Browsing Category : Book Reviews

13 All of This is True Lygia Day Penaflor cover

All of This is True by Lygia Day Penaflor


All of This is True by Lygia Day Penaflor gives us a vision of obsession, betrayal, and the blurred line between fiction and reality. Join us as we chat about this new YA thriller with author Amanda K. Morgan. (transcript)     In today’s episode…   In the new novel, All of This Is True, we unravel the story of…

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12 Stay Sweet Siobhan Vivian cover

Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian


  Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian is a ice cream romp with themes of friendship, feminism, and building a legacy. Join us as we chat about this fun summer book with our friend, Claire Nauman. (transcript)     In today’s episode…   In Siobhan Vivian’s newest novel, Stay Sweet, Amelia is looking forward to her last year at the Meade…

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11 If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say Leila Sales cover

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say


  We take a look at online shaming and Leila Sales’ new novel, If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say. Join us this week on the YA Cafe. (transcript)   In today’s episode…   In Leila Sales’ newest novel, If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say: A Novel, Winter Halperin gets caught up in a storm of online…

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The Unrecommendable Book cover

Subversive Literature: The Unrecommendable Book


So, like you, I spend a lot of time thinking about how to get my teenage students to love reading and writing. I spend a lot of time recommending books to teachers to help get their teenage students to love reading. I even started a podcast to help teachers, librarians, and students find new YA titles they’ll love. In short,…

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Someday Somewhere Lindsay Champion review cover

Someday, Somewhere by Lindsay Champion (and other creative books)


In Someday, Somewhere by Lindsay Champion, Ben and Dominique are drawn together after a movie-magic chance encounter. Join us as we chat music and romance with our special guest, violinist and music teacher Leila Hobbs. (transcript)     In today’s episode…   In Lindsay Champion’s debut novel Someday, Somewhere we get a split perspective of a serendipitous meeting, and a…

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Children of Blood and Bone


  We’ll be talking about Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi with two ladies from the Bookstagram community, Courtney and Anna. Join us as we talk characterization, context, and why it matters. (transcript)     In today’s episode…   In Tomi Adeyemi’s debut novel, Children of Blood and Bone, we meet Zélie, who was only five years old…

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Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert


  Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert is a dive inside the mind of a young artist, Danny Cheng. Join us today as we talk about secrets, tragedies, and struggles with mental health. (Listen to the podcast or find a transcription here.)   In today’s episode…   At the beginning of Picture Us In The Light, seventeen-year-old Danny…

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Summer of Jordi Perez review cover

The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding


We’re chatting with Anne Marie Wells, a fellow reader and foodie friend, about The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding. Check out more on this week’s episode of the YA Cafe.   In today’s episode…   In The Summer of Jordi Perez, Abby scores the internship of her dreams: working at a vintage clothing shop in LA. She hopes…

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Picture Us in the Light review cover

Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert


Picture Us in the Light – Kelly Loy Gilbert   Danny Cheng has always known his parents have secrets. But when he discovers a taped-up box in his father’s closet filled with old letters and a file on a powerful Silicon Valley family, he realizes there’s much more to his family’s past than he ever imagined.   Danny has been…

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The Radical Element by Jessica Spotswood review cover

The Radical Element edited by Jessica Spotswood


  The Radical Element is a new anthology of historical YA fiction short stories edited by Jessica Spotswood. This anthology moves chronologically through American History. We’ll dive in to these stories on today’s episode of the YA Cafe, the podcast for teachers, readers, and caffeine addicts everywhere.     In today’s episode…   The Radical Element: 12 Stories of Daredevils, Debutantes…

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The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert podcast cover

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert


  Welcome to the YA Cafe, where you’ll find conversations and reviews about Young Adult books for teachers, readers, and caffeine addicts everywhere. On today’s episode, we’ll be talking about The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert with our guest, Brynn Allison, The Literary Maven. Grab a mug of your favorite beverage, friends, and let’s talk books.     In today’s episode… The…

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Three YA Thrillers podcast cover

Oo, Scandalous: Three YA Thrillers


  Welcome to the YA Cafe, where you’ll find conversations and reviews about Young Adult books for teachers, readers, and caffeine addicts everywhere. Today, we tackle three YA Thrillers: Secrets, Lies, and Scandals by Amanda K. Morgan, One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus, and People Like Us by Dana Mele.     In today’s episode…   Today’s episode is a three-for-one special as…

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Turtles All the Way Down podcast cover

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green


  Welcome to the YA Cafe, where you’ll find conversations and reviews about Young Adult books for teachers, readers, and caffeine addicts everywhere. In today’s episode, we talk about Turtles All the Way Down by John Green.     In today’s episode…   In today’s episode, we discuss Turtles All the Way Down by John Green with our friend, Erin Warzala.…

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The Gentlemans Guide Podcast cover

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee


  Welcome to our new podcast, The YA Cafe, where you’ll find conversations and reviews about Young Adult books for teachers, readers, and caffeine addicts everywhere. The YA Cafe is a round-table discussion of a new YA title each week. Our show is roughly split in half, with the first half being spoiler-free. Even if you haven’t read the book, you can…

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A Possibility of Whales by Karen Rivers review cover

A Possibility of Whales by Karen Rivers


A Possibility of Whales by Karen Rivers Summary   Twelve-year-old Natalia Rose Baleine Gallagher loves possibilities: the possibility that she’ll see whales on the beach near her new home, the possibility that the trans­gender boy she just met will become her new best friend, the possibility that the paparazzi hounding her celebrity father won’t force them to move again. Most…

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Americanized by Sara Saedi


Books to Read, Love, and Share: Americanized by Sara Saedi Description from Goodreads:   At thirteen, bright-eyed, straight-A student Sara Saedi uncovered a terrible family secret: she was breaking the law simply by living in the United States. Only two years old when her parents fled Iran, she didn’t learn of her undocumented status until her older sister wanted to…

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Love Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed Review Cover

Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed


Books to Read, Love, and Share: Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed In Love, Hate and Other Filters, American-born Maya Aziz has the same concerns as any 17-year-old: school, boys, and going to the college of her dreams (NYU) to pursue her goal of becoming a filmmaker. Her Indian parents would prefer their daughter go to college closer…

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Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust Review Cover

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust


Books to Read, Love, and Share: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust In Girls Made of Snow and Glass, two stories intertwine. We watch Mina, an ambitious young girl, strive to gain acceptance at court. Her magician father expects her to use her beauty to get a good marriage for herself, but he insists that no one will ever…

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The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert Review Cover

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert


Books to Read, Love, and Share: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert In The Hazel Wood, Alice and her mother have never been able to shake the bad luck trailing them. At seventeen, Alice has known more hotel rooms than homes, and truck stop food is familiar. Alice has always dreamed of living with her grandmother in her mansion, the…

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A book tree is a great holiday decoration for nerds and English teachers, am I right? This can be great for your home, office, or classroom! Here's how to make a book tree AND our book tree reveal for 2017. :) Blog post at teachnouvelle.com.

Book Tree Reveal


How to Make a Book Tree A book tree is a great holiday decoration for nerds and English teachers, am I right? This can be great for your home, office, or classroom! Here’s how to make a book tree AND our book tree reveal for 2017.   This is our second year with a book tree, and here are some…

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Reading the World Challenge - Read my growing list of titles and recommendations as I try to read a book from every country in the world. (blog post at teachnouvelle.com)

Reading the World Challenge


Hello, friends! I’m here today to announce a big dream: I want to read the world. I plan to read a book from every country in the world, and record my progress here. I believe that, as a teacher, I need to read widely and often, and be able to introduce students to works and worldviews they haven’t experienced yet.…

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As students become more confident readers, they want to know what to read next. Here are some ways you can make solid book recommendations for teens. (blog post at teachnouvelle.com)

How to Make Book Recommendations for Teens


How to Make Book Recommendations for Teens One of my favorite parts of talking about books with students is helping them figure out what to read next. Readers know the power of knowing their next book, and we can help students get there with some tools in our own reader toolkit. These tools can help you find great book recommendations…

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For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood by Christopher Emdin is a must-read for teachers. Emdin shares his experience of learning and teaching in an urban setting and offers up a new approach to education. Read the whole review at teachnouvelle.com.

Book Review: For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood


For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood by Christopher Emdin   In For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood… and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education, Christopher Emdin shares his experience of learning and teaching in an urban setting and offers up a new approach to education. He dismantles stereotypes and advocates for a student-centered…

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How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon is a careful, thought-provoking portrait of the aftermath of a shooting, making it a strong choice for a high school read-aloud and discussion starter. Jack Franklin, white, thinks he’s doing a good deed when he shoots and kills sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson (black) as he leaves a convenience store. But what really happened? We find out in How It Went Down.

How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon (Book Review)


How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon is a careful, thought-provoking portrait of the aftermath of a shooting, making it a strong choice for a high school read-aloud and discussion starter. Jack Franklin, white, thinks he’s doing a good deed when he shoots and kills sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson (black) as he leaves a convenience store. But what really happened? We…

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The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy is a great addition to your high school classroom library. With a mysterious atmosphere, lyrical prose, and a range of humorous characters, this title is sure to please. Book review from teachnouvelle.com.

The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy (Book Review)


Need a new pick for your classroom library? Check out The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy.   After the death of her mother and the drafting of her father to the South Pacific, Aila and her brother go to live with some family friends in the close-knit town of Sterling. Soon enough, Aila has more questions than answers: why can’t she see…

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Books with unreliable narrators are great additions to your classroom library. It’s easy to find rich examples of unreliable narrators in YA Lit, and here are some tips for discussing these characters with middle school and high school students. (blog post)

Unreliable Narrators in YA Lit


Unreliable narrators in YA Lit abound, and novels with these characters make great additions to your classroom library. Unreliable narrators are voice whose perspectives on a situation are called into questions for any number of reasons. Basically, we as the reader cannot trust the very vehicle through which we are given the story! The unreliable narrator is a popular device…

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Book conferences are a great way to review students’ independent reading without a huge grading burden on the teacher. Check out these tips for quick and enriching book conferences. Blog post by teachnouvelle.com.

Book Conferences: Engaging and Simple


I love independent reading (or student-selected reading), and I love talking about books! It only makes good sense to me, then, to allow my students to show their growth in independent reading through book conferences. Book conferences are an informal conversation between the teacher and student to show completion of and reflection on a novel. I learned a lot from…

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The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles is a perfect opportunity for integrated learning. Prince Ailani's journey unfolds against a backdrop of Hawaiian culture, history, and earth science. Learn more about using this book in your curriculum at teachnouvelle.com.

Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles


Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles Description from Goodreads: The Kingdom of Oceana SURFER. SHARK TAMER. FIRE WALKER. EXPLORER. TEENAGER. HERO. Five centuries ago, on the island now called Hawaii, there was a kingdom filled with adventure, Beauty, and Magic. When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask,…

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Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood - Book reviews that you can use to build your library.

Books to Read, Love, and Share: Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood


  Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood Ivy grew up in her great-grandmother’s house under the constant gaze of old portraits of distinguished Milbourn women and wrapped in the dust of old prizes and journals. She comes from a long line of bright and brief stars, each taken too soon by mental illness or murder. Her grandfather pushes her to find…

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Fifteen Lanes by S. J. Laidlaw - Book reviews to help you build your classroom library.

Books to Read, Love, and Share: Fifteen Lanes by S. J. Laidlaw


  Fifteen Lanes by S. J. Laidlaw Noor, the daughter of a sex worker, has grown up in a brothel through hardship, cruelty, and sadness. Grace, the daughter of a successful CEO, has her reputation tarnished by a vicious bout of cyber-bullying and spirals into depression. Can these very different girls learn from each other and eventually save one another?…

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