Roundup #2! (The Light and Round Project)

Welcome to the second weekly roundup of the Light and Round Project! If this is your first time hearing about it and you want to know more, visit this post for a full explanation or click on “Light and Round Project” under my header.

If you would like to recommend books for teenagers that you think the average person would consider not too violent, dark, or edgy, please email me with your suggestions and links to reviews if you have them. (Or quotes about the books if you have thoughts you’d like to share.)

If you’ve reviewed one of the books mentioned in the archives and would like your review listed as well, please email me with the link.
Thank you to everyone who contributed this week. Once again, we have an excellent and varied assortment. (A lot of series in this roundup–18 entries but they represent over 40 titles.) Now on to the books!

As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins. Recommended by Debra Bogart (Youth Services Collection Development Coordinator for the Eugene Library.)
“Fifteen-year-old Ry discovers his own resiliency and resourcefulness when he finds himself stranded and alone, with no cell phone coverage and hardly any money. A good Samaritan named Del becomes Ry’s inspiration. Del is described as someone who dances to the beat of his own inner harmonica, and from him Ry learns the satisfaction of a noble act and the meaning of the word ‘impossible’. Adventure, resilience, and romance. . .”

Blood and Flowers by Penny Blubaugh, recommended by Jeannie Mobley of Emu’s Debuts. “From critically acclaimed author Penny Blubaugh comes this mesmerizing tale of family, faeries, and finding a place to call home.”

Crosswire by Dotti Enderle, recommended by Jeannie Mobley of Emu’s Debuts. “With his family in turmoil and fence-cutters destroying his farm, thirteen-year-old Jesse faces more than the stifling drought of 1883. Dwindling water supplies have driven desperate cattlemen to snip fences in order to water their herds—targeting Jesse’s farm several times. When a lone drifter arrives in town, he’s quickly hired to work the farm. It should be a relief to have the extra help, but Jesse suspects the man is more than just a hired hand and is determined to uncover his mysterious secret.”

Eyes of the Pharoah by Chris Eboch, recommended by Elizabeth Varadan. “. . . set in ancient Egypt during the reign of Ramses the Third.  This is a fast-paced adventure, with historical details that plunge you into the era, engaging characters that feel realistic, and tension that never lets up.”

Girl 15, Charming but Insane, by Sue Limb (one of 4 books in this series), recommended by Jen Simms. “Girl, 15, Charming but Insane, huge bum, massive ears, seeks … Well, seeks Ben Jones, but failing that, large Muslim-type burka garment to cover her deformities.”

Head Games by Keri Milkulski, reviewed by Ms. Yingling. “Loved the tight knit teammates on the girls’ basketball team. I will have to buy this series because I know a lot of girls who will like it. The social interactions also ring true.

Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan, recommended by Debra Bogart (Youth Services Collection Development Coordinator for the Eugene Library). “Three teens meet in NYC on 9/11, the day everything changed and love became more illuminated than ever.”

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork. (My recommendation.) A beautifully written, page-turner of a book. I’d describe this as a cross between The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Life of Pi, and a legal thriller.

Milagros, Girl from Away by Meg Medina, recommended by Elizabeth Varadan. “Milagros means “miracle” in Spanish, and this is a story where the protagonist must make her own miracles.”

My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger, recommended by Debra Bogart (Youth Services Collection Development Coordinator for the Eugene Library). “Three teens experience coming of age in Boston from very different perspectives that culminate in firm friendships anyway.”

OyMg by Amy Fellner Dominy, recommended by Emily of Red House Books. “Jewish girl. Christian camp. Holy moly. Ellie Taylor loves nothing better than a good argument. So when she gets accepted to the Christian Society Speech and Performing Arts summer camp, she’s sure that if she wins the final tournament, it’ll be her ticket to a scholarship to the best speech school in the country.”

Pegasus by Robin McKinley, recommended by Debra Bogart (Youth Services Collection Development Coordinator for the Eugene Library). “Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pegasi, Princess Sylvi is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own pegasus, on her twelfth birthday, but the closeness of their bond becomes a threat to the status quo and possibly to the safety of their two nations.”

The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot, recommended by Jen Simms. A 16-book series about an everyday girl who finds out her father is actually a prince. From Meg Cabot’s website: “I got the idea for The Princess Diaries when my mother, after my father’s death in 1994, started dating one of my college professors. I began writing a book about a girl who is upset about her mother dating her Algebra teacher. I made the girl in the book a princess because my mom used to joke that when I was little, I thought my “real parents” were a king and queen who were going to come and take me away to live in a castle. I’m still waiting. . .” 

The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner, recommended by Maryanne Fantalis of The Writer’s Notebook. “I’m going to urge you to read The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whelan Turner.  In fact, I’m going to insist.  I might even beg. It’s that good. . . . The middle two books of the series–The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia–are two of the most perfect young adult books I have ever read. The characters are living, breathing people; the plots twist and turn with such clever mastery that you always feel surprised but never manipulated; the foreshadowing is subtle; the dialogue is realistic but just formal enough for you to believe that the characters are educated nobles in some far-off ancient land.”

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares, recommended by Jen Simms.
From School Library Journal: “A complex book about a solid group of friends, with each one a strong and courageous individual in her own right. They form a true sisterhood of acceptance and support, resulting in a believable and inviting world.”

This Girl is Different by J.J. Johnson. “Evie is different. Not just her upbringing–though that’s certainly been unusual–but also her mindset. She’s smart, independent, confident, opinionated, and ready to take on a new challenge: The Institution of School. It doesn’t take this homeschooled kid long to discover that high school is a whole new world, and not in the way she expected. . . . Not one to sit idly by, Evie sets out to make changes. Big changes. The movement she starts takes off, but before she realizes what’s happening, her plan spirals out of control, forcing her to come to terms with a world she is only just beginning to comprehend.” 

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen. (My recommendation.) From Publisher’s Weekly: “Mclean Sweet, named for ‘the all-time winningest basketball coach of Defriese University,’ has moved four times in two years, following her father’s job as a restaurant consultant. Each time she moves she reinvents herself, not so much to try on a new identity but to rid herself of the original one—only daughter of a couple whose divorce was an awful, public scandal. . . . As Mclean figures out how to make peace with her mother, she relies on friends made at both school and at the restaurant her father is trying to save.” 

“The Winnie Years” series (which includes Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, and Thirteen Plus One) by Lauren Myracle, recommended by Ms. Yingling. “Myracle’s younger books are my new favorite– they remind me a bit of Lenora Mattingly Weber in that they describe all of the things that are NEW about being an up-and-coming teenager. I wanted to check 11 and 12 out of the library, but they had multiple holds on them. Drat.”

4 Responses to “Roundup #2! (The Light and Round Project)”

  1. mfantaliswrites

    I love seeing this every week. Not only does it show how much great stuff there is out there for readers, but it adds to my (already very long) "Must Read" list! Great work, Jenn! 🙂

  2. LadybugSF

    I second Marcello in the Real World. I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book; gave it to my mom and she loved loved loved it too. Oh and thanks for your hard work because you make the world a better and wiser place!