Booktalks are added to my Booktalks Quick and Simple webpage http://www.nancykeane.com once a month. See some of Booktalker's booktalks before they are published on the website. Make comments and give suggestions, too. Listen to Booktalks daily podcast: http://nancykeane.com/rss.html And don't forget to check out my wiki ATN Reading Lists http://atn-reading-lists.wikispaces.com
Dicamillo, Kate. FLORA AND ULYSSES : THE ILLUMINATED ADVENTURES Somerville, MA : Candlewick, 2013 IL 3-6 ISBN 076366040XIt all began with an out of control vacuum cleaner. Tootie had totally lost control and never saw the squirrel who was sucked up with a terrible sound. When the squirrel was released from the vacuum, most of his fur was gone and there was something different about him. Holy bagumba! Flora Belle Buckman thinks she knows what is going on. Flora spends a lot of time reading comic books and just knows that the squirrel, Ulysses, is really a superhero that just looks like a squirrel. He flies, he vanquishes cats and he even types out poetry. This is incredible. But Flora's mother decides that the squirrel must go.
Daywalt, Drew. THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT New York : Philomel Books. 2013 IL K-3, RL 2.3 ISBN 0399255370 Well, this is quite a problem. Poor Duncan loves coloring. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds notes from the crayons complaining about their treatment. Red crayon is tired of having to work so hard on fire trucks and Santas. Grey is exhausted from coloring in elephants, rhinos and whales. Blue is happy being the favorite but he needs a break. And forget about peach. He feels totally naked since Duncan peeled the wrapper off. Will they find a way to keep working together? Or will the crayons have to go on strike?
Black, Holly. DOLL BONES New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2013 IL 5-8, RL 5.4 ISBN 1416963987 Zach, Poppy and Alice are best friends. Their favorite game to play is a fantasy game using dolls and action figures. Zach is really the brains behind the fantasy that has become quite involved. The only doll they can't touch is the Great Queen. She is a doll that is locked up in a display case. But in their world, the Queen is in control of everything. When Zach's father rejoins the family, he decides that Zach is too old to play with dolls and throws them away. Zach is too hurt to tell his friends what happened and tells them they are too old to play the game anymore. But Poppy has other plans. She takes the Great Queen from the display case only to find that the Queen has a mystery for them to solve. The ghost of the Queen comes to Poppy in her sleep and tells her that she was once a real girl and can't rest until she is buried in her empty grave. Can the kids find a way to get the Queen to her grave so she can rest?
Berk, Josh. STRIKE THREE, YOU'RE DEAD New York : Knopf, 2013 IL 3-6, RL 4.2 ISBN 0375970088 Lenny is a major Phillies fan. He and his friends try never to miss a game. And Lenny knows just about all there is to know about the team. When they hear about the contest to announce an inning of a game, they all just know that Lenny has what it takes to win. The audition tape will be Lenny announcing a past game where a famous player pitched the worst game in Phillies history. And guess what! Lenny wins the contest. On the night of his big game, things don't go as planned. After meeting the young RJ Weathers who is the starting pitcher, Lenny settles in to enjoy the game and get ready for his inning. But after a disastrous start, Weathers simply drops dead on the mound. Is this a case of an undiagnosed problem? Or is it murder?
Marriott, Zoe. SHADOWS ON THE MOON Somerville, MA : Candlewick, 2012 IL YA ISBN 0763653446 “On my fourteenth birthday when the sakura was in full bloom, the men came to kill us. We saw them come, Aimi and me. We were excited, because we did not know how to be frightened. We had never seen soldiers before.” Suzume is a shadow-weaver. She can create mantles of darkness and light, walk unseen in the middle of the day, change her face. She can be anyone she wants to be. Except herself. Suzume died officially the day the Prince’s men accused her father of treason. Now even she is no longer sure of her true identity. (Booktalk by New Hampshire Flume committee)
Cline, Ernest. READY PLAYER ONE New York : Crown Publishers, 2011 IL AD ISBN 030788743X It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them. A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready? (Booktalk by New Hampshire Flume committee)
Stiefvater, Maggie. THE RAVEN BOYS New York : Scholastic, 2012 IL YA ISBN 0545424925 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 Gansey is different. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more. 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 told by her psychic family that she will kill her true love. 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. (Booktalk by New Hampshire Flume committee)
Laybourne, Emmy. MONUMENT 14 New York : Feiwel and Friends, 2012 IL YA ISBN 0312569033 Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not--you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus. But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran. Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong. (Booktalk by New Hampshire Flume committee)
Carter, Ally. HEIST SOCIETY New York : Disney Hyperion Books 2010 IL YA ISBN 1423116399 When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected. Soon, Kat’s friend and former coconspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help. For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way. (Booktalk by New Hampshire Flume committee)
Green, John. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year old Hazel is post-everything else, too; posthigh school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumors tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind. (Booktalk by New Hampshire Flume committee)
Lane, Andrew. DEATH CLOUD New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011 IL YA ISBN 0374387672 It is the summer of 1868, and Sherlock Holmes is fourteen. On break from boarding school, he is staying with eccentric strangers--his uncle and aunt--in their vast house in Hampshire. When two local peopledie from symptoms that resemble the plague, Holmes begins to investigate what really killed them, helped by his new tutor, an American named Amyus Crowe. So begins Sherlock’s true education in detection, as he discovers the dastardly crimes of a brilliantly sinister villain of exquisitely malign intent. (Booktalk by New Hampshire Flume committee)
Wein, Elizabeth. CODE NAME VERITY When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution. They'll get the truth out of her. But it won’t be what they expect. (Booktalk by New Hampshire Flume committee)
King, A. S. ASK THE PASSENGERS Boston : Little, Brown, 2012 IL YA ISBN 0316194689 Astrid Jones copes with her small town's gossip and narrow-mindedness by staring at the sky and imagining that she's sending love to the passengers in the airplanes flying high over her backyard. Maybe they'll know what to do with it. Maybe it'll make them happy. Maybe they'll need it. Her mother doesn't want it, her father's always stoned, her perfect sister's too busy trying to fit in, and the people in her small town would never allow her to love the person she really wants to: a girl named Dee.There's no one Astrid feels she can talk to about this deep secret or the profound questions that she's trying to answer. But little does she know just how much sending her love--and asking the right questions--will affect the passengers' lives, and her own, for the better. (Booktalk by New Hampshire Flume committee)
Revis, Beth. ACROSS THE UNIVERSE A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder. When Amy is frozen aboard the interstellar spaceship Godspeed, she expects to be woken in 300 years on a new planet. Instead, someone wakes her up early…and if Amy doesn’t figure out why soon, the next people they wake up might not survive–including her parents. (Booktalk by New Hampshire Flume committee)
Schrefer, Eliot. ENDANGERED New York : Scholastic, 2012 IL YA ISBN 0545165768 Fourteen-year-old Sophie rescues Otto, a young bonobo chimp, from an animal trader while spending the summer at her mother's bonobo sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Otto is in bad shape, malnourished and beaten and missing two fingers. --The locals are superstitious, her mother explains - “Soup with a bonobo finger in it is supposed to make a pregnant woman give birth to a strong baby. Putting another finger in the bathwater keeps the baby strong.”Despite her mother’s scolding for encouraging the animal trader with the purchase, Sophie pledges to nurse Otto back to health. Bonobos share 98.7% of human DNA and like human babies, bonobo babies bond with their mother.While Sophie’s mother is on a research trip, the President is assassinated and war breaks out. Sophie has a chance to return home to her father in the United States but can’t bear to leave Otto. Instead, she runs. She and Otto escape into the bonobo enclosure. Trapped between the rebel soldiers and the wild bonobos, Sophie must find her way across the jungle to find her mother... (New Hampshire Isinglass Teen Book Award, 2014)
Rosenblum, Gregg. REVOLUTION 19 New York : HarperTeen, 2012 IL YA ISBN 0062125958 Nick, his brother Kevin, and their adopted sister Cass, have spent their whole lives in a community in the wilderness, hiding out from the robots that have enslaved mankind. The day that Kevin discovers a mysterious piece of metal changes their lives forever - because the metal that tech loving Kevin picked up is some sort of homing device that leads the robots directly to the community. The robots attack, and the three teens barely make it out alive -Taking refuge in their sheltered hideout, they decide they can’t stay put; they have to head for the city to find out if everyone they care for have been taken prisoner. All survivors were captured and taken to one of the robots' Cities -- and they’ve been hearing about the cities their whole lives, a place where humans are treated like animals, living in outdoor pens and forced to build new bots until they drop dead from exhaustion. When they finally get to the city, it’s nothing like they've been told.As they live among the bots for the first time, they realize they're fighting for more than just their family. The robots have ruled for too long, and now it's time for a revolution. (New Hampshire Isinglass Teen Book Award, 2014)
Rosati, Gina. AURACLE New York : Roaring Brook Press, 2012 IL YA ISBN 1596437103 Seventeen-year-old Anna has a unique hobby. She can astrally project out of her body. This is especially useful when class is boring or she needs to get away from her dad’s drinking. Rei, her best friend since forever, worries for her when she projects. Anna thinks Rei is just jealous. Leaving her body, she has traveled around the world, into the cosmos, to the mouth of an erupting volcano.One night, Anna travels to the nearby waterfall where Taylor, a predatory “party girl,” has lured Rei’s buddy Seth. Attempting to seduce Seth, Taylor moves closer to him and slips on the wet rocks.... She falls off the cliff and crashes to her death. Anna returns to her body, only to find it occupied by Taylor, a reluctant spirit who was drawn to Anna’s body. Taylor (as Anna) accuses Seth of murder and tries to seduce Rei. Will Anna figure out a way to exorcise Taylor from her body before it’s too late?Auracle is a suspenseful debut novel by New Hampshire Author Gina Rosati (New Hampshire Isinglass Teen Book Award, 2014)
Poblocki, Dan. GHOST OF GRAYLOCK New York : Scholastic, 2012 IL 3-6, RL 4.9 ISBN 0545402689 Neil and his older sister Bree are sent live with their aunts for a while while his parents “sort things out.” He meets Wesley, a boy his age, who tells him rumors about Graylock Hall - the abandoned asylum in town - that it’s haunted by the ghosts of several young patients who died under mysterious circumstances, murdered by one of the Nurses who worked there. Awesome -- Exploring Graylock Hall will be the perfect way to spend his summer because Neil is an avid fan of the Ghostly Investigator TV show.Neil, Bree, Wesley and Wesley’s brother Eric band together to visit Graylock and strange things start to happen..especially in Room 13. Their camera stops working. Their flashlight suddenly dies. Bree is overcome with a strange sleepiness in Room 13...Neil thinks he sees a ghostly figure...is it murderous Nurse Janet?When they return home, Nick and Bree can’t explain the strange events that seem to have followed them back...mysterious puddles of lake water, ghostly images of a young girl...the nightmares...Someone is trying to tell them something, but who? And what is their message? (New Hampshire Isinglass Teen Book Award, 2014)
Meyer, Marissa. CINDER New York : Feiwel and Friends, 2012 IL YA ISBN 0312641893 Cinder is an updated Cinderella story with a sci-fi twist.In the future, Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She works in a small stall in the crowded streets of New Beijing. Her reputation has spread as far as the palace, because even Prince Kai (you knew there would be a handsome prince) seeks her out to repair a broken android before the ball. A nice twist on the fairy tale is that Cinder has a mechanical foot that doesn’t quite fit, because her stepmother - of course there’s a stepmother! - her stepmother won’t replace the one Cinder got when she was a kid.Along with her stepmother, she lives with two stepsisters (of course) -- one, Peony, she actually has a sisterly relationship with- the other, Pearl, not so much.Earth’s governments are urging Prince Kai to marry the Lunar Queen Levana to establish an alliance between the Earth and the Moon. Some believe that the Lunar people have developed a cure for the mysterious, deadly plague that is sweeping through New Beijing. Prince Kai’s father is stricken, as is Peony (the nice stepsister) is infected. As revenge, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her for plague research...which unlocks secrets about Cinder, the Lunar people that have been buried for years.Cinder is the first book in a four part Lunar Chronicles. (New Hampshire Isinglass Teen Book Award, 2014)
Maas, Sarah J. THRONE OF GLASS New York : Bloomsbury, 2012 IL YA ISBN 1599906953 A chilling yet romantic fantasy set in a world ruled by a tyrannical king. When the story opens, our teen heroine has been imprisoned in the salt mines. No one lasts long there. So, when she is offered the chance to compete for her freedom, she takes it, even though the competition is to become the despised king’s personal assassin. It’s just for 4 years. She will find a way to get through this. It’s her only chance, and she has a good chance at winning. She is highly trained.She is sent to the castle along with 23 other infamous criminals, and begins training for the competition. Her sponsor is the crown prince and her trainer the loyal captain of the king’s guard. Neither is going to be the kind of person she expects them to be, and an interesting love triangle will emerge as the story progresses.And the story is complex. There are hidden forces at work in the castle. Someone is killing the assassins, and, a presence she can’t explain is emerging in her room. (New Hampshire Isinglass Teen Book Award, 2014)
Lewis, Richard. THE KILLING SEA New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006 IL YA ISBN 1416911650 Drawing on his experience as a relief worker after the 2005 tsunami in Indonesia, Lewis spins a harrowing tale of disaster and survival, but also a story of human compassion and cultural awakening.Ruslan, an Indonesian teen is drawn to an American girl when her family's sailboat docks in his town for mechanical assistance. The girl doesn’t even notice him. Boat fixed, her family sails off. Both teens are about to be caught in a massive tsunami.The girl survives, but her mother is killed, her father is missing, and her little brother badly injured. Ruslan also survives the wave and immediately begins to search for his father, who had gone inland on an errand hours before the wave hit. The island has become an unfamiliar landscape of devastation. When the two teens happen upon each other, the little brother is failing. They band together to search for a doctor and their missing fathers. A friendship develops and when the girl, who’s safety is big news, is discovered, she uses the news media’s attention to speak out for what she now understand is the important disaster story - the islanders and their island. (New Hampshire Isinglass Teen Book Award, 2014)
Klaven, Andrew. CRAZY DANGEROUS New York : Thomas Nelson, 2012 IL YA ISBN 1595547932 Like “The Last Thing I Remember,” this is about a boy thrown into a puzzling and very tough spot, trying to figure out both how to survive and how to solve a reality that seems surreal. Sam is the son of a preacher. He has to deal with kids who think they couldn't possible relax around him, or include him, or, feel the need to test his goodness. He has very few real friends.One day while out running he is intercepted by the local tough group. They intend to hurt him, but impressed by his spunky responses, end up inviting him to join them. He knows this is not a good idea, yet it seems his best option in the moment, and, he is sort of drawn to it. No one would make fun of him. Eventually he crosses them when they try to hurt a student who is known to be a bit crazy. With this act he becomes her hero, and their no 1 enemy. After all he now knows some of their secrets. She begins telling him about visions she has of impending disaster, and he gets drawn into trying to figure out whether she is hallucinating or is trying to warn him about something real. Trying to find out the truth in time is essential, at times illegal, and quite dangerous. (New Hampshire Isinglass Teen Book Award, 2014)
Khoury, Jessica. ORIGIN New York : Razorbill, 2012 IL YA ISBN 1595145958 Deep in the Amazon, in a top-secret compound known as Little Cam, a group of scientists discovered a possible key to immortality. They have labored for years to create an immortal human with the thought of beginning a new human race. Pia, now 16, is the result of their work. She has lightning-fast reflexes, inexhaustible stamina, a quick mind, and a beautiful body impervious to sickness or injury. She is their perfect creation and has been carefully schooled and groomed by the scientists, whom she calls uncles. She is also a kind of lab pawn, and her adolescent still-human soul has started to chafe at and question the restrictions and isolation. When a storm causes a break in the electric fence, Pia ventures into the unknown jungle, where discovers Eio, a boy her age belonging to a nearby tribe. Oddly enough Eio speaks English, and, he knows more about Little Cam and the outside world than Pia. How could this be? Why are her uncles hiding so much from her? About that time a new scientist comes to work at Little Cam. She encourages Pia's curiosity and independence. Pia is going to uncover the secret discoveries and actions that led to her immortality. These will not bring her comfort. (New Hampshire Isinglass Teen Book Award, 2014)
Kincaid, S. J. INSIGNIA New York : Katherine Tegen Books, 2012 IL YA ISBN 0062092995 Tom Raines life is screwed up. Dad is a down-on-his-luck gambler who loses more money than he wins, so often, Tom must win money for food and hotel room thru his prowess betting on the results of Virtual Reality games. His luck finds a turn - whether for better or worse is up to the reader to decide - when the government taps him for special training. His amazing gaming abilities will be used as a force for the Indo-American alliance in World War III. Since having battles on the earth would obliterate all resources, teenagers have been enlisted to fight space battles via VR type consoles. Tom agrees, but initially balks when the concept of an internal (as in brain) neural processor installation is discussed. However, he realizes the safety and protection of the Pentagonal Spire and the importance he will gain as a member of the Intrasolar Forces will finally show the world he has worth. But with all the speed and intelligence he has gained, what will he be asked to give up?Kincaid has given the YA environment a humorous glimpse at dystopia, to the point that at times I actually laughed aloud. As YA books can be way to serious & angst-y, particularly dystopia, humor is MORE than welcome. The books pages seemed to turn themselves as the reader watches Tom evolve from a short, gangly, acne-riddled kid into a tall, muscular, and confident teen. I totally disagreed with the Booklist review that Tom was a “flat character from a story-driven plot”; rather, I see much character growth and a character driven to make the best place for himself in his world. Technology and gaming abound in this book, which will delight the gamers visiting our libraries. (New Hampshire Isinglass Teen Book Award, 2014)
Greitens, Eric. WARRIOR’S HEART New York : Houghton Mifflin, 2012 IL YA ISBN 0547868529 Eric Greitens has an amazing life story. He has studied kung fu in China, worked in refugee camps in Rwanda, spent time with street kids in Bolivia, and trained as a boxer. However, the crux of The Heart of the Warrior revolves around his training to be a SEAL. His storytelling style is completely straightforward – he pulls no punches, but does not bombard the reader with overly graphic violence. Each chapter is quite short, making the book flow easily, giving it a feel like the Maximum Ride series. Reluctant readers will feel quite accomplished as they are sucked in to the story, completely absorbed in the SEAL training.I was fully prepared to not enjoy a military-style biography, but found myself rooting for this man to successfully complete his training (even though we know he already had!). The chapters covering the SEAL training riveted me; I had read about how rigorous the training was, but hearing about it in the first person gave me a whole new respect for SEALs. Children whose parents are currently deployed may take some comfort knowing how well the government trains their families prior to sending them overseas. Students who enjoyed I am a SEAL Team 6 Warrior, which many of us picked up at book fairs, will also be unable to put this title down! (New Hampshire Isinglass Teen Book Award, 2014)
Fry, Erin. LOSING IT New York : Amazon Children’s Pub., 2012 IL 5-8, RL 5.0 ISBN 0761462201 Bennett loves baseball, not playing it, watching it with his Dad while they snack. He and his dad have been spending most of their free time together since mom died, with the exception of his friend P.G. School is a kinda tense for Bennett, since he’s a liiiiittle overweight…all right, a lot overweight. He is so heavy getting up off the couch leaves him drowning in sweat. He gets a donut-shaped sweat ring ON his middle, the hole being the hollow of his navel. When Dad has a major stroke, Bennett is left in the clutches of his mom’s sister, his Aunt Laura, a complete health freak.Fortunately for Bennett, his aunt leaves him in his regular school, so some things remain familiar, especially since everything else in his life has changed: his residence, family expectations, and particularly his lifestyle. Aunt Laura expects him to eat healthily and exercise – something sorely lacking in his life since his mom’s passing. After discovering he may like being outside to walk or run, he joins the cross-country team, alienating P.G. He finds a new camaraderie on the track team – skinny kids are necessarily fast! – but worries about losing his former identity as his health gradually improves.Losing It has great pacing, drawing the reader in to Bennett’s worries about his family, friends, sports, and possible first girlfriend. While the book revolves around a boy’s battle with health and friends, I loved finding a great sports book about something other than the big 3 – football, basketball, & baseball. I love that we have a “sports book” on a sport which is inclusive – everybody gets to run. How nice to have a sports book about a different sport… (New Hampshire Isinglass Teen Book Award, 2014)
Ellsworth, Loretta. IN A HEARTBEAT New York : Walker, 2010 IL YA ISBN 0802720684 Heartbeat tells a story in two voices, told in alternating chapters by Eagan and Amelia. The book opens as Eagan discovers she is dead.... nice opener, eh (kinda reminded me of Elsewhere)? Amelia takes the story over as her mom bursts into the room to let her know “The beeper went off”, indicating a donor heart has been found. The reader tumbles pretty quickly to the fact Eagan has donated her heart to Amelia.Both stories proceed forward as Amelia remembers how healthy feels - she has had congestive heart failure for several years and having a properly functioning heart feels quite odd. Not only does normal feel weird, but also she begins to have wants and desires which seem to come out of nowhere? Why does her heart feel like it wants to exercise hard and why is she suddenly getting so sassy? Who was her donor and what was she like? On the other hand, Eagan is reliving her past in order to move forward from her state of “in between”. She needs to find closure on her former life before she can bid that life goodbye. Heartbeat is a quick read which will appeal to those kids who need an excuse to have a little cry. Ellsworth uses the theory of cellular memory as a plot device. The theory states a transplanted organ carries residual memories from the donor, which can be given to the recipient. Heartbeat uses this theory to explain Amelia’s sudden personality changes. Ellsworth also pushes the envelope regarding the controversy over whether or not a transplant recipient should track down their donor’s family in a very realistic manner. (New Hampshire Isinglass Teen Book Award, 2014)
Coakley, Lena. WITCHLANDERS
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011
Ryder is the responsible eldest child of his Witchlander family, trying to maintain all his father once did, especially bringing in the all important hicca harvest. His mother.... has issues. She was a witch, one of the important magical folk who keep the country/area safe, but since her husband's death has fallen victim to an addictive herb, which gives her disturbing visions. One of her visions shows the town falling victim to an assassin on the march - Ryder brushes off her concerns. Across the border, another boy, Falpian - the son of the king, hopes and dreams of a way in which to please his father after the death of his twin. The 2 young men encounter each other as Ryder runs from monsters attacking his village and they discover they may have a spiritual connection to each other. Why would 2 young adults from such differing backgrounds be able to communicate through dreams and song? (New Hampshire Isinglass Teen Book Award, 2014)
Aguirre, Ann. ENCLAVE New York : Feiwel and Friends, 2011 IL YA ISBN 0312650086 Deuce is a huntress trainee beneath the ruins of the old New York City. She is proud of the role she is earning as protector and food provider for her enclave, and is a loyal member of her society. So she is surprised, and disappointed, when she is assigned to work with Fade. He’s an outsider who has never learned to fit in. However, as she works with him, she learns to respect him and to question what she has always understood as benevolent control. When they return from a harrowing patrol to report an enclave destroyed and unusual behavior by the predatory zombie-like Freaks, instead of being praised for their bravery, and valued for their warning, they end up being exiled which pretty much means death.Fade once lived topside, so they go up. This world is unfamiliar, and dangerous. Deuce has to learn on the fly who can be trusted and how to deal with those who can’t. As she does she longs to help friends who whom she now feels are trapped in Enclave. This story gets pretty rough in places, including a topside girl who had been raped. It also poses some good questions about the balance of law and freedom. (Booktalk by the Isinglass Award Committee)
Airgood, Ellen. PRAIRIE EVERS New York : Nancy Paulsen Books, 2012 IL 3-6, RL 3.1 ISBN 0399256911 Suddenly, you aren’t in Kansas anymore…. Well not in North Carolina at least. Ten year old Prairie Evers finds herself uprooted from the home she has know all her lif*e. Her mom has inherited the family farm. As her parents and Grammy try to re-root in upstate New York, Prairie’s life is about to change forever. Prairie delves into farm life by raising little chicks, and continues her homeschooling with Grammy. Like a tornado, all breaks loose in Prairie’s life. Grammy decides to return to North Carolina, Mom takes a job and Dad is busy with his woodwork. Terrified, Prairie finds herself enrolled in the local school. Never has she been around so many kids and chaos. How will Prairie survive? Will she fit in? What about friends? Join Prairie on her journey of loss, discovery, friendship and sharing. (Booktalk by Catherine Ryan, GSF Committee )