Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith. Putnam. 2009.

December 1941. Eighteen year old Ida Mae Jones is cleaning houses, saving to go to Chicago to pursue her dream of flying. She’s black; but that’s not why the local instructor in Louisiana won’t pass her and give her a pilot’s license. It’s because she’s a woman. The flight school in Chicago will give her’ what she wants — a chance. Pearl Harbor changes everything. Her older brother, Thomas, drops out of medical school to join the Army and asks her to stay home to help their mother and grandfather on the farm and to look after their younger brother, Abel. Read More →

Everyone has moments in life they wish they could rewind, erase, and do over.’  For movie buff Kyle, that moment is the one where he killed his best friend Jason.’  No matter how many times Kyle replays that moment, no matter how many different ways he can think of to film it, it always ends up the same.’  Jason is dead and Kyle has to live with the consequences, and that is the setup for Freeze Frame by Heidi Ayarbe, coming in October.

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Tyrell might be one of my favorite YA novels of all time, so you can imagine my joy when I opened a box from Scholastic that contained Coe Booth‘s second novel, Kendra, coming in October.’  For those worried about a sophomore slump, I have one word for you:’  Don’t.’  Kendra is every bit as raw and thought-provoking as Tyrell was, even though the voices sound very different.

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I admit it, I’m old school. I became a librarian because I like to read, and I became a teen librarian because YA is my favorite genre (and, y’know, I don’t think teens are half bad, either). So as my new project for the YALSA blog, I’ll be writing a regular mini-feature called “Books to watch out for,” which is…exactly what it sounds like. With Fall ’08 releases just around the corner, I’m really excited to be starting these entries now. Read More →