balcony on the moon

Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine by Ibtisam Barakat

Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine by Ibtisam Barakat is a memoir about Barakat’s struggle to finish school and become a writer while growing up in the West Bank.  It is about her search for an identity as a Palestinian, a people without a country, and her determination to be valued and

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dark matter

Dark Matter – Another Review

Have you ever had a dream where you felt like you were running down an endless corridor? Well, that is what the middle of Dark Matter by Blake Crouch was like. A little boring and frustrating. Fortunately, the endless corridor feeling was surrounded by some engaging suspense in the beginning of the story and a

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the sun is also a star

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun is Also a Star is a wonderful romance book for teens.  Do you believe in love-at-first-sight?  In soulmates? In fate? Or is life just a random set of events? Natasha is a practical, no-nonsense sort of person.  Definitely not the starry-eyed and sentimental, ready-to-fall in love at the drop-of-a-hat type.  She loves her

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Filmish: A Graphic Journey through Film by Edward Ross

This is a great Graphic Novel for movie and photography buffs as well as more serious film students. Filmish looks at the history of the film and movie industry, referencing over 300 movies.  Instead of looking at individual movies, one at a time, Ross looks at various cinematic concepts and then references films that illustrate

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giant days

Giant Days Volumes 1 & 2 by John Allison

Giant Days is a British graphic novel that follows three “dorm-mates” through their first year in university.  The three, Daisy Wooton, homeschooled and unworldly; Esther De Groot, a bit rash and overly dramatic; and Susan Ptolemy, who thinks she is the only one with common sense; become fast friends despite their unalike personalities and backgrounds.

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march trilogy

March Trilogy by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

The March trilogy has been widely written about and has won several awards including the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, YALSA’s Outstanding Books for the College Bound, and is also a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. We all learn about the civil rights movement in school.  Depending on

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the star-touched queen

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

The Star-Touched Queen takes place in the milieu of Hindu mythology: the worlds of gods, goddesses, demons, illusion, and reincarnation.  The story is about Maya, a young princess in a kingdom that has long been at war with the many surrounding kingdoms.  In a bid to bring peace, her father the king proposes that Maya

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born a crime

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah, host of the Daily Show, has written a powerful book about his South African childhood.  This book is by turns fascinating, horrific, funny, heartbreaking and hopeful.  As excellent as the book is, the audiobook is even better.  Mr. Noah narrates it; not only is he a brilliant reader, but hearing him read from

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the yid

The Yid by Paul Goldberg

The Yid takes place in Stalin’s Russia shortly before his death in 1953 and is a brilliant work of “reimagined” historical fiction.  Solomon Shimonovich Levinson, a former actor with the State Jewish Theater, is about to be arrested.  Realizing that his life is in peril and that he has nothing left to lose, he decides

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a man called ove

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Me: (holding a copy of A Man Called Ove): Hey, you really need to read this book.  It’s great! Other Person: Thanks, I need a book. What’s it about? Me: A man who is trying to commit suicide.  It’s really funny! Other Person: Uhhhhh, that’s okay. Actually, I don’t need a book right now. Ove

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the thing about jellyfish

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin is the poignant story of Suzy Swanson and her attempts to comprehend a world that doesn’t always seem to make sense.  Suzy has always been a bit of a nerd and maybe a bit awkward, but she’s always been able to rely on her best friend, Franny Jackson. 

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wolf hollow

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

Wolf Hollow, Lauren Wolk’s debut novel, takes place in rural Pennsylvania in late 1943. The story is told by Annabelle as she looks back in time to the year she turned 12 and “learned to lie”.  This ominous start lets the reader know that there is going to be big trouble developing, and so it

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