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MADreads for Teens

Book reviews for teens by library staff and guest contributors

A little magic, some swashbuckling and a ball

Cover of Newt's Emerald
A review of Newt's Emerald by Garth Nix

I stumbled across this young adult gem as a read-alike to Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen. A smart, exciting mix of Regency and fantasy, "Newt" refers to Lady Truthful Newington and her "emerald" is a magical heirloom stolen during a family party on her eighteenth birthday. The precious stone's properties are properly harnessed only by the owning family which puts the Newington's in peril of misfortune and possibly worse if the jewel gets into the wrong hands.

May 16, 2023

Getting feelings under control in the great outdoors

Cover of Highly Suspicious and Unfa
A review of Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert

Celine Bangura dreams of landing a coveted spot in a prestigious mentorship program. Her grades are tops and her popular conspiracy theory TikTok attracts thousands of followers. Unfortunately, there's one thing standing in her way: Bradley Graeme. Best friends for years, Celine and Brad parted ways when Brad wanted to expand his friendship circle and Celine felt heartbroken and left behind. Making matters worse, Bradley's friends treat Celine horribly.

May 1, 2023

Tea and company

Cover of A Psalm for the Wild Built
A review of A Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers

In an era where thinking about the future is an increasingly depressing task, A Psalm for the Wild-Built was just the story I needed. This novella by modern-day sci-fi superstar Becky Chambers presents a wonderfully optimistic view of a future where humanity has learned to live in harmony with nature.

Feb 28, 2023

Finding your place

Cover of The Very Secret Society of
A review of The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

Mika Moon pretends to be a witch in her social media videos and enjoys the sense of community she has with her followers. But unbeknownst to those she's met online, Mika really is a witch. And no one can know. Primrose, the woman who “raised” Mika is very firm on the rules for witches. And rule number one is tell and show no one. That rule has led to a peripatetic life and no long-term connections for Mika. Until now.

Feb 21, 2023

The Poet X's most famous spoken-word poem

Cover of Inheritance: A Visual Poem
A review of Inheritance: A Visual Poem by Elizabeth Acevedo

Inheritance, from Pura Belpré-winning Elizabeth Acevedo's most famous spoken-word poem, was named a 2023 Odyssey Honor Audiobook by the American Library Association on January 30. The Odyssey Award is given for the best audiobooks produced for children and young adults, available in English in the United States.  

Feb 13, 2023

Never broken

Cover of Inheritance: A Visual Poem
A review of Inheritance: A Visual Poem by Elizabeth Acevedo

Elizabeth Acevedo’s Inheritance: A Visual Poem weaves themes of identity, self-love, generational trauma, and beauty standards into a lovely poem. Beautiful illustrations by Andrea Pippins work in tandem with Acevedo’s words to create an immersive experience that pulls the reader further into the poem. Though it is a short read, it is touching and rousing in ways that other longer books may fall short.

Jan 27, 2023


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