A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A book review by Faith Thompson

 

Conor’s mother’s illness isn’t getting better, no matter what kind of medications the doctors are giving her. At 12:07 PM, unable to sleep, he gets up and looks out the window – and sees a monster. The monster that looks just like the yew tree in the backyard.

The tree-monster makes a deal with Conor – it will tell him three stories. In return, he must tell it his story, the one with the terrifying truth. And it’s possible, Conor believes, that the monster will be able to save his mother.

During the day, Conor struggles to take care of his mom, whose chemo is making her constantly sick. He attends school and is bullied. His grandmother is staying with them, making things even more difficult for him.

But every night at 12:07, the monster returns. And things begin to change.

 

Find it in Auburn PL Teen Fiction YA FIC Ness, P.

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

A book review by Faith Thompson

 

Two sisters share a dream — their own house one day. Lynn truly wants to live in her own home, whether it’s in Georgia or California, and Katie wants whatever Lynn wants.

As the girls grow up, they find themselves growing distant because of their age difference. But then Lynn is diagnosed with a horrible disease.  At that point, Katie finds herself back in her sister’s life, and she and her parents work to make Lynn’s dream come true — her own house.

 

Find it in APL TEEN Fiction YA FIC Kadohata, C.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

A book review by Faith Thompson

 

Liesel Meminger has no idea what home is. Her mother is giving her up, and on the train ride to meet her new family, her brother dies suddenly. In the snow by his grave, Liesel discovers a book, half-buried: The Grave Digger’s Handbook. Her foster father teaches her to read, and suddenly all kinds of doors are opening wide to her.

In this book, told interestingly and narrated by Death, we see that even in Nazi Germany, some good still shines through, as a family who was supposed to be part of the Party and fight for Hitler hides a Jew, revolts against book burnings, and loves one another. Liesel and her friend Rudy do some questionable stuff, but all in all I think this is a good book that we can learn a lot from.

 

Find it in APL TEEN Fiction YA FIC Zusak, M.

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

A book review by Faith Thompson

 

Sal’s mom left a year ago, and Sal is desperate to see her again and bring her back. Her grandparents decide to take her from Ohio to Idaho for a visit, and along the way, as entertainment, Sal decides to tell them the story of her past year with her friend Phoebe. Phoebe’s mom left, too, but much more mysteriously, and Phoebe is convinced that her mother has been kidnapped by her next door neighbor. Nothing is as it seems, whether it be why Phoebe’s mom is kissing a “lunatic” or even why Sal’s own mother left her. Sprinkled with just the right amount of humor, and a few blackberry kisses, this is a sweet story that I think people should read.

 

Find it in APL TEEN Fiction YA FIC Creech, S.