Young Adult Book Reviews

Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson invites readers not to speak but to shout in her new poetry memoir, a long awaited follow-up to her bestselling YA novel, Speak, which centers around a survivor of sexual assault. In Shout, Anderson shares memories from her young adulthood — when she herself was raped — and how she found the strength to keep going. Between autobiographical poems lie fierce rants about rape culture and censorship, as well as love letters and encouragement to survivors of sexual assault.

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Speak Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780312674397
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Published: Square Fish - May 10th, 2011

The first ten lies they tell you in high school.


American Heart

My spirits are still aloft three hours after finishing Laura Moriarty's book American Heart. You may have heard about all the flak she has taken for the book and about the censored review—a review written by a Muslim woman of color—pulled after pressure from people who feared the book represented another white savior narrative because its admittedly flawed white teenage protagonist commits to seeing a woman to safety in an America—not very unlike our own—that has put all Muslims like this woman in an internment camp in Nevada.

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$17.99
ISBN: 9780062694102
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Published: HarperTeen - January 30th, 2018

A powerful and thought-provoking YA debut from New York Times bestselling author Laura Moriarty.

Imagine a United States in which registries and detainment camps for Muslim-Americans are a reality.


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: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781250077080
Availability: Hard to Find
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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By G. Neri
$16.99
ISBN: 9780544699601
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Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - 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
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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
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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
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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
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Published: Algonquin Young Readers - October 8th, 2013

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

Cecil and Anton are as different as port and starboard.


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: Exclusive Special Edition Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250012579
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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
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Published: 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.


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