Walters E. (2014). The Rule of Three. NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR).
The Rule of Three dictates that you can last three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food. It’s a harsh, yet realistic survival rule that normal people don’t have to worry about on a day to day basis. Adam, the main character of this book, is a rule abiding student at his high-school working on a paper with his best friend Tom when the power goes off. What he and everybody else naturally thinks is a power-outage quickly escalates into a bigger problem as other people realize that not only are phones dead but cars as well. In his rush to get home and pick up his little brother and sister in his super old car that’s somehow still working, Adam realizes that anything at all with a computer in it is broken. As more and more other people realize this, chaos escalates as people rush to gather supplies and valuable items. Once Adam gets home he sees his neighbour Herb who quickly tells Adam to drive him to a store so he can buy chlorine tablets. Confused, Adam does so and it’s only until afterwards on their way home that Herb tells him the purpose of the chlorine tablets. Herb explains that Continue reading
Coles, J. (2018). Tyler Johnson Was Here. NY: Little, Brown and Company.
Jay Coles writes from the heart, he writes well (every sentence is handsomely and seductively infused with Black culture), and he has produced 2018’s fast-paced picture of American police brutality, of the systematic corruption rampant in its justice system, and of how racism impacts and traps people.
What a compelling cover!
Trevor Johnson is shot by a white policeman simply for the colour of his skin – all of this caught on videotape – leaving a grieving mother and twin brother, who together make their way through each day even though their grief is overwhelmingly painful and raw. Continue reading
Takano, I. (2008). Dreamin’ Sun Vol 1. LA: Seven Seas.
Shōjo manga is manga targeted at the teenage female demographic. I gravitated toward this cute cover with a pink background and read from right to left about how Shimana Kameko feels out of place in her own home now that her mother has passed away and her father remarried. She runs away to a park and begins speaking to a strange man in a kimono. Old Fujiwara Taiga offers to help her on three conditions: Kameko must tell him why she ran away from home, she must go find his lost apartment key, and she must have a dream. Kameko fulfills the three Continue reading
Sundquist, J. (2014). We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a True Story. NY: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
When author, YouTuber, and Paralympic Skier Josh Sundquist was in his early 20s he realized he only ever had a girlfriend once, for 23 hours, in grade 8. And now as an adult, Continue reading
Pfeffer, S. (2006). Life As We Knew It. FL: Harcourt.
Told through Miranda’s journal entries, we follow her life as it changes from a regular, suburban experience to a dystopian tale once a meteor collides into the moon, altering its course and pushing it closer to earth. Volcanic ash hangs in the air blocking the sun, tsunamis are blanketing the coasts, and families are hoarding supplies. Miranda’s modern blended family is surviving in their sun room, huddled around a heater.
Pfeffer’s storytelling style is emotional. This isn’t an adventure packed ride, but an even more terrifyingly psychological one that touches on the human condition.
”I don’t even know why I’m writing this down, except that I feel fine and maybe tomorrow I’ll be dead. And if that happens, and someone should find my journal, I want them to know what happened.
We are a family. We love each other. We’ve been scared together and brave together. If this is how it ends, so be it.
Only, please, don’t let me be the last one to die.”
Crowley, C. (2017). Words in Deep Blue. NY: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers .
Heartbreaking but beautiful, . Two best friends, Henry and Rachel were inseparable childhood friends. Now as teens, Rachel is in love with Henry even when Henry becomes obsessed with Amy, the pretty, new girl at their school. Rachel’s life is in an up swirl because her family is moving away, and she decides to confess her love to Henry, so she writes Henry a love letter and leaves it in his favourite book. The letter asks Henry to meet her, only Henry never shows up. Wrecked, Rachel decides to push it all behind her. Three years later, Rachel returns to her home town after her younger brother whom she Continue reading
Mills E. (2017). Foolish Hearts. NY: Henry Holt and Co.
During the last party of the summer, Claudia gets caught eavesdropping — purely by mistake — on an extremely private conversation. Once school starts up again in the fall, she and Iris, one the girls from that painful conversation, are paired up for a school project. Contemptuous, disdainful, and scornful Iris is a handful to try to work with Continue reading
Silvera A. (2017). They Both Die at the End. NY: HarperTeen.
It’s the near future and in this future, the government knows when everyone dies. At around midnight two teens Rufus and Mateo receive the dreaded phone call from Death-Cast Organization claiming that they are both going to die today. They aren’t told how or exactly when they will die, only that there is no stopping it. Both have decided that they don’t want to spend their last Continue reading
Walton, J. (2017). Words on Bathroom Walls. NY: Random House Books for Young Readers.
Adam has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia, a disorder where he hears and sees people who aren’t there. There is the beautiful Rebecca who understands him, the Mob boss who harasses him, and Jason the polite, naked guy. At the moment, Adam is unable to determine visions from reality, but when he begins an experimental miracle drug, he starts to think that normal is possible. And then he meets the beautiful, perfect Maya, and begins to think that even love is possible. But when his miracle drug stops working, Adam will do whatever it takes to hide his illness from Maya.
Jackson, T. (2017). Allegedly. NY: Katherine Tegen Books.
“Mary B. Addison killed a baby. Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: a white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official.“
Step back, because you may have an idea of how this story could unfold, but there is a lot waiting under the surface. In a heart-wrenching, emotional break out novel, Tiffany Jackson delivers true grit on the page. Mary has been in Baby Jail and group “homes” ever since being convicted at age 9 for the death of a baby her momma was babysitting. Mary hasn’t believed it mattered much if she covered for her Continue reading