Katrina is a self-described ordinary teenage girl (yeah, she's a bit hard on herself), but when she leaves some leftover pastries and coffee for the handsome homeless guy she finds sleeping in the alley behind her grandmother's struggling coffee shop, her hitherto boring life becomes a series of unexpected wacky events and emotions. It turns out that “homeless” guy is actually a teenage guardian angel on a break, and he’s determined to repay Katrina’s kindness by granting her heart’s deepest wish. Now, if she could only figure out what that is.
In 1939, 15-year-old Lina and her family are wrenched from their home in Lithuania and deported to desolate Siberia, where they are forced to live in Soviet labor camps. Lina and her family must struggle to survive amidst the most brutal of conditions in this work of historical fiction.
Teen Fiction SEPETYS, R.
A distressing phone call from local law enforcement propels Grant and Angela Courtland bedside to fifteen-year old son, Sean, injured during an accident during a family vacation to the Rocky Mountains. At the hospital, the Courtland’s learn Sean’s injuries are the result of an early morning hit-and-run; though, even worse, is the news that eighteen-year old daughter, Caitlin, is missing. Sean, meanwhile, groggy from surgery, remembers almost nothing about the accident besides biking behind Caitlin jogging the trail.
A genre defying novel, this story’s premise is the spiritual and emotional awakening of 18-year-old Emmy growing up in 1950s Minnesota. Emmy lives on a rural farm in a conservative Lutheran family outside Minneapolis. Her mother is a harsh taskmistress; her father is kind but distant. Emmy’s mother has forced her into an engagement to Ambrose, a stern man 10 years her senior whose family owns the farm next door.
For years, the doors between worlds have been closed to all except a few, including Kell, whose magic allows him to travel to and from the different Londons occupying these worlds. When Kell acquires a magical artifact from a dangerous world long sealed off from the others, he and a rogue thief named Lila set out on a desperate journey to protect their worlds from treachery and dark magic.
SF/F SCHWAB, V.
Nighttime travelling in mid-19th century England is risky thanks to highwaymen. One in particular, Whistling Jack, has become quite notorious with a large bounty on his head. Kit Bristol, a former circus stunt rider and current servant to Master Rattle, wakes in the middle of the night to discover his master fatally injured, dressed as Whistling Jack, and the authorities close on his heels. To draw them away, Kit costumes himself as the highwayman and takes off on his master’s horse, Midnight.
While many books focus on a compelling character or family, this novel revolves around a particular place – a tiny, windswept island off the coast of California. Beginning in the 1880s and then shifting to the 1930s, Boyle traces the lives of two families that inhabit San Miguel, people in search of freedom and escape from sometimes troubled pasts. In addition to a stark and captivating place, this memorable tale offers compelling characters, heartbreaking circumstances, and the beautiful storytelling that readers have come to expect of T. C. Boyle.
An award-winning, powerful collection of stories that tackle the many difficult struggles (moral, psychological and physical) our American soldiers faced during deployment and upon their return home post-war. An affecting, strong addition to the unique body of literature centering around the military experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Fiction KLAY, P.
Seven-year-old Millie has a slight obsession with death and keeps a list of dead things in her life, one of the recent entries being “my dad.” Unable to deal with Millie, her mother tells her to wait for a moment in the underwear section of a department store and never returns. Millie, desperate to find her mother (she leaves notes saying “IN HERE MUM” everywhere she goes), tugs on the heartstrings of 80-somethings Karl the Touch Typist, a recent nursing home escapee, and Agatha Panthea, her grumpy, recluse neighbor.
Back in 1987, it seems to fourteen-year-old June Elbus that only one person has ever truly understood her -- her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Quirky and shy at school, and unwillingly distant from her once close older sister, June only feels like herself in Finn's company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of AIDS, the mysterious illness her family will barely talk about, June's world is turned upside down.