Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle


Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.
~Goodreads 

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 
Number of Pages: 320
Type: Paperback  

Reviewed by Rachel, age 16

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard


The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…
Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—
The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.
And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.
Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.
~Goodreads

Publisher: HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 388 
Type: Hardcover 

Reviewed by Hannah, age 17

The Cloak Society by Jeramey Kraatz


The Cloak Society: An elite organization of supervillains graced with extraordinary powers. Ten years ago they were defeated by the Rangers of Justice and vanished without a trace. But the villains of Cloak have been biding their time, waiting for the perfect moment to resurface. And twelve-year-old Alex Knight wants to be one of them.
Alex is already a junior member, and his entire universe is Cloak’s underground headquarters, hidden beneath an abandoned drive-in theater in Sterling City, Texas. While other kids his age are studying math and history, Alex is mastering his telekinetic powers and learning how to break into bank vaults. His only dream is to follow in his parents’ footsteps as one of the most feared supervillains in the world. Cloak is everything he believes in.
But on the day of his debut mission, Alex does the unthinkable: he saves the life of a young Ranger named Kirbie. Even worse . . . she becomes his friend. And the more time he spends with her, the more Alex wonders about the world outside of Cloak—and what, exactly, he’s been fighting for.
~Goodreads

Publisher: HarperCollins 
Number of Pages: 288 
Type: Hardcover 

Reviewed by Dee Dee, age 12

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Invisible Inkling "Dangerous Pumpkins" by Emily Jenkins


From award-winning author Jenkins and "New York Times"-bestselling illustrator Bliss comes the first book in a new middle-grade series about a boy and his invisible friend.
~Goodreads

Publisher: Balzer + Bray 
Number of Pages: 160
Type: Paperback 

Reviewed by Liliana, age 7

Wanted By Heidi Ayarbe


Sanctuary.
A one-word text message: That’s all Michal “Mike” Garcia needs to gather a crowd. Mike is a seventeen-year-old bookie, and Sanctuary is where she takes bets for anyone at Carson High with enough cash. Her only rule: Never participate, never place a bet for herself.
Then Josh Ellison moves to town. He pushes Mike to live her life, to feel a rush of something—play the game, he urgest, stop being a spectator.
So Mike breaks her one rule. She places a bet, feels the rush.
And loses.
In an act of desperation, she and Josh—who has a sordid past of his own—concoct a plan: The pair will steal from Carson City’s elite to pay back Mike’s debt. Then they’ll give the rest of their haul to those who need it most. How can burglary be wrong if they are making things right?
Wanted will thrust readers into the gritty underbelly of Carson City, where worth is determined by a score, power is derived from threat, and the greatest feat is surviving it all.
~Goodreads

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Number of Pages: 400
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Alexandra, age 17

Behind the Bookcase by Mark Steensland


Spending the summer at her grandmother's house is the last thing Sarah wants to do—especially now that Grandma Winnie has died—but she has no choice. Her parents have to fix the place up before they can sell it, and Sarah and her brother, Billy, have to help. But the tedious work turns into a thrilling mystery when Sarah discovers an unfinished letter her grandmother wrote: Strange things are happening behind the bookcase. . . 
~Goodreads

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers 
Number of Pages: 288
Type: Hardcover 

Reviewed by Lily, age 10

Friday, August 3, 2012

EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK: Every Day by David Levithan

How many of you read and loved Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist or Will Grayson, Will Grayson or any other book he's written? Now David Levithan is back with his new book, Every Day, and The (YA) Bookcase is excited to share an exclusive sneak peek of the book with you! 


Pre-Order Hardcover! 
Visit David Levithan's site.

Author’s Note
Every morning, A wakes up in a different body and a different life. The novel EveryDay starts on Day 5994 of A’s life. For this story, I wanted to go back to a day in A’s life before Every Day. Think of this as A recounting a few passing moments from his past.

Day 2919
As a child, I am baffled by inconsistency. Not my own inconsistency—I am used to waking up in a different body and a different life every morning. This makes sense to me. It is everyone else’s inconsistency that throws me.

It is a Saturday morning, and I am seven years old. I know it’s a Saturday from the quiet of the morning, from the fact that it’s nine in the morning and nobody is rushing me off to school or to church. I like Saturday mornings because that is when I am allowed to watch cartoons. Even in houses that don’t have all the channels, I can still find cartoons.

I stumble from room to room, looking for the TV. At this age, I don’t bother to access any memories of the house. I am happy to discover everything by wandering through. My mother is in the kitchen, talking on the phone. My father might be outside, or still asleep. The TV is in the den, which has a shaggy rug and wood walls. I am late for my nine o’clock show, but I can watch the end and then see the whole nine-thirty show. This is what I did last week, and the week before. I was in different houses, but once the TV was on, it was almost like they were the same place. Last week I had brothers and sisters, but this week I don’t think I do.


I switch on the TV and it’s too loud. I find the volume control and turn it down. It’s a commercial. I don’t really care about commercials, because even if I get things, I don’t have them for very long.

I sit on the shaggy rug and lean against the couch. This show has talking animals, and when it comes back on, the moose is arguing with the aardvark about the price of a ferry ride. The parrot keeps repeating the things they’re saying in a really funny voice, and I laugh.

What are you doing?”

I have only been watching for five minutes, but already I’m so absorbed in what’s happening that I don’t hear her at first. Then she grabs my arm and pulls me up, and I know right away I am in trouble, big trouble, and I don’t know what for. Was I laughing too loud? Was I not supposed to sit on the carpet?

Now that I’m up, she lets go and slaps the TV off. The room is suddenly silent, and there’s nowhere to hide in that silence.

“How many times have I told you not to touch that? Did I even say you could leave your room? You are not allowed to watch such garbage.”

I have so few words at age seven. I don’t know stern or enraged or sanctimonious. All I know is mad. My mother is mad at me. Her face is mad. Her posture is mad. The sound of her words is mad.

“Go back to your room.”

I don’t hesitate. I don’t want to be in the presence of her anger one moment longer. I go back to my room and sit on the bed, waiting for her to come by, to tell me what my punishment is. But all she does is come by and shut the door. There is enough light coming in through the window to make everything in the room seeable, but the air still seems tinged in shadow.

I sit there and sit there. Time feels horizonless.

Feeling someone else’s anger is bad; being left alone is worse.

At first I am too afraid to move. But eventually I have to. There are very few books in my room, and all of them are for little kids. So I pick up the dictionary, because it is the longest book in the room, and I know it’s going to be a long day.

I learn a few words. I would rather be outside the room, using them.

There’s no reprieve until lunchtime. When my mother opens the door, she eyes the dictionary in my lap with suspicion. I’ve had time to close it, but not the time to put it on the shelf. At the very least, I don’t look comfortable.

“Have you learned your lesson?” she asks.

I nod.

“Well,” she says, “we’ll see about that.”

I don’t know where my father is. His things are all around the house, so I know he has to be somewhere. He’s just not here right now.

I don’t feel I can ask where he is.

She gives me a chicken sandwich—leftovers from dinner last night, put between bread. I know to eat it all, and not to ask for more. Not because I access the thoughts of the life I’m in, but because my mother is so easy to read.

We don’t talk. We stare at other parts of the kitchen. I try to find things to read. Buttons on the microwave. The brand of the refrigerator.

I rarely feel like I’m a prisoner in a body, but I have felt like a prisoner in a house. I definitely feel like I’m a prisoner here. And I am a prisoner because, as my mother’s expression makes clear, she feels she is a prisoner to me, too.

I am not allowed television. I am not allowed to go outside. I am not given conversation. Eventually I am given dinner, but that is silent, too. My father never comes home.

The only thing I am allowed, the only thing I am given, is myself. It is enough, but only barely.

Some days are like this. And the only way to get through them is to remember that they are only one day, and that every day ends.

Text © 2012 by David Levithan.

TO FURTHER CELEBRATE THE UPCOMING RELEASE OF EVERY DAY, THE (YA) BOOKCASE IS GIVING AWAY AN ARC!

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Happy reading! 
Rachel