Posts from the ‘Waiting on Wednesday’ Category

Waiting on Wednesday/Book to Pine For #7

The Story Siren calls it Books to Pine for. There’s a whole bunch of other people who call it Waiting on Wednesday and post their links at Breaking the Spine. In any case, these are the books I would love to read, and am looking forward to have in hand.

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys February 13, 2013
I absolutely was amazed after reading Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys and quickly realized that she has another one coming out next year. Yes, next year, but I’m sure it will be well worth the wait.

It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?


Waiting on Wednesday/Books to Pine For #6

The Story Siren calls it Books to Pine for. There’s a whole bunch of other people who call it Waiting on Wednesday and post their links at Breaking the Spine. In any case, these are the books I would love to read, and am looking forward to have in hand.

This time around, I’m focusing on nonfiction, that often overlooked area of the library — until it’s 10 minutes before the library closes and you need another source for your paper due tomorrow.

Price of Freedom by Dennis Brindell Fradin January 8, 2013
There are a lot of books out there about slaves hiding and making their way, alone or in tight groups, across state lines and trying not to get caught. Most of those books portray them as receiving secret assistance from one or two people along the way. This book features a town in Ohio that openly objected to slavery and weren’t afraid to stand up for what they believed. Just in time for African American history month!

When John Price took a chance at freedom by crossing the frozen Ohio river from Kentucky into Ohio one January night in 1856, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was fully enforced in every state of the union. But the townspeople of Oberlin, Ohio, believed there that all people deserved to be free, so Price started a new life in town-until a crew of slave-catchers arrived and apprehended him. When the residents of Oberlin heard of his capture, many of them banded together to demand his release in a dramatic showdown that risked their own freedom. Paired for the first time, highly acclaimed authors Dennis Judith Fradin and Pura Belpré award-winning illustrator Eric Velasquez, provide readers with an inspiring tale of how one man’s journey to freedom helped spark an abolitionist movement.

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr., illustrated by Kadir Nelson October 9, 2012
Kadir Nelson meets Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous speech. Another one ready made for African American History Month. Everyone knows what to expect, and it’s great things when these two get paired together. I don’t know why Goodreads doesn’t have a cover image (as of today), but they will hopefully add one soon.

On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, Martin Luther King gave one of the most powerful and memorable speeches in our nation’s history. His words, paired with Caldecott Honor winner Kadir Nelson’s magificent paintings, make for a picture book certain to be treasured by children and adults alike. The themes of equality and freedom for all are not only relevant today, 50 years later, but also provide young readers with an important introduction to our nation’s past.

The Skull in the Rock: How a Scientist, a Boy, and Google Earth Opened a New Window on Human Origins by Marc Aronson October 23, 2012
Something very different from the other two. I’ve done something I don’t normally do, and I’ve shortened the Goodreads description quoted below because I thought it was much too long and made the bookk sound boring. Because, let’s be honest, it’s the nine-year-old assistant that intrigues me more than the professor, who I’m sure does this for a living and knows how to find fossils. The sub-title also mentions Google Earth, which there is no mention of in the summary so I’m intrigued as to how that piece of technology was used to unlock a piece of history. Marc Aronson is known for his nonfiction, and I’m intrigued about this latest offering.

In 2008, Professor Lee Berger–with the help of his curious 9-year-old son–discovered two remarkably well preserved, two-million-year-old fossils of an adult female and young male, known as Australopithecus sediba; a previously unknown species of ape-like creatures that may have been a direct ancestor of modern humans. This discovery of has been hailed as one of the most important archaeological discoveries in history. The fossils reveal what may be one of humankind’s oldest ancestors.
Berger’s discovery in one of the most excavated and studied areas on Earth revealed a treasure trove of human fossils–and an entirely new human species–where people thought no more field work might ever be necessary. Technology and revelation combined, plus a good does of luck, to broaden by ten times the number of early human fossils known, rejuvenating this field of study and posing countless more questions to be answered in years and decades to come.[blockquote]

So, what are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Waiting on Wednesday/Books to Pine for #5

The Story Siren calls it Books to Pine for. There’s a whole bunch of other people who call it Waiting on Wednesday and post their links at Breaking the Spine. In any case, these are the books I would love to read, and am looking forward to have in hand.

I’m getting back into the swing of things with ordering, so I’m finding more and more books I’m excited to read. For this week’s list, I have two very different titles from two very different authors.

Sophia’s War: A Tale of Revolution by Avi September 25, 2012
Besides the fact that it’s Avi, so of course I want to read it, part of the main reason I want to read this book so much is to determine if it’s appropriate for younger readers. The reviews are suggesting wide ranges for the appropriate grade/age levels. Avi is somewhat unique in that he’s a prolific author who writes just as well and just as often in both YA and children’s fiction and he’s done a little bit of everything (modern fiction, historical fiction, animal characters, etc.). I loved his True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and his lesser known Beyond the Western Sea series, but I’m a little anxious to hand a book with a noose on the cover to a fourth or fifth grader.

Lives hang in the balance in this gripping Revolutionary War adventure from a beloved Newbery medalist.In 1776, young Sophia Calderwood witnesses the execution of Nathan Hale in New York City, which is newly occupied by the British army. Sophia is horrified by the event and resolves to do all she can to help the American cause. Recruited as a spy, she becomes a maid in the home of General Clinton, the supreme commander of the British forces in America. Through her work she becomes aware that someone in the American army might be switching sides, and she uncovers a plot that will grievously damage the Americans if it succeeds. But the identity of the would-be traitor is so shocking that no one believes her, and so Sophia decides to stop the treacherous plot herself, at great personal peril: She’s young, she’s a girl, and she’s running out of time. And if she fails, she’s facing an execution of her own.

Master storyteller Avi shows exactly how personal politics can be in this riveting novel that is rich in historical detail and rife with action.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater September 18, 2012
Maggie Stiefvater has a new series starting in September! After reading only two of her books (and one short story), she’s quickly turning into one of my favorite authors (I’m a librarian, I’m allowed to have more than one… don’t judge me). Admittedly, I’m a little confused by the very long but vague description, but I’m willing to take a chance. Especially if it’s by Maggie Stiefvater

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

Either of these sound good to you? What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Waiting on Wednesday/Books to Pine For (4)

The Story Siren calls it Books to Pine For. There’s a whole bunch of other people who call it Waiting on Wednesday and post their links at Breaking the Spine. In any case, these are the books I would love to read, and am looking forward to have in hand.

The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee by Tom Angleberger August 7, 2012
I’m intrigued to see just how Angleberger coordinates events amongst two different schools, if he does end up portraying events in two different schools. I read somewhere that there was an online vote as to which Star Wars character would be featured in this book, and there’s a rumor that Han Foldo will be making an appearance. Ahhh… the puns… right up my alley.

With Dwight attending Tippett Academy this semester, the kids of McQuarrie Middle School are on their own—no Origami Yoda to give advice and help them navigate the treacherous waters of middle school. Then Sara gets a gift she says is from Dwight—a paper fortune-teller in the form of Chewbacca. It’s a Fortune Wookiee, and it seems to give advice that’s just as good as Yoda’s—even if, in the hands of the girls, it seems too preoccupied with romance. In the meantime, Dwight is fitting in a little too well at Tippett. Has the unimaginable happened? Has Dwight become normal? It’s up to his old friends at McQuarrie to remind their kooky friend that it’s in his weirdness that his greatness lies.

With his proven knack for humorously exploring the intrigues, fads, and dramas of middle school, Tom Angleberger has crafted a worthy follow-up to his breakout bestsellers The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back.

Every Day by David Levithan August 28th 2012
I’ve read two books by David Levithan and someone else, but never any books written just by him. I’m curious how the writing style will be different when it’s just him contributing to the plot and dictating what the characters do.

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

With his new novel, David Levithan has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney November 13, 2012
If you’ve read any of my reviews of the Wimpy Kid series over the years, you’ll know that I’m more of a “everyone else is reading this so I probably should” kind of reader as opposed to reading it by choice, since my satisfaction with the series has wavered over the year. I’m waiting for this one because the kids will be waiting for this one, and I need to be ahead of the game 🙂 The runaway train that is this series is quite evident in the description from Goodreads which tells us… absolutely nothing new!

Will Greg finally get a girlfriend?
Can Manny become any less annoying?
Will Rodrick ever give Greg a break?
We can’t wait to find out!

So, what are you waiting for?

Waiting on Wednesday/Books to Pine for (3)

The Story Siren calls it Books to Pine for. There’s a whole bunch of other people who call it Waiting on Wednesday and post their links at Breaking the Spine. In any case, these are the books I would love to read, and am looking forward to have in hand.

This Waiting on Wednesday appears to be devoted to (what else) Fantasy. These are three books discussed at the blog Poetry to Prose, which I just discovered yesterday and already feel like I need to subscribe, or at least add her to my blog roll. If you haven’t read her stuff, you should really check her out.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi November 15, 2011
Stephanie at Poetry to Prose got an advanced copy from Comic Con (so jealous) and has already reviewed it. I will have to wait just like everyone else. Does it sound like Graceling a little bit to anyone besides me? Things aren’t what they seem with a teenage girl who kills? Maybe it’s just me. The cover is intriguing, although I’m not sure I’d want to get stuck in that big poofy, oversized dress.

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old-girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver March 6, 2012
Delirium has a sequel coming out!? This warrants jumping up and down clapping my hands! I knew with that kind of ending there had to be more to the story. It doesn’t come out till March 2012?! 😦 to the wait, but I’m still super excited. And I agree with a lot of people, the cover is riveting upon first look, but I’m having a hard time identifying what’s around her neck… plants?

Lauren Oliver captivated readers with Delirium, the first book in a thrilling dystopian trilogy in which Lena Haloway dared to fall in love with Alex and escape the cure, the government-mandated procedure that renders a person immune to the disease of love. Lena and Alex staked their lives on leaving their oppressive society, but only Lena broke free.

Pandemonium continues Lena’s gripping story. After escaping from Portland, Maine, Lena makes it to the Wilds and becomes part of an Invalid community, where she transforms herself into a warrior for the resistance. A future without Alex is unimaginable, but Lena pushes forward and fights, both for him and for a world in which love is no longer considered a disease. Swept up in a volatile mix of revolutionaries and counterinsurgents, Lena struggles to survive—and wonders if she may be falling in love again.

Full of danger, forbidden romance, and exquisite writing, Lauren Oliver’s sequel to Delirium races forward at a breathtaking pace and is sure to appeal to fans who crave the high-stakes action of The Hunger Games and the bittersweet love story of Romeo & Juliet.

Tempest by Julie Cross January 3, 2012
This looks good! This sounds good! Time traveler meets love story? YES. Stephanie makes it sound like a perfect read in her review. I’m a little leery about the inclusion of the “Enemies of Time” group… which might make it more paranormal than psychological, more Inception rather than Time Traveler’s Wife. I liked both of those plots though, so I think I’m just going to have to read it and see where it leads. Does the cover remind anyone else of the cover of Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick?

The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

So what are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Waiting on Wednesday/Books to Pine For (2)

The Story Siren calls it Books to Pine for. There’s a whole bunch of other people who call it Waiting on Wednesday and post their links at Breaking the Spine. In any case, these are the books I would love to read, and am looking forward to have in hand.

Ellie McDoodle Most Valuable Player by Ruth McNally Barshaw April 10, 2012
This one isn’t coming out for a really long time, but a little girl came up to the desk earlier this week asking for Ellie McDoodle #4. I am always thrilled to learn about upcoming books from patrons, and this was no exception. If you haven’t discovered this series, you need to. It’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid format with a story line and characters that I really enjoy.

Poor Ellie. When her friend, Mo, suggests they try out for soccer together, Ellie doesn’t know her own father has just been named the coach! To make matters worse, Ellie can’t seem to get her head (or her feet) around the game. She’d much rather be solving word problems and doing other brain-bending quizzes in the Journey of the Mind club. But when both teams have their tournament on the same day, will Ellie choose soccer or school? This lively story, told in words and doodles, will have kids cheering on the sidelines for Ellie!

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick September 13, 2011
I’m sure I’m not the only one chomping at the bit for this book. I absolutely LOVED Invention of Hugo Cabret (which they’re making into a movie for the fall, in case you didn’t know) and I can’t wait to read this newest release. School Library Journal just did an interview with him, and I know someone who got an advanced copy of it from ALA’s conference this summer. Oh how I wish I could get my hands on a copy. And that cover! *Sigh* Instead, I have to wait with everyone else. In the meantime, here’s a video that Betsy Bird linked to a while back where Brian Selznick talks about his newest creation.

Set fifty years apart, two independent stories—Ben’s told in words and Rose’s in pictures—weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder.

Ever since his mom died, Ben feels lost.
At home with her father, Rose feels alone.

He is searching for someone, but he is not sure who.
She is searching for something, but she is not sure what.

When Ben finds a mysterious clue hidden in his mom’s room,
When a tempting opportunity presents itself to Rose

Both children risk everything to find what’s missing.

With over 460 pages of original drawings and playing with the form he invented in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey. Rich, complex, affecting and beautiful, Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce October 25, 2011
Two words — Tamora Pierce. Enough said. In all seriousness, I haven’t found a Tamora Pierce novel I didn’t like. She was some of the first fantasy I remember reading, and it was a great introduction to the genre.

The Legend of Beka Cooper gives Tamora Pierce’s fans exactly what they want—a smart and savvy heroine making a name for herself on the mean streets of Tortall’s Lower City—while offering plenty of appeal for new readers as well.

Beka and her friends will face their greatest and most important challenge ever when the young heir to the kingdom vanishes. They will be sent out of Corus on a trail that appears and disappears, following a twisting road throughout Tortall. It will be her greatest Hunt—if she can survive the very powerful people who do not want her to succeed in her goal.

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann August 30, 2011
I saw her speak at a conference a few years ago, and she gave me my first ARC for helping her with her presentation. I highly enjoyed Fade, Wake, and Gone, a trilogy about dreaming. Kirkus describes The Unwanteds as “Hunger Games meets Harry Potter”, and I’m hoping I can recommend it to all the fourth graders who come to children’s looking for The Hunger Games. Seriously, does anyone else have reservations about giving fourth graders Hunger Games? (Not that we could anyway, since they’re all checked out and the waiting list is a mile long.) The Unwanteds sounds absolutely fabulous, with twins and magic and that creature on the cover!

Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths.

Thirteen-year-old Alex tries his hardest to be stoic when his fate is announced as Unwanted, even while leaving behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted. Upon arrival at the destination where he expected to be eliminated, however, Alex discovers a stunning secret—behind the mirage of the “death farm” there is instead a place called Artime.

In Artime, each child is taught to cultivate their creative abilities and learn how to use them magically, weaving spells through paintbrushes and musical instruments. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it’s a wondrous transformation.

But it’s a rare, unique occurence for twins to be separated between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron’s bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artime that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate, magical battle.

What books are you looking forward to as the summer winds down to a close?

Waiting on Wednesday/Books to Pine For (1)

I honestly have no idea who started this phenomenon of blogging about books you can’t wait to read (Anyone else hear the Lion King song in their head “And I JUST can’t WAIT to be king!” No? Just me?… Ok then.)

The Story Siren calls it Books to Pine for. There’s a whole bunch of other people who call it Waiting on Wednesday and post their links at Breaking the Spine. In any case, these are the books I would love to read, and am looking forward to have in hand.

A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull March 15, 2011
Yes, THE Brandon Mull, of Fablehaven fame. Yes, I realize I haven’t finished his Fablehaven series yet. But that’s only because I recommend it to too many people. Also, I heard him talk about this book at a conference last year, and I just fell in love with the concept of a world where the heroes have given up.

Jason Walker has often wished his life could be a bit less predictable–until a routine day at the zoo ends with Jason suddenly transporting from the hippo tank to a place unlike anything he’s ever seen. In the past, the people of Lyrian welcomed visitors from the Beyond, but attitudes have changed since the wizard emperor Maldor rose to power. The brave resistors who opposed the emperor have been bought off or broken, leaving a realm where fear and suspicion prevail.
In his search for a way home, Jason meets Rachel, who was also mysteriously drawn to Lyrian from our world. With the help of a few scattered rebels, Jason and Rachel become entangled in a quest to piece together the word of power that can destroy the emperor, and learn that their best hope to find a way home will be to save this world without heroes.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman April 5, 2011
The sequel to If I Stay, which I LOVED!, is finally being published. Although I still think the original cover was better then the new one, I’m kind of drawn into the cover for the sequel. Plus, this new book is told from Adam’s perspective, and I really wonder what Adam was thinking about everything that happened.

It’s been three years since the devastating accident … three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future – and each other.

Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

Bitter End by Jennifer Brown May 10, 2011
This is another instance where I LOVED the first one, and can’t wait for her next one. In fact, I get to see her speak at a conference next month for Michigan Librarians, and I’m sooooo excited about this.

When Alex falls for the charming new boy at school, Cole, a handsome, funny, sports star who adores her, she can’t believe she’s finally found her soul mate-someone who truly understands her and loves her for who she really is.

At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her best friends, Zack and Bethany, but what guy would want his girlfriend spending all of her time with another boy? But as the months pass, Alex can no longer ignore Cole’s small put-downs, pinches, or increasingly violent threats. As Alex struggles to come to terms with the sweet boyfriend she fell in love with and the boyfriend whose “love” she no longer recognizes, she is forced to choose – between her “true love” and herself.

Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O’Roark Dowell March 22, 2011
I keep racking my brain, because this author’s name sounds so familiar, but I can’t seem to come up with anything. This summary makes it sound like Stargirl meets Sorta Like a Rock Star. We’ll have to see how it turns out, but it does meet my debut author criteria.

Janie Gorman wants to be normal. The problem with that: she’s not. She’s smart and creative and a little bit funky. She’s also an unwilling player in her parents’ modern-hippy, let’s-live-on-a-goat-farm experiment (regretfully, instigated by a younger, much more enthusiastic Janie). This, to put it simply, is not helping Janie reach that “normal target.” She has to milk goats every day…and endure her mother’s pseudo celebrity in the homemade-life, crunchy mom blogosphere. Goodbye the days of frozen lasagna and suburban living, hello crazy long bus ride to high school and total isolation—and hovering embarrassments of all kinds. The fresh baked bread is good…the threat of homemade jeans, not so much.

It would be nice to go back to that old suburban life…or some grown up, high school version of it, complete with nice, normal boyfriends who wear crew neck sweaters and like social studies. So, what’s wrong with normal? Well, kind of everything. She knows that, of course, why else would she learn bass and join Jam Band, how else would she know to idolize infamous wild-child and high school senior Emma (her best friend Sarah’s older sister), why else would she get arrested while doing a school project on a local freedom school (jail was not part of the assignment). And, why else would she kind of be falling in “like” with a boy named Monster—yes, that is his real name. Janie was going for normal, but she missed her mark by about ten miles…and we mean that as a compliment.

Frances O’Roark Dowell’s fierce humor and keen eye make her YA debut literary and wise. In the spirit of John Green and E. Lockhart, Dowell’s relatable, quirky characters and clever, fluid writing prove that growing up gets complicated…and normal is WAY overrated.

Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith April 28, 2011
Last one for this edition, I promise. But come one, who could resist that title? Or that cover… is it a book store? Are they in a library? I’m a librarian folks, that little step stool along side rows of books is going to catch my attention. Plus, it’s one of several Contemps novels.

What’s worse than getting dumped? Not even knowing if you’ve been dumped. Joy got no goodbye, and certainly no explanation when Zan—the love of her life and the only good thing about stifling, backward Haven, Utah—unceremoniously and unexpectedly left for college a year early. Joy needs closure almost as much as she needs Zan, so she heads for California, and Zan, riding shotgun beside Zan’s former-best-friend Noah.

Original and insightful, quirky and crushing, Joy’s story is told in surprising and artfully shifting flashbacks between her life then and now. Exquisite craft and wry, relatable humor signal the arrival of Emily Wing Smith as a breakout talent.

So, what are you waiting on this week? Do any of these sound good?

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