Posted in Award Winners, MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Coyote Queen

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Coyote Queen (Greenwillow Books, 2023) by Jessica Vitalis is a fascinating story of one girl’s experience with poverty, domestic violence, and magic.

Twelve-year-old Fud, Felicity Ulyssa Dahlers, and her mom have always been on their own. Until Larry. Who makes the rules. And has an uneven temper and is super easy to anger. When the new neighbor girl tells her about a beauty pageant where the prize money is enough to get them away from Larry, Fud knows she has to apply and win.

Read the compelling first line: “Before the coyote stuff happened, I would have told you that magic didn’t exist.”

The story is set in Wyoming where Fud sees, and experiences, coyotes in a very unique way. The book just came out, but already it is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.

Inspired by some experiences when Jessica was a child, this is her third book. Read about her other books here. And check out her fun facts on Jessica’s about page here.

Posted in Award Winners, So Many Good Books, YA Novels


split.gif“Now I have to start lying.” Isn’t that a great first line?!
16-year-old Jace shows up at his brother Christian’s apartment, or at least what he hopes is his brother’s apartment, and the last name says Marshall, not Witherspoon. He drove all the way from Chicago to Albuquerque and he might not be in the right place?
Split (Alfred A. Knopf, 2010) by Swati Avasthi is a story about escaping domestic abuse. But physically escaping is easier than escaping the damage done. You’ll have to read the book to see whether Jace and Christian can do so in this award winning debut novel. (Split won in the Cybils YA Fiction category for 2010!)
There’s a book trailer on Swati’s site. Plus you can enjoy reading about her playlists and naming (and renaming) her characters.