MADreads

A review of The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

The William C Morris Award is granted every year to a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens. The finalists are usually announced in December, and the list is consistantly spectacular, and a good place to look for some of the best writing in YA Literature. This year the Morris Award went to Jeff Zentner's smart and complex The Serpent King,  the story of three misfits finishing out their senior year in a small southern town. The group is led by Dill, the son ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
January 30, 2017 | 0 comments
Book cover
Newbery Winner and Honors This year's Newbery Medal for most distinguished contribution to American literature for children went to The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Regan Barnhill. A rich fantasy story with deep fairytale vibes, it's the story of a village that leaves one of their children in the woods each year as a sacrifice to a misunderstood witch, the witch that nurtures them and finds them homes, and what happens when one of those ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
January 26, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of March: Book Three by John Lewis

The biggest news to come out of yesterday's ALA Youth Media Awards was the record breaking honors received by the third in Rep. John Lewis's graphic novel series about his extraordinary involvement in the civil rights movement. The first two volumes in the series have been met with wide praise and awards of their own, and in addition to a ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
January 24, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi

Pop-culture blogger, intersectional feminist, and super funny Anjayi Luvvie wants us all to do better, and lucky for us she wrote it all down in a handy manual. With chapter titles like "When Baehood Goes Bad", "Your Facebook is My Favorite Soap Opera" and "Zamunda Is Not a Country. Neither is Africa" Luvvie shrewdly (and hilariously) lays out some no-nonsense Miss Manners business for the digital age, always being sure to offer suggestions for acting right after taking down those among us who ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
January 19, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly

This truly funny mystery is a sequel to Trouble is a Friend of Mine, and if you haven't read the first, NOTHING is more important than getting your hands on it right away and reading it cover to cover in one sitting. I'll wait. Ok, you guys, Digby is back! Still troubled, still obsessed with finding his sister's abductor, still hilarious, and still unable to leave Zoe alone, Digby rushes back into town and pulls her ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
January 13, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Speed of Life by J. M. Kelly

Amber and Crystal are twin sisters living on the poverty line who are determined to be the first people in their family to graduate from high school. An unexpected pregnancy threatens to derail their plan, but the sisters rally and commit to raising the baby together, taking turns watching their little girl when the other is working, and taking advantage of the school's daycare. Their future is set--getting an apartment away from their gambling addict mother and lethargic stepfather after ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
December 29, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Textbook Amy Krause Rosenthal by Amy Krause Rosenthal

This sweet little gem of an interactive memoir plays with traditional textbook format to bring you the authors musings on love, life, creativity, parenthood and the connections between people-- people close to you or people you've never met. Or people you might not have met, but fate intervened.  This was a quick read, and left me feeling unexpectedly moved and optimistic. Rosenthal has that special gift we usually associate with poets: using just a few words to drill straight into the ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
October 4, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

Solomon is sixteen years old, and he hasn't left his house since he was 13. Ever since he had a majorly public (and still talked about) anxiety attack in middle school, the teen has been content to stay in his house and earn his diploma online, with only his parents and grandmother for company. Enter Lisa-- a former classmate who is eager to infiltrate his happy but private world in order to gather material for a winning college essay she hopes to write. Accompanied by her handsome boyfriend ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
September 21, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of The Gallery by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

It’s 1929 in NYC, and Martha O’Doyle is convinced there is nothing worse than school. When she gets on her teacher’s last nerve and is expelled, she goes to work with her mother as a maid in a wealthy newspaper magnate’s posh home. Turns out she was wrong. It doesn’t take long for Martha to find some intrigue between all the washing and cleaning and potato peeling. It turns out the master of the house’s wife, Rose, is a recluse. She hasn’t left her bedroom in years. The word around the house, ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
August 23, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt

A friend pointed me in the direction of this book. Not because she'd read it, but because the flap copy says the author is "in the company of Kelly Link," and my friend knows that I am a hand-to-your-heart gigantic superfan of Kelly Link. If you haven't read her, stop what you're doing and put one of her books on hold. You won't regret it. Anyway. Samantha Hunt lived up to the promise big time. Mr. Splitfoot ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
June 13, 2016 | 0 comments