Teen Book Reviews

THE WORLD BENEATH by Janice Warman
Released: May 24, 2016

"A good complement to nonfiction about apartheid South Africa, a little-explored place and period in children's literature. (glossary, author's note, letter from Amnesty International) (Historical fiction. 11-16)"
Warman turns her journalistic talents to historical fiction in her debut novel about the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa and how it shapes a young boy's life. Read full book review >
Released: May 24, 2016

"Propelled by a feisty and fabulous heroine, Lee's sophomore novel is powerful, evocative, and thought-provoking. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 12-17)"
Leading up to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, ambitious Mercy Wong talks her way out of Chinatown and into an elite boarding school. Read full book review >

THE SAFEST LIES by Megan Miranda
Released: May 24, 2016

"Positively movie-ready. (Thriller. 12-18)"
Kelsey has lived her entire 17 years with her mother in a house set up like a fortress. When her agoraphobic mom disappears, Kelsey finds herself in real danger. Read full book review >
BREAKER by Kat Ellis
Released: May 24, 2016

"Spine-chilling and splendidly gory, with a genre-perfect stormy night denouement: the power cut, the phones out, the corpses revealed by lightning. (Thriller. 12-15)"
A serial killer's son is drawn to the daughter of his dad's final victim. Read full book review >
THE HUNT by Megan  Shepherd
Released: May 24, 2016

"A thrill ride in space with new danger and intrigue around every corner. (Science fiction. 13 & up)"
After a failed escape from their enclosure, Cora and her friends fight to find a way out of alien control for good in this sequel to The Cage (2015).Read full book review >

Released: May 24, 2016

"The juxtaposition of rounded characters with outrageous situations gives readers just enough of a base to stand on before the story runs off with them. (Thriller. 14-18)"
Six legally emancipated, culturally and racially diverse teens share a luxury house in Venice Beach, but the once-tightknit group is drifting apart, and their only hope for coming together is breaking through the multiple lies, coverups, and conspiracies twisting through their lives. Read full book review >
THE LAST STAR by Rick Yancey
Released: May 24, 2016

"A haunting, unforgettable finale. (Science fiction. 14 & up)"
Cassie, Ringer, Ben (aka Zombie), and company fight the final frontier to save the last vestiges of human life on Earth. Read full book review >
A STORM TOO SOON by Michael J. Tougias
Released: May 24, 2016

"A sure-fire hit with young readers who are always ready for a good disaster tale. (epilogue, author's note) (Nonfiction. 9-14)"
In an adaptation for young readers of his A Storm Too Soon: A True Story of Disaster, Survival, and an Incredible Rescue (2013), Tougias tells the story of the Sean Seymour II, a 44-foot sailboat swamped in a Gulf Stream storm in 2007. Read full book review >
SILENCE IS GOLDFISH by Annabel Pitcher
Released: May 17, 2016

"An unflinchingly honest portrayal of anguish. (Fiction. 12-17)"
Unable to face a devastating secret, 15-year-old Tess tries unsuccessfully to run away to London. Read full book review >
THIS IS THE PART WHERE YOU LAUGH by Peter Brown Hoffmeister
Released: May 17, 2016

"A memorable story of good kids transcending rough lives. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
It's one tough summer in Eugene, Oregon, for Travis and his friends, "good kids with rough lives," as Travis' basketball coach calls them. Read full book review >
Released: May 17, 2016

"A modern Tuck Everlasting with a thriller twist: fun, in spite of its improbabilities. (Paranormal mystery. 12-16)"
Nearly 100 years after accidentally drinking from the Fountain of Youth, perpetually 17-year-old Emma investigates a series of murders. Read full book review >
Released: May 17, 2016

"Stokes' engaging prose and sympathetic characters serve up great lessons in acceptance for teens dealing with trauma. (Fiction. 14-18)"
A seemingly cursed teen tests her luck. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >