"The Twelve Tribes of Hattie" by Ayana Mathis

Vita's picture

This novel by a debut author is written in a thoughtful and very approachable style. The story is told through a series of vignettes focusing on Hattie and her eleven children and one of her grandchildren. While it is a relatively quick and easy read, it packs a big punch as the author weaves you through the years and the lives of Hattie's family. The novel is extremely compelling and I would highly recommend it to anybody who enjoys Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Gloria Naylor or Sandra Cisneros.

City of Stairs, by Robert Jackson Bennett

Caitlin's picture

Shara Divani is a spy with a job: find out who killed her protégé, Professor Efram Pangyui, and why. Her suspect pool encompasses the entire city of Bulikov, once the heart of a vast empire guarded by six omnipotent gods, and now a defeated and occupied city seething with resentful citizens and endless plots. With only a week before she’s recalled, Divani must rely on her terrifying “secretary” Sigurd and a cast of colorful supporting characters in order to discover the truth about what happened to Pangyui—and whether the gods of Bulikov are quite as dead as they seem.

Vividly imagined and skillfully executed, City of Stairs will appeal to readers of Tom Rob Smith and N.K. Jemisin alike.

In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides

Scott's picture

Ice, the final frontier.  Long before the space race, came the race to discover the Polar Regions.  Many men led expeditions to the Arctic hoping to be the first to claim it for their country. Theories abounded as to what the explorers would find. “In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette ” by Hampton Sides briefly tells of some of these journeys  but it focuses on one of them.  The USS Jeannette, led by Commanding Office DeLong, and her crew headed north out of San Francisco in the late 1800s well-equipped to face the Arctic weather. Or so they thought. The crew experienced many life threatening conditions including having the ship frozen in ice for months, blizzards, snow-blindness, hunger, and 58 degrees below zero temperatures.  I highly recommend this book but it may be best to grab a blanket when reading about the freezing adventures of the USS Jeannette and her crew.  

Sci-Fi Pick For Teens: Apollo's Outcasts

Jamey Barlowe has been unable to walk since childhood, the result of being born on the Moon. Jamey's father sends him, along with five other kids, back to the Moon to escape a political coup that has occurred overnight in the United States. Jamey will have to learn a whole new way to live, one that entails walking for the first time in his life. It won't be easy and it won't be safe. Jamey soon finds himself at the center of a dangerous political struggle stretching from the Earth to the Moon. 

Juvenile Fiction Selection: Masterminds by Gordon Korman

Serenity, New Mexico is an idyllic town where everyone has everything that they need, the lawns are perfectly manicured, and there is no crime.  Serenity is small and there are only thirty kids living in it, including Eli Frieden.  Eli has never left Serenity and why would he ever want to?  All the kids have pools, he has his friends, and his father is the mayor and principal of the school. This town seems perfect and Eli is perfectly happy to live there.  Everything changes the day his best friend Randy convinces him to ride their bikes to the edge of town.  Something strange happens to Eli when he hits the town limits; he gets terribly sick and has to be rescued.  The next thing he knows Randy is getting sent away to live with his grandparent's in Colorado.  Things are changing in Serenity, especially when Eli discovers a secret letter Randy has left him that leads to even more surprises.  Eli teams up with two other kids, Tori and Malik, and together they discover that Serenity is not at all what it seems, and neither are they!  (Grades 4-6 School Library Journal)

Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons

Vita's picture

Mr. Rosenblum is a Jewish refugee who fled to England from Germany before the outbreak of WWII.  He longs to be accepted as a true Englishman.  As a profitable businessman, he buys the correct Savile Row suit, a Jaguar, and shops at Fortnum & Mason.  But his Jewish background prevents his membership into a golf club, for him the ultimate sign of an English gentleman.  In desperation he decides to build his own golf course which proves to be a greater endeavor than anticipated.  The character is exasperating at times, but heartwarming overall, especially when you learn the author is writing about her grandfather.


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