Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

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Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven is an engaging contemporary Young Adult novel most suited to high school readers.  It addresses some of the concerns and problems  of overweight teens.

My favorite of the two Jennifer Niven books I’ve read

I’d like to see more contemporary realism like Holding Up the Universe that encourages teens to draw upon their personal power and offers them hope of happiness without being sugary-sweet.… Read the rest

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is a bittersweet teen fiction about a boy struggling to come to terms with his mother’s serious illness.

Synopsis:

Connor, a twelve-year-old-boy, is faced with unbelievable stress – a dying mother, a father who has split from the family, a recurrent nightmare, a domineering grandmother, and bullies at school.… Read the rest

Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

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Killing Jesus is an excellent historical account of the time surrounding Jesus’s life. While not a religious book, it puts the Bible, specifically the Gospels in historical context. I’m categorizing this as young adult, but it’s suitable for middle grade up with the caveat that some parts of the crucifixion might be a bit graphic for sensitive children.… Read the rest

Time Enough for Drums by Ann Rinaldi

Scriblerians
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Time Enough for Drums by Ann Rinaldi is a thought-provoking Young Adult book most suited to eighth grade and up.  The setting is the American Revolution as experienced by sixteen-year-old Jemima Emerson.

One of my all-time favorite books

Jemima Emerson lives in Trenton, New Jersey, and her family experiences all of the conflict of the War for Independence.… Read the rest