Flight Season by Marie Marquardt

Gr. 9-12  Rising college sophomore Vivi Flannigan is an avid birder and Yale student who lands a dream internship at a hospital near her home in Florida. TJ Carvalho, about to finish his nursing degree, works at his family’s restaurant and at the same hospital, where he cares for feisty Ángel Solís, who suffers from…

Interlude by Chantele Sedgwick

Gr. 8-11  Eighteen-year-old Mia Cox wants to donate a kidney to her younger sister, Maddy; however, she’s not a match. Their last hope rests with their birth mother, who abandoned the family when Maddy was a baby. To save Maddy’s life, Mia hops on an airplane to N.Y.C., hopeful she can convince her mother to…

Payback on Poplar Lane by Margaret Mincks

Gr. 3-6  Twelve-year-old Peter Gronkowski knows he’s Poplar Lane’s resident business professional: founder, CEO, CFO, and COO of Peter Presents, Inc. To increase his impact, he hires his first unpaid intern, neighbor and classmate Rachel Chambers, a quiet girl who dreams of being a writer. When Peter’s constant demands and claims to Rachel’s creativity drive…

My Best Books for 2017

I am a Books for Youth reviewer for Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association, which means I have the privilege of reading 60 to 70 books a year for early, middle grade, young adult, and new adult readers before they’re published. Whatever the magazine sends me, I read and review. I have the…

Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon

Gr. 9-12 ***Starred Review*** Vivacious and lovely, 18-year-old Olivia Brownlow is a highly eligible young woman in London’s 1859 society. Before her long-lost uncle took her in, she grew up disguised as a boy named Oliver, who became a street rat in a gang run by the Artful Dodger. Olivia can’t forget her origins, and…

The Sky at Our Feet by Nadia Hashimi

Gr. 4-7  Jason D. Riazi gets the shock of his life when his mother reveals the story of how she came to America from Afghanistan, and how she once was legal but now is undocumented. Soon after, Jason witnesses what he fears most: men with badges taking his mother away. Not knowing what will happen…

Good Dog by Dan Gemeinhart

Gr. 4-7 Brodie is a good dog, and not even death deters him from making sure his boy is safe from the Monster, Aiden’s abusive father. Against the advice of other dogs waiting to go to the Forever place, Brodie takes the risk and, with his affable new friend Tuck, returns to earth as a…

The True Queen by Sarah Fine

Gr. 8-12 (Book Three) Bravery comes in many forms. Ansa, a warrior with newly discovered magic, knows she is to be the Valtia (queen) of Kupari, a people from whom she was stolen as a child. Raised by the Krigere, she is loyal and knows how to survive and kill but not rule; that is…

Warrior Genius by Michael Dante DiMartino

Gr. 5-8 (Book Two) Having secured the Compass—one of three powerful objects known as the Sacred Tools of Geometry—Giacomo and his friends set out to find the Straightedge, which amplifies an artistic genius’ power a hundred times over. They must find and capture it to stop Nerezza, the Supreme Creator, from spreading her tyranny. On…

Freed By Flame and Storm by Becky Allen

Gr. 9-12 After discovering her inherent magic, Jae, a former slave in the Closest caste, broke free of the curse that oppressed and suppressed her people in Bound by Blood and Sand (2016). Now she must forge ahead with a dangerous plan to free her people, secure the kingdom’s magical well, and defeat the nefarious…

The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie

Gr. 3-6 Moving during the school year is a drag, especially when it entails leaving your friends and the beaches of Florida for the chilly North. But Tessa’s dad’s new position with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra means there’s no arguing on that score. As soon as the family moves into their new (old) house, something…

More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

Gr. 9-12 ***Starred Review*** Rev Fletcher, adopted by his foster parents at a young age, never takes their love and respect for granted. Ten years after becoming part of their family, he receives a letter from his abusive fire-and-brimstone father, causing memories of the severe physical traumas Rev endured during his childhood to burn deeper…