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Youth Advisory Board
Below are reviews from our incredible Youth Advisory Board! These individuals read and review advance reader copies that we receive from publishers to help us decide which books to bring into the store. If you're interested in joining, click here to read more!
Wow. This book has it all. Adventure, fun, a villain, a mystery, and a hero. In Squirm we follow
Billy as he ventures to Montana after finding out his father’s address. Billy is a daredevil, he
likes to catch snakes, for a hobby! Soon Billy’s summer will take a turn, to his father. After
finding out what his dad does he has a pretty strange vacation. This includes fly to Montana,
hiking, find a grizzly bear, shoot a drone, save a panther, and try to save his own father. This
book is a great read and is as good as Hoot, Flush, Scat, and Chomp. This book is good for kids
who like animals, but just about anyone can read them. -Lucia
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
Zuri Benizet is happy living the life she knows and loves in her hood, Bushwick. What she doesn't need is Darius Darcy and his sharp jawline and arrogance to come and look down on the life she knows. Darius and his brother, Ainsley come from money and Zuri already knows what that means. Over the summer, she begins to learn that everything she thinks she knows may not be the truth after all and people can surprise you when you least expect it.
From the author of American Street, Ibi Zoboi, comes a retelling of Pride and Prejudice that is both relatable and important in a much more modern setting with issues pertaining to gentrification, class and what it means to have your beliefs challenged.
You will fall for Zuri Benizet because of her unflinching Pride in her identity, her home and her family. And Darius Darcy is a bonus you won't be complaining about. - Aditi
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 about a girl named Ivy who has discovered this anonymous art sharing app, VEIL, where you only see posts from people in a 5 mile radius. She happens to also have a lot more time on her hands because after returning from a "nerd camp" her best friend Harold has turned into a college obsessed freak, joining every club in school. Slowly but surely, Ivy discovers that some of her favorite posters go to her school and she begins to give them gifts. But of course, some things go wrong along the way. I mean it wouldn't be a proper novel if they didn't. I really enjoyed this book.
For those who loved the first three books in Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, you won’t want to miss the next adventure. For those like me who may have been losing the excitement by the third book, you’re going to want to pick this book up and continue Jacob’s adventure! When Miss Peregrine and her children save Jacob from his fate, he is in disbelief. His two worlds are colliding in present day Florida, there is much to be done in the acre and so much has changed in just a few months. Jacob is a hero in peculiardom and his friends feel they have earned their independence. The ymbryne rule is being questioned. In Florida, Jacob and Emma’s relationship becomes strained when they take a walk down memory lane and stop in at Abe’s house, little did they know, not only did Abe have a hidden bunker under his house, but a log book detailing his missions. His logs stop abruptly years before his death, why did they stop? Who were Abe’s associates mentioned in the logs? There are so many questions left unanswered for Jacob and only breadcrumbs to follow. When a clue leads him to contacting the last lifeline to his grandfather’s mysteries, Jacob cannot resist finding out who his grandfather truly was and if he can live up to his grandfather’s legend, or always walk in his shadow. America is not like the peculiardom Jacob and his friends understand, there are fighting clans, unknown loops, highway men, and more that they are not prepared for. Will Jacob be able to unravel the mystery of his grandfathers’ legacy or will he be consumed by the corrupt American peculiardom? Riggs has not disappointed with the fourth novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children. America has opened a whole new world of dangers for the peculiar and unanswered questions of Abe’s past. The easy to read conversational style is a serious page turner that will keep you reading and leave you wanting more. Full of new peculiar photos from the past, with new color feature, you won’t want to miss.
In 1818, Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, a pivotal book that changed the course of literature forever. Now, two-hundred years later, Kiersten White created a deliciously dark retelling of the haunting story we all know and love. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein features a young girl, Elizabeth, as she navigates the precarious life she is forced to live when she becomes best friends with Victor Frankenstein himself. Victor, a boy who thirsts to know the human body inside and out, will go to any extent to defeat death itself, even if it means having to sacrifice the only girl he has ever loved. The gothic setting and twisting plot breathes a whole new life into the age-old story that will captivate readers who love mystery and thrill. The question is, will Elizabeth be able to make it out alive?
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!
Fionn Boyle is just a regular boy with an annoying older sister named Tara and her obnoxious crush, Bartley Beasely. But his mother is struggling to deal with Fionn's father's death, and sends both Fionn and Tara to the island of Arranmore for the summer to stay with their grandfather, Malachy Boyle, while their mother stays back in Dublin to face her demons. Fionn isn't exactly thrilled about the trip, but his feelings change when he discovers that his grandfather is in control of a powerful magic, with darkness, a mysterious sea cave, and lots of candles. Can Fionn unravel the neverending mystery of the Storm Keepers Island? Funny, adventurous, and magical, Catherine Doyle weaves together a net of pure excitement that will keep you on your toes! - Zoey
Chess, Finn, and Emma Greystone come home one day to discover that kids sharing their names and birthdays have been kidnapped. The next day when their mother leaves them in the care of a friend while she goes on a a strange business trip, they decide to investigate. It only gets stranger from there on. The book gets off to a slow start but picks up the pace near the middle. If you like action, adventure and mystery, you'll love this first book in the Greystone Secrets series.
As soon as you open this book the action begins. When a girl discovers she's an elf and a telepath (she can read people's minds and levitate objects), she must abandon her foster parents to go to an Elvin school. Will she learn to control her abilities? You'll love this fast-paced, action-packed fantasy-adventure - Sawyer, Youth Advisory Board Member
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