Imagine if vampires had been living in America during colonial times. Now, imagine if they still not only co-existed with humans in the US, but also helped found a town. New Whitby, Maine, is such a town. The main character in Team Human, Mel, is human, but finds her life entwined with those of the vampires she despises who share her town. Her best friend, Cathy, falls in love with a vampire, and Mel also meets Kit, a human guy who was raised in a shade, or a group of vampires who live as a family. This book is very refreshing, funny, and thought provoking. I laughed out loud several times, and also found parts of this book so fascinating, I could not put it down. This is a fabulous read, full of interesting, well rounded characters. And not everything works out the way you think it will. I call this a teen human fiction, with vampires on the side.
Nine-year-old Tiffany Aching is very observant and thinks about things all the time, in fact she might be a witch like her Granny Aching. Witches are wise women in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, noticing what is really happening around them. Things are already getting strange for Tiffany Aching when the Nac Mac Feegles, the six-inch-high, kilt-wearing, blue-skinned men whose favorite things are thievin’, fightin’, and drinkin’, show up. Her little brother goes missing and she joins forces with the Nac Mac Feegles to find him and bring him back. The Nac Mac Feegles have their own plans for Tiffany. They also have plans for steeling the sheep. The Wee Free Men is part of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, and Discworld is a popular destination for fantasy readers who want a smart, witty read with many other books in the series. The Tiffany Aching subseries is great for teens and adults.
Jamie was only five years old when his sister Rose was killed by a bomb in London. Now ten, Jamie lives with his dad and Jas, Rose’s twin sister. When his mum and dad split up, each got a portion of Rose’s remains. Jamie’s mum ran off with a fellow member of a bereavement group and his dad has retreated into the comfort of alcohol and is barely aware of his and Jas’ existence. Life gets even harder with the start of school in a new place where he becomes a bully’s target. It seems that his only friend is to be Sunya, a girl whose family is from Bangladesh and who wears a hijab. “Dad would go mental if he knew.”
Pitcher’s first novel deftly tackles the death of a child and the struggles of the family left behind. My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece was hard to put down! It reminded me of other favorites like About a Boy by Nick Hornby and Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce. Looking forward to more books by this talented British author! Check out her website at http://www.annabelpitcher.com.
News Flash! Batman fights monsters in Gotham city. However, these monsters are not your typical joker or penguin. In the black mirror Batman goes up against an organization that has thrived off of the imbedded evil in Gotham City for years. Batman, now Dick Grayson, has to fight his own inner demons to face an entrenched demonic organization that Gotham has never seen. Not only are there surprises along the way, there is one person who can’t wait to have his last laugh!
Batman: The Black Mirror
Forged By Fire, a Coretta Scott King Award winner and ALA Best Book for Young Adults pick, tells the story of two siblings fighting for survival in their world filled with neglect and abuse. In Sharon Draper’s second book of the Hazelwood High Trilogy, William and his sister, Angel, meet for the first time on his birthday. From that day forward, they are inseparable. It is the same day that he meets his abusive stepfather. Faced with such a man and a drug-addicted mother both band together to face the fight of their lives. The book has an appealing story line, strong characters and themes for teens. Its short chapters, fast pace and never-ending, unexpected twists will hold hostage even the most reluctant teen readers.