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All reviews tagged with Young Adult

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Image & Imagination: Ideas and Inspiration for Teen Writers

The teenage years are a curious time for young writers: on the one hand, it is a time of creativity and having much to say, and on the other hand, there are so many rules and regulations for writing within a school system that they grow wary of getting it ‘wrong’. Image & Imagination is…

In Paris With You

In Paris With You could be the beginning of a sentence or the answer to a question. It locates our protagonists in space and company but not in time. Tatiana and Eugene have history, central to which is a story which is not theirs. Their paths diverge, until ten years later different versions of themselves…

In Waves

This graphic novel interweaves the biographies of two historically significant surfers with the autobiographical narrative of the young contemporary protagonist, who also surfs. What it also depicts is the kind of reverence that the activity evokes. This aspect of the book offers an effectively researched history, combined with an emotional engagement with surfing. What the…

Indigo Donut

This is a big book for any young (and not so young) reader, so you’re going to have to love the story to stick with it. But Patrice Lawrence does big stories with heart and soul: her award-winning Orangeboy packed a solid 449 pages. Indigo Donut is told in alternating points of view by Bailey…

Ink

They say not to judge a book by its cover. However, in the case of Ink, you wouldn’t be in wrong in doing so. The illustrations on the cover of the book are breathtaking. The shiny bronze designs are set against a black backdrop which draws attention to the intricacies of the artwork. Though the…

Internment

As we know in Ireland, internment without trial is a crude and cruel approach that humiliates and dehumanizes its victims and opens wounds in society that can take years to heal. When this happens to Muslims in a near-future America, teenager Layla and her family are forced to choose between acquiescence and short-term safety, or…

Inventing Elliot

Elliot Sutton endures a life of incessant torment at the hands of vicious bullies until an unexpected family tragedy leads to a move of house, a new school and a fresh start. Paralysed emotionally by his previous experiences, Elliot vows that he will never again be a victim and will seize the new opportunities offered…

Iron Cast

In Destiny Soria’s Iron Cast, Ada and Corinne are Hemopaths, whose ‘afflicted’ blood gives them the ability to use song, music, poetry and art to manipulate the world and those around them. Set in 1919 just before the Prohibition, Hemopaths, like alcohol, are about to become outlawed. Working at The Cast Iron bar where illegal…

It’s Not OK to Feel Blue and other lies

This anthology is large, in physical size and in the span of its content. These five hundred and fifty-three pages carry an important weight; the weight of vulnerability and shared experiences. It’s Not OK to Feel Blue and other lies is compiled of stories from many different inspirational people, from Yomi Adegoke to Emma Thompson.…

Jacob’s Ladder

Leon is an Initiate about to Rise as a warrior of the True Path tasked with taking a life to prove the worthiness of his own. In a world where civilization is crumbling and the Earth is all but destroyed, an alien species has dispatched messages to Earth vowing to rescue those deemed worthy to…

James Joyce: Literary Legend

James Joyce: Literary Legend is the latest instalment of Poolbeg’s In a Nutshell series. The illustrated paperback describes the life and career of one of Ireland’s greatest writers. Andrew O’Connor’s text provides a very clear overview of the key moments in the life of James Joyce. The reader is brought on a journey, which includes…

Kill All Enemies

I’ve always liked the power of Melvin Burgess’s writing – though not always his subject matter – and was accordingly satisfied by his latest book. Although at first, I disliked the three protagonists: they’re loud, aggressive and violent. In fact, they’re very similar to those who ran riot, wrecking the streets of London in August…

Lark

Those who have enjoyed the first three books of this series will be saddened by the fact that this appears to be the last. Just like the lark of the title, Anthony McGowan has created in Nicky and Kenny characters that are as captivating and vulnerable as they are rare. Narrator Nicky has a kind,…

Last Chance

anything.’ Thus 15-year-old Julian on the opening page of this ambitious novel, as he contemplates the complexities of his domestic situation. His father has just returned to the West Indies, leaving the boy some money, details of a betting system by which he will apparently make a fortune on horse racing and, most significant of…

Leah on the Offbeat

First of all, I have to say – I loved this book. Favourite one of 2018, by far. That said, I have not read Love, Simon (also known as Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda) and Leah on the Offbeat is a sequel to this. For the first chapter or two I was caught off-guard by…

Letters to the Lost

Seventeen-year-old Juliet’s photojournalist mother is dead and the only thing that’s helping her cope are the letters she’s been leaving at her grave. When someone writes a reply to one of them, Juliet finds herself sharing her deepest thoughts with a total stranger. Except he isn’t a stranger. Declan Murphy is a fellow student in…

Life: An Exploded Diagram

This is a new historical novel for young adults from the award-winning writer of Keeper and Exposure. A coming-of-age story set in rural Norfolk, England in 1962, the central plot focuses on the growing romance between 16-year-old Clem Ackroyd, a working-class boy with a talent for drawing, and Frankie, the rebellious daughter of a rich…

Like Other Girls

It’s doubtful whether anybody over the age of forty could have written this book as the world it portrays – teenagers who are ‘transitioning’ to become the opposite sex as well as those with serious alcohol problems (and they’re only sixteen) just wouldn’t have figured back in their day. Or if they did, they certainly…

Little Liar

This is an intense and gripping novel that seems to take its cue from the recent ‘domestic noir trend’ in adult fiction. Like many contemporary novels in that genre, Little Liar features a manipulative and morally ambiguous female protagonist who is by her own admission an unreliable narrator and who spends the novel scheming to…

Locomotion

Four years after their parents were burned to death in a house fire Lonnie (also known as ‘Locomotion’) and his younger sister Lili are now living, separately, with foster mothers. For Lonnie, 11 years of age, the trauma of the loss of his parents still hurts. It is his teacher, Ms Marcus, who, in inspiring…

Lola Rose

This book, in which an abused mother and her two children run away from a criminally violent dad to a new, adventurous life, deals with a whole range of predictable Wilsonesque ‘issues’ – domestic violence, parental inadequacy, alcohol abuse, sexual irresponsibility, social exclusion, cancer, food-related disorders and fat – but it handles them with an…

London Belongs to Us

At seventeen, Sunny has always been a little bit of a pushover – and she knows it. But when she sees a picture of her boyfriend kissing another girl, she knows that for once, she’s got to do something. In the twelve-hour dash around her beloved home city that follows, she is befriended, helped, and…

Looking after your Mental Health

If someone has broken their arm and it is covered with a plaster cast, it’s fairly obvious to everyone what is wrong. If someone suffers from a mental illness, this may be less easily identifiable. We live in a world full of stress. For teenagers there are many pressures which affect their quality of life…

Love, Hate & Other Filters

17-year-old Maya is struggling to find a way to tell her strict Indian parents that she wants to go to school in New York to study film, rather than go to a college close to home and study law. As she says, ‘My parents are frozen in the past, in the India of their youth.’…

Love, Shelley

An account of a 14-year-old girl’s life in a series of letters to her favourite singer Ziggy. Shelley, the narrator, feels she can be truly honest with her idol. Her letters reveal the neglect and verbal abuse that she and her delicate younger brother, Jake, suffer due to their mother’s alcoholism. School also presents problems…

Lucas

The mysterious and attractive Lucas immediately ignites Caitlin’s interest when she sees him walking along the narrow spit connecting her island home to the mainland. Lucas lives rough, surviving off what he can get from the land and the small income he earns odd jobbing. His feral lifestyle has left him free from the imagined…

Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride & Prejudice

Everyone knows the story of Pride & Prejudice, which is, of course, the story of Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. Jane Austen’s romantic tale has been capturing readers’ hearts for centuries. But what of the youngest and wildest Bennett daughter Lydia, the one who really tried her poor mother’s nerves? Dismissed as the flighty one…

Mac Rí Éireann

Nuair a cuireadh an leabhar seo os mo chomhair den chéad uair, bhí a fhios agam go mbeadh léamh draíochta, álainn agus contúirteach romham. Tugann an scéal Mac Rí Éireann muid ar turas fantaisíochta ón Domhan Thiar fhad leis an Domhan Thoir. Insíonn sé dúinn fá Rí na hÉireann a chuireann ruaig ar a mhac…

Managing Your Money

This guidebook offers practical instructions on how to manage money, with information on how to budget and be a smart shopper, tips on how to earn money, and advice on how to shop online with safety and security. It is a sobering thought that modern grown-ups have made such a mess of the world economy…

Massive

Dealing with eating disorders and the family dynamics, Massive is a memorable, thought-provoking, but not wholly successful book. Carmen’s mum, Maria, is thin, obsessed with her weight and terrified of losing control. She sees her normal teenage daughter as fat, disgusting and undisciplined. Although the central character is a teenage girl, Massive is quite unlike…

Max

Konrad Von Kebnersol aka Max is the first product of a secret Lebensborn programme, a Nazi breeding plan dedicated to producing specimens of the purest Aryan perfection. Separated from his mother soon after his birth, baptised by Hitler himself and touted as the programme’s finest, he is enrolled in a Napola – a Nazi military…

Mollie on the March

This sequel to The Making of Mollie takes Anna Carey’s charming young suffragette heroine, Mollie Carbery, into the summer months of 1912. Like its predecessor, the book is written through letters to Mollie’s friend Frances, who is now on holiday in America—something the Carberys could never afford. Mollie’s frustration at not being able to travel…

Moondust

Following a future energy crisis and subsequent war, the discovery of a miracle energy source on the moon brings restored peace to Earth. Teenager Aggie lives on the Lunar Base, working alongside various Lunar Inc. personnel, from surface analysts and mining operatives to prisoners and guards. As the company celebrates an important anniversary, Aggie is…

Moonhead and the Music Machine

This is a graphic novel about self-confidence, music, bullying and school life. It incorporates both realistic and surrealist elements in illustration, characterisation and narrative. Joey Moonhead gets bullied at school (for having a moon for a head) and has few friends, although the ones he does have are as engaged with both science and music…

Moonrise

In Staten Island, Joe is a champion athlete, but when word arrives from Texas that a date has been set for the execution of his older brother Ed, the last thing he is going to do is run. Instead, he resolves to face this immense tragedy head-on and travels to a forlorn prison town to…

Mother Tongue

Even though Darya Ivanova has graduated from high school, she is still looking forward to September. She has been like a mother to her younger sister Nika, who is now beginning school—which means that Darya will at last have some time to herself. To do what, she doesn’t exactly know, but at least she’ll have…

Motherland

‘There were so many ways of being and expressing myself that I had to leave behind, and so many ways I had to relearn.’ Maya is poised between two cultures – American and Indian – and, at 15, between adolescence and adulthood as she visits her mother’s wealthy family in southern India. The author vividly…

Movers

Patrick is a Mover, a person with the power to ‘Move’, or pull people from the future to the present. Unfortunately, due to the sudden influx of people from the future using our resources, Moving is banned and all Movers are closely monitored, under threat of permanent sleep. Naturally one day, as it must in…

Moxie

Viv mostly keeps her head down at her football obsessed Texas high school. She doesn’t kick up a fuss when girls are pulled out of class for showing a hint of cleavage, while boys can wear T-shirts with sexually explicit slogans without seeming to violate the school’s dress code. She doesn’t even protest against ‘Bump…

My Secret Camera

Mendel Grossman, a talented young photographer, secretly photographed the lives of Jews imprisoned with him in the Lodz Ghetto in Poland during World War II. The simple, moving text, written in the first person, communicates directly with the reader. Together with the unforgettable photographs of everyday events and people, it provides a unique record of…

My Side of the Diamond

Have you heard the one about the couple jump off a tall building but no bodies hit the ground? Jazmin Little has and unfortunately for her, she is about to be embroiled in a mystery of paranormal conspiracy theories, secret agents and teenagers with publishing contracts. The latest from the critically acclaimed Sally Gardner is…

Night of the Party

For years young adult fiction has been predicting dark dystopian futures. Now that Britain is set to leave the EU – at the time of writing it’s unclear how, when or even if this will happen – it seems only natural that the genre should square up to the B word, with all its portents…

Night Shift

‘I had lost my compass and without it any map was forfeit.’ Debi Gliori, best known for ‘lovely’ picturebooks for younger readers, reminds us here that illustrated texts are not just for kids. The heroine of Night Shift is deeply depressed, through the condition is never named as such. Instead, a combination of pencil drawings…

Njunjul the Sun

This is a sensitively written coming-of-age novel steeped in Australian Aboriginal culture. It is the third in a series that follows the growing pains of Njunjul, but it can also be read as a stand-alone novel. Njunjul is a 16-year-old Aboriginal boy leaving his Queensland reservation and travelling to Sydney to live with relatives. The…

No Filter

Told from two different points of view, this coming-of-age story about ‘that summer … the one when everything changes’ begins at sixteen-year-old Emerald’s private school in England. Emerald thinks life can’t get any worse than being bullied on social media by so-called friends. But with a shocking discovery at home her world falls apart, and…

No One is Too Small to Make a Difference

Greta Thunberg is a sixteen-year-old girl from Sweden and a leading voice in the climate activism movement with her school strike initiative that is now in effect all over the world. No One is Too Small to Make a Difference is a collection of the speeches she has given during her school strikes, the UN…

Noah Can’t Even

Noah Grimes is an exceedingly awkward almost-16-year-old who wants more than anything else to just be normal. Problem is, his mum’s Beyonce tribute act doesn’t help matters in school. His dad disappeared years ago, his beloved gran isn’t herself any more, and school is pure hell. He only has one friend, Harry, who has been…

Nobody Real

Marcie and Thor Baker are firm friends, but very different people. For one thing, Marcie lives in the real world and Thor is her imaginary friend. It’s the summer after her final exams and Marcie has some big decisions to make, and despite being sent away six years ago, her old pal Thor is back.…

Nobody’s Girl

‘Everything about me was boring. I even had the world’s most boring bra size, 34B,’ says our 17-year-old protagonist, Bea. So she really doesn’t know what to make of it when the ultracool Ruby takes her under her wing and makes her part of her gang. Even when Ruby invites her to Spain on holidays,…

Nowhere Near You

Ollie and Moritz might never meet, but their friendship knows no bounds. Their letters carry on as Ollie embarks on his first road trip away from the woods – no easy feat for a boy allergic to electricity – and Moritz decides which new school would best suit an eyeless boy who prefers to be…

October is the Coldest Month

In a rural part of Sweden, where people need to be as tough as the weather, Vega has to discover her own place in her community. Jakob, Vega’s older brother, has been missing since ‘that terrible night’. And when the police come knocking on the door looking for him, Vega knows she will have to…

On a Scale of One to Ten

How do you feel, on a scale of one to ten? This is one of the endless questions that Tamar is asked when she is admitted to Lime Grove, a psychiatric hospital for teenagers. There are other questions about self-harm and suicide, but there is one question that Tamar isn’t able to answer: What happened…

One Small Thing

Beth is trapped in an unhappy home since her sister’s death. Her parents are over-protective and overbearing and Beth is ready to bust out. When she sneaks out to a party on the wrong side of the tracks, she meets a boy she feels a real connection to. However, Beth soon finds out that he…

Only Love Can Break Your Heart

Reiko knows her big sister Mika is not dead, despite everyone telling her to the contrary. The two siblings regularly curl up on her bed and chat about guys, like the awkward, lanky Seth whom Reiko has begun – uncharacteristically – dating. And doesn’t her big sister look out the window after her, waving Reiko…

Passing for White

This novel is based on the true story of Ellen and William Craft, as told in their memoir. It is by and large a very faithful account of their journey from slavery into freedom. The reason for the change of names to the fictional Rosa and Benjamin of the novel may possibly be explained by…

Permanent Record

Pablo Neruda Rind is a twenty-year-old college dropout who spends his nights working in a New York bodega, trying to pay off the debt from his credit card and student loans. Nineteen-year-old Leanna Smart, meanwhile, is a high-flying musician and movie star who owns a multi-million dollar cosmetics company. When Leanna wanders into Pablo’s workplace…

Pictures from the Fire

In an asylum hostel somewhere in Europe, Emilia Radu finds an old diary, and fills its blank pages with pictures that attempt to make sense of events she feels her family may be ‘afraid to remember, just as she was afraid to forget’. Fair-haired and pale-skinned, Emilia has always been something of an outsider and…

Piglettes

This may just be the first positive book about the transformative power of cyber-bullying. Mireille, Astrid and Hakima have been voted the ugliest girls in their school in a nasty on-line competition that the teachers can do nothing to stop. It hurts. It isolates. It humiliates. But in a bold turning of the tables, it…

Popular

Gareth Russell’s debut novel, Popular, follows the ups and downs of the lives of the rich and popular clique of fictional Mount Olivet Grammar School in Belfast. Full of the mini-dramas we can expect from teenage life, Popular chronicles the parties, break-ups and relationships, social politics and lifestyles of the wealthy sons and daughters of…

Pride and Premiership

Pride and Premiership: from WAGs to Richesis the first book from actress and singer Michelle Gayle. Telling the story of Remy, a 17-year-old who has taken on the goal of becoming a WAG so that she can give up work. She and her sister Malibu follow a ‘WAG charter’ to snag themselves a footballer. The…

Race the Atlantic Wind: The Flight of Alcock and Brown

In the aftermath of the Great War, teams of pilots and navigators gather at Newfoundland to compete for Lord Northcliffe’s prize of £10,000 to the first aircraft that can make it across the Atlantic in a single crossing. Maggie, a young Irish girl living in Newfoundland, wishes to become an explorer, and passionately desires to…

Raybearer

In Jordan Ifueko’s début African-fantasy novel, a young girl, Tarisai of Swana, spends her early life preparing for a mammoth task:  to become a member of the Crown Prince’s Council of Eleven – a council bound together by the power of the Ray. A second task, bestowed by magic on Tarisai by her mysterious mother,…

Re-Made

Mr Scarrow knows how to ensure a few sleepless nights. This book is not for scaredy-cats like me, but I loved it. The whole idea of an extermination is nothing new in literature but this one is a bit special: a virus is killing all living things with the exception of plants. There is cross…

Read My Lips

This is a wonderful story of courage and survival. Set in a residential school for the deaf, it tells of the trials and tribulations of deaf children as they split into two distinctly hostile camps, the signers and the speakers. The result is a deaf city war, which becomes increasingly volatile, with those on either…

Rebel Bully Geek Pariah

Erin Lange starts her novel in a grim holding cell where Sam Cherie is waiting for visiting time to begin. We quickly learn that Sam has spent a lot of her time visiting her addict mother in jail. Lange reveals Sam’s difficult life where she is more her mother’s parent than her child and shows…

Return to Ribblestrop

Calling all Ribblestrop fans. Term time is about to commence at this unusual school and the new instalment of life at Ribblestrop Towers will not disappoint. From beginning to end, term time is fraught with rib-tickling incidents that would frustrate the most tolerant of headmasters. From the outset, Millie’s journey is fraught with difficulties, albeit…

Rose, Interrupted

Rose and her younger brother Rudder are ‘decommissioning’. This means they are adjusting to life not being Pilgrims, a hardline Christian community of which their family were members until a mysterious accident. However, they are finding the real world filled with more challenges than expected. Things were going okay until an explicit photo sent to…

Rosie Loves Jack

Rosie and Jack are in love, they make each other happier and stronger. But now Jack has gone away, and Rosie, a young woman with Down Syndrome, needs to find him. This novel, Mel Darbon’s first, blew me away with its empathy and pacing. Throughout her journey, Rosie encounters a spectrum of human cruelty and…

Running Home

Reading a novel in proof form can be a serendipitous experience – no cover illustration, author biography or quotes from other reviews to give even an inkling of what to expect within. The plain blue covers of the proof of Running Home, giving it a look of Bunreacht na hÉireann (The Irish Constitution) provided no…

Satellite

Leo has spent his entire life in space, living on Moon Space Station 2. Along with his quasi-siblings, twins Orion and Libra, he completes grueling physical fitness tests, studies the onboard technology, and watches vintage Roadrunner cartoons. The Company that runs the Station have told the teens that they will eventually travel to Earth, but…

Secret Sacrament

This book flows gently yet powerfully, taking the reader into a landscape where two civilisations co-exist. One is an imperial city with an edgy empress, a daily hive of activity in a palace and, luckily, a vestige of its saner days – a training temple for students of healing. The other culture lives at the…

See You in the Cosmos, Carl Sagan

Eleven-year-old Alex Petroski and his dog Carl Sagan are on a mission. A space mission. They have a rocket to launch at a desert festival and it will carry recordings of life on Earth so that aliens can learn about us. The fact that the novel is the record of these transcripts suggests that they…

Seven Days of You

Sophia is leaving Tokyo in seven days. She doesn’t want to; she’s spent most of her life moving between continents but three years in Tokyo have made it home. She wants to relish her last week with her best friends, Mika and David, but something’s going to ruin it—someone. Jamie Foster-Collins, who Sophia hasn’t seen…

Skins: The Novel

This is a spin-off from the popular E4 series which follows a group of teenagers from Bristol and the trials of school, friendship, and love. It’s hard not to view this book as a cashin exercise off the success of the TV series – and fans will certainly find plenty of the requisite profanity, sex,…

Skylark

Karen Gregory’s Skylark is a new take on an old story. The well-worn formula of an unexpected romance between two teenagers from very different worlds is reinterpreted when Joni meets Annabell. Skylark is romantic without veering to the sentimental, a love story between two girls that resists over-emphasising the significance of the same-sex coupling. The…

Small Gains

This is a compelling and beautifully written story, evocative of the novels of George Eliot and Thomas Hardy. Set in rural England at the beginning of the 19th century, it relates the intertwined fortunes of the Garland and Grover families from the perspective of its heroine, Clara Garland, whose skill with horses and passionate self-belief…

So Much to Tell

For many adults Puffin Books were an important part of their childhood, and some might remember the name of Kaye Webb, Puffin editor for twenty years, whose name appeared on each book as a hallmark of quality. Parents, teachers and librarians could feel assured that a book selected for Puffin by Webb was good literature,…

Spare and Found Parts

In a future Dublin devastated by an epidemic, Nell Crane is a girl with a lot to prove. Nell’s mother and father have both made excellent contributions to the society in which they live and now, as she nears adulthood, Nell must make a contribution of her own. Sarah Maria Griffin’s brilliant coming of age…

Speak

Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, is a graphic novel retelling of the 1999 novel of the same name and author. The original text was notable for its candid tackling of sexual assault, and the trauma it causes. It faced censorship then, but in an era where more and more victims are finding their voice, Anderson’s…

Spellbook of the Lost and Found

One stormy Irish summer night, Olive and her best friend Rose begin to lose things. At first, they lose small things like hair clips and a charm bracelet, but soon it’s clear that Rose has lost something bigger – something she won’t talk about, and Olive is worried she might lose her best friend. Then…

Spellslinger

Kellen is almost sixteen, which means he should be fighting magic duels and unlocking elemental powers to earn his mage name—standard rites of passage for his people. He’s failing all of them, which means that he is resorting to his best ability: quick-thinking deception. He’s smart and sardonic—until Ferius Parfax enters the scene. She’s a…

Starcrossed

‘Somehow, she had fallen out of the sky and survived. She really was a monster. A freak.’ Sixteen-year-old Helen Hamilton lives in Nantucket with her father, having been deserted by her mother as a baby. Taller, stronger and (though unaware herself) more beautiful than her peers, Helen has always felt uncomfortable in her skin. Convinced…

Stoner and Spaz

What would happen if a boy with cerebral palsy and a great sense of humour became friends with a girl with a drug addiction? When this question occurred to Ron Koertge, it became the inspiration for his novel Stoner and Spaz. Ben Bancroft loves the cinema. What begins as enjoyment of the escapism offered by…

Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different

Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different: True Tales of Amazing Boys Who Changed the World Without Killing Any Dragons is an extremely important collection about remarkable, sensitive and emotional men. Men who felt so much that they were driven to overcome a myriad of obstacles in order to reach their goals or to…

Suee and the Shadow

This beautiful, unsettling Korean graphic novel combines text and art in an almost seamless way. Suee is a courageous but cynical twelve-year-old. Her parents have divorced. She lives with her recently demoted, depressed father. She is forced to move both home and school, from Bustle Elementary to Outskirts Elementary, and to a tiny house. She…

Superhuman

Considering the extent of skateboarding mania currently abroad, there are relatively few children’s books which focus on this sport or pastime. Matt Whyman imparts a passionate appreciation of this skating culture which is instantly appealing. At first the book appears to base itself on the old winning formula for children’s books, ‘The Campaign’. But very…

Swallow’s Dance

Orr masterfully brings to life this coming-of-age story set in Bronze Age Thera (today Santorini). A young girl begins her initiation into the island goddess’s rituals for womanhood when disaster strikes. With her old life destroyed, Leira must find a new way to live while being the primary caretaker of both her mother and nursemaid,…

Taithí Oibre

Is úrscéal gearr é Taithí Oibre a dhéanann cur síos ar thriúr dalta éagsúla, Ciara, Jeaic agus Eoin, agus iad ag tabhairt faoina gcuid taithí oibre san idirbhliain. Freastalaíonn na daltaí ar an scoil chéanna, ach bíonn a gcuid eispéiris den taithí oibre an-éagsúil. Is amhránaí í Ciara gur mian léi saol gairmiúil sa cheol…

Taking Flight

With Taking Flight, Sheena Wilkinson has produced a gripping first young-adult novel that will hold the reader’s attention until the final page, leaving them sorry it is finished. This portrayal of two young teenagers thrust together from two very different backgrounds is made all the more vivid by the refreshing manner of its first-person narration,…

Tales from the Inner City

In this new collection of 25 short stories, Shaun Tan explores the relationships between animals and humans in the city. It’s deep, dark stuff filled with revelatory truths. In a story about a pig, we are confronted with the reality of our diet. In a story about a sheep we encounter the hopelessness of individual…

Tales of the Peculiar

Following in the footsteps of other fictional folklorists like Beedle the Bard, Millard Nullings, the invisible resident from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has collected his own compendium of fairy tales set in that world, coming from a wide range of locales and eras. Upon picking up the book, the first thing that will…

Thanks for the Trouble

Parker Santé hasn’t spoken since his father’s car accident and he likes hanging around hotels where he can watch rich people, write stories and steal the money or other valuables they occasionally leave behind. The book begins with Parker explaining that this is his response to a college application question and then informs us of…

The Angelica Touch

L. J. Sedgwick is a well-known name in screenwriting circles. Anybody with young children will be aware of Punky, possibly the first mainstream animation worldwide to focus on a main character with special needs. This, her latest book for young adults, is set on a wild peninsula in Donegal. Angelica is the titular main character,…

The Astonishing Colour of After

The Astonishing Colour of After is the début novel by American author, Emily X.R. Pan. This brave novel tells the story of American-Chinese Leigh, a teenaged girl who has just lost her mother to suicide. The reader travels with Leigh on her journey to Taiwan, where she meets her mother’s estranged parents for the first…

The Beast is an Animal

In the land of Byd, a sinister nursery rhyme foretells of a terrible Beast. Within the village of Gwenith, suspicion mounts surrounding uncanny twins. Forced into the forest, the sisters gradually morph into soul eaters, consumed by vengeance. After the twins descend upon their former village, the local children are left parentless. Although the youth…

The Beast Player

Elin’s mother is sentenced to death for failing to protect the Toda – fearsome serpents which form part of the kingdom’s army. Her final act is to send Elin to safety. Raised by a beekeeper who saves her life, Elin soon spies the flying beasts that guard her queen. After going to a school to…

The Black Flamingo

Growing up, Michael has always felt like he is never enough: not black enough, not Cypriot enough, not masculine enough, not gay enough and not able to be true to himself enough. As he embarks on his first year in university, these feelings of not belonging anywhere intensify, that is, until he meets Mzz Behaviour.…

The Book of Dust: The Secret Commonwealth

In the second volume of Philip Pullman’s Book of Dust trilogy – the follow-up to the multi-award winning His Dark Materials – Lyra is now a young woman. Her relationship with her daemon, Pantalaimon, has deteriorated; partly due to the effects of their separation in His Dark Materials, but now exacerbated by Pan’s ire at…

The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner is a graphic novel which may introduce readers to some very challenging topics and questions around gender, equality and violence. From the outset the female gender of the protagonist presents as a problem, in a male dominated and controlled world. The dark shades of colour throughout the panels reinforce the sombre, melancholy mood…

The Burning

Anna and her mother move to a remote Scottish fishing village in the middle of the school year. She tells her new friends that they left England because her father died, but that doesn’t explain her lack of social media presence, or the fact that she changed her name. As Anna begins to investigate the…

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