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Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young feat. Amanda K. Morgan

Author Amanda K. Morgan joins us to chat about Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young, a new YA thriller that kept us guessing all the way through! (Transcript)

48 Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young feat. Amanda K. Morgan


In today’s episode…

In Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young, Philomena is the perfect student at a school that makes perfect girls. Behind her school’s gated walls, girls are molded to become perfect wives for powerful men–girls who are beautiful to look at and won’t ask too many questions. They are constantly told the school has their very best interests at heart, with important financiers invested in each girl’s future. Every girl’s emotion and reaction is carefully tamped down–until it isn’t. On one of their rare trips into the outside world, Philomena encounters a civilian who is horrified at the way they are treated. And that’s when the girls realize there is something very, very wrong at Innovations Academy


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Episode highlights…


*2:28 We thought it was very accessibly written

*4:13 We loved how it kept the focus on the relationships between the girls

Things We Like A Latte

Danielle – Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson. And in a first ever Things We Don’t Like A Latte, Danielle delivers the news that Netflix is cancelling One Day At A Time. Boo!

Mandy – Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Amanda – The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin




*11:48 Don’t forget to take your vitamins!

*13:01 Impulse Control Therapy

*14:53 Rebellious poems – “… and then they sharpened their sticks”

*26:00 This is book one of a series, but it has a clear ending and we love that. Team Clear Endings!

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More ideas and resources for teachers and librarians…

One of the things we talked about in the episode was how well paced this book is (it keeps you hooked all the way through!) and how accessible the themes in this book are to readers. Both of those things make it a great choice for a classroom library, and a great recommendation to students who might be reading lower level than their peers.

Another book we recently reviewed that we recommend to struggling readers is The Disasters by M.K. England. And if you are looking for more thrillers for your classroom library we have a list of 15 Diverse Thrillers for you to check out.

In this book the students find a book of poems that inspire them to rebel against their oppressive environment, and with National Poetry Month coming up you might be looking for more poetry resources. Danielle has some great blog posts about fun ways to get more poetry in the classroom, like Poetry Bellringers, Poetry Speed-Dating, and especially relevant to this book, Science Fiction Poems.

48 Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young feat. Amanda K. Morgan

Get in touch with us on Instagram and Twitter at @yacafepodcast or email us at We look forward to hearing from you!




Hosts: Danielle Hall (who blogs at

          & Amanda Thrasher (a booklover extraordinaire)


Guest: Amanda K. Morgan, author

Producer: Leila Hobbs

Music: Matt McCammon


Thank you to SimonTeen for the review copy!

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