A Little in Love by Susan E. Fletcher

A book review by Faith Thompson

 

Èponine Thenardièr is born to a couple of thieves not long after the Battle of Waterloo. Her entire upbringing revolves around one philosophy: steal as much as you can. She helps out at her parents’ inn by picking pockets and swindling people out of their money. But when she is five, a mysterious woman named Fantine shows up at the inn, leaving behind her little daughter, Cosette, who is forced to work like a slave at the inn.

Èponine’s life will be completely changed by this girl. Years later, when they are grown, they both fall in love with the same man, Marius Pontmercy – but how far is Èponine willing to go for true love? And is it possible that Cosette will forgive her and want to be her friend?

Desperate to reform herself, Èponine turns to good deeds. But it may not be enough to win Marius’s heart.

 

Find it in Auburn PL TEEN Fiction YA FIC Flecther, S.

Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt

A book review by Faith Thompson

 

Doug’s family is a disaster. His oldest brother Lucas is in the army fighting the war in Vietnam, and they haven’t heard from him in almost a year. His parents do nothing but fight, and his dad seems to hate his three sons.

But Doug may have the opportunity for a new life when his family moves to a small town in Northern New York State. Here he meets a girl named Lil Spicer, who rides a pink bike and teaches him to drink a really cold Coke; an old man at the library who shows him how to draw; and Doug gets a job as a grocery delivery boy for Lil’s father. But just when he thinks he may be okay in this town, his brother Christopher is accused of stealing from multiple stores, and there is no way to convince the police that he is innocent.

Doug is capable of rising to the occasion, but will it be enough?

 

Find it in Auburn PL TEEN Fiction YA FIC Schmidt, G.

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

A book review by Faith Thompson

 

Bud knows he’s in trouble when he runs away from the foster family that was cruel to him. He’s out on his own in the streets of Great Depression, Michigan, an orphan whose only clue to finding his missing father is a poster his mother gave him before she died which advertises a famous band — Herman E. Calloway and the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!!!!

Bud searches out the band in hopes that Herman is his dad. He will have to battle vampires, hunger, wasps, and not being able to leave the town he’s in — but even he could never have expected the biggest opposition to be Herman E. Calloway himself!

 

Find it APL TEEN Fiction YA FIC Curtis, C.

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.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

A book review by Faith Thompson

 

Scout Finch has a good life with her brother, Jem, and father, Atticus. They spend their days going to school, playing with their friend, Dill, and tormenting Boo Radley, the man next door who never comes outside. Her father is a lawyer, but his cases don’t typically come through the front door.

Then one day, Atticus has to take up a case that everyone is opposed to — a case where a black man has been accused of raping a white woman. Scout’s life suddenly changes as everyone around her begins dividing on either side of the Robinson case — and she has to form her own opinion of right and wrong.

 

Find it in APL TEEN Pbk Classics YA Lee, H.

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

A book review by Madeline Soucie       

 

Ever since Gretchen Muller’s father died while protecting her uncle when she was a child, Gretchen has grown up in Munich under her Uncle Dolf’s wing. She is like his little pet, protected by the National Socialist Party from the bad parts of the world and taught to hate the “dirty” Jews.

But when she meets a Jewish reporter who claims to know a different side to her father’s death, she must choose between taking a leap of faith and trusting him — and altering her life forever — or staying safe under her uncle’s protection. After all, Uncle Adolf would never lie, right?

This story uses fictional characters and real events to tell a part of Adolf Hitler’s life that not everyone may know about: How he became the head of the Nazi’s and their anti-Jew campaign.

 

Find it in APL TEEN Fiction YA FIC Blankman, A.

 Ashes by Kathryn Lasky

A book review by Faith Thompson

 

Gaby has a happy life, living in Berlin, Germany with her astronomer father and violin teacher mother. She and her best friend Rosa are in the same class, her teacher is her idol, and her sister Ulla has a nice boyfriend. They spend their summers at the lake house next door to Albert Einstein’s. But all is not right — World War II has broken out right there in Berlin, and Nazi activists are turning up everywhere, trying to get Gaby and Rosa to join their ranks. And there is something weird about Ulla’s boyfriend, something not quite right. Worst of all, people are burning Gaby’s beloved books!

 

Find it in APL TEEN Fiction YA FIC Lasky, K.

Audacity by Melanie Crowder

 

A book review by Madeline Soucie

 

This story is based on the life of Clara Lemlick, a Russian Jewish immigrant who grew up in Russia and then moved with her family to America on the East Side of New York in the early 1900s. Clara worked in a cloth factory in horrible conditions for little pay to help support her family. Her working conditions inspired her to fight for improvement of work conditions for women and never gave up despite the challenges she faced.

Though this is historical fiction, it is based on true events and gives a little bit of an insight of how immigrants worked and lived when they first entered the country in the old days.

 

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

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.