Book Review: “Drag Teen” by Jeffery Self
Book Reviews / April 18, 2016

JT loves the fact that he’s gay – but it’s one of the only things he likes about himself. With high school graduation looming and lacking the funds for college, he worries that he’ll never make it out of his small Florida town and build a life for himself where he can be happy. When his boyfriend, Seth, and best friend, Heather, get wind of a Drag Teen competition in New York City where the winner takes home a full college scholarship, they’re convinced JT should enter. He’s tried drag before and loved it, but a disaster of a school talent show has him questioning if he’s fabulous enough to be a queen. But it’s his last shot at getting out of Clearwater, Florida, and so he’ll have to take the chance.

Book Review: “A Tangle of Gold” by Jaclyn Moriarty
Book Reviews / April 6, 2016

“A Tangle of Gold” is the final installment in Jaclyn Moriarty’s “Colors of Madeleine” trilogy, and picks up right where “The Cracks in the Kingdom” left off: Elliot has crossed over from the Kingdom of Cello to Earth, and discovered his missing father there. But as delighted as Madeleine is to have Elliot here in person, he has to leave almost immediately or risk forgetting his true identity. Before she knows it, he’s been whisked away back to Cello – where the world is still in turmoil and he’s a fugitive – and she’s left feeling like her part in the story might be over.

Book Review: “The Key to Extraordinary” by Natalie Lloyd
Book Reviews / February 27, 2016

The women in Emma’s family have always done remarkable things, whether it’s serving as a spy in the Revolutionary War, becoming a champion boxer, or being a renowned singer. The one thing all these women have in common, besides being extraordinary in their own way, is the Destiny Dream they have, which shows them the path to follow. Emma’s been waiting for her own Destiny Dream ever since her mother told her about them two years ago, before she died. The thing is, right about now would be a great time for Emma to find her destiny, preferably a profitable one, because Emma’s grandmother is running out of money to keep their small cafe open, and a greedy buyer is eyeing the property. Can Emma save her home and find her destiny?

Book Review: “Amulet #7: Firelight” by Kazu Kibuishi
Book Reviews / February 26, 2016

Many “Potter” fans were introduced to Kazu Kibuishi and his graphic novel series “Amulet” after Kibuishi illustrated new covers for the American editions of “Harry Potter” in 2013, just before the release of the sixth “Amulet” book, “Escape From Lucien.” It didn’t take long for Potterheads to get hooked on the series, and you’ll be happy to know that “Amulet #7: Firelight” has just been released!

Book Review: “City of Halves” by Lucy Inglis
Book Reviews / November 1, 2015

Lily is not your average teenager – at sixteen years old, she’s already a first class computer hacker, and uses her skills to help her father, a lawyer, solve his toughest cases. But that still doesn’t prepare her for what she discovers one morning while out investigating a case: magic is real. Unfortunately, she finds this out in the worst way possible, by being attacked by a bandogge, a terrifying two-headed dog.

Book Review: “The Lightning Queen” by Laura Resau
Book Reviews / October 26, 2015

“The Lightning Queen” by Laura Resau is a story told in two times, the present day and what is known only as “Long, Long Ago,” but only one place — the Hill of Dust in Oaxaca, Mexico. Mateo and his mother visit their family in Oaxaca every summer, but this year, Mateo can tell there is something different about his grandfather as soon as he arrives. Before long, Mateo’s grandfather launches into a captivating tale, one he’s been longing to tell for years. He tells of a young boy whose family has been fractured by tragedy, and of the young gypsy girl and her caravan who change his life forever after they come to the Hill of Dust.

Book Review: “Faceless” by Alyssa Sheinmel
Book Reviews / September 30, 2015

“Faceless” by Alyssa Sheinmel chronicles sixteen-year-old Maisie’s journey to recovery after part of her face is destroyed in an electrical fire. Maisie’s burns are so bad that the tissue in her cheeks, nose, and chin actually died. Luckily (although Maisie won’t like it if you call her that – lucky girls don’t get their faces burned off), Maisie qualifies for a face transplant. But recovery after the surgery is so much harder than Maisie predicted; not only does she have to deal with the physical healing of her body, she also has to take about twenty pills three times a day and go back to school, where everyone remembers how she used to be before her accident. She can’t help but ask herself…is it all worth it?

Book Review: “Untwine” by Edwidge Danticat
Book Reviews / September 26, 2015

When 16-year-old Giselle Boyer, her twin sister Isabelle, and their parents dash out of their house, stressed and trying to make it to Isabelle’s orchestra concert on time, little do they know that these are the last few moments of normalcy they’ll ever have. A car accident puts all four members of the Boyer family in the hospital and ends the life of one of them forever.

Book Review: “The Inker’s Shadow” by Allen Say
Book Reviews / September 24, 2015

“The Inker’s Shadow” is a companion to Allen Say’s 2011 graphic memoir “Drawing from Memory.” In “Drawing from Memory”, Say chronicled his childhood in Japan in WWII and his path to his mentor, cartoonist Noro Shinpei. In “The Inker’s Shadow”, Say continues his autobiography, telling of his life in America after he left Japan – and Shinpei – behind.

Book Review: “The Marvels” by Brian Selznick
Book Reviews / September 15, 2015

The first 400 pages of “The Marvels” are told through illustration, chronicling the exploits of sailing-turned-acting family the Marvels in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the last 200 pages told in prose, following the story of 13-year-old Joseph Jervis after he runs away from boarding school to stay with his eccentric uncle, Albert Nightingale. Selznick unfurls the relationship between these two stories gradually, in a way that both manages to build suspense in a maddening way and be totally satisfying once all is revealed.