Tween Picks March 2016
Tween Picks for March 2016

Intro

Oh boy. Better break out the tissue ladies and gents because this month’s tween list is brimming with sooo, sooo sad realistic fiction. Normally, I wouldn’t cram so many of these types of books into one list, but they all look so good! I couldn’t help myself.

I’m super excited… wait, is that even the right word when a book looks so utterly sad? Well, I’m eagerly anticipating the opportunity to read All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, which is about a boy who is being raised by his incarcerated mother. Things take a turn for the worse when the situation is discovered by an unsympathetic district attorney and Perry is placed in a foster home.  There is something about the boy being separated from his mother that just tears at my heart.  In a good way.  I think.  [I have been known to abandon a book mid-way through when it takes a turn for the terribly sad.]  Uh, I can’t wait to find out what happens to Perry.

Also, I’m really looking forward to My Life with the Liars.  The book is about a girl who is raised in a cult and is taken away when her biological father comes to claim her.  The details of life in a cult community are sort of intrinsically intriguing.  I always wonder what goes on in these places, how people end up there, and what happens to them when they break away.  A fictional story on this subject leaves more room to explore the jarring emotions of a new life on the outside the compound.

Possibly most of all, I’m looking forward to reading Free Verse.  I’m sure I’ll cry, but uh, it’ll be worth it.  The book is about a girl whose father and brother have died and her mother has long since left.  She’s placed in foster care until some previously unknown family connection turns up.  She finds herself settling into her new life when another tragedy strikes.  Both the plot and the actually feel of the writing make me desperate to read the book.  It looks awesome.

And for sad detox?  The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle is apparently a frightening gothic fairy tale embedded in a historical war setting.  Reviewers recommend keeping the lights on while reading this one…  which I am prone to doing anyway because I always read books in print, soo I need lights to see the book, but I believe the message is that the book is scary and exciting.  Can’t wait.

**This post was mentioned on Literary Musing Mondays and The Homeschool Nook...

Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

 Seeing stars?  Professional book reviewers only award a star to exceptional books.  More than one star means experts from multiple organizations felt the book was outstanding. 

Some Kind of Courage Book Cover
Some Kind of Courage
by Dan Gemeinhart
published January 26, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews

Joseph Johnson has lost just about everyone he's ever loved. He lost his pa in an accident. He lost his ma and his little sister to sickness. And now, he's lost his pony-fast, fierce, beautiful Sarah, taken away by a man who had no right to take her.

Joseph can...READ MORE

The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle Book Cover
The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle
by Janet Fox
published March 15, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publishers Weekly

“Keep calm and carry on.”  

That’s what Katherine Bateson’s father told her, and that’s what she’s trying to do:  when her father goes off to the war, when her mother sends Kat and her brother and sister away from London to escape the incessant bombing, even when the children arrive...READ MORE

Booked
by Kwame Alexander
published April 5, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publishers Weekly Star ImageHorn Book

Like lightning/you strike/fast and free/legs zoom/down field/eyes fixed/on the checkered ball/on the goal/ten yards to go/can’t nobody stop you/
can’t nobody cop you…
In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel THE CROSSOVER,  soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as...READ MORE

Hour of the Bees Book Cover
Hour of the Bees
by Lindsay Eagar
published March 8, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Booklist Star Image Publisher's Weekly Star Image Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

What does it mean to be fully alive? Magic blends with reality in a stunning coming-of-age novel about a girl, a grandfather, wanderlust, and reclaiming your roots.

Things are only impossible if you stop to think about them. . . .

While her friends are spending their summers having pool...READ MORE

The Inn Between Book Cover
The Inn Between
by Marina Cohen
published March 22, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews

Eleven-year-old Quinn has had some bad experiences lately. She was caught cheating in school, and then one day, her little sister Emma disappeared while walking home from school. She never returned.

When Quinn's best friend Kara has to move away, she goes on one last trip with Kara and her...READ MORE

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook Book Cover
All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook
by Leslie Connor
published March 1, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Kirkus Reviews

From Leslie Connor, award-winning author of Waiting for Normal and Crunch, comes a soaring and heartfelt story about love, forgiveness, and how innocence makes us all rise up. All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook is a powerful story, perfect for fans of Wonder and When You Reach Me.

Eleven-year-old Perry was born and raised by his...READ MORE

My Life with the Liars Book Cover
My Life with the Liars
by Caela Carter
published March 8, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Booklist

Perfect for fans of Kathryn Erskine’s Mockingbird and Holly Goldberg Sloan’s Counting by 7s, this is a stunningly unique and poignant story of one girl’s strength and courage as she decides who she is and what she will believe in.

Behind the white-washed walls of the Arizona compound, life was simple. Follow the...READ MORE

Free Verse Book Cover
Free Verse
by Sarah Dooley
published March 15, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Publishers Weekly

A moving, bittersweet tale reminiscent of Sharon Creech’s Walk Two Moons set in a West Virginia coal-mining town

When her brother dies in a fire, Sasha Harless has no one left, and nowhere to turn. After her father died in the mines and her mother ran off, he was her last caretaker....READ MORE

Summerlost Book Cover
Summerlost
by Ally Condie
published March 29, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Publishers Weekly Star Image Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

A tender and compelling contemporary novel for young readers about facing grief and finding friendship, from the international bestselling author of the Matched series

It's the first real summer since the devastating accident that killed Cedar's father and younger brother, Ben. But now Cedar and what’s left of her family...READ MORE

Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling Book Trailer
Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling
by Tony Cliff
published March 8, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publishers Weekly

Globetrotting troublemaker Delilah Dirk and her loyal friend Selim are just minding their own business, peacefully raiding castles and and traipsing across enemy lines, when they attract the unwanted attention of the English Army. Before they know it, Delilah and Selim have gotten themselves accused of espionage against the British...READ MORE

Comments

These look exciting too! Thanks for sharing!

Hi Beth! Nice! Thank you so much. :D

These look exciting! I'm always looking for book ideas for my tween; he's so hard to get reading!

Hello Mother of 3! Oh boy. Yes. It can be so hard to motivate a tween to read. If you want, I'd be happy to put together a list of ideas for him. If you send me a handful of books he's read and liked, I could find some books with similar themes, paces, etc. that would hopefully appeal. In the meantime... have you tried graphic novels? Sometimes when homework gets thick, and just because they're so cool, graphic novels are more appealing than a regular book. There's The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang (for 7th grade and up), The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown (if he likes non-fiction), Bad Island by Doug TenNapel.

Hi Leslie! Thank you for stopping by!

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Hi!  I'm Sarah.  I'm a former librarian and mother of two -- a teen daughter and a preschooler son.  We love to play outdoors... and read.  :)

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