By the Numbers
Review Copies: 2
Teen: Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker
I admit, there were some parts in the hyper-conservative worldview of the town and the church that made me go, "Whoa . . . okay." However, this was a compelling look at the moment when your faith is tested by direct contradiction of the things you've always known, and whether it's possible to come through with that faith intact.
Tween: No standout this month.
Children: Animal Fights by Catherine Ham
Poems about fighting animals? You wouldn't think it would work. It does, which can be attributed equally to the poems, which are accessible and fact-based, and the great photography.
Because I Want To Awards
Move Over Veronica Mars: Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday
Okay, not really, because VMars doesn't move over for anybody and will tase you if you try. But this story of a snarky, clever teen sleuth got me and I'm quite sad that there's only one sequel. Yeah, the plot's a little uncertain, but I was taking the ride with Hartley.
Veronica Mars in 1942: The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines
Why did I enjoy this one? See above. Less snark, more history, definitely more character growth as Iris learns painful lessons about the world, her father, her mother, and herself. And there's a sequel to this one too. Yay!
Wow, That Was Something!: Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade by Melissa Sweet
I've seen these balloons all my life and never stopped to think of all the engineering and creativity that went into them. This book brought that to life, and what makes it even more stunning is that the first idea and execution came from one man.