Category Archives: Review

Review: Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai by Debbi Michiko Florence

JUST BE COOL, JENNA SAKAI by Debbi Michiko Florence is a layered, thoughtful, and light exploration of how middle schoolers respond to dramas big (family divorce) and not-so-big (academic competition, friendship changes). This stand-alone follow-up to Keep It Together, Keiko … Continue reading

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Review: In the Same Boat by Holly Green

This YA story is about one teen conquering a 265 mile paddling race called the Texas River Odyssey, but it’s also about relationships, forgiveness, pride, and perseverance. IN THE SAME BOAT is a phrase we’ve heard a lot over the … Continue reading

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Review: The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim

Author Wai Chim’s THE SURPRISING POWER OF A GOOD DUMPLING is a fantastic novel that addresses the typical conflicts and issues in Young Adult stories, but it adds layers that address racism, mental health, family dynamics, the immigrant experience, and … Continue reading

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Review: Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson

Leah Johnson’s second YA novel, RISE TO THE SUN, is a summery, dramatic, fun story that weaves serious emotional pain and challenges with a story about friendship, falling in love, and realizing one’s importance in the world. Told via alternating … Continue reading

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Review: Zara Hossain is Here by Sabina Khan

ZARA HOSSAIN IS HERE by Sabina Khan is a well-rounded novel that includes a wide-range of social justice issues including Islamophobia, immigrant issues, homophobia – especially in religious settings, gun violence, xenophobia, and more. Within those larger issues, Khan manages … Continue reading

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Review: RICK by Alex Gino

RICK by Alex Gino is not a continuation of the award-winning GEORGE from a several years ago, but the themes and some characters are consistent. This important novel focuses on Rick, whose best friend heckled and harassed Melissa (the focus … Continue reading

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The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James by Ashley Herring Blake

“I’m going to die today.” That’s the opening line of the heart-breaking (in the best way) middle grade novel THE MIGHTY HEART OF SUNNY St. JAMES by Ashley Herring Blake. Sunny is a 12-year-old girl going into summer without her … Continue reading

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Review: The Girl from the Sea by Molly Ostertag

Molly Ostertag’s THE GIRL FROM THE SEA brings together both fantastical and very real emotions and events in a graphic novel that addresses first love, hiding one’s true self from friends and family, and coming-of-age. The fantastical arrives in the … Continue reading

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Review: GEORGE by Alex Gino

Reading Alex Gino’s GEORGE is such a complete and loving gift. George* is a 4th grade girl who struggles with figuring out how to let her family and friends know she’s not the boy they all think she is. From … Continue reading

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Review: Sisters of the War by Rania Abouzeid

SISTERS OF THE WAR by Rania Abouzeid is a non-fiction narrative about the horrific tragedies in Syria. It focuses on two girls, Ruha and Hanin, and their families who experience deep loss and painful experiences over years of war and … Continue reading

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