MADreads for Teens

A review of Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices by Mitali Perkins

Reviewed by Ali Khan of The Simpson Street Free Press When confronting problems regarding race and ethnicity, many attempt to challenge stereotypes with protests, heated discussions, and even aggression. While these options may be effective, Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices, edited by Mitali Perkins, uses a different tactic against racial prejudices—humor.Open Mic is not the average teen novel. Rather than share the perspective of just one author, it ...read more

Reviewed by Jesse on
February 24, 2015 | 1 comment
A review of The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

The Crossover* written by Kwame Alexander is the 2015 Newbery Medal winner. Josh and Jordan Bell are twins, and at 12 years old they've already tasted greatness. Both superstars on their middle school basketball team, the boys live in the warm glow of each other's friendship, and encouragement from their parents-- especially their ex-pro ball player father. When Jordan falls for a girl at school who is no slouch on ...read more

Reviewed by Beth on
February 6, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

The American Library Association (ALA) announced the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults today and I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson was named the 2015 Printz Award Winner. This book is Clark Gable. That is to say, it's super cool. Beyond charismatic. And somewhat tortured. ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
February 2, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Vicious by Victoria Schwab

I don't know about you, but when a book begins with a scene involving an ex-con digging up a grave, it draws me in pretty quickly. In fact, everything about Vicious, the first adult novel by Victoria Schwab (I'm a big fan of two of her teen books, The Archived and The Unbound, and I can't wait for the third book in the trilogy!) ...read more

Reviewed by Kylee on
January 29, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince

Liz Prince was a tomboy when she was a kid and it was not easy for her. Boys and girls alternately picked on her or ostracized her. Adults didn't know what to make of her and there were a lot of rules that made things tough for her, like a school requirement that boys wear shirts and ties and girls wear dresses on certain school days.  This autobiographical graphic novel shares her story. It's a really important one. But it got me thinking about tomboys. I am wondering if today's world is ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
January 12, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann

Wow. This is one of the most unsettling books I've read. Take a good look at the cover of this book and you'll notice that there is something not quite right about the fairy landscape. Right there, on the front cover, in a green, leafy setting is a tiny fairy creature snuggled up to a human hand. A dead, decomposing human hand. Shiver. What's going on here? In a nutshell, this book is about a crisis. What happens in a crisis? Who takes charge in a crisis and who takes advantage? How do you ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
December 16, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of The Good Sister by Jamie Kain

The lives of the three Kinsey sisters have been shaped primarily by the knowledge that the oldest of them will die young.  However, it is not the life-long battle with cancer that does her in, but a fall off a cliff.  A fall which may or may not have been an accident.  As the younger Kinsey’s try to forge their own identities, independent of their sister and her illness, they must come to terms with the fact that their oldest sister may not have been what they thought. ...read more

Reviewed by Jill O on
December 5, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of I Remember Beirut by Zeina Abirached

This graphic novel depicts the author's memories of growing up in Beirut in the 1980s during the Lebanese Civil War and is a follow-up to A Game for Swallows: To Die, To Leave, To Return.  A Game for Swallows is about one particular event: an evening when young Zeina and her brother are left in the care of neighbors while their parents venture to the other side of Beirut to visit family. The kids are ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
November 13, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

When a story begins with a handful of eager, attractive teenagers preparing for a trip to an isolated cabin halfway up the side of a mountain, it doesn’t take a lot of guesswork to figure out how things are going to end. In her newest book, Becca Fitzpatrick, author of the Hush, Hush series, ups the ante by including a terrifying prologue, giving us a chilling glimpse at what the girls are going to face up on that mountain.Britt and Korbie have been planning their spring break backpacking ...read more

Reviewed by Beth on
November 7, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Through the Woods: Stories by Emily Carroll

This is a collection of five elegant and horrifying graphic short stories that take place in or around the woods. The stories included are "Our Neighbor's House," a chilling tale of three girls left all alone in a house; "A Lady's Hands Are Cold," about a young woman sent to live on an isolated estate with a husband she has not yet met; "My Friend Janna," featuring a girl who may or may not communicate with the spirit world; "The Nesting Place," a shocking twist on the ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
October 30, 2014 | 0 comments