Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

Our Score

Set in 1934 Oklahoma, Out of the Dust inspires its readers with the indomitable human spirit in the midst of tragedy.

Once upon a time, thirteen-year-old Billie Jo had talent as a pianist.                Once upon a time, the family farm provided for their needs.… Read the rest

Sleepers by Darcy Pattison

Our Score

Sleepers is the first in The Blue Planets Trilogy—notice the plural in Planets.

Based on the premise that Earth is not the only planet that can sustain life as we know it, the people on Rison, another blue planet, need to evacuate because their world is ready to implode.… Read the rest

Secondborn by Amy A. Bartol

Our Score
Secondborn is the first in a YA dystopian series that was offered as a Kindle First Read for July 2017. Fans and readers of Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen series will enjoy this bookMay not be appropriate for younger YA due to sexual content (see Cons).
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Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Our Score

The Importance of This Story

This novel brings to life the plight of millions of citizens of Poland, Lithuania, and Prussia (a country that no longer exists), who were victims of both Nazi and Russian brutality during World War II.… Read the rest

The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer

Our Score

The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer is a fun science fiction novel with historical elements, and is aimed at young teens and up.


Riley, a teen who is living in Victorian London, is an apprentice to Albert Garrick, a malicious and evil assassin, who misuses his illusionist conjuring skills to gain access to victim’s dwellings.… Read the rest