The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy – Kate Hattemer – Realistic, Friendship
A reality TV show, For Arts Sake, is being filmed at the prestigious high school, Selwyn Arts Academy. The 20 talented student contestants compete each week with the usual one contestant being eliminated. But Ethan and his three friends smell a rat! Inspired by the study of controversial poet, Ezra Pound, the group decides to take down the show by writing a vigilante long poem, which they anonymously distribute in stages to the student body. When Luke, one of the four friends, jumps ship and becomes a contestant, the remaining three dig for the dirt on the school’s leadership and their favorite teacher in order to save the school. Readers who appreciate sarcasm and some sophisticated vocabulary will likely enjoy this novel.
Ghost – Jason Reynolds – Realistic, Sports
Ghost Cranshaw has been running for most of his life, ever since his dad chased him and his mother around their apartment and down the street with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Now his father has been in jail for three years and 8th grader Ghost has many problems at school. With time on his hands, Ghost begins watching, and participating in, an elite middle school track team practice on his way home from school. When the strict coach notices how fast Ghost can run, he sets out to convince Ghost’s mother to let him practice with the team. The problem is, with dad in jail, Ghost’s mom can’t afford the expensive running shoes. Ghost comes up with his own plan for getting them, and you can guess his plan is not good. Fortunately for Ghost, Coach believes he could become the best sprinter in the city and does all he can to help Ghost turn his life around by becoming a member of the Defenders. First in a projected series highlighting four members of the track team.
Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard – Fantasy (FollettShelf)
The world is divided by blood – red and silver. The Silvers are an elite group who rule the world. The Reds are the poor commoners who simply try to survive the harsh servitude to the Silvers. Due to an unexpected encounter with a prince, 17-year-old Mare Barrow suddenly finds herself inside the royal palace where she discovers she possesses a deadly ability that only Silvers should have. Forced to confront this unexpected power, the king and queen make up a story about her being the long-lost Silver princess. They hide her in plain sight – in the royal palace engaged to the younger Silver prince.
As a Red, before entering the palace, Mare had become involved with the Scarlet Guard, a rebel group trying to overthrow the Silvers. Now she is an insider with access to privileged information, which she tries to pass on to her contacts on the outside. She finds unexpected Red sympathizers within the palace, but all of them are not who they first seem to be.
The first book in the Red Queen series, this book is available as an ebook on FollettShelf.
The Lie Tree – Frances Hardinge – Mystery
Set in Victorian England, 14-year-old Faith and her family have moved to the island of Vane. Her strict clergyman father has been caught in a scandal regarding some scientific discoveries and the family hopes to let the news settle down while they take up residence away from it all. Faith follows in her father’s footsteps in that she is interested in science. But for a female of this time period, these interests are frowned upon. Eventually, news of the scandal reaches this island and Faith’s father is found dead, suspected of committing suicide because of the shame associated with his actions. But Faith has the mind of an observant scientist and believes her father has been murdered. But who? And how?