MADreads for Teens

A review of Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick

At first I found the language jarring, but as I continued to read, I found myself engrossed in McCormick’s fictionalization of Arn Chorn-Pond’s story of his years as a child caught in a horrific combination of genocide and war in Cambodia during the reign of the Kmehr Rouge.When the Kmehr Rouge come to his village and begin rounding up his family, friends and neighbors, Arn’s Aunt advises him to “bend low, and then bend lower” in order to survive. From age 11 to 14, Arn bends in ways no one ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
January 11, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

Everything changes for Violet Eden when she finds out that she must make a decision on her 17th birthday that could help to save the world. Can she become an angel and sacrifice her life, or should she deny her ancestry and risk everything? And, if her decision wasn't compelling enough, her heart is  being torn apart by Phoenix, a sexy stranger, and her steadfast companion and protector, Lincoln. Action, romance, angels and demons -- this book has it all! ...read more

Reviewed by Krissy on
December 21, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Origin by Jessica Khoury

When you're the only teenager living in a compound of secret research labs in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, life can be a bit lonely. It's even worse when you're the only person in the world who's going to live forever. In Jessica Khoury's debut novel Origin, Pia is the first and only immortal human, the result of generations of genetic experimentation by scientists who devote their lives to this hidden compound and its ethically questionable research. Pia has been raised by ...read more

Reviewed by Kylee on
December 11, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Wonder by R.J. Palacio

I could not put this book down--it was an engrossing, emotional rollercoaster ride. Ten-year-old August (Auggie), is going to school for the very first time after being homeschooled by his mother. He is apprehensive about entering the 5th grade because of the way he looks. Auggie was born with severe facial deformities that have required extensive surgeries, but he still doesn’t look “normal.” At one point, Auggie says, “I won’t describe what I look like.  Whatever you are thinking, it’s ...read more

Reviewed by Lesley K on
December 7, 2012 | 1 comment
A review of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

I'm not super into dragons and I probably never will be. But Clay Jannon, the new clerk at Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore in San Francisco, was obsessed with them in 6th grade and developed his most enduring relationship because of them. Clay and his best friend Neel bonded over the "The Dragon-Song Chronicles" and have remained tight ever since. "The Dragon-Song Chronicles" are referenced over and over again and ultimately help solve the puzzle that is this book, but you do not need to know ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
December 5, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral

"Chopsticks" pretty much sums it up for me, with Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" coming in a close second. There's something about the repetitiveness of "Chopsticks" that echoes lunacy. When I realized that Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral's unusual teen mad romance utilizes this waltz to demonstrate how the main character, a piano prodigy, is careening off course, I immediately understood. No more words required. The name of this instantly recognizable tune conveys the message loud and ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
November 27, 2012 | 2 comments
A review of The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan

No one writes a fairy tale like Margo Lanagan. Her first novel, Tender Morsels, was one of my favorite books of 2008, and her story collections Red Spikes, Black Juice, and ...read more

Reviewed by Kylee on
November 19, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Eucalyptus Middle School is putting on the old-fashioned musical "Moon over Mississippi" and seventh grader Callie is working on the stage crew. She's a boy crazy drama geek with purple hair and a love for all things theater. She's super excited about painting sets and building a pretend cannon for the show and the cast and crew is friendly and encouraging.  Callie's a happy kid with a good group of friends and a lot of positive adult support, but she's got one big problem: she's boy crazy ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
November 12, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Because it Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin

Gabrielle Zevin's fantastic novel All These Things I've Done told the story of Anya Balanchine, heiress to the Balanchine chocolate empire and mob princess, who falls in love with the Assistant District Attorney's son in a Romeo and Juliet style romance. In Because it Is My Blood, we meet up with Anya after she's released from prison and follow her on another fantastic series of events full of ...read more

Reviewed by Krissy on
October 19, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Team Human by Justine Larbalestier

If you can't take one more second of the whole Team Edward/Team Jacob debate, in fact, even if you hate vampire stories -- this is one vampire story you're sure to love. Mel is not a huge fan of vampires, but her best friend, Cathy, is in love with everything old and dead. This hasn't been a very big problem in their friendship, until a vampire shows up in their local history class and Cathy falls head over heels in love. Throw in a missing father, his distraught family, and a human raised by ...read more

Reviewed by Krissy on
September 27, 2012 | 0 comments