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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: YA, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 1,806
1. All That Burns by Ryan Graudin

Review by Krista All That Burns by Ryan GraudinPaperback: 464 pagesPublisher: HarperTeen (February 10, 2015)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon All That Glows author Ryan Graudin returns with the fantasy novel's sequel, rife with intense romance and riveting action. As this alluring mortal-prince-meets-immortal-fairy love story continues, this urban London tale serves up irresistible chemistry

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2. Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Bandits Peak

[As an experiment last fall, I invited self-publishers to submit their best new titles for review. About a dozen heeded the call, and I am reviewing their books in this space.]

bandits_peak_500x800-210Bandits Peak; by Chris Eboch. Pig River Press, 2015. 173pp. ISBN 0-978-0692346006. Paper ed. $9.99

Jesse is out for a wander in the wilderness he loves near his small Washington State town when he comes across some strangers, two men and a pretty young woman. Fifteen-year-old Jesse’s insta-crush on the slightly-older Maria is believable and touching, and gives the subsequent boy-detective plot some emotional resonance. That the strangers are Up to No Good will be instantly apparent to readers, but an unrealistic degree of naivete on Jesse’s part, and the unrealistic lengths the story goes to in reinforcing that cluelessness, make the novel less credible than it needs to be. But what keeps it grounded–so to speak–are the wilderness-survival details (tracking, fire-making, fishing) that are Jesse’s best weapons for getting these varmints behind bars where they belong.   R.S.

 

[This review may be distributed freely and excerpted fairly; credit to “Read Roger, The Horn Book Inc., www.hbook.com.]

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3. THE BRILLIANT LIGHT OF AMBER SUNRISE by Matthew Crow

Review by Natalie THE BRILLIANT LIGHT OF AMBER SUNRISEby Matthew CrowHardcover: 304 pagesPublisher: Simon Pulse (March 10, 2015)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon Life threatening cancer brings two teens together in this funny, honest, and heartwrenching novel in the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars. Francis is determined to forge his own way in school and life despite his loony, awkward

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4. LIES I TOLD by Michelle Zink {Review & Giveaway}

by Emily What if, after spending a lifetime deceiving everyone around you, you discovered the biggest lies were the ones you've told yourself? Grace Fontaine has everything: beauty, money, confidence, and the perfect family. But it’s all a lie. Grace has been adopted into a family of thieves who con affluent people out of money, jewelry, art, and anything else of value. Grace has never

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5. First #UKYA Easter Egg hunt starts today!

by Teri Terry Have you seen this banner here, there and everywhere today? It is the UKYA Easter Egg Hunt: and this is what it is, how it came about, who is involved, and what we hope to achieve. A few months ago I was reading an article published in the UK about YA books that seemed to focus rather hard on books published in other countries.Well...one other country in particular: the US.

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6. WATCH THE SKY by Kirsten Hubbard

Review by Leydy WATCH THE SKYby Kirsten HubbardAge Range: 8 - 12 yearsGrade Level: 3 - 7Hardcover: 272 pagesPublisher: Disney-Hyperion (April 7, 2015)Goodreads | Amazon The signs are everywhere, Jory's stepfather, Caleb, says. Red leaves in the springtime. Pages torn from a library book. All the fish in an aquarium facing the same way. A cracked egg with twin yolks. Everywhere and anywhere.

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7. PLAYLIST FOR THE DEAD by Michelle Falkoff

"Review My Books" Review by Mariah PLAYLIST FOR THE DEAD Michelle FalkoffJanuary 27, 2015HarperTeen288 pagesGoodreads | Amazon “A teenage boy tries to understand his best friend's suicide by listening to the playlist of songs he left behind in this smart, voice-driven debut novel. Here's what Sam knows: There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, his best friend, Hayden, was

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8. VANISHING GIRLS by Lauren Oliver {Non-Spoiler Review with a Special Spoiler Talk}

VANISHING GIRLS by Lauren Oliver Hardcover: 368 pages Publisher: HarperCollins (March 10, 2015) Language: English Goodreads | Amazon Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara's beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old

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9. Rockin' the Boat

Rockin' the Boat: 50 Iconic Revolutionaries - From Joan of Arc to Malcom X Jeff Fleischer

Woo-hoo! I'm back on Zest's Rockin' Blog Tour.

Much like Members Only: Secret Societies, Sects, and Cults Exposed! this new offering by Zest is a little more text-y than previous similar titles, and is a more YA-friendly trim size.

In this one, Fleischer looks at 50 iconic revolutionaries (in case you couldn't figure that out from the subtitle) with a brief introduction to their life, any context you need to know about what they were rebelling against, and what their revolution was. Most also have a pull-out box or two about the lasting legacy of their rebellion or how history and/or pop culture has changed their story (such as the real story of William Wallace vs. Braveheart)

Arranged in chronological order, the first part is pretty heavy on the anti-Romans (Hannibal! Boudica! Cleopatra!) Sam Adams, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson are here, as are Metacom, Tecumseh, Geronimo, Sitting Bull, and Liliukalani. Other Americans include Daniel Shays, John Brown, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Emma Goldman, Cesar Chavez, Malcom X and Marting Luter King, Jr. (If I counted correctly, 19 are Americans or were rebelling against something in the US, or doing it in what would become the US.)

It's not all white guys, and it's not all winners, which is a serious win. I also like while they are all certainly political revolutionaries, it's a nice blend between reformers and those who went to war. I would have liked to see more outside of the Americas and Europe, especially some less-known names. I mean some of these Americans are a bit obscure (Mary Harris Jones), and some of the early European ones definitely are (Vercingetroix, Arminus, Owain Glyndwr) but most of the ones south of the US aren't (Che, Castro, Simon Bolivar, Pancho Villa) And the ones that are further afield are pretty well known (Mao Zedong, Gandhi, Ho Chi Minh, Ataturk, Nelson Mandela). The one exception is New Zealand, where we get Hone Heke and Kate Sheppard.

It's a great introduction to some serious empire building and tearing down (as much as there is a lot of focus on the anti-Romans--8 out of 50, it also really shows the sweep of the Roman Empire, as well as its definite limits.) As well as major political movements, which still very much shape our world today.

While it's an easy one to dip in and out of, I recommend reading it in order, as many of the revolutions build on each other, or reference each other, so the context from a previous chapter is often useful, which is why the chronological order works so well here. Everything's only 3-5 pages, but it covers enough so people know what went down and why. IT's also short enough you think "oh, I can read just one more" and then you end up finishing the book in one session. (NOT THAT DID THAT. *whistles while looking innocent*) This is a great one for a wide range of readers and I really really really wish it had been around in 2012 when the National History Day theme was "Revolution, Reaction, and Reform". So many teens didn't know where to even start picking one-- I would have loved to be able to have them leaf through this book for inspiration!

Another fun and engaging, but still wildly informative, one from Zest.



Book Provided by... Zest, for blog tour inclusion

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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10. A Letter to THE SIN EATER'S DAUGHTER by Melinda Salisbury

by Becca THE SIN EATER'S DAUGHTERThe Sin Eater's Daughter #1by Melinda SalisburyHardcover: 320 pagesPublisher: Scholastic Press (February 24, 2015)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she's engaged to the prince, Twylla isn't exactly a member of the court. She's the executioner. As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone

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11. More Royal Binge Reading Material

I've just completed reading the Montmaray Journals by Michelle Cooper, an account of the lives of an impoverished royal family from pre-World War II into the very early 1950s. I began the series back in 2012 with A Brief History of Montmaray, a strange, otherworldly trilogy that I definitely enjoyed. I read Book Two, The FitzOsbornes in Exile, right after reading Book One. I don't know why I waited so long to get to The FitzOsbornes at War, but I didn't forget about it.

In the early pages of FitzOsbornes at War, I was definitely sorry I hadn't binge read these books. I was having trouble getting up to speed with the characters. But I did. I won't go so far as to say I couldn't put it down, but I was anxious to get back to it.

I thought The FitzOsbornes in Exile was probably a formulaic England-under-the-cloud-of-coming-war story. The FitzOsbornes at War is probably a formulaic London-during-the-Blitz story. It's just a really good one. Or maybe I just really like that formula.

With the first two books, I felt that the change to the characters' lives that gets their stories started didn't really start into well into the book. The change to the characters' world in FitzOsbornes at War is World War II, of course. Things got underway pretty early on this time. I did wonder, though, whose story this is. Sophie, who maintains these journals, is the least out-there of the royal FitzOsbornes. She's not as dramatic and charming as her brother, the king/pilot and younger sister (oh, Henry, Henry, I was in the Laundromat when I read...well, let's not go there), nor as brilliant and beautiful as her cousin. Her war experience is far more limited than theirs. Her function is to record what happens to them. Is this her story of telling their stories or the family's story?

In one of the earlier books, HRH King Tobias' personal life is revealed but barely mentioned again in this final book. In the last pages of the book, which cover what happened to the family immediately after the war and includes a genealogical chart, those of us in the know can pick up a little something that might relate to it. I found what these royals ended up doing immediately after the war very interesting.

I have to wonder if this last book is actually Young Adult. Sophie, our main character, is nineteen when the war begins at the beginning of the book, meaning she is twenty-four by the end. The war experiences aren't anything that relate specifically to adolescence.

I don't find this to be a problem. The idea of a YA trilogy transitioning to adult is interesting.

Check out this post from author Michelle Cooper's blog in which she discusses some historical events she considered including in the Monmaray Journals and had to let go. Cooper's blog also indicates she's been doing research on the 1950s and '60s. What is coming up?

And, finally, this trilogy is completed so you can binge read. Don't wait for the last book the way I did.



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12. Members Only: Secret Societies, Sects, and Cults--Exposed

I'm super excited that Zest asked me to be part of their Rockin' Blog Tour and let me have 2 dates and 2 books to talk about! As frequent readers, and anyone who's heard me present about nonfiction knows, I love Zest's work.

Members Only: Secret Societies, Sects, and Cults Exposed! Julie Tibbott

So, I was expecting this to be along the lines of previous Zest titles such as Scandalous!: 50 Shocking Events You Should Know About (So You Can Impress Your Friends), Historical Heartthrobs: 50 Timeless Crushes-From Cleopatra to Camus, and The End: 50 Apocalyptic Visions From Pop Culture That You Should Know About...Before It's Too Late, but about secret societies and shady groups.

In essence, it is, but it's a little more text-y and has a different trim size-- 9 by 6 inches instead of 6 inches square. I'm a big fan of YA nonfiction having a more standard trim size, so YAY for trim size.

Tibbott introduces us to 22 different secret or exclusive groups, giving their history, what they do, and what's secret about them (if anything). (And here's where I mean it's a bit more texty--it's slightly longer, but covers fewer things than the previous books, with bigger pages. Also, the design has fewer pull-out boxes.) It's a great introduction to groups--some of which teens will have heard of, some of which they'll probably hear of at some point, and some of which they may never come across again.

The format is a great one for browsing, or just dipping in and out of. They're arranged in alphabetical order, which makes for a few jarring transitions-- Branch Davidians go to Club 33 (a super exclusive dining room club at Disneyland) or the Society for Creative Anachronism leading into the Symbionese Liberation Army (which also just gives a good sense of the wide range of groups covered.) After each group, there's also a few pages of further information--usually a brief introduction to several other similar groups, or an interview with someone involved in the group (including a young Freemason.) I also appreciate that, when appropriate, she offers hotlines and other places for help if you or someone you know is effected by a similar group or related issues (such as hazing or cult membership.)

Now, I'm an educated adult, so I knew about several of the groups (Skull and Bones, Freemasons, Know-Nothings, SCA, SLA) and there were more that I had heard of, but didn't know a lot about (La Santa Muerte--Shapeshifted now makes more sense--Thuggees, The Hellfire Club) and some I had never heard of before (The Bilderberg Group, Club 33, The Machine). So, something for everyone.

Like Zest's other titles, it's a great introduction to some really big movements or ideas, done in a way that will appeal to a wide range of readers. It's a perfect book for extremely reluctant readers, and your more hardcore readers will also love it--and then come back wanting to know more about certain groups.

Also, bonus for Arrested Development fans-- The Magic Castle is covered, which gives some great background to Gob and the Gothic Castle and Magician's Alliance. So we all have "Final Countdown" in our heads now, right? Good.

Come back on Friday for my review of Rockin' the Boat: 50 Iconic Revolutionaries - From Joan of Arc to Malcom X and in the meantime, check out the rest of the tour.


Book Provided by... the publisher, for Blog Tour inclusion.

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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13. THE CEMETERY BOYS by Heather Brewer

Review by J THE CEMETERY BOYS by Heather Brewer Rating: 3/5Hardcover: 288 pagesPublisher: HarperTeen (March 31, 2015)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon When Stephen's dad says they're moving, Stephen knows it's pointless to argue. They're broke from paying Mom's hospital bills, and now the only option left is to live with Stephen's grandmother in Spencer, a backward small town that's like

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14. Unlikely Warrior: A Jewish Soldier in Hitler's Army by Georg Rauch, translated by Phyllis Rauch

There aren't many first hand accounts of men who fought as soldiers in the German army during World War II, particularly not for young adult readers, which makes Unlikely Warrior so much more compelling and interesting to read.  Georg Rauch really takes the reader inside this relatively unknown world and give us an opportunity to see what life was like on German side of things.  Georg divides his story into three distinct parts.

The first part deals with Rauch's training for the army and his family history.  In February 1943, 18 years old Vienna-born Georg doesn't really want to be a soldier in Hitler's army , but when his draft notice arrives, he has no choice.  Reporting for training, his radio building and Morse Code hobby skills means he can train as a radio operator and telegraphist.

Now, for most Germans being in the army wasn't anything special - every able bodied male was conscripted, especially after the heavy losses they suffered on the Eastern Front at Stalingrad - expect for one thing: in Hitler's German Reich, Georg Rauch was consider to be Jewish in Hitler's Reich: Georg's maternal grandmother was Jewish, which meant his mother was Jewish, and so was he.

Sent to train in Brno, Czechoslovakia, the now Funker (radio operator) Rauch is chosen along with a few other men to be promoted to officer status.  But because he is a Mischling (a person of mixed blood), Georg believes he will not be able to serve in officer capacity and reports this to this superior officer.

Not long after, Georg finds himself at the dreaded Eastern front as a radio and telegraph operator.  Ironically, Hitler's Jewish soldier is awarded the Iron Cross in August 1944.

The second part of Rauch's story covers the time he spent in Russian labor camps as a POW and this is the most difficult  section to read.  Shortly after receiving his medal,  Rauch is captured by the Russians and spends the rest of the war as a POW.  The details of being a prisoner of war are harrowing, but despite many close calls, starvation, illness and injury, Rauch manages to survive the war and the Russian POW camps, unlike many of his fellow soldiers.

Part Three covers the end of the war and Rauch's long trek home to find his hopefully still living family.  Each part of Rauch's wartime journey is an intriguing window into the life of a German soldier.  Being 1/4 Jewish doesn't really seem to impact his time at the front or as a POW, as much as his refusal to serve as an officer does.  On the other hand, it doesn't make Rauch feel like an enemy, and one certainly would not think of him as a Nazi, not if he is 1/4 Jewish, nor does he (or any of the German soldiers he writes about) ever behave with the kind of cruelty we associate with Hitler's soldiers and so it becomes easy to read his story and emphasize with it.

Georg Rauch's easy writing style pulls the readers right into his life and his open honesty about his himself and how he feels about everything is refreshing.  He has penned a fascinating memoir is based in part on his own recollections and in part on letters he had written to his mother while in the army, letters she carefully numbered and tucked away.  Because the letters were written in situ, they make Rauch's experiences sound much more immediate and realistic than had he written his story complete from memory.  To add to the authenticity of his story, photographs of Rauch and his family are included.  Rauch's wife Phyllis has done an excellent readable translation of Unlikely Warrior from the German, perhaps so well done because it was a labor of love.

After the war, Rauch went on to fulfill his dream of being an artist, living in Mexico with his wife, who translated his memoir.  Sadly, Georg Rauch passed away in 2006 and never saw this wonderful Young Adult version of his story in print.

This book is recommended for readers age 12+
This book was an EARC received from NetGalley

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15. A Disappointed Letter to WHEN MY HEART WAS WICKED

by Becca WHEN MY HEART WAS WICKEDby Tricia StirlingHardcover: 192 pagesPublisher: Scholastic Press (February 24, 2015)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon "I used to be one of those girls. The kind who loved to deliver bad news. When I colored my hair, I imagined it seeping into my scalp, black dye pooling into my veins. But that was the old Lacy. Now, when I cast spells, they are always for

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16. THE WINNER'S CRIME by Marie Rutkoski is EVERYTHING: Book & Audiobook Review

by Andye THE WINNER'S CRIMEThe Winner's Trilogy #2by Marie RutkoskiAge Range: 12 - 18 yearsHardcover: 416 pagesPublisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (March 3, 2015)Audiobook Narrated By Justine Eyre Length: 10 hrs Publisher: Listening LibraryGoodreads | Amazon | Audible Following your heart can be a crime A royal wedding is what most girls dream about. It means one celebration after

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17. Review of The Walls Around Us

suma_walls around usstar2 The Walls Around Us
by Nova Ren Suma
High School   Algonquin   321 pp.
3/15   978-1-61620-372-6   $17.95   g
e-book ed. 978-1-61620-486-0   $17.95

Orianna Speerling — the so-called “Bloody Ballerina” — is just fifteen when she is convicted of murdering two rival dancers. A month after her sentence begins, all forty-two girls interned at the Aurora Hills Secure Juvenile Detention Center are dead — victims of an unexplained mass killing. Ori’s story is gradually revealed through the eyes of two unreliable narrators. Violet is Ori’s affluent best friend, a fellow dancer who knows more about Ori’s crime than she’ll ever admit — especially if the truth might jeopardize her future at Juilliard. Amber is an inmate at Aurora Hills who pushes the library cart from cell to cell — quietly waiting out a long sentence and keeping secrets of her own, such as having visions of girls she’s never met. In lyrical, authoritative prose, Suma weaves the disparate lives of these three girls into a single, spellbinding narrative that explores guilt, privilege, and complicity with fearless acuity. Amber’s voice is particularly affecting — she narrates from an eerily omniscient first-person plural perspective that speaks powerfully to the dehumanizing realities of teen imprisonment. The twisting, ghostly tale of Ori’s life, death, and redemption is unsettling and entirely engrossing.

From the March/April 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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18. Alternate Aurealis Worlds

Congratulations to those shortlisted for this year’s Aurealis awards. As a judge of the YA novels and short stories, I feel bereft for those whose fascinating works couldn’t be included. Hopefully some of these will appear on other shortlists. Our best short story selections veer towards the upper end of the YA age group with […]

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19. THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE by Cynthia Hand

"Review My Books" Review by Audris THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYEby Cynthia HandHardcover: 400 pagesPublisher: HarperTeen (February 10, 2015)Language: English Goodreads | Amazon Since her brother, Tyler, committed suicide, Lex has been trying to keep her grief locked away, and to forget about what happened that night. But as she starts putting her life, her family, and her friendships back

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20. SOLITAIRE by Alice Oseman

"Review my books" Review by Natalie In case you're wondering, this is not a love story. My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very

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21. Echo: A Novel - a review

If this is how the year is starting out, it's going to be a banner year for middle-grade books.  First, Gordon Korman's Masterminds (more on that fantastic new thriller another day) and now Echo: A Novel.

Ryan, Pam Muñoz. 2015. Echo: A Novel. New York: Scholastic.

I received an Advance Reader Copy of Echo from Scholastic and was intrigued that it was wrapped in musical notation paper and had a smartly-boxed Hohner Blues Band harmonica tied to it.


I was happy to see an apparently music-related book, and what somewhat surprised to find that Echo begins with a fairytale, "The Thirteenth Harmonica of Otto Messenger," a fairytale replete with abandoned princesses, a magical forest, a mean-spirited witch, and a prophecy,

"Your fate is not yet sealed.  Even in the darkest night, a star will shine, a bell will chime, a path will be revealed."

Though brief, I became enthralled with the tale and was surprised and taken aback when I reached Part One and found myself not in the fairytale forest, but in

Trossingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, 1933, home to the world's oldest harmonica manufacturer.  I couldn't wait to find out what became of the abandoned princesses, but soon found myself wrapped up in the story of young Friedrich Schmidt, a German Jew during Hitler's ascendance to power.  This kind-hearted, young boy of a musical family was surely destined to be gathered up in the anti-Semitic wave sweeping through Germany. I became engrossed in Friedrich's story, anxiously hoping that things would work out for him and his family, and was again surprised when I reached Part Two and found myself in

Philadelphia, 1935, home of the then-famous Albert Hoxie and the Philadelphia Harmonica Band, and of the Bishop's Home for Friendless and Destitute Children, where I found myself in the company of piano-playing orphans, Mike and Frankie Flannery.  Their story was no less heart-wrenching than Friedrich's, and I found myself desperately rooting for the young boys when I suddenly arrived

in a migrant worker's community in Southern California, 1942, where young Ivy Maria Lopez was about to play her harmonica on the Colgate Family Hour radio show, but her excitement was short-lived.  I fell in with this hard-working, American family and hoped, along with Ivy, for her brother's safe return from the war.

Of course, there's more, but this is where I will leave off.

Pam Muñoz Ryan has written a positively masterful story that will take the reader from the realm of magic through the historical travails of the infirm, the oppressed, and the poor in the midst of the 20th century.  Through it all, music gathers the stories together in a symphony of hope and possibility.  In music, and in Echo, there is a magic that will fill your soul.

It may only be February, but I predict that praise for Echo will continue throughout the year.


On a library shelf near you - February 24, 2015.

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22. A Letter to THE START OF ME AND YOU by Emery Lord

by Becca THE START OF ME AND YOUby Emery LordAge Range: 12 - 17 yearsGrade Level: 7 and upHardcover: 384 pagesPublisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (March 31, 2015)Goodreads | Amazon   It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has

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23. DEAD TO ME by Mary McCoy

Review by Leydey DEAD TO MEby Mary McCoyAge Range: 12 - 18 yearsGrade Level: 7 - 12Hardcover: 304 pagesPublisher: Disney-Hyperion (March 3, 2015)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon "Don't believe anything they say." Those were the last words that Annie spoke to Alice before turning her back on their family and vanishing without a trace. Alice spent four years waiting and wondering when

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24. Tigers Promise: Tigers Curse Novella by Colleen Houck

Before the curse, there was a promise. A prequel to the bestselling Tiger’s Curse series, this much anticipated novella recalls the beginning of Ren and Kishan’s story. Before Kelsey there was a girl, raised by a villain, whose love for a hero changed the course of history.  Trapped under the thumb of her abusive and powerful father Lokesh, Yesubai struggles to keep her own magical abilities

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25. Book Review: The Selection By Keira Cass

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a

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