by Laura L. Smith is the first book in the Status Updates series, suitable for ages sixteen and up.
The series follows the stories of Claire, Hannah, Palmer, and Kat, college roommates, as they go through their freshman year.… Read the rest
Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers
is not only a true coming-of-age story set in the early 1900s, but it also records old, satisfying values and codes of conduct that made the USA the strong nation it became.… Read the rest
Icarus Down by James Bow is a YA Sci/fi that takes the reader on a fast-paced journey to a planet far from Earth. Sixteen-year-old Simon Doud lives in Iapyx, one of thirteen cities suspended down deep chasms. The sun on the diamond lands above can kill a human in less than five minutes.… Read the rest
Killing Lincoln is an excellent historical account of the time surrounding the end of the Civil War. While it’s suitable for middle grade up, it should be categorized as young adult because the book was not written for children.… Read the rest
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 is a bittersweet teen fiction about a boy struggling to come to terms with his mother’s serious illness.
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 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