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.

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.

Poison Ivy by Amy Koss

A book review by Faith Thompson

 

For years, Ivy has been bullied by her classmates, led by Ann. Now she has finally brought her complaint to her social studies teacher – who thinks that it would be a great opportunity to practice what they’ve been learning about American court systems and sets up a mock trial.

Ivy and her painfully shy lawyer, Daria, are to present an accusation against Ann and her friends. Ann and her lawyer, Owen, know that they don’t have anything to worry about – but the jury may end up being in favor of Ivy. And there’s only a couple of witnesses who know the truth – but which side will they take?

 

Find it in Auburn PL TEEN Fiction YA FIC Koss, A.

Curveball: The Year I Lost my Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick

A book review by Faith Thompson

 

Peter has always had a great life. His family is close, especially he and his grandfather. He’s learning photography, and he and his best friend AJ are the star pitchers of their baseball team. Nothing’s wrong for Pete!

But then a pitching accident takes away baseball — permanently. Pete has no choice but to join his school’s Advanced Photography club. Here he meets a girl named Angelika, who seems to understand him really well. But just when things are starting to get better, Pete begins to notice weird stuff going on with his grandfather.  And there’s nothing he can do about it.

 

Find it in APL TEEN Fiction YA FIC Sonnenblick, J.

Princess in the Spotlight (The Princess Diaries, #2) by Meg Cabot

A book review by Faith Thompson

 

Mia’s mom and her Algebra teacher are expecting a baby, and they’re getting married. Her grandmother is obsessed with giving them the royal wedding of the century. And she has a secret admirer who’s sending her letters and emails under a fan name. Her chest is still tiny and her best friend Lilly seems to be infatuated with Mia’s cousin, Hank. And even with all of this Mia still has to take princess lessons from her grandmother and try to be a vegetarian.
What’s a princess who didn’t even know she was a princess to do?
Find it in APL TEEN Fiction YA FIC Cabot, M.

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

A book review by Faith Thompson

 

Tab, Em, and Bridge have been best friends since fourth grade. Now they’re in middle school, and things are starting to change.

For one thing, Patrick is interested in Em — and he wants a picture from her. And Bridge has met Sherm and is having friend dates for cinnamon toast at the local diner. An anonymous teenager is struggling with the fact that she betrayed her best friend to get in with the popular girl on Valentine’s Day. Through it all, Bridge, Em, and Tab stick to their best friendship, which has only one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through this craziness?

 

Find in it APL TEEN New Books YA FIC Stead, R.