Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve

Ten year old Oliver does not have an ordinary childhood, his parents are explorers and he has followed them to lost cities, high mountains and mysterious marshes. Oliver is not really the adventurous type so he's delighted when his parents decide to give up their exploring and settle in Deepwater Bay. But Deepwater Bay has a secret, a collection of Rambling Isles, sentient islands that move around. Of course when Oliver's parents want to explore the islands, things go wrong and soon Oliver has to rescue them. What he isn't expecting is that one of the Rambling Isles, a mermaid, a particular seabird and some sea monkeys will help him, whilst in search of the perfect sea wig.

A fantastical tale, with lots of fun silliness and beautiful quirky illustrations that add so much to the story. Great for new readers aged 6-10

Published by Random House July 22, 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

Hexed by Michelle Krys

A teenage cheerleader, suffering from falling popularity discovers that she's a witch. Not only that, but her family has been charged with protecting an essential magical book, which was recently stolen. Add in a hot young bad boy warlock who's not as helpful as he thinks he is and some seriously creepy bad guys. The result is a really fun book with great dialogue and a truly bizarre prom.

I enjoyed this mostly (I think) because it reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, although thankfully, there are no vampires.

For ages 12+

Published by Doubleday Canada, June 10, 2014

Review first published in Meet YA@DIESEL newsletter June, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

Pills and Starships by Lydia Millet

 It's the near future, past the "Tipping Point" when global warming can no longer be reversed. Seventeen year old Nat's parents have elected to die to ease the carbon footprint of mankind. They've bought a contract which allows a corporation to manage their death during one Final Week of luxury in Hawaii. Nat takes the mood altering pharmaceuticals on offer and mocks the meaningless language used by their resident therapist. But her hacker brother Sam has been doing some research and he has a different plan.

Gorgeous, literary sci-fi, in which our decaying world is fully realized and not too far from reality. It is a very bleak vision, but one with a hopeful ending. Definitely a book for independent thinkers. 

For ages 12+

Published by Akashic Books June 10, 2014

Review first published in Meet YA@DIESEL newsletter, July 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Big Bad Bubble by Adam Rubin

There are some pretty scary looking monsters in this book. But appearances can be deceptive. No matter how frightening these creatures might be, there is something that scares them. Something round, light, shiny and terrifying. Bubbles.

Everyone gets scared sometimes, but if you really investigate what scares you, it might not be so bad after all.

For ages 3-6

Published by Clarion Books May 6, 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light

We are searching for a lost dragon in New York. Where could he be hiding? Maybe in the water? Or on the rooftops? Maybe he's at the playground or helping to deliver packages in a tall building? 

This is a beautiful counting book. Each illustration is in black and white except for the things we are counting. So the boats, birds or packages jump of the page and are easy to find, unlike that dragon who is often well hidden. There is so much to share and see in this book, more than just counting from 1 to 20. And my favorite part is that the illustrations are printed on thick matt paper, which is asking to be colored in.

For ages 3-5

Published by Candlewick Books, April 8 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang

Somewhere on the West coast of America in the 1940s Hank's family own a store in Chinatown. Hank's mother is depressed, America was not all she dreamed it would be when she was a girl in China. Strangely, his mother finds a new lease of life only after she is rescued from a bank heist by a superhero called The Anchor of Justice. Hank finds himself the recipient of his mother's new found energies as she tries to turn him into the first Asian American superhero. Will her crazy ideas ever work? Can Hank become a superhero on his own terms? Or does his quiet father hold the key to The Green Turtle's destiny after all. 

Inspired by a short lived wartime comic book about possibly the first Asian American superhero, this graphic novel packs an historical, visual and emotional punch. 

For ages 12+

Published by First Second July 15, 2014