Aguirre (The Shadow Warrior, 2019, etc.) writes compelling and accessible characters who fumble through complicated...

HEARTWOOD BOX

A fast-paced paranormal romance blends teen life with thrilling covert exploits.

Having traveled extensively with her journalist parents, Araceli Flores Harper is used to unusual experiences in far-flung locales. Senior year in exile at her great-aunt’s crumbling Victorian home in rural New York state promises to be dull by comparison, but nothing could have prepared Araceli for the strange, frightening, and dangerous aspects of her newest home. Araceli, whose mother is white and American and father is Mexican, discovers that the town’s deep-seated racism coupled with recent mysterious disappearances are keeping everyone in her ethnically and sexually diverse circle of new friends on edge. Digging into the details surrounding the town’s secretive government research facility just creates more questions—and risk—as Araceli struggles to find a connection between the ghosts of the past and the current conflict in which she’s embroiled. Despite juggling dance team tryouts, learning to drive, and investigating leads, Araceli finds time to establish a romantic pen-pal relationship with an enigmatic stranger. Add this to the ever growing list of bizarre phenomena that she must navigate, and readers may find themselves wondering what to focus on. Social consciousness is woven naturally into the story, leaving readers with something more substantial to think on after the book has ended.

Aguirre (The Shadow Warrior, 2019, etc.) writes compelling and accessible characters who fumble through complicated supernatural situations with humor and grit. (Supernatural thriller. 13-18)

Pub Date: July 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7653-9764-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Tor Teen

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An inspirational read.

THE LIGHT IN HIDDEN PLACES

A true story of faith, love, and heroism.

Stefania “Fusia” Podgórska longed for nothing more than to leave the rural Polish farm she was born on for the city of Przemyśl where her older sisters lived. At the age of 12, she did just that, finding a job with the Diamants, a family of Jewish shopkeepers who welcomed her into their lives. For three years they lived peacefully until the Germans dropped bombs on Przemyśl. The family struggled on as the war and anti-Semitism ramped up, but eventually, the Diamants were forced into a ghetto. Then 17, Catholic Fusia was determined to help them survive, even at the risk of her own safety, while also caring for her 6-year-old sister, Helena, after their family was taken by the Nazis for forced labor. Knowing the risks involved, Fusia made a bold decision to harbor Jews. As the number of people she sheltered increased, so did her panic about being caught, but she was determined to do what was right. Cameron (The Knowing, 2017, etc.) used Stefania’s unpublished memoir as well as interviews with family members as source material. She deftly details Fusia’s brave actions and includes moving family photographs in the author’s note. Narrated in the first person, the story highlights essential events in Fusia’s life while maintaining a consistent pace. Readers will be pulled in by the compelling opening and stay for the emotional journey.

An inspirational read. (author’s note) (Historical fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-35593-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

Vivid, chilling, and important.

NONE SHALL SLEEP

Two 18-year-olds with traumatic pasts become entangled in a high-stakes manhunt for a serial killer targeting teenagers.

Emma Lewis isn’t your average psychology undergrad (and not just because she has a buzz cut). Two and a half years ago, she escaped a serial killer’s clutches and then helped the authorities apprehend him. Now a student at Ohio State, she’s been recruited for her unique qualifications by an agent in the FBI’s Behavioral Science department to spend the summer interviewing juvenile offenders. Alongside trainee Travis Bell, whose late father was killed while apprehending one of their subjects, Emma reluctantly ventures into the minds of teenage killers—and must confront her own past when one of the subjects offers unexpected insight into the motives of a new killer known as the Butcher. Set in the early 1980s, narrated in present tense, and told through Emma’s perspective as well as others’ (including the Butcher’s), the tightly plotted story moves inexorably forward with shocking twists alongside clear, applicable descriptions of the cognitive behavioral strategies Emma uses to navigate her PTSD. The narrative is critical of law enforcement work, emphasizing its psychological toll, and the '80s cultural references are handled with a light touch. Emma is white while Travis is cued as biracial (Mexican American and white); although most secondary characters appear white, two key figures are people of color.

Vivid, chilling, and important. (author's note) (Fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-49783-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more