As a kid I was horrified to learn about Nazi Germany and the holocaust. How could people think like that?! My naive self thought antisemitism would disappear. And, of course, so would Nazis. Unfortunately not. Here are two books to help middle grade and young adult readers with these topics. Both are told in multiple points of view.
Linked (Scholastic Press, 2021) by Gordon Korman deals with what happens when a student paints a swastika on the school walls. Meet Michael, Lincoln, and Dana all struggling with the aftermath in their quiet town. Who did it and why? (mg novel)
The Assignment (Ember, 2020) by Liza Wiemer starts out with the good intentions of a teacher wanting his students to understand how horrific the genocide of the Jews was, but his approach is wrong and two students–best friends Logan and Cade–take on the battle to get the assignment canceled. (YA novel)
Both stories have surprising twists and are thought provoking.
Gordon Korman is a many-times-published author. On his website this time, I learned his first book was published when he was fourteen!
The Assignment is Liza Wiermer’s second novel and has won numerous honors. Check it out here. Read about Lisa here.
Winterwood (Simon Pulse, 2019) is another winner by Shea Ernshaw the author of The Wicked Deep.
Each month at full moonrise, Nora Walker enters the woods in search of lost things. “The things that are lost at Jackjaw Lake in summers past are once again found in the woods. Appearing as if the forest is giving them back.” But she never expected to find a body.
I found this spooky romantic book unputdownable. There’s a fun trailer on the author’s website for this book.
Read about NY Times bestselling author Shea and her other books here. I’ve got more books to read! 🙂
Don’t Get Caught (Sourcebooks Fire, 2016) by Kurt Dinan was a compelling read.
When Max gets a note from the prank pulling Chaos Club to show up at the school at 10 pm, he’s suspicious why they chose him. But since he’s tired of being “Just Max,” he shows up. Along with four others who get busted by the campus “cop” and blamed for the graffiti they found. Max and his newfound friends decide to get payback.
I loved Max’s voice, the humor, how characters changed, and the heist movie references.
You can get a bit of the author’s sense of humor by reading his bio. I hope we see more books from Kurt.
The Lying Planet (Entangled Publishing, 2016) by Carol Riggs got buried in my TBR pile, which really was a shame as I enjoyed this sci-fi novel very much.
Jay Lawton can’t wait to move out of Sanctuary, one of the colonies in a safe zone, when he graduates on his birthday. He’s sure he and his girlfriend, Aubrie, will test well and both go to Promise City. He’s hoping he might earn a cloudskimmer. Then the two can be free of parental supervision and explore the planet. The genomide poisoned body of the banished Mick Garinger is just a reminder to keep doing well with studies, community service, and work in this post-war life on the planet Liberty.
But one night Jay forgets his evening pill and stumbles on a heart-stopping truth–the adults are not who they say they are! Aubrie won’t believe him, but other friends do. Now instead of wanting to get the highest score out of the Testing Machine, Jay and the others need to do what they can for a low score and get banished. Plus they need to convince the other seventeen-year-olds, especially Aubie, of their impending danger.
You can read chapter one here and find out more about Carol’s other books here.
I’m not sure I could handle this story in movie form…
I loved Warcross (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2017) by Marie Lu and am thrilled there’s a sequel coming soon.
Emika Chen is a hacker and bounty hunter who is down on her luck. Frustrated she hacks into the International Warcross Championship and is seen! Instead of being arrested, she’s contacted by her idol Hideo Tanaka, the creator of Warcross. He flies her from NY to Tokyo where he asks her to be a spy in the tournaments of this popular virtual reality video game. Emika is in even before she sees the promised bounty.
Fun, action, danger, and even romance is in this near future sci-fi that moves rapidiy. I did not want to put this thriller down. And what a shocker ending! Wildcard, comes out in September! (Love that cover! I know. I’m gushing. But you don’t want to miss this duology.)