No new literary ground is broken here, but readers seeking a sweet story of first love will sigh appreciatively.

SIXTEENTH SUMMER

From the Swept Away series

Love blossoms between a summer boy and a local girl in a chaste romance set on the foggy coast of Maine.

Goofy out-of-towner Oliver sweeps the virginal, insecure Mandy off her feet with his warm smile and sketch pad. What follows is a whirlwind of blueberry hand pies, stolen kisses, and crafty high jinks to save the local lighthouse. Dalton's light prose sidesteps the current vogue for overwrought darkness in teen fiction; the only shadow cast on the romance is the inevitability of summer’s end, and the dramatic tension in their innocent attachment centers on Oliver’s wish for Mandy to find her voice and use it. Employing simple tropes—the misunderstood loner, the anxious-harridan mom, the beauty-queen best friend—Dalton imparts simple wisdom about being true to oneself and seeing beyond surface impressions of other people. The mildness of the story harkens back to an earlier era of teen romance, belying the ubiquity of cellphones and Internet connections. Readers titillated by the butt-groping clinch on the front cover may well be disappointed by the innocence within.

No new literary ground is broken here, but readers seeking a sweet story of first love will sigh appreciatively. (Romance. 11-14)

Pub Date: May 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3609-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

BAMBOO PEOPLE

Well-educated American boys from privileged families have abundant options for college and career. For Chiko, their Burmese counterpart, there are no good choices. There is never enough to eat, and his family lives in constant fear of the military regime that has imprisoned Chiko’s physician father. Soon Chiko is commandeered by the army, trained to hunt down members of the Karenni ethnic minority. Tai, another “recruit,” uses his streetwise survival skills to help them both survive. Meanwhile, Tu Reh, a Karenni youth whose village was torched by the Burmese Army, has been chosen for his first military mission in his people’s resistance movement. How the boys meet and what comes of it is the crux of this multi-voiced novel. While Perkins doesn’t sugarcoat her subject—coming of age in a brutal, fascistic society—this is a gentle story with a lot of heart, suitable for younger readers than the subject matter might suggest. It answers the question, “What is it like to be a child soldier?” clearly, but with hope. (author’s note, historical note) (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-58089-328-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2010

Did you like this book?

more