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"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 Officer 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.  

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Hari's picture

As a journalist writing for a travel magazine, Lo Blacklock has just received her first big professional break. She’s covering a new luxury cruise ship that has a handful of cabins while it travels around the Norwegian fjords for a week. Things get off to a rocky start when Lo meets a woman in cabin 10, which is next to hers, who’s less than excited to meet her. Then in the middle of the night after something awakens her, Lo hears a loud splash—like a body hitting water. She stumbles to her private balcony in an alcohol-induced haze and sees a dark, oily smear on cabin 10’s glass safety barrier. It looks a lot like blood. Lo’s attempts to have this mysterious event investigated while at sea leads nowhere, largely it appears, due to her self-medicating with alcohol—witnessed by many on board. It doesn’t help that word gets out she also takes anti-anxiety medication and has for years. Is something going on here or is it all in Lo’s mind? Filled with surprising twists and turns, this book will keep you guessing until the end.

True Tales to Be Told: Every Bone Tells a Story

This superb introduction to archaeology and anthropology looks closely at four ordinary people who lived thousands of years ago and were discovered within the last 20 years: Turkana Boy, Lapedo Child, Kennewick Man, and Iceman.  The discovery of the bones of these people has influenced debates about the nature of the earliest members of the family Hominidae.  

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)

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