The Accidental Genius of Weasel High by Rick Detorie

All that Larkin Pace wants is a new camcorder, so he can become the next great filmmaker. But he’s too young for a real job, his parents won’t give him money, his older sister exists just to make him miserable, and his arch-enemy Dalton Cooke is trying to steal his girlfriend, who might just not …read more…

Stuck on Earth by David Klass

Ketchvar III’s mission is pretty simple: take over the body of an average American teenager and determine if the human race is worth saving. It helps, of course, that Ketchvar is an alien from the planet Sandoval IV and is the same size and shape as a terrestrial snail. It also helps that he is …read more…

King of the Mild Frontier by Chris Crutcher

Fans of Chris Crutcher (which in my experience includes just about anyone who has read any of his books) will welcome this insight into his life and writing. Although he often writes about sports, it’s a bit of a surprise to learn that Crutcher was not athletically gifted as a child. This was his freshman …read more…

The Boy Who Howled by Timothy Power

Callum isn’t like other members of his family. He can’t run through the forest on all fours, he can’t bring down deer with his jaws, and he’s not covered with fur. In fact, his dad is even thinking about eating him. It’s clear that Callum doesn’t belong with other members of his family, who are …read more…

The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh

It is the darkest of the Dark Ages, and fourteen-year-old William is sent into the forest to gather firewood for Crowfield Abbey, the impoverished monastery where he has lived since becoming an orphan. While there, he hears a plaintive cry for help and investigating, discovers a strange creature caught in a trap. The first thing …read more…

When Jeff Comes Home by Catherine Atkins

At thirteen, Jeff was kidnapped at knifepoint by a man he knows only as Ray, who holds him prisoner and sexually and emotionally abuses him for two and a half years before returning him to his family. Now Jeff is left to pick up the pieces of his life, all the while questioning how his …read more…

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Sometime in the future, on the Gulf Coast of whatever is left of the United States, Nailer works light crew breaking ships. His small stature helps him clamber deep into the bowls of the ship, going after wiring and other small bits of metal. It’s dangerous work, and a hardscrabble life where a single slip-up …read more…

Rules of Thumb

I don’t like to believe in writer’s block (boy is that a wishy-washy statement), but if you do suffer it, this may be just the book for you. Subtitled “73 Authors Reveal Their Fiction Writing Fixations” this is not the kind of book that you read from cover to cover. It’s the kind of book …read more…

The Castaways by Rob Vollmar

It is the height of the Depression, and thirteen-year-old Tucker Freeman’s father is gone for good. To survive, he and his family move in with the Widow, his father’s humorless and ultra-religious older sister. Convinced by the Widow that he isn’t pulling his weight on her farm, she hands him fifteen cents and tells him …read more…

Straw Into Gold by Gary D. Schmidt

The cottage he shares with Da and the clearing beyond are the only world Tousle has ever known. When a visit to see the King’s procession results in his being given a riddle to solve within seven days or be killed, the simple life he once knew seems long in the past. Now on the …read more…