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NovelNancy

NovelNancy

Joined May 2019

My motto in life: Never leave home without a book.
review
NovelNancy
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Pickpick

I started this book then set it aside for a long time which is unusual.I started over & stayed with it as it kept coming up on best book of the year. The story line is intense so I think it will stay with me for a long time. It's also based on something of which I knew nothing about (drug addicts being killed by the Filipino government as part of the “war on drugs“). I didn't find the characters compelling, but I appreciated their imperfections.

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NovelNancy
City of Girls | Elizabeth Gilbert
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It took awhile to get into this book, but there was something compelling about Vivian's story that made me keep reading. I'm glad I did as I enjoyed the second half of the book better than the beginning. Vivian wasn't as self-absorbed and had gained some wisdom from her life experiences. There were as many unlikable characters as likable ones which made for an honest, realistic read.

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NovelNancy
Cilka's Journey | Heather Morris
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A sequel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz, this is the story of Cilka. After surviving Auschwitz-Birkenau where she was forced at 16 to be a prostitute for Nazi officers, Cilka is sent to a Siberian Prison for being a Nazi sympathizer. Sentenced to 15 years, she proves again to be a survivor. A strength & compassion for others allows her to work in the hospital instead of doing hard labor. In an inhumane place, Cilka finds love.

11 likes1 stack add
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NovelNancy
The Music of What Happens | Bill Konigsberg
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Bill Konigsberg has written another realistic and relevant YA book. This one is more intense in that it addresses more serious issues, but is also relatable by teens given the realistic dialogue between characters. A book I will highly recommend to my more mature high school students. I love the title too.

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NovelNancy
Frankly in Love | David Yoon
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This book made me smile, laugh, cry & feel teenage angst all over again. Frank Li has to navigate his parent‘s approval as he figures out who he is during his last year of H.S. He begins to date while trying to sort out his relations with his parents, sister & friends. This ranks right up with Eleanor & Park in terms of realistic YA novels about love. Great read for a first time novelist. I look forward to reading more of David Yoon!

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NovelNancy
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Mehso-so

While this book was not for me, I can see some students connecting with it. Students who have vivid imaginations, who are neurodiverse, who love Star Trek or Star Wars, who are of color might all see a bit of themselves in Ebony Grace. Not everyone is going to love this book, but I definitely think some young adults will identify with the character and it may be an important book for them. I will be promoting it in my classes.

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NovelNancy
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On 9/11/01 when the U.S. airspace was shut down, 38 planes carrying 6,595 passengers and crew members were diverted to the small town of Gander, Newfoundland. For 6 days the citizens of Gander (population of around 10,000) & its surrounding communities opened their homes, schools, churches, hearts & minds to the stranded folks whose lives were directly affected by 9/11. Such a hopeful book, an easy read, and a glimpse into humanity at its finest.

Nute I did not know about this. Thanks for sharing. It‘s always good to be reminded of humanity at all of its finest efforts!💕 2mo
NovelNancy I was unaware of this book as well. The Broadyway musical Come From Away is about this event. I haven't seen it yet, but love the music. 1mo
16 likes2 comments
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NovelNancy
Pet | Akwaeke Emezi
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Pickpick

I read this book quickly, but think it is one that will stay with me for a long time. Through dialogue and description, the story was vivid. A reminder that as adults we think we have everything figured out, but it's kids who are sometimes more aware. Lucille is a perfect town in a society without crime as all the monsters have been eliminated. Until that is, one returns to hunt another due to humans harming each other.

Nute I‘m going to the bookstore today specifically to purchase this book. Yay!🙂 2mo
12 likes1 comment
review
NovelNancy
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Pickpick

When I saw Jason Reynolds had a new book out, I had to order it for my school & as usual, it did not disappoint. There is humor, meanness, sadness, hope & love - all emotions kids feel as they try & figure out how to navigate through life. Though 10 separate stories, the details woven through them show that we are all somehow connected to one another. Our actions do affect others - even if we're not aware they do. Delightful read for MS readers.

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NovelNancy
With the Fire on High | Elizabeth Acevedo
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A delightful story for foodies. Emoni has the gift of cooking in which she's able to create magic. She's had a lot thrown her way - no mom in her life, an absentee father, a baby at 14. Yet, she also has her champions to hold her up - her abuela, teachers, her best friend. She has to navigate the world of still being a child while having a child. Figuring out the future while retaining her heritage and past. Acevedo dishes up another perfect read.

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NovelNancy
Red at the Bone | Jacqueline Woodson
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This book moves between narrators, backwards and forwards in time, yet somehow Woodson weaves it together into a symphony where each character has an instrument to play. Other writers might create a cacophony, but Woodson has such a way with connecting people and events into a well-crafted story. I read this book in under 24 hours, but think that Melody, Iris, Aubrey, Sabe, and Po'Boy will stay with me for days ahead.

14 likes1 stack add
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NovelNancy
Getting The Girl | Markus Zusak
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Panpan

I picked up this book because it was by the author of The Book Thief. I'm not sure why I finished it as it seemed disjointed. I did feel some empathy for the character Cam, but I was never sure of the point of the story. After reading it, I realized it was the third book of a series in the Wolfe Brothers. Perhaps I'd have understood it better had I read the previous two books. Definitely don't recommend it as a standalone novel.

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NovelNancy
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“I am someone who has always run from difficulty, and it dawns on me that I don't have to go on that way. We write ourselves certain parts and then keep playing them as if we have no choice. But a tardy person can become a punctual one, if she chooses. You don't have to keep being the thing you have become. It is never too late“ (93-94).

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NovelNancy
Let Me Hear a Rhyme | Tiffany D. Jackson
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If you like hip hop, this realistic fiction based on historical facts is for you. Set in 1998 in Brooklyn, 2 friends of Steph & his sister set out to share his music with the world even after he's murdered. They contrive a plan to promote his music under the rap name Architect. As with most lies, it gets complicated & heats up quickly. Meanwhile, the 3 teens all have their own issues as they struggle with the loss of their friend & brother.

10 likes2 stack adds
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NovelNancy
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In this world, people still die randomly, but they get a call from Death-Case knowing it's their last day. There's also a Last-Friends app, the soon-to-be dead can use to connect with either another soon-to-be-dead (called a Decker) or someone who befriends people on their last day. Mateo and Rufus are both Deckers who agree to spend their final day together. An interesting premise for a novel, it makes one think what it really means to live.

7 likes1 stack add
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NovelNancy
City of Saints & Thieves | Natalie C Anderson
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A homeless orphan refugee. Tina's mom was murdered at the wealthy estate where she was a maid. Tina is sure the estate owner murdered her mother. They were lovers & her mom had his child, Tina's younger sister & the only person in the world she cares about. Tina wants revenge so devises a plan that involves going back to the Congo which is still war torn & unsafe, making for a nerve wracking, can't put down kind of story.

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NovelNancy
Saint Death | Marcus Sedgwick
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Arturo is a poor teenager living totally on his own in a shack in Mexico on the border of El Paso. He works to support himself so can't attend school. His best friend hasn't been in touch for a year until he suddenly shows up because he's in trouble . Set over 24 hours, there's a plot twist. This book can be read as a fast-paced story, or as a statement about immigration, & the drug trade in the U.S. & its impact on the lives of Mexicans.

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NovelNancy
Release | Patrick Ness
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Adam Thorn is the son of a fundamentalist preacher; his parents haven't ever accepted him. He has to confront his feelings for his ex-BF with his current BF, deal with a changing situation with his BFF, ward off unwanted advances at work, & deal with family drama. Interspersed in Adam's story is a metaphorical tale of a spirit who's come back to earth to face the demons who murdered a girl who body she inhabits. Both need release by sunset.

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NovelNancy
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Blue is the daughter of a psychic; while she doesn't have this ability, she makes information 'louder' for those that do. Her mom can see dead people & for the first time, Blue does. Meanwhile, Gansey & his 3 friends from the local private school in Henrietta VA where Blue lives try to find out about a dead king that if awakened can brings powers to the person who succeeds at this. Blue becomes part of this odd group as they continue their quest.

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NovelNancy
Shiver | Maggie Stiefvater
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Mehso-so

Grace lives in Minnesota near woods and for years she has watched wolves, especially one with yellow eyes. Sam is sometimes a wolf and sometimes a human. He has yellow eyes. This is first book in a series about werewolves that has romance in it.

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NovelNancy
Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth | Frank Cottrell Boyce
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Prez is adrift - he doesn't have parents & his grandpa has Alzheimer's. He's at a foster home farm for the summer. One night he hears a knock at the door & meets Sputnik - a kilt and goggle wearing kid who hears Prez's thoughts and talks to him. Everyone else sees Prez as a dog. Sputnik is from outer space & has come to save Earth by discovering the 10 best things on it. Everything is an adventure with Sputnik who can time travel through space.

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NovelNancy
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Maya is a h.s.senior; she's also an American Indian & Muslim. Her parents came to the U.S. from India. Maya is torn between being the daughter her parents want & expect her to be & her own dreams - go to NYU to study film and to date a h.s. non-native Muslim. Interspersed in the story are snippets of an event outside anyone's control - a terrorist attack that leads to hate crimes directed toward Maya and her parents.

9 likes2 stack adds
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NovelNancy
Allegedly | Tiffany D Jackson
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Mary's father died before her birth, her baby brother died from SIDs & her mom loses touch with reality so Mary becomes her mom's caretaker. At 9 Mary is accused of manslaughter accidentally killing a 3 month old her mom was watching. She's sent to 'baby jail' as she calls it then to an abusive group home. At 15 she becomes pregnant & decides she wants everyone to know what really happened the night baby Alyssa died so she can keep her baby.

12 likes1 stack add
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NovelNancy
Dear Martin | Nic Stone
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Justyce is a person of color, a h.s. senior & attends a private boarding school on a scholarship, 1 of 8 students of color. He's having trouble navigating what he thinks everyone wants from him including his mom, his ex-girlfriend Melo, his debate partner SJ and his best friend Manny. He gets caught up in the stereotype of a young black male and has a brush-up with the law so he begins writing letters to MLK Jr wondering what would Martin do?

9 likes1 stack add
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NovelNancy
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Rape occurs frequently in h.s. & 3 girls decide enough is enough. They anonymously start a girls' group called “The Nowhere Girls“ where girls meet to talk about guys & create a manifesto with one item being girls will no longer have sex with guys. There is an online blog called “Real Men of Presscott High“ where one of the anonymous rapists brags about all of his conquests. It takes awhile for adults to do the right thing, but justice prevails.

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NovelNancy
Train I Ride | Paul Mosier
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Rydr's been bounced between her drug addicted mom & her elderly gramma. Now both are gone so she's on a cross country train ride from Palm Springs to Chicago to live with a great uncle she's never met. Feeling completely alone, Rydr learns on this multi-day journey that while family may be those related to you, it's more about people who care about you. Though Rydr feels no one cares about her, she has empathy for others.

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NovelNancy
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Imagine being near the end of high school and living in prison with your dad and little sister because your dad has been falsely accused of selling drugs, your family is too poor to hire a lawyer and your mom deserts your family when all this happens. This is Franciso's life in Bolivia in 1999 and situations such as this actually occurred. This is an amazing book based on true events!

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NovelNancy
Genuine Fraud | E. Lockhart
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Be prepared for a fast, wild ride with this read. Jule, or is it Imogen, is on the run from someone. The book starts out at Chapter 18 and works its ways backward chronologically down to Chapter 1 then with a plot twist, the final chapter is 19. The main character has survival skills, is manipulative and calculating; in spite of this, I found myself rooting for her. Between her actions of toughness she shows a vulnerability we can all relate to.

16 likes2 stack adds
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NovelNancy
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Based on a true story, the main character is a Polish Jew who ends up in Auschwitz with her mother and father. There are a few hidden books in a school for children. Dita is the keeper of these forbidden items. The story has many characters and is difficult to sometimes remember who is who. However, as with many Holocaust books, it shows amazing resilience which always makes for a good read. A plus is the theme about the importance of books!

IvoryLunatic I was really confused for a second because I only looked at the picture and was like “that‘s not the tattooist of auschwitz that I just read!” when I read your description. Haha 4mo
NovelNancy That's because I posted the wrong book cover! I read two books about Auschwitz closely together - The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Librarian of Auschwitz. 4mo
NovelNancy Should be fixed now! Sorry for the confusion 4mo
17 likes3 comments
review
NovelNancy
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Told in narrative poetry with a picture on every page, this story of Mary Shelley an outcast who ran away pregnant at 16 with a married man & poet Percy Shelley. Overcoming every obstacle, the two remain together and end up associated with Lord Byron who dares anyone to write about bringing the dead back to life. Over years Shelley does this by writing Frankenstein & all of the injustices she endured end up in her character.

13 likes1 stack add
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NovelNancy
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Emika is about as low as anyone can get - an orphan, a criminal debt, living in poverty & about to be evicted from her horrible digs in NYC. She's hacked into Warcross, the VR video game that has swept the world. Suddenly without realizing it, she's part of the game & becomes an international sensation. She's given $10 million by Hideko, the creator of the game & sent to Tokyo to help him figure out who is trying to sabotage the championship.

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NovelNancy
Harbor Me | Jacqueline Woodson
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Six students in Ms. Laverne's class who all have stories & struggles. Weekly, the 6 students have an hour to simply talk with no adults in the room. They meet in a former art room which they rename ARTT (a room to talk). This is one of the sweetest books I have ever read. Though it doesn't necessarily end where everyone lives happily ever after, it affirms the power of friendship, understanding and hope.

IvoryLunatic Have you read anything else by her? I never feel likes there‘s a ton of action but you still walk away feeling good about having taken the time to read/listen to her books. 4mo
NovelNancy I have read quite a few of her books - mostly young adult but also her adult book (and a new one is coming out this fall!) I agree, her books are more character driven than plot driven, but she has amazing insight into humanity. Her memoir Brown Girl Dreaming is excellent. Another sweet story is If You Come Softly. 4mo
10 likes2 comments
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NovelNancy
Words in Deep Blue | Cath Crowley, Wyatt North
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Rachel has loved Henry since grade 9 & she used to love the ocean until her brother accidentally drown. Now she doesn't love anything or anyone. Fast forward 3 years & Rachel has failed grade 12. She moves back to live with her aunt & a job at Henry's family's secondhand bookshop. Henry thinks Rachel is rude, but doesn't know about Cal.The power of words help them work through their misunderstanding and Rachel to begin living again.

13 likes1 stack add
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NovelNancy
On the Come Up | Angie Thomas
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Bri has everything stacked against her - a person of color, recovering drug addict mom, dad killed by gang members, lives in the projects and a hot quick temper. On the plus side, she has an older brother who looks out for her, grandparents, she goes to an arts school, and she's a great rapper. We follow Bri's journey as she's 'on the come up'.

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NovelNancy
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Two best friends & co-hosts of a cable access show featuring old low-budget horror & sci-fi movies. Josie's goal is to work in TV. Delia hopes her dad who left years ago might see her on TV. Their 2 families are quite different - it's just Delia & her mom scraping by. Josie has college & the whole world ahead of her; she's been planning to go away to college in the fall until an unexpected boy enters her life causing her to rethink everything.

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NovelNancy
Scythe | Neal Shusterman
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The first book in a series that won't disappoint Shusterman fans! A post-mortality society where death and illness has been conquered so the only way to die is by a scythe gleaning people. Citra & Rowan are chosen to be scythes in training & must give up their old life and family to do this. Even though this new world has conquered many issues, people still crave power so it's not a perfect world. A fast moving plot with many unexpected twists!

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NovelNancy
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The final book in the 3-book Frazzled series does not disappoint. Abby is going to outdoor camp with her classmates which involves being away from home overnight for a week. When routines get disrupted, that sometimes jolts people out of a rut and causes change. This happens to Abby in this fun, fast-paced adventure!

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NovelNancy
The Poet X | Elizabeth Acevedo
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This is a book everyone should read. It has something for everyone - race, sexuality, family, bullying. Xiomara (see-oh-MAH-ruh) is from the Dominic Republic and lives with a very strict mom, a father who lives there but doesn't parent, and her twin brother Xavier. She's struggling with her own identity which her mom takes as outward defiance.

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NovelNancy
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This is an incredible, unfortunate, yet hopeful true story of a person whose clothing is set on fire on Bus 57 in Oakland, CA and the ramifications of that act both for the victim and the doer. The author clearly explains technical information such as the legal system and laws. She humanizes the people involved enough to create empathy in the reader. This book includes important issues on race and sexual identity without passing judgment.

7 likes1 stack add
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NovelNancy
Midnight at the Electric | Jodi Lynn Anderson
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Three settings, three characters - Adrin in 2065, Catherine in 1934 and Lenore in 1919. All face adversity and all are linked in some way. I really enjoyed this book - a bit confusing at first , but it all comes together in the end. It was similar to doing a jigsaw puzzle; the picture gets clearer, the more pieces you connect (the more pages you read).

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NovelNancy
The Tattooist of Auschwitz | Heather Morris (Screenwriter)
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Based on a true story of Holocaust survivor Lale, who as a prisoner becomes the tattooist for incoming prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Because he is so loathed by other prisoners, Lale is afforded special privileges - better housing, more food, more freedom to move around. In spite of the horribleness, this is a story of love between Lale and Gita, a fellow prisoner. It provides hope for humanity.

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NovelNancy
Pride | Ibi Zoboi
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This novel is a retelling of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice. It's set in Brooklyn with all characters of color. It's fresh, funny & engaging - a fun read!

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NovelNancy
Rebound | Kwame Alexander
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Rebound is the prequel to Crossover and is the story of the dad when he was a teenager. Chuck's dad has recently died so Chuck and his mom are having to navigate their new normal. He spend the summer in Virginia near DC at his grandparents. Like many of us, he makes a poor choice and has to deal with the consequences along with figuring out who he is and discovering his strengths and interests. This narrative poetry novel is on par with Crossover.

6 likes1 stack add
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NovelNancy
American Street | Ibi Zoboi
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Fabio is a Haitian immigrant moving with her mother to Detroit to live with her aunt and her three cousins. Except her mom is detained and she goes onto Detroit along. She enters a life she doesn't understand so uses “voodoo“ to explain what's happening to her. This book has so many layers and themes. It stayed with me - haunting me as Fabio was haunted by mystery, guilt and misunderstandings. Ibi came to my school and she is a fantastic speaker!

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NovelNancy
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“In this case, as in so many others, the personal was the political” (29).

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NovelNancy
American Road Trip | Patrick Flores-Scott
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This is a great diverse book as the characters are Hispanic. Theodoro starts to get his life on track, becoming motivated to get into college because of a girl. However, his brother and sister have alternate plans and needs. So an epic road trip along the west coast ensues with lots of lies and discoveries. A touching read about the serious subject of PTSD.

4 likes2 stack adds
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NovelNancy
I Crawl Through It | A.S. King
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Mehso-so

I don't usually read magical realism books, but because A.S. King wrote it, I gave it a shot. I told myself I could stop reading it, but at some point it sucked me in and I had to find out if Stanzi would be okay. Peeling back the layers, this book is about everyone who has to deal with stuff in life. The death of a sibling, alcoholism, rape, sexual abuse, rejected love, feeling invisible ... And on some level, we can all relate to this.

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NovelNancy
Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel | Val Emmich, Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul
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Evan Hansen is a nobody in his own mind (aren't we all?). Through a series of mistakes, he gets “discovered“ due to a letter that lands in the wrong hands at the wrong time. However, Evan rolls with it, albeit it with much angst, & events transpire. Of course, it gets out of control and he has to keep building lie upon lie to try not make a bad situation worse. As expected, the truth must come out and Evan has to figure out how to go on living.

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NovelNancy
Tell Me Three Things | Julie Buxbaum
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“I am as lost and confused and alone as I have ever been. No, high school will never be a time I look back on fondly. My mom once told me that the world is divided into two kinds of people: the ones who love their high school years and the ones who spend the next decade recovering from them. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, she said“ (8).

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NovelNancy
Anger Is a Gift | Mark Oshiro
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“'It's like they can't avoid it,' said Kaisha. 'We were literally there to protest against them using deadly force, so they responded with ... deadly force. Incredible'“ (445).