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MADreads for Teens

Book reviews for teens by library staff and guest contributors

Shipwreck!

Cover of Salt to the Sea
A review of Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

The most tragic shipwreck in history may be one very few people remember.  It’s not the Titanic.  It is the World War II sinking of the German military transport ship Wilhelm Gustloff in January 1945.  On a ship designed to carry 1,465 passengers and crew, 10,582 desperate refugees from the Balkans and Eastern Europe, fleeing the advancing Russian troops, crammed on-board.  Two torpedoes fired from a Russian submarine sank the ship and 9,343 passengers drowned, including 5,000 children. 

February 14, 2019

2019 Morris Award Winner (and Finalists)

Cover of Darius the Great is Not Ok
A review of Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

One of the awards announced Monday in Seattle is the William C Morris YA Debut Award. This is a lesser known award (compared to the big hitters like Newbery and Cadlecott), but it's the one I look most forward to. They release a list of finalists in December, so right there you have a handful of brand new YA authors you know you should keep an eye on. And the choices are always thoughtful, exciting, and fresh. 

February 5, 2019

One letter at a time

Cover of Purple and Black
A review of Purple and Black by K. J. Parker

Purple and Black is brilliantly done - a gem of a book (if I may be so cliche). Tightly woven. Thought-provoking. And all of that in a slender 113 pages. This is a fantasy novel, but don't let that prevent you reading it. It's only a fantasy in that it has a made up country. Everything else about it reads like historical fiction.

February 4, 2019

It takes a con

Cover of City of Secrets
A review of City of Secrets by Victoria Thompson

In the second of her new series set in 1920s New York former con artist Elizabeth Miles helps a friend whose husband has died (killed by a streetcar). As though grieving her suddenly dead husband weren't bad enough, Priscilla Knight learns after his death that all of her money is gone. She'd come into this second marriage a wealthy woman and somehow in less then a year her husband Endicott made all that money disappear. Now Priscilla isn't sure how she'll support herself and her two young daughters.

January 16, 2019

Swoon.

Cover of 99 Percent Mine
A review of 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

Fans of Sally Thorne's debut novel, The Hating Game, have been RABIDLY waiting for her second book for what feels like decades, but was actually three years. Her hilarious, galloping writing never lets the reader rest a beat between moments of chemistry-- it has a wonderful dizzying effect. Almost everyone I know has read The Hating Game at my insistence, and many of them simply and reverently refer to it as The Book. 

January 15, 2019

Judith & Susanna & Artemisia

Cover of Blood Water Paint
A review of Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

This fictionalized biography of Artemisia Gentileschi is as beautiful, powerful, and haunting as the paintings its subject produced. Gentileschi is best known as a celebrated Italian Baroque painter, and for insisting on trying her rapist in a court of law-- two things that were near unheard of for women of her time. 

January 9, 2019

By day a comic book writer...

Cover of The Frame-Up
A review of The Frame-Up by Meghan Scott Molin

MG Martin is a writer working for the comic book publishing company responsible for the comics that spurred the geekdom of her youth. Her dream job, or so you'd think. But things have stalled. She struggles to have her ideas heard in a building full of men and while she still wants to write the comics she loves, she's wondering if she should be pushing for more or even pursuing her love of costume design. Then into her lap falls a real-life mystery.

January 7, 2019

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