It's almost always the case that how much I like a book depends on how much I like the MC, and high school senior Natalie Sterling is pretty hard to like. But Siobhan Vivian made me care about Natalie, even when I didn't especially like her, and make me feel protective of her, too, even when she was dead set on a foolish course of action with a preordained bad end. Natalie likes to have everything under control, but when she becomes attracted to one of the senior boys and her best friend starts keeping secrets from her, things get messy.
Arty’s goal is to find life on Mars. On the roof outside his bedroom, using a homemade signaling device, Arty directs messages toward Mars and waits for a response. One night he sees a man come out of the house next door, carrying a black garbage bag into the woods. Arty and his friends Tripp and Priya decide his neighbor is a face-eating zombie and call him Mr. Death. Arty is upset to learn his family is moving far from the Midwest. Plans get mixed up while his parents are in Las Vegas, looking for a new house, and Arty must spend the night at Mr. Death’s house.
Sarah Robinson’s dad has decided to marry a woman after only three dates. Now Sarah’s new stepmom is moving in with her two sons, Marco who’s also twelve and Nacho who is ten. Life is never going to be the same! Hoping to unite their new family, Sarah’s dad and stepmom decide to take them on a dream vacation to Fiji, where they’ll charter a boat and go sailing amongst the islands.
A private school is opening in Horsemouth, N.H.: Kaboom Academy Middle School. The information meeting attracts the attention of the parents of every child in Horsemouth that has had difficulty in the public school, and they all sign their kids up. Kaboom Academy, under the direction of the mysterious Dr. Kaboom, is an unusual place with unusual teachers.
When Charlie Laird’s dad remarries and they move into his new stepmother’s house, Charlie’s nightmares become real. He thinks his stepmom is a witch and is upset that his little brother likes her. Then his nightmare witch enters the real world and takes his younger brother. Charlie discovers and enters the Netherworld through a portal in the house and enlists his friends to help get him and his brother out.
This story started with the author sitting down with a peanut butter sandwich and a squirrel, Jed, itching to tell a tale. One day while minding his own business, Jed gets picked up by a hungry hawk. He tricks the hawk and is dropped to safety, but far away from his grove. While Jed is a gray squirrel, these squirrels are red and speak with a Scottish brogue. In the meantime, Jed’s friends discover he’s alive and travel electric lines, buzzpaths in squirrel-talk, to find him.
Noah and Jude form two parts of the same whole; they have always been inseparable and completely in sync. Both twins brim with artistic talent, inherited from their luminous, free-spirited mother. As they apply for admission into a prestigious art school, tragedy tears them apart, and their relationship is broken to pieces by grief, jealousy and misunderstandings. Told in alternating viewpoints that travel back and forth in time, this gorgeously written novel follows Jude and Noah as they try to find themselves and their way back to each other.
Teen Fiction NELSON, J.
Food plays a very special role in Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s gently satiric sketch comedy Portlandia. In this spin-off, various characters from the show share their recipes (and yes, they are real recipes) from cult-raised chicken and Stu’s stews to pickled veggies and foraged green salads. Imagine an issue of Cook’s Illustrated edited by Patton Oswalt, and maybe you’ll get an idea of the flannel wearing flavor of Portlandia. And yes, there is much more to it than just “Put an egg on it!”
Kamala Khan is a smart, funny, superhero obsessed teen growing up in Jersey City. After sneaking out one night to attend a forbidden party, she is enveloped in a mysterious fog and wakes up with the power to morph into anyone or anything she wants. Feeling obligated to use her powers to help people like her idol, Captain Marvel, Kamala struggles to negotiate life with the rules set by her loving, but strict Pakastani parents, her social life, and her new powers.
Graphic Novel Ms. MARVEL
William Bostwick’s compulsively readable book takes us through the history of western civilization through the lens of beer and its brewers. He keeps the focus on the human side of beer, with complete reverence for the process and creative mind behind the beverage. Each section looks at a historical period through a specific type - from saisons, to abbey ales, to IPAs - by examining the social, economic, and political factors that brought about the new brew.