We are leaving on vacation later today and I am completely out of time and have zero sitting or blogging stamina in this state of excitement (and also still have to drive the hedgehog and border collie to their respective vacation homes – MY LIFE)……..
So, with that being said, here are my YA reads from this week Instagram-style……..if you can’t see them for some reason in your email or your reader, I know the review text shows up in the browser so try that!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5 ~ YA out June 13 ~ Add this to high school required reading lists IMMEDIATELY. A story of the boy soldiers captured by Joseph Kony's rebel army in Uganda. Eye opening and heartbreaking, Soldier Boy is not a book we want to exist, given that it's a semi-factual account of horrifying events (Ricky's account is true, while the other narrator Samuel is a compilation of the thousands of boy soldiers Ricky has helped). However, given that these child soldiers are real and suffering, and Ricky Richard Anywar is a real person doing real work to help rehabilitate these child soldiers, this book needs to be read. It's not an easy read, given the graphic depictions of killing, rape and mutilation, but it is a fast read in the sense that you want to keep turning the pages. It's written at a perfect level for high school, as well as for adult readers like me who are new to reading about this ongoing tragedy. While the descriptions may be graphic, the events happened and need to be understood by more people worldwide. If we expose US students to book after book about the horrors of the Holocaust, it is our duty to share this story as well. Please read this. You will squirm and cry and want to believe this is fiction. You may need to spread it out over several days because it's so heavy, but please read it. •*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*•* Thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC of this title – all opinions are my own. @fsgbooks #ya #ireadya #youngadult #highschool #coffee
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/ 5 ~ 🌸 💍 Frothy and classic Dessen, this contemporary YA was a fun and light read for me, one which I know my middle and high school students will love as much as her other titles. The wedding planner business was a major draw for me, since I'm a sucker for pretty much any book that has weddings as a main storyline – this one had weddings galore, plenty to meet my quota for awhile! Louna's past adds some needed heft to the story, but in no way turns this book into anything other than the teen-friendly contemporary fiction we expect from Dessen. This will fly off the shelf in my MSHS library. 💕🌸
🍑 FOUR STARS ✨ "Faith is important to a lot of the world and for far too many queer youth, growing up with religion can be a painful experience. I wanted this novel to be something a young queer person of faith could hold on to as a bright spot while they navigate the waters of finding themselves" (from the author's note at the end of the book). •*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*• BRAVO! Anything we can do as teachers, parents, authors, faith leaders, ANYONE to reassure youth that it is okay to be who they are, is vital in this time of political uncertainty about acceptance and rights for all. •*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*•* Jo's story is both tender, funny and fairly racy, while also being incredibly faith-oriented. This is something I rarely, if ever, see in mainstream-publishing YA. (Note: I am not a practicing Christian, but I do read a LOT of YA and try to cover a diverse range of religions). It is a wonderful example for teens that faith doesn't demand perfection and faith should be about acceptance rather than hate. Jo and her friends are delightfully Southern and also raunchy and just………well, teens. Coming out in a small Southern Baptist town has probably never been quite so delightful, but I certainly wish it could be so! •*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*•* "And if you are an ally reading this book, stand up for your queer friends and don't make room for hate in your belief systems." 👏 (also from author's note in book) #readproud #lgbtq 🌈 #ya #ireadya #youngadult #church #religion @jayerobinbrown
Not sure if I will blog at all while on vacation, but if I do it will be quick and easy and probably picture-style! Stay tuned to my Instagram (especially my stories, I have fallen in love with Instagram Stories!) for vacation pictures and my vacation reads!
In addition to my HUGE bag of books I have packed, here is my Kindle Vacation TBR!
Oh, and 1 more thing – an AMAZING NEW MIDDLE GRADE book by Abby Cooper is out on July 3rd and I have teamed up with a giant group of bookstagrammers to spread the word with a giveaway starting July 2nd! If you haven’t read Abby’s first book Sticks and Stones do so NOW. Bubbles is coming out on July 3rd!!!! Also, my daughter and Abby have become pen pals and it is the best thing ever. See M’s review of Bubbles below! Mine is up on Goodreads (5 STARS) and will be posted here on July 2nd!