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Archive for May, 2017

Outrun The Moon

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

by Stacey Lee, 391 pages, Grade 7 and up26192915

Mercy is a Chinese American growing up in San Francisco’s Chinatown.  Luckily she is resourceful and industrious because getting ahead as a Chinese American girl is not easy in the early 1900s. She knows if she can get a good education she will be able to own and run a successful business one day, but the good schools will not admit her. Mercy uses her intelligence and cleverness to get admitted to the private school called St. Clare’s – albeit for one year only at first – but she has to hide her true identity from the other girls. Fitting in and finding friends and allies is problematic to say the least, and in the midst of all this tension and deception, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake strikes. Will Mercy’s resourcefulness be enough to overcome even this devastation?

If you enjoy books about surviving natural disasters you might also like: Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere, by Julie Lamana or Zane and the Hurricane, by W. R. Philbrick. Books that have earthquakes in their plot include: Night of the Howling Dogs, by Graham Salisbury, and Dragonwings, by Laurence Yep.

Killer of Enemies

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

by Joseph Bruchac, 361 pages. Grades 8 and up

17946249In the not too distant future people had relied on technology for everything. Anyone with money and power has so much faith in tech that they use it to enhance not only their homes and their world but also augment themselves physically. Those with the most power were called the “Ones.” But then the cloud came and all tech ceased to function. Some of the Ones survived and became leaders of walled communities where all people had to live to stay alive; Lozen lives in a walled city called Haven and she is the Killer of Enemies. People in pre-cloud times had also done a lot of genetic splicing and engineering to create incredible zoos, and personal collections of invented creatures. Now that the tech no longer keeps their cages locked and now that their owners have hidden themselves in walled cities and no longer feed their pets, giant alligator-sharks, sabertooth-lion-apes and other giant, hungry creatures roam the earth looking for food. Lozen’s job is to clear an area of these beasts for the Ones that control Haven. It is not only dangerous outside the walls; people die every day inside Haven. The Ones are harsh rulers and they are using the safety of her family to coerce her into working for them. She is just hoping she can stay alive long enough to get her family out of Haven.

If you enjoy science fiction adventure you might also like: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, or Shipbreaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi. If you enjoy science fiction with strong female characters you might also like: Cinder, by Marissa Meyer, or Illuminae, by Jay Kristoff.

The Leaving

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

by Tara Altebrando,   pages, Grades 8 and up

leavingEleven years ago Avery’s brother and 5 other 5-year-olds went missing after their first day of kindergarten. Today five of them mysteriously returned, but Max still has not come home. Stranger still, all the returned teenagers don’t remember anything of the last 11 years of their lives. They all have particular talents and skills and have basic knowledge as though someone has been educating them consistently. They pass aptitude tests, one can draw, one knows how to use a camera, a couple can drive, but none remember how they learned these things. This mystery and the fact that Max has not returned has left the whole town suspended in a state of relief – because some children have returned – and tension – because no one knows where they have been, what has gone on for 11 years. Many wonder who these children have become, but Avery mostly wants to know what has become of her brother, Max.

If you enjoy suspenseful stories and don’t mind them a little creepy you might also like: Break My Heart 1,000 Times, by Daniel Waters, Ink and Ashes, by Valynne E. Maetani, or The Reader, by Traci Chee.

CYRM Middle School WINNER 2017

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Keeper of the Lost Cities