Reading Riot: Teen and Tween Recommendations from a Guest Blogger

Posted by Aaron on

Jennifer B. is one of the Bealeton library’s most voracious readers. I’m a youth services librarian and can’t find the time to read half as many books as Jen devours. Our Staff Picks display is usually filled with books Jen has read and recommends. And she’s always telling me how good this one or that one is. She’s like a walking book talker! So I finally said, put your money where your mouth is and back up your opinions with action – put those reviews in writing so we can share with our patrons. She cheerfully agreed.

Here are two of Jen’s recent favorites.

Goodbye Stranger by Newbery medalist Rebecca Stead

The internet can be a dangerous place and so can 7th grade. In Goodbye Stranger, Tab, Bridge and Em have been best friends since fourth grade, when they swore on a magic Twinkie to have eternal loyalty and no fighting. But, as we all know, everyone changes, physically and emotionally. Especially in Middle School. Em is a soccer player and singer who is phone flirting with the cutest boy on the eighth grade soccer team. Bridge feels defined by the accident that almost killed her when she was 8 and has growing friendship with a boy named Sherm. Tab is flexing her feminist muscles and trying to save the world and her friends, whether they want her to or not. Tab, Bridge, Em and the magic Twinkie of no fighting will tell you an amazing story of loyalty, mistakes, new friends, new enemies and cat ears.

Upside-Down Magic upside down magic cover gray kitten with wingsby Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle and Emily Jenkins

Has your magic ever gone Wonky? Ooops, that’s not quite polite. Has your magic ever gone “upside-down?”

Nory’s has.

Nory lives with her dad, a Flicker, who is sometimes quite literally not there. Her big brother Hawthorn is a Flare, and her big sister Dalia, a Fuzzy. All of Nory’s family fits perfectly into their magical categories and into Sage Academy where her dad is the Headmaster. Nory, on the other hand, doesn’t quite fit in anywhere. See, her magic keeps going “upside-down.”

Nory is a Fluxer. She can turn into different animals…and, oh boy, are her animals different. Ever hear of a Bitten? Or a Skunkephant? All fifth graders are tested for acceptance into magic school and Nory is no different. But, she does not end up in Sage Academy with her siblings. Nory is placed in a special new class for kids with upside-down magic. Grab your raincoat and a fire extinguisher and go find out how Wonky magic can get!

I hope you’ve enjoyed Jen B’s guest blog. Check out our Staff Picks display for more recommendations.

∼Ann McDuffie, Youth Services Librarian, Bealeton branch library

For book lists, program highlights and staff suggestions for young adult readers published prior to January 2015, visit Reading Riot, our blog about the best books, events and websites for teen.

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