Review: Hope Was Here, Joan Bauer (2000)

The bones of this story are pretty standard YA. Unable to deal with a baby, Hope’s mom Deena dumps her with Deena’s big sister Addie. Addie is a transient diner cook, so Hope grows up working in restaurants up and down the east coast. At the beginning of the book, … Continue reading

Review: Academy 7, Anne Osterlund (2009)

Aerin Renning, fugitive from a slave planet, gets an unbelievable chance to attend Academy 7, “the most prestigious school in the universe.” Dane Madousin, son of the Alliance’s top military man, also scores high enough on his entrance exam to attend Academy 7. She is terrified and withdrawn; he has … Continue reading

Review: Quaking, Kathryn Erskine

Orphaned Matt (not Matilda!) has reached the end of a string of distant relatives: a Quaker couple in a small Pennsylvania town who have also adopted a special-needs boy. It doesn’t pay to get attached, Matt has learned, so she keeps every potential family at arm’s length. But Sam and … Continue reading

8th Grade Superzero, by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

5 out of 5! Reggie has big dreams for his school, but Clarke Junior School isn’t stepping up. His classmates are more interested in helping themselves than helping each other, and besides, nobody listens to Reggie anyway after an unfortunate incident on the first day of school left him with … Continue reading

Wide Awake, by David Levithan (or, David Levithan for presidential speechwriter!)

A couple of weeks ago, I suggested a Group Read of this one, in honor of President Obama’s inauguration. (Man, the phrase “President Obama” ain’t getting old anytime soon.) The premise (in case you haven’t been murmuring “gay Jewish president” in your sleep) is that the first gay Jewish president … Continue reading