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Young Adult Book Reviews

Dear Reader

Lawrencian Mary O'Connell's latest book Dear Reader will satisfy adult and young adult reader alike. The story is told from a dual point of view. One narrator, misfit Catholic school student Flanner, goes alone to New York City in search of her missing English teacher Miss Sweeney, when the copy of Wuthering Heights she finds in her teacher's bag takes on a life of its own; it literally becomes Miss Sweeney's own tale of lost love, leaving clues to her whereabouts along the way.

Dear Reader Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250077080
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - May 9th, 2017

"Imaginative, exhilarating, genre-bending, and one of the best YA novels of the year." --BookRiot

"An audacious tale. Like much classic literature and like growing up, reading this immersive novel is all about the experience." --The Horn Book

An IndieNext Pick


Tru and Nelle

Tru and Nelle by Neri G. is a terrific young adult book about the friendship between Truman Capote and Nelle Harper Lee. Based on real events in the lives of these two literary figures, the book in many ways mirrors To Kill a Mockingbird, hinting at the real characters and events in Monroeville, Alabama that gave birth to their parallels in the novel. It's beautifully written and has both the adventure and moral peril present in To Kill a Mockingbird. Highly recommended by Kelly.

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Tru & Nelle Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780544699601
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - March 1st, 2016

Long before they became famous writers, Truman Capote (In Cold Blood) and Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird) were childhood friends in Monroeville, Alabama. This fictionalized account of their time together opens at the beginning of the Great Depression, when Tru is seven and Nelle is six.


Mickey Bolitar Series by Harlen Coben

Harlan Coben, a talented writer of mysteries for adults, whose main character is Myron Bolitar, has written a trio of young adult books, starring Mickey Bolitar, Myron’s nephew. The same intense pace is there, and Mickey has the gift of basketball, just like his uncle.

Shelter (Book One): A Mickey Bolitar Novel Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780142422038
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Speak - August 21st, 2012

From internationally bestselling author Harlan Coben comes this first action-packed installment of his bestselling Mickey Bolitar series.


My Friend Flicka

In my second childhood again (I was one of those little kids begging for a horse), I read My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara, which I'd always thought was a "little horse book for little girls." How wrong I was. Though it can happily be read by a child, it works on several levels. In the stunning backdrop of Wyoming grasslands, this story tells the tale of 12-year-old boy Ken McLaughlin, a rancher's son striving to win his father's approval.

My Friend Flicka Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780060512620
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - December 27th, 2005

The classic story of an aimless teenager, a demanding father,
and aspirited horse -- now a major motion picture from Twentieth Century Fox


Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards

Otherwise known as Julie Andrews the singer, Julie Andrews Edwards is also a terrific writer. When I was a pre-teen, I read this book about Mandy, a plucky ten-year-old who discovers a "home" of her own in the woods near the orphanage where she lives. I reread it recently, and it still holds up.

Mandy Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9780061207075
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - August 15th, 2006

Mandy, the first children's novel ever written by the beloved star of Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews, is a modern classic.


Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea

A great seafaring tale with soft but courageous hero brothers whose bravery and devotion to each other survive peril and shipwreck. A great adventure tale for young readers. Recommended by Kelly

Anton and Cecil, Book 1: Cats at Sea Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781616202460
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - October 8th, 2013

A swashbuckling story of two very different cat brothers and their adventures at sea.


Eleanor & Park

Anyone who went to high school (or is there now) will fall in love with the endearing, challenging, full world of red-headed Eleanor and the quiet but fierce Park. Author Rainbow Rowell's scenes are electric—she can pack a large punch of tension in a brief bus ride. There is simplicity in two kids riding the bus to high school, but this book has both humor and complexity.

Eleanor & Park Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250012579
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - February 26th, 2013

#1 New York Times Best Seller

"Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it's like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it's like to be young and in love with a book."-John Green, The New York Times Book Review


The Long Secret

Remember those long summer days when you had nothing to do but what took your fancy--playing in the sprinkler, a cobbled-together game of baseball with the neighbor kids, a long summer afternoon of reading on a blanket in the shade. This was one of my favorite summer reads. Best of all, it is a sequel to Harriet the Spy.

The Long Secret Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9780440418191
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dell Yearling - March 12th, 2002

Harriet the Spy refuses to become ruffled when an unidentified person starts leaving disturbing notes all over the quiet little beach town of Water Mill. She's determined to discover the author of the notes. And she drags her friend, mousy Beth Ellen, into all kinds of odd and embarrassing situations in her efforts to reveal the culprit.


ONE-EYED CAT by Paula Fox

With all the vampires, dragons, and fantastical subjects out there, this is a refreshing story about an average boy, in an extraordinary situation--which every child can relate to. After accidentally shooting an older friend’s cat, Ned carries the secret until he can hardly bear it. This is a terrific tale of friendship and redemption. Recommended by Kelly.
One-Eyed Cat Cover Image
By Paula Fox, Erika Meltzer (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780689839702
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Aladdin Paperbacks - December 1st, 2000

A Single Shot
Ned fired the forbidden rifle just once, at a flickering shadow in the autumn moonlight. But someone -- a face, fleetingly seen staring at him from an attic window -- was watching.


CROSSING THE TRACKS by Barbara Stuber

Atchison, Kansas — November 1916. Iris, age 6, is under her mother’s coffin, surrounded by the drapes that hang down the side. She is glad that her Mom is no longer coughing so hard it hurt her. Iris’ Dad yells for her, and when she comes out, he pulls her up and tells her to be polite to the visitors. That’s his only communication with her. Fast-forward ten years, and Iris’ Dad has arranged for her to go work at another home, taking care of a country doctor’s elderly mother. He is going to set up another shoe store in Kansas City with his newest girlfriend, and there’s no room for Iris in the city. The rest of the story lets us know how new people, nurturing people, can have a profound impact on us, can inspire us to help others who may be in a worse situation, and help us realize our own value. The author, Barbara Stuber, is a finalist in the William C. Morris Debut Award of the American Library Association. She spoke about her book recently to Kansas Librarians, and though it is classified as “young adult” novel, grown people in their 80’s were relating to the tale. I highly recommend this book for a joint read by parents and youth, with a good discussion to follow. Recommended by Julie.
Crossing the Tracks Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781416997047
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - May 24th, 2011

At fifteen, Iris is a hobo of sorts--no home, no family, no plan. Her mother died when she was six, and her father focuses on his new girlfriend and his shoe business and has no time for his daughter. Without consulting her, he hires Iris out as a companion to a country doctor's elderly mother.


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