Teen Book Reviews

THE START OF ME AND YOU by Emery Lord
Released: March 31, 2015

"A sweet story about forging an identity beyond tragedy. (Fiction. 12-18)"
Life doesn't have to be defined by death, but try telling that to sympathetic strangers. Read full book review >
THE KIDNEY HYPOTHETICAL by Lisa Yee
Released: March 31, 2015

"Smart, funny-but-ruthless teens and self-absorbed, grieving adults prove to be enormously appealing. (Fiction. 13-18)"
A perfect, glowing ending to a stellar high school career veers off course when debate-team captain Higgs Boson flunks girlfriend Roo's easy question: If she needed a kidney, would he give her one? Read full book review >

PLAYING A PART by Daria Wilke
Released: March 31, 2015

"A lovely, moving novel with a bittersweet conclusion. (Fiction. 12-18)"
A boy raised by his parents in a Moscow puppet theater faces the ugliness of homophobia as one of the actors, who is gay, decides to leave Russia for the Netherlands in order to escape it. Read full book review >
WHAT WAITS IN THE WOODS by Kieran Scott
Released: March 31, 2015

"Readers will be kept up late, shocked to discover the depth of the darkness that lies in the woods. (Suspense. 12-18)"
A camping trip turns deadly for a group of friends as a cackling stalker creeps among the trees, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Read full book review >
BLACK DOVE, WHITE RAVEN by Elizabeth Wein
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"Unforgettable. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)"
Wein returns to Ethiopia, the setting of her Arthurian adventures, for a high-flying novel about the 1935 Italian invasion. Read full book review >

THE CEMETERY BOYS by Heather Brewer
Released: March 30, 2015

"A slick, spooky, chilling mystery. (Horror. 12-16)"
Stephen's family returns to his father's hometown in search of a fresh start, but the town's dark history threatens to swallow them whole. Read full book review >
WRITTEN IN THE STARS by Aisha Saeed
Released: March 24, 2015

"A competent narrative that sheds light on the difficult phenomenon of forced marriage, still prevalent in many cultures around the world and often shrouded in silence. (author's note, resources) (Fiction. 12-18)"
A Pakistani-American teen, caught between two cultures, finds herself at risk of losing her independence to a deceptively arranged marriage. Read full book review >
LIARS, INC. by Paula Stokes
Released: March 24, 2015

"Captivating to the very end. (Mystery. 12-16)"
When Max's friend goes missing, he finds himself in the middle of an increasingly tangled web of lies and conspiracy. Read full book review >
THE TIGHTROPE WALKERS by David Almond
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"The award-winning Almond poetically plumbs the depths of his 1950s and '60s childhood to explore themes of violence, war, God, creativity, beauty, death, art, the soul, our animal selves, whether we ever grow up or can really know each other…in short, life. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
Dominic Hall is "a caulker's son, a tank cleaner's grandson" in the river town of Tyneside in northern England…but the boy dreams of writing. Read full book review >
IN THE TIME OF DRAGON MOON by Janet Lee Carey
Released: March 24, 2015

"Ultimately, a satisfying tale of a girl who must come to terms with her own blended identity. (author's note) (Fantasy. 12-17)"
Humans, dragons and fey coexist on Wilde Island, but this uneasy peace masks a simmering, mutual distrust that surfaces after the English army abducts an Euit healer and his daughter to cure the aging queen's infertility—failure is not an option. Read full book review >
BOYS DON'T KNIT by T.S. Easton
Released: March 24, 2015

"Wacky characters, a farcical plot and a fledgling romance are all part of the fun in this novel that will appeal to fans of Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging.(Fiction. 12-16)"
An unwilling accomplice to petty theft organized by his dim friends, English teen Ben Fletcher is annoyed that he was the one busted when he collided with a crossing guard. Read full book review >
BLACKBIRD FLY by Erin Entrada Kelly
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: March 24, 2015

"Children's literature has been waiting for Apple Yengko—a strong, Asian-American girl whose ethnic identity simultaneously complicates and enriches her life. (Fiction. 9-14)"
Apple Yengko has one possession from the Philippines—a Beatles cassette tape with her father's name written on it. She knows every song by heart. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >