It begins with a picture. Reporter Ellis Reed never meant for the picture of two kids in front of a sign reading "2 Children for Sale" to be published in the paper, let alone spark a national debate. Despite his fame from the article, the picture has bigger consequences than anyone could ever have imagined. Teaming up with an unlikely ally Lillian Palmer, Ellis must decide how much fixing his mistakes is worth, before it's too late. In this moving novel, Kristina McMorris paints a heartbreaking tale of family, hardship, and sacrifice during the Great Depression. It was full of twists and turns that kept me guessing what would happen in the next chapter. I highly recommend to anyone interested in history or just looking for a moving story! - Kristina
Set in the aftermath of a fire destroying everything she has ever known, this story follows Moonbeam, a 17 year old girl struggling to come to terms with the fact that her life is completely upended. Switching between before and after the fire, readers embark on a gripping journey through faith, guilt and loss as Moonbeam tells her story in bits and pieces to her therapist in the rehabilitation center she now calls home. This book gripped me from the very beginning, and before I could blink, I was already half way through. Any dystopian or survivalist novel fans will not be able to put this one down! - Kristina
All Noah wants is for life to go back to the way it was before the accident that took away his father and left him in a wheelchair. Trying to forget everything that has changed, and eager for his classmates to treat him like they did before, Noah buries his grief and puts on a sarcastic mask. Yet as he navigates through this big change, he meets new friends and reconnects with old ones that help him slowly remove his mask. This novel is full of funny and witty sarcasm and wonderful characters, but is also about picking yourself up after a huge tragic loss. Well worth the read, 100% recommend!
Another fantastic book from Mackenzi Lee, and one of my favorites of the year! If possible, A Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy is better than A Genlteman's Guide to Vice and Virtue! This book is full of adventure and suspense, with a cast of amazing characters that had me flying through this book. If you are looking for a thrilling historical fiction with strong women and adventurous pirates, this is 100% the book for you.
This book is a spellbinding novel reminiscent of classics such as Once And Future King, but also so much better. Pike has woven a story of struggle and love of a long forgotten queen, with a blend of Scottish history and folklore. Languoreth struggles with love, loss, and the new weight of being queen all while watching her world grow more tense and violent with each passing year. Signe Pike has brought her story to life in this riveting trilogy. A must read book and trilogy, one of the best reads this year!
This unique, choose your own adventure exploration of gender is an eye opener, and I found it very enjoyable! Not only did I learn more about different genders, I also learned about gender in different cultures and countries and time periods that was simply fascinating. Robyn Ryle's writing is clear, informative and no stone is left unturned. This book would be enjoyable and educational for anyone looking to understand more about gender in the modern time.
-Kristina, Youth Advisory Board Member
The perfect read for anyone looking for a calming classical playlist or lovers of "day by day" books! Clemency Burton-Hill has selected 365 wonderful pieces of classical music from all across time, and paired them with stories of their composers that brought the music to life. Even if you know nothing about classical music, you will enjoy floating through this book. Clemency says it all: This book will inspire, nourish and enrich your life in unexpected ways. -Kristina
This book would be great for fans of The Mortal Instruments or Six of Crows! The world this book is set in it captivating and magical, and the characters embark on wonderful adventures that test their friendships and knowledge of magic and power. Sora and Daemon are both Taiga warriors, god-marked to become members that defend the peace of the kingdom with magic and fighting skills. While on their final trip before becoming full members, they stumble across a gathering hosted by a once thought dead enemy. Together with their friends, they have to infiltrate the new group and take them down before the fate of the kingdom is in the hands of a ruthless villain.
This book was full of adventure, I couldn't put it down! - Kristina
This book is a beautiful and captivating story of rebellion and standing up for what you believe in. The entirety of the book is written in poems, which can be daunting, but it wonderfully put together. Following the true story of Sophie Scholl, her brother and their friends who wrote anti-Hitler pamphlets that they distributed all over the country, it switches from before and after their arrest by the Gestapo. White Rose brings the emotions and anger of these young rebels to life and honors the sacrifice they made to do what was right. This book is full of emotion and despair and hope as well, and is one of the best books of the year. - Kristina
The Dreamers is an eerie and mysterious novel about a sleeping epidemic that takes hold of the small town of Santa Lora, California. Starting with a floor of college students, people start to fall into deep, dreaming sleeps that nothing can wake them from. Although they do not die unless not taken care of, as more and more around the town fall ill, it becomes harder and harder to care for the sick and prevent others form falling ill as well. The source of the virus and the fate of the sick is a compelling mystery that kept me turning the pages. I could not put it down until I finished it! -Kristina, Youth Advisory Board Member
This fantastical historical fiction follows Emmet and Lucian, who come from two different worlds but are destined to cross paths. In this world, books are bound by memories, which once bound into a book, are lost to the owners mind. The Binding is emotional, exciting, and tense, and I could not put it down! Collin’s writing is captivating and brings to life 18th century England, with a small twist of magic. It also doesn’t hurt that the cover is beautiful!
In this short nonfiction collection of stories, Toler brings to life women from BCE all the way up until World War II. From night witches to Russian aviators, this book is filled with history and amazing stories of amazing women. Each chapter is an individual tribute, making this an easy book to pick up when the mood strikes. Learning the stories of these women was inspiring and incredibly interesting!
This novel follows Check Singer, a member of the Cherokee Nation, and her extended family and acquaintances. Set in the aftermath of the Civil War, it follows the political and social turmoil of the nation, and for Check and her small town, conflict is only beginning to brew. Full of culture, family bounds, love and loss, Verble brings to life the America frontier and the struggles of the Native American people, and the book is full of twists and turns you won’t be expecting!
If you liked her previous novel, Lilac Girls, you will love Martha Kelley’s new novel, set in America nad Russia during World War I. Following 3 women, this novel vividly tells their story of loss, War, and change. Varinka, Eliza and sofya’s lives change dramatically as World War I begins, especially as Russia plummets into a revolution against the aristocrats. For Varinka, a revolution means. A change to escape her poor life in the Russian countryside, while Soyfa struggles to keep herself and her family safe as they are labeled rich “White Russians”. Eliza, stuck in New York with family issues of her own, has no idea what has happened to her best friend acrosss the world and no way to find her. As the War draws to a close, the fates of these three women will be woven together through loss, love and friendship. This book is an amazing work of art with loads of research behind it to get every detail right. Totally worth the pick up, as well as Lilac Girls, which follows the next generation of these women!
A fantastic stand alone filled with adventure and magic! This epic fantasy is set in a wonderful Victorian era magical land, where not all books are inanimate objects. Our main character, Elizabeth works in a library where the books contain dangerous magic with minds of their own. When her library is attacked, her world is turned upside down as she is summoned to the capital to be put on trial for a crime she didn't commit. Along the way, she discovers deadly secrets about her world and herself that will change the course of history. For anyone looking for a good standalone to devour, or fans of magic and adventure, this is surely the book for you!
This was a fantastic high fantasy that I couldn't put down! It was incredibly fast paced and action packed, and most of all very intense. Set in a dark, magical world reminiscent of Russian lore, this book is violent and full of flawed characters. However, although they do what they have to do, they often stop to appreciate each other. At its core, this book is about the war of religions and the influence of ideology on relationships. For any fans of Leigh Bardugo, this is surely the book for you!
Set in Dartmoor Prison, this story of the first all-black production of Shakespeare may be a bit slow to start, but once you are hooked in, it is incredibly interesting! Although they may just be playing Romeo and Juliet, the relationship between the segregated Block Four and the other Blocks begins to play out eerily like the play itself. As alliances form and tension rise, and as the American soldiers wait to be released home, a play begins to mean more than just a pastime activity. This is a fantastic and remarkable story waiting to be heard, with wonderful characters and vivid descriptions.
This is one of those few books where the back of it says all: this collection of poems and essays by the wonderful EB White brings back home a vision of democracy and America we strive to achieve in a world increasingly polarized and tense. From the Depression to the end of the Cold War, he writes about the current political atmosphere of the time in a way that still resonates today. His vision of democracy was pure, simple and unwavering, and his faith in this country is a reassuring hug to us all today. Highly recommend this wonderful collection, you will gain a deeper understanding of this country and what it means to live in a democracy.