Book Review: Brave Enough by Kati Gardner

Spoiler alert: No one with cancer dies in this story. They do play Uno, shave their head, get stabbed, make new friends, enjoy glitter, attend camp, get kissed (!), and above all else, discover they are brave enough to continue living life.

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Book Review: The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty

This sweet novel has all the elements of a great read - a plucky main character (Lucy, aka Lightning Girl - she was struck by lightning that made her a little OCD and a LOT brilliant at math), a secret (she doesn't want anyone at her new middle school to know she's Lightning Girl), new friend drama, understanding adults, and rescued dogs that need to be adopted.

Book Review: Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter

Basically, this can be considered a contemporary retelling of The Paper Bag Princess, where the prince is the U.S. president's son, the princess is the son's former best friend and daughter of the president's former body guard, and the dragon is a Russian operative.

Book Review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

This makes a great addition to the canon of fantasy books featuring strong White women like the His Fair Assassins series by R.L. LaFevers, the Leigh Bardugo Wonder Woman: Warbringer, and the like. All of that said, I felt like this story didn't really add anything new to this genre.

Book Review: Princess Pulverizer: Grilled Cheese & Dragons by Nancy Krulik

Meet Princess Serena, aka Princess Pulverizer! She must complete 8 good deeds on a Quest of Kindness to become a Knight. Deed #1: Rescue jewels, a scared knight, and a gassy, cheese-eating dragon from a sleepy ogre. Silly, funny, and empowering. Ages 4+

Book Review: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Cinder meets The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Pride & Prejudice and Zombies. A mixed-race young woman trained to kill zombies tries to keep herself and her friends alive while navigating the treacherous landscape of post-Reconstruction America.

Book Review: Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet #4 by Jacqueline Kelly

The original Calpurnia Tate was a Newbery Award-winning novel. The new Calpurnia Tate is a series of beginning chapter books that is perfect for the young reader who loves animals.

Book Review: The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

This wonderful celebration of individuality is a book everyone needs to read, if only to be reminded that personal preference does not make someone a bad person, nor is it the end of the world to live up to your own unique personality.

Book Review: What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper

For fans of Number the Stars, Letters from Rifka, and other WWII tween/YA reads, this provides a new perspective, telling two Holocaust stories we don't often hear - a secular Jew's confusion over both her treatment and, afterward, her religion, and the significance of music.

Top Ten Books Featuring Death

Once I'd thought up ten titles in this category - featuring in some way the Grim Reaper, Death itself, or death rituals - without breaking a sweat, it seemed too funny and frankly interesting to not share it.