Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki

29981020.jpgFreddy continuously finds herself being broken up with by her dream girl, Laura Dean. They break up, they get back together, they break up again, and so the cycle goes. Until one day Freddy receives advice telling her to break up with Laura Dean first. She begins to question who is really at fault in their relationship. Throughout this story of young love, readers follow Freddy through failing friendships, new relationships, self discovery, and most importantly, a realization and embrace of what is best for her. For fans of realistic fiction and graphic novels with beautiful art, this book is highly recommended!

– Indiana

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We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra

41716953Through a weekly class pen-pal assignment, a wonderful romance flourishes between Jo and Kurl. These characters and their relationship develop through interactions with grief, bullying, homophobia, and abuse. The boys must overcome their family secrets and personal conflicts in order to support one another and hold onto the love they have. For fans of contemporary romance, this book is a must read!

– Indiana

The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg

35442700After his fathers death, Jordan and his mother attempt to get their old food truck running again. When things don’t go exactly as planned, Max, who is practically a stranger, attempts to save the day. Readers follow Max and Jordan as they quickly become food truck connoisseurs and maybe more than strangers. Throughout the book, both main characters attempt to overcome serious issues, including mental illness and sexual assault. If you enjoy realistic fiction (or prickly pear), give this book a try!

Indiana

Bloom by Kevin Panetta

29225589This sweet monochromatic graphic novel follows Ari, a recent high school graduate, as he attempts to work out his future. Ari wants nothing to do with his family’s bakery; he wants to travel with friends, move to a big city, and play music with his band. When looking for his replacement, Ari meets Hector. While making batches of bread, a beautiful relationship blooms. However, Ari’s anxiety inevitably gets in the way. This book is perfect for lovers of graphic novels, romance, or even baking!

Indiana9781626726413

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

poet xXiomara appears to be a tough as nails high school student but this Afro-Latino young lady has a much softer side to her. She loves poetry and in a school where drugs, crime, and sex happens all too frequently, X (as known by friends) keeps her passion close to her heart. Xiomara’s beloved teacher helps her to free herself by encouraging her to join a poetry club. For the first time and not under the thumb of her mother, school, or God, she becomes The Poet X. I loved how the author read this audiobook.

-KC

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

harbor meWhen a group of young Brooklyn students are given the opportunity to gather together in a safe, adult free classroom, they begin an explorative journey through dialogue, poetry, revelation, and storytelling. Jacqueline Woodson taps into the most current challenges that many our youth face today with such unbridled courage and sheer eloquence.

-KC

Back Before Dark – A Teen Reader Review

Image result for back before dark tim shoemaker

Title: Back Before Dark

Author: Tim Shoemaker

Summary: Gordy, Cooper, Hiro and Lunk rode their bikes to Walmart and promised to be back before dark.  They take a break at Kimball Hill Park, and notice that riding bikes to Walmart was not a very good idea and very tiring.  A mini van passes by with a book bag on the roof.  Being boys, Cooper and Gordy make a bet.  If Gordy caught up to the van before it reached the docks, Cooper would have to buy him Chicago style hot dogs at Frank’n Steins. Gordy got on his bike and flew across the sidewalk.  The van stopped at the stop sign and Hiro noticed something strange. The book bag didn’t  move.  Was it taped on?  Was it velcroed on?  Was this a trap?  Instantly terror filled Hiro, he yelled out Gordy’s name telling him to stop.  Cooper and Lunk noticed it too.  They tried warning their friend, but all he did was look back and grin.  When he reached the van he went to get the book bag and it wouldn’t get down. He tried again. A man came out of the van and zapped Gordy with a taser.  He threw Gordy in the van and sped down the road.

Cooper, Hiro and Lunk become desperate. Days pass and Gordy is nowhere to be found. Cooper thinks the worse for his cousin and comes up with an outrageous and reckless plan.  Now the one who was set out to rescue his friend needs to be rescued himself. Sometimes rescuing a friend from darkness means going in after them.

Who will like this book?:  Teens who enjoy crime series or mystery, and also thrill seekers

Where can I find a copy?: Paper copy available at Pequot Library.  Digital copy downloadable from Hoopla through Fairfield Public Library.

Recommended by: Sophia, Middle School Teen Reader