With alternating stories, Just Like That by Gary D. Schmidt (Clarion Books, 2021) tells the story of two 14-year-olds in 1968 who are coming to terms with something big that happened, which changed their lives completely “just like that.” Meryl Lee Kowalski (a name familiar to those who have read The Wednesday Wars) has been

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It is quite rare to see a disease like cystic fibrosis depicted in an historical fiction novel, let alone historical fiction that takes place during the middle ages! In Breath (Atheneum, November 2003), creative storyteller Donna Jo Napoli retells the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin with a twelve-year-old boy that has cystic fibrosis

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With a long list of accolades, including the Newbery Honor, Coretta Scott King Award, and Printz Honor, young adult novel-in-verse Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum, 2017) provides me with a window into a different culture and life from my own as I watch this unique teenager wrestle with internal struggle after his older

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The story of Noah in the Old Testament has always troubled me, as I grapple with the implications of a worldwide flood. However, in the young adult novel Storm (Simon & Schuster, 2014) by Donna Jo Napoli, the author takes a creative approach by envisioning the experience of a teenage stowaway named Sebah on Noah’s

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With my past experiences with American Sign Language (ASL) and brief experiences with the unique Deaf culture, I was captivated by the fresh perspective presented in the young adult novel Give Me a Sign by Anna Sortino (G.P. Putnam and Sons for Young Readers, July 2023). This story revolves around Lilah, a hard-of-hearing teenager, who

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I somehow didn’t realize when I picked up Invisible Son by Kim Johnson (Random House, June 2023) that this young adult novel was labeled a thriller. The fast-paced story keeps the reader interested with intrigue but also a number of interesting and relevant subplots and a group of loveable characters. Andre is hoping to clear

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The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (adapted by Slava Rubio, translated by Lilit Zekulin Thwaites, illustrated by Loreto Aroca) is a graphic novel about Dita Adler, a Jewish teenager in Czechoslovakia during World War II. She ultimately survived the WWII concentration camp Auschwitz with her love of books, stories, and imagination as a strength

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The twin sisters Clara and Hailey in Gemini by Sonya Mukherjee (Simon & Schuster, 2016) are not your average 17-year-old twins. As conjoined twins, they are attached at the base of the spinal cord, and as such have never been apart. Their personalities could not be more different, though. And although their life has been

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