Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen
by Serena Valentino
Ok, folks, I am on a total Disney kick here. This is book one in a series about Disney villains. This is a quick and fun read! There are two sides to every story. This time, we are let into the world of Snow White’s stepmother. We learn how she became so wicked and what her real motives were! I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series!
Once Upon a Dream
by Liz Braswell
I have been very curious about these Disney retellings! Is that even a word, retellings? Naturally I chose the novel about Sleeping Beauty, because that is my favorite princess. At first, I was really enjoying the book. Then, about 200 pages in, I lost interest, but kept going, figuring the end would be worth it. It kind of was. I was pleased that we got to see another side of Aurora that we don’t really see in the movie. She grapples with her character and beliefs and of course, spoiler alert, triumphs. As for the rest of the series, I am not sure I would pursue the rest of the tales. Glad I gave it a shot!
by Marissa Meyer
Very good! Flew right through this. This is a sci-fi/fantasy retelling of Cinderella. I may even read the rest of the series! Little bit of a cliff hanger at the end!
by Rick Riordan
I LOVED this book. What a great adventure revolving around Greek mythology! And of course, the sprinkles of humor really amused me. Percy Jackson has a genuine voice. I realize this is a book for younger readers, so I was impressed how Riordan shows us several examples of Percy Jackson forming his own values and morals throughout life’s challenges. Bravo!
We Contain Multitudes
by Sarah Henstra
This book was cool. It is written in letters between two high school boys who were unlikely to be friends in real life. I loved the idea of using letters since the young men would be part of a generation who rely heavily on smartphones for communication. I really enjoyed this book. I also enjoyed the constant references to Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Well done.
A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns
by Archie Bongiovanni & Tristan Jimerson
My library is gearing up for Pride month. I noticed this title in a Pride brochure that my supervisor made. I thought I would pick it up since I feel like I live under a rock!! This was a quick and fun read which is actually pretty educational without being overwhelming. I really appreciated the advice they gave to people about choosing your battles when it comes to trying to change people’s ways – choose your battles and if they don’t change then maybe reconsider being their friend. Fair enough. When it comes down to it, I think, if you are a respectful person then you will try to accommodate people for they way they are. I will certainly try my best to remember all of this!
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie
I read a banned book! Well, it isn’t banned in my state anyway. This is a teen novel that always seems to end up on banned books lists. I think all teens should read this book. Even though it is a novel, it is clearly part memoir. This coming of age novel made me laugh and made me think. It was easy to read because the author has a truly unique voice and unique story. It’s packed with lots of lessons to be learned about race, persistence, family and loyalty. Truly worth the read.
How We Roll
by Natasha Friend
Here’s a middle school book about a young girl’s struggle with Alopecia. This book also deals with Autism and amputees. Kudos to the author for tackling so many tough issues while keeping the story interesting and real.
Return to Fear Street
by R.S. Stine
Imagine my delight when I found out one of my favorite authors from my earlier days would be releasing a new series of books. I am laughing aloud because I recall my parents wishing I’d read something a bit more quality back then, but I would just plow right through every Stine book I could get my hands on. My, my how my reading taste has changed over the years. I enjoyed reading these. What a guilty pleasure! They reminded me a lot of the good old days of reading a simple, slightly suspenseful story just for fun.
by Elizabeth Acevedo
I previously never heard of the author or the book. Someone at my book club mentioned it. This coming of age story in prose is a quick read with a nice impact.
Children of Blood & Bone
by Tom Adeyemi
My young cousin requested this book for Christmas, so I decided to read it before I purchased it for her. This is a teen novel filled with just the right amount of fantasy, magic and suspense. Also, had a great pace. Granted the pace may have been heightened because each chapter is told from the point of view of each character. I’ve just heard this will be the first in a series of books. I might consider pursuing the rest some day!
The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
by Michael Scott
I was recently listening to the first book in the Harry Potter series. If you’ve already read it, you know the author weaves Nicholas Flamel into the story. I remembered The Alchemyst was always a hit with teens so I thought I would finally pick it up. Great read! It was action-packed and fun! I may even tackle the rest of the series some day!
by Alice Hoffman
Coming of age stories are always a favorite of mine. This one took place during the Spanish Inquisition. I loved all of Hoffman’s teen books and this one is just as good as Green Witch and Green Angel. Don’t miss it! Quick read but well done!
Return to Fear Street
by R.L. Stine
I had to look twice when I saw at work that R.L. Stine had a new Fear Street book out. Oh glorious trip back to my childhood. Oh how many Stine books I binge-read! This one was just like the novels I read in the 90s. Nice blast from the past!
Six of Crows
by Leigh Ardugo
I stepped into the world of teen fantasy. It was good!
The Other Boy
by M.G. Hennessey
Fans of Palacio’s Wonder will enjoy this book. This is a children’s novel about a preteen named Shane, who in the beginning of the novel, we assume is a boy. Later in the book we learn he was born a girl. Throughout the book he faces some tough choices and shows his peers what it means to stay true to what you believe.
Eleanor & Park
This is a book for teens. I try to read young adult literature when I can since I work near the YA department at the library. Rowell’s book is award winning (including the local Rhode Island Teen Book Award 2015!). This is a unique teen love story set in the 80s that you will love!
If I Stay
For teens, last year was the year of vampire and paranormal love. This year is the year of dying, death and teen love. My 12 year old cousin asked me to read this. It was a good, quick story (with some graphic car accident scenes). The movie was just released on DVD. I may just watch it!
War Within These Walls
Graphic novel about World War II and the Holocaust. It was great.
What the Heart Knows
Short teen book written in verse. Just loved it.