Recent Posts

  • The Field Guide to the North American Teenager

    Norris Kaplan arrives in Austin TX on a blazing hot day with his mother, a Creole/Patois linguist who has just accepted a tenure-track position at the University of Texas after months and months of applying for jobs all over the… Read More ›

  • Dress Coded

    Transition from elementary school to middle school has got to be one of the hardest changes a person’s got to endure–boys and girls maturing at different rates, childhood friendships evolving or ending and new ones being formed, and new anxieties… Read More ›

  • The Voting Booth

    Too bad I didn’t discover this book sooner (its publication date was July 2020) so that I could have pushed it as a voter’s primer for YA readers and in particular for senior students voting for their first time. It… Read More ›

  • I Killed Zoe Spanos

    Anna Cicconi is a new high school graduate filling the summer before college matriculation by working as a nanny in the Hamptons. Her mom is generally caring but works two jobs and so doesn’t have a whole lotta time and… Read More ›

  • Fortune Favors the Dead

    The day after her fifteenth birthday, Willowjean “Will” Parker runs away from home and ends up joining the circus. Life is not easy for her on the road as she learns the ins and outs of carny life, but it… Read More ›

  • Echo Mountain

    Ellie is a 12-year-old girl whose life changes dramatically as a result of the Great Depression. Her dad, a tailor, and mom, a teacher, manage to hang onto normal city life for a while, but eventually lose the proverbial shirts… Read More ›

  • Charming as a Verb

    Okay, let me start with a disclaimer that Ben Philippe is currently my very favorite YA author. Yes, I wish he didn’t sometimes use religious profanity and occasional slang that undoubtedly gives offense to some readers, but he is spot-on… Read More ›

  • Hard Wired

    Fifteen-year-old Quinn spends much of his free time with best friends Luke, Leon and Jeremy at the Enchanted Grounds gamer coffee shop. When they meet there for the weekly Magic the Gathering tournament, Quinn quickly dispatches a young challenger and… Read More ›

  • Miss Meteor

    This is a Throw-Everything-at-the-Reader-and-See-What-Sticks sort of book, with a little Wizard of Oz and X-Files thrown in for good measure. Every societal issue at play today is covered, including gender fluidity and discrimination, unequal wealth distribution, economic discrimination, political posturing,… Read More ›

  • Rick

    About to start his first year of middle school, Rick is both nervous and excited. He looks forward to the new system of changing classes and teachers each period, but he is nervous about making new friends. Up to this… Read More ›

  • Cloud Hopper

    Named after the famous French balloonist Sophie Blanchard who, in 1804, was the first female to take to the skies in her own balloon and who remained a sensation until her death in 1819, the fourteen-year-old heroine of this novel… Read More ›

  • Hearts Unbroken

    When Native American Lou relocates from Texas to Kansas in January of her junior year, she quickly captures the attention of star jock Cam Ryan and pretty much makes a seamless transition into the new high school. As the months… Read More ›