I'm very excited about two YA books that will hit the shelves soon.
July 26 watch for James Howe's newest book Addie on the Inside. While Addie is listed as Young Adult, I see this as a book that will really appeal to girls in grades 6-8. This is a novel about knowing yourself and loving yourself just as you are; it's about refusing to accept the labels that others assign to you. And I don't know any group of girls who suffer identify crises like girls in intermediate school. Addie tells her story in verse using a variety of forms. I handed this book to an eight grader at my school, a cheerleader, and asked what she thought. She confirmed that Addie speaks the truth. This is a must-have book for school libraries and a great purchase if you have a pre-teen or younger teenage daughter. And it's a fitting companion to Howe's The Misfits and Totally Joe.
October 11 is the release date for Andrew Smith's fourth novel, Stick. I don't know what to say about this novel, except . . . wow. This is one of those raw books that stays with you long after you finish that last page and close the cover. I believe all four of Smith's books explore the bond between brothers and best friends. You won't be able to put this one down. And if you haven't read any of Smith's earlier works, you are missing out. Visit his website, GhostMedicine.com, for blurbs on The Marbury Lens, In the Path of Falling Objects, and Ghost Medicine, as well as his newest novel.