Nowhere Boy (Roaring Brook Press, 2018) by Katherine Marsh is a fascinating tale of two boys whose lives intersect in Brussels, Belgium. Ahmed is fourteen and from Syria, and all alone. Max is thirteen and from America. From different cultures and struggling with both sides of the refugee question, the boys form a bond of friendship.
Don’t pass this book up. It’s a 2019 Bank Street Best Children’s Book and a 2019 American Library Association Notable. See other praise here.
Read about author Katherine Marsh here. Katherine is not afraid to venture into difficult subjects in her books. I recommended one here. I need to read her other middle grade books, too.
The Kingdom (Henry Holt, 2019) by Jess Rothenberg is a freaky good YA novel. The story is told in an interesting way with a mixture of events in the present, such as post trial interviews, and those in the past with what happened from the main character’s viewpoint. It will keep you guessing and on edge.
Ana is a Fantasist at a theme park where everyone’s fantasy can come true. Bioengineered species–formerly extinct–exist along with the beautiful Fantasist sisters. But then Ana, and others, experience things beyond their programming. When a maintenance worker goes missing, Ana is put on trial for murder. Did she really kill someone?
This is Jess Rothenberg’s second book. Read about the author here. And check out the foreign additions of The Kingdom here.
One Week of You (Goldenjay Books, 2019) is author Lisa Williams Kline’s ninth book and is so ninth grade. I really enjoyed it.
15-year-old Lizzy Winston has sworn off boys because she wants to be a doctor. But then she gets AMSD–Andy Masters Smiling Disease. He’s the first boy to ever ask for her number and he makes her laugh. But with her forgetfulness, flour babies, real babies, and pranks at school, Lizzy’s newfound relationship is headed for trouble.
Read about the author here and check out her other books here.
Sorcery of Thorns (Simon & Schuster, 2019) by Margaret Rogerson is a fascinating read.
16-year-old Elisabeth Scrivener, a foundling raised in one of the Great Libraries and now an apprentice librarian, wants to be trained as a warden to protect the kingdom from the magical grimoires. But when she’s implicated in the death of the Director, it’s the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn who takes her away from the library. And she knows that all sorcerers are evil. What’s to come of her?
I enjoyed reading Margaret’s bio too. Sorcery of Thorns is her second book. The first is titled: An Enchantment of Ravens. I’ll have to check it out as well.
Dear Martin (Crown Books for Young Readers, 2017) by Nic Stone is one of those oft recommended books that didn’t disappoint. It’s compelling, moving, sad, and hopeful.
Justyce McAllister is a senior at Braselton Prep and despite what his friend Manny thinks, he’s not treated equally. He found that out the hard way when helping his former girlfriend who is too drunk to drive and he gets arrested. He’s released, but the experience wakes him up to the reality of what he’s been reading in the news. And that’s just the beginning. Things are going to get worse. Much worse.
This book made me sad and mad on behalf of Justyce and young men like him. I wish everyone would read it.
Amazingly enough, this book is Nic Stone’s debut. Her newest book is Odd One Out. Read more on her website. Follow her on Twitter here.