COBWEBS

Nancy lives with her mother in gentrified Brooklyn in the downstairs apartment of her grandparents’ brownstone. Her father lives up the hill on the roof of a building in Park Slope, across the Gowanus Canal. Her family is odd. She spends half the time at her father’s and the other half with her agoraphobic basement-dwelling mother. Although she has enormous freedom to come and go as she pleases, she’s prohibited, with no explanation, from shaving her legs. As this is told from Nancy’s point of view, readers will be as mystified by her family as she—although she’s remarkably tolerant of their bizarre behavior. Spider puns and inferences abound, e.g., her dad, Ned (arachnid), is waiting for Nancy (Anansi, i.e., “egg”), as he affectionately calls her, to develop an unspoken talent. Nancy is drawn to a neighborhood boy, Dion, who seems to be following her, his own father trying to discover the “Angel of Brooklyn,” who readers will almost immediately suspect is Nancy’s father. That his family is supernaturally intertwined with her own is soon evident. Young draws readers into the story, thread by thread, until clues are woven together into a convoluted yet predictable conclusion. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-06-029761-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2004

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY

Han’s leisurely paced, somewhat somber narrative revisits several beach-house summers in flashback through the eyes of now 15-year-old Isabel, known to all as Belly. Belly measures her growing self by these summers and by her lifelong relationship with the older boys, her brother and her mother’s best friend’s two sons. Belly’s dawning awareness of her sexuality and that of the boys is a strong theme, as is the sense of summer as a separate and reflective time and place: Readers get glimpses of kisses on the beach, her best friend’s flirtations during one summer’s visit, a first date. In the background the two mothers renew their friendship each year, and Lauren, Belly’s mother, provides support for her friend—if not, unfortunately, for the children—in Susannah’s losing battle with breast cancer. Besides the mostly off-stage issue of a parent’s severe illness there’s not much here to challenge most readers—driving, beer-drinking, divorce, a moment of surprise at the mothers smoking medicinal pot together. The wish-fulfilling title and sun-washed, catalog-beautiful teens on the cover will be enticing for girls looking for a diversion. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: May 5, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4169-6823-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2009

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

WHAT THE MOON SAW

When Clara Luna, 14, visits rural Mexico for the summer to visit the paternal grandparents she has never met, she cannot know her trip will involve an emotional and spiritual journey into her family’s past and a deep connection to a rich heritage of which she was barely aware. Long estranged from his parents, Clara’s father had entered the U.S. illegally years before, subsequently becoming a successful business owner who never spoke about what he left behind. Clara’s journey into her grandmother’s history (told in alternating chapters with Clara’s own first-person narrative) and her discovery that she, like her grandmother and ancestors, has a gift for healing, awakens her to the simple, mystical joys of a rural lifestyle she comes to love and wholly embrace. Painfully aware of not fitting into suburban teen life in her native Maryland, Clara awakens to feeling alive in Mexico and realizes a sweet first love with Pedro, a charming goat herder. Beautifully written, this is filled with evocative language that is rich in imagery and nuance and speaks to the connections that bind us all. Add a thrilling adventure and all the makings of an entrancing read are here. (glossaries) (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2006

ISBN: 0-385-73343-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more