NEVER CRY WEREWOLF

Newly rich Shelby doesn’t like her stepmother, and the feeling is mutual. Still, it’s a shock when Priscilla convinces Shelby’s dad to pack her off to brat camp for the summer. After all, all Shelby’s been doing is skipping curfew and illicitly hooking up with boys! At least Shelby gets the pick of which teen-retraining camp will imprison her for the next couple of months, so she can spend the summer in the Pacific Northwest instead of at a boot camp in the Utah desert. And honestly, camp isn’t so bad, if you ignore all of the guitar-playing, touchy-feely psychoanalysis. But better than all the rock climbing and archery is sexy Austin Bridges, son of a bad-boy rock star and secret werewolf. If Shelby doesn’t help Austin out, his family secret will be exposed—but if she does help him, she might find herself exiled to that Utah boot camp. What’s a girl courted by an amber-eyed hottie to do? Neither original nor well-developed, but fans of paranormal romance will enjoy this sweet debut. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: June 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-06-134923-2

Page Count: 224

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2009

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AKATA WITCH

Who can't love a story about a Nigerian-American 12-year-old with albinism who discovers latent magical abilities and saves the world? Sunny lives in Nigeria after spending the first nine years of her life in New York. She can't play soccer with the boys because, as she says, "being albino made the sun my enemy," and she has only enemies at school. When a boy in her class, Orlu, rescues her from a beating, Sunny is drawn in to a magical world she's never known existed. Sunny, it seems, is a Leopard person, one of the magical folk who live in a world mostly populated by ignorant Lambs. Now she spends the day in mundane Lamb school and sneaks out at night to learn magic with her cadre of Leopard friends: a handsome American bad boy, an arrogant girl who is Orlu’s childhood friend and Orlu himself. Though Sunny's initiative is thin—she is pushed into most of her choices by her friends and by Leopard adults—the worldbuilding for Leopard society is stellar, packed with details that will enthrall readers bored with the same old magical worlds. Meanwhile, those looking for a touch of the familiar will find it in Sunny's biggest victories, which are entirely non-magical (the detailed dynamism of Sunny's soccer match is more thrilling than her magical world saving). Ebulliently original. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: April 14, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-670-01196-4

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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GETTING TO FIRST BASE WITH DANALDA CHASE

Using baseball as a guide for dating, Beam, in his U.S. debut, hits a grand-slam. When seventh-grader Darcy Spillman becomes smitten with beautiful and popular Danalda Chase, he hopes to “get to first base” with her. Of course, first he has to ask her out, and Darcy isn’t sure Danalda even knows he exists. Normally, Darcy would turn to his Grandpa Spillman for advice, but Grandpa is showing the early signs of Alzheimer’s. Instead, he turns to the new girl, Kamna, who suggests that Darcy should try out for the Cheetahs, his middle school’s baseball team. That would certainly win Danalda’s favor. Unfortunately, when the two finally go out, Danalda lives up to her reputation of being superficial, leaving Darcy unimpressed. It turns out that it’s Kamna he’d rather be with. Using baseball terms as his chapter headings, followed by definitions, Beam has managed to write a story that is fresh, funny and appealing to lovers and lovers of baseball, both male and female. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-525-47578-8

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2006

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