By the Numbers
Review Copies: 7
Teen: Shine by Lauren Myracle
Myracle tends to be hit or miss with me. This book, about a damaged girl coming back to life as she peels back the layers to reveal the nasty underbelly of her small Southern town, was a monster hit.
Tween: Where the Streets Had a Name by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Hayyaat is on a quest to bring her ailing grandmother soil from her home. Sounds simple, right? Until you factor in that the soil is in Israel, and Hayyaat is a citizen of Palestine. This book gives readers an up-close-and-personal look at the devastating effects of drawn-out conflicts, and also the terribly complex nature of that conflict.
Children: TIE Pearl Verses the World by Sally Murphy
As her grandmother weakens and finally dies, Pearl struggles to make sense of it all through her own particular brand of poetry, which is not what they're being taught in school. Quiet, reflective, and never maudlin, this slim book stands out in the life-after-death genre for first-to-third graders. (Coming out Aug. 23.)
The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Kids might not realize this is a fictionalized account of the childhood and youth of Pablo Neruda until the very end, but that's okay. Neftali's struggle against an overbearing father and his desire to create his poetry on his own terms are all relayed through a magical-realism style that will keep them turning pages.
Because I Want To Awards
Yanked Me Out of My Reading Funk: For Keeps by Natasha Friend
For the Pacifists Among Us: Truce by Jim Murphy
Reliably Excellent: Glitter Girls and the Great Fake-Out by Meg Cabot