Monday, March 30, 2015

DARIUS & TWIG by Walter Dean Myers.  New York: Amistad, 2014. 224p.
ISBN 978-0061728259 hc. $9.99   Gr. 7-11  YA FIC

Myers features best friends from the same Harlem neighborhood who stand out in their fields of interest, Darius as a writer and Twig as a runner.  Faced with individual challenges that include unsavory and unsupportive family members, bullies at school, and danger on the streets, they strive to find a way out of the neighborhood and into college.   Instead of letting themselves fall into despair over their lot in life, Darius and Twig encourage each other’s progress and keep working toward their individual goals.  Myers scores big with this tale of steadfast friendship. ~ Lynette Suckow, Peter White Public Library

Monday, March 23, 2015

THE HALF LIFE OF MOLLY PIERCE by Katrina Leno. New York: HarperCollins,
2014. 234p. ISBN 978-006223117-8 hc. $17.99   Gr. 9-12   YA FIC

Don't miss this fascinating and suspenseful glimpse into the world of multiple personalities.  Molly has lived her life in pieces. “I wake up in my car. I remember what I put on this morning….I just don’t know how I got here.”  When she witnesses a tragic accident, the mystery of her blackouts begins to unwind.  Why did the boy who died know her name?  What does her family know about her memory lapses and why won’t they tell her?  As Molly searches through her memories for clues, she is able to piece together the two halves of her existence, pinpointing the incident that triggered her alter ego to surface and, ultimately, save her life. 
~ Lynette Suckow, Peter White Public Library

Monday, March 16, 2015

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige.New York:  HarperCollins, 2014. 
275p. ISBN 978-0062280671 hc. $17.99   Gr. 9-12  Y.A. FIC 

A well-known line from THE WIZARD OF OZ, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re in Kansas anymore.” now applies to Amy and her pet rat, Star. The story parallels Dorothy and Toto’s adventure with a tornado carrying Amy’s house off to the Land of Oz.  Sure enough, the yellow brick road is there, but the Munchkins have fled their village, the tin woodsman - now equipped with knives as fingers – heartlessly heads up the Emerald City police, and Glinda – no longer a good witch – supervises strip mining operations for magic. Amy meets the all-powerful Dorothy, who’s nothing like the original character created by Frank Baum.  This imaginative tale explores the dark side of governance and power, juxtaposed against our childhood impressions of the magical Land of Oz. ~Lynette Suckow, GLGB

Monday, March 9, 2015

SCHIZO by Nic Sheff.  New York:  Philomel Books, 2014. 265p.
ISBN 978-0399-164378 hc. $17.99  Gr. 9-12  YA FIC

SCHIZO by Nic Sheff is written with three story lines leading to ending that will make you question everything you just read.  First of all, Miles has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia, a disease that requires therapy and lots of daily medications that upset his stomach and give him headaches.  He truly has lost control of his body.  Then there are the crows that follow him around, making him question what’s real and what’s delusion.  Miles’ family hovers over him and doesn’t acknowledge the fact that his brother went missing from the beach on the same day of Miles’ first schizophrenic blackout.  He makes it his goal to find his brother when everyone else has given up.  The third storyline involves an old friend, Eliza who returns to town after a two year absence and wants to add romance to their friendship. When all three story lines join together, Sheff creates an ending you won’t soon forget!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Here's a blast from the past - a book written about the future that is now the present - the year 2015.
The Carbon Diaries 2015, by Saci Lloyd, plunges readers headlong into the not-too-distant future, when England has instituted strict carbon rationing in response to a "Great Storm" triggered by global warming.  Sixteen-year-old Laura Brown's diary relates a tale of frightening uncertainty, as Laura attempts to finish school, nurture a budding romance, and keep her punk rock band together while living under increasingly wretched circumstances. Struggling to get by on a prohibitive allotment of carbon points and dealing with wildly unpredictable weather, Laura's family begins to fall apart. When her father trades her mom's gas-deprived Saab for a large pig and a wheelbarrow full of gardening supplies, Laura knows the adults in her life are losing control. Read this humorous, thought-provoking novel and decide for yourself whether it's mere speculation or a realistic look at our world's shared future.
Mary Schneeberger, Youth Services, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI