New Books Highlight: Random Awesome Picks
This week, in honor of the joyous chaos that is the END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR (OMG!!), I’ve got three recommendations for three brand new books that are just randomly awesome. They’re a little something different to help you kick off the summer time.
This novel-in-verse is completely captivating. If you’re a fan of Ellen Hopkins or Carol Lynch Williams, check this one out! 10th grader Emma was raised in Japan and feels strong ties there, even when her family is uprooted back to her “home” country, the U.S.A. Her mother is ill – hence the move across the world – and so Emma has more to deal with than the average teenager struggling to fit in in a new place. Emma can’t help but feel displaced, even though she’s supposed to feel at home in a country where her native tongue is spoken daily. Her friends back in Japan are reeling from the devastating tsunami, and Emma is torn between wanting to be with them and needing to be with her ailing mother. To take her mind off things, her grandmother helps her find a volunteer position through which she makes friends and begins to adjust to life stateside. But when she gets the chance to return to Japan, she finds she has grown roots in America – will she leave or stay?
“Third time it happens
I’m crossing the bridge
over a brown-green race of water
that slides through town
on my way to a long-term care center
to start volunteering
to get my courage up” (Text copyright 2013 by Holly Thompson)
You might remember Andrew Smith from the haunting, twisted sci-fi books The Marbury Lens and Passenger. In Winger, Smith does something completely different. This is classic realistic fiction from a male perspective, with a similar style to John Green. Ryan Dean West’s life is complicated. He’s in love with his best friend, who treats him like a little brother. His roommate is scary. And his boarding school is…well, boarding school – lots of drama and high expectations and rugby. Always, there will be rugby. Ryan Dean West makes mistakes, but who wouldn’t in a situation like that? Fortunately for us, his mistakes are honest to life and hilarious to read about.
Sneak Peek! “I said a silent prayer. Actually, silent is probably the only type of prayer a guy should attempt when his head’s in a toilet.” (Text copyright 2013 by Andrew Smith)
This is a true story. Aaron Hartzler grew up in a home where every day was filled with thoughts of the imminent Rapture – Jesus’s second coming/the end of the world. But as Aaron got older, he grew more attached to his life on Earth, and less excited about the Rapture and the prospect of Heaven. In short: he has a crisis of faith during his teenage years. Aaron tells the story of his conflict and the adventures he finds himself on as he moves from merely conflicted to full-on rebel, learning lessons that aren’t found in the Bible. For anyone who has faith, questions about faith, or doesn’t practice or even believe: a true and believably funny story about finding your way.
Sneak Peek! “Something you should know up front about my family: We believe that Jesus is coming back.” (Text copyright 2013 by Aaron Hartzler)