if your tastes don’t usually tend in that direction, you need to pick it up anyway. It will make you dissolve into a puddle, and then, once you’ve recovered, you’ll immediately read it all over again. That’s what I did.

Black City (A Black City Novel), by Elizabeth Richards:


Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone)), by Leigh Bardugo:

Before the story even starts, there’s a map and a list of intriguingly named soldier types like “Tidemakers,” “Alkemi” and “Heartrenders.” Among those factors and the cover, I was predisposed to like this book before I even started reading it. And, overall, I did... with a few reservations.

One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies, by Sonya Sones (new edition):

The parts about the Hollywood high school are priceless, Aunt Max is awesome, and like What My Mother Doesn't Know, it's predictable, but not in a bad way. Oh, and she's a big reader, so there are a couple of poems that are basically reading lists of awesome YA books. Rad.

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25. March Releases, 2013

In March 2011 I found 16 MG & YA releases, in 2012 I found 4 and this year, 6. Nonetheless, this looks like a pretty impressive list of books! All are very establish authors.

(clicking the image will take you to a description of the book.)


The Keysha Diaries, Volume One: Keysha’s Drama\If I Were Your Boyfriend (Kimani Tru) (9780373091249): Earl Sewell: Books


Flowers in the Sky by Lyn Joseph


Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina


Panic by Sharon Draper


Hollywood High: Get Ready for War by NiNi Simone and Amir Abrams


Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

Filed under: New Books Tagged: Earl Sewell, Lyn Joseph, March, meg medina, new POC books, NiNi Simone, sharon draper, sherri smith

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