Young Adult Book Reviews

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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American Heart Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062694102
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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 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 (Mickey Bolitar Novels #1) 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.


On Little Wings

Jennifer, a gutsy 16-year-old daughter, discovers she has an unknown aunt in Maine, and in her wish to know more about her and the why to this secret, helps solve a mystery. This wonderfully written first novel about a Midwest family, won the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. It is multi-generational in its focus, and deals with loss, grief, a first love, and forgiveness.

On Little Wings Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780670786060
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Viking Children's Books - May 30th, 2013

Jennifer is an only child, and so were her parents at least that's what she thinks, until she finds an old photo in the back of one of her mother's books. The woman in the photo looks just like Jennifer, down to the smattering of freckles across her nose. And her mother refuses to talk about it.


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 (Harriet the Spy Adventures (Dell Yearling Book)) Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9780440418191
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Yearling Books - 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.


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