Fun, roof-jumping adventure that could benefit from subtler Occupy ideology.

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MOMENTUM

In a near-future dystopia, a rich boy and a wrong-side-of-the-tracks girl find love while fighting the corrupt system.

Hunter is bored with luxury. He's not just a Citizen (a coveted status in an energy-strapped London where most either scrabble for coveted permanent IDs or rebel as illegal Outsiders), he's also one of the wealthy 2 percent. While his friends entertain themselves in virtual-reality boxing matches, Hunter braves roof jumping in the favelas, the city's multiethnic slums. He has no desire to risk his life of privilege, but he crosses paths with the Kossaks, the brutal police force, as they casually murder a fleeing Outsider. Now Hunter's running with Uma, the Outsider girl who's hiding the linchpin of the whole rebellion. Hunter and Uma are defending the key to the Dreamline, the semi-magical underground Internet. The Dreamline is used globally by those illegally rebuilding Outside society into a model of green energy, peace and love, and the Kossaks want it gone. As the pair flee through the multilingual alleys, rebels educate Hunter with unsubtle polemic about "ordinary people...united under a common cause": anarchy, togetherness and energy independence. Political choices—and all choices in this world are political—spring more from mythic overtones or contemporary-world parallels than from consistent worldbuilding.

Fun, roof-jumping adventure that could benefit from subtler Occupy ideology. (Science fiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2414-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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Skip this uninspired entry into the world of medieval love and court intrigue.

THE BETROTHED

From the Betrothed series , Vol. 1

In an imagined setting evoking medieval England, King Jameson of Coroa pursues Hollis Brite.

The independent teenager makes Jameson laugh, but she lacks the education and demeanor people expect in a queen. Her friend Delia Grace has more knowledge of history and languages but is shunned due to her illegitimate birth. Hollis gets caught up in a whirl of social activity, especially following an Isolten royal visit. There has been bad blood between the two countries, not fully explained here, and when an exiled Isolten family also comes to court, Jameson generously allows them to stay. Hollis relies on the family to teach her about Isolten customs and secretly falls in love with Silas, the oldest son, even though a relationship with him would mean relinquishing Jameson and the throne. When Hollis learns of political machinations that will affect her future in ways that she abhors, she faces a difficult decision. Romance readers will enjoy the usual descriptions of dresses, jewelry, young love, and discreet kisses, although many characters remain cardboard figures. While the violent climax may be upsetting, the book ends on a hopeful note. Themes related to immigration and young women’s taking charge of their lives don’t quite lift this awkwardly written volume above other royal romances. There are prejudicial references to Romani people, and whiteness is situated as the norm.

Skip this uninspired entry into the world of medieval love and court intrigue. (Historical romance. 13-16)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-229163-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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Though no punches are pulled about the unimaginable atrocity of the death camps, a life-affirming history

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  • Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner

THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ

A teenage girl imprisoned in Auschwitz keeps the secret library of a forbidden school.

Dita Adlerova, 14, is confined in the notorious extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Compared to her fellow inmates, Dita’s relatively lucky. The several thousand residents of camp BIIb are inexplicably allowed to keep their own clothing, their hair, and, most importantly, their children. A young man named Fredy Hirsch maintains a school in BIIb, right under the noses of the Nazis. In Fredy’s classroom, Dita discovers something wonderful: a dangerous collection of eight smuggled books. The tale, based on the real life of Dita Polach Kraus and the events of 1944 and 1945, intertwines the stories of several real people: Dita, Fredy, several little-known war heroes, even a grim cameo from Anne and Margot Frank. Holocaust-knowledgeable readers will have suspicions about how many characters will die horribly (spoiler alert: this is Auschwitz). Yet somehow, myriad storylines told by multiple narrators offer compelling narrative tension. Why does BIIb exist? Will Rudi and Alice have a romance? What’s Fredy’s secret? Will Dr. Mengele subject Dita to his grotesque experiments? Dita’s matter-of-fact perspective, set in a slow build from BIIb to the chaotic starvation of the war’s end, both increases the horror and makes it bearable to read.

Though no punches are pulled about the unimaginable atrocity of the death camps, a life-affirming history . (Historical fiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-618-7

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Godwin Books/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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