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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Where She Went
by Forman, Gayle

School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-Three years after the tragic accident that killed the family of his former girlfriend, Mia Hall, the now-famous rock star Adam Wilde finds himself at New York City's Carnegie Hall for Mia's breakout cello concert. Convinced that merely hearing her play will be enough to satisfy his curiosity, Adam hides in the audience but is stunned when she asks him to come backstage after the show. Their awkward reunion sparks a night of painful reminiscing, heartbreaking closure, and hopeful discoveries. Using the voice of Adam, Forman continues the gripping narrative started in If I Stay (Dutton, 2009). After months of rehab from the car accident, Mia leaves Oregon for the east coast to attend the prestigious Juilliard School. Adam remains on the west coast to pursue his own rising musical career as the lead in his band. Mysteriously Mia cuts off all contact with him. Simultaneously freed and abandoned, Adam plunges into a depression, which also fuels the writing that launches his band to stardom. This novel is best suited to readers familiar with the first book. However, Forman convincingly establishes the relationship with flashbacks and Adam's current angst. Though not as poignant as its predecessor, this book has compelling characters and a romance so deliciously fated that readers will be willing to suspend believability and embrace the growing mood of a fairy tale. Fans of the exceptional first novel won't be able to put this one down.-Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list This companion to Forman's New York Times best-seller, If I Stay (2009), picks up three years after Oregon teen Mia survived the car accident that killed her parents and brother. Compacted once again into a 24-hour period of seismic emotional shifts, this time the story is narrated by Mia's former boyfriend, Adam. Still haunted by the bewildering dissolution of their relationship, Adam, now a punk-rock star, stumbles across a concert in which Mia, a rising cellist, will perform solo. His spontaneous ticket purchase begins their awkward, charged reunion, and in a sleepless night spent roaming New York City, they talk, argue, and gradually recapture the profound, enduring bonds between them. As in If I Stay, Forman tells an emotionally wrenching story that believably captures the mature depth and intensity possible in teenage love as well as the infinite ways that grief of all kinds permeates daily life, from the wormholes of memory that spin out from small moments to the unconscious ways that past pain can influence present decisions. Sure to please the first book's legions of fans.--Engberg, Gillia. Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly "I know it's really cheesy-crass even-to compare my being dumped to the accident that killed Mia's family, but I can't help it. Because for me, at any rate, the aftermath felt exactly the same." Forman follows up her bestselling If I Stay with a story that is equally if not more powerful, set three years after the previous book and told from the perspective of Mia's former boyfriend, Adam. Mia and Adam haven't seen each other since she left for Juilliard, deserting him just months after emerging from her coma. Adam's anguish found an outlet in songwriting, and the resulting album, Collateral Damage, has become a sensation, turning Adam and his band into bona fide rock stars, though he's barely keeping it together. Mia's career as a cellist is taking off as well, and a chance meeting in New York City gives Mia and Adam the opportunity to exorcise the ghosts of their past. Having spent If I Stay in Mia's head, readers are, like Adam, thrust into a state of unknowing regarding Mia's thoughts and motivations. It's an extremely effective device, and one that makes this reunion all the more heartrending. Ages 14-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck
by Margarita Engle

Publishers Weekly Newbery Honor-winner Engle (The Surrender Tree) continues to find narrative treasure in Cuban history. Like her other novels in verse, this one is told in multiple voices (too many, in fact), some based on historical figures. The action takes place in the early 16th century aboard a pirate ship captained by Bernardino de Talavera, a failed landowner who literally worked his Taino farmhands to death then, rather than face prison, stole a ship and became the first pirate of the Caribbean. He kidnaps an orphaned boy to translate for him and takes a hostage-the powerful governor of Venezuela, whose actions in the New World have been as despicable as Talavera's. After a storm wrecks the ship, all three wash up on Cuba's coast among a native population, and two new voices and a new plot thread are introduced. The story, based on historical events, feels too rich for Engle's spare, broken-line poetry. Still, the subject matter is an excellent introduction to the age of exploration and its consequences, showing slavery sinking its insidious roots in the Americas and the price paid by those who were there first. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Gr 6-10-It's been said that history is written by the conquerors and, indeed, there are countless one-sided accounts of brave European explorers boldly "discovering" the New World. Here's a welcome antidote to all that biased mythology. Written in unrhymed verse and from alternating characters' perspectives, Hurricane Dancers provides a much more nuanced, personal, and thought-provoking imagining of what really happened when diverse cultures began colliding in the Caribbean in the late 15th and early 16th century. The story centers around a young slave dubbed el quebrado, "The Broken One," whose half-Spanish, half-Taino Indian ancestry makes him critically valuable as a translator for the sailors, who exploit his skills to intimidate and enslave the Natives they encounter. He is a captive on a stolen pirate ship commanded by Bernadino de Talavera as the tale begins, but the tables turn when a hurricane dashes the vessel off a Caribbean Island. Quebrado, Bernadino de Talavera, and his brutal conquistador hostage Alonso de Ojeda all survive, but when the former commander once again tries to employ Quebrado's skills to dominate the Natives, the young man realizes that he not only has the power to refuse and reinvent himself, but also finds that he controls the fate of his former captor and his injured, unstable hostage. Unique and inventive, this is highly readable historical fiction that provides plenty of fodder for discussion.-Jeffrey Hastings, Highlander Way Middle School, Howell, MI (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list *Starred Review* Engle, whose award-winning titles include the Newbery Honor Book, The Surrender Tree (2008), offers another accomplished historical novel in verse set in the Caribbean. Young Quebrado's name means the broken one, a child of two shattered worlds. The son of a Taino Indian mother and a Spanish father, he is taken in 1510 from his village on the island that is present-day Cuba and enslaved on a pirate's ship, where a brutal conquistador, responsible for thousands of deaths throughout the Americas, is held captive for ransom. When a hurricane destroys the boat, Quebrado is pulled from the water by a fisherman, Narido, whose village welcomes him, but escape from the past proves nearly impossible. Once again, Engle fictionalizes historical fact in a powerful, original story. With the exception of Quebrado, all the characters are based on documented figures (discussed in a lengthy author's note), whose voices narrate many of the poems. While the shifting perspectives create a somewhat dreamlike, fractured story, Engle distills the emotion in each episode with potent rhythms, sounds, and original, unforgettable imagery. Linked together, the poems capture elemental identity questions and the infinite sorrows of slavery and dislocation, felt even by the pirate's ship, which remembers / her true self, / her tree self, / rooted / and growing, / alive, / on shore. --Engberg, Gillian Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Deadline
by John Sandford

Publishers Weekly Starred Review. In Thriller Award-winner Sandfords stellar eighth Virgil Flowers novel (after 2013s Storm Front), the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent, who works for Lucas Davenport, the hero of the authors other major series, helps friend Johnson Johnson with a little problem that keeps growing in the Mississippi River town of Trippton. Johnsons neighbors are concerned about a series of dognappings by hillbillies who live up by inaccessible Orlys Creek. Roy Zorn, a small-time motorcycle hood, might also be manufacturing some meth up that way. If Virgil cant solve the dog problem, dog lovers may shift to open warfare. Meanwhile, the members of the Buchanan County Consolidated School Board, fearing theyll all go to prison, vote unanimously to kill reporter Clancy Conley, who inadvertently discovered that the school board was stealing the school system blind. Virgil doesnt get much help from Sheriff Jeff Purdy, but 12-year-old McKinley Ruff and high school janitor Will Bacon provide critical assistance as panicky board members escalate the violence. Sandford is an accomplished and amusing storyteller, and he nails both the rural characters and terrain as well as he has skewered urban life in past installments. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Clancy Conley's journalism career has fallen victim to his methamphetamine addiction, and he's bounced to the bottom of the career ladder, writing part-time for a weekly paper in rural Trippton, Missouri. And that's where his story ends. Clancy is inexplicably gunned down while jogging, and state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent Virgil Flowers (Storm Front, 2013), already in town helping his friend Johnson Johnson track down a serial dognapper, is just curious enough to pull rank and investigate. Clancy told his friend Wendy, Trippton's lady of the evening, that he was working on an explosive story that would revive his career. But his editor denies knowing about any such story, and Clancy's computer is suspiciously missing. Undeterred, Virgil hits the jackpot when he finds Clancy's photo card. It seems Clancy had been looking into some sort of budgetary shenanigans and the dark deeds of some of Trippton's most upstanding citizens. Sanford balances straight-talking Virgil Flowers' often hilariously folksy tone and Trippton's dark core of methamphetamine manufacturers and sociopaths; the result is pure reading pleasure for thriller fans.--Tran, Christine Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Rebecca Caudill Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Stormbreaker
by Anthony Horowitz

Publishers Weekly : Readers will cheer for Alex Rider, the 14-year-old hero of British author Horowitz's spy thriller (the first in a projected series). When his guardian and uncle, Ian, is mysteriously killed, Alex discovers that his uncle was not the bank vice-president he purported to be, but rather a spy for the British government. Now the government wants Alex to take over his uncle's mission: investigating Sayle Enterprises, the makers of a revolutionary computer called Stormbreaker. The company's head plans to donate one to every secondary school in England, but his dealings with unfriendly countries and Ian Rider's murder have brought him under suspicion. Posing as a teenage computer whiz who's won a Stormbreaker promotional contest, Alex enters the factory and immediately finds clues from his uncle. Satirical names abound (e.g., Mr. Grin, Mr. Sayle's brutish butler, is so named for the scars he received from a circus knife-throwing act gone wrong) and the hard-boiled language is equally outrageous ("It was a soft gray night with a half-moon forming a perfect D in the sky. D for what, Alex wondered. Danger? Discovery? Or disaster?"). These exaggerations only add to the fun, as do the creative gadgets that Alex uses, including a metal-munching cream described as "Zit-Clean. For Healthier Skin." The ultimate mystery may be a bit of a letdown, but that won't stop readers from racing through Alex's adventures, from a high-speed bike chase to a death-defying dance with a Portuguese man-of-war. The audience will stay tuned for his next assignment, Point Blanc, due out spring 2002. Ages 10-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

School Library Journal : Gr 5-9-Alex Rider's world is turned upside down when he discovers that his uncle and guardian has been murdered. The 14-year-old makes one discovery after another until he is sucked into his uncle's undercover world. The Special Operations Division of M16, his uncle's real employer, blackmails the teen into serving England. After two short weeks of training, Alex is equipped with several special toys like a Game Boy with unique cartridges that allow it to scan, fax, and emit smoke bombs. Alex's mission is to complete his uncle's last assignment, to discover the secret that Herod Sayle is hiding behind his generous donation of one of his supercomputers to every school in the country. When Alex enters Sayle's compound in Port Tallon, he discovers a strange world of secrets and villains including Mr. Grin, an ex-circus knife catcher, and Yassen Gregorovich, professional hit man. The novel provides bang after bang as Alex experiences and survives unbelievably dangerous episodes and eventually crashes through the roof of the Science Museum to save the day. Alex is a strong, smart hero. If readers consider luck the ruling factor in his universe, they will love this James Bond-style adventure. With short cliff-hanger chapters and its breathless pace, it is an excellent choice for reluctant readers. Warning: Suspend reality.-Lynn Bryant, formerly at Navarre High School, FL

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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