Rescue Princesses

The Rescue Princesses combines the love of animals with the fantasy of being a princess. The series also emphasizes friendship, courage, and diversity–perfect for little girls (and hey, even boys) navigating the social structure of elementary school.

Six of Crows

Kaz and his crew (including the brave Inej and charming Jesper) offer some of the most entertaining segments in the Shadow & Bone series, and Six of Crows, although it takes a moment to wade into it, delivers this fascinating trio (and then some) right to its pages. It’s a little grittier than Shadow, but this unpredictable cast will keep you reading for sure.

Front Desk

I highly recommend this story as something that will encourage you to think about what the American dream means, and how we can all take tough moments in our lives to overcome the biggest hurdles.

That’s Not What Happened

I came across this young adult novel while searching for thrillers. So when I started reading it, I was surprised at the plot. However, although this deals with one of our society’s greatest tragedies–school shootings–this story was urgent and moving.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

This story takes place in New England, just a few years before the Salem witch trials in 1692. Katherine, better known as Kit, must leave Barbados to live with her relatives, residents of a Puritan town. Kit’s ways are not well-received by the Puritans, and this causes some trouble for her.

A Monster Calls

I have been remiss in not giving this book a posting earlier. A Monster Calls paints a dark and beautiful narrative of what it feels like for a child to watch a parent struggle with terminal illness.

Shadow and Bone

When I selected Shadow and Bone from my Netflix menu, I had no idea I was stepping into the Grishverse. Little did I know that the intriguing show is based on a young adult trilogy that takes the reader deep into the heart of a complex and totally captivating world of magic.

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

When thinking about a good book to blog about for father’s day, this was the perfect candidate. No, the father in this story is far from perfect, but then, most father’s aren’t perfect. It’s the relationship between him and his daughter, Coyote (the main character), that makes this book a treasure.

Talon

Talon offered me everything I was seeking in a good dragon-inspired YA novel. Thrilling action, well-designed intrigue, and star-crossed romance kept this plot humming. The main characters, who tell the story in alternating first-person voices, were tough and vulnerable all at once, and I think that takes great skill to write well.

Heartbreak Messenger

This ended up being a delightful story about first crushes, but one that really gave us a good look at a boy’s perspective. Funny situations and dialogue, in addition to a friendship that outshines any middle grade romance, puts this book in my “favorites” category.

The Cousins

McManus does a fine job here, giving us insight into each character and winning us over so we feel like part of the team. As the past and the present collide, this book will keep you guessing about the final outcome–will the cousins restore the relationship with their grandmother and gain back the family inheritance?

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment

I now understand why my daughter’s fifth-grade teacher recommended the Maximum Ride series to her. The series has a perfect mix of adventure, science fiction, intrigue, and romance (which is minimal, but just present enough). The story focuses on children and young teenagers who have been turned into flying mutants, and it gives X-Men franchise a run for its money.