Youth Services Forum Blog


Review: Rain Reign
Thursday, September 10, 2015 12:00 AM

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin. New York: Feiwel and Friends, 2014. 978-0312643003


Rose Howard is different from the other kids in her class: she has an aide, she is obsessed with homonyms, and she has Asperger’s Syndrome. Rose loves homonyms so much that when her Dad brings home a dog, she gives him a name that’s a homonym, because according to her rules names that are homonyms are very special. When her dog goes missing during a storm Rose has to break her very comfortable routines in order to find her dog and bring him home.

Review: Into the Killing Seas
Thursday, August 27, 2015 10:00 AM

Spradlin, Michael. Into The Killing Seas. New York: Scholastic Press, 2015. 978-0545726023.


Patrick and his brother Teddy just want one thing: to get back to the Philippines where they last saw their parents. In order to accomplish this they sneak onto the U.S.S. Indianapolis with the help of a U.S. Marine named Benny. However, things go horribly wrong when the U.S.S. Indianapolis is attacked and sinks. Patrick, Teddy, and Benny are crammed onto a wooden pallet waiting for rescue but the pallet is slowly coming apart, either due to water or sharks taking a big bite out of it. Can they hold on long enough to be rescued, or will they become a snack for the sharks that are circling?

Review: Gracefully Grayson
Monday, August 17, 2015 10:00 AM

Polonsky, Ami. Gracefully Grayson. Los Angeles; New York: Hyperion, 2014. 9781423185277.


Grayson, like all teenagers, is just trying to figure out who he is — but he has an added challenge. His biggest problem is that he’s in the wrong body, because for as long as Grayson can remember, he’s felt closer to the princesses of fairy tales — not the princes. After years of suppressing his identity Grayson realizes he is ready to start showing the world who he is and does so in a big way. Grayson tries out for the female lead in the school play — and gets it. What follows is a story of self-acceptance in the face of adversity.

Review: Shutter
Thursday, July 23, 2015 10:00 AM

Alameda, Courtney. Shutter. New York, Feiwel and Friends, 2015. 978-1250044679.


Micheline is a Van Helsing, yes, THAT type of Van Helsing. In fact, she and her Dad are the last of the Van Helsing line, and with the descendents of other famous supernatural fighters — like the Stokers, they run the Van Helsing Corps. They deal with everything that goes bump in the night. So when Micheline is called out to deal with a supernatural creature that has started killing people at a local hospital she isn’t surprised… until she realizes that it was a trap specifically set for her. Now it’s a race against time to destroy the creature before the ghost chains that now encircle her and her team kills them all.

Review: Trash Mountain
Monday, July 13, 2015 10:00 AM

Trash Mountain by Jane Yolen. Mineneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books. 9781467712347.


Young Nutley, the Red squirrel, lives with his Mummy and Father in a cozy hole high up in a fir tree. Influenced by their twitchy fears and raised under their strict rules, Nutley longs to explore beyond his home and make new friends — even reaching out to the dreadful Gray squirrels about which his parents have repeatedly warned him. When Nutley’s parents are killed by the Grays in a vicious attack, he must learn how to survive on his own and to process the world around him.

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