books and cleverness

I read books of all sorts, but mostly kids' lit and young adult literature and speculative fiction for all ages—usually from a feminist perspective. 


I've adopted a personalized version of the CHOICE reviews approach to recommendations/star ratings:

***** = Essential, a.k.a. truly love, absolute must-read, buy it now
**** = Highly Recommended, a.k.a. this is a really good book; I would buy it as a gift
*** = Recommended, a.k.a. pretty good; worth reading
** = Optional, a.k.a. meh
* = Not Recommended; a.k.a. this is not a good book

Fall 2013 New Voices Titles

The American Booksellers Association has announced their picks for the upcoming season's New Voices titles.


Ages 8 – 12

  • After Iris by Natasha Farrant (Penguin Young Readers Group / Dial Books)
  • The Mysterious Woods of Whistle Root by Christopher Pennell (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson (HarperCollins)
  • What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World by Henry Clark (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)



  • The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney (HarperCollins / HarperTeen)
  • How to Love by Katie Cotugno (HarperCollins / Balzer + Bray)
  • If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan (Algonquin Young Readers)
  • The Paradox of Vertical Flight by Emil Ostrovski (HarperCollins / Greenwillow)
  • The Theory of Everything by Kari Luna (Penguin Young Readers Group / Philomel Books)


I don't know what the practical implications of this list are, but I loved The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot, have been meaning to read If You Could Be Mine, and am very excited about Rooftoppers.