Category Archives: Young Adult

Book reviews on Teen, or Young Adult Fiction

14 Hollow Road

14 Hollow Road

14 HOLLOW ROAD

By Jenn Bishop

6th through MS, 280 pgs., published by Random House, 2017.

  “a gorgeous summer tale” for those who enjoy books like THE PENDERWICKS by Jeanne Birdsall or DEAD END IN NORVELT by Jack Gantos.

This book has a great home feel about it.

When a tornado rips through the neighborhood, Maddie not only loses her dog and her house, along with the other devastating losses, but her friends go pear-shaped on her, a newcomer comes between her and her “boyfriend” and on top of that, other complications surface with her new living arrangements.

Things are hopeful if one can circle back to one’s family.  If one can circle back..

What Waits in the Water..

Reviewed by Liz Cohen

What Waits in the Water by Kieran Scott

Scholastic, 2017

What Waits In The Water

What Waits in the Water is a murder mystery.  Hannah and her step-sister Katie go on a trip to a log cabin by a lake.  They are staying with Hannah’s best friend, Jacob.  But when the girls arrive, everything gets creepy.  There is something in the water.  And the woods around the lake are not exactly peaceful.  What’s more, her step-sister has become very close to Jacob behind Hannah’s back.  Very close!

Hannah thinks the local kids from the small town near the lake can take her mind off of Katie and Jacob.  But the town holds a mystery.  A local girl (who looks a good bit like Hannah) has gone missing, and she isn’t the first.  Is the lake cursed?  Or is someone stalking the lake.

What Waits in the Water is the perfect murder mystery to read on a plane, by the pool, or just on a lazy weekend.  This book is the second in a series, but you don’t need to have read the first book to enjoy this one.  If you enjoy this book, check out What Waits in the Woods, in which a group of teens go on a thrilling camping trip. (This is a nice read for girls in 7th through 9th grade.)

 

 

 

 

 

Ready to Fall: Being stronger means letting go

Ready to Fall by Marcella Pixley

2017, 360 pgs. , 14 and up novel,

Too many books and too little time, so I am shamelessly posting a Kirkus Review of this book. Ready to Fall is worth checking out.  Marcella Pixley  is a true and masterful tale teller and writes what she understands.  It comes as no surprise that she teaches eighth-grade English.

Ready to Fall

Kirkus Review, August 2017:

Desperate to cling to something of his mother’s after her death, 16-year-old Max believes he has invited her tumor into his brain and that it is slowly killing him.

Max is increasingly withdrawn, lost, and strange. His father, desperate to help him with his grief, enrolls him in an exclusive school filled with eccentric artists. There, Max meets Fish, a bubbly girl with pink hair, and her band of misfit friends. Max also meets the curmudgeonly creative-writing teacher, who uses unorthodox methods to force Max to talk about his pain. He has a breakthrough during a staging of Hamlet, in which each cast member is forced to confront his or her own ghosts. Max’s tightrope walk between sanity and insanity will resonate with anyone suffering from a loss. While he must find a way to live again, it takes the combined efforts of his wild friends, his devoted family, and a few dedicated and eccentric teachers. Lyrical prose, fresh and compelling images and unforgettable characters create an experience that will stay with readers far past the last page. The principals are white and Jewish, but the school boasts students of many races, religions, and sexual orientations.

Grief becomes something oddly beautiful—and beautifully odd. (Fiction. 14-18)

 

 

Black Duck

Black Duck by Janet Taylor Lisle

Newbery Honor Award Winner for Afternoon of the Elves

Great read for MS!

Two friends, Ruben and Jeddy find a dead body washed up on the shore of Rhode Island. It is 1929, and Prohibition is in place.  However, laws banning liquor have the inevitable and adverse effect of promoting its vibrant and illicit trade.  The stakes are getting higher, and times are dangerous. Hijacking, war between the bootlegging gangs, betrayal, and other subterfuge make for an exciting story.   Complex relationships and a complex topic will leave readers thinking about the wider implications of war on contraband.  After the repeal of the laws banning liquor, “It had begun to sink in that the violence that came from keeping liquor out of people’s hands was a lot worse than the violence of people drinking to their heart’s content.”

This tale is masterfully told and has a great twist at the end.  I highly recommend it for MS and up.