Young Adult Book Reviews

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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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It is not often that I hear of a “new” book by a classic author, but Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston never was published during her lifetime due to the subject matter: interviews from the 1920s with one of the last enslaved people from Africa. Finally, it was published in 2018. Now, Ibram X. Kendi

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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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A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat (First Second, February 2023) is a middle grade graphic novel memoir of Dan’s experiences when he was 13 years old and had the opportunity to explore Europe. Set in 1989, a different era for traveling, the novel captures the essence of that time. The story revolves around

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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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