Teen Book Reviews (page 563)

THE PLAGUE by Joanne Dahme
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2009

"Despite the contrived ending that finds Nell a prisoner in the Tower of London, Dahme successfully blurs fact and fiction to capture the pervasive horror that infected life during the plague. (Historical fantasy. 12-15)"
An orphan becomes an innocent pawn in a dangerous political plot that carries her from London to Bordeaux while the Black Death cuts a swath through 14th-century Europe. Read full book review >
THE ETERNAL SMILE by Gene Luen Yang
Released: May 1, 2009

"Begging for multiple readings, this exceptionally clever examination of fantasy and perception is one to be pored over and ruminated upon. (Graphic fiction. YA)"
A rousing and thought-provoking exploration of fantasy versus reality from the much-lauded comics veterans Yang and Kim. Read full book review >

FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2009

"Readers will have to keep looking for well-written, cutting-edge teen Christian fiction. (Mystery. YA)"
Backstage drama and murder in this series opener. Read full book review >
SHADOW BOXING by Sherie Posesorski
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2009

"Wholesome. (Fiction. 12-14)"
Ever since her mother died, 16-year-old Alice has been sleepwalking through life, locked in a cold war with her father, cutting herself to cope. Read full book review >
THE CHOSEN ONE by Carol Lynch Williams
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2009

"Nonetheless, Kyra's terrible dilemma—escaping her fate means betraying her family—is heartbreakingly real, and the final scenes are riveting and suspenseful. (Fiction. 12 & up)"
Intensely gripping and grippingly intense, the story begins with a gasp when Prophet Childs, the leader of a sect called The Chosen Ones, comes to visit the almost-14-year-old Kyra Leigh Carlson and her family to impart the "joyous news" that she's to become the seventh wife of her father's brother, a much older church apostle. Read full book review >

FICTION
Released: May 1, 2009

"In several of the stories, most notably An Na's 'Complication,' the protagonist must sort through myriad moral complexities—in other words, the stuff and substance of adulthood. (Short stories. 14 & up)"
In her succinct introduction to this up-and-down story collection, editor Jill Santopolo mentions the "dotted line" that separates childhood from adulthood, a time when the young individual must begin to negotiate the world alone. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: May 1, 2009

"This belligerent tract is unlikely to win over converts and will disappoint readers seeking information about atheism. (Nonfiction. YA)"
Hitchcock's abrasive and condescending approach to showing "the absurdity of all religions and their shared notion of a god or gods" is unlikely to convince readers who do not already share his views. Read full book review >
VAMPED by Lucienne Diver
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: May 1, 2009

"A light read, probably quickly forgotten but fun going down. (Fiction. YA)"
Gina Covello's senior prom doesn't go exactly as planned. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2009

"Fatherly Vivaldi, a ruddy, spirited and sympathetic composer approaching greatness, binds the girls and the story together. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 14 & up)"
Three girls train under Vivaldi at an esteemed orphanage for the musically gifted, each seeking love outside its strict classes and conventions. Read full book review >
REALITY CHECK by Peter Abrahams
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2009

"The climax is unexpected and not enormously credible, but it doesn't matter, because by that point readers will be frantically turning pages and fully invested in Abrahams's message of true love conquering all obstacles. (Mystery. 12 & up)"
After his adored ex-girlfriend Clea disappears from her ritzy Vermont boarding school, Cody—a working-class boy who, after a devastating knee injury, went from high-school football star to high-school dropout—travels to Vermont to find her, and becomes embroiled in a dangerous mystery. Read full book review >
GRINGOLANDIA by Lyn Miller-Lachmann
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2009

"This poignant, often surprising and essential novel illuminates too-often ignored political aspects of many South Americans' migration to the United States. (Historical fiction. YA)"
Two adolescents, Daniel Aguilar, a high-school student and rock singer, and his girlfriend, Courtney Larkin, a young, passionate writer, recount through separate narration the painful recovery of Chilean Marcelo Aguilar, Daniel's father, tortured under Pinochet's dictatorship in the 1980s. Read full book review >
THE AWAKENING  by Kelley Armstrong
FANTASY
Released: May 1, 2009

"Dark alleys, undead bodies and bountiful blood will cause shivers, while Chloe's chemistry with both boys will raise readers' pulses. (Supernatural thriller. 12 & up)"
A small group of supernatural teens escapes The Edison House, a malevolent scientific organization bent on their destruction, and embarks on a desperate journey to find the one man who might help them. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >