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
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
We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen is a Young Adult book that targets grades 7 and up. This contemporary story deals with significant social and family issues including grief, a gay parent, peer pressure, stepfamilies, moving, underage drinking, and (almost) date rape. … Read the rest
6 Dates to Disaster by Cynthia T Toney is a thought-provoking book for high school students. Wendy is coasting through the last weeks of school eager for her family trip to Alaska to see Mrs. V and Sam. Unfortunately, financial struggles threaten that dream.… Read the rest
Jupiter Winds by C. J. Darlington is a Young Adult book that is suited to grades 6 and up. The story is a mixture of science fiction and dystopian.
Grey and her younger sister, Rin, are surviving in the absence of their parents in a very hostile location on Earth.… Read the rest
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