Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

A Seeker is a warrior, trained from childhood to protect the weak and uphold justice. Quin, her boyfriend John and her best friend Shinobu are proud of their honorable legacy and are ready to take their Oath. But when they learn the truth of what they have been trained for, neither Quin nor Shinobu are able to carry out their gruesome duties. Meanwhile, John reveals ulterior motives he's been harboring ever since he was a small boy.

This book builds slowly, really immersing the reader in the characters, their sense of duty and the nuances of the secrets they all carry. Then it explodes into a full on visceral adventure story, with time travel, futuristic cities and ancient traditions. There are some terrifying characters here, drawn with the kind of complexity that makes a bad guy really great to read. There's also a character that many readers will identify with, a fixed point in time, an observer, with more power than she realizes.

Seeker is the first of a trilogy and when you finish reading it, you definitely want more.

Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, February 10, 2015

Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

A teenage girl wakes up in a desolate and unfamiliar place where she's met by a boy her age, he explains that he is The Messenger of Fear and she is his apprentice. He won't answer her questions or help her remember who she is, he only shows her the deeds of the wicked and demands her help to punish them. Messenger of Fear is exactly the sort of twisted psycho-horror we expect from Michael Grant. It's disturbing and oddly satisfying with some really inventive plot twists. For ages 12+ with strong stomachs.

Published by Harper Collins, September 23, 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015

There will be lies by Nick Lake

Even though she's almost 18, Shelby Cooper lives a really sheltered life, she's homeschooled by her mother and only briefly allowed out on her own to visit the library. But she's extremely clever and questioningly sarcastic and it's these strengths that will see her through the extraordinary changes to come. The real world thriller in this story flows beautifully, the dialogue is so real, the writing is so good and the plot has perfect pacing. Then there are the dream sequences, that will blow your mind. For ages 12+.

Published by Bloomsbury USA January 6, 2015

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Truth About Twinkie Pie by Kat Yeh

This book broke my heart and then put it back together again. 

Twelve year old GiGi lives with her much older sister DiDi. DiDi pushes her to work hard in school and never lets her forget the memory of her beautiful, positive and resourceful mother. But when the sisters move to a nicer town, with money that DiDi won in a baking contest and GiGi starts a new private school, her life begins to unravel until she's no longer sure who she is and who to trust. 

This is a story about poverty, social mobility and identity told with a believable voice by a fiercely likable character. For ages 10-12.

Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
January 27, 2015

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

The village of Fairfold exists partly in the modern world and partly in the fairy realm. The villagers have found many ways to live with the terrifying "fair folk", placating them with gifts, making bargains and even taking in a changeling child. But when the sleeping fairy prince escapes from his casket in the darkest part of the forest, the boundary lines are redrawn, especially for those who walk in both worlds. Holly Black is a master storyteller and this modern fairytale does not disappoint. For ages 12+.

Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
January 13, 2015

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Giant Game of Sculpture by Herve Tullet

Herve Tullet is the French author/illustrator of Press Here and Mix It Up, who has been described as the "king of preschool art". His new book really is giant (18" x 11"), although it isn't really a book. Instead, it's a beautifully presented system of press out cardboard shapes which can be slotted together, around a large concertina like frame to create a free standing sculpture. Tullet makes some additional suggestions to the young artist to add pieces of card, wrapping paper or painted toilet rolls and make it truly unique. 

This is a hands-on art book that makes creative play really dynamic and exciting, encouraging kids to understand the medium of sculpture and then play with it. Great for young makers between ages 4 and 8.

Published by Phaidon September 22, 2015

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Honey by Sarah Weeks

10 year old Melody lives with her father in a small town in Indiana, one day she overhear's her Dad talking on the phone to someone he calls "Honey". Melody suddenly realizes that her Dad might have a girlfriend, so she enlists the help of her best friend Nick to find out Honey's true identity. Her search leads her to the local beauty salon and some wild speculation. Meanwhile, Mo is a dog who just moved into the beauty salon with his owner, but there's something very familiar about one little girl who keeps visiting. 

A charming and heartwarming book about family secrets and a dog's enduring love. For ages 8-10.

Published by Scholastic January 27, 2015

Monday, February 2, 2015

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Jubilee Chase is a soldier on the war torn planet of Avon, her job is to keep the rebels from destabilizing the terraforming process. Flynn is one of those rebels, he just wants to stay alive while his people dream of self determination. Thrown together and deeply mistrustful of one another, these two uncover an unbelievable secret that could kill everyone on the planet. 

In this follow up to These Broken Stars, we find ourselves on a different planet, with different characters, until the Laroux corporation rears it's ugly head again. Sexy, military sci-fi (yes, those can go together). For ages 12+.

Published by Disney Hyperion December 23rd, 2014