Thick As Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner (2017)

thickThis long-awaited addition to The Queen’s Thief series can also be read as a standalone adventure, and is packed with politics and bromance.

Recommended grade level: 8 and up (for reading comprehension reasons; there is little mature content)

Pages:   400 (for ISBN 9780062568243)

Genre(s) and keywords: fantasy, adventure

Tone/Style: long-suffering, a bit archaic

Pace: leisurely to moderate

Topics: slaves, kings, politics, escape, journeys, Eugenides (He should count as a topic, right? He’s basically the center of the universe in this series.)

Themes: freedom, trust, betrayal, friendship

Summary: Thick as Thieves is the eagerly anticipated new stand-alone novel set in the world of the Queen’s Thief. New York Times-bestselling author Megan Whalen Turner’s entrancing and award-winning Queen’s Thief novels bring to life the world of the epics and feature one of the most charismatic and incorrigible characters of fiction, Eugenides the thief. Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief novels are rich with political machinations and intrigue, battles lost and won, dangerous journeys, divine intervention, power, passion, revenge, and deception. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Patrick Rothfuss, and George R. R. Martin. Continue reading

5 to 1 by Holly Bodger (2015)

5to1A dystopian society, Indian culture, and feminist commentary combine to make this a unique read.

Recommended grade level: 7-10

Pages:  244 (for ISBN 9780385391535)

Genre(s) and keywords: dystopian, verse, diverse, Asia (India, fictionalized)

Tone/Style: bleak, determined

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I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest (2015)

17408897This unique book integrates comics into a mystery perfect for the internet generation.

Recommended grade level: 6-12

Pages: 232 (for ISBN 9780545620857)

Genre(s) and keywords: mystery

Tone/Style: modern, investigative

Pace: moderate

Topics: investigations, comics, hackers, the internet, escape, secrets

Themes: friendship, perseverance

Summary: Once upon a time…two best friends created a princess together. Libby drew the pictures, May wrote the tales, and their heroine, Princess X, slayed all the dragons and scaled all the mountains their imaginations could conjure.

Once upon a few years later…Libby was in the car with her mom, driving across the Ballard Bridge on a rainy night. When the car went over the side, Libby passed away, and Princess X died with her. Continue reading

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans (2011)

prisoner

This sci-fi/action story is one of the most popular books among middle schoolers at my library.

Recommended grade level: 6-10

Pages: 326 (for ISBN 9781451656503)

Genre(s) and keywords: action, science fiction

Tone/Style: mysterious, exciting

Pace: moderate to fast

Topics: powers (supernatural), fitting in, rescue, escape

Themes: parent/child relationships, friendship, being different, young people being used by adults

Summary: To everyone at Meridian High School, fourteen-year-old Michael Vey is nothing special, just the kid who has Tourette’s syndrome. But in truth, Michael is extremely special—he has electric powers. Continue reading

Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan (2013)

goldenFull of heart and steeped in Tanzanian culture, this book sheds light on a dark and fascinating human rights issue.

Recommended grade level: 7-11

Pages: 384 (for ISBN 9780399161124)

Genre(s) and keywords and keywords: realistic fiction, adventure, international, diverse, Africa (Tanzania)

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A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen (2015)

515PBGS4vJL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_A quietly tense historical fiction drama that sheds light on life in Soviet East Berlin.

Recommended grade level: 4-7

Pages: 317 (for ISBN 9780545682428)

Genre(s) and keywords: historical fiction, international, Europe (Germany)

Tone/Style: bleak

Pace: moderate

Topics: the Berlin Wall, Communism, separated families, escape plans, digging

Themes: freedom, trust, when to take risks, family, defiance of government, oppression

Summary: With the rise of the Berlin Wall, twelve-year-old Gerta finds her family divided overnight. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, to think forbidden thoughts of freedom, yet she can’t help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city. Continue reading